Here In PA

I think I have some grasp of the dilemma small business owners, particularly those who own eating establishments, are facing as this god-forsaken pandemic drags on. This is their job, their means for providing and procuring the necessities of life.

To a certain extent, I understand their rebellion, their decision to stay open, though I’m having a more difficult time squaring that with the disparagement of Governor Tom Wolf. He’s just trying to do his job. Making tough decisions based on actual data, and trying, despite the pushback, to keep people safe. The indignant barbs and charges of overreach seem to me to be an over-reaction, a not-so-faint echo of partisanship and the bile and sewage that has been seeping from the Trump administration since the beginning of all this.

The virus isn’t a hoax, quarantining and precautions may be perceived as infringements of constitutional rights, but we’re in a pandemic! Extraordinary measures and sacrifice are called for. And the governor isn’t a merciless overlord intent on taking away our freedom.

What doesn’t get mentioned nearly enough is that the federal government has had a role to play all along the way, and they haven’t played it very well. If Uncle Sam was engaged, then small business owners might be less fretful right now. They might have some assurance of financial support for them and their employees that would help them weather a period of shutdown, and give them hope for a light at the end of the tunnel.

Instead, it’s a whole lot of not knowing, of fear and baseless accusations, needless exposure to the virus, and parroting an administration in Washington that decided early on to go with herd immunity and obfuscation, in some ways treating the whole pandemic response as if there was no pandemic.

One of these days, maybe, that reality will sink in.

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