WILSON: I am worried

I am worried. Folks are starting to get just a little bit testy. Mumbled grumbles and disquieting comments are beginning to erupt from a growing number of frowning, although masked (according to government mandate), faces.

At first, the grumbling was focused on how a disease first spread in Asia had forced upon Americans the inconvenience of a two-week, home-bound “staycation” with our loved ones.

Unfortunately, many soon realized that living in 24/7 lockdown with their loved ones was not all that lovely. Perhaps the biggest struggle was the eye-opening realization that the people in power consider most of us to be non-essential. However, for the good of the country we all showed solidarity and stayed home — good thing it was only for a couple of weeks.

Soon, the two-week quarantine was extended by a couple of weeks. Scientists, doctors and other self-appointed know-it-alls assured us that wearing a mask, washing our hands every half hour, and hording toilet paper would kick this viral bug in the butt.

Folks grumbled but complied — and were rewarded for their sacrifice with an extension of the quarantine for another month (and then another month, and another, and another). At one point, we were told that warm weather (and the return of toilet paper to store shelves) would finally do the bug butt kicking for us.

Summer came and went, autumn is nearly gone, people in power have closed up their summer homes and the lockdowns are back with a vengeance.

Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and (probably) Christmas and New Year’s Eve were (or soon will be) canceled or curtailed. Easter celebrations were canceled because the people in power consider the defining element of the largest religion in the land to be non-essential.

The faithful grumbled, questioned the realities of the laws regarding the separation of church and state, but put their religious beliefs and most sacred traditions on pause because it was for the good of their loved ones — and even for the folks that they weren’t so fond of.

People have been arrested, incarcerated and/or fined for daring to go out in public and attempting to live a “normal” life. Most of the grumbling that I am hearing is about the lack of continuity in the rules — rules that were, for the most part, not publicly debated, voted upon, backed by peer reviewed scientific data, are often contradictory, and appear to lack any common sense.

People are trying — but they are getting tired of trying to make sense out of the new-normal of living under the ever-present governmental thumb.

To be fair, we were “allowed” to start returning to normalcy, but only in phases — then the bug cases spiked and back under that thumb we went. Some folks are questioning the veracity of the data coming our way, especially when we hear that deaths from the plague were greatly over-counted while other causes of death seem to have inexplicably ceased. My old man used to tell me, “Figures don’t lie, but any liar can figure.”

I have heard several reasonable and level-headed people ask (albeit, rhetorically — because they feel their voices will not be heard, anyway), “If the shutdown didn’t stop this mess the first time, why should anyone think it will work a second time?”

Certain voices on social media constantly chastise and shout-down anyone that challenges the power of the authorities, the logic of the decision making, and/or the inconsistencies in the “facts.” However, I am hearing the grumbling get louder by the day. It is going to get harder and harder to muffle the discontent.

Please do not misunderstand the intent of these words. I am NOT advocating revolt. However, the elected official(s) that have taken it upon themselves to turn everyone’s lives upside down should take a few moments and listen a little closer to the grumbling. I am hearing it, and it isn’t sounding pretty. Just sayin’.

I am worried — and I am not the only one.

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