Wake up, America, the lock-down is over

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The following goes without saying, but somehow still needs to be said.

Let me be absolutely clear: based on all evidence and accounts that have been made publicly available, I believe George Floyd was killed by a reckless and undisciplined Minneapolis police officer whom I hope is held completely accountable for his actions. Allow me to further state that I believe civil protests calling for greater accountability and equity are not only appropriate, they are constitutionally protected.

It goes without saying.

And yet Americans have watched and listened for days, many receiving lectures on our undue privilege and our inherent role in systemic racism. We’ve watched as up-until-recently empty streets have been flooded with people of all backgrounds, filled with anger, rage, passion, and righteousness. We’ve been watching from our homes, which now feel like prisons. We’ve watched from our still-shuttered businesses, which now feel like more of a burden than an opportunity. We’ve watched people disregard their own health and the health of others and instead take up bullhorns and cardboard signs to gather en-masse in the public square.

That’s right. We’re still in the midst of a “pandemic.” Most Americans are under strict orders and edicts to stay home unless it is absolutely necessary to venture out into the great unknown.

The commissars have told us to consider the health and well-being of our at-risk loved ones “during these unprecedented times.” Our cooperation will help to slow the spread of the dreaded virus, so they say. Social distancing is imperative, we’ve been told. Healthcare workers created a hashtag, even: #StayThe[expletive]Home. All of the mantras have become so indelibly etched in our psyche that the term “keep your social distance” may soon be equated with “loose lips sink ships.”

So why then are hundreds and sometimes thousands of people permitted to huddle close together to stand in support of a single cause? How were second amendment advocates in Michigan permitted to demonstrate in their capital?

There’s really only one answer, and it is as clichéd as it is simple: That’s America.

These 21st Century trailblazers have long realized that their rights are indeed inalienable, and have chosen to flex them harder than they ever have in recent memory.

On the other hand, many of our country’s citizens and stakeholders have been broken by fear. Fear of spreading the virus and causing further death and decay. Day after day I hear business owners, laid-off workers, and others crying and wondering when they can return to normalcy. They’ve surrendered their ways of life, their normalcy, and their livelihoods for the greater good. Those offerings are now being held in purgatory by wannabe dictators who call themselves governors.

We have reached the point of no return and are passively waving farewell to free America as it disappears in the rearview mirror of the lock-down locomotive we’re on. And there are no foreseeable next stops. The cure has become worse than the disease.

Like many other states, Massachusetts is reopening in slow-moving phases. No action can be carried out too carefully under this seemingly endless plan. The commissars have created a labyrinth of chutes and ladders, allowing businesses to open in fragments only if they’re in compliance with the social-distant, incessant hand-washing, mask-wearing rules as outlined in the charts drawn up by some underground subcommittee. To open at this rate it’ll cost restaurants more to keep the pilot light on the stove lit than to remain closed.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Just open up.

As Glinda said to Dorothy, “You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.”

The protesters did not meet with subcommittees or strategic city planners. They recognized a need to organize and went outside, pandemic rules be damned. And outside of those who decided violence and crime are the appropriate response to the slaying of an unarmed black man, there has been no pushback against the protests from the commissars, nor should there be.

I understand the causes are different, and I’m not comparing them. But survival demands action, no matter the threat.

To those business owners working with the states to reopen, stop immediately. Do right by all of those scraping by in your respective industries and open together without the unnecessary annoyance of the creaking and groaning machine that is your state government. Open as proudly as you did the first time you flung those doors open to anxious and wondrous customers. I can tell you firsthand that we’re as anxious and wondrous as ever.

I’ve seen public officials attend these protests over the past several days, lending their support to the marchers and withholding their criticism for blatant violations of the lock-down. It’s time those same officials apply the same standards to the other pillars of the community: the businesses.

If the public can be trusted to use their better judgment while marching to the State House, they can be trusted to use their better judgment to patronize a steakhouse.

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