There are rules for reasons. The free market and voting with their pocketbooks to decide things is not how a society works, or at least a large part of how this society in fact doesn't work. For some things, yes, for some things no.But you do, as long as they work in government. At least that's the impression I get. And look, I try to be optimistic about our elected (and unelected) officials, but they let me down time and again. All over the country, they closed businesses that did not need to be closed.
History demonstrates that when governments amass power, bad things tend to happen. As imperfect as individuals and business owners may be, I would rather those folks have the ability to make these decisions in most cases. With that said, I'm all for government-issued guidance, and certain restrictions during emergencies.
If a business is doing reckless things (Covid-related or otherwise), the beauty of a free market is nobody is compelled to patronize that business. People vote with their pocketbooks, and generally the reckless don't make it. Are there exceptions? Of course! Is it a perfect system? Of course not! But it sure beats the heck out of a group of central planners dictating our every move and enriching themselves & their friends with special rules & exemptions.
It can't be decided based on the reckless businesses not surviving. Look at our FDA approved ( or nearly approved with the exception of this truly emergency situation) vaccines. Then look at some of the others overseas that turned out to be crap vaccines. A lot of those people got what I'll call bogus vaccines and then more damage happened.
Look at Social Security, Medicare, the national highway system and all the other socialist programs we have. That's a LOT of government making all that happen. Add in your local services such as police, fire and ambulance, if run by the town. Without proper oversight and accountability, there will always be those in the the gov't enriching themselves and their friends with special rules and exemptions. As if it doesn't happen in the private sector...yeah not at all. [/sarc]
A lot of businesses were closed that didn't need to, but this has been an evolving situation. Some unfortunate things happened in the way of business to be sure, but still close to 600K people died. We are a much more diverse population that travels more than most and thus the spread happened as it did.
I'm confident we are in a much better place, and getting better, but I also think it's a bad idea that some people always poo poo govt anything until they need it, then it's OK.