Absurdity: “Stop Living In Fear”

Every medical professional pleads with the public to stay home for the Thanksgiving holiday, so to stem spreading COVID and not further encumber hospitals with overcrowded ICU beds. At the same time, there are a disturbing number of people in rural Wisconsin who have a mindset that runs counter to science about the pandemic.

Earlier this week a Facebook poster urged readers not to cancel the holidays as “this may be the last holiday you have” and “stop living in fear”. That was an absurd post, but the following comment left me aware of how far removed some people are from logic.

As we learned in church on Sunday. Thomas Paine quotes “those who forfeit liberties for security deserve and receive neither”

First, one does not need to wonder long before knowing what type of church it is when Paine is used in a sermon. But I did not venture down that path in my response. I also did not point out that Paine was a man of reason and free thought and in much opposition to Christian doctrine. Why point it out to the parishioner when the one at the pulpit did not know it either! (I was trying to be diplomatic.)

Rather I asked if the minister talked about being a responsible person and acting in accordance with medical guidelines for others in society? After all, one is only being asked to wear a mask and self-distance. I pointed out people wear seatbelts and do not smoke in public places. I ask if she quoted Paine after stopping at a legally required red light!

That prompted this retort.

I don’t understand your hate or negativity towards a different opinion?! Individuality is what makes America great.

I then pointed out that decades-ago Sunday school lesson where Jesus said that the world will know that we love Him by how we love one another. I offered the fact James and I learned this past week of a nurse in our friend’s list who had worked 16 straight days. I wrote that it is incumbent on each person in society to do what is best for the whole. Not wearing a mask or self-distancing is not “having our own thoughts and opinions” but rather a selfish act devoid of medical facts. We must look out for one another and act with regard for more than just our personal wants.

I also tried to venture down the road of how economic activity is severely torpedoed until there is a truly collective act of stopping the spread of the virus. Since too many go out and “live their life” and do so in opposition to medical advice, how then does that help businesses and employees keep their profits and jobs? Meanwhile, sensible and reasoned people (with money) are staying away from restaurants, stores, and any place where people congregate. And will continue to do so until the virus is contained.

Well, I was put in my place for such a question!

I will continue to pray for your hate & negativity to turn to kindness.

After wishing her well, I ended the dialogue this way.

Happy Thanksgiving! Having a differing opinion based on facts, however, is not hate. Using such a phrase, as you have twice on this thread, seems to put you in a place where you never need to frame your views with logic.

What I wanted to write was she must be a delight at a dinner party with a wide-ranging array of issues being talked about. All those who disagree with her are haters!

The above type of lingo is what I have heard and read from many rural residents over the past weeks. It aligns with the fears of those in the medical world who know what is to come following the holiday gatherings. The pandemic will only grow much worse.

But at least Thomas Paine’s name is being used, even if ironically.

And so it goes.