Tom Wolf laid down the law on Thursday. He had to. Pennsylvanians left him little choice.

Complain all we want about mitigation orders Gov. Wolf that went into effect overnight — no indoor dining, no scholastic sports, size limits on gatherings and capacity limits at retail stores among others. He had to them put into place to save lives.

Saving lives is the most important thing right now. 

Sure, the timing is terrible, less than two weeks until Christmas and amid the final holiday rush. We’ve had nine months to figure it out and we didn’t. The next three weeks are our penance.

We understand the frustration of Wolf seemingly backtracking. Earlier this week he said he wouldn’t shut down sports. He did. He has said for months another shutdown wasn’t coming. It was.

Wolf also warned us all along that if cases spiked, as they are right now, additional measures would have to be taken. The governor wasn’t kidding.

Before we go any further, answer these questions, know these facts first: Hospitals are filling up fast, more than 200 people have died three days in a row and there is now a real, measurable community spread. We know how it spreads. We know what mitigation works.

What should Gov. Wolf have done? What would have you done? And would your plans put people unnecessarily at risk?

Some are calling the governor a coward for making this difficult decision. Just what is cowardly about making the public’s health the priority, above a sporting event, or a trip to the bar with friends?

Everyone is tired of COVID. Undoubtedly, COVID fatigue is a real thing. 

But the majority of people, are doing the right things, the hard things, to make sure this ends sooner rather than later.

There is hope with a vaccine. But that won’t signal an immediate end, just perhaps the beginning of the end.

It is a minority that has put us here, a selfish few who think their rights are being squashed while thousands of Americans die each day. 

Remember, when America declared its independence, we sought life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Notice which one is first? You should.

NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item’s editorials are the consensus of the publisher, top newsroom executives and community members of the editorial board. Today’s was written by Managing Editor Bill Bowman.

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