COVID lessons from a trip to Town

It's twenty winding miles down a (small) mountain from home to Town.  I don't do it often, so it's always a learning experience.  Yesterday's trip was no exception.  The lessons started immediately.

Try to ignore the car radio running insistent commercials aimed at American Indians, urging them to get "vaccinated."  Why anyone might think an Indian would trust anything the white man says is beyond me.  But the ads come every fifteen minutes, complete with the usual lies about protection and safety and always narrated by heavily accented voices.  They're even all over YouTube.  Are they kidding?  Come to think of it, maybe that's the reason for all the commercials.  Someone remembered those buffalo robes.

Gaze in wonder at the mask litter everywhere.  Smile at people, even the masked.  Nothing expansive, just a friendly smile.  Yes, they may well view you as an existential threat and knit their eyebrows in return.  Then again, they may just be cowed, and happy to see someone brave enough to resist.  You can tell by their eyes whether they smile back.  Most times, they will.

If they don't smile back, they'll usually trudge abjectly on their miserable way.  But maybe deep down inside there's a little voice asking, "Why do I have to wear a mask when he doesn't?"  Congratulations.  Your smile made her think.

The people who stop and glower are the people hell-bent on imposing not the rules, but their own will on everyone.  These are the true believers — timid souls who panicked at the first words out of Anthony Fauci's mouth and have lived every moment since in abject fear.  Their surrender has been so unquestioning and so total that it's tempting to wonder if they actually enjoy this.  Something is sustaining them in their fight against such a horrifying enemy.  Make no mistake: we are the enemy.  The feeling is largely reciprocated.  Most of those masks in the gutter have their germs on them.

It's been postulated elsewhere that people need a certain amount of stress in their lives.  Maybe our current hysterics have been so comfortable and bored that this actually looked like fun to them at first.  I wonder if it still does.

Regardless of their level of navel-gazing, we remain their enemies.  This is where you stop smiling.  You turn your face into an expressionless mask.  You do not want contact with them.  Their malevolence is demonstrable in stories of harassment of and injury to Americans who want nothing more than to be allowed think for themselves. 

That seems to be where this is going, doesn't it?  To the point where having any original thought is a crime.  If that's the case, we'd better make good use of the privilege while we can.

Image via Max Pixel.

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