Live Free or Die
by Irwin Lengel
Before I begin this blog post - let me just say it is not my usual jovial rant. However, it is just one man's opinion looking back on 2020 and at the same time looking forward to 2021.
Next post after this one will definitely be more upbeat and comical. Here goes:
I usually greet my wife when we wake each morning with a “Good Morning Beautiful, how did you sleep last night?” Been doing that for 57 plus years now and will continue I am sure until I take my last breath. With all that has been happening in the world today especially here in the U.S.A., it is the one constant we have in our lives that we both look forward to. She, in turn, asks me “How I slept and did I have a good evening?”
Doesn’t say much about our simple existence today but seeing that we are still and will be in lockdown for some time to come, “Why not start the day off on a positive note?” Neither of us plan to say that – it just comes out of our mouths automatically.
I guess the good news is that we (Dolly and I) were luckier than so many people in 2020. As of this writing we lost no one close to us to Covid-19.
While it is true, we miss our family and friends but at least we were able to “see” them via Duo, Facebook, and even Zoom calls. The scary thought about this whole “pandemic” scene is that it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon and what with other strains of the virus mutating from the original, chances are the worst may lie in front of us and even though the vaccine is being distributed as I write this, the virus continues to spread.
What does this mean – well, last I heard many ICU beds are already filled so chances are there will not be enough beds to accommodate the victims of this nasty fast-moving virus. Back to hospital tents to handle the overflow. The American public must be even more vigilant regarding safeguards to protect themselves and others until more people have been vaccinated.
What about our healthcare workers? My educated guess is that they are over-extended and stressed out. Others are going to have to step up and fill in as these healthcare workers continue to fall ill or burn out.
The most disturbing fact of this whole situation is the number of people that continue to ignore social distancing or go mask-free. We had to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles earlier this week to change our address and as luck would have it, (bad luck that is) the two guys I had to stand behind while in line chose to be mask-less.
Fortunately, we had an appointment and when a DMV worker asked if anyone had an appointment, I said yes, but we are early. She informed us that the lobby was packed to capacity so we should sit in our car until our appointment time and then we could just go right on in. Which is what we did. However, even though we had an appointment, it was an hour later before we were able to leave the building, updated driver licenses in hand.
I know there are many people in the USA that believe whole-heartedly in the statement: “Live Free or Die!” but I seriously wonder how many of them know exactly what the words stand for. Live free means one is free to live a responsible life as a good citizen, as part of the civil society, apart from the unjust interference from government. Which poses the question: “What if your “live free” causes others to die?”
Our own children, due to their employment, on occasion, have contact with others and as a result, being concerned with our welfare - being 80 and 82 - have not hugged or kissed us in nine months. Now that is taking responsibility for their actions.
One can only hope that our country can heal and that we can see light at the end of the tunnel moving forward in 2021. Many countries in the world are dumbfounded regarding what has happened to the USA. It would seem to me that one of the ways to regain the respect of the world in view of all that has happened is by respecting each other and working together to overcome whatever problems are facing the American people.
Please join me in hoping that 2021 has got to be a better year.
Until next time!