Symbols of Shame

Two years ago when the news of COVID engulfed the nation we all donned whatever masky device we could rig and ventured forth to stock up on toilet paper. We heard, to our dismay, that some jobs were essential and some weren’t, but we bought into that. It all seemed otherworldly, 1984-ish, and scary. Then, after just a few weeks, the news of Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin started to surface and the crisis seemed manageable. Whew! I thought. Thank you, God, for providing such a timely discovery; we’ll be able to dodge this bullet. I had failed to realize what bullet was racing toward us.

For, despite evident cures, the lockdowns continued. The masks -- soon shown to be useless -- not only stayed on our faces but became religious icons, virtue-signaling devices. We stopped striking up conversations with strangers. Our kids sat, hour after hour, day after day, in front of computer screens that presented to them the bare minimum of an education -- if that. We quit going to the movies. ”Out to eat” became just that -- out in the cold on make-shift patios. No parties. No church. No jobs.

We built huge makeshift hospitals to handle the anticipated caseload. People were dying, but whether or not they were dying of COVID had yet to be established. No one asked why we weren’t using the cheap, available miracle drugs to save folks. My doctor told me that he wasn’t “allowed” to prescribe either HCQ or IVM. “Allowed?!?” Both drugs were FDA approved for other uses, so what’s the problem?

Oh, right. The money that can be made selling a vaccine -- that’s the problem. No need for a vaccine if the cure is fast, easy, and cheap. My naiveté began shriveling; my cynicism burgeoned.  Then Cuomo sent death bombs to old folks' homes -- homes where the elderly were being denied contact with their loved ones -- and tens of thousands of these people died, and died alone, and we did nothing about it. People lost their lives, their jobs, and their homes and yet we dutifully strapped on our masks and bought more toilet paper. Our children, masked, sequestered, and restricted became suicidal and we felt incapable of doing anything about it. 

Fauci kept adding layers to our masks, which we knew didn’t work, and he still kept his job. He’s still pushing both masks and the vaccines, neither do much good, both do a lot of harm and, still, he keeps his job. He should, by rights, not only be fired but be locked up somewhere ugly. But we do nothing.  We hear rumors of powerful people advocating for “depopulation,” a clinical, mechanical, hidey-word for killing folks in huge numbers.  Yet, we don’t resist.

While all that is going on the schools are trying to groom our children for deviant sexual behavior. Drugs, and more COVID, are pouring over our southern border. Nothing is being done. Our economy is circling the drain, and even though we know what’s causing it, we do nothing about it.

But, we’ll wear masks. And we’ll accost others who don’t. We act like the air itself is poison, like our fellow man is more likely foe than friend. The mask has become a talisman to ward off evil spirits, the vaccine a magic potion, and both are highly symbolic. The mask silences us, depersonalizes us, separates us from others. To highlight that focus we are constantly being urged to “socially distance” -- an oxymoron if there ever was one. The mask is our ring in the nose. 

The vaccine says loud and clear, “We own you and can do whatever we want to you.” People are being forced to play Russian roulette with a gun loaded by the government/corporate/media syndicate. It isn’t a game a wise person will happily play, this firing-squad game -- damned if we do, damned if we don’t. 

But are we damned? Not really. We just have to tear off our chains. Oh no, say evangelical Christians, we’re supposed to obey the government as per Romans 13. But we can’t forget Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who refused to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s statue but were spared death in the furnace, or Daniel who had to step into the lion’s den because he prayed to his God, or Jesus healing the leper on the Sabbath, against Jewish law. There’s a point past which we don’t have to go.

What our government and the sycophantic corporations are asking of us is not only dangerous but totally silly. It’s not like we don’t know that these drastic measures do nothing to combat the disease. It’s not like this is still an emergency; emergencies are sudden, require instant, often uninformed decisions. But it’s been two years. There has never been a two-year emergency -- a two-year recovery period, sure, but the predicament is, should be, short-lived and any government worthy of being called a government shouldn’t take this long to figure things out. It’s time we called foul on this one.

Besides which, what the government is forcing on schoolchildren is utterly damaging and immoral. The dissolution of small businesses is equally unfair and immoral. The specter of losing one’s job or risking death taking the shot can’t possibly be the will of a just God, even if we have to acknowledge that Biden sits in the White House only because God allows it -- temporarily. 

At some point, we are going to have to yank the ring out of our noses, stomp our collective feet and say, “No more.” We need to follow Canada’s lead (Never thought I say that!) and grind everything to a halt until:

            1.    We have removed all COVID restrictions.

              2.    We have sorted out our election mess so the elections can be secure.

       3.    We have removed Fauci, et. al., from office.

  1.  We have solved our presidential problem -- not only removing Biden from the Oval Office but preventing Harris or Pelosi from moving in.

I no longer wear a mask in public; I find it humiliating to be required to do something so silly, so useless, so dehumanizing. I made the mistake of taking the first two shots, but I won’t take a booster. I’m just done. One of my ancestors, a Thomas Burtch, was part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1600s. I’m an American. I’m just done with this nonsense.

I wish I had a truck.

Deana Chadwell blogs at She is also an adjunct professor and department head at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. She teaches writing, logic, and literature.

Image: Pixabay

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