The people who are now gathering at their capitals and in big cities protesting the stay-at-home orders in their states remind me of the kind of people who lobby against the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. I just can’t see a whole lot of sense in what they are doing, nor can I see their efforts resulting in anything positive happening.
There reached a point in the late 60s and early 70s when, after a near-half century of no regulations following the Industrial Revolution, the United States became a polluted cesspool. Lake Erie, one of our Great Lakes, was declared dead and the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland actually caught fire because it was so contaminated. When strict rules were put in place to protect our air and water, it wasn’t exactly known how to bring the environment back to life. Thankfully, the air and water self-cleaned. Nature returns back to the way it is supposed to be once humans get out of the way. You can see that today with the improved air quality based on only 5-6 weeks of shutting down major polluters and with how wild animals are returning to cities and towns now that people aren’t out in droves. The nice thing about this is that it shows if we become extinct, it won’t take too long for the Earth to shed us like a bad case of fleas and continue forward.
One of the things that’s always shocked me is when you get these big industry types who push for the relaxation of environmental regulations. The ability to say with a straight face: “Our rules for clean air and clean water are unfair” is ridiculous, but those giant industries who pollute will always find people to do their bidding if the check is big enough, even if clean air and water are actually important to survival. There are people in this world, our current President included, who view wealth acquisition as the main goal in life — I don’t even think it’s about what you can buy with the wealth, I think it’s just acquiring it, like a game show contestant acquiring points — and I simply don’t relate to it. You can’t acquire wealth if you can’t breath clean air or ingest clean water.
I also know you can’t go to the movies, get a haircut or enjoy breakfast at your favorite diner if you’re stuck at home with a horrible infection, hooked up to a respirator in a hospital, or stacked in a freezer awaiting burial at some later date. Yet, I see many people protesting government overreach on television in the last several days. They seem to fall into two categories: Overzealous dummies who own small businesses and overzealous dummies who love Donald Trump.
I’m all for the right to protest and I think it should be protected. It’s one of the most important rights Americans are given, even if it results in nothing 99% of the time. More totalitarian regimes in the world would avoid public strife if they just let people blow a little steam off now and then. I don’t disagree with the people who say they are exercising their rights screaming about reopening schools and restaurants. That’s exactly what they’re doing.
I haven’t really thought too much about their specific message, much like the polluters. Perhaps there is some value in what they are saying, but I can’t get beyond the fact that they are standing next to each other, flaunting the scientific-backed orders to stay apart from each other. It appears for some reason, they feel like they are not capable of getting the virus. I’ve heard some talk of it being a hoax, while others talk of “acceptable” casualty rates, especially in our senior communities. I think the vast majority of us don’t support either of those positions.
I’ve come to the conclusion that this is just going to have to be a giant example of “we told you so” for these people to gain any perspective. If you can’t get the virus being in groups of people, then by all means, sidle up next to each other. In his not-so-passive support of these people, Trump is spitting in the face of his scientific experts. People need to remember that science is not a political party. Science is not a religion. It’s simply the collection of the best provable data we have. Hairdresser Henrietta or Patriot Paul don’t make me feel as comfortable with relaxing my position about distancing than a doctor or scientist will… and they are almost unanimously still saying the same things.
Liberal or conservative, devout Christian or athiest, we breathe the same germ-ridden air. I think President Trump should start holding rallies again…anything to get him out of these afternoon news conferences he doesn’t belong at, please. I’m all for people who don’t think the virus is real, or is overblown, to be standing shoulder to shoulder in a high school gym somewhere coughing on each other. The result will just be a classic demonstration of natural selection. Overzealous dummies never fare well when natural selection is involved.
Go ahead and open. In every state where polling has taken place, 61-75% of the population still wants social distancing measures to continue. See if your cafe or barber shop can survive with 75% less customers. Simply because you power up the “OPEN” sign does not mean I’m ready to walk through your doors.
I understand people are getting antsy. I hardly go anywhere and even I’m tired of this extended purgatory, but I still understand why we’re having it and why it needs to continue. This virus doesn’t care about your political beliefs, what you pray to, how much money you make, where you live or how much you love your country. A lot of overzealous dummies still don’t seem to understand that. Some are going to learn the hard way.