Much of the Democratic Party still believes the COVID-19 pandemic is an emergency that requires restrictions on day-to-day life, from mask mandates to vaccine mandates to forced social distancing in schools. But there are a few sane Democrats who realize that the emergency as we knew it in 2020 is long past and that COVID-19 is now an endemic virus we should learn to live with.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is one such official. Asked whether he planned to reinstate certain restrictions as the omicron variant spreads, Polis said no, because that’s no longer his job.

“The emergency is over,” he said. “You know, public health [officials] don’t get to tell people what to wear; that’s just not their job. Public health [officials] would say to always wear a mask because it decreases flu and decreases [other airborne illnesses], but that’s not something that you require. You don’t tell people to wear a jacket when they go out in winter and force them to [wear it]. If they get frostbite, it’s their own darn fault.”

“Everybody had more than enough opportunity to get vaccinated,” Polis continued, noting that those who are vaccinated do not face nearly as high a risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 as those who are unvaccinated. “Those who get sick, it’s almost entirely their own darn fault. And at this point, I think it’s almost like they made a deliberate decision not to get vaccinated.”

Polis is right. We have to return to a normal risk assessment of COVID-19 and allow individuals to make their own choices about their health. The vaccines have been widely available to almost every age group for months. While breakthrough cases do occur, they are almost never serious. The bad cases of COVID-19 are almost entirely among the unvaccinated, but even then, there are effective treatments, such as Pfizer’s COVID pill, that greatly reduce the risk of hospitalization and death.

Simply put, this is not a crisis anymore, and it hasn’t been for some time. Polis understands that, as does much of the country. That’s why vaccine and mask mandates are becoming increasingly unpopular — the public wants to move on, while Democratic officials and the media try to keep them in a mode of panic.