Joseph Nilsen, Livermore

After 10 months of shelter in place, it is time for the governor and the unelected county health officers to offer scientific evidence that support their unending mandates.

Why are our local restaurants (and breweries and wineries) that invested in creating a safe outdoor dining experience closed, as this likely encourages people to dine unsafely indoors with family and friends? Why is a local Livermore treasure like Umigo Racing, which offers indoor go-kart racing, closed and unable to pay its $100,000 monthly rent, while Kohl’s Livermore is allowed to have 526 people inside their store at one time?

Do we want to wake up in a year and discover the governor bankrupted the local bowling alleys and half of our downtown businesses with no scientific data to back his decisions? It is time for our state legislature and local city officials to come out from hiding and work with the medical and scientific community and the public to create a plan that allows society to function while keeping the public safe.

We should all ask the governor why we have inadequate COVID testing and no effective contact tracing after 10 months? Why don’t our health workers have adequate N95 masks? Why is the vaccine rollout in California proceeding so slowly that we rank 43rd in the country?

Real leadership means inspiring unity and creating a shared sense of purpose. We need leaders who inspire citizens to practice social distancing and to wear a well-fitted mask to protect each other. Issuing mandates without justification that the governor then ignores himself is not working. An effective plan needs to engage and unite the community to work together to keep us all safe.

Most people are trying hard to be safe, but in the absence of real leadership, the state is still failing to effectively contain the pandemic. ICUs are built to operate at full capacity, so it is possible that the governor’s metric for 15% ICU availability to reopen may never be met. Since the state legislature seems happy to allow one man rule by the governor and has abandoned any responsibility to create a plan, then maybe it is time for our mayors and city councils to meet the leadership challenge of keeping us safe while helping local businesses to survive, as we all wait for vaccines to be distributed.