It’s time to matriculate Covid-19 to its place in history

Craig Hall

Which is just how we’ve handled and overcome the many novel coronaviruses of the past 30 years. And this doesn’t mean Covid-19 goes away — because we’re still fighting strains of the Spanish flu — but it does mean it’s damned well past time to handle Covid-19 like Americans throughout history have handled any invasion or attack.

Tell us the truth, give us the data, be a leader with courage and we’ll go to war like no one else on the planet to protect our families, defeat any enemy and come out on top with our economy strong and pride beaming. Instead, we have too many government leaders cowering behind models.

I love sports and movie references in spite of the leftest bent in Hollywood because there’s always an element of truth to what entertainers produce. So here are two references to take up space so I don’t write a profanity-laced rant about how our governor destroyed our economy.

The first is Coach Hank Stram on the sidelines of the Kansas City Super Bowl win in the 1960s telling his team to “… matriculate the ball down the field fellas.” I don’t use it for any other reason than what you’ll read in the second part of this column regarding my daughter’s high school graduation. The other is the opening scene in “Dances With Wolves” showing a colonel sweating and rubbing his head not knowing what to do, all while waiting for someone else to make the decision.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is much more the scared, worried, hiding officer than the leader marching into battle with the unknown. But let’s be fair: That doesn’t make Polis much different than the majority of governors across the country. 

I find few who want to follow Gov. Polis into battle. He’s not a leader in the true sense of the word. He speaks well, comes across articulate and presents his facts well. Then again, so did George McClellan, Neville Chamberlain and Barack Obama. But none of them inspired me to battle. Who would I follow? U.S. Grant, George Patton and Donald Trump. And, yes, Kristi Noem as a governor.

Here’s why: Gov. Polis doesn’t believe in his army. Polis doesn’t believe the citizens of this state can follow orders, which is why he used a state of emergency to make everyday actions illegal. If he were a true leader, he could have said we need to do this, this and this. Yet, he closed thousands of businesses because he believed they couldn’t follow his lead. What makes Polis believe only chain stores or essential (determined by his staff alone) businesses could follow his plan? I don’t know about you, but I trust a salon worker, Realtor or bartender to keep folks safe more than people I saw in stores grappling over toilet paper, soup and the last package of spaghetti. Truth told, all my shopping is always a social distance experience.

There are many other ways Polis fails to lead. His prediction not two weeks ago that by April 20 between 400 and 35,000 Coloradans would be dead from Covid-19 is disturbing. This is complete cowardice because it takes no courage. If it’s 35,000, then he warned you. If it’s 400, then he saved you. Expand into the fact Polis has never led other governors as a governor. When California and New York make a decision, you can be sure Colorado is in lock step within a day or two. Not once has Gov. Polis led the charge to make the tough decisions while understanding every decision he’s paid to make comes with risk in a pandemic. So far, he’s consistently made one decision: Shut it down and keep it closed. I say this in spite of his latest soft-opening orders because I firmly believe with the first upward tick on the infection reports, he’s going to shut us down again.

Which leads me to the one thing for which I’ll never forgive the man: He destroyed my baby’s senior year. Just when she was looking forward to her right of passage to matriculate to college, good ol’ Jared went to the well usurping any local decision making by going into “shutdown” mode once again. I know he’ll say it’s to save lives. But how exactly does one count lives saved from a virus where everyone dead or alive who shows symptoms is presumptive positive and no one can be considered recovered or virus free without a test or vaccine? If that’s the case guv, then 5.8 million Coloradans have been or are infected, and the death rate is next to zero. But that’s not what we have.

Instead, my daughter will graduate on some random day in AUGUST, never have a senior prom and miss out on yearbook signings, hugs goodbye on the last day of school and wonderful memories to last a lifetime. All because our governor is cowering in shutdown mode.

We need to do something special for these high school seniors whose celebrations are now limited to a couple of weekends in August. Their only senior memory should not be Covid-19.

With a leader making the tough decisions, we could have saved lives, protected our most vulnerable, kept our economy robust and also saved graduation for kids who’ve worked so hard.

But that would have required a non-political decision, and our governor hasn’t matriculated to that level.