Mecklenburg County (NC) Manager Dena Diorio unwittingly made a point in favor of personal responsibility instead of government mandates during a virtual press conference. She told county residents to stay home for the holidays and only associate with those in their own households. And, just like that, she admitted that she would not be doing that herself.

Ms. Diorio plans to hop in her car and go to visit a home with two people in it for Christmas. A reporter asked about that – isn’t that precisely what she told people in the county not to do? Well, yes, was her response, but she knows these people and there will be only two of them, you see. She feels perfectly comfortable going for the visit. She will travel to Durham, N.C. “to see some close family, small group.”

“I was confused a little bit by Dena’s answer going to see her family in Durham,” said WBT’s Brett Jensen. “Isn’t that what we’re not supposed to be doing, by spending only time with people that we actually live with?”

Diorio defended her plans by explaining that the specifics of the situation led to her making the decision.

“I know who the family is, I know where they spend their time, so I feel comfortable making that trip,” she said. “It’s two people in a household, it’s not a group. It’s a very small number of people and I feel very confident about their safety.”

So, the reporter asked an obvious question – shouldn’t everyone be able to make the same decision, using their own discretion in their own lives?

“I’m making a personal decision based on information that I have, and so that’s the decision that I’ve made and I think everybody needs to do the same,” Diorio said, despite having already recommended that everyone stay home.

What this arrogant public official did was lower the mask and show acknowledgment that there is more government overreach going on in these lockdown orders than are practical. She clearly doesn’t believe what she was saying to the county residents because she’s not taking her own advice. Diorio is a longtime civil servant and she knows better than to announce that she is above the rules she expects everyone else to abide by. It seems that this kind of story is a daily event. While it may be redundant to continue posting stories of these hypocrites, I think that each and every one of them needs to be called out and held accountable for their actions.

Ms.Diorio ends up making the same argument that anti-lockdown people make, only she did so unintentionally. People should be able to make their own decisions by weighing the advice of professionals in the medical community and the circumstances in their own lives. In this case, Diorio is traveling in her car instead of an airplane which limits her exposure to strangers. She says she’ll be spending the holiday with only two other people in that household. How does she know that they haven’t been exposed to the virus? She doesn’t completely know that, it’s an educated guess on her part. That is exactly how anyone else would make the decision. If, for instance, the two people she is visiting are elderly and have remained housebound during the pandemic, it’s a pretty good calculation that she’ll be fine going there. The two of them have probably had everything they need delivered to them, thus eliminating the necessity of going out among the general public. I’m just spitballing here but it is an entirely reasonable scenario. Millions of other small families can make the same choice without the threat of doom and gloom. Larger family gatherings should reasonably be reduced this year, we understand that logic.

The point is that everyone wants the freedom to make their own decisions. She uses the excuse to scare others by addressing the spread of coronavirus cases in the county.

“For this holiday season, we ask that you stay home and only be around those who you live with,” Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio said during a Monday press conference. “Our data shows that COVID is still very widespread in our community, and holidays and holiday gatherings are some of the most dangerous places to be. So please, stay home, and stay safe.”

How does she know she won’t bring the virus into the home of those other people? She doesn’t. It’s a risk, as is every other decision we make. All any of us can do is remain diligent, follow reasonable advice, and live our lives.

The list of public officials selfishly living their lives one way while telling others to live differently will continue to grow, of that, we can be sure. We truly are not all in this together.