Wrong side of history and science

“Give Me Liberty or Give Me COVID-19” (actual sign)

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33 Signs From “Reopen” Protests Across The U.S. That Are 100% Real
I am simultaneously utterly fascinated and incredibly irritated by the protesters of the physical distancing protocols. They see themselves as the heroes in the story. Some high-ranking governmental official has been a provocateur, tweeting “liberate Virginia,” “liberate Minnesota”, “liberate Michigan” et al., and they are listening.

Meanwhile, the guy doing the daily press conferences at the federal level has been saying that he would let the science decide when to open up the country. I really wish those two guys could get on the same page.

Maybe he is, as Truthout noted, gone off the rails — “gaslighting the American people, instigating armed rebellion via tweets, interfering with deliveries of PPE to frontline health care workers, and ultimately making it abundantly clear that they won’t be taking an ounce of responsibility for this disaster.”

The protesters, I gather, believe that they are on the right side of history, demanding “freedom”. They may think they’re disciples of Martin Luther King Jr. But as someone pointed out – somewhere in this blog, I believe – they are not the heroes of the piece. They are the violent uprising as James Meredith tried to enter Ole Miss in 1962. They’re the jeering crowd when the Little Rock Nine integrated Central High in 1957.

Poor physical distancing

And their violence is their very gathering. As health officials warn against anti-social distancing protests, we should note the risk. It’s one thing to risk one’s own well-being. But they are threatening everyone they come in contact with, and everyone THEY in turn meet. It is a slap in the face to every health care worker.

Some of them carry American flags, while others display symbols of hate – Nazi insignia, Confederate flags, anti-Semitic bamnners. A few are armed with guns, to prove…something, I think. The Weekly Sift guy wrote: “They aren’t patriots at all in any real sense. If you ask them to do anything for the common good — stay home, do without a haircut, wear a mask in public, pay taxes — it’s too much.

“Their vision of America is that the government builds us roads, delivers our mail, protects us from criminals, educates our children, and sends helicopters to pluck us off the roof when the flood comes, but in return, we wave flags and otherwise don’t have to do anything we don’t want to do. JFK’s idea that we should ask what we can do for our country — that’s tyranny. All that ‘pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship’ crap — we don’t do that anymore.”

Sidebar

I was going to write about how, 50 years ago, members of the National Guard killed students at Kent State in Ohio. What I wrote five years ago is sufficient. I should note that today’s National Guard has been vital in assisting states in the time of COVID.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

2 thoughts on “Wrong side of history and science”

  1. I can’t even with all of this. I try to imagine the mindset – do they believe it’s a hoax? Do they not understand how viruses work?*

    The whole mask thing – when I learned that masks protect other people more than they protect the wearer, I felt a little bit of a lurch – because now we have to trust our fellow citizens. I wear a mask when I go to the store or to counseling. So far, at the stores I’ve been in (a local grocery and the Lowe’s), the largest proportion of mask-wearers I saw was about 20% at the Lowe’s, and they were all people older than I was (judging from hair and the wrinkles around the eyes).

    I wouldn’t be nearly so bothered by non-mask-wearers if the mask was mainly to protect the wearer – then I can mask up and be safe. But since it’s at least 60% to protect other people….well, being one of few mask wearers is not good for the mask wearer. (I tried hard to socially distance but again, people here aren’t always good at that – they push in to get what they want.)

    I find going out for ANYTHING (except for counseling, which is one on one and the counselor distances from me) is exhausting and scary and I am hypervigilant and someday when this is all over I may have to work on reducing something like agoraphobia a little bit.

    I don’t know, “I wear a mask because it is one way I can love my neighbor” seems like such a simple and obvious thing to me.

    (*There is, infamously, a statement of “f*** your feelings” used by some. Well, viruses are the champions of that – they are not alive and so cannot care what your political affiliation is, if you are a “good” or “bad” person, what your faith (if any) is….)

  2. f- It appears that the guy being impeached at the time did not really take the virus seriously. He considered it a Deep State hoax, designed to ruin “his” economy. Look at the signs at these rallies. “COVID is a hoax.” Where did THAT idea come from?

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