I am putting people on notice – my patience has run out. Entirely. I am fed up with the anti-vaxxers and the anti-maskers and the so-called patriots and anybody even trying to talk about violation of their rights and freedoms and their liberty.
Yes, you can opt to not receive the vaccine, you can refuse to comply with mask mandates. You can quit your job rather than get the COVID vaccine, you can host a mask burning party. You have the freedom to do all those things, but just because you have that freedom does not mean that you should use it.
I’m sick to my stomach 24×7 listening to people shrieking about having the right to refuse any reasonable measure to combat this scourge of a virus while people are dying of the nefarious disinformation campaign that says there is no virus, or it’s no worse than the flu. I am sick of it. I don’t care to be tolerant, or understanding, or even politically correct at this point. People who are refusing to vaccinate and mask are self-seeking idiots who don’t give a damn about anybody but themselves.
There. I’ve said it. I’m getting angrier and angrier for every day the infection rate goes up and see that local governments can’t even pay people to get the damned shot. The vaxx resisters are the same ones who bought out all of the hand sanitizer and toilet paper at the beginning of this unfortunate period, purchasing insane amounts they could never hope to consume. Many of them refused to share, defiantly shuffling out of stores with so many stacks of toilet paper and bottled water they couldn’t even fit it into their vehicles. Ridiculous.
I’ve had it with the hypocrisy of churches telling their members to come for worship, without masks or any other precautions against the virus. This is strike 2 for these folks, who did the same thing when the lockdown started, refusing to comply with mandated crowd controls. They lost people in that middle finger to the world gesture, and the only thing they gained was more funerals and more headstones. If that’s the plan, surely there are easier ways to stimulate profit in the mortuary industry.
People are dying, and they’re going to die some more. That’s nature, life on life’s terms, all that. But I don’t want to be one of the ones that go, especially when there are ways to increase my odds of being taken out by COVID. But the crowd that got their medical degree from Walmart in the middle of the night from some vending machine, they’re calling the shots on this.
I’m sick to death of hearing the likes of Josh Hawley calling for Joe Biden to resign because of the U.S. military exit from Afghanistan. I’m sick to death of seeing Madison Cawthorn making googly eyes at military personnel while he cheered on insurrectionists who sought to overthrow the U.S. government. Sick of them all claiming that in God they trust but can’t go to the bathroom without an assault rifle. That’s some trust in the Divine right there.
This is not just democracy in trouble, it’s the entire species in trouble. We continue to believe that we did ALL of this – our brains, our muscles, our ingenuity, our ambition. Unfortunately, we can’t take credit for the air, or the water, or the grass, or the trees, or organic life. We presume that all of that is here expressly for our use and comfort. Perhaps it is, but we aren’t supposed to kill it all. There used to be a motivational ditty that said, “If you love something, set it free. If it doesn’t come back to you it was never yours to begin with.” More sardonic wit revised that to say, “If you love something, set it free. If it doesn’t come back to you, hunt it down and kill it.” Guess which one we flocked to?
For all of those who are refusing to get the vaccine or wear a mask because big government is overstepping its boundaries, I am here to point out, as many others have done, that we have been adhering to laws and mandates that limit our so-called freedoms for hundreds of years. You had to be vaccinated against certain things to go to school. You couldn’t travel to certain places, or at least get a passport, without certain immunizations. You have to wear a seatbelt when driving. You have to have a license to drive, and that is issued only after you pay the man the $2 and take the required vision, driving, and regulations tests. My point being – there are a whole lot of things we are told that we have to do, many of which are a pain in the butt, but it’s the law and so we comply. If we don’t comply, we know the penalty. Why is this vaccine so different?
I contend this is different only because The Former Guy politicized it and gave credence to conspiracy theorists, and now it’s out of control. Or maybe it’s exactly what was desired in the first place – population reduction, mistrust in everybody and everything, people doing their own version of Lord of the Flies every day. When there’s no leader, the people will make one. When the truth is not known, people will make up their own story to explain things, and that story will be far worse than the truth might ever have been.
This is ridiculous. I lived in a high-crime city for many years, and still have certain reactions in crowd situations that amount to PTSD. But these days, everything is triggering that kind of reaction, because I feel as though I am being assaulted every day, all day, by attacks against common decency, common sense, and the common good. It makes me want to do something big and dramatic, but what is there to do?
I am waiting for the window to open when I’m eligible for the 3rd dose of the vaccine. I am doing the other things I’m told are I should do for my health and well-being – today I got my eyes checked. No glaucoma or cataracts, and only a very slight change in my prescription since 2019. I scheduled the sleep study my doctor wants me to take…they’ll wire me up like a video game character monitor what happens when I sleep. IF I can sleep with all that crap on my head, but at least I’ll show up for the test. I am taking all my medications as prescribed, no matter how much I loathe taking a handful of pills and capsules every day. Unfortunately, when I don’t take them my test results are worse, so I take them. No sense in having my head shoot off into space because my blood pressure was not being medicated.
It’s not that hard. Is it a pain in the ass, living with 9 billion other people on this planet? Yes. I am aggravated every time I want to change lanes in traffic and so does everybody else. At the same time. And there is always the one car that lets EVERYBODY in, followed by the other fool who won’t let ANYBODY in. But I digress. This is the cost of freedom – having to wait your turn, having to be nice even when you don’t really want to, understanding that some days you’re the bug and some days you’re the windshield.
Like the song says, freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose…and freedom don’t mean nothin if it ain’t free. It was never promised to be without cost. We’ve gotten confused and take freedom to be the ability to do whatever we want to do, whenever we want to do it. But that ain’t how it works. Even if you manage to get off the grid and go to live in the wilderness, there’s going to be a hippo or a venomous snake that wants to be exactly where you are.
We are sentient, and we have complex brains that are capable of making discretionary judgments. We didn’t create that, it just…is. To keep it, we have to accept the responsibility that goes along with advanced cerebral function, and that responsibility is vast but very simple. Responsibility is things like:
— Take what you need, and leave the rest.
— Don’t waste stuff another person can use.
— Don’t be greedy and horde stuff you don’t need.
— When you can do better, do better.
— Remember that none of this is yours. It belongs to everyone, so use it well and share it freely.
— Most of all, know that it will be OK – we just don’t know what OK looks like.
I will try to remember those things, and I will take heart. I will get through one more day of wanting to scream at the whole country to grow the FUCK up. But I won’t do that, or anything else dramatic or possibly illegal. I will take the dog out and play stupid computer games and think about my parents, and how glad I am they’re not having to live through all of this. I’ll watch some cartoons and think deeply about what’s going on outside my walls, and then go to sleep. Tomorrow, I’ll do it all again. Because this life, and this is gratitude.