What follows is a rant … proceed with caution.
Just over a week ago, 20 November, I published a post titled Is This Who We Are? , in which I related a story of a dedicated healthcare worker in Missouri who had been threatened and harassed for her role in trying to ensure the safety of the people in her area during this pandemic, thus she was resigning her position. The post, oddly, proved somewhat controversial with some readers essentially shrugging their shoulders and saying, “Oh well … live and let live.”
One comment on that post that came in a few days later, however, broke my heart and for a week now it has weighed on my mind. This reader is a blogging friend whom I have never met and likely never will, but over the course of the last several years, we have communicated and bonded through our blogs, Facebook, and the occasional email, so I feel a personal connection to her. Last night, still disturbed by it, I was reading the comment to my daughter and granddaughter, and at some point, I realized my voice was cracking and tears had filled my eyes. This woman is about my age and is one of the most decent human beings I know. She has recently undergone some serious health issues and yet is still trying her best to help people … and paying a steep price. I share with you her comment, for many of you likely have not seen it …
“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 health 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.”
WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE????? Fortunately, I am reasonable enough, intelligent enough to realize that this is NOT representative of all people, that there ARE good people in this world who would risk their very lives to help others. But anybody who acts in this manner does not, in my opinion, deserve life on earth. The United States is a nation of almost excessive ‘freedoms’ and ‘rights’, but as I have said many, many times, each ‘right’ is accompanied by a responsibility. Shirk the responsibility and you lose the right … it’s that damn simple. NOBODY in this country has the right to threaten or harass another person. NOBODY has the right to endanger the lives of others for their own personal convenience or pleasure. IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!!! It’s a simple concept of people of all colours, all beliefs, all ages, living on this planet together, helping each other when needed, living in peace. Why is that so hard for some people?
In other comments on that same post, one reader said that forcing a mask mandate equated to a “fascist dictator telling you what to do”, and another claimed that government has no right to tell him how to live or interact with his fellow humans. BULLSHIT on both counts. We have a government because … humans have proven they need rules, they crave rules, for left to their own devices, they will hurt, kill, and maim … for pleasure.
Every Wednesday I do a feature titled “Good People Doing Good Things”, which is typically my most popular post of any given week. We like to hear about people helping others … we just apparently don’t like to BE that person who gives, rather than takes.
Anybody who refuses to wear a mask, who refuses to stay home rather than hang out in a crowded bar or restaurant, is putting my life and yours in danger. Anybody who threatens someone who is dedicating their own time and energy to trying to keep us all safe is a GRADE-A JACKASS and frankly does not, in my book, deserve to be taking up space on the already-crowded planet.
To my friend who has been the victim of such vicious threats and attacks, I apologize on behalf of the human species. To those who think they have a right to put our lives in danger … I hope you choke on a turnip.