My parents and in-laws haven’t seen their grandkids in nearly a year. Because we live states apart, the most time we spend together is during the holidays and a week in the summer. Because of the lockdown this year, the grandparents have only been able to see our kids during video calls. It could be worse; some dear friends of ours buried a parent during the lockdown with no guests or funeral and the grandkids had to stay away. The bonds of family do more than just unite people with the same origin and/or name, those bonds are intertwining cables of support that hold each of us up and together during times of struggle and grief.
These aren’t minor issues, these are major life events that can shape perspectives for the remainder of our time on earth. I learned a lot about dealing with grief growing up whenever I attended family funerals. When my Grandmother passed away years ago my cousins and I stood solemnly together as we watched our aunts and uncles say their final graveside goodbyes. When our uncles walked Grandpa to her casket we witnessed him cry for the first time in our lives, this quiet, strong man. I would not have been able to witness it without them there. He didn’t just cry, his sobs shook his thin, 6’3” frame and threw him off balance. He leaned on the casket to help support his weight. We gave him a moment before swarming him for comfort. The sight was a shock that swept us into a new reality: we, the grandkids, wouldn’t be “the grandkids” in our family’s hierarchy much longer. Each generation took one step up that imaginary staircase with the death of our grandparents. Our kids assumed the step below us where we once stood. It’s a meeting with mortality and the presence of family makes it easier to process. I had just given birth to my second child when my Grandfather passed away, living long enough to learn that his second great-grandson was on this earth, miles away from him, but healthy. I didn’t get to attend his funeral because it was too soon after childbirth to travel for hours with a newborn. His funeral was held the day I brought my baby home. That night I rocked him to sleep in his nursery and cried until there was nothing left in my soul to expend, all my sorrow confided to the darkness of the nursery. That heavy sort of grief is meant to be borne by more than one. It took a long while to get past that.
It’s the closest experience I have to compare when reading about grief during lockdowns. This is why my heart genuinely and truly breaks over stories from others who were forced by lockdowns and restrictions to endure this with their parents, grandparents, loved ones. The emotional dam of a non-political, grief-stricken friend burst forth on Facebook after she read about politicians defending protest gatherings while she and her sister had to bury their father alone, just themselves, on a cold, clear March day earlier this year.
It’s no wonder that depression rates for every age demographic have tripled with this pandemic lockdown.
Domestic abuse has increased globally since the lockdown.
Child abuse cases have increased.
60% of small businesses that closed during the last lockdown will not reopen.
Others barely hanging on are giving up.
Even though schools aren’t super-spreaders and medical professionals have been telling districts to reopen, many haven’t (NYC just closed theirs again).
Remote learning isn’t working and our kids are falling behind. Badly falling behind.
A new nickname has developed for an entire generation of kids: Generation Covid. And no, the kids aren’t alright.
People are turning to drugs and alcohol to cope.
Fatal drug overdoses have skyrocketed.
Deaths from non-coronavirus health issues have climbed since the start of the last lockdown as people don’t seek medical care for treatable illnesses. The lockdown could kill more than the virus.
All to control the spread of a virus that science can’t yet predict. Transmission they cannot predict. They told us “15 days to flatten the curve,” which now they say we’re “in an elongated wave.” They still have no idea about immunity. Another study came out showing masks don’t actually reduce coronavirus infection rates. Dr. Anthony Fauci told us in the beginning to not wear masks …
… and then later admitted that he lied when he told people masks weren’t essential. Do not be surprised when governmental and bureaucratic actions like this make reasonable people lose faith in these institutions and unwilling to follow their rules.
Many of us comforted ourselves through the dark, lonely spring and desolate summer with visions of family gatherings over the holidays. Now we’re told to skip those too, or, just have a “virtual Thanksgiving.” If you can’t do that, limit guests, make everyone wear masks, stay away from each other, and bring their own food.
Unless your name rhymes with Schmavin Twosome:
California Medical Association officials were among the guests seated next to Gov. Gavin Newsom at a top California political operative’s opulent birthday dinner at the French Laundry restaurant this month.
CEO Dustin Corcoran and top CMA lobbyist Janus Norman both joined the dinner at the French Laundry, an elite Napa fine dining restaurant, to celebrate the 50th birthday of lobbyist and longtime Newsom adviser Jason Kinney, a representative of the powerful interest group confirmed Wednesday morning.
EXCLUSIVE: We've obtained photos of Governor Gavin Newsom at the Napa dinner party he's in hot water over. The photos call into question just how outdoors the dinner was. A witness who took photos tells us his group was so loud, the sliding doors had to be closed. 10pm on @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/gtOVEwa864
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) November 18, 2020
Gov. Cuomo on following COVID-19 rules: "If you’re socially distant, and you wore a mask, and you were smart, none of this would be a problem — it's all self imposed. If you didn't eat the cheesecake you wouldn't have a weight problem."
— News 8 WROC (@News_8) November 18, 2020
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker dodged a reporter’s question about his family’s Thanksgiving plans (they traveled to their second home in Florida) and it made the rounds on social media. Pritzker had to come back to do damage control:
“I was taken aback by yesterday’s question about my family’s holiday plans, in part because my wife and I were in the process of making the very hard decision that we may need to celebrate Thanksgiving apart from one another for the first time ever, and it was weighing heavily on my mind.”
He was taken aback that reporters asked him if he was going to follow the lockdown orders that he’s implemented for Illinoisans during a press conference about Thanksgiving plans during coronavirus lockdown — especially knowing that Pritzker’s wife violated the last lockdown by fleeing to their multi-million dollar equestrian estate in Florida?
Billionaire Governor of Illinois J.B. Pritzker dodged a question about the whereabouts of his wife during a press conference Wednesday after it was reported she had left the state to ride out the stay-at-home from their $12.1million Florida equine estate.
Gov. Pritzker refused to answer the question stating his family should not not be brought into politics, slamming the story as ‘reprehensible’ despite his wife M.K. Pritzker having an office in the Illinois Capitol and a full-time staffer.
In contrast, answering the question immediately after about businesses in the state disobeying the stay-at-home order, Pritzker warned that there were many ways they could be punished for reopening too soon.
We would be fined for this, but these Democrat governors are exempt from coronavirus and lockdown concerns, apparently. It’s not just governors, don’t forget Nancy Pelosi and the shuttered salon, and before her Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her lockdown salon trip; Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser locking down residents while she attends Biden rallies, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo refusing to wear a mask and refusing to self-quarantine; California lawmakers living it up in Maui during lockdown on the excuse of a “conference” (we all have to Zoom, why can’t they?); NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio going to the gym while you’re locked down at home; Daily Caller has a list of hypocritical lawmakers violating lockdown and there is an additional great thread here.
We have all sacrificed, some more than others. We are tired of the double standard. We are tired of being led around by bureaucrats who treat us like children instead of employers whose tax dollars form their paychecks, we are tired of speculation presented as science, we are tired of being told that our businesses are nonessential, that worker lives are nonessential, that our kids and their wellbeing are nonessential. We are tired of hearing that any deviation from the rules passed down to us by politicians who refuse to follow the rules themselves means sentencing our neighbors to death.
“I don’t know why anyone would want to eat at a restaurant who doesn’t follow health orders …. You’re telling our public health workers that you don’t appreciate or respect the sacrifices that they are making to keep you safe and your family safe.” https://t.co/NDQQjp4GdG pic.twitter.com/fn9iZDaZ1n
— St. Louis Post-Dispatch (@stltoday) November 18, 2020
I rejected that outright:
By this logic @DrSamPage is telling business owners that the government doesn’t care about their ability to keep doors open, pay workers, or provide the unlikely-to-be-reduced tax revenue that pays those county employees. Might want to respect their sacrifices, too. https://t.co/dtVCGi9Hwc
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) November 18, 2020
I wrote about this accusation in April:
It presupposes two things: that reopening is death and that elected leaders are fine with sacrificing some at the alter of the economic reopening. It’s not a gracious argument; it’s an argument that immediately assigns the worst motivation and interpretation of actions to elected officials. Oddly, those making the argument in this piece don’t realize how they indict themselves. For those maligning business owners as murderous monsters because they simply want to pay their bills consider this — certain businesses were declared essential: Food delivery is essential but cancer treatment isn’t. So you’re fine with risking the lives of delivery drivers to avoid picking up your pizza yourself? Is it acceptable to risk the lives of restaurant staff because you don’t want to make your own food? Is it acceptable to risk the lives and health stability of cancer patients as well as the livelihood of medical staff being furloughed around the country to demonstrate a devotion to saving lives? If you want to discuss murkiness of intent, this is it. By declaring that some people are essential, haven’t you already decided that some lives are expendable? Is it OK to risk some lives for your convenience? This makes you better how? I find that truly callous — necessity and essentialness are defined by what works for them, not the people for whom they claim to care. At least be honest about it.
It’s also odd to me that an ideological group that typically protests the “police state” and Republicans exercising too much power is now blasting leaders for not being enough of a police state and for not exercising enough power. The principle has changed according to the situation’s political advantage. (Relativism — or just plain hypocrisy, perhaps.)
Nothing in life is perfectly safe. Freedom isn’t perfectly safe — but it’s a lot safer than the statist systems so many leftists champion. For example: freedom hasn’t killed millions but communism has.
This is an awful virus. Unlike a military battle, this is a foe that will never be vanquished. It is a virus. We can vaccinate against it, build up our immunities, but just as with chicken pox, polio, and other illnesses before this one, there is no cure, there is only prevention and acclimation. Overreaction is a lesser enemy, moderation is an ally. There is a difference between reasonable concern and Chicken Little hysteria.
We are tired of the hysteria. Exhausted by it. We are tired of being told that contracting the virus means instant death when it emphatically does not — it has a 99% survivability rate. We are tired of being told that because some can’t venture out, no one should.
As a daughter who doesn’t have much of her family left, whose kids are growing up faster than she can capture sometimes with her phone camera, I am not going to miss out on life. I am not going to have my parents age out of this world and lie to my heart that it’s OK if I missed an entire year or more with them. I am not going to tell my children that it’s OK if they don’t see their family anymore because we have to hide in our homes.
But more than anything, I am tired of being told that I do not have the right of risk when risk is a part of freedom.
I will not be lectured to by people who say that eating in a restaurant while observing health protocols is riskier than shutting down the largest economy in the world.
I will not be lectured to by bureaucrats who say it’s risker to reopen schools than it is to force an entire generation into lockdown for nearly a year stunting them in every way but loneliness.
I will not be lectured to by lawmakers who do not follow the laws that they make.
I will not be lectured to by pundits too purposefully obtuse to see the nuance over their partisanship.
I am going to host my parents for Thanksgiving. I hope to host my in-laws for Christmas. I will continue living as a free and responsible American with a liberty my family has taken bullets for, mine shards for, bled for, until the day comes that our government wants to stage a modernized version of 1776 by trying to end that perfectly wonderful freedom.
Freedom is beautiful, scary, and up to each of us to maintain.
“For those who fight for it life has a flavor the sheltered will never know.” – Theodore Roosevelt.