I’ve noticed that people keep calling me (well, not me personally, but people like me) a selfish jerk for not wearing a mask. They seem to believe that I am putting their grandmother at risk of catching the coronavirus by not wearing a mask. Well, my selfish jerk response to them is this: “I’m not responsible for your grandmother’s health. You are.”

Jim Cegielski

Jim Cegielski

I am responsible for my own grandmother’s health. Apparently, I failed there, too, as she died in 2008, although she was 101 at the time. I’m responsible for my mother’s health. She is 76 years old, has preexisting conditions and is definitely at risk of catching COVID-19. And, as good common sense dictates, she has been quarantining in her mother-in-law suite at my sister’s house in Florida.

I’m also not responsible for your health. I’m responsible for my own, and if I don’t want to wear a mask, I’m not going to. I’m not a sheep that is going to be told by the government what I can and cannot do, and I’m not going to succumb to the bullies on social media who want to shame me into wearing a mask either.  

Promoting fear and pushing government group-think on social media has become a full-time job for a lot of people. And I’m shocked at how many otherwise sane and decent people have succumbed to the irrational fear surrounding this disease. I have good friends who are sharing every single fear-inducing COVID post they can find. People I agree with on most subjects seem to revel in every COVID death. They love telling people how “this crisis isn’t over yet.” They seem to get their jollies out of telling people just how horrible this disease is. But they aren’t living in reality.

The reality is this: Every disease that kills you is horrible; cancer is horrible; the flu is horrible; a stroke, heart disease, liver failure, Ebola, AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, cholera, Bubonic plague, Dengue fever, meningitis, necrotizing fasciitis, toxic-shock syndrome … you name it, they are all horrible. It’s why they are called “diseases” and not “joyfuleases.”

But there is even more reality that these people need to start considering before they just come across as blabbering idiots. According to the website cancer.org, there will be 1.8 million new cancer cases diagnosed in 2020 and more than 600,000 deaths in the United States. This is will end up being at least five times more than COVID-19 deaths. And whereas the coronavirus is predominantly killing older adults or people with underlying medical conditions, cancer can strike anyone at anytime, including babies and children. Can you imagine how the world would have changed if all of the resources, trillions of dollars and unimaginable manpower that has been devoted to COVID-19 had been put toward finding a cure for cancer instead?

At some point, everyone is gong to have to come to grips with the fact that, once again, we have been hoodwinked by the leftist politicians and those in the media who will stop at nothing to bring down President Trump. I’ll be the first to admit that I succumbed to the fear, at first, too. How could you help it? The media made it sound like the second coming of the Black Death that killed upward of 200 million people in the 12th Century.  

But now there is empirical evidence showing that COVID-19 is a disease that is deadly to the old and sick but isn’t much worse than a bad flu season. There is empirical evidence that countries that didn’t shut down their economies have fared about the same as those that did. And there is empirical evidence that the first states to reopen, such as Georgia, Florida and Texas, have not suffered massive outbreaks. For the most part, it has been the complete opposite.

Even if you want to pretend that the media and Democrats’ intentions were pure at the start of this “crisis,” you now have proof that they are not. Red states are opening back up … too slow for their own good, but at least we are getting some normalcy. Governors of blue states are fighting their own citizens, trying to keep their economies shut down. They claim it is for public health reasons, but it’s not. They are doing it to keep the economic recovery from happening before the November election.

Citizens of blue states are starting to fight back, filing lawsuits and opening their businesses in spite of their governors’ orders. Every American citizen needs to take note because there couldn’t be a more transparent dichotomy between how liberals and conservatives want to govern. Take a look at New York and New Jersey right now and you will get a preview of how the country will be run by the likes of string-pullers of puppet Joe Biden. If you like Martial Law, government control and group think, then Biden is your man.

And of course the media, as it always does, sides with the Democrats, including their push to keep this economy in a freefall. But we all know where the left-wing media stands on every issue. Just look at how they’ve treated New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as compared to President Trump.

It is quite ironic that while the media has been criticizing Trump’s handing of the crisis while consistently praising Cuomo’s response, it is Cuomo who is personally responsible for the most COVID-19 deaths in America. Cuomo insisted that nursing homes take in coronavirus patients, thus spreading the disease among the most vulnerable and killing at least 5,000 elderly New Yorkers. 

Cuomo also kept crying about not having enough ventilators or hospital beds, so the president had thousands of ventilators built and sent in a floating military hospital to help out. The ventilators went unused (now donated to other countries) and the floating hospital beds went unfilled. Instead, Cuomo was busy sending COVID patients to nursing homes.

Locally, we are all sick of this pandemic. The people on Facebook spreading fear need to stop. You are doing a disservice to your community and to America. Fortunately, most of us are fighting back. West Jones graduates held their own real and fun graduation in a field somewhere after the “official” one was over. I’ve had three people shake my hand in the last week. And baseball practice has started back up at Merchant Park.

But we still have a long way to go. Banks, open up your lobbies! SuperTalk, let me in your studio for my Jim Talking gig. Gov. Reeves, let restaurants start filling up all their tables. And Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker, take your masks and stuff them down your throat so no one can hear the unconstitutional, freedom-hating garbage that spews from your mouth.

Jim Cegielski is publisher of the Leader-Call. He lives in Laurel.


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