Several days ago, Kevin Vesey, a young “reporter” for a TV station in Commack, New York, was sent out to cover a gathering of anti-lock down folks at the county court house. A rather routine assignment.
I should also note, when he got to the court house, he was the only person present wearing a face mask.
As his cameraman started to shoot, the assemblage of some 50 people - many wearing Trump hats and shirts - turned on our young reporter.
He was confronted with raised, angry voices calling him “fake news” and “libtard” and told to “get out of here.” etc.. Several leaned over the temporary barrier the county had set up and got right in his face until he retreated a few steps. He tried to reason with them but that was a wasted exercise. He got his video and left.
I’d like to report this was out of the ordinary. But, you already know of the armed confrontations at the Michigan and Wisconsin state houses. And there have been more. Florida, Illinois, several in Arkansas, Tennessee and Oklahoma, and here in our desert oasis.
Fact of the matter is, these aren’t peaceful protests. Many border on outright physical confrontations. They’ve become more “in-your-face,” ugly, loud and threatening than we’ve been used to. Most attendees appear to be between 30 and 60. Some carrying sidearms or heavier weaponry. Nearly all include Trump wear and Trump signs.
But, the thing I can’t get my head around is they’re being given tacit approval by the President of the United States. More than that, verbal outpourings of encouragement. Trump didn’t start these angry scenes. But, he lit the match that started the fire. And he seems O.K. with that.
In several confrontations, the anti-lock downers have been joined by the anti-vaxxers. Now, there’s a marriage made in Hell. Nothing good can come from that.
Maybe the most damning evidence of ignorance represented by these cretins is their refusal to accept hard scientific facts in either case. For the anti-lock downers, scientists tell them the most effective thing they can do - short of a proven vaccine - is to just stay home. For the anti-vaxxers, the same learned medical community says evidence proves denying their children typical vaccinations can expose them needlessly to dangerous diseases or even kill ‘em.
And the really hard part is, neither group will listen to the experts - the educated people armed with hard facts. The oft-proven evidence the science is right.
If, like me, you’re occasionally venturing out for groceries or a prescription but, otherwise, staying home, I’d bet you’ve already found “life on the outside” has changed. In some stores, masks are mandatory. Signs on the floors tell you where to stand and clerks remind you to observe “anti-social distancing.” Grocery carts on one side of the entrance have been “sanitized,” the rest haven’t. Most “self-checkout” stations have been shut. And there’s a cover protecting the keypads on credit card machines.
Admittedly, we live in adjoining communities of about 90-thousand seniors. So, a lot of folks are used to staying home. That means, even though movie houses are reopening, there are lots of empty seats. Very few takers for the brew pubs now back in business. Not even lines at Golden Corral.
But, that’s not the case everywhere. Seems there are plenty of others willing to test their immune systems against COVID-19. Traffic on our streets is back to its hectic - and dangerous - level. Newly reopened stores seem filled with the adventurous. Parking lots are busy. Looks almost normal.
Many seniors hereabouts are ignoring the “back-to-business-as-usual” entreaties of our pres-ee-dent. Most folks, I’d guess, are in the Dr. Fauci camp, awaiting more scientific disclosures. We want to hear more about vaccine development and testing. We’re awaiting the flattening of more of the important statistical curves being watched by the medical folks.
We’ve already seen hard evidence brought about by those who’ve taken this Coronavirus business too lightly. In Texas, where the top two officeholders are Trumpers, the early openings of a few weeks ago, are coming back to haunt them. Their curve is ascending while the one in New York - the most devastated state yet - is beginning to flatten.
Other states would be wise to follow daily events in New York. Hit harder than anyplace else, authorities there have used many effective tools to get things under control. More than 19-million people have begun to turn things around. There are many important lessons to be learned from their experiences.
Americans are not used to being cooped up. We’re unaccustomed to having our “liberties” curtailed, even if told “shelter-in-place” is the best advice. We, more than any other nation, are a mobile society, used to responding to our urges.
This “stay-at-home” business is not some sort of “deep state” plot. It’s not the Clintons or the Obamas running some scam on society.
In a few weeks, we’ll know a lot more about resuming our normal activities. We’ll have statistical evidence from those states that have opened up. We’ll know more about the likely contagion - if any - brought about by being part of the crowds we’re seeing today. A few weeks will tell us a lot.
Trump is not the “pied piper” of the nation he thinks he is. Oh, there’ll be those who continue dancing to his melodies. They’ll continue their protests and confrontations. They’ll do so in their loud and angry crowds. The sorts of crowds the experts have told us to avoid.
Maybe we’ll see some “selective thinning.”