2021 | Opinion

Opinion: Limits on society because of pandemic were disruptive, but necessary

Masks, distancing, business restrictions were based on health and science

To the editor:

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across the world — upending all facets of society, putting lives at risk, closing down businesses, and forcing changes in the way everyone’s daily lives are conducted.

Montgomery County is no different than any other jurisdiction in having to deal with the consequences of the virus. And there is widespread compassion for those who are unable to attend a classroom, have been put out of work, or are unable to sustain their businesses.

Yet, the focus of several recent opinion pieces criticizing county officials for the frustration over school and business closures seem to be simply looking for someone to blame for the disruption in their routines.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented situation and as the severity increased, governments had to take action to stop the spread. Its actions have indeed caused people’s lives to be upended, but they’re actions that were recommended by the medical and scientific community, and continue to be endorsed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site currently advises that masks should be worn and social distancing practiced. It specifically states that being in bars and restaurants places the public at a higher risk of coming into contact with the virus.

Disparaging the county government for a constantly changing approach to restaurant dining ignores the fact that these decisions are being made to try find a solution that works.

Elected officials cannot possibly please everyone under the circumstances. Demanding a cohesive plan that applies to all businesses ignores the fact that there is indeed a distinction between essential and nonessential trades.

Insisting that all schools and businesses reopen does not change the fact that the virus exists, the virus continues to spread, and 500,000 people in this country have died from the virus. Unfortunately, rules have to be implemented to protect the public from themselves.

The best way to put an end to this situation is by following the guidelines made by medical and scientific experts, not by finger-pointing and complaining.

Eric Schroeder


Editor’s note: Bethesda Beat encourages readers to send us their thoughts about local topics we have covered for consideration as a letter to the editor or op-ed piece in our Saturday newsletter. Email them to editorial@bethesdamagazine.com. Here are our guidelines. We require a name and hometown for publication. We also require a phone number (not for publication) for us to verify who wrote the letter. Please provide a source for any facts in your letter that were not part of our coverage; if they can’t be verified, they likely will be omitted.