The vast majority of us here in America are currently under stay-at-home orders allowing only for necessary travel such as to the doctor or grocery store and to be perfectly honest, it pretty much sucks. I have noticed recently that an increasing amount of ‘necessary travel’ seems to involve pulling boats or 4-wheelers on trailers or large groups of motorcycles out cruising the spots on sunny days! Fact is, all but the laziest among us are getting tired of being stuck in the house. Yes, there are some simpletons among us who in their own little minds would prefer complete Government control and many in Government who are thoroughly enjoying their new found ability to strip away your Constitutional rights. They relish in the idea of turning the criminals loose while denying you the ability to protect your family. However, Americans are beginning to push back against the authoritarian controls with protests popping up in places such as Michigan where Governor Clueless is acting more like Chairman Mao than a State Executive. To be honest, I’m quite surprised it’s taken this long.
O.K., so to be fair, I must admit that people for the most part have been behaving much better than I expected. I must tell you, this is a very rural area where the people tend to be fiercely independent and self reliant while very distrusting of Government (as they should be) yet they are, for the most part, following the rules. On my most recent trip to the grocery store I estimate at least 80% of shoppers were wearing face masks with most of those were wearing gloves as well. Despite the recently imposed limits on how many customers can be in a store at one time, everyone I observed seemed to be taking it all in stride. The panic buying seems to have subsided at least for now and store shelves are much better stocked. I guess as strange as things may get, after a while, it begins to feel normal.
How are you coping? Have you reached the end of the internet yet? Have you seen all the Facebook memes you need for an entire lifetime? Running out of Netflix movies, stupid sitcoms or mindless reality shows yet? Or what about those TV talent shows where people with little or no talent perform for washed up Hollywood losers, seen enough of that yet? Sorry to say folks, but too much of that stuff will start to rot your brain. Get out of the house! I know in some areas you can be fined for even leaving your house, but get outside if at all possible. Get some fresh air, get moving, walk the dog, walk around the block, get some physical exercise if at all possible. Try some different activities: I’ve picked my guitar back up, been working out, doing jigsaw puzzles, and signed up for ‘Shudder’ (kind of like the Hulu of horror movies.) Do not just sit binge watching TV, do something to stay mentally healthy.
So what next? Going forward I think we need to rethink our response as we adjust to the most recent data and try to get people back to work and paychecks flowing again. Tomorrow will never be the same as yesterday, the past is gone and we are in unprecedented times, but if we do not come out of this lock down soon there may not be anything left to come out to. If we take a serious look around, I believe there are many businesses that are closed unnecessarily and with a few precautions could get back up and running. Heck, even though pot is illegal here, the shop selling t-shirts and bongs is open for business. OK, and why are the parks closed? The State Park I normally hike at is simply massive and you can literally hike for hours and never see another soul, but it’s closed for my protection? How about sporting goods, hobby and clothing stores, shopping malls, churches, etc.; on a case by case basis apply the same social distancing rules and number of customers at one time and open them up now. How many factories could reopen while still following these guidelines? Just thinking out loud, but I wonder if they are limiting the number of customers that can be inside Planned Parenthood at one time and are they following proper social distancing while receiving their Stimulus funded abortion?
Americans will simply not stay locked in their homes indefinitely and our elected officials need to start moving this thing forward or they will begin to see more and more civil disobedience. Americans have been surprisingly cooperative and ‘well behaved,’ but our collective patience is wearing thin.
Hope for the best and prepare the worst, like never before.