Even if you are trying to not look at current events through a political lens, our society does its best to fit you for eyeglasses. “You can’t force me to wear a mask”; that’s unconstitutional? Shutting down the economy is worse than a few old people dying. The governor of Florida doesn’t call his state “Heaven’s waiting room” for nothing. Kids are immune so fill up the classrooms.
COVID-19 has killed 160,000 of us. Not too bad for a liberal hoax, and I tend to filter it all through my “F word” prism.
First, the flu. In a normal year we can expect about 12,000 deaths. The Spanish flu of 1918 infected 500 million people worldwide and killed between 20 and 50 million, with 675,000 of those caskets filled with U.S. citizens. This is the modern-day benchmark for pandemics, so when someone tells you that COVID-19 is “just like the flu,” you should be afraid. Any person with a pulse should be very, very afraid. And the authors of the “just like” tripe use it as scientific proof of something while on the other hand call all scientific dogma “just politics,” which propels us to our second “F.”
Fake news. Future dictionaries will have a field day with this ubiquitous disclaimer. Since I might not be around for too many more Webster editions, I’ll just paraphrase the definition as I see it; anything said or printed or even captured on tape and video and cellphones, anything at all, is not true as long as you dub it “fake news.” The early days of this pandemic were replete with “It’s a hoax.” After thousands dead and no end in sight, after an array of death-bed confessions from people warning us with their last breath that this virus is very real and extremely deadly, what more proof does the no-mask crowd need?
Et voilá, our third “F.” Fanatics come in all shapes and sizes. If the numbers above don’t elicit a “whoa” from you, please think about this: as I write this, 250,000 motorcycle devotees are converging on Sturgis, S.D., to party and pose for each other. Over 60% of the local population think that is a big mistake but bikers from all over the country (another really bad idea) will not be deterred, taking a page from The Beastie Boys who declared that they “have to fight for the right to party.” Many who live in the area likely make most of their annual income on this one rabid event. And I use “rabid” because when some states are banning groups of more than 100, this little party draws in a quarter-of-a-million cash-paying two-wheelers.
The final “F” is not a word to play with. Freedom and certain rights are granted to us by our constitution. I do have to cop to a bit of confusion, though. My Black Lives Matter face mask might be a little political, but where are all the All Lives Matter responders when it comes to wearing any type of mask to blunt the virus’ deadly spray? It makes little sense. Where in the U.S. Constitution does it proclaim that you have the right to not wear a face mask? Surely there is something in criminal law about willful murder, a harsh but accurate interpretation of what refusing to wear a mask does. What about the rights of the essential workers who get punched and slapped around by angry maskless shoppers? What about the health professionals who are putting their lives on the line every day? Do their lives matter, or is that just a handy phrase to counter fools like me wearing my BLM mask?
It dawned on me as I wrapped up these humble thoughts that there were two “Fs” left unmentioned. One is just a doctor. He had some useable knowledge until he refused to let his scientific soul be corrupted and twisted for political purposes. Words like fabrications come to mind but he is above hyperbole and wordplay. He is just a scientist who is trying to save us from ourselves. His name is Dr. Fauci, and we would do well to pay attention to his warnings. It appears that the one solution to the fundamental lies being bandied around by the “F” Troop above would be to put him in charge of our national testing and recovery plan, but sadly that will have to be after Nov. 3 and, hopefully, the transition to another more compassionate administration. The death toll will likely be over 200,000 at that point.
The final “F” is obvious; anyone who chooses their own selfish recreational needs over the good of all the people they know and love is, in a word, an utter fool.