The disarray in society will not magically disappear once restrictions are lifted. The protests across the country that we are starting to witness are just the tip of the iceberg in regard to built up hostilities. The long term impact of the societal shutdown will be heartbreaking to watch in the months ahead.
Dr. Phil has been widely criticized for his recent comments on Fox News. I am not a regular follower of Dr. Phil on his television show so I don't have a wider context in which to put his comments. However, I did watch his interview on Fox. It made a lot of sense. Anyone who has worked with domestic violence victims knows the reality of the strain that this shutdown is placing on people living in abusive situations. If this drags on too long there will be more households experiencing higher levels of dysfunction. Critics can try to discredit Dr. Phil by calling him names, but his comments regarding family dynamics were on target.
Do I believe the virus is serious? Yes. Do I believe the shutdown of society is serious? Yes. There are consequences to our actions. I also believe in taking personal responsibility for our own actions. There is risk in everything we do each day. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. On the other hand, the trajectory of our country right now is scary. The government has proven time and time again to be ineffective at most of its endeavors, and yet, we are sitting idly by and giving them complete control over our lives at this moment in time. That is a dangerous precedent which will surely haunt us down the road.
Why am I concerned about freedom and liberty? It is a treasure that cannot be taken for granted. If history tells us anything, it tells us that powerful nations have crumbled in the past and can do so again. Are we on the verge of that happening here?
Two different articles on social media caught my attention this morning. One said that we are not all on the same boat, but we are going through the same storm. The wealthy were pictured on yachts. Middle class people were pictured in average boats. The poor were pictured on small home-made boats about to sink. (Does Nancy Pelosi's ice cream extravaganza come to mind when you compare her situation to how you are living in lock down?)
In my opinion, I am not sure we are even facing the same storm. Many posts on social media have demonstrated the hypocrisy of some of the things being mandated. Is it really about our health, or is there more to the agenda?
Why are abortion clinics essential, but a person can't get a much needed hip replacement?
How many government employees have been laid off compared to private sector people?
You can't buy seeds to plant in Michigan, but all across the country you can buy lottery tickets in person. I guess lottery ticket sales generate more money for the government than vegetable or flower seeds.
Seriously, people are being arrested for violating social distancing guidelines even though they are surfing alone out in the ocean or jogging through a park. The real kicker to this is that they are letting actual prisoners out of jail because confinement is too dangerous to their health. If that doesn't clue you in that there is more to this than what meets the eye, I am not sure what will.
We could go down the road of the pork added into the stimulus bill. We could look at why Nancy Pelosi is holding up the next stimulus package. We could look at the huge push for "mail-in" voting in a bill pertaining to a pandemic. This is about much more than public health.
Where is the Church in all of this? Where is the outcry from Church leadership about abortion mills remaining open while churches are shuttered? Where is the outcry from social justice proponents about massive unemployment and the long lines at food banks? People who formerly volunteered at the food bank are now in line for its services. Have we let media hype and hysteria obliterate objective reasoning, or do we simply have selective outrage at particular injustices?
There are no easy answers to the questions before us. However, if we keep doing what we are doing, the suffering and devastation will be unlike anything this country has seen since the great depression. Before you say I am wanting people to die because I am more concerned about the economy than health, let me stop you. I simply pose this question. If a person dies from the consequences of poverty, are they still not dead? They did not catch the virus, but they still died.
That brings me to another point. The individual that just died from starvation or lack of other necessities because of poverty induced by the shut down of our economy will most likely be classified as a death due to COVID 19. What is wrong with that picture?
The psychological trauma of this experience will have long-term impacts on people, especially our children. This does not end when society opens back up. There will be long lasting repercussions for these experiences.
Let's make it personal for a moment. How many of you are having trouble sleeping at night? Does your stomach seem to churn more frequently than usual? Are you on edge, feeling impatient with the people in your house? If you have children and you are trying to play the role of both parent and teacher, how has that affected your day-to-day routine? If you are a teacher and have young children of your own, what kind of balancing act is that for you? If you are retired and have had little to no interaction with your kids or grandchildren, how has that impacted you?
Do we want to live like this for 18 more months as a few have suggested? I don't think so.
My dear readers, let us seek God's mercy today. "For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and the whole world."