I am no expert on COVID-19 and cannot speak as a professional on this virus that has disrupted our lives at every level. We have reached nearly a million deaths since its beginning and we are just starting to see the long term effects on everything from our economy to our very own mortality.

What makes me a good candidate and an even better representative is also what makes it hard for me as an individual. I wish I could form an opinion one way or another, but I have not. I hear so many compelling points of view from various sources and if there is any validity in them, I must take them into consideration. But it is something that must be addressed by anyone running for office and voters deserve an honest answer from all candidates on this AND every other issue.

The short answer is I believe COVID-19 vaccines and masks should be a choice. Having said that, I also support private business in their right to make decisions. If a company requires you to be vaccinated and/or masked for entry, that is their right. I also do NOT support breaking the law, if an authority calls for and is authorized to issue a mandate, I support that, even if I don’t like it. Get involved to change the law if you feel that strongly.  

What I will do as your elected representative is to seek out and listen to the most reliable and up to date information I can get when making decisions related to COVID and any other issue. I myself am vaccinated and boosted and I encourage others to be, but don’t feel I have the right to insist you are.

COVID has also deeply affected my “wheelhouse” of insurance. That is an area of COVID where I can speak with professionalism and experience. This pandemic has significantly highlighted our need for a universal healthcare system. We have had hundreds of thousands hospitalized, many for long periods of time, and that will be costly. In fact, if cancer debt is any indicator, COVID costs are sure to create a tsunami of bankruptcies. “Long COVID” is real and will require treatment. I cringe when I think about how private insurance companies will handle claims. You will be required to prove where you contracted the virus… was it at work or on your personal time? You will be fighting for care on COVID as you do with everything else. It is sure to be a complete mess in every way, with the usual suspects looking to make a killer profit off of disaster.