An obituary that speaks to many people in America
A big question for 2021 is whether Americans will continue to put up with the lockdowns. An obituary honoring an 86-year-old man in Bismarck, North Dakota, may reflect a rising tide of anger that sees Americans rebel against the arbitrary, capricious lockdown regulations that hypocritical politicians impose. The obituary, in addition to celebrating a true American, tells the brutal truth about how this man died all alone, kept from his family for almost a year, because of lockdown policies that arguably have made no difference whatsoever.
If you cast your mind back over the endless year that was 2020, you may remember that our governing class introduced lockdowns to America by promising that it would be a two-week exercise to “flatten the curve” and allow the medical establishment to get up to speed. Ten months later, large parts of our country are still subject to lockdown orders.
Moreover, in a signal irony, California, which has had some of the most stringent lockdown rules in America, is now one of the world’s coronavirus hotspots, whether in terms of cases or deaths. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that the lack of sunlight and exercise, combined with deep despair, is contributing to Californians’ vulnerability to the virus.
North Dakota has faired better than California (or New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, etc.). As of the last day of 2020, North Dakota recorded 92,502 confirmed cases and 1,299 deaths. One of those deaths, on December 1, 2020, was 86-year-old Lloyd “Fuzzy” Lauer. If you go to his obituary, the photo his relatives included tells you a lot about him. Mr. Lauer has a beaming smile and a sparkle in his eyes that tells you he genuinely liked his fellow human beings. He was clearly a convivial man.
Mr. Lauer’s bio says that he was born in McClusky, North Dakota, a small farming community an hour’s drive from Bismarck. Except for his two years of honorable service in Korea as a medic (1956-1958), Mr. Lauer spent his entire life in that close-knit community of 380 or so people. He worked for 37 years at the CO-OP Elevator of McClusky, rising to become the manager. After he retired, he spent 12 years at the North Dakota Department of Transportation in McClusky, as well as being an assistant at Hertz Funeral Home, also in McClusky.
Life was not just work for Mr. Lauer. He was a member of and very active in the United Methodist Church, and sang in the choir, as well as in other men’s choral groups. He served in the City Council, was mayor, and was a member of the Lions Club, the School Board, and the City Fire Department. He was also both a member and a past commander of the McClusky American Legion Post.
In between his work and community service, Mr. Lauer found time to bowl, fish, golf, and follow local athletic teams. He and his wife raised four children, and he lived to see not just 12 grandchildren, but also a great-grandchild.
In sum, Mr. Lauer was the quintessential American. He loved his country, his family, and his community. He served all of them with vim and honor. And as I said, he was convivial.
But here is the meat of his obituary, telling of a tragic, lonely, and frightening death, not in a dark alley or on a battlefield, but in a Bismarck “care facility,” all courtesy of his own government:
On Nov. 16, after 35 weeks of being imprisoned in a long term care facility under the pretense of "keeping him safe," Lloyd contracted the very thing they were supposed to be keeping him safe from - facility acquired COVID-19. He battled through another two weeks of fear, isolation, and illness before his body finally surrendered and released his soul to go be with his Jesus. This process stole his freedom, his dignity, and his health, but it was unable to steal his beautiful spirit and his handsome smile which he hung unto until the very end. As a society, what we have allowed to happen to Lloyd and all those in long term care is despicable. It robs the residents and their families of the most fundamental of needs-freedom, love, and affection-and makes the working conditions for their caregivers unbearable. If anyone thinks we are doing the right thing, they have not lived our nightmare of a journey for the past nine months. And, if you think this doesn't affect you, you are wrong-it just hasn't affected you yet.
Think of Mr. Lauer as a soldier in a war because we are not just fighting a virus, we are fighting American politicians who are drunk on power. Don’t let his death be a tragic statistic. Give it meaning by demanding an end to this life-destroying, economy-killing lockdown regime, which has been proven, to judge by the very different outcomes in Florida (no lockdown) and California (endless lockdown), to harm, not save, American lives.
IMAGE: Mr. Lloyd Lauer. The image is from his obituary and I hope his family will forgive my using it to help broadcast the point they made about his passing.