Protesters don't represent majority
Harlan Munneke and a pitiful handful of others do not begin to represent the interests of the majority of store and property owners in Solvang.
Responsible, law-abiding citizens are following the governor’s instructions and doing their best under trying circumstances to keep themselves, their family, their friends and customers free of COVID-19, which cannot be said of the amoral antics of the protesters, who apparently care not a wit for anyone else.
Vaccine needed before reopening
Have a look at the signs carried by the maskless people protesting the governor's shelter-at-home orders. Stop the "quarantine insanity;" "Freedom over tyranny;" and, of course, "Don't tread on me."
There is no doubt that the magnitude of the economic calamity is truly awful. And suffering from it is intense. But this is science, not politics. They think they are protesting against a politician and policy but the hard truth is the enemy are microbes and fighting a virus with slogans is futile.
COVID-19 killed more Americans in one month than in all of the Vietnam War. As I write, over 1,500 more people have died. And this is with the restrictions. Imagine what it would be like if these people had their way. And there will be more waves of infections in the months ahead, guaranteed. If we open up without a vaccine so many more will be infected, sickened, and die. That is a sad scientific fact.
Follow the science for reopening
It was appalling to see three Solvang city council members, elected officials, flouting the stay-at-home orders of the state and county to attend a protest in Solvang Park. Not only were they photographed in close proximity but one did not even bother to wear a mask.
The current guidelines are that we stay at home except for essential reasons and that we wear face coverings when we do go out and maintain appropriate distance from others.
These guidelines are not arbitrary attempts to suppress our “Freedom.” They are sensible responses to stay safe from an enemy that we all have in common, COVID-19. To open up our state and county before there is scientific and medical evidence that we can be safer than we are now is very shortsighted.
Our “freedom” won’t count for much if the virus sickens us, thus depriving us of something we should value even more for ourselves and the rest of society, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
These same council members have written to Gov. Newsom to ask that they be allowed to open up Solvang for business. I certainly do not trust them to make an informed decision after seeing their outing in the park. What experts will they confer with? The people who drive by and honk in support?
I have a business in Solvang and know that opening the town means people will once again come from not just our valley, but other counties in California that are more impacted by the virus than we have been so far.