I live in Montgomery County, Maryland. It’s one of those places where you see lawn signs proclaiming “In this house, we believe in science.” Naturally, our Democratic leaders have consistently ignored science over the last year, at least when it comes to COVID mitigation. Here in Montgomery County, our return to normalcy is currently being held hostage in exchange for near-universal vaccination of our least at-risk residents.

If you believe that local governments are in a hurry to surrender “emergency” powers, I have a bridge over the Potomac to sell you.

Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan, has dropped our indoor mask mandate. But we still have a locally mandated one in place. Our county leaders reckon that they know better. They maintain the mandate by insisting on illogical conditions for its removal, which are based on case numbers. If we reach a certain threshold (that is, so low that over 90 percent of the country meets it), then the masks come back on. Within days of the removal of the mandate last month, the Council was already talking about reinstituting it. It’s laughable.

Yesterday, the Council met to amend the mandate, in order to make it less likely we would yo-yo back and forth. The amendment was as convoluted as the original, only with a ludicrous termination clause. Council member Tom Hucker emailed and explained the specifics: “The amended Board of Health regulation [would terminate] on the day immediately following the date that 85 percent or more of the County’s population is fully vaccinated.”

Where did this number come from? It was made up on the spot during the meeting. And who exactly are the remaining residents who must be vaccinated before we are permitted to return to normalcy? They’re kids between the ages of five and eleven, who the federal government just approved to receive the shot in the last week.

“We have to ensure every child is vaccinated in order to return to some semblance of normalcy,” council member Evan Glass told the meeting during the brief period allotted for discussion.

Yet an amendment was then introduced to end the indoor masking mandate, which also applies to private childcare settings like daycares and preschools for toddlers and preschoolers age two and up.

The parents of Montgomery County are in a hostage situation, and it’s our kids who are the hostages. Children between the ages of five and eleven now have to be vaccinated against a virus that doesn’t pose a risk of serious illness or death to them — and with a vaccine whose long-term effects on children are unknown. It’s a public health Sophie’s choice.

Residents were invited to testify about the amendment. Ten residents signed up to speak, myself included. Every single speaker testified against the amendment: parents, business owners and ordinary citizens. Curiously, my testimony was skipped, due to what County officials claim was a Zoom misunderstanding; my son takes classes on my Zoom account, so the account is registered to his name. A convenient misunderstanding, given my outspoken activism against the Council. During the meeting, one of the members kept looking down so he could tweet at me to argue against my tweets about his proposed amendment.

When the FDA approved the emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine on kids, millions of American parents knew to expect dirty tricks. The government thinks it can bully parents into vaccinating their kids. But the parents don’t trust the government. To see what happens when officialdom overreaches, look at the election results in Virginia.