Masking and All That Crap

“I think they’ve made the masking and the distancing and all that crap a political issue. They use it to depress the economy and put people out of work.”

This was a comment made at a local “Cruise for Trump” rally. According to the newspaper article, approximately 100 people attended. Only a few wore masks. MANY wore Trump hats.

It continues to amaze me that there are individuals who are convinced mask regulations and restricted employment are “political.” But then, this is the claim of their esteemed (and worshiped) leader so what else would they think?

Another person at the rally talked about how the “mental toll” of social distancing has made life hard for a lot of folks. He went on to say … All of us are concerned about keeping ourselves and our neighbors health and whatnot, but this has gone on too long(Emphasis mine.)

“This. Has. Gone. On. Too. Long.”

Again and again the prevailing opinion among Trump-supporters is that we should just return to normal living. Ignore the virus. Everyone go back to work. Party hardy. If people get sick and die … well, how sad, too bad.

I suppose I’ll never understand this kind of thinking. From my perspective, the appearance of this virus is not now and never has been a “political issue.”

Even though Trump has made it one.

And then there are those who continue to believe trained and experienced medical professionals are wrong. That it’s all blown out of proportion and, in actuality, the body simply has to produce the necessary antibodies to ward off the virus.

As one well-known (albeit unqualified) individual recently stated: “The key to beating COVID isn’t dining through glass or never going to a concert or a ball game again. It’s your immune system.”

So you see, folks … not to worry. Trump and friends are in control and it will all be over sooner than you think.

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Image by Asad Nazir from Pixabay

The Bane of Personal Freedom

In today’s local paper there was an article about a rally that took place earlier this week related to COVID-19. Attending the rally, along with county leaders, was a Republican State Senator who announced that the purpose of the rally was “to get common minds together that are invested in freedom and liberty, people that are tired of being pushed around, people that feel disenfranchised.” He went on to say that individuals (in the county) feel they are not being heard and want it to be known that they support the local commissioners for “standing up to” our state’s governor.

Sidenote: Oregon’s Governor, Kate Brown, has issued mandates related to wearing masks, business restrictions, and outdoor crowd sizes.

One of those “local commissioners” then underscored the Senator’s remarks by telling the gathering that they do not have plans to enforce the mandates of the governor because “personal freedom” was more important. He also pointed out that our county “has done a very good job of preventing the spread [so we] don’t feel like going out and enforcing this thing on people that are already doing a good job.”

He then pointed out that not a single person in the county had ever gotten the virus at a restaurant or bar. (I’m not sure how he knows this. Inside sources, I suppose.)

Sidenote: Our county population is approximately 112,000. The case count is currently at 172 with 2 deaths. Perhaps it’s just me, but it certainly seems those distasteful mandates put into place by our governor are playing a huge role in this comparatively low count. (Actually, the count was lower and holding steady before the restaurants and bars were allowed to open.)

I know there are many reading this who agree with the sentiments expressed by these individuals. However, being in the “high risk” group, my partner and I find it exceedingly difficult to put “personal freedom” ahead of our health … and perhaps our lives.

At the same time, we’re no different than many others. We don’t like all the restrictions either. In fact, we’ve had to discontinue many activities that we enjoy in our attempts to stay healthy. Nevertheless … there’s just something about staying alive that holds a strong appeal.

What so many fail to accept is that sacrifice is sometimes necessary for the good of all.

Why?


Some months back I subscribed to “The Morning,” a daily email from the NY Times that includes synopses of various news stories. In one of the more recent editions, there was an item entitled, “Information Contagion.”

The article included a brief discussion about a recent video that claimed Dr. Anthony Fauci created the coronavirus using monkey cells(!). It then went on to point out that this isn’t the only misinformation being spread related to the virus. In fact, as many of us already know, there are several dubious sources; for example, Fox News, Sinclair (which operates almost 200 television stations), and Breitbart. (In fact, Breitbart recently produced a video that claimed the drug hydroxychloroquine cured the virus.)

The article then asked what I thought was a very relevant question:

Why is the U.S. enduring a far more severe virus outbreak than any other rich country?

Following is the answer … which I think is spot-on.

There are multiple causes, but one of them is the size and strength of right-wing media organizations that frequently broadcast falsehoods. The result is confusion among many Americans about scientific facts that are widely accepted, across the political spectrum, in other countries.

Canada, Japan and much of Europe have no equivalent to Sinclair — whose local newscasts reach about 40 percent of Americans — or Fox News. Germany and France have widely read blogs that promote conspiracy theories. 

(Emphasis added.)

The article further points out that …

Fox is particularly important, because it has also influenced President Trump’s response to the virus, which has been slower and less consistent than that of many other world leaders.

I don’t think any of this is new to my readers, but sometimes seeing it in print confirms what most of us already know.

Singing vs. Free Speech?

Courtesy of clipart-library.com

It’s just off the top of my head, you understand, but I tend to think singing in church is a WHOLE lot different than the “right to free speech.”

Anyone agree with me?

I recently read about some church leaders that don’t …

Churches Sue California Governor for Banning Singing in Church 

Yup! Three EVANGELICAL church leaders are very unhappy with Governor Newsom because they contend his closure ban violates their First Amendment rights and that it’s an “unprecedented attack” on the freedom of worship. In their view, singing and praying aloud as a body of Christ is a biblical mandate. 

Question: Does a biblical mandate override a State Governor’s mandate?

It’s been well-documented by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that singing is a proven way to spread the COVID-19 virus. Yet it seems these pastors (along with scores of other people) prefer to ignore medical advice and instead follow the instructions put forth in a book that is several thousand years old.

Further, what these individuals seem to overlook is the governor also mandated that all bars across the state must close and that restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and card rooms must suspend indoor activities.

Contrary to their objections, they are not being singled out. The governor’s action is not discriminatory, nor is it persecution. It is a desperate attempt to reduce the number of cases and deaths that are occurring everyday in his state from the spread of the coronavirus.

And finally … a few absurd words from Jordan Sekulow (one of the plaintiffs) whose father is Jay Sekulow, a member of President Trump’s legal team: “Banning singing in California churches is an unconstitutional abuse of power, and to do it in the name of a pandemic is despicable. This ban is clearly targeted at religion.”

A quote from Isaac Asimov seems an appropriate closing for this post:

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.

No Additional Words Needed

From Dr. Nicholas Peluso who is an ICU doctor in Tulsa:

I am mentally and physically exhausted. I lived through hell this week. My team is stretched beyond thin. So many sick and dying, all from a “hoax”. A bloated ruse to “microchip” and control you. This isn’t a warning. This isn’t a lecture. This isn’t “fear-mongering”. This is reality. This is where we are. I’m done.

Please don’t ask healthcare workers what to do. There isn’t anything to do but hope. Hope that this thing doesn’t kill hundreds of thousands more. Hope that you or your loved ones don’t get it. Hope that it’s over soon. Hope that our lives can continue.

The time for preparation is over. This country did everything wrong and now we see the consequences. Believe WHATEVER you want. I genuinely do not care. I don’t have the strength or the time to waste arguing.

But mark my words and mark them now. If healthcare workers get sick, this is over. If we fail, so do you. There is no plan B. We have no army of healthcare workers waiting to take our places if and when we make ourselves sick caring for you and your loved ones. It. simply. isn’t. there.

So, I wish this nation luck. I wish my colleagues health and some sort of rest during this nightmare. Most of all, I wish for a nation that trusts its scientific and healthcare communities, listens to suggestions, and heeds warnings.

We are tired. We are worn out. We are your healthcare. If you’ve never needed us before, good for you. If you’ve been through something awful where you needed us and we were there for you, I hope you got the best care and recovered. If you find you need us in 6 to 10 weeks, I hope we will still be able to care for you and we won’t be taking up those ICU beds with our own sick bodies.

I fear we’ve already lost. This is not the nation I grew up in…