Life in the Time of Corona #16

May 5, 2020, Day 57 waiting for Mexican restaurants to put up their Cinco de Mayo decorations (and invite me in for a Margarita).

Finally, Back To Normal

Well, it took a while, but after two months of all the usual stuff that comes with a once-in-a-century cataclysmic event, we’re finally back to “normal!” “Normal? What the hell are you talking about?” you might ask. I’m talking about the good old American divide between the Right and Left (or is it Right and Wrong, or more likely, Left and Wrong?). It wasn’t easy finding the little fissure that would lead to the crack that would lead to the divide that would lead to the Grand Canyon-like cavern, but, thankfully, someone found it. It’s all about Freedom! Yeah, that’s the ticket! Freedom! We Love Freedom! And, hey, isn’t that in the Constitution somewhere? You betcha! So, now the Freedom Lovers (as opposed, I guess, to those of us who obviously don’t love freedom) need to do all the Freedom-loving things that Freedom Lovers do, like bring semi-automatics into the state Capitol, gather closely together, Woodstock-like (and mask-less), to express their indignation (and, oddly, many of the Lovers are old enough to have been at Woodstock), and, in the case of somebody in Flint, MI, shoot a store security guard dead because the guard was impinging on his Freedom by telling him he had to wear a mask (apparently there is a Freedom hierarchy where the right not to wear a mask is more important than the right to, well, um, breathe).

Social distancing circa 1969

So it is no surprise then that a few hundred (mostly mask-less) Freedom Lovers descended upon the Massachusetts State House yesterday to share with Governor Charlie Baker their displeasure (hatred) of his mandatory order to wear masks in public places. Now, the reality is that the order is to wear masks when social distancing isn’t possible (like when they were doing exactly what they were doing). Which isn’t quite what they were talking about. Apparently they were concerned that Governor Baker was coming after their requirements not to be “pushed, filed, stamped, indexed. (?), or briefed (?). Whether or not that was the Governor’sintention had nothing to do with their ranting, but that doesn’t really matter, does it?

Free at last, free at last, thank God all mighty, free at last!

Certainly a case can be made that we are in very new times and that and that we should, in fact, carefully consider how and when we begin getting back to whatever the new “normal” is going to be. But that would require a willingness to approach this from a reasonable point of view, and I’m just a tad doubtful, however, that we’re all on the same page with that concept…

So, as a result, it now appears that the face mask is becoming the symbol of your position on Freedom. And you are either with us or against us. Mask-wearers will fall into the cowed, compliant, elitist, liberal, Freedom-hating crowd on the left hand side of the chart. Mask-refusers are the true, Boston-Tea-Party-like patriotic, Freedom loving individuals on the right hand side of the chart who are the only ones capable of saving the country (with the possible exception of the tens of thousands of people who won’t be saved because they died of the disease that the masks were supposed to protect them against). Now, it is quite likely that those on the mask-refuser side of the chart will actually still wear masks because they are, you know, sort of scared about getting infected. But that doesn’t mean they don’t completely support their colleagues right to infect somebody else (but please, God, don’t let it be me!).

Thankfully, these expressions of Freedom Loving (with the possible exception of the Flint Freedom-Protecting Murder) have the full support of Orange Baby and his Wonderland News Channel (aka Fox News), who are in the process of elevating their actions into a national movement. How this all plays out in History’s sand box is yet to be determined, but it is likely no coincidence that Wonderland, at 1.2 million cases and counting, currently has more confirmed cases than the next seven countries combined. And this is a disease that started on the other side of the world! Oh well, success is success, no matter how much it may look like a total failure to you.

So now comes the dilemma: What do you do the next time you are casually walking down the street and see someone without a mask? Before things returned to “normal,” the answer was easy: Move to the other side of the road. Now it has become a multiple choice answer: a) Walk up to them (at a distance of six feet) and ask them politely to please wear a mask, b) Immediately recognize that they are not on your side and be scared, c) Immediately recognize that they are not on your side and be mad, d) Assume they are a Freedom Lover who hates you and will probably kill you so you have to kill them first, e) Do nothing (but secretly hate them anyway). But the really good part is that at least now we can neatly put everyone back in the box where they belong, enemies over there and friends over here.

Wonderland! Ain’t it a wonder?

Stay safe people ( and wear your f-ing masks).


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