Life and Liberty are two of the most precious things in my life, next to my family, and I’ve always looked at these two things in a way that many in America seem to have lost the ability to understand. Each day as I rise, I give thanks to God for my life and another day above ground, along with thanking Him for guiding and protecting my two daughters and my six grandchildren and all the many blessings He has already placed in my life. Nothing in my life would have been possible without the loving God who created me and this magnificent world in which we live.
Not one single person I know would rush into Death’s embrace, in any suicidal fashion, although I do know many who would fight to their deaths in the name of freedom and liberty if need be. Nobody wants to take that journey into the Long Good-Bye before their time, and for the most part, people from all walks of life fight to the last possible moment to hang onto whatever thin thread of life they have before them, as their appointed time with the end of their days amongst the living bears upon them.
Not one to fear my own death too much, I suspect such will be my own case, when I take my last breath, whether it is tonight, tomorrow or forty years from now. I will still go out fighting for one more sunrise.
No matter the final outcome, as Jeffrey Bennett of Kettle Moraine Publications, often says,
“I’ll see you at Sundown.”
In the meantime, if life has taught me anything, it is that a great truth is found in the old saying, “Whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”
However, I awakened on March 17th to scenes of empty shelves in all of the stores in my hometown. Never — NEVER — in all my life did I ever imagine America would see another time, when grocery store shelves were empty, for any reason, all too similar to the Great Depression era, even though it’s a media and government driven panic and demand that’s causing the shortage and not an actual food shortage in America. The stunned faces and looks of disbelief I encountered in the local Walmart off Medical Center Parkway said it all; they too couldn’t fathom the extent of what they were now witnessing unfold before their eyes.
It’s surreal to witness the way stores are being cleaned out, even in states with barely any cases. But it is hard to accept that such a slight threat would be the catalyst for so much panic. It’s the Wild, Wild West out there, Folks, circa California Gold Rush, as people clamor and scramble across the aisles of numerous stores in their communities, just to procure the necessities, such as food … and toilet paper.
In the course of my shopping adventure, I encountered a neighbor, one very pleasant young lady, Robin McNeely, originally from West Virginia, who is in her early thirties and a mother of two young daughters. She was shopping for her parents and some elderly neighbors. This highlights the fact, that more than anything, real help will come from within the communities themselves, and each of us must do whatever we can to ease the burden of this crisis, for the elderly living in our immediate area.
Whatever comes of this new COVID-19 hysteria, I am not changing one thing in my life to please the government and those who would control me and the country, when they have not the authority to do so. Like nearly every single American, I know what is best for me and my household, and I have enough sense to use regular sanitary measures and good health practices in such a manner as not to spread COVID-19 around; it’s not as though I’m going to run my hands across a counter-top immediately after someone sneezes on it and then rush to shake hands with everyone I meet.
Even now, the government is making moves at this very moment that limit our liberty and freedom of movement, through executive orders. And paradoxically, all in the same moment, they ask us to self-regulate as an act of love for those most vulnerable to the virus, as they weaponize the COVID event. Most of us were already cognizant of the need to protect the elderly from being infected and didn’t require any further high-handed orders from those who would be our masters.
But I refuse to stop being human and to stop stepping outside and greeting my neighbors, as I give a hug to friends and loved ones, who are receptive to such and, like me, aren’t so fearful as to recoil from any human contact. I don’t see it as a risk, even though I’m in the group most susceptible to contract the virus, but that’s just me, and I suspect that the greatest percentage of Americans are going counter to my line of reasoning and taking extreme precautions in the face of this event, so fearful are they of their own mortality, their end of days.
Too many Americans are allowing this event to penetrate their imaginations and place a great wall between them and everyone else, all in the name of “self-isolation”. Everybody is now viewed warily, and in more ways than I can state, this is worse than the virus itself.
It’s a real test of faith, when one really thinks about it, especially for Christians. And as I think on the panic and hysteria surrounding this virus, I also cannot help but recall that Mother Teresa ventured out in the midst of the lepers and AIDS victims of Calcutta to give what help and comfort she could, over the course of her entire adult life. She remained courageous, in the face of the horror of rotting flesh on living humans, as everyone else drifted apart in fear of being infected. Of course, everybody can’t be so courageous as Mother Teresa.
Mind you, no one, not even me, is suggesting taking foolish chances with a virus that could arrange one’s meeting with the Grim Reaper. But, Americans shouldn’t allow themselves to be so fearful their panic drives them to overreact and gives the government control over aspects of our daily lives, that it has absolutely no business directing in any manner one cares to make mention.
The foolish, idiotic identity politics created by the Communist Democratic Party and their racially-inflamed, sexually deviant media hucksters and propagandists in the so-called “Thinking Class” have successfully destroyed the last shred of an American common culture that held the country together through earlier historic vicissitudes. So, expect to be left hanging, whenever the Democrats can create more chaos and poisonous tensions to take advantage of this COVID event, along with some violent conflicts, before all of this heads towards any real sort of resolution.
Dr. Ron Paul, medical physician and former Congressman, was spot on, one-hundred percent correct on March 16th, writing: “If anything, what people like [Anthony] Fauci and other fearmongers are demanding will likely make the disease worse. The martial law they dream about will leave people hunkered down inside their homes instead of going outdoors or to the beach where sunshine and fresh air would help boost immunity. The panic produced by these fearmongers is likely helping spread the disease, as massive crowds rush to Walmart and Costco for that last roll of toilet paper. ….. When the ‘threat’ is over, however, they never give us our freedoms back.”
Shortly after Dr. Paul released his editorial, the Wall Street Journal followed with ‘Rethinking the Coronavirus Shutdown’, and an important warning was issued that “no society can safeguard public health for long at the cost of its economic health”, as it also noted, “politicians in Washington are telling Americans, as they always do, that they are riding to the rescue by writing checks to individuals and offering loans to business.
The Journal wisely concludes with a question and a clarified dire warning: “… there is no amount of money that can make up for losses the magnitude we are facing if this extends for several weeks. After the first $1 trillion this month, will we have to spend another $1 trillion in April, and another in June? The WSJ editorial further warns that the Treasury’s small-business lending program could leave millions of businesses bankrupt and “tens of millions will be jobless.”
Does anyone not see that a “war” on anything is only a friend to the State?
And so, I aim to continue walking through life and this old world living life just as driven, wild and free as I have always done, regardless of government mandates and a little bug named “COVID” or any new human killer that leaks from some poorly controlled facility, that probably never should have been built in the first place, not for the purposes the world witnesses too often, not for dealing more death and misery across the globe as if it needs more and as if chaos is preferred over peace and serenity.
May we all survive in fine fashion, and may God Bless You All and this America we love so well.
And please, Lord – If You can find it in Your heart, would You leave a little bread, chocolate chip cookies, milk … And Toilet Paper … in the aisles for the Old Folks next week? Amen.
~ The Author ~
Justin O. Smith has lived in Tennessee off and on most of his adult life, and graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1980, with a B.S. and a double major in International Relations and Cultural Geography – minors in Military Science and English, for what its worth. His real education started from that point on. Smith is a frequent contributor to the family of Kettle Moraine Publications.