Will Davis

At last, the reckoning for COVID tyranny in 2020 has begun in Monroe County.

Monroe County commissioners on Tuesday replaced Board of Health member Hugh Cromer, a retired pharmacist, with family nurse practitioner Lori Starr. They narrowly failed to replace another Health Board member, Lillian Davis, who had bemoaned back in 2020 that churches were meeting for worship. It’s a good start on righting the wrongs of 2020. Studies and anecdotes are beginning to show how deeply government over-reaction to COVID has harmed our country and especially our children.

Until 2020, no one really cared who was on the Board of Health. They oversee the health department as it administers vaccinations, inspects restaurants and permits wells and septic tanks. Not really interesting stuff.

Then came COVID. Around the country and even in Monroe County, Boards of Health took the lead in in 2020 in trying to take away our cherished freedoms in a futile effort to “stop a virus”. In July 2020, our own Monroe County Board of Health authorized member Dr. Jeremy Goodwin to write a statement aimed at requiring masks and restricting freedoms in this quixotic “stop a virus” effort. At that July 2020 meeting, then-board member Hugh Cromer told health department staff member Gina Smith to go into restaurants to make sure employees are wearing masks. Lillian Davis expressed her concern that churches were having regular worship services again. Goodwin said that from everything he’s learned, indoor church services are a dangerous place for contracting COVID.

Later in 2020, that same Health Department insisted that perfectly healthy Mary Persons’ students with no symptoms stay home and quarantine for 10 days if they just got close to someone who tested positive. If I sound angry, I am. Yes these people are our neighbors and friends. But they hold positions of power and they abused it in 2020. And it’s our responsibility as patriotic Americans to replace them. Go to New York or California and see what it’s like when you can’t send your child to school without her face being smothered. See what it’s like to have to show vaccination records just to go to a restaurant or to a play. That’s what happens when passive citizens don’t put a check on government power. And that’s what these Health Board members would have done to us if they could’ve gotten away with it.

C.S. Lewis, author of the “Chronicles of Narnia” and one of the great Christian thinkers of the 20th century, foresaw that the worst tyrannies would come from those trying to “do good”.

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive,” wrote Lewis in his “God in the Dock”. “It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

To their credit, commissioners John Ambrose and George Emami tried to replace Davis as well. How does anybody who laments churches meeting belong in a position of power? Davis’ term is up this year. Emami nominated heart surgeon and Army Reservist Dr. Norman Hetzler of Culloden to replace her. Who better than a heart surgeon who loves his country to serve on the Monroe County Board of Health? But commissioners Greg Tapley, Eddie Rowland and Lamarcus Davis refused to go along.

“So we’re gonna pass up on a heart surgeon?” Emami asked incredulously.

Emami said putting new people on the board is healthy for the county, and may groom leaders for the future.

But Davis said that Lillian Davis takes friends and neighbors to the hospital. Rowland also refused to vote for Hetzler.

“I’ve seen Lillian Davis embedded in this county, at council meetings,” said Rowland. “She’s in the ditch with these people. She sees situations most of the board doesn’t see.”

She also wanted churches closed.

President Ronald Reagan warned us that we must be vigilant if we hope to preserve freedom for our kids.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction,” said Reagan. “We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Commissioners took a first step, though, in the fight back against tyranny in our midst. We have only begun.