Saturday, October 23, 2021

Big company initiative: follow the money when it comes to masks, vaccine mandates

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Yet in the end, when it’s all pared down to the basics, it’s all about business, public “business” and money. I suppose I could say it’s all about the economy. It’s way too easy to blame these impositions on our lives as meddlesome government intrusions and myth-based molly-coddling. It’s too easy to go all bleeding heart and blame these intrusions on do-gooding public health workers who have an outsized worry about protecting health and lives.

For people who insist that mandating masks in schools or certain public spaces (I see this surging, if you will) is a violation of personal liberty and our right to the pursuit of happiness (I suppose), consider that major corporations all across the United States were mandating masks for employees and customers long before any governmental intrusion. They did this because it was better for business.

What I write in this space every other week is a business column. And when it comes to business these days in Grand County, the United States and the world, COVID plays a very big role, unfortunately. And to put it bluntly, COVID outbreaks, COVID surges, COVID deaths and COVID illness for individuals are very bad for business (unless you are in the vaccine-making or mortuary sectors).

The same applies for vaccine mandates. Before our government decided to try some limited vaccine mandates major corporations and employers across the U.S. were already strongly encouraging (if not outright requiring) vaccines for their employees. Why? Because it’s good for business.

And what’s good for business is good for America. All self-identified Patriots out there might want to keep that in mind.

The usually right-leaning personal liberty zealots (there are libertarian-type left leaners in this category too) who complain the most about mask and vaccine mandates are almost always proponents of good and strong business practices and freedom in the realm of business. I’m sure they would identify with the notion that government intrusion hurts business in general and they’d extoll the virtues of a free and open market place.

And yet, business interests are speaking out on their own in favor of these mandates, even enforcing their own mandates. Why? Because, in the long run, they are good for business. They don’t want to be back where our nation was one and a half years ago when business was shut down and halted. They want to do all they can to prevent that.

One big reason for the lack of employees in this county during COVID was just that. People couldn’t work while their kids were at home. Like I said, that’s bad for business.

I think it’s fair to say we are having a COVID outbreak in our schools (five or more cases in a related building or activity) and I know our schools do not want to send students home for on-line learning in mass again. Why? It’s bad for business because mothers (and fathers) will have to be at home watching those kids while they learn on-line.

Or, even more important, schools get their money from the state based on attendance. When scores of kids or all the kids aren’t in school student counts drop and state funding does too. Like I said, that’s bad for public business.

Common sense and proven public health measures, like masks and vaccines, have been tainted by an absurd ideological bias that is based on knee jerk reactionary impulses fueled by lies and propaganda that usually originate on-line.

Slowly but surely the business community is starting to realize that this knee-jerk ideological bias is, simply, bad for business.

Patrick Brower, Grand Enterprise Initiative

Patrick Brower is the Enterprise Facilitator for the Grand Enterprise Initiative. He offers free and confidential business management coaching to anyone who wants to start or expand a business in Grand County. He can be reached by calling 970-531-0632 or at patrickbrower@kapoks.org.

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