Conspiracy theorists, ‘patriots’ prolonging a pandemic

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It’s no secret. Americans are selfish. The independence that we have been afforded has made us an individualistic society where every man is for himself. I’m sadly reminded of this as we stumble into year three of a worldwide pandemic. 

Experts predicted in 2020 that we were looking at three or more years of COVID’s presence. Originally, I scoffed at the idea that we’d still be masked up and social distancing in 2022. We’d faced calamities like this before, and I was confident nature would run its course. But our collective arrogance and stubbornness as a nation is winning the day. Thanks to internet conspiracy theorists and folks who got Fs in high school science, we’re dealing with our 5th wave of this virus. The virus has mutated into multiple variants since the pandemic began – with Delta and Omicron taking the lead among them – and good science says that trend will continue. We’ve got the tools to stop this, but I fear we don’t have the common sense necessary. 

Sadly, I’ve seen social media posts claiming that COVID is being pumped into the air. I’ve seen videos online of folks putting at-home COVID tests under their faucets and saying that COVID is being dropped in our water supply. Then, there are those who still claim that COVID is simply the flu and that the world is overreacting to an illness that we’ve dealt with before. And I haven’t forgotten you folks who wildly claimed that COVID was caused by 5G technology or that the vaccine was the government coaxing us into having microchips implanted in our arms. Still, there are detractors who refuse to wear masks in public, even after it’s been proven to stop the spread of the virus. I’m as cognizant of this country’s history as anyone. I know the atrocities that this country has committed in the faux name of “freedom”. But this isn’t one of those instances in my opinion. Consequently, it’s been a bumpy ride for those of us who understand the seriousness of this situation. 

See, I’ve lost family and friends to COVID. I’ve seen my peers lose parents and people close to them to this virus. Children are being orphaned by this virus. COVID has snatched us out of our comfort zone and made life miserable for the extroverts amongst us. I get it. But we’ll never get past this if we don’t start being considerate of others. We’ve got to start doing the simple things that can get us back to some semblance of normal. 

Wear a mask! It’s that simple. I can respect someone’s right to not take the vaccine, but it goes beyond your own personal space when you’re in public. Masks help stop the spread of the virus. Period. It protects you and those you come in contact with. Avoid situations that put you in close quarters with others. I know folks still want to get their “clubbing” on, but try letting those “club convos” wait until after the club when you don’t have to get in someone’s face to talk above the music. 

As these numbers rise, we should be back on alert just as we were in 2020. Stop listening to these yahoos on Facebook and watching conspiracy videos on YouTube. You can enjoy life without being reckless and endangering other lives around you. 

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Conspiracy theorists, ‘patriots’ prolonging a pandemic

By Brad Franklin
January 10, 2022