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Our Weird, Distorted Life

Life is really feeling weird. It is for almost everybody. A couple days ago we were out for a walk and saw a neighbor working near his garage. We walked over to talk with him a few minutes. We never got closer than ten feet, but momentarily I wondered, “Are we imposing on him? Perhaps we are not welcome.” It’s completely backwards. Last year he joined us and other neighbors at our Christmas open house. He’s not unfriendly. What’s going on? My thinking was distorted by the Covid 19 pandemic. The numbers in our area are increasing rapidly, just as they are in most parts of the USA.

So we cannot live our lives the normal way we are used to. Dr. Fauci and dozens of other experts urged people to stay home for Thanksgiving. So we did. Normally we would spend the day with one of our children’s families, either at our house or theirs. Instead, we chose to be home. We cooked two Cornish game hens instead of a turkey. We enjoyed the day, but it felt strange.

I know there are many others who have chosen to ignore the health threat to themselves and to their families or neighbors. They were travelling and gathering, those normal things that we do during the week of Thanksgiving. They wanted to be together, a good reason. I just don’t agree that it was sufficient reason to ignore the risk.

Something else happened today that bothers me. My sweetheart went to a local store to order a special Christmas gift for one of our grandsons (trying to shop local instead of Amazon). While there she met the manager/owner who was not wearing a mask, even though a sign on the door said everyone entering was required to wear one! He defended his noncompliance with the simple words, “It’s not a law.” Now I’m thinking of canceling that order because he demonstrated that he does not respect his customers enough to wear a simple mask to protect them from his own possibly infected breath.

In contrast, Taiwan is now the safest place in the world to be to avoid the Covid virus. A news report yesterday told why an American family recently moved from Los Angeles to Taiwan because life is “normal” there. Their kids go to school without masks. They and their parents were shown smiling, in public with others who are no longer wearing masks. Everyone there wore masks and cooperated with other measures for months to fight off the Covid virus. Now masks are not needed because Taiwan has not had a single new case of Covid for 232 days, since early April! So, if you want to live a freer life, you might consider moving there, too. Of course, you will have to cooperate with their rules.

This is weird, isn’t it? People moving from the USA to live in Taiwan because it is better? Our society now lacks the cohesion and discipline required for us as citizens to cooperate for the good of the whole. We value our personal freedom more than we care about one another’s health. So, our Covid pandemic is going to continue on for many more months. Our population is lacking that spirit of citizenship and patriotism which would draw all of us to sacrifice a little bit of our own freedom for the good of our neighbor and for all of us. I wonder when and if it will ever change.

Many in our country are divided over this issue right now. And I know governments do make mistakes. But we do need to care about one another. That’s what will hold our country together. The vaccine will eventually deliver us from this plague. That is, if enough people trust our authorities and accept the vaccination. This is all so weird.

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Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.

Romans 13:7 NLT


© 2020 Stanley Hagemeyer

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