Gov. Jay Inslee and President Joe Biden delivered a one-two punch in the fight against the COVID pandemic last week, issuing new orders that should score significant points against the deadly virus.
It won’t, of course, score any points with the politicians and self-proclaimed experts on medicine and constitutional law who’ve demonstrated they have no interest in stopping the suffering of others or even protecting their own families. Then again, after a year and a half of needless chaos and heartbreak, these folks have utterly discredited themselves and don’t deserve much of our attention anymore.
Think of it this way: If your house were on fire, you wouldn’t bother to ask your dog if he’d like to come with you. You’d scoop him up in your arms and make a run for it.
The same basic thing’s at work here. The governor and the president are following science and sense instead of trying to please all the people all the time.
Inslee announced Thursday that anyone — even the vaccinated — attending outdoor gatherings of 500 or more must wear masks, starting Monday. That’s in addition to earlier state orders requiring masks for all at indoor venues and mandating that state workers, school employees and certain health care workers get vaccinated to remain employed.
Biden, meantime, is requiring millions of federal employees to take the shot or take a hike — and ordering companies with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccinations or regular COVID testing.
It will be messy. There will be howls of protest. And a few of the democracy-challenged might even make good on their vows to quit their jobs or be fired rather than succumb to “tyranny.”
But these mandates mean the rest of us — including the children being sent back to in-person classes — will become a lot safer and freer before too long.
Our bet is that a lot of keyboard warriors who rail against vaccines and mandates on social media will quickly roll up their sleeves for the shots rather than clear out their desks. Whether they’re happy with it or not, they’ll be protected — and less of a risk to everybody else.
On the other hand, if they end up unemployed, they’ll soon experience firsthand why pandemic-related relief for the jobless and protections against evictions have been such a godsend to so many.
We’re not wishing them ill, though. We’re wishing them well.
We’re wishing all of us could just get through this wretched time and regain some semblance of what our lives used to look like.
And from where we sit, the governor and the president are taking the most logical steps toward making that happen.