Is This Who We Are?

Often, a crisis such as a pandemic brings people together as they fight a common enemy, however the current pandemic has done the exact opposite in the U.S.  The reason it has driven us even further apart, of course, is that the ‘man’ in the Oval Office, the ‘leader’ of this nation, told people not to worry, that the coronavirus would be gone soon with minimal damage.  He then went even further, calling it a ‘democratic hoax’ and telling people not to bother with such things as wearing masks or social distancing.  Half the people in this country listened, instead, to the scientists and medical experts, but the other half listened to Trump and are now putting everyone’s lives at risk.

What follows is from a column in The Washington Post, written by Amber Elliott, a county health director in St. Francois County, Missouri, about the abuse she has taken for simply trying to save lives. It is lengthy, and I initially intended to use only a few excerpts, but as I re-read it, every word seemed important.  Please take a few minutes to read her words and consider her query:  Is this who we are?

‘This is how we treat each other? This is who we are?’

Amber-ElliottI don’t really know if I should be talking about all of this. It makes me worried for my safety. I’ve had strange cars driving back and forth past my house. I get threatening messages from people saying they’re watching me. They followed my family to the park and took pictures of my kids. How insane is that? I know it’s my job to be out front talking about the importance of public health — educating people, keeping them safe. Now it kind of scares me.

But people need to know what’s going on. It’s happening all over the country, and it’s not acceptable. I know we can do better. We have to do better.

I don’t base our whole response to this pandemic on my own opinion. That’s what makes the backlash so confusing. This job is nonpartisan. I’m not political in any way. I go off of facts and evidence-based science, and right now, all the data in Missouri is scary bad. We only have about 70,000 people in St. Francois County, but we’ve had more than 900 new cases in the last few weeks. Our positivity rate is 25 percent and rising. The hospital is already at capacity. They’ve basically run out of staff. We can’t keep up. It’s an uncontrolled spread. I have these moments when it feels like I’m a nurse at the bedside, and my patient is dying, and I’m trying every possible intervention to save them. More social distancing. More masks. More contact tracing. Warnings and more warnings. What else can we try? But in the end, it doesn’t matter how much you do. Nothing will work, because it almost seems like the patient is resisting your help.

I get the same comments all the time over Facebook or email. “Oh, she’s blowing it out of proportion.” “She’s a communist.” “She’s a bitch.” “She’s pushing her agenda.”

Okay, fine. I do have an agenda. I want disease transmission to go down. I want to keep this community safe. I want fewer people to die. Why is that controversial?

We weren’t set up well to deal with this virus in Missouri. We have the worst funding in the country for public health, and a lot of the things we’ve needed to fight the spread of covid are things we should have had in place 10 years ago. We don’t have an emergency manager. We don’t have anyone to handle HR, public information, or IT, so that’s all been me. We didn’t get extra funding for covid until last month. I’m young and I’m motivated, and I took this job in January because public health is my absolute love. It doesn’t pay well, but would I rather be treating people who already have a disease or helping to prevent it? That’s what we do. We help take care of people. At one point this summer, I worked 90 days straight trying to hold this virus at bay, and my whole staff was basically like that.

We hired 10 contact tracers to track the spread, starting in August, but the real problem we keep running into is community cooperation. We call everyone that’s had a positive test and say: “Hey, this is your local health department. We’re trying to interrupt disease transmission, and we’d love your help.” It’s nothing new. We do the same thing for measles, mumps, and tick-borne diseases, and I’d say 99 percent of the time before covid, people were receptive. They wanted to stop an outbreak, but now it’s all politicized. Every time you get on the phone, you’re hoping you don’t get cussed at. Probably half of the people we call are skeptical or combative. They refuse to talk. They deny their own positive test results. They hang up. They say they’re going to hire a lawyer. They give you fake people they’ve spent time with and fake numbers. They lie and tell you they’re quarantining alone at home, but then in the background you can hear the beeping of a scanner at Walmart.

I’ve stayed up a lot of nights trying to understand where this whole disconnect comes from. I love living in this county. I know in my heart these are good people, but it’s like we’re living on different planets. I have people in my own family who believe covid is a conspiracy and our doctors are getting paid off. I’ve done press conferences and dozens of Facebook Live videos to talk about the real science. Even with all the other failures happening, that’s the one thing we should be celebrating: better treatments, nurses and doctors on the front lines, promising news about vaccines. But the more I talk about the facts, the more it seems to put a target on my back.

“We’re tracking your movements.” “Don’t do something you’ll regret.” “We’ll protest at your house.”

The police here have been really great. The elementary school says they’re watching over my kids and they’re on high alert. I have a security system now at my house. I locked down my email and took all my family photos off of Facebook, but you start wondering: Is this worth it? Could anything possibly be worth it?

And then it got worse this fall around the whole masking issue. Our hospital was filling up, and they asked if we could do more in terms of prevention and masking. We put out a press release. We went to businesses and did trainings. We kept encouraging people to mask up, but it wasn’t working. Only about 40 percent were wearing masks, so the health board decided to push for a mask mandate. Of course I was for the idea. Of course it is the scientific, smart thing to do. But at the same time, I kept thinking: Is this going to blow up my life?

We held a public meeting in the auditorium. I knew it was going to be a circus. I gave my kids an extra hug that night and said the things you never want to have to think about. I asked the city: “Are you requiring masks in this building? Because this is a public health meeting, and that’s important.” They said yes. But, of course, the first person that walks in the door says: “I go to church here in this same building, and they don’t make me wear a mask.” So that ended up being an ordeal, and they decided to allow him in. I asked him: “Can you please, please, please social distance?” He told me no. It wasn’t: “I can’t.” It was: “Hell, no. I won’t.” It went downhill from there.

We had more than 100 people show up, and most of them spoke in opposition. We do get a lot of thank-you’s and support for our work, but those aren’t the loudest voices, so sometimes they get drowned out. Our medical providers were at the meeting in their white coats, and three of them stood up to speak on behalf of masks. These are doctors and nurses who risk their lives to treat this virus. They are shouldering the burden of this, but the crowd wouldn’t even let them talk. They booed. They yelled. Some of them had come in with guns. They were so disrespectful. I was trying to take notes for our board, and my hands started shaking. Why aren’t you listening? Why do you refuse to hear from the people who actually know about this disease and how it spreads?

The board decided to go ahead with the mandate anyway, but part of the community revolted. We did a survey a few weeks later, and mask-wearing had actually gone down by six percent. We required it, and people became more likely to do the opposite. How do you even make sense of that? We like to believe we take good care of each other here. This is rural Missouri. We pride ourselves on being a down-home community that sticks together, and now this is how we treat each other? This is who we are?

I don’t go out in public very much anymore. It’s work and then back home. I don’t want to be recognized. I don’t want my kids to see any of that hate. The one place where I had to draw the line was that my son plays baseball, and honestly, his games are the most normal I’ve felt all year. But then, a little while ago, somebody took a photo at a game of me with my daughter. We were outside and social-distanced, so we weren’t wearing masks. The photo got posted all over social media, and it was the usual comments. “Bitch.” “Communist.” “Hypocrite.” My daughter has had some anxiety. My son said to me: “Mom, why does everybody hate you?”

I went in to work the next day, and one of my nurses came to see me. She’d just had one of those nasty interactions on the phone, and she said: “I’m struggling right now. I need one of your little pep talks.” I told her: “I’m sorry, but I just don’t have it. I’m tired of this. I’m so exhausted.”

I’ve been living with that steady hum of tension and fear for almost a year, and I just can’t do it anymore. I keep saying my family is my number-one priority, so at some point I have to keep my kids safe. I decided to put in my notice earlier this month. My last day is this Friday.

I’ve already accepted another nursing job. I’m not abandoning the community. I’m going to keep fighting this pandemic, but I’d rather not say anything much more specific. I don’t want that target on my back. I’m ready to be anonymous.

69 thoughts on “Is This Who We Are?

  1. Pingback: ‘Is This Who We Are?’ — Follow-Up | Filosofa's Word

  2. I realize that it’s wrong to blame all this on trump alone, as he just tapped into the ugliness that’s always been part of us and bolstered it with his hateful rhetoric..

    I guess it’s futile to plow through the “what ifs”: what if someone sane had been the president, hadn’t politicized the science, had led by example? But this is where we are. Is it already too late for Joe Biden, whom trump has done his best to demonize as a fraud, to begin changing the tone? In the areas where both the hostility and the virus are peaking, the health systems are most fragile. There will be a reckoning.

    We have gone through terrible times like this before. We can simply hope that as the virus is brought under control and vaccines become available, some people will see the light, and health professionals and educators like Amber will be freed of the terrible burden of being forced into the front lines of a battle for which they’d never signed up.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re right that Trump is a symptom of an even greater evil, but evil he is and he does own a share of the blame. As for the ‘what-ifs’ … I think about it often … what if Hillary had won the electoral college? What if … the Senate had done their job in February and convicted Trump of the impeachment charges? And even … what if Trump hadn’t been able to spend millions of our hard-earned tax dollars to buy the best treatment available and had died from the coronavirus? Cruel? Maybe, but not half as cruel as what he’s done to this nation.

      The greater evil, though, rests with the portion of citizens of this nation who do not care that there are 2,000 deaths per day due to the pandemic, who do not care that Black people everywhere are demonized and discriminated against, who do not care that Trump has caused us to be the pariah among Western nations, and who do not care that the human species is destroying their own planet, their own future, trading them for everyday conveniences. Sigh. It is those 73 million or so who are signing our death warrant. Sorry … didn’t mean to get on my soapbox. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t totally disagree, Jill, but we do know it didn’t have to be this bad. I wrote a post trying to understand how 73 million people could have voted for that man. Evoked some good discussion. It is beyond my comprehension, I fear, to assume that level of evil among so many in our country. I think it’s more complex—I have to think that. Otherwise, there seems to be no hope at all. I’m not ready to give up on the IDEA of America. I think it’s worth fighting for.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill, I haven’t been blogging much lately…mostly because my husband (the registered nurse) and I (chem dep counselor) have been volunteering at our city public health department, making calls to follow up on active covid cases. As the months have gone on we’ve received nasty emails, drive bys at our home, two heaping piles of manure left on our front porch and truck, signs left in the front yard saying we are traitors, communists, fear-mongerers, and worse. I have received two death threats…my husband more because he is doing actual testing then follow up calls. Our local police have now made it a habit to drive by our home on a daily basis just to make sure we are okay. We have been spit upon at stores for wearing masks, one person came up and coughed all over me…it is beyond the pale. Yes, unfortunately this is who we are. Half of us responsible and worried about everyone and half just mean reprehensible people. I’m supposed to be at the heath department right now, but the emergency road guy is changing all four of our slashed tires. I don’t recognize my country anymore. And I ache for the “good old days” when a president was a worthy man and our people were civil. I have my volunteer resignation letter in hand and will be giving it to the public health coordinator when I go in today. Two months and I can not take it anymore. I am frankly afraid to leave my home…and NOT due to a fear of getting sick. I am more afraid of being murdered.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh Suze!!! That is terrible! Yes, apparently this is who we … or at least some percentage of ‘we’ … are. I’m so sorry you and George are having to go through all of this … by the very people you are trying to help! I’ve long said that I no longer recognize this country … sigh. Please take care, my friend. I wish there were something more I could say or do, but … sadly there is not. On reading your comment, I question whether we are even all of the same species! Hugs, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jill, Looking in from the outside I know from our news, your blogs etc that there is great division in the States at the moment. However, I have to say I am shocked by Amber’s story, by the vitriol thrown against her. Maybe I am shocked because I didn’t realise that the division and hatred had reached so far down into this micro level. That someone’s children can be threatened because she is advocating public health messages to protect the lives of the community. I see from the comments that this is very widespread. One of the really depressing thoughts is that people are refusing to take measures that actually work. But I suppose rational argument ~ “Take a look at the countries that have low numbers (0 cases, 0 deaths for about 20 days now in here Victoria, Australia), and the measures they have taken” ~ is useless with those who refuse to believe that there is a deadly virus rampaging around. So, all I can say is stay safe my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Anne. I don’t think any of us realized just how great that divide had become until the pandemic hit, and then it really became obvious. It is depressing … people seem to believe that their right not to “be told what to do” is greater than our right to be as relatively safe as possible. It is very depressing to live in this country these days, not only because of these sorts of incidents, but also because there is just so much disrespect, no common ground, no civil discourse, no listening and trying to understand … just hate. Red hot hate. Sigh. I am about as safe as a person can get, for I never leave my house! With severe breathing problems, I can wear a mask for only a few minutes before I become dizzy, so I order my groceries online and drive up the street to pick them up every Wednesday morning … that is the sum total of my social life! Thankfully, my daughter and granddaughter live with me or I’d have gone mad by now! Thanks again, Anne. Hugs!


  5. All I heard for weeks from some of my conservative friends was, “Just wait. After the election, you won’t hear anything about Covid-19.” How’s that all working out for us?

    I live in California, and each county is put in a specific tier based on the risk. This week we jumped two levels from yellow (minimal) to red (substantial). Instead of recognizing the problem, some are outraged that we skipped a level.

    I feel bad for so many throughout this whole process. Working 90 days in a row is unthinkable. The human body can do remarkable things when pressed, but I have to imagine the job would be a whole lot easier if you felt the respect and support of your community behind you 100%. I know that me saying thank you doesn’t count for much, but there are millions of Americans who feel exactly like I do.

    By the way, I’m a retired teacher, and there is no worse feeling when you are giving 110%, and you feel like you’re not appreciated. Thanks again for all you’re doing, Jill.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dont worry, Jill! You are not alone, and i think this all will become a good ending. But honestly, are the USA able to visit a third time Germany? 😉 Here it seems is going something very wrong. We can not really accept politicans believing about themselves they are Gods. For sure actually the right wing party provokes them more than ever. Nevertheless, citizens who meet a minister must be able to ask him. If this is no longer possible, I believe that a government has no longer presented itself as legitimate. Michael


    • You are spot on, my friend. We have forgotten the lessons of history and nearly half the people in this nation would, I believe, applaud Adolf Hitler if he appeared in their midst. And you are also spot on about the politicians believing they are gods, starting with Trump, who truly believes he is far and above the rest of the world. How do men (and women) get such egos? In my eyes, the government as it stands today is no longer legitimate, for they no longer even pretend to represent the people of this nation and make no bones about the fact that they have only their own interests at heart. But … sigh … nearly half the nation cheer and applaud them. Are we doomed? Some days I feel that we are.


  7. Of course it doesn’t help that Trump contracts the virus, gets gold star treatment, plus is given a drug not available to the average individual … and then trots around the country demonstrating that the virus is “no big deal.”

    Which brings me to this question … has anyone else wondered why he’s been hiding away? Personally, I think it’s less about the election results and more that he’s finally off the “uppers” that kept him going during his after-Covid rallies.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Thank you for sharing this. We have been taken over to a degree by a dangerous cult who believes conspiracies and fantasies that are terribly destructive to the fabric of our society. If we work together, understand that can have a huge impact on mitigating the spread of this virus, we can overcome it – but it takes leadership and brave people like yourself….bravo to you – you have many many people who support what you are doing!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Sometimes it’s better to live and let live. It’s not the government’s job to nanny the population. For those who defiantly refuse to wear mask, let them suffer the consequence of their actions. It’s like the vaccination argument, why should vaccinated ppl fear those who don’t? If one is vaccinated or wearing a mask, then there’s no risk, ur protected. For the anti-vaxxers and non mask wearers, well that’s the price we pay for living in the land of the free, which includes freedom of choice. You don’t want a fascist dictator telling us what to do….. do you?
    Personally I would wear a mask, but I can’t force others who don’t believe as I do. With freedom comes responsibility, and that’s a personal decision.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Except that the mask is, and always has been, more for the protection of others. It doesn’t place one in a bubble. Two masks equal really good protection. Hell, people didn’t protest seat belts this much. And you know why? Because there were far reaching financial consequences. People know when something hits them in the old money belt. Live and let live, you say? Yeah, that’s about as good as saying smoking should still be allowed in restaurants and those who don’t like it should just hold their breath.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Not a perfect analogy, since smokers can smoke elsewhere, just not in public. As this post pointed out, mask enforcement only produce the opposite effect. Ppl rebel when told what to do, even when there’s good reason to. That’s why no amount of shaming, yelling or gov’t intervention would get ppl to wear masks if they don’t want to.
        If you have a better solution i’d love to hear it…. we can’t fight human nature, but we can reason, and hope enough ppl see the truth before it’s too late.


      • I understand your position, but what can we do when obstinate ppl refuse to wear mask? Criticism, shame, gov’t mandates only reinforce their rebellion. We can employ reason, share the science, but ppl will do what they want. We just have to accept their shortcomings…. and keep our distance!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I can tell you from my own state of AL that when Governor Ivey implemented the mask mandate a few months ago and the majority of people were adhering to guidelines, cases plummeted. Now however, people are suffering from “Covid fatigue” and we’re back up to more than 2,000 new cases a day. I don’t believe in shaming people, but those who have the “my body, my choice” attitude are despicable in my opinion. I do believe that the more of us who model responsible behavior such as washing hands, wearing masks, social distancing, might have a domino effect on others, at least those who have even an iota of common sense.

          Liked by 1 person

    • I respectfully disagree, because these people are not just harming themselves. They are also harming the most vulnerable among the population, who must quarantine themselves, and can’t participate in daily life, because these people refuse to care. People without masks don’t just insist on being in the presence of those wearing them, they attack and demean the people who wear them!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      • BTW, further to my above writing, I wear a mask because it is the only responsible thing to do! Not because anyone is demanding I do this,or even because they are asking me to do this. I know inherently within me, protecting others protects me. Win win.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I totally agree that when ppl start infringing their beliefs on others, they have cross the line. No one should restrict freedoms of others, especially the gov’t b/c it could quickly devolve into tyranny. Like Rawgod said, wearing masks is a win/ win. Also taking responsibility of one’s health is paramount. Keep our immune system optimal by eating right, getting enough rest, exercising, staying positive.
        I haven’t caught a cold or flu since childhood, and I plan on keeping it that way. Wearing a mask is like using contraception, it just makes sense… but some ppl don’t want to hear it, they’ll do what they do. C’est la vie.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. And these conspiracy theory crazies are the same people who defend medicine when it is suggested there could be a cure for cancer but they don’t want us to know. I cannot reconcile myself with what has become of the society of America. We left the country. But it isn’t the first time, we have been disillusioned for a long while now. Yes, people are still people and there are good and bad everywhere. But when the country you thought would always protect your rights and keep you safe does a complete 180 from the top on down, you have to decide. “Is it really my faith in humans that is in question or my faith in those who were sworn to protect, defend and uphold the laws of its citizens? I voted, my candidate won fairly, and yet the dark tendrils of hatred and unconscionable greed continue their stranglehold on the good and faithful in America. Even in my worst moments of doubt about the judicial system when going through my divorce, when petty legal issues always seemed togo in the favor of those least deserving, even when good people go to prison for stupid crimes like marijuana possession while pedophiles receive pardons and even when I watched as the ridiculous have been elected to the highest office in the land, I felt deep inside that Justice would protect us. How can she, when she is bound, gagged and chained in the dark dungeon of Greedy Contemptuous Apathy? Anyone who doesn’t recognize Trump and his faithful as the anarchists they are are only deluding themselves. Anarchy in America….and with such evil agenda. I was raised to believe that judgment begets judgment and I have learned as an adult that he who points the accusatory finger most quickly is in fact the one most guilty. That ‘Coved briefing’ last evening was such a joke.coming out and dictating how things are and will be without even allowing a question at the end. Welcome to dictatorship. If you are on the other side, cowering with raised fists behind the ruling class, how will you feel when at last the finger is pointed at something you hold dear?

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m sorry, dweezer. I am an outed anarchist, a Responsible Anarchist. I do not need any government to tell me how to live, or how to interact with my fellow living beings. What you call anarchy is not anarchy at all, but irresponsible rebellion against those who care about others. They certainly do not want no government, what they want is their government, their way, and no nobody else’s. It they ever found themselves in a true state of anarchy, where everyone governs themselves to the betterment of all, they be cowering in the shadows, pooping in their pants. They only feel strong when they are in the middle of like-minded others. Anarchy is doing things on your own, the way you know is best for yourself. In order for something to be best for one person, it is necessary that it be best for all persons, or as I conceive and understand this, all living beings, not just humans! We are all alive on this planet together. If we do not cooperate, we cannot work towards what is best for all.
      As complicated as you may think that can be, it is really very simple. Live in harmony. And yes, I do believe this is possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. coming from the Washington post, I have to wonder about the authenticity of this story. that’s all I’ll say about that, remember Jessie and the attack that never happened, or the man who graffitied his own car with antitrump crap?

    Now, having said that, no one, and I mean, no one should ever be harassed for doing such a stressful job in the health community but I just wonder how many of the people who believe that the virus is real but that the political response to it has been way over the top, how many of those people are harassing people who wear masks as opposed to the mask wearers who target and harass people who aren’t?

    I think it’s a fair question to ask and one that may be worthy of investigation, probably on another more reasonable blog though, not this one, where there is clearly an agenda to keep people angry.


  12. Jill, why do we continue to assume that we as a nation are a ‘good’ people? I know you are good, most of your readers are good, I try to be good. But what about the man who verbally assailed my partner in the Walgreen’s parking lot calling him a communist and screaming that he should be eliminated for expressing his political choice? Can we continue to excuse those people by blaming politics or misinformation? Same with covid. At the store, men and women without masks glare at me because I am wearing one. Somehow I feel many in our nation have divorced their inherent goodness to follow a madman. God help us!

    Liked by 4 people

  13. She should have quit sooner. You can’t change, or help, people who don’t want to change or be helped. I don’t know why this comes as a surprise. Trump is here to destroy. That’s what he is/what he does. Notice there were no riots when Biden won, because the ugly one didn’t send out the guard, hire outside rioters. He didn’t send in the guard, army and unmarked men to start riots and shoot at peaceful people dancing in the street. HE is the violence.

    There’s no way to change anyone’s mind. It’s a waste of time and energy to even try. If people die, they die. I’ve given up thinking anything could be different. They don’t believe any of it is real, even when they get sick themselves. It’s like beating your head against a brick wall. Neither side will change, in spite of the FACTS AND DEAD BODIES. Another nurse quit (Bored Panda) after treating a man in the Covid ICU, who said he didn’t believe in the disease. She was risking her life to save him and he didn’t believe in it. She quit. They were trying to find more refrigerator trucks to hold the bodies.

    Sane people can only take so much. Why should sane people suffer and put their children and family in danger for people who can’t believe in reality and worse, threaten violence to those who are trying to help them. This is trump’s fault, for making a disease a political issue. Let’s just pile fake bodies in front of the white house. Adding more each day…one body for every person who has died from the disease that doesn’t exist. I don’t think there’s room to put bodies for all those who have had it…so just put the bodies for those who have died.

    You’re dealing with people who are still fighting the civil war. You’re not going to change anyone one either side.

    That nurse, started crying and the man saw other people in their beds and he did apologize and said he would tell the others who didn’t believe the virus was real, that it was, but she still quit. Maybe if people start dying in the street, the trump followers will wonder what’s going on. They’ll wonder how the liberals are killing people with magic or some other stupid thing. Because that’s something that could eventually happen. Maybe then…they’ll admit that there’s a problem. But don’t hold your breath.

    Liked by 7 people

    • You have said it best of all..there is no hope of these idiots and no changing their minds. We are long past that and if and when Trump goes, they will still be there…

      Liked by 1 person

  14. The long-term-care senior home where I work dodged the disease for many months, but last week it finally reached us. Two residents in the hospital. All the others quarantined in their apartments. Only critically-needed medical appointments are allowed out of the building, and I’m the only one allowed to transport them. I’m certain I will be infected soon.
    Meanwhile, the infection rate here in the ultra-conservative El Paso County, Colorado, is so bad that county officials are forcing us to take in COVID-positive patients–they have no other place to put them. This is a disaster in the making. Statistically, if the infection rate continues on its present course, the U.S. will hit 20 million COVID cases by Christmas.
    This did not have to happen.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh no, Jerry!!! Please take care of yourself … I will keep my fingers crossed that you don’t get it.

      The surge in cases nationwide is disastrous and some areas, like yours, are even worse than the national picture. I cannot understand how anyone can still claim it isn’t a threat to us all, or that it is a hoax. Apparently, global warming has melted some people’s brains. Please take care, my friend … we need you!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. The deniers were led by President Circus. They will pay a price for what they do. Karma will come in its own time. If we were able to hold people financially responsible for infecting others, that might change. If people who refused to wear mask forfeited their health insurance, this would change.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Yes, they will pay a price, but so will others who dutifully tried to do the right thing. I read today that even in places where there are firm rules about how many people can be at a gathering, wearing masks, etc. the rules are impossible to enforce. A sad statement of our society that people cannot be even slightly inconvenienced for the safety of others. You’re right … if there were a way of holding these people financially responsible, it might change their minds.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Jill, you have seen this, but for your readers who have not, my brother-in-law has a memorable quote. My newsaper was kind enough to print my letter the other day. Keith

    “While the promise of a vaccine being available to many in the spring is good news, the rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths is troubling. Hearing the term “mobile mortuaries” is alarming by itself. Seeing folks still without masks and not socially distancing is disturbing, especially with family in retail and restaurants. As my Air Force veteran brother-in-law wrote, ‘it is not like we are being asked to storm the beaches at Normandy; please wear a mask and socially distance.’ It truly is the least we could do to help others.”

    Liked by 5 people

    • PS – an acquaintance responded with thanks when I sent this out, as his mother had passed away from COVID-19. And, yesterday a 23 year old college student died from COVID-19. To them it is not a hoax.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for sharing that, Keith … it mirrors my thoughts. It isn’t like we’re asking them to cut off an arm, merely to do what they reasonably can to protect not only themselves, but their families, friends, and the general public. It is selfish and arrogant to claim your “rights” supersede the well-being of others.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. You would not believe all the people who think this whole thing is a “hoax”. That the numbers are “inflated”. I heard a woman talking the other day … her daughter’s school is testing 20% of the students & she is going to refuse her daughter to be tested. OK — her daughter will be part of the 80% that won’t be tested. But it was her general attitude … that testing wasn’t needed & it was all a government conspiracy to “control” us. Gee, I’m old enough to remember when every. single. kid. at. my. elementary. school. got. the. rubella. vaccine. I was in fourth grade & I remember standing in line to get it. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. My father voted for Nixon the year I was born & I don’t remember him saying that it was a “government conspiracy” … he never would have said anything that stupid.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. How sad that a young professional, dedicated to the health of the community, resolved to getting rid of covid19 can be harassed so much by these narrow minded, vacuous, vicious nasty people into giving up on a job she loves.

    Liked by 6 people

    • It is the same as the man, who having spent his entire life dedicated to the spread of hatred, lawlessness and pain, decides in his last seconds that he has seen the error of his ways and is absolved by his priest. They know what they know but they choose which path to follow anyway. I gave up my 35 yr career in Ophthalmology this year because the strain and pressure of working for a millennial minded doctor and surrounded by his fan club who laughed at his jokes about those of us who tried to follow the rules became too much. He cared so little about the dangers of exposure that he only put the mandated protocols into place to stay out of trouble while wearing the same mask day in and day out, folding it up and pocketing it when not in the room with a patient. I am 61, my husband 71. We want to live. We care about the lives of others. How effing hard is it to care anymore? 😞

      Liked by 2 people

    • It IS sad … but more, it makes me ashamed to be of the same species as these people. It breaks my heart that people are so selfish that they don’t care about anyone but themselves and are willing to hurt others to get their own way. 😥

      Liked by 2 people

    • I know, Kim. I read this two, three times and am still so incredulous, so disgusted by the behaviour of people. And why? They don’t want to be inconvenienced and they claim they don’t want to be “told what to do”. But we all live in this world together … there HAVE to be some rules! Sigh.

      Liked by 2 people

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