A Feel Good Article Of Thanks

Most of my articles are full of complaints. In the Trump era there is a plethora of material! Today I’d like to write an article mainly giving thanks to my fellow Americans. They deserve it and my gratitude is sincere; their actions are saving lives.

Our federal leadership completely blew their opportunity to get out in front of the coronavirus threat despite months of forewarning. Since it became undeniable they have largely abdicated their responsibility to provide leadership on the issue. The best case in point is testing, which admittedly is difficult. Instead of leading on the issue they delegated it to the governors.

The American people entered the game in a situation similar to taking over a basketball team down by twenty with ten minutes to go. A loss is unavoidable; the best you can do is to prevent a total rout. About all we were left with are social distancing and a few basically personal hygiene practices. I am proud to say the vast majority of Americans responded.

I’m a Baby Boomer and remember growing up with Chevy commercials on TV the jingle of which was, “See the USA in your Chevrolet.” That was more than a jingle, (boy do I miss those old commercial jingles!), it was the post-war American spirit on full display. We envisioned ourselves as a free country and we could do just about anything we pleased as long as it wasn’t immoral or illegal. We were Americans dammit and we just won World War II. A few years later we decided we were going to put a man on the moon. In 1969 we did. Nothing and nobody could stop us or tell us “No”.

When it became obvious that social distancing, which entails severely restricting both travel and interaction was our best available remaining defense against the pandemic I wondered how we would implement it in America. The answer has been for the most part we self-enforced it. Being a retired senior citizen it has been easier for me than many of my younger fellow Americans but I’ve been pretty much confined to quarters for about six weeks now. I expect another five weeks at minimum. Do I like it? No. Am I handling it better than most Americans? Yes, in large part because of my personality and lifestyle of the last several years. What I miss the most is getting a haircut. My hair hasn’t been this long in decades but I care much more about my and Mrs. Kearney’s health and that of our families than my grooming at the moment.

Many workers and businesses have been deemed essential and are forced to work. By and large they are doing so in a cautious fashion. There are too many businesses that have been declared as essential that I simply cannot understand. The WWE is essential in Florida as are liquor sales in most states. If either is essential that speaks very poorly of our society! (In full disclosure I spent about 30 years in the beverage alcohol industry. I certainly didn’t consider my jobs on both the retail and wholesale levels as essential to our society.)

Many of the governors of both political parties have done a good job under difficult circumstances. The worst job by far has been turned in by Georgia’s Brian Kemp. I hope the Georgians who survive the “leadership” of Kemp’s give him his just dues in November of 2022. South of that state’s border line, Floridians should serve up a similar fate to Ron DeSantis that same day.

A few Americans (I refuse to call them patriots because they are not!) have protested the restrictions. #Floridamorons was trending on Twitter just a week ago. I rest my case and return to saying nice things.

There has been an outpouring of support especially for health care providers. Here is the simple truth; if we overwhelm the health care system and/or lose the providers we are all either dead or in serious jeopardy. Because of federal mismanagement there has been a critical shortage of PPE. My wife is among the legion of people who have broken out their sewing machines and made masks (also headbands which the providers use to ease the strain of the mask’s elastic on their ears), to date she has sewn hundreds of both and taken absolutely zero in payment. (One of the occurrences I felt was most disgusting in this situation was when a nurse offered to personally pay for the masks. That nurses have to reach into their own pockets for PPE and schoolteachers have to fund their classrooms is a tragedy in the wealthiest country in the history of the planet!) A few people and one organization have stepped forward with supplies or donations for the same; again, Americans helping Americans and in the process themselves and their families. It is very simple; we all breathe the same air.

Today as perhaps never before in modern American history it is we the people; to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, we either collectively save ourselves or we will surely die alone.

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