LETTERS: Burning COVID-19 questions for Douglas County Commissioner Lora Thomas


EDITOR: I just saw Douglas County Commissioner Lora Thomas’ brief May 23 interview on Channel 2 News, regarding restaurants opening up for Memorial Day, where she stated, “Our community just wants to be free. They want to be able to go to church, they want to be able to go to restaurants. I heard that there were 421 restaurants last week who decided they were going to open up this weekend anyway. But those restaurants that plans for civil disobedience, that are going to open up this weekend already, are a step ahead of the curve, so I expect to see some restaurants open today.”

We should all as the County Commissioner:

Are people’s freedoms truly being suppressed during this where federal, state and local governments are trying to ‘manage’ the spread of a virus, where there is no vaccine?

Is opening up restaurants to defy the limitation of public spaces in order to protect and curtail the spread of the virus, for the public health genuine form of civil disobedience? And is it on the same level of protesting ethnic, class and gender, and other forms inequality?

Can the restaurants who are opening, liable for any outbreaks of COVID-19 that can be traced back to them?

Can you, a public servant, who seems to be encouraging this form of, as you call it, civil disobedience, be held accountable for any outbreak of COVID-19?

If workers at these restaurants contract COVID-19, and do not have access to quality health insurance, are you and the business who are opening up willing to help pay for any medical expenses?

Lastly, America is quite obsessed with ‘freedoms’ and ‘right,’ but one thing that lacks in our discourse is the ‘responsibilities’ that go with the freedoms and rights we cherish. Can you describe and identify any responsibilities you and these ‘421’ restaurants have to the general public, regarding opening up for this for Memorial Day weekend?

— Andrew Jarrett via [email protected]