Eleven full moons since we all heard the dire need to self-isolate, lockdown society in hopes that separating from each other will slow the spread of Covid-19. We have not heeded the scientists and pleas of healthcare workers to the devastating losses of more than 4000 deaths a day in the United States. I think back to the terrible day of September 11, 2001 and how people wanted to show their patriotism by helping with contributions and attaching an American flag to their motor vehicles.
Financial contributions are nearly always beneficial; I do not really see how waving a flag helps. Anybody can wave a flag, anybody. It takes sterner stuff to quote William Shakespeare to go Once more into the breach, day after day, week after week, month after month. Healthcare workers are fighting the pandemic every single day and risking their lives to keep others on the way to recovery. If we haven’t woken to the fact that we’re fighting a war against a virus then fiddling away our lives tracking down conspiracy theories will not save Americans, but wearing a mask will.
I am of a certain generation that had vaccinations for polio, small pox, mumps, and measles and with that went a sense of patriotism that we were putting an end to the spread of diseases. I cannot fathom someone not having a tetanus shot to potentially save their life from lockjaw for fear of a chip being administered to monitor behavior. Americans already have a handy tracking device to monitor their actions and whereabouts it’s called a cellular phone.
I am, like about seven billion other people waiting for some type of normalcy to resume. If tetanus or rabies could be spread as easily as Covid-19 I cannot imagine a resistance to immunization. People, I would like to believe see the sense of closing off new infections. Participation in the betterment of society and the human experience are why people collect for the needy and send food and clothing to areas devastated by natural disasters. Waving a flag seems silly in front of people who have had to make the final arrangements in the wake of a loved one’s death.
I just want to clarify patriotism in my family stretches all the way back to the beginning of America; and they didn’t wave flag, they put on a uniform. Healthcare workers are donning their armor a.k.a. uniforms of their profession far and beyond what they envisioned when they went to medical school. That kind of valor and bravery is far more patriotic than waving a flag, I mean don’t cheerleaders wave flags at sporting events or at parades and auto shows?
If we choose to call ourselves patriots then we should also remember that the Pledge of Allegiance begins with, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands one nation…” We as Americans can’t pick and choose our principles like apples on a tree; we have to accept the entirety like all the thousands of healthcare workers caring for people who refused to wear a mask. The doctors, nurses, emergency technicians are all waiting for us to remember we’re Americans and to be united against the pandemic, not each other.