Bringing The War Back Home

I’m done. I’m withdrawing my forces from Facebook.

Maybe I’m a freak, but I prefer to have my Facebook feed filled with positive things, funny jokes, updates on friends, the latest on family–you know, that kind of stuff.

Those who know me are well aware that I can tolerate things for so long, and then I’ll snap and make a change. I’m not talking going ballistic, but just saying to myself, “I’m so done with this” and acting towards a permanent solution to the situation.

And that’s where I am with Facebook. It took a while (for the past couple of years, tolerating those fanatical political posts) First, hiding their sources so I wouldn’t have to see anything more from that source again. Then, when they insisted on putting their ignorance on full display, I “snoozed” ’em for 30 days. And, as I mentioned before, I have a “three snoozes and you’re out” rule, so in the course of the past couple of years, I’ve had to unfriend several people. No loss.

But returning to my personal Facebook philosophy, I just don’t go there to argue, especially about the whole masking and anti-vaccine thing. That’s a no-win situation. There’s the science and then there are the weak-minded believers who parrot the misinformation they’ve found on a website or heard from the radio or a politician and they know it all. More than scientists, more than those with common sense, they just know.

Such was the case this past week, with I found, what I thought, was a nice collection of thoughts on the whole masking issue. (which has so many people wondering, “Why is this even an issue?”)

Make sense? Basically, asking people to mask up for others, not themselves. Nowhere in the Bill of Rights does it refer to the right to bare faces. But oh, no…this is where the “You’re infringing on my rights” thing reared its ugly head.

Did he really just say that? Yes he did.

As you can see, I was flustered and had to mock the misinformed Tim that, indeed, part of the problem is that those reluctantly masking up are doing it half-assed, because they have to. That doesn’t help control the spread of the virus.

You people simply don’t realize how much you and all of us have to lose.

Sadly, this whole political divide is rooted in the rule of former President Trump, who had four years to spew his hate, fuel our national divide and preach his “us against them” gospel from our nation’s highest bully pulpit. The snake oil salesman had a sizeable amount of buyers.

I just don’t want to get into this topic on Facebook, only to leave there all ticked off until I return, and then see even more annoying comments. I’m moving the discussion to here. Want to post a response to what I have to say? Have at it. This is the correct platform, not Facebook.

So, I’ll begin.

Let’s start with “If the virus is surging, masks don’t work” comment. Dear God, such ignorance. You’re the kind of person that probably thinks, “He died in a car crash? How could he? He was wearing a seatbelt! See, they don’t work.”

Masks are a PART of the solution. However, even if you wear them properly, you still need to practice social distancing and wash and sanitize your hands. Or, did you think the pandemic is over?

I know that’s how they thought things were going down in the south.

I have absolutely no idea what people think they have to gain by fighting what we know works and avoiding the vaccine? You’re looking at the results of your actions. Instead of wrapping up this pandemic, you’re not only extending it, but you’re giving the virus an opportunity to morph into yet another variant. More on that in a moment.

Another aspect of the anti-vaccine movement–wait, let’s start calling it the Pro Covid movement–is how conservative Christians have fought against vaccines, masking and such. As a Christian and a Lutheran at that, I just don’t get it. For those using their Christianity as an excuse for not getting vaccinated, a couple of useful nuggets:

What is it about the southern U.S. that breeds so much mis-information?  I know someone whose doctor told them that, if they were thinking about having any more kids, she shouldn’t get the vaccine. Based on what?  And then, there was the Arkansas doctor who decided that an animal de-wormer would be a good way for his patients to avoid getting COVID. Nope, not making that up.

So, they’ll risk taking an animal de-wormer, but not the vaccine? Really?

Then there’s U.S. Senator, Rand Paul, who claims that scientists are refusing to look at the potential benefits of using de-wormer to fight COVID because they hate Trump.

The circus continues.

Where do they get these crackpot theories?  Well, of course, the Internet, but also the blabber-mouths on the radio passing along their spin on the situation.

Let’s take a moment to honor some of those broadcasters right now.

Here are four that joined the COVID is a Hoax Hall of Fame over the past month–

  • Marc Bernier, a right-wing radio host in Florida opposed to vaccinations, has died of COVID-19 after a three week hospital stay.
  • Phil Valentine, a conservative radio host in Nashville who mocked vaccines and spread misinformation about the coronavirus has died of COVID-19. He was 61
  • Jimmy DeYoung, whose Christian radio show “Prophecy Today” was carried by 1500 stations worldwide, died of COVID on August 15.
  • Dick Farrell who called Dr. Anthony Fauci a “lying freak” and said COVID vaccines are “poisonous” died on August 6.

Coincidence or karma?  Your call.

This makes me wonder, what is the Anti-Vaccine, Anti-Masker’s vision for the next 20 years? Is it so they’ll be able to say, “Ha! See, we didn’t need to get vaccinated!” or “You guys were such sheep! Remember when you used to wear masks all the time?”

You know what those of us who did get vaccinated and wear masks are going to be saying in 20 years? “How’s it going? Good to see ya. Remember that guy who thought the whole virus thing was a fraud and that masking and vaccines violated his rights?  Where’s he buried again?”

I have to say those masks “that don’t work” have helped me stay cold and flu-free for 18 months and counting. That’s the first time I ever remember that happening. It’s not a major inconvenience for me to slap one on before I go into the store if that ends up meaning years of not getting sick. Glad to do it, and my wife and I plan on doing just that.

And when did you get all high and mighty about vaccines? Have you never had one? You know, your kids aren’t allowed in school without certain vaccines. It’s how we made things like measles and smallpox a thing of the past. Or, were those an infringement of your rights? Those failed arguments have a history.

So people don’t get vaccinated, don’t wear masks and don’t social distance because they have a “right” to not do those things. What’s the worst thing that could happen?

Variants. (I’m fighting the urge to be snarky and say, ‘I’ll wait while you look that up in the dictionary’)

I’ll simplify this. Play that game and, in time, you’ll catch coronavirus. Could be the original strain, the new and improved Delta variant, which is out there killing the unvaccinated now, or one of the new variants on the way and they ARE on the way.  We’re learning about Lambda, while just this week, the World Health Organization starting looking at the Mu variant.

Eventually, we could have a variant which isn’t repelled by our current vaccines. Ready for another shut down?

So, for the Anti-Vaxers, Anti-Maskers and the “COVID isn’t really that bad” crowd, for all the above-mentioned reasons, THAT’S why we’d like to see you vaccinated. We actually want to see you stick around.

Then we can get back to arguing about less lethal things, like if the dress is blue or black.

Face it–we were happier back then.

If you need help in deciding what to post on Facebook that I’ll actually enjoy, how about something like this?

Argue away in the ‘Comments’ section below because this is where you should get it out of your system, not Facebook.  I may argue with you here (not gladly) but not a drop of it on Facebook. Got it?

My forces there have been withdrawn and relocated here. However, if you insist on tainting my Facebook feed with your ignorance, ironically, you’ll be “masked.”  Heh-heh.

Tim Hunter

P.S.  My co-worker, Amp Harrell wrote this nice piece on Facebook that I think fits in here. Nicely said, Amp.

Friends, I have to share something. Thursday morning, I heard something on a national newscast that I did not expect. I heard a student reference Rutherford County Schools. For those who don’t know, he was speaking in favor of a mask mandate, as he lost his grandmother to COVID.

He was interrupted and mocked by adults in attendance, and at least one person visibly laughed.
Ultimately, by a narrow margin, RCS voted to institute a temporary mask mandate. By a 2-to-1 or 3-to-1 margin, respondents to the tweet announcing this were loudly against it. Their comments also alerted me that there’s apparently a way to opt out, which doesn’t make it a mandate anymore.
Why do I care? Because this is MY school system. I attended school at McFadden, which is now a Murfreesboro City School I believe but may have been RCS when I attended. I opened Rockvale Elementary, and graduated as a Valedictorian from Riverdale High School. I broadcast softball against Siegel and basketball against Blackman; I also broadcast Oakland football’s championship run in 2018 before saying farewell to Tennessee by calling my alma mater Riverdale’s games in 2019. I even got a chance to call games FOR my school against a school I almost attended instead (Blackman) and one I would have attended if it had existed (Rockvale HS). I even called middle school basketball games at Stewarts Creek. I don’t get a lot of “from here” credit since we moved around so much, but I don’t think anyone can argue I’m not a product of RCS.
As such, I don’t say this lightly. Rutherford County? You need to get yourselves in order. Grown ups mocking a teenager whose grandmother died, because he had the audacity to suggest we all should wear a face covering during a global pandemic? Going on twitter to pout like a child that you’re against the rulings or that you’ll openly defy them? Who are we?
…actually, at this point, I’d like to say “Who are YOU.” This behavior doesn’t represent me. If anything, I’d like to point out how this “I know what’s best at all times” attitude is forcing these schools to let our children down. Allowing parents to opt their kids out of a mask mandate during a global health crisis is much like making sex-ed an “opt in” and allowing unqualified instructors to lie to our children. The most virtuous bible-belt area around, but you wonder why you’re seeing more teen pregnancies. After all, abstinence is 100% effective.
You don’t want “new math” in the classroom. You don’t want “critical race theory” or controversial books. You don’t want transgender children to use the restroom where they feel safest. You want to make sure creationism and intelligent design are taught alongside the theory of evolution, but you don’t want our children to learn anything positive about Islam. You don’t want qualified educators to take the place of parents when teaching (or ignoring) things that could lead to 18+ years of commitment and hard work. But you’re more than happy to build a screen door on a submarine because only 1% of people will die, and kids seem to do better with this virus anyway.
If you don’t see why this is a problem, then you are the problem. To my friends in the county I left behind…I’m sorry. I wish you good luck. But I don’t know if you have room to take those wishes home, with the overflowing “thoughts and prayers” you get from your politicians.

3 thoughts on “Bringing The War Back Home

  1. Ditto! Thank you for putting so eloquently exactly how I feel. At least you live in a mostly liberal area. I am stuck here in Bakersfield from where our dearly beloved (I am being sarcastic) Kevin McCarthy hails. This town is so full of red neck Trump lovers that less than half of our population is vaccinated. We have had to fight our church on wearing masks. ( We lost that one!). I would leave this town in a red hot minute but my mom is in an elder home here and not doing so well. I also have 2 of my 4 grandkids here. Still, if my mom passes I would love to leave this town behind. I never felt that way until covid. People talk about getting back to normal but I am beginning to feel that might not happen for a very long time.

    Like

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