Let me please preface this opinion with something very important: I do not wish anyone to pass away, for any reason, including the natural causes of old age. However, I have given some thought about the coronavirus and subsequent shutdown.

As a society, we accept and allow death under numerous controllable circumstances: Smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, eating unhealthy foods, operating a vehicle, exposure to the flu and other contagions, military operations, or, sometimes, simply going outside are a few. All are legal activities, I might add. Rules, guidelines, and warnings are commonly issued in an effort to mitigate the danger of these practices, yet we accept and allow the consequences to occur, which, tragically, can be death.

So why such a strict, comprehensive, longstanding shutdown for the COVID-19 pandemic? I'm not arguing for or against it here today, but simply contemplating the mindset, and consistency, of our decision-makers. Using their logic, shouldn't we immediately and utterly ban all tobacco use? It would save far more lives than this coronavirus will ever take.

If I had a say in the matter, I would impose strong safety measures on those who are most vulnerable to the virus while opening up activity and commerce to the majority of the population. The countless negative repercussions of our current shutdown are very dangerous to our well-being. I think we can walk and chew gum at the same time and should open up, with common-sense safety practices

Jeff Bushnell

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Duluth