The Ugly Side Of America In A Pandemic, “Too Scared To Face Their Mortality”

I had thought perhaps the most unseemly side of our national pandemic crisis was the hoarding of food and toiletries.  The news reports of such behavior made me embarrassed for the ones who were central to the stories.  But then I read a Facebook posting this weekend which made me aware that the underbelly of this nation is truly despicable.

The writer of this post insisted that he had a right to go on with life and working without regard to any stay-at-home orders.  The FB poster lives in a state where the governor has made the call for shelter in place.   To read of a most cold-hearted desire to make money at the expense of a needed form of herd immunity, along with the expressed perverse antagonism to governments demanding the collective civil needs rise above individual wants made me stop, and read it again as I could not fathom my first time could have been accurate.  After all, who could be so soulless in such a time of national need?

He then griped along the lines of  ‘how dare the government provide funds to others’.  When the soulless nature of greed, and being unaccountable to anyone at this time is so freely expressed, it might be time for a wellness check.

Today a Madison friend, who works as a nurse, alerted me that she had contact with an infected person. Such gravity of daily reminders, when placed against the backdrop of pure greed and open hostility to our governments working to provide for local and national safety, was most concerning.  

And I guarantee, if a federal lockdown is called, all sorts of right-wing loons will be screaming about their civil liberties being violated.  They all need to be shouted down and told to shut up.

The person in question who wrote his screed wanted to remind all his FB friends that he had served his nation for a few years in the military  (I am sure that made his testicles larger) and then added, “Yet today I have scared, self-important weenies, who have done none of that, telling me I can’t leave my house without their permission, and I can’t run my business without appropriate “papers” to show I am “essential” to their plan. And they tell us they are going to pick and choose to whom of us they dole out money in compensation for our theoretical losses…..”

And the unhinged horse rot continued.  Then came this line.

“….we should take every effort to isolate and protect the vulnerable (and those too scared to face their mortality).……………”

Or we could just take those conservatives who refuse to abide by the national law and place them into locked quarters with a guard.

After reading his “and those too scared to face their mortality” comment I had to leave his page and go for a fast-paced walk.  Such lingo from anyone at this time must be met with disdain, but also I guess a sense of sympathy for anyone who truly has such caveman views.  Who would want to live inside that head?

Not only are those views un-American, but they also fall outside of humanity.

And so it goes.

Four Killed In Madison Auto Accident, Does Not Make Front Page Of Wisconsin State Journal

There are so many ways to view the COVID-19 pandemic that has left some states in lockdown, others with strong encouragement to self-distance, and a high level of stress and angst nationwide.  I have been measuring–in no real meaningful way—the manner in which news has been transformed to basically one story, 24-7.  I often find what leads newscasts or makes the front pages of papers most interesting.

The virus has consumed every waking moment of media coverage, and there seems no other event can make it to headline status.   I understand the need for laser-like focus on the pandemic but do question how a major story of the kind which occurred in Madison Friday night–with four deaths in an auto accident–made it only to the Sunday edition of the Wisconsin State Journal buried in Section C, page three, without even a photo of the carnage.

Madison Police and Fire were called to a single-vehicle crash at Northport Drive and Packers Avenue Friday night that killed four. At least some of them had been ejected from the vehicle. Madison Police Lt. Kipp Hartman called the accident scene “very traumatic.” 

I get the fact the accident occurred too late for the Saturday newspaper, and perhaps by Sunday it was considered ‘old news’.  But four local people killed in our city in an accident would seem to warrant coverage on the front page in any circumstances. 

This is not a slam on the newspaper.  Nor on understanding the need to have every inch of the paper in these days of downsizing and revenue losses maximized for its best use to the news consumer.  But the tragic deaths of four people who very well may have been youth, and were surely driving at an extreme rate of speed given the utter destruction of the car, and themselves, calls for local news operations to report in a fashion that allows us to know what happened.  

After all, Madison is not the size of Los Angeles or Chicago, and it is most likely that the ones killed were known by many in this place we call home.  To have low-balled the story so far off the front page that it was possible many never even read it in the paper is sloppy journalism.

An editor in the newsroom should have seen the glaring omission on the front page of a local paper and corrected it.