It is time for me to take a deep breath before I write this article. I am frustrated and worried more about the condition of the United States of America than about the corona virus. Let me enumerate my concerns this cloudy morning from beautiful Southeastern Minnesota.
First, politicians are absolutely drunk with power and will hold on to it at all cost. The virus has given them a window to rule us in every aspect of our lives and they are enjoying the hell out of it. Costs be damned, they are going rule us now and (intentionally or unintentionally) set up more government “benefits” to further cement our dependence on government. I can drive my car to a 1,000-person capacity Wal-Mart and buy flowers but walking three blocks down Main street to Nola’s Flower Shop is out of the question. Nola’s walk-in business is “not essential”, just like her income, mortgage payment, dignity, and self-respect. This is a travesty because self-distancing is safer and easier in Nola’s store than in Wal Mart. This is what happens when our government dictators pick winners and losers. And for the record let me give you this news flash: politicians don’t give a damn about small business owners or ordinary workers. They are getting regular pay checks and consider themselves part of an elite class of people who have extraordinary wisdom compared to the average Joe.
Second, politicians have irrationally distorted the concept of risk and the media has exacerbated these distortions. Life is risky. Risk cannot be avoided and nothing about life is safe. In 1900 it was common for American women to bear five children and see just two or three of them reach adulthood. Those women and their families experienced death and sorrow as realistic outcomes. They simply accepted the fact that there are no guarantees in life, that horribly bad things can happen, and that no one must be at fault. While advances in healthcare have thankfully reduced child mortality, risk still exists. Our predecessors didn’t demand a zero-risk life because they realized the false pretense of such a notion. We can learn from them. Nevertheless, today’s politicians proport the idea that if it isn’t your fault the government should take care of you. This is nonsense. My question is this: “Is a country inhabited by people who believe the nanny state can solve all of their problems really worth saving?”
Third, fear is our worst enemy. Today we are involved in a serious pandemic that will cost perhaps 100,000 American lives. The vast majority of those who succumb will be older people with existing health problems. The average American will have mild symptoms and will not need to be hospitalized. Unfortunately, the fearmongering associated with this pandemic has exposed the soft underbelly of an American populace that is apparently willing to decimate the economic livelihoods of themselves and their families on the chance even one more of the remaining 350 million of us will die. In my opinion this is preposterous. My advice: Shut off the television, don’t look at social media and say to yourself every morning: “What am I realistically going to do today to further the health and happiness of me and my family?” Then, go out and do it!
I have much more confidence in the good sense of individual Americans than I have in the elitists who represent us politically. Now, right now, it is time for the United States of America to roar, not to sulk. Those who have extraordinary virus risk due to age or health conditions should do what they can to protect themselves. The rest of us should exercise our intelligence and personal responsibility and move on safely without fear. This is how we will re-gain our lives, our prosperity, and our country.