Anti-Maskers: It’s Not Freedom You’re Fighting For… It’s Selfishness

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Mt. St. Helens eruption. I watched a documentary about it today with my kids. The similarities between what happened back then to what is happening today with “reopen” protesters and “anti-maskers” was really interesting… Before the mountain exploded, scientists and experts in the fields of geology and volcanology warned residents of the impending eruption. Many of the people around Mt. St. Helens were very angry at being told they had to evacuate their homes & businesses. The mountain was calm for a couple days, so (feeling pressure from people demanding to go to their cabins) the Governor — the day before the eruption — allowed a caravan of people into the restricted area to check on their things. They were planning another trip into the danger zone on the day of the eruption… Luckily the mountain exploded early in the morning, saving hundreds of lives. Still, 57 people lost their lives on that day 40 years ago.

I imagined if — in 1980 — everyone had a cell phone in their pocket… Reading and sharing articles about the ONE geologist out of 100 who says that there is nothing to worry about… Accusing the other 99% of geologists of being funded by some liberal billionaire… The SAME billionaire who supposedly controls all the media and pays all the journalists to lie about what is happening. I could almost see them standing there with their “Don’t Tread On Me” flags at the “Reopen Mt. St. Helens” rally as the pyroclastic flow storms down the side of the mountain…

Today, we are living in a time where scientists and experts warned us IN JANUARY of the impending explosion that this virus would cause. Yet an incompetent administration in charge of leading this country ignored the warnings of the experts for two crucial months, they politicized the science behind the warnings, and they fanned the flames of anti-science conspiracy theories. Yesterday alone, 1403 people in this country died from this virus… And that’s considered a pretty good day. A country with 4% of the world’s population has 29% of the world’s COVID19 deaths, and still we’re forced to endure a blustering idiot bragging daily about what a great job he’s doing. Not ONCE has he even attempted to fake a moment of compassion or sorrow for the tens of thousands of Americans who have died or lost loved ones to this disease.

After Mt. St. Helens exploded, the nation MOURNED those 57 people who died. After four planes crashed and two towers fell on September 11th, the nation MOURNED the loss of those 2977 lives. Right now in America, OVER 95,000 PEOPLE have died from this virus — the equivalent of the deaths caused by Mt. St. Helens erupting every day for four and a half years… Or roughly one 9/11 tragedy every two days for two months. And still there is a significant portion of the country who are like, “Yeah, but most of those people were old.” There is this callous, “Yeah, people die — Get over it” attitude about these deaths that is grossing me right out… As if having an underlying condition makes a person more expendable. These are mothers and fathers. These are brothers and sisters. These lives are families that have been shattered. And folks are like, “Yeah, but people die every day in car accidents too… You don’t see us getting rid of cars.” 

There used to be a lot more people dying in car crashes than what we have today… Do you know what we DID when we saw how many people were dying in car accidents? We did things to try to prevent those deaths… Things like enforcing speed limits and seatbelt laws, and making airbags and safety tests mandatory for car makers. People didn’t diminish automobile deaths because “People also die from trees falling on them… We don’t make everyone walking outside wear a hardhat” (or if people DID say something like that, they were properly identified as sociopaths). And if a hundred people died in a factory fire, we’d do things like enforcing regulations for fire escapes & sprinkler systems, and limiting on the number of people who can be in a space at once. Compassionate, accountable, rational leadership tries to make things safer, and good government works to protect its citizens… And it BASES those decisions on research, and science, and the idea that the needs of the many outweigh the desires of the few. And so the desire of a business owner to cut costs on building his factory is outweighed by the needs of the workers to not be working in a deathtrap.

Government, at its best, is a safeguard for the rights of the many over the desires of the wealthy and powerful. People are like, “IT’S A FREE COUNTRY!” but not everything is as simple as just invoking the word “freedom.” A corporation’s “freedom” to save money by dumping toxic chemicals on their own property is outweighed by the right of people in the area to not drink water that gives them cancer.

Right now, the best ways that we can keep this virus from spreading and killing more people is to distance ourselves from others, and to wear masks when we need to go out. If you are sick and you don’t know it yet, wearing a mask helps prevent the spread of the virus to other people — People who might get sick and die because you transmitted this virus to them. A new study has found that wearing a surgical mask reduces the risk of infection by up to 75%. The world is in the middle of a pandemic, with a highly contagious virus killing hundreds of thousands of people. There are folks who have high-risk jobs where they are exposed to lots & lots of people… Wearing a mask is just a simple act of kindness we can do right now to help keep those workers from getting sick. For those who are confused as to how masks can help, here is an effective visual aid:

By June, there will be over 100,000 dead Americans — PREVENTABLE deaths — because of a spirit of anti-intellectualism, fueled by ignorant masses who feel like the “experts” now because they each have a Magic Answer Camera in their pocket. Listen — The science that makes it possible for you to watch some discredited doctor on YouTube while driving in a freaking car is the SAME science that testifies of your total delusion. It’s like Flat Earthers reading articles “proving” their suspicions are right… Articles that are literally being beamed to their phones from outer space by satellites ORBITING THE GLOBE… Idiots using GPS to give them directions to the Flat Earth Rally.

The science that warns us in advance of tornadoes is the same science that tells us that Global Warming is real. And when scientists tell us that the things we are doing are CAUSING this warming, and they warn us of the impending doom that ignoring the problem will cause, it’s because they are experts who know what they are talking about… Not because Bill Gates is paying them off. And if leaders take that that data from those experts, and they decide to pass regulations enforcing lower emissions on cars, PLEASE PAY ATTENTION HERE: It is NOT tyranny.

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White folks comparing having to wear a mask at Kroger to SLAVERY is some next-level Karen-ness…

This same science warns us that we’re trying to reopen before the country is ready, and tells us that masks work in stopping the spread of coronavirus. And yet, there are still folks who think that being asked to wear masks to help save lives is some kind of attack on their freedom. There are people out there who classify every rule or regulation they don’t particularly like as “tyranny.” The far right has successfully turned “regulations” into a dirty word for many of their followers. A regulation by definition is a limit to personal freedom. Still we have to deal with dip sticks talking about, “I woke up in a free country!”

“No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” is not tyranny. You not being able to smoke inside restaurants anymore is not oppression. They just figured out that your cigarette smoke was actually hurting the people around you too. Your freedom to do something destructive ends where the public’s right to not be hurt by you begins. Now. Take a moment and think about the parallels between THAT situation, and a highly contagious virus which has killed 100,000 Americans in three months…

There are a lot of similarities between the public’s reaction to this virus and our reaction to mass shootings. If you’re old enough to remember, think of the way we collectively mourned as a nation in 1999 over the loss of 12 high school students and one teacher in the Columbine shooting. When nothing was done after a deranged young man murdered 20 first graders and 6 teachers at Sandy Hook in 2012, we had basically decided as a nation that an individual’s “right” to have a high-powered, highly efficient military-style weapon designed to kill a lot of people in a very short time was more important than our kids’ right to go to school without being afraid of being murdered. By the time a madman killed 58 people and wounded 413 others at a concert in Las Vegas in 2017, something like that barely catches our attention. Weary, hopeless people are like, “Yeah, that’s about right…” And for people who can’t handle the world being the sort of place where chaos like this happens and no one does anything about it, they’ve been given an out: They can believe it was all faked. This had already started with Sandy Hook, but by 2017 there were a SIGNIFICANT number of people willing to believe that the Las Vegas shooting never took place… That it was staged and faked to “try to take our guns.” Now those seeds of conspiracy theory that were planted are bearing their poisonous fruit.

Meanwhile, people who are okay with our babies crying through active shooter drills at their elementary schools (because they value their right to have military-style weapons over our children’s right to feel safe at school) are talking about “tyranny” because they have to wear a mask to Costco.

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“I would do ANYTHING for the country that I love… OTHER than slightly inconvenience myself to keep my fellow citizens safe, that is.”

When I see these people carrying their signs and guns and confederate flags at state capitals talking about “tyranny,” I see people demanding to be allowed access to a mountain that 99 out of 100 geologists are saying is getting ready to explode. EXCEPT IT’S WORSE THAN THAT, because in the volcano analogy, the only ones dying are the ones dumb enough to ignore the warnings of the experts — Like people “fighting for the freedom” to not wear helmets on their motorcycles. This is more like calling seatbelt laws “tyranny,” and fighting for the “right” to not have to put your kids in carseats. Just because you think “freedom” means that you should be able to drive down a highway in the wrong direction, that doesn’t make it so. We also have the right not to have some asshole cause a head-on collision and kill a bunch of people on the highway because he was going the wrong way in the name of “freedom.” Believing that mask regulations are “tyranny” is like thinking that drunk driving laws are some sort of attack on our “freedom to drive drunk.” If it was only your dumb ass that was getting hurt, we’d be fine with it… But there are people in the other cars.

No one was screaming about “taking away our freedom” because they started making people take their shoes off before they get on a plane. You might find it annoying, and you might think it’s a little overkill, but it’s accepted as something designed to help keep us safe. And your right to bear arms doesn’t mean you have some “god-given right” to take box cutters onto your flight. This isn’t tyranny. You’re not fighting for “freedom.” You’re fighting for the right to put your desires over the needs of the group. It’s not freedom you’re fighting for… It’s selfishness. It’s the “freedom” to allow your ignorance to hurt other people. But I’ve got some news for you: Other people have the right to not get hurt just because you are dangerously ignorant or indifferent to their health. Either way, wear a mask.

 

Thank you for reading. I have something to admit: I wore a mask the other day to my mechanic, but there was just one other guy in there working, and he wasn’t wearing a mask… So when I went back there to pick up my car, I didn’t put my mask on… I think because I didn’t want him to feel weird? Now I feel stupid about it. We need to normalize it. It’s easier if I look at it as an act of kindness, rather than feeling any sort of “I’m following the rules, and you’re not” vibe. I don’t know… I don’t want to get sick, but I REALLY don’t want my carelessness to get other people sick. This time is hard…

Thank you so much to those of you who support me on Patreon. If you love this blog, and you’d like to help support it, you can BECOME A PATRON. Jennifer is a new Patron, and if it wasn’t breaking quarantine, if she lived in my town, and if it didn’t creep her out, I would give her such a hug. If you really like this post, you can leave a tip ON PAYPAL or Venmo your generosity to “chris-boeskool.” You can also follow me ON TWITTER and ON FACEBOOK for more fun.

 

 

Posted in 2) Politics, 5) Not Quite Sure | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Third Party Voting, and Other Wastes of Time…

“To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. ‘Can I interest you in the chicken?’ she asks. ‘Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?’

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.”

~ David Sedaris

This quote from David Sedaris is from a New Yorker article from 2008, when Obama won the presidency, and the “platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it” was Senator John McCain. It all just seems so quaint now, right? Think back twelve years ago when the republican candidate was telling voters his opponent was “a decent person” who people didn’t need to be scared of, and correcting a voter when she called Barack Obama “an Arab” and then took the microphone away from her. Watch this…

You can see the crowd starting to turn on his attempt to hold onto a thread of decency… Some of them starting to long for someone to whip their fears into a frenzy of hatred and anger. It makes me realize that Trump is less a disease than he is a SYMPTOM of a disease. Knowing what we know now, imagine describing that meal choice in those terms. John McCain looks like a damn Angus filet compared to the actual pile of shit and bits of broken glass we have to endure right now.

And yet here we are once again, six months away from an election that will 100% result in ONE of TWO white men in their 70s being president, and will most likely be decided by how many people decide to either stay home, or vote for a third party candidate, or write in their neighbor’s name, or Cap’n Crunch or Newman from Seinfeld or Smurfette — All of whom have the exact same chance of winning the election: ZERO. So I’ve been thinking about David Sedaris’ airplane analogy, and — as awesome as it is — where it falls short is that the only person who has to eat the shit & glass is the person who ordered it. And that’s not the way it is. Anyway, I’d like to tell you a short story, inspired by his analogy, to explain why people who decide to vote third party are the absolute worst…


A hundred people boarded the plane — 52 women and 48 men on an American Airlines flight around the world. They were in for a long trip. After the plane took off, the flight attendant got on the intercom… “Ladies and gentlemen, we will be serving a meal on today’s flight. We took an online survey to determine what the two options will be, and it turns out the choice will be between Chicken and… [checks notes]… A Platter of Shit with Bits of Broken Glass in it. Wow… Well, I guess that’s what we get for opening things up to online voting. Apparently, many of the voters wanted to point out they made their choice… [checks notes again]… ‘to own the libs.’ Either way, those are the choices we are stuck with.”

She went on. “Unfortunately, due to the design of the plane, we really only have enough space to prepare ONE of these two options. So we will be taking a vote to decide whether our meal choice will be Chicken… OR Poop with Broken Glass.”

This was not the first flight of this type. There had been 58 trips like this one happening once every four years since before there were planes. Many times there were two decent choices for meals. Many times the choices couldn’t have been more starkly different.

The flight attendant was a student of history. She knew that — historically — only about 55 of the people on the flight even bothered to vote. It had been over 50 YEARS since that number topped sixty voting passengers. She had seen this before. Four years ago she was on a flight like this one — one with similar choices for meals. On that flight, 26 people voted for Chicken, and 25 people voted for a big ball of blood & semen & toenail clippings… But somehow — because of a very old rule designed to give white people more weight with their vote — the big ball of blood & semen & toenail clippings actually won (it should be pointed out that the chicken was a HEN, and many people didn’t like the idea of having THAT as a meal… Many thought hens were for making eggs — NOT meals on flights).

Before the voting took place, people had some passionate discussions. Some folks thought that eating a Platter of Shit with Bits of Broken Glass would lower the cost of flights. There were a few poor souls who actually seemed to enjoy having Shit & Glass for a meal… They thought that meal would make this flight GREAT. Some people pointed out that people eating a Platter of Shit with Bits of Broken Glass was responsible for over 62,000 deaths over the last month & a half. Many people were like, “HOW IS THIS EVEN A DISCUSSION?!? One of these options is literally A PLATTER OF SHIT WITH BITS OF BROKEN GLASS IN IT!”

Other folks started speaking up… One man said, “I don’t really like EITHER of those choices. I’m just going to sit this one out.” One lady asked if the poop was from a meat-eater, and seemed annoyed that there wasn’t a vegetarian option. A passenger in first class said, “ACTUALLY, this decision doesn’t really affect me, because I have a Yeti cooler with about $90 worth of sushi in it that I’m going to be eating either way.” One bro angrily shouted, “I WANTED STEAK! AND BY GOD, WHEN IT COMES TIME TO VOTE, I’M VOTING FOR STEAK!”

The flight attendant spoke up and said, “Yeah, I’d probably rather have steak as a meal too, but — and please hear me — STEAK IS NOT AN OPTION. And not only that, but you should know that the Board of Equine Rations & Nourishment In Eating (B.E.R.N.I.E. for short) has endorsed Chicken as the best meal for this flight.”

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Perfection by Rick McKee. You might order a unicorn burger, but I’ve got some bad news for you: Right now, either way, that patty is going to consist of elephant or donkey meat.

Still, many were committed to voting for a third option — One that had absolutely no chance of winning. Other passengers started speaking up. A younger girl stood up. You could see the outline of her ribs through her T-shirt. She said, “Listen, some of us in here are actually hungry. I haven’t eaten anything in a day, and if people vote for fish or steak or any friggin’ meal other than chicken, it could have very real effects on hungry people like me.” An old man stood up and yelled, “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!! THERE ARE VULNERABLE PEOPLE WHO WILL LITERALLY DIE FROM A PLATTER OF SHIT WITH BITS OF BROKEN GLASS! THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO VOTE FOR A TUNA SALAD SANDWICH JUST BECAUSE CHICKEN ISN’T YOUR FAVORITE MEAL!” The bro who demanded steak had already put his headphones back on…

Before the vote, they did some polling. Even though Chicken was slightly in the lead, it was close enough that one or two people voting for a meal that had no chance of winning might end up causing the whole plane to stink like shit. Some were frustrated that — with so many meal options out there — they couldn’t have found a more appetizing meal than Chicken. Some marveled at the fact that things had gotten so bad that we found ourselves in a position where people might actually vote for a Platter of Shit with Bits of Broken Glass over a relatively decent, flawed, sort of creepy, yet somewhat bland, meal. And for some, the fact that it was even close made them want to just give up…


If people want to work on changing the system so that there aren’t only two legitimate options, feel free to work on making that happen… But voting for a Reuben sandwich that ISN’T ON THE MENU isn’t going to bring any of us any closer to that goal. It’s only going to force a lot of folks who are desperate for a good meal to go hungry and get hurt. There are a whole lot of other people on the flight. Please. Don’t be the person whose apathy… or whose lack of logic… or whose political purity tests… or whose unwillingness to lower your standards a bit ends up forcing the rest of us the eat shit.

And bits of broken glass.

 

I am so very thankful to you for reading this post… I hope it helps you clarify your thoughts, and I hope you share it with someone who is talking about casting a vote for anyone other than the only person who can keep us from having SECONDS on a platter of shit with bits of broken glass as a meal. Thank you also to Carol, who left a tip after my previous post. So very kind… This virus has got me out of work for a while, so if you love this blog, and you’d like to help support my writing, you can BECOME A PATRON… Or you can LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL or Venmo a tip to “chris-boeskool.” Otherwise, please follow me on Twitter and on Facebook.

Posted in 2) Politics, 3) Bathroom Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Coronavirus And Conspiracy Theories: A Match Made In Heaven

Not heaven. Hell. I meant to write “A Match Made In HELL.”

Welp, I got “unfriended” on Facebook again this week. I’m sure you are SHOCKED to discover that this is not all that uncommon for me. I’ve actually calmed down quite a bit compared to what I used to be like. I used to come at people, guns blazing, way more often… But I still get worked up every now and then. And the thing that is raising my blood pressure these days is when people — during this crazy time in world history — are passing along conspiracy theories about this virus. It’s ESPECIALLY infuriating when those things are passed along by people I respect. For example, there is an article going around that I keep running into. It’s titled “Epidemiologist: Coronavirus could be ‘exterminated’ if lockdowns were lifted,” and it was posted on a far-right website called “collegefix.com” that masquerades as “news.” If you’re not interested in clicking on the article, believe me: I understand. It basically says that what we need to do is just go about our daily lives and let people contract this virus to develop herd immunity, and the person saying this has a “PhD” behind his name, so that gives it an air of credibility.

At least four people I know in real life shared that article. They were ALL people I like. On one post, I explained that there is about 99% consensus from the the scientific & medical communities that employing a strategy like this would end up killing more people than the holocaust. I told her, “I know this is not your heart for people.” Next thing you know, I’m blocked. No discussion… Just blocked.

It is fascinating to me that there are so many people in the world who are willing to completely ignore the expert opinions of 99% of the world’s virologists and epidemiologists and scientists — as if scientific consensus is not real or important — and THEN have the nerve to cling to the debunked theories of a discredited outlier who happens to have a PhD. People act like the letters behind his name MEAN something to them, or like they respect the concepts of expertise or the scientific method… Like THAT’S the reason they’re listening, and NOT because they are so desperately searching for someone, ANYONE, to quench their thirsty confirmation bias.

With the article I mentioned above, people are choosing to stay willfully & stubbornly ignorant of the opinions of 10s of thousands of PhDs, just to cling to the interview of one man (who is willing to let millions and MILLIONS die to let this virus take its “natural course”), and they act like they respect his doctorate. If this is you, I’ve got news for you:

YOU DON’T.

You don’t respect a doctorate, or the rigorous process people go through to achieve those letters. If you did, you would respect the opinion of the 99% of scientists who are actually interested in LESSENING the harm this virus is inflicting on millions, while it grows exponentially every day. And the most disrespectful part is the conspiracy-soaked idea that the 99% — The ones forming scientific CONSENSUS — are either dumber than you about their LIFE’S WORK, or they are somehow “all in on it,” and they are trying to lie to us all, rather than working to keep us safe. They are “hiding the truth.” Just like they did with vaccines… Right? “YES!” yells a generation who has never seen the ravaging effects of polio, or watched kids die of measles & smallpox. There is a TON of crossover between coronavirus conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers. I think the anti-vaxxers believe this is all a conspiracy to force them into getting a vaccine… But then these folks somehow have the gall to even utter the words “herd immunity,” while rejecting that idea when doctors explain why the world needs vaccines.

These “let it work its way through the population” theories reek of eugenics. There were many German doctors in the 30s who would probably have agreed with this PhD… The one who spoke with the vigorously vetted and world-respected medical journal “TheCollegeFixDotCom.” This dangerous, HARMFUL, willful ignorance & distain for expertise would be so much easier to stomach if people would just be honest and admit that they have NO respect for people who spent 12 full years of their lives or more focused on learning about science & medicine, and in reality they think they know more than them because they have Google on their phone. And we end up with millions of people like the dad from “So I Married An Axe Murderer.”

One of these conspiracies that has gotten some footing is the idea that 5G cell phone towers are what is causing this. And though most of you read that sentence and thought “WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL?” there are some who were like, “Wait, you know, there might actually be something TO that.” Just to clear things up, 5G towers are NOT causing COVID-19. The signal that 5G uses is the signal that brought TVs their picture for 40 years.  Remember when TVs all had to go digital? They were making room on that old signal for cell phones & data and whatnot. It’s radio. It has been tested & tested, and it is completely safe. HERE IS AN ARTICLE showing why this theory is nonsense, but in addition to the info in the article, it should be noted that 5G is only a few places, but this virus is everywhere. Places like Iran, India, & Japan have NO 5G towers, but they have been ravaged by COVID-19.

That article is harsher than it needs to be. There is a temptation to call people names when they believe things that clearly (to you) don’t make any sense. I’m convinced this does absolutely NOTHING to help them understand (even though it might help you feel better). Part of a conspiracy theorist’s mindset is anti-intellectualism and an antipathy toward expertise… So if you know more than them about something, they are already not really liking the way you are making them feel. Mocking them plays right into the conspiratorial mindset. And calling them an “idiot” or a “moron” is just going to make them plug their ears even harder. So I’ve been trying to ask more questions — A good question is way more powerful than a good answer — and I’ve been trying to provide links to facts about the issue being discussed. The PROBLEM is that if people are full-on conspiracy theorist, then EVERYONE is in on it… Including all the “experts” writing all those “facts” on all those “reputable sites.”

So yeah, 5G is not behind this. These sorts of viruses happen every so often in world history, regardless of technological advances. The TRUTH is that this is what viruses do… They mutate. And they ESPECIALLY mutate when they are passed between humans and animals and back and forth. That is what we have here: A novel version of the SARS virus that was contained in the early 2000s. Whenever tragedies & hardships appear, it’s human nature to think “There must be some REASON for this.” For many in the past (as well as an older, more conservative generation), the “reason” for a plague must have been “God is angry” or “We are being punished for something we have done wrong.” Kind of like Pat Robertson blaming every earthquake and tornado on “the gays.” Right now, many people (especially younger folks, who are not as easily swayed into religious explanations for things) are desperate for a reason for this new, strange, scary thing… And many have been seduced by conspiracy theories that involve an IRRATIONAL amount of the world’s specialists to be in on the hoax, and actively lying to people. But listen: If you believe in something that would require more people to be “in on it” than those who aren’t, you are believing something foolish. You are being DECEIVED.

A lot of people are staying in because they are scared, but they are also desperate for something to explain this. Folks who used to swear by the healing powers of essential oils are suddenly buying a lot of Lysol. But being scared & ignorant/misinformed at the same time is a dangerous combination. A lot of folks just don’t know what to believe. Is this all a government plot? Ironically, many of those who think that some “Deep State” is controlling everything are ALSO the same people who believe that government is too inept to get anything done. Y’all, there are 12 MILLION PEOPLE in the United States who believe that Lizard People control politics. But again, don’t call people idiots… Don’t call people idiots… DON’T call people idiots… 

Sings

I don’t think you’re and idiot, but I do think you are wrong. Here are some fact-based reasons why…

 

It’s very sad for me to watch once reasonable friends slowly inch their way toward full-on embracing of a conspiracy theory mindset… mostly because the majority of people don’t come back from it. They start by posting articles from sites that aren’t even CLOSE to being reputable sources. They express frustration at being called out on their false & misleading stories, and they start feeling resentful toward expertise & people who “think they’re better than me” because they post links to fact-checking sites. They insist they are just posting another point of view, and encourage people to “do their own research.” Before long, they are sharing stories detailing how the major news outlets are all “in on it.” Next thing you know, they are putting the words “reputable sources” in quotation marks, and by then, it’s all over… Snopes is run by George Soros, vaccines cause autism, 9/11 was an inside job, Sandy Hook was faked, Coronavirus came from cell phone towers, and this whole “pandemic” and all these “deaths” and “mass graves” are all an elaborate liberal hoax designed to get people believing in nationalized healthcare & addicted to suckling at the government’s teat. Before you know it, PizzaGate is real… Obama was born in Kenya… Global Warming is a hoax… The moon landing was faked… The Earth is actually flat… THERE IS NO TRUTH!

Like millions of Americans, I lost my job because of this virus, and with it, my feeling of safety and self-reliance. If this goes on too long, I have no idea how I’ll be able to pay my bills or provide for my family. And that makes me feel afraid… So, like most people, I would very much like for things to “get back to normal.” I ALSO happen to love people who are at high risk for having this virus end their lives. And I care absolutely NOTHING about a job or an economy (or the hurt feelings of friends on Facebook) compared to the love I feel for those vulnerable folks, and my desire to keep them safe from this very REAL threat. The fear and anxiety I feel while staying home or making the occasional trip to the store does not even come close to comparing with the deep love I have for the these people in my life. I have people I love who are doctors & nurses, and they are AFFECTED by the spreading of these lies. These lies cause harm. They are not “in on the conspiracy.” They are scared too, and they want you to take this seriously & stay home so they can be with their loved ones again.

Honestly, it makes me sick to my stomach when I see people trying to talk others into distrusting the very people who are working to try to keep us safe and healthy. Believe me, I know it is NOT fun getting into it with conspiracy theorists… Many of them are too far gone to have any hope of changing their minds. But other people are listening in. And they need to be reminded of rational arguments. It’s important for everyone that we challenge the folks who are working to make it seem like you can’t believe anything, and everything is “fake news,” and everyone is “in on it.” That belief is dangerous. As we have seen in this administration’s incompetent, deadly response to this crisis, a suspicious, paranoid, conspiracy theorist’s mindset can end up costing people their lives.

 

Here’s something that’s not a conspiracy theory: I’m happy  you read this. If this blog is special to you, and you’d like to help support me & my writing, please consider BECOMING A PATRON. A person named Thom just did, and I can’t tell you how encouraging that is. If signing up to give a couple bucks a month is not your thing, and you’d rather leave a tip on PayPal, you can do that RIGHT HERE. Or you can Venmo your generosity to “chris-boeskool.” Also, make sure to follow me ON TWITTER, and like MY FACEBOOK PAGE. Now, go forth and show the world how to identify a reputable source!

Posted in 2) Politics, 5) Not Quite Sure | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

I Believe Joe Biden’s Accuser… I’m Still Voting For Him. Here’s Why:

With the news that Bernie is officially out of the running for president, it seems that our choice for president has gone from one of Three Very Old White Men, to now having to choose between Two Very Old White Men Who Have Both Been Credibly Accused Of Sexual Assault. If you are unaware, Joe Biden has been accused by a woman named Tara Reade of sexually assaulting her while she worked as a staffer for the then Senator in 1993 (you can read about it HERE, or listen to her interview HERE). The Biden campaign has said the allegations are false, and journalists have pointed out that as recently as 2019, Ms. Reade wrote articles (in both English and Russian) praising and declaring her love for Russia, writing, “I love Russia with all my heart … President Putin scares the power elite in America because he is a compassionate, caring, visionary leader,” apparently implying that she is a Russian plant. She has since deleted the pro-Russian Medium articles she wrote, but you can still see archived screen captures HERE. In March of 2019, she downplayed Russia’s involvement in our elections, said we Americans should move on from the Mueller Report, and wrote, “If you want to get my vote? Leave Russia alone.” One month later, she came forward with allegations against Joe Biden, but her recent interview brought these allegations again into the national spotlight.

And now that Bernie Sanders is out of the race, his disappointed supporters are pushing this narrative of “Having to choose between two rapists” very, very hard. But it’s not just angry “Bernie Bros” who are suddenly upset by these allegations… Many women and survivors of sexual assault are rightly angry at being put in this gross position, as is perfectly articulated here:

I am ALSO angry at being put in the position of having to choose between two men who have been credibly accused of sexual assault. Despite Tara Reade’s affection for Russia & the implications that carries, I believe her. One of the things that makes her story more believable is that she told a friend and her brother right after it happened. Her brother advised her to “let it go, move on, guys are idiots.” Do I believe it’s possible for a 51 year old U.S. Senator to grope a young staffer who he thought “liked” him? Of course I do. Joe Biden is 77 years old. He had been a senator for 21 YEARS at that point. He grew up in the “Mad Men” era. He is a relic of a shittier, way more sexist time. He was a senator for 36 years and a Vice President for 8… Over that time, he has done many things worthy of criticism. In the 70s, Joe Biden was one of the biggest opponents of bussing designed to desegregate schools. During the Clarence Thomas hearings, he mishandled Anita Hill’s testimony, and refused to other witnesses to testify on her behalf. He was involved with crime bills that were SO harmful to black communities.

He also did a lot of good. He is almost universally liked… You’d be hard pressed to find colleagues who have bad things to say about him. He did not buy his way into his position, and he wasn’t corrupt… For 30 years he was ranked as one of the least wealthy members of the Senate. He helped get the Assault Weapons Ban passed, and he also was responsible for the Violence Against Women Act, which helped protect women from domestic violence. He listens to people, he is able to change his mind, and he is widely regarded as a good, decent person.

It’s very hard to reconcile that Joe Biden with the one who allegedly kissed and groped a staffer 37 years ago. There have been other women who have reported uncomfortable and inappropriate touching… Though nothing like what is described by Tara Reade. More of a “touchy/feely” guy who didn’t understand that times and social mores had changed, and his “hands on” habits were now coming across as just plain creepy.

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I long for the day when the choice isn’t between a white man in his late 70s and another white man in his late 70s, each vying for the opportunity to run against yet another white man in his mid 70s. Can we make that happen, America?

So… A few things before I go on: First let me say I understand the deep disappointment that Bernie supporters are feeling. I would have much rather had Bernie than Biden. Four years ago, I was in the same position. I voted for Bernie in the primary. I thought he was a better candidate than Hillary, less connected to Wall Street, and more likely to change things to help the poor in this country. And despite my disappointment with him losing the primary, I rallied behind Clinton… Because she was just exponentially smarter, kinder, and more qualified than trump. And because, unlike trump, she wasn’t a lying, racist, fascist, pussy-grabbing moron with delusions of grandeur and authoritarian plans for becoming a tiny-handed despot. I believed Bernie was better than Hillary, but also that Hillary was SO MUCH BETTER than donald trump that, for me, the choice was clear. And I tried to make that case to others… That a flawed candidate who doesn’t totally represent my political beliefs is a much better choice than a dangerous, destructive, delusional candidate who daily attacks any idea of Truth, Decency, or Goodness. So I voted for someone who wasn’t my first choice in order to try to protect us from a dishonest, white supremacist monster.

Many people will find themselves in a similar position this year — choosing between someone who doesn’t inspire you or particularly embrace the positions you value (like Medicare For All, free college, or tackling income inequality)… Or choosing the LITERAL WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD. A lot of people are still disgruntled about 2016, where they felt like they had to set aside their integrity & vote for the lesser of two evils, she received 3 million more votes than him, and the worst person in the world STILL won. And now they are like, “Screw it, I’m voting third party.” Please let me explain why that plan is going to result in another four years of orange Shitler…

There are a HUGE group of people who are so utterly hopeless and disaffected by the horror show that is our electoral process, that they are not even willing to take the time to cast a ballot. They look at things at think “What difference does it make?” and they stay home. In the last election, that was 44.3% of eligible voters (about 111,000,000 people in the 2016 election). But there are ALSO a portion of people who realize that people actually DIED to give them the right to vote, and they take that right very seriously. They realize that — even though our system is flawed — the only way to change things is by taking part in our democracy.

Of those people who value the right to vote and realize that change happens slowly, there are a group of people in this country who are so far gone that they actually think donald trump is a good leader (I’m done capitalizing his name). There is no rational argument that is going to sway someone who looks at a person like donald trump and thinks, “That’s the guy for me.” They are a coalition comprised of confused evangelical one-issue voters who somehow can’t see that trump is as far away from Jesus as anyone on the planet… mixed with angry white folks who can feel their privilege slipping away and long for America to be “great” again — meaning going back to a time when their whiteness meant RESPECT, dammit! These are folks who embrace the word “deplorable,” and revel in saying things that show a lack of consideration & respect for groups who are vulnerable and oppressed.

THEN there are a portion of people who can clearly see that Donald is a danger to democracy, he is an international embarrassment, and his stupidity, narcissism, and false bravado have cost countless lives. If THIS group gets split, Donald Trump wins. Because the people who are supporting him through the “pussy-grabbing,” through the mocking of a disabled reporter, through the paying a porn star for her sex and her silence, through “I’d like you to do us a favor, though,” and especially through the incompetent response to COVID-19 which is costing tens of thousands of people their lives, as well as MILLIONS of people (like me) their jobs, while doing incredible harm to the economy… THOSE people are not going to hear something new which makes them suddenly realize they shouldn’t be supporting this moronic monster.

Listen — If you are rational enough to know that Joe Biden is a very flawed candidate… If you are rational enough to know that there were many better democratic choices… If you are rational enough to know that donald trump is an epically awful human being who is a legitimate threat to this democracy… Then you are hopefully also rational enough to understand why defeating deranged donald is infinitely more important than strict adherence to any sort of ideological purity test. Think — JUST THINK — about the ways he has brazenly lied over the past four years… Think about the ways he has attacked democratic norms… Think about the ways he disregards the rule of law and the separation of powers… HE DID ALL OF THIS WHILE HE WAS STILL FACING AN UPCOMING REELECTION! Imagine the kind of shit he will try to pull if he knows there is not another election he needs to worry about.

Now we have many Bernie supporters blaming Elizabeth Warren for this, which is totally ludicrous. Bernie Sanders lost because — once again — he couldn’t connect with black voters. He should have learned four years ago that this needed to be his focus… Instead, he put his hopes on young people showing up in numbers that they historically NEVER show up in during primary elections… He didn’t go to the Selma Anniversary… He went on freaking Joe Rogan to accept an endorsement. And now many are talking about how people should “vote their conscience” in the general election. But we already HAVE an election where people are supposed to vote their conscience and pick the person they want the most (rather than the one who is going to do the least amount of harm): IT’S CALLED THE PRIMARY. We’ve got Bernie supporters talking about voting third party, while many are angry at Warren for splitting the vote and giving us Biden as a candidate. Now those same folks are planning on splitting a vote that will result in another four years of trump… Do none of these people understand irony? Besides, maybe if Bernie had rallied his supporters around Warren, we’d be looking at HER candidacy… Though I get the idea that many of his supporters are not exactly feminists.

PLEASE HEAR ME: One of TWO candidates are going to win this election. Voting for a third party candidate is exactly as effective as not voting or writing in “Unicorn McSparkleface.” And the frustrating thing is that the folks deciding on “sitting this one out” or “voting third party” are comprised almost entirely of people who do not feel directly threatened by trump’s harmful policies and actions. We can either unite around a flawed candidate in opposition to the worst person in the world, or we can look forward to another four years of an open assault on the things that actually make America “great.”

That man is DANGEROUS. His incompetence has already cost America over 16,500 lives, and by the time this pandemic is over, the deaths his stupidity & arrogance have caused will be measured in the HUNDRED OF THOUSANDS. Think of another four years of a trump administration denying the reality of climate change, attacking the environment, and loosening regulations designed to combat that global danger. He has — MULTIPLE TIMES — “joked” and hinted at trying to change the laws to allow him to serve more than two terms. There is no guarantee that, if he loses this next election, he won’t just say it was “rigged” and declare it illegitimate.

Now is not the time for ideological purity. The political right are not constrained by any sort of ideological purity test… Good Lord, they rallied around a person who is OBJECTIVELY — and I mean by just about any rational measure — one of the most horribly broken, dishonest, morally repugnant people who has ever walked the earth. Joe Biden is the choice of the overwhelming majority of black folks in the United States, and that MEANS something to me, even if I don’t agree with or fully understand their choice. What I am NOT saying here is that I have a clear conscience about voting for a dude who just got #TimesUp’d… I’m making a rational argument based on a pragmatic case for prioritizing trump’s removal from office over the warm feeling we get from a person passing our personal political purity tests.

There are some things that need to change in this country… Things that another 4 years of trump or another conservative SCOTUS Justice is going to delay for GENERATIONS. The Electoral College is a relic of a time when slave owners and land owners wanted more of a say in government than actual democracy allowed them. And now we have candidates losing elections by 3 million votes, but still winning the election. Changing something like this is going to require electing leaders who believe their duty is to serve THE PEOPLE instead of serving corporations and billionaire donors. We need to overturn Citizens United, and get big money out of elections… That is not going to happen with trump choosing Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement. There are fairer, more equitable ways to do elections (like Ranked Choice Voting, which you can learn about below).

Lastly, I just want to say that I cannot imagine being a survivor of sexual assault and feeling forced to choose a man who has been accused of sexual assault because he’s “a better choice” than the man who has been credibly accused of sexual assault by more than 20 women… Even dismissing his accusers as being too ugly for him to assault. If that is you, and after researching the accusations against Joe Biden, you decide that giving him your vote is a bridge too far, I totally understand your decision. If voting for him feels like harm for you, then take care of yourself. As much as I am able to get it, I do. Vote down ballot elections? I don’t know… But as for the Bernie supporters who now want to Bern it all down, y’all have been talking about #NotMeUs for a while now… Now’s the time to live that out. As far as MY vote is concerned, I wish things were different, but we play the hand we’re dealt. Joe Biden has my vote.

 

I know this one was longer, but there were THINGS TO SAY. Thank you for making it to the end. If the stuff you read here made sense to you, please share this post. If you appreciated this post and you’d like to leave a tip, you can do that ON PAYPAL, or you can Venmo me at “chris-boeskool.” Colleen did that, and she rocked my whole world. You can also BECOME A PATRON and give a little bit each month… Which really helps, because that is support I can count on. Otherwise, feel free to follow me on Facebook and on Twitter. Thanks again…

 

Posted in 2) Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Let This Experience Expand Your Heart

I just spent about two hours at a grocery store, and right now I am having what I assume is a panic attack. I say “I assume” it’s a panic attack, because for some cosmic joke of a reason, one of the main symptoms of this stupid virus (chest pain, shortness of breath) just happens to also be the same things you feel when you’re having a panic attack. Add to that the coughing that comes with seasonal allergies, and the headache that comes with being hungover from having a little bit too much to drink last night, and VOILÁ! You’ve got the perfect makings of a fake coronavirus positive to create an Anxiety Feedback Loop (a term I considered I may have possibly just coined, but it turns out there are over 500,000 results on Google, so it definitely already a something), where I feel anxiety… And then that anxiety makes me wonder if I’m getting sick… And then I feel anxious about my anxiety… And on and on and on…

What a strange time this is. I used to relax at the grocery store. I’d meander. I’d stroll. It was time by myself. I’d be in no hurry. And if I WAS in a hurry, it would actually relieve stress to walk inside, hustle to get exactly the things I needed, and then be leaving within five minutes or so. It felt like an accomplishment.

Now I am acutely aware of the thought that someone else’s hands were on the cart that I am pushing. I go to the places where the things are that I need, and the shelves have been picked clean. I’m suspicious of the people around me, and I can FEEL them being suspicious of me. I wait until there is enough room to move safely by someone, and I get annoyed at people who don’t do the same for me. “Why aren’t these people taking this seriously?? THERE IS NO NEED FOR YOU TO BE THAT CLOSE TO ME!!” And all the while, I can feel my hot breath blowing back into my face, bouncing off a bandana, fogging up my glasses… Every breath reminding me that everything is different now.

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It’s like a beard… Only super fashionable, it lessens the spread of diseases (rather than expands the spread), and it makes me very aware of my need for a breath mint.

But here is what I have been thinking about lately: The routine I was used to is one of the most privileged things in the world. I had a job, where I made enough money to feed my family. Within a mile or two of my house, there are multiple places for me to buy fresh food. If I needed some bathroom cleaner for my house, I would go buy some. If we were low on toilet paper, there was never a thought of, “What if they are sold out of toilet paper?” And the people I encountered along the way were never seen as a possible threat to my safety. Well… MOST of them, anyway.

Now I, along with ten million or so other Americans, am living with the new stress of not having a job, and wondering how we’re going to pay for things. I’m feeling confined and stir crazy. And unsure. And unsafe.

Listen — That feeling you’re feeling… The panic in your chest as you walk through the grocery store… The anxiety you feel as you see that you’re down to only two more rolls of toilet paper…That fear you’re feeling while watching your checking account balance go down and wondering how you are going to pay bills and buy food… For most of us, that’s a new feeling. Most of us are marinated in privilege. We are drenched in entitlement. Not having whatever we want whenever we want it is something brand new… And it’s scary. But imagine that level of fear and anxiety and panic being a way of life for you and your family. Imagine it being the norm instead of the exception.

If you really think about it, even our quarantine is laughably easy. The vast majority of us are sheltered in comfortable homes, roofs over our heads, running water, hot showers, dishwashers, refrigerators keeping our food fresh, cozy couches, big TVs where we are “forced” to binge watch entertaining shows, with internet access and wifi, and warm beds to sleep in. We’re being asked to save people’s lives by staying inside and watching Netflix. And I’m not trying to dismiss the very real distress this is causing so many… It’s just that lately I can’t help thinking about how good we have it.

Think about people huddled together downtown, sleeping on metal grates for the little bit of warmth it provides. Think of them coughing, having trouble breathing, and not knowing what to do. Think of the woman asking for change on the offramp from the highway, looking at the faces of people who are afraid to roll down their windows. There are those — before any of the chaos this pandemic has caused — who lived every day not being able to afford food for their kids… Families who depend on meals at school for their kids to get enough to eat, and food stamps for meals at home. Think of the families who were relying on those school meals to feed their kids… Families who are now skipping meals to try to save money.

And beyond our borders, think of people living in places where persecution is their way of life. Think of people living their lives in the constant fear of wars going on around them. Think of families fleeing violence and extreme poverty… Doing whatever they can to make a better life for their kids… Willing to walk hundreds of miles, with babies on their backs, just to have the CHANCE at a life where they can feel safe.

This is going to change us… We have to make sure it changes us for the better. Some folks — when it became clear that this crisis was very real — went to gun stores to buy more bullets. Some folks filled their garages with toilet paper and Clorox products. But that doesn’t have to be our reaction. We can use this experience to see the injustices all around us. It’s okay to be afraid… But we can use the fear we feel right now to remind us of those who are forced to live in fear every single day. Let that pain in your chest be the feeling of your heart expanding to love those who are feeling desperate enough to flee their homes. Let that uncertainty build an understanding and holy empathy for what it’s like to feel isolated… and alone… and unsafe. Let this affect how you vote. Fear can turn to hatred in a heartbeat. When this is over, we can allow the memory of our concern to transform into compassion for those who find themselves in situations they can’t control. Either this experience is going to grow our hearts, or it is going to shrink them. Rather than letting this normalize fear, we can let this experience expand our hearts to love our neighbors.

 

Thank you so much for reading. I hope this doesn’t sound preachy… As always, I’m writing this to remind myself as much as to remind anyone else. A special thank you to Pamela, who left a tip on Venmo. I can’t tell you how much stuff like that helps both practically and emotionally. If you feel like leaving a tip, you can Venmo it to “chris-boeskool” or you can leave a tip on PayPal. Otherwise, if you’d like to become a Patron, you can do that RIGHT HERE. Also, if you haven’t liked my Facebook page and you’re not following me on Twitter, you are missing out on some serious quarantine fun. I love you. We will get through this.

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GOOD NEWS! Kenneth Copeland Just Killed The Coronavirus With Prayer…

Don’t believe me? Just watch right here…

Y’all, I can’t anymore. I seriously just can’t. Kenneth says it happened at “exactly 12 noon on the 29th day of March.” Turns out “It’s dead. It’s done. It has ceased to exist” (In much the same way that I am dead, done, and ceased to exist after watching that video), so I’m sure that will come as good news to the families of all the people who have died since noon on the 29th, as well as the 100,000 or so people who have contracted the virus since then…

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You really think the virus is dead, Kenny? I’m betting you don’t believe what you’re saying enough to go hang out in a New York hospital right now… You fraud.

I suppose we should at least give him credit for not filling his holy TV recording with a live (for a while, at least) studio audience? There are many Churches around the nation and around the world who are convinced their magical Jesus powers will protect them from COVID-19. A small Pentecostal church in Illinois decided to have one more service this month before going along with social distancing  recommendations. More than half of the people who attended the service ended up sick with this deadly virus.

I want to be understanding and compassionate to people who buy into this way of thinking, but it’s so clearly dangerous. If the only people affected by this harmful theology were the people who are valuing their interpretation of the Bible over the word of the medical and scientific communities, that’d be one thing… But this continued pass we are giving people for their harmful superstitions and religious beliefs AFFECTS US ALL. Their actions are every bit as abusive as parents who refuse to get their kid’s cancer treatments because they’ve been convinced that God is going to heal them, and taking medicines or going to the doctor is showing a “lack of faith.”

These people are mainstream snake-handlers… Proving their faith by putting people in danger. But kids are being bitten. People outside of their communities are being bitten. Healthcare workers are being bitten. And it needs to be shut down.

I know people like this. I used to go to church with these people. There are people who have bought into this belief system who I genuinely love. But it’s got to be stopped… Just like the government stopped Alex Jones from selling his snake oil COVID cures. Up until recently, most people act like they don’t need to concern themselves with this abusive theology… They think “they’re not hurting anybody. They can believe what they want.” But what we are seeing with churches endangering others with their preaching of supernatural protection is the natural consequence of the sect of Christianity which is focused on God’s (and our) ability to work miracles. They ARE hurting people.

When this is over, there needs to be an accounting for all of the abuse that has taken place and the harm that was caused by churches and church leaders who have gone against the directions of the governing authorities. There should be civil suits. Take away their tax breaks… Make them pay property tax like everybody else. There also needs to be an accounting for governors who dragged their feet while valuing business profits over the lives of their citizens. This has cost, and is STILL COSTING people their lives. And there needs to be an accounting for the immoral idiot in the White House who did nothing other than dismiss concerns and claim to have things totally under control for TWO MONTHS before taking this seriously. The same man who a month ago forecasted the number of cases soon getting to zero and promising the virus would disappear “like a miracle,” is now claiming that 200,000 deaths in America would be a success. A SUCCESS! That’s 66 times more than the number of people who died in the 9/11 attacks, and he’s calling that a success…

Please listen… America and South Korea had their first case of COVID-19 on the very same day (January 20). South Korea took it seriously and immediately took action with testing and mandatory quarantines. Trump spent 8 weeks bragging about what a great job he was doing while telling the public not to worry, claiming there was no cause for alarm, and dismissing any other narrative as a “democratic hoax.” Now, more than two months later, America has over 140,000 confirmed cases and 2500 deaths… Do you know how many cases and deaths South Korea has? Right now they have 9661 cases and 158 deaths. Our first cases were on the same day, and 14 days from now the United States will have had more deaths than South Korea has had total number of CASES… And the idiot in charge would like you to believe that this is a SUCCESS.

And somehow — SOMEHOW — the people who support him keep on believing what he is saying… Like a congregation showing up to charismatic church in the middle of a pandemic.

These preachers and churches who believe God is miraculously in control of all this are the same ones who believe that God is the one who blesses people with riches… And those same people have the ear of the president. And though I very much doubt that he believes any of it (he doesn’t believe in a power higher than himself), Trump is aware that these ignorant, superstitious religious folks are the reason he got elected. This group’s loyalty to the immoral monster in the White House mirrors the religious devotion that disregards evidence. They are the same brand of disastrous, dangerous religious fervor.

If this pandemic has made anything clear, it is that we must commit ourselves as a nation to prioritizing science, rational thought, and integrity when electing leaders. When charlatans like the private jet-owning fraud Kenneth Copeland support a candidate, that should be the clearest “sign from God” that that candidate is unfit for office. These people don’t represent the citizens of America. They represent the abandonment of critical thinking… and the consequences that follow. There is a place for faith in American life, but that place is NOT in the seats of the people who are making policies which affect the lives of our population. And when those people who dismiss scientific consensus in favor of an archaic understanding of scripture are finally out of office, THEN we will be able to join Kenneth Copeland in raising our hands and saying, “Praise Jesus… It’s over.”

 

HEY! Thanks for reading… If you enjoyed this post, and you’d like to leave this writer (who lost his regular job to this stupid virus) a tip, you can do that on PayPal or Venmo me at “chris-boeskool.” If you believe in what I’m doing here, you love this blog, and you’d like to help support it (and me) by giving a little bit each month, you can DO THAT ON PATREON. You can also follow me on Facebook and on Twitter. Whatever you do, one thing we can all agree on is this: STAY. TF. HOME.

 

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Donald Trump is the Real Virus

In the 1930s, many, many people allowed themselves to be convinced that killing off the “weaker“ people in their society would help their nation be the strongest it could be. Some actively participated, while others looked the other way as the people in power killed off the disabled and infirm and the elderly (along with around 6 million people who were Jewish). They did this for “the Fatherland.” It is the evil that rises up every so often in humanity when nationalism and the desire for power outweighs our love for people. And before you accuse me of proving Godwin’s law, please understand — This is the direction we are heading right now in this country.

When Trump and other republicans say things like, “We can’t have the cure be worse than the problem,” here is what they are saying: They’re saying they don’t believe that saving a few million people’s lives is WORTH the “cure” of a couple of months of drastically lowered economic output. We are horrifyingly close to having the elected leaders in this country come right out and say “It is worth letting 3 to 5 million Americans die to keep our economy strong.” They are actually comparing that imminent danger to the “danger” that people will start committing “suicides by the thousands” if people do not go back to work soon. And as they say this, many of us will look on in horror as a significant number of people nod along in agreement.

As numbers of cases of COVID-19 continue to rise exponentially across the country, Trump is now calling for us to “get back to work” by Easter… Which about two and a half weeks away. This may or may not have anything to do with the fact that he is surrounded by Prosperity Gospel charlatans, whose real reverence for the holiday celebrating Jesus’ resurrection is due to the fact that it is one of the biggest paydays of the year: EA$TER. I doubt Trump could manage to tell you what Easter really meant if Jesus himself was handing him lines. Scientist, doctors, and economists alike warn that restarting normal life too early would be disastrous for both the health of the general public AS WELL as the health of the economy.

Here’s the thing: It’s a weird position to be in — If we take the necessary precautions and not very many people die, the people who are thinking that this is “all a big overreaction” are going to think that they were proven right. And as frustrating as that is, it would still be ideal… But if this administration continues to prioritize LOOKING like it’s taking things seriously over ACTUALLY taking things seriously, and millions and millions of people die as a result, I was thinking that maybe one silver lining might be that at least the Trump supporters will see that science got it right… And that maybe scientists know what they’re talking about with other pressing issues (Like the human effects on global warming and climate change, and the necessity to start doing something about it RIGHT NOW, for example). And since it continues to look like a catastrophic number of people are going to end up dying from this, that there might at least be *something* good that comes from this?

But the more I think about it, the more I honestly don’t think they will learn anything. The people who are in charge will act like all the numbers are fake… They will act like news reports of all of those deaths are just attacks by the “liberal media.” These are the same sort of people who believe that the Sandy Hook massacre was faked… that they use “crisis actors.” I mean, three weeks ago he was acting like this was no big deal, a “democratic hoax,” and said that within a couple weeks we would probably have zero cases… And this week he is up there acting like he was on the front lines of taking this seriously and was the first person to use the word “pandemic.” Even though there is VIDEO of him doing the opposite. And his supporters believe him! This is why Trump can look at the situation and say, “You know what? Let’s just go ahead and open everything up anyway. If a whole bunch of people die, we will just lie about it, and the idiots who somehow continue to believe my lies will keep on supporting me.”

And I think he’d be right. There are a portion of people in this country that are so far gone that they will never ever change their mind about him. Around 38% of the voting public has been infected with the virus that is Donald Trump. You can’t show them a cited article from a reputable source, because they will just dismiss that article as “biased” propaganda from the “lame stream media.” You can’t show them independent fact checking sites, because they will dismiss those as some sort of George Soros-funded conspiracy. And you can’t show them a graph made by scientists showing how deadly this virus is if we don’t take it seriously, because they will just dismiss that as an “elitist” attack on their Dear Leader as well… And they’ll point to demonstrably false statements and outright lies that the president makes as “proof” that the scientists are wrong.

A significant portion of this country has decided that our worst citizens — a man who oozes stupidity and dishonesty and immorality and corruption from every filthy pore — is someone they trust more than doctors… More than economists… More than historians… More than journalists… More than math… More than the evidence right in front of their eyes. Everyone has google on their phone, and everyone is an expert now. We are not going to change these peoples minds with reason or rational arguments. There is no “flattening of the curve” of the people infected with the virus that is Trump. There are really only two things we can do: We can wait for them to die, or we can outvote them. I suggest we do the latter.

If you let it, it can make you start to feel hopeless. But that doesn’t solve anything. I’d rather we get angry…

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You are all of us, Dr, Fauci. If I was standing where you were standing, I would have risked touching my face in this pandemic to complete this facepalm as well…

When you see Donald Trump stand up at a podium and tell a bunch of lies while people who know better stand silently behind him, don’t get hopeless… Get angry. When you see him blame the brave nurses and doctors and healthcare workers for not having enough masks and equipment (when it’s his incompetence and lack of leadership that is to blame), don’t get hopeless… Get angry. When you see him struggle to read through a simple sentence, don’t get hopeless… Get angry. When you see voices of reason and expertise disappear from those press briefings, and you know it is because they are not acquiescing to his stupidity and ego, don’t get hopeless… Get angry.

I don’t know that there is a way to pay attention to what is happening in Washington D.C. right now and NOT let it make you angry… But we can’t let that anger turn to hopelessness. We have to turn that anger into energy. The same energy that brought millions of people to the streets in the Women’s March. The same energy that flipped the House in 2018. The same energy that is going to vote this scoundrel out this November. Let that anger energize you to vote. Let it energize you to talk to other rational, caring people in your life about how it is SO important that each of us votes and takes action to remove this awful, awful man from his position of power and limit his ability to do even more harm.

And speaking of hopefulness, yesterday I saw the beautiful words above, and I wanted to share them with you. Don’t let the hatred and ignorance and dishonesty of a few blind you to the fact that there is love all around us. I write this to remind myself of this every bit as much as I write it to remind you…

 

Thank you again for reading. I hope you are staying at home, and I hope you are staying sane. If you love what I’m doing on this blog, and you like to help support it, you can become a Patron on Patreon. Shayla is my newest Patron, and if I wasn’t sheltering in place, I would find her and hug her sweet face. If you loved this post and you’d like to leave a tip to this furloughed server, you can do that ON PAYPAL or Venmo me at “Chris-boeskool.” Otherwise, you can join me on Facebook or on Twitter for more quarantine fun. And speaking of quarantine fun, here is a song I dedicated to all the moms out there who are following the CDC’s guidelines…

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Please. I’m Begging You. You Beautiful Idiots… TAKE. THIS. SERIOUSLY.

“If you had to choose, would you rather be smart & sad, or dumb & happy?” That was the question the makers of Cards Against Humanity asked people in 2017 after they asked people to send them $15, and in return they would get 6 days of surprises. They called it “Cards Against Humanity Saves America.” For day 5’s surprise, they took a portion of the money they had collected to pay for a survey (one they had started three months earlier). They asked some AMAZINGLY INTERESTING QUESTIONS, and all of their answers were shown in a way that you could see how democrats, independents, & republicans answered differently. You should definitely check out the entire survey… But one of the most divisive questions on the survey was the one above: The one about choosing between being smart & sad, or dumb & happy.

I have been thinking a lot about that question as I watch people’s responses to this global pandemic we are living through. About two weeks ago, a friend asked me what I thought about everyone freaking out about COVID-19. He thought it was “no big deal.” He thought the media was whipping everyone into a frenzy. “Just like the flu,” he said. I told him that two months from now this was going to make 9/11 look small in comparison.

I don’t blame him for discounting the seriousness of this virus and dismissing the media’s account of what was coming — We have a president who regularly calls the Press “the enemy of the people.” Trump — along with all of the conservative media outlets — dismissed the criticism of his inept & borderline criminally negligent response as a “new hoax.” When experts were already telling him that — because of his inaction (and his desire to keep the reported number of cases low and keep the markets high) — containment was no longer an option, he was still telling the country that the number of cases would likely soon go from 15 case to “close to zero,” and that it would disappear “like a miracle.” He played down the seriousness of this outbreak OVER AND OVER (here’s a complete list), and then, when he was finally forced to take this seriously, he actually had the audacity to claim, “I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.” So it makes complete sense why so many people would downplay the seriousness of this virus: We have a moron in charge who was actively encouraging people to downplay its seriousness.

This will probably sound arrogant, but I am too well-informed to not take this seriously. So now we are in a position where EVERYONE must limit all social interactions in order to prevent the continued spread of this disease (COVID-19) and the virus which causes it (SARS-CoV-2)… Just like HIV and AIDS are not the same thing, but HIV is the VIRUS that causes AIDS. SARS-CoV-2 (which stands for “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2”) is a “novel” virus, which means that it is brand new, and that no one on the planet has immunity to it yet. It’s still unclear, but with proper care, the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) has been estimated at anywhere between 1% and a little more than 3%. So basically, for every 50 people who get infected, around one person is going to die. Those chances get way higher the more risk factors you have. Some people seem to be “comforted” by those numbers, but we need to remember that NO ONE has immunity. There are 7.5 billion people in the world… If left to itself, that CFR would kill roughly 150 million people. Even with the steps we are taking, COVID-19 could easily end up killing 10 times more Americans THIS YEAR than died from cancer or heart disease.

That means that if drastic action is not taken, it will kill millions and millions of people. And for SOME GODFORSAKEN REASON, I still am seeing moms on Facebook who are like, “What are your thoughts on playdates for the kids right now?” ARE YOU #$%&ING KIDDING ME?!? Even though this virus has crashed the markets and brought the world economy to its knees, there are somehow still people out there who feel this this is all an “overreaction.” And it’s driving me insane… PEOPLE. THIS IS THE PARKING GARAGE AT VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER:

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We can’t even smoke in a GARAGE anymore??? Thanks, Obama…

Do you know WHY they are putting hospital beds in their parking lots? Because this virus is not a matter of opinion… It’s a matter of MATH. They KNOW that they are going to run out of space. When China saw how serious this was, they started building hospitals. Trump was told in JANUARY how serious this was, and instead of ordering hospitals to be built or ventilators to be made, he started telling people it was “under control” and no big deal.

One of the messages that has gotten out is, “If I just wash my hands and don’t touch my face, I’ll be fine.” THAT IS NOT THE CASE. This virus is aerosolized, which means that it is spread through the air. You don’t have to touch the virus in droplets and then rub your nose or eyes to get it… It’s in the air. Someone doesn’t have to sneeze onto your face for you to get sick… They can merely be talking a few feet away from you. Was that person you just walked by at Kroger BREATHING? Because if they were, and if they were infected, you might have just walked through and breathed in some fresh SARS-CoV-2 spores that will end up with you needing a ventilator two weeks from now. THIS. IS. SERIOUS. And Trump keeps outright lying about the steps they are taking…

Because of this republican administration’s refusal of the testing kits the World Health Organization provided (because they wanted to make money developing their own tests using American businesses — tests which ended up failing, which you can read about here), we are dangerously and negligently low on tests. Right now, you basically have to have severe symptoms in order to get tested. And this virus can be contagious for TWO WEEKS before showing any symptoms… This basically means that the numbers we are seeing are DRASTICALLY lower than the actual numbers of infected & contagious people out there. How much lower, you ask? Unfortunately no one knows. Because we don’t have enough tests to test people other than the ones who obviously already have it. Basically it is like testing for AIDS and paying no attention whatsoever to how many people have HIV. And let me make this perfectly clear just in case you don’t already know: That is NOT how you slow, contain, or stop an epidemic.

Italy went through some political turmoil when they were testing for the virus. The Lombardy region started testing everyone, and politicians were angry because they thought it was inflating their numbers and making their country look unsafe (and that would affect tourism/$$$). Other places limited their testing to people who had some symptoms (fever and cough). Even though Lombardy fared way better, Italy is now a giant mess… There are simply not enough ventilators for the thousands of people who need them, and people who need a ventilator and don’t get one DIE. Italy has now surpassed China’s death toll. They are having to decide which people get to live and which ones are going to die. 627 infected people died YESTERDAY ALONE in Italy… and if that doesn’t make you take this seriously, know this — Our number of cases have mirrored Italy’s timeline of cases, but there is a significant difference: Italy has tested WAY more people than the United States. By this point, because of the incompetence of this nation’s leadership, there could very easily already be MILLIONS infected and not showing symptoms. We don’t know where the “hot spots” are. We are flying blind.

And because of this, EVERYONE NEEDS TO STAY HOME. That means YOU. This is not a situation where you get to choose to be “dumb & happy.” I don’t care if you are living in a state with a dip shit for a governor (like I am) who hasn’t ordered people to stay in their homes… STAY HOME! Don’t go out unless it is absolutely necessary. For a while at least (and longer if we don’t have universal access to testing), we need to be acting like every single person is infected. If you are a parent who is considering whether to allow your kids to hang out at a friend’s house, STOP IT! Put on a movie… Let them talk on FaceTime… But DO NOT let your kids go on freaking “play dates” right now. If you think people are overreacting by not going out to eat, YOU. ARE. WRONG. This is not a matter of opinion. This is a matter of science. This is a matter of math. And this is a matter of life and death. START ACTING LIKE IT.

 

Thank you for reading! Please share this with the people in your life and help them understand how serious this is. You might know that I already lost my job because of this virus. I am a server by profession. How I make (made) money is I bring people tasty meals and take care of them, and, in turn, they leave me a tip. It took me WAY longer to write and research this post than it does to bring you some food… If you feel like this post was a tasty meal, and you feel like I’m doing a good job taking care of you, please consider leaving a tip. You can do that ON PAYPAL or by Venmo-ing me at “chris-boeskool.” You can also BECOME A PATRON (like Clara did… THANK YOU!), which is like leaving a tip every month. If you are not in a position where you are able to do that right now (like many of us are), I totally understand. I will keep writing… and you can follow me on Twitter and on Facebook for more fun. Love your neighbor and STAY HOME!!!

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My Quarantine Theme Song

What a very strange time we are living in.

My sleep schedule is off… My dreams are all trippy and stressy… On a daily basis, I’m acutely aware of trying to breath my way through my own anxiety… I can’t be the only one out there who — in this time of isolation and limited human contact — is feeling a deep longing for things that will make me smile or laugh or feel comforted.

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I miss being close to people.

So that is what I have for you. I have actually found TWO songs for this moment in time. They are gifts for you, wherever you are — hopefully in your freaking house — as you weather the storms of fear and uncertainty and loneliness. The first is a touching, heart-felt song about not leaving your house…

Okay, so that one made me laugh last night/this morning while I couldn’t sleep. And as good as that song is, I’ve decided that this NEXT song is my Quarantine Theme Song… Or QTS, as the kids don’t say. This next one is less about laughing, and more about a reminder of how we’re all connected. I found this sometime this morning during that frustrating time when you can’t sleep, when you see light start coming in your windows. This sort of music may not be for everyone, and the traditional Mennonite dress might seem foreign to you, but I would love for you to listen to the heart of this beautiful song. Look for any sign of insincerity in the faces of those signers (you will find none) as they testify their beliefs & comfort those around them. Let them comfort you as well…

I’ve probably listened to that song 15 times so far today. We are NOT alone. Listen for the voice of God comforting you in the magic of music. Look for the face of God smiling at you in the people around you… Even the ones who are far away. We are not alone. We are NEVER alone. We are not alone. God is with us.

 

Thank you for reading. I hope you share that song with someone who needs it (wither song, I suppose). A few new things going on: 1) I started a new blog. It is called ShortStoriesForQuarantine.com. So far there is only one short story — a story I wrote called “Faith, Hope, & Cinnabons” — but I hope there will be more soon. I will try to use my time to add to the stories, but I’m hoping you can as well. If you’d like to submit a story, you can send it to me at theboeskool@yahoo.com. Make sure it is 1) something you wrote, 2) since the virus outbreak, 3) that has some measure of Hope to it.

Second: My job has been one of the casualties of this pandemic. I’m not completely sure how I’m going to make money in the coming months (other than the little bit that comes in through this blog). I’m trying to figure that out… I kind of knew this was coming, but it’s still a little scary. I just wanted to say a giant THANK YOU to those of you who already support this blog and my writing. If you are a person who values this blog, and you are thinking about supporting it, I have some good news for: You you can BECOME A PATRON. Or if you’d like to leave a tip on PayPal, you can DO THAT HERE. Otherwise you can Venmo your generosity and support to “Chris-Boeskool.” I’m also on Facebook and Twitter.

Lastly, I said that the first person to Venmo support would get a poem. That person’s name is Mary, she is one of my favorite people on the planet, and it is my pleasure to write this poem for her:

Mary, Mother
Strong matriarch, for you, a poem…
A loving heart, a healthy home,
A listening ear, the freshest bread,
Nine chairs around the table fed.

With travels wide, yet deep the roots,
A tree and life known by its fruits.
The wind, the water, and the tree
Reveal the strength of family.

 

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Loving Your Neighbor In A Pandemic

This coronavirus has got people SCARED. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen people this scared in my lifetime. Not even after 9/11. I think people are much more comfortable when we can put a FACE to our fears — When we can be afraid of the Muslims… Or immigrants… Or brown people… Something we can identify as “THOSE are the people I need to fear.” But with this pandemic, it’s just everybody. It’s everywhere. Everyone and everything can make you sick. And that has got people feeling off balance. And scared.

I’m not entirely sure why I haven’t written more about this yet. It’s just everywhere you turn. It’s on everyone’s lips… “Coronavirus.” Part of the reason I’ve avoided it is because I haven’t been able to wrap my mind around all the issues this coronavirus (and our response to it) touches on. And I won’t be able to do that here either… At least not without making this post so long no one will read it. My thoughts have been trickling out in the form of Facebook statuses and tweets on Twitter. But I’ve got some things I’d like to say, and some thoughts I’d like to share with you about this very strange time we are living through…

First — THIS IS SERIOUS. By this point, I hope that much is clear. This is not “just the flu.” And that message was slow getting out, because we have a person in charge of the country who is way more concerned about money than he is concerned about the lives of the people in this country. His focus is on the stock market, his money, & the wealth of the super rich people who helped put him in power. He is a narcissist who is concerned about how this crisis will make him look… He’s worried that people will be able to tell he doesn’t know what he’s doing. So he tries to handle things by “controlling the message.” But this virus doesn’t care about poll numbers or trying to blame Obama for things (even though it was Trump who fired the CDC’s Pandemic Response Team and then installed a hiring freeze to keep them from being replaced). The only thing it responds to is competent leadership and actions taken based on science… And we have neither of those things represented in this GOP administration.

So this is important: As part of recognizing how serious this is, PLEASE don’t dismiss the danger COVID-19 carries as “only dangerous to old people.” Do any of you even KNOW any old people? Do you have older folks in your lives who you love, and you don’t want them to get seriously ill and possibly die? Do you have parents?!? I mean… WTF. I have heard so many people say things like, “The only ones who are *really* in danger are the elderly and the immunocompromised.” Y’ALL KNOW THAT THEY CAN HEAR YOU, RIGHT??? I mean, imagine a virus going around that is has been killing around 1 out of every 50 people who get it, and then hearing healthy adults disregarding the severity of it by saying, “People are freaking out over nothing… It really only affects kids and people with asthma.” Someone around you has a kid with asthma! What kind on an asshole says something like this? Just because YOUR chances of dying aren’t as great as someone else’s doesn’t mean you can’t still spread it, get someone else sick, and devastate a family.

Second — FOR PEOPLE WHO THINK THIS IS BEING POLITICIZED. This is not a liberal plot to take down the president. Thousands of people have died. MANY more are going to die. This virus shut down THE ENTIRE COUNTRY OF ITALY… This is not about attacking Trump. That being said, when the people in charge are showing startling ineptitude and making decisions that are going to cost people their lives, they should expect some tough questions from the press corp. For example, WHY DID THE UNITED STATES TURN DOWN THE TESTS THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION GAVE US? Where are the tests? You CANNOT fight a global pandemic without testing for the virus. Every other country is testing their people…

The way to tackle a pandemic is with openness, science, and competent leadership. Instead, they are CLASSIFYING meetings about plans for pandemic response. This administration is neither open nor trustworthy. They deny scientific evidence whenever it butts heads with their own goals (namely keeping the stock market growing and keeping rich people happy). They have handled this virus with denial and incompetence, and many-if-not-most of their “true believers” still think it’s some sort of a “hoax” designed to take down Trump. It’s not “politicization” to be critical of the colossal failure that our country’s response has been. The whole world is critical. Other countries are bewildered at the floundering, inadequate response the U.S. has put forth. But I suppose that’s what you’re going to get when you elect as president a reality show host who is famous for bankrupting companies. The virus is not his fault. However, the incompetent response to the appearance of the virus is ENTIRELY worthy of criticism.

Third — ABOUT THE ECONOMY. The world’s economy is obviously going to be affected by the coronavirus. The markets are all over the place. There is so much uncertainty and instability, and that does not translate well to the stock market. And I realize that affects people’s 401k’s and whatnot, but most people in the world do not have a lot of money invested in the stock market. The wealthiest top 1% accounts for more than 50% of the market’s value. The bottom 50% of Americans own only HALF A PERCENT (0.5%) of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. So when the stock market loses 2000 points in a day, the bottom half of the country does not really feel it (that is, of course, until they lose their jobs and houses and such when the wealthy cut workers to maximize profits).

The government can’t find money to relieve the $1.6 trillion of student debt that is owed by our college students. They can’t find money to get poor people the healthcare they need. They can’t find money to pay folks a living wage… But you better believe that they found $1.5 trillion OVERNIGHT to pump into the banks and corporations when the stock markets started going down this week. This is just obscene. It is socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the poor. It is privatizing profits while socializing losses. 

Meanwhile, there are SO MANY people who rely on the meals schools provide… So when this pandemic hits and schools let out for a month, they don’t know how they are going to feed their kids. And underfunded nonprofits scramble to feed poor families — Families who can’t afford to go to the hospital. But that $1.5 Trillion would be enough to give every single person in the country $1000 a month for 4 to 5 months. And we call ourselves a “Christian nation.” Jesus cared about poor people, and he had some pretty harsh words for the rich. The country is the exact opposite.

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Seriously… Someone please explain to me why people are hoarding toilet paper. Do they plan on pooping more than normal? I don’t get it…

And finally — LOVING OUR NEIGHBOR IN A PANDEMIC. The moment I knew I was going to have to write about this was when I went to Costco last week, and saw multiple people literally buying 160 rolls of toilet paper at a time. There were people with 20 giant bags of dog food. There were barren aisles where hand sanitizer used to be…

Please hear me: If you are looking for something that is a “sin,” you don’t need to look any further than hoarding resources in a crisis. Don’t even talk to me about swearing or getting drunk or same-sex marriage… Taking more than you need is a SIN. I live in Nashville, and a sizable chunk of our city was just destroyed by a tornado… I’m sure the people working on clean up would like to have some masks to protect their lungs from asbestos and dust and debris. But there aren’t any construction masks, because people hoarded all the medical masks until there were none… and then they heard there were still some masks at Home Depot and Lowes, and they wiped those clean as well.

And the weird part is that the people who have the most comfortable safety net seem to be the ones who are most filled with fear. The ability to hoard is connected to privilege and wealth. Poor people can’t afford to buy 160 rolls of toilet paper… They don’t have the money OR the room for it. Poor people don’t have a three stall garage where they can store 20 giant bags of dog food.

There is this cult of “Jesus wants me to get MINE” out there. It preaches from the gospel of the morality of selfishness, and the “invisible hand of the market.” It’s a group that rejects evolution, but believes in a Social Darwinism that tells them that they have more because they are BETTER. They think their privilege is EARNED… Just like other people’s poverty is earned as well. It is the same group that is drawn to a slogan like “America First!” It is the root system of white supremacy… And it is the opposite of Christianity. It feeds on fear. It is the antithesis of Jesus.

But Beloved… Hear me: You have not been given a spirit of fear. Even if you don’t believe any of it anymore, just say it out loud…
You have not been given a spirit of fear.
I have not been given a spirit of fear.
WE have not been given a spirit of fear… but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

A crisis can bring out the worst in us, but it can also bring out the best. I know that people are scared… And I know that we humans are at our worst when we are scared. But your neighbor is scared too. And you can love your neighbor by not taking more than you need. You can love your neighbor by doing what you can to Flatten The Curve of this pandemic (washing hands, social distancing, staying home, etc…). You can love your neighbor by voting for people who are actually concerned with helping the poor and vulnerable, and who don’t hurry to give bailouts to billionaires while ignoring people in poverty. Following Jesus is necessarily political… You can love your neighbor by electing leaders who are competent and trustworthy in times of crisis. Whether we like it or not, we are in this together. It shouldn’t take a pandemic for us to realize we are all connected. What happens to “them” happens to US. Imagine if all the people who claimed to be Christians actually voted like it… Take care of each other.

 

If you are feeling scared and disoriented, please know you are not alone. Reach out to each other, and don’t let this isolation let you feel isolated. Look for people who need help, and offer it. Perfect love casts out fear. ALSO, if you go out to eat during this time, leave your server a fat tip. We don’t get paid time off, and this crisis is hard on us financially… Especially when people are scared to leave their houses.

Anyway, if you love this blog and you’d like to help support me and my writing, you can BECOME A PATRON. Or, if you love this post and you’d like to leave a tip, you can do that with PayPal… or you can also on Venmo a tip to “Chris-Boeskool” (that’s me). That didn’t happen last time, so the offer for a Poem In Your Honor is still up for grabs for the first Venmo’d tip. I work for tips.

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