This afternoon the green flag will wave at New Hampshire Motor Speedway over NASCAR’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301. Over the past several months the option of attending any in- person sporting events has been in the same category as going to the cinema: out of the question.
The speedway has put together a plan to allow a limited capacity, open-air event with precautions in place. Some theaters in New Hampshire have opened for capacity limited shows. Tupelo Music Hall in Derry has turned indoor shows into a drive in experience.
Many social media armchair quarterbacks will denounce all of these activities as unnecessary and dangerous during a global pandemic. They may have a point, but New Hampshire yankee values dictate that decisions affecting an individual be made by that individual. Each of these things has a built in-risk. It is up to the individual to look at the risk and the precautions in place to decide what the right course of action is for themselves and their families.
These are the same sort of determinations the Granite State has been relying on its citizens to make for decades. Whether it is smoking menthol cigarettes, having a gun in the house, or wearing a seatbelt while riding in a car, Live Free or Die runs far deeper than a slogan on the license plates.
The Governor seems to understand this regarding his handling of the COVID-19 response. Well planned events and activities have been allowed to move forward, school opening decisions have been kept as close to the individuals affected as possible, and so far masks have remained optional.
New Hampshire has fared reasonably well through this crisis. We must all keep our guard up to ensure we continue to fare well. We are confident the governor has his finger on the pulse of this crisis and can make changes when personal decisions have the potential to create a public health crisis that affects more than the individual.
There has been an outcry from many during this crisis for the government to take care of us, like a child crying out for a parent to “fix it.” There are many roles for all levels of government during this pandemic but controlling every aspect of daily life is not one of them. We must always remember that ours is a government by and for the People. Government does not exist to take care of us. It allows us the freedom and opportunity to take care of ourselves. Do the right things, be careful, wash your hands, wear a mask, protect yourself and your neighbors. We are all responsible.