This is a time of sacrifice. Probably the most important sacrifice most of us have made or will make in our lifetimes. We're being asked to stay at home so as not to spread a virus that already has claimed the lives of more than 50,000 people in the United States and more than 200,000 worldwide. We've heard: "Hey, you're being asked to sit on your couch all day. How hard can that be?" But we all know it's not that easy. By staying home we're sequestering ourselves from friends, from loved ones, from places and activities that we are used to and that we care about.
That we ARE doing this is the greatest gesture of love for each other we can express.
But that's not enough for the selfish and the small-minded and the just plain stupid. With every passing week, it seems, small but vocal groups of protesters are gathering in public or, in the case of Michigan, storming the statehouse, demanding an end to sheltering-at-home. Many are shunning protective masks and ignoring social distancing.
They're demanding their "freedom." They're calling the stay-at-home guidelines "communism." They're equating sheltering with having their gun privileges threatened, and some of them are toting guns with them when they protest.
I feel the frustration of anyone who is at home and longs for the life we had before. And the longer the sheltering goes on -- and it's going to go on for a long time -- the more restless anyone, even good people, are likely to become.
But this is where trust comes in and this is where humanity comes in. Trust, because there are people who know far, far more than we do about COVID-19 and know, too what must be done if we have any hope of defeating it and returning our world to some semblance of normalcy. And trust, because we accept that a collective action for the greater good is worth doing.
And humanity, because no ONE person is threatened by this virus. No ONE person is unemployed because of it. No ONE person is separated from friends or loved ones. It's become a cliche that we're all in this together, but we SHOULD be all in this together. That's how we survive. By sticking together.
These MAGA-cap-wearing, sometimes Confederate flag- or gun-carrying protesters represent the worst of humanity in this, one of the worst of times. By their words and actions they're showing that their so-called freedom is more important than the common welfare. More important than human life.
We have a human right to be frustrated, to be lonely, to be afraid, to be upset, to be angry. Those who want their guns, OK, they have a constitutional right to have them.
But no one has the right to imperil lives out of sheer reckless selfishness.
We can't stop these protests, and they'll probably go on with the coming of summer. The best of us will overshadow them. And the best IN us will -- trust and humanity willing -- prevail.