Letter To The Editor: Urging Council To Reject Reopening Resolution

By AARON WALKER
White Rock

The resolution proposed by Councilor Reagor for the County Council meeting tonight is high on rhetoric, but low on reality. (Resolution calling on governor and state health officials to end school and business lockdown… link).

A vast majority of council business is non-partisan, and the goal is the common good of the residents of the county. Dragging partisan politics and attacks on the Governor into County Council meetings is not productive in any way and only serves to harm the reputation of the Council further.

Let’s examine the bullet points of the resolution:

  • “Persons at risk may stay home while awaiting vaccinations.” The entire goal of the shutdown is to get people to stay home as much as possible while awaiting a vaccination. This point is contradictory to the resolution.
    • “The younger people involved in school have no risk.” “No risk” is a bit of an exaggeration. Children CAN catch COVID-19, so the risk is not zero. The issue is also with the teachers and staff. Teachers and school staff are not “no risk”, and a majority of them are not scheduled for vaccines soon. This argument completely misses the point.
    • “The younger people involved in the service industries have little risk.” This is a rather insulting way to say “I want to eat out, so I’m willing to put others at risk for my activities.” Additionally, there is no evidence given as to how these individuals are not at risk.
    • “Other states and countries without a lockdown have similar results to our state.” If you look at the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S per 100K people, New Mexico is 27th. While not great, something is working. We are much lower than a fair amount of states with less restrictions such as North and South Dakota, Arizona, and many others. (Source: Statista) England had relaxed its lockdown measures and had to return to them after cases began to spike. We don’t want that to happen here.
    • “It has unintended, negative consequences such as reduction of critical high-risk services…”. I’m very curious as to which “critical high-risk services” are being talked about here. There is no substance to this portion. “Isolation of persons who need public health services”. Item “a” seems to contradict this to tell people to stay home while awaiting vaccination. So which is it? Stay home, or go get help?
  • “Speed vaccinations of high-risk group.” How is this going to be accomplished with a limited supply of vaccinations coming in to the state? This is a worthless point that seems to not understand that there is a limited supply of vaccinations. New Mexico currently has one of the best vaccination roll-outs. The County Council (specifically Chair Ryti) have been very forthcoming for their advocacy for the vaccine rollout to Los Alamos. (Source: Los Alamos Daily Post).

    • “Provide additional funds for mental health services.” Wow, finally something to agree with!
    • “…lift restrictions on businesses and to allow schools to open.” This continues to send that mixed message of “stay home if you are awaiting vaccination, but open businesses so people can eat out.”
    • Councilor Reagor is quoted as saying “we cannot have a community that is unlivable for people in the service industry.” I hope Councilor Reagor realizes that this town was unlivable for people in the service industry prior to COVID-19. With lack of affordable housing options, many in the service industry live outside of our community. This quote shows how out of touch Councilor Reagor is with the reality of Los Alamos.
    • At the end he says that the “…public should voice their own opinion.” I 100 percent agree with that sentiment, and is why I am here to say that the entire resolution is a garbage political tactic that accomplishes nothing. I was critical of the Governor at the beginning of lockdown for the “one size fits all” shutdown. After moving to the “Red/Yellow/Green” system, it is much better and allows the counties a little more flexibility. The Governor isn’t unwilling to adjust tactics based on need and research, and has done a fair job thus far.

I urge council to strongly reject this resolution.

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