“I Have a Dream for My Country: Once the Shutdown Ends, We Will Become the Brave Americans Who Don’t Succumb to Government Intervention of Our Livelihoods.”

When the virus first hit, I, like the rest of us, was compliant. Fear causes compliance. After the first two weeks, I did wonder why we, the healthy people, had to be shut-in. We could have still been out and about and taken precautions to stay safe.

I will be dating myself here, but I have been through the swine flu back in the ’50s, and we all survived. I was the only one in my family of seven children who got it. Everyone else went on with their normal lives. I also remember when my aunt was taken to a TB facility so her family would not be exposed, as her husband and my uncle Pete had died of TB. TB is very contagious, so they took the sick and quarantined — the ill, not the healthy — so I don’t understand or appreciate being “locked up” in my home. I feel perfectly capable of keeping myself and my family safe and healthy without government control. This is the first time in history; I recall the healthy being quarantined.

As a community, I know we have gone above and beyond to keep each other safe, but to what end? Children have had to learn on tablets and miss the camaraderie of their friends. Children seem to be pretty immune to COVID-19. We keep them home, shut down clothing stores, restaurants, and churches, while we wait in line at grocery stores, liquor stores, and banks six feet apart. Hemp shops don’t even attempt to keep patrons apart. We have been compliant to a fault, while it is obvious COVID-19 certainly isn’t as easy to catch as initially claimed. I have witnessed people always touching their masks because they slip or lift it up to lick a finger to open a produce bag. My main concern is that this artificially altered state is causing dependency on the government to provide all their needs. Further, many have stayed home when their workplaces do open up because they “earn” more on unemployment rather than return to work.

Understand, I am not saying that staying home for the first two weeks didn’t help us reduce the spread of the virus, but I think it has gone too far. I say this as the wife of a COVID-19 victim. I am astonished that the world as we know it came to a standstill. My husband was hospitalized for a night, but my close contact with him did not spread the illness to me or to anyone I came in contact with. To this day, my husband is the only COVID-19 victim I know, so pardon me, but I do suspect that the diagnosis was inaccurate. There are many stories of families contracting COVID-19; as tightly as we were shut-in together, only one family member got it.

I am sure in the first two weeks, a positive outcome for many families was a nice feeling of family vacation-type fun. For me, a definite benefit was since my husband’s catering consulting duties required him to be gone most evenings; we had some date-like alone time. Every catering event for the next three months was canceled. Though we couldn’t do too much as he was recuperating, we spent more time together and enjoyed binge-watching shows we missed and tried some great new recipes.

Not all stay at home due to the pandemic has been beneficial. The unlucky people who have abusive spouses have not suffered from the virus but from increased abuse. Child abuse has also risen during this supposedly “safer at home” stay.

While many of us have reconnected with our families, others have gone into a deep depression as their livelihood has slipped between their fingers, along with stolen years of hard, dedicated work to make life better for their children. Businesses are being closed for good because overlord governors refuse to open up with some safety guidelines. What is the purpose of allowing grocery stores to open, yet shutting clothing and shoe stores? They can put on a mask and gloves and limit how many enter, just like the “big guys” Costco and Target! The process has been unfair and dangerous to small businesses, the backbone of our society. Or was this all planned to cause strife?

Recently I see protests popping up throughout the country, even here in my hometown, Los Alamitos. I am shocked it took so long to begin, but I applaud it. This is America, and we have the right to live free and to take our own risks. If you don’t want to risk reopening, stay home, and order your groceries and food. Wear a mask and gloves outside if you wish to, but that’s your choice — don’t force it on others. I am not going to stay at home until there is “a cure” or “unsafe vaccine” that they push through without proper testing.
I sound harsh to some of you, but this virus has destroyed more lives financially than it killed or made ill. I am sorrowful for those that died, especially in nursing homes. Mainly, the elderly have died, as with any virus. Those who were in nursing homes were the heart and soul of families. I grieve for those who lost loved ones. Others had underlying conditions that this unforgiving virus attacked harder than most. This virus has caused a loss of financial security for millions, as well as a massive rise in depression cases and suicides. In my opinion, the stay-at-home order appears to cause more deaths than saving lives. Millions of small businesses are closing for good, and owners will be forced to take jobs, with no upward growth or hope of passing on a family legacy to their children — a dream destroyed. Oh, I know some are saying, “others lost their lives,” and sadly, they did, but millions are left financially dependent with no end in sight, no hope. This is the real crisis the virus leaves behind due to overzealous governors.

Once this coronavirus crisis passes, I believe our society will be critically changed in ways unexpected. I don’t think anyone will ever again become controlled and shut-in, especially as they begin to realize the damage it has caused. I was horrified to see so many long lines at schools to receive free meal packages. No parent wants their children in a “bread line” for the food they know they should be able to supply if they could go to work and open their businesses. This disabling of society is going to cause a scurry for independence, the basis of our country. I believe people will plan new businesses and will refuse to close their doors under government orders. That is how America operates; it is why our forefathers created our Constitution and our Bill of Rights. “We the people” came here initially for religious freedom, and no government agency or virus should be allowed to take our right to worship together away from us.

I have a dream for my city and my country: once the shutdown ends, we will become the brave Americans who don’t succumb to government intervention of our livelihoods. We are accountable to ourselves and others to provide safety in our businesses without government control and regulations. Freedom must return for our country to thrive.

Kathy Porter is the award-winning author of the Gray Guardians book series. Earth’s Ultimate Conflict and Escape from Nuur are the first of eight planned novels. Kathy paves new territory with her quest to interest more women in today’s science fiction, highlighting their strengths and leadership roles in the future.

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Tami Shaikh

Tami Shaikh

Author of 3 books, Contributor to Huffington Post, Thrive Global, & Chicken Soup for the Soul. Life is full of stories; I like to tell them. www.tamishaikh.com