Despite the harangues of a couple hundred uninformed, misguided, and radicalized protestors in Salem on Jan. 1, I believe the overwhelming message to Gov. Kate Brown and Oregon public health authorities is that the vast majority of Oregonians support the measures taken to control the spread of COVID-19. Oregon’s rank as 45th among the 50 states in terms of infection rate is a testament to the success of state policies and the assumption of responsibility in the absence of national leadership.
But the continuation of this performance still depends on the acceptance of proven and medically unanimous procedures enacted by the state. Such procedures, even though mandated, are not 100% enforceable, but we only need review examples where they are either not in place, or have been neglected, to observe soaring contagion, overwhelmed hospital facilities, and rapidly increasing mortality. Most of us do not want that for Oregon.
No system is perfect, and business should work with public health services to discover ways to innovate and safely continue their activities. The media reports almost daily examples of these occurrences.
Importantly, this is not a basis for political divide. This is not about constitutional rights, or the last election. It is about defeating the pandemic. We have the knowledge of the methods required to best contain the virus and now the vaccines to suppress it. With some patience, and a level of trust, there is a rational way forward.