If I were motivated to take such an interesting journey, I could step out my back door and hike 55 miles through the Maine woods to the border with Canada without crossing a paved road. (I’d reach U.S. 1 just before the border, to be precise.) Since I’m a wildlife biologist and Registered Maine Guide, this particular hike does not entice me. My feet have trod plenty of forestland and I can think of more interesting places to explore.
Imagine, nonetheless: I hoist my backpack and set out east by northeast. I submit to you that I could walk the distance in an almost-straight line, weaving a little in order to side-step a tree or skirt a pond.
I submit to you, as well, that if you would stand me on a low platform and then strike me with a blast of 250-mph wind, I surely would be bulleted into the forest as a molecule propelled by a sneeze, but I wouldn’t travel 55 yards, not to mention 55 miles, before I would be smeared against a tree trunk, never to take a step farther.
It is February, 2022, and we are two years into this covid pandemic. We now know that, before there was news of human infection with SARS-CoV-2, our oracle, Anthony Fauci, MD, was transferring money to a lab in Wuhan, China, to fund gain-of-function research into the genome of that virus — that is, to fund whatever China wanted to do with U.S. taxpayer money, since accountability for that country’s actions is non-existent.
That is not what surprises and appalls me. I marvel, instead, at the passionate response to the facts manifested in two factions of Americans. In the nearly three quarters of a century that I have observed human folly, it should not astonish me that freedom-loving rebels — the people who could most effectively return this nation to a constitutional republic — have chosen to rise up as a cohesive force against… against masks and vaccines.
I have been sounding the alarm for decades as the IRS has grown to resemble Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors.” I have been demanding explanations as the banking industry has secured permission to charge me a fee to store my money in its “vaults” and charge me three percent for the privilege of spending it instead of paying me interest of at least three percent. Where were those rebels as these boots were being driven into their necks? All of a sudden they have risen up as one against… against masks and vaccines.
What person among them has not taken a needle to prevent annual influenza strains? What person among them has not worn a protective covering somewhere? What person among them has not buckled a seatbelt? Stepped through a metal detector? Paid for a license to perform a basic human function? I do not wear a mask outside my home because the government tells me I must. I don’t give a damn what the government tells me to do. I wear it because it protects me and it protects those whom I encounter.
The absurdity of the anti-masker, anti-vaxer movement is compounded by Republicans in Congress who have suddenly detected a threat to freedom. Where were they, all through my lifetime, as our property was being handed to the banks and our freedom was being handed to the regulators? I want to blame those abuses on the Democrats, but the two parties now resemble each other so closely that both are equally responsible for our loss of future.
I am closely and warmly acquainted with a woman, a medical doctor in fact, who protests masks and needles based on her Christian faith. I propounded to her that the God I worship is interested in the substance of my soul, not the agent in my arteries or the strew in my stomach. “God created us to be his image on Earth,” she countered. “And the virus is 200 times smaller than the spaces within a mask.”
Regarding her first point, I argued that, in my vulgar condition, I more closely resemble the virus itself than God, although I do understand that, as one Christian apologist has said, “You may be the only Jesus that some people will ever see.” So, yes, I try in all encounters to behave as Jesus would.
To her second point, I compare the virus going through a mask to my initial example of hiking through the forest. If the virus has the leisure time to meander through a manmade filter with holes 200 times its width, it may indeed “hike” right through a mask. But propelled at the rate of a sneeze or a lungful of exhaled or inhaled air, I suspect that the mask will act as would the forest against my randomly-catapulted body. Is it a perfect barrier? No. But it is better than most alternatives including the alternative of no barrier at all.
I live with someone who has a serious auto-immune disease. I live with someone else who was born in the 1920s. I myself am a fourteen-year survivor of a heart attack. We are all three highly vulnerable to the severe immediate effects of “covid” and to its long-term effects as well. None of us has yet become infected with it. We have taken advantage of the protection in vaccines. We wear masks in public. We appreciate the courtesy others show by wearing their masks.
To those who have suddenly come to the defense of my freedom not to wear a mask, how about joining me by the millions to defend my freedom not to fund a corrupt government? How about throwing the bums out and electing 435 new members to the House of Representatives this fall, not to mention 33 or 34 new senators? Then I will believe in your commitment to freedom.