02 UAC042920004 Is it time to reopen America? This week, Publisher Bill Bowman yields his space to our contributing writer, Jim Jones, to discuss just that.

Did Bernie Sanders win? He ran on a platform for a socialist society. Webster defines socialism as “Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.” Although Sanders has dropped from the race, he did influence a majority of our traditional thinking. Then just like that, here comes COVID-19, which brought a socialist society in the name of public safety.

March 13, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The origin of the order was to have hospitals and medical facilities surge capacity and capabilities and take additional measures needed to contain and combat the virus. We are living in the Dark Ages with the lights on. Since that declaration, the six-foot “safe zone” has been forcefully defended as the cure — at the cost of civil liberties and almost every constitutional right we are supposed to have — by power-hungry politicians. Government leaders and agencies have decided who can go where? Whose business can open? Who can work and who gets government assistance? Who can get health care? Who can get a stimulus check? Whose business is deemed blessed, I mean essential, to be operated with restricted hours and operational processes.

We are essentially making them government-sponsored monopolies. All of this leaves the rest of the people to juggle work, kids, bills and rents and find food, find money and keep something called our sanity.

 Our society is moving an inch a month while COVID-19 spreads at the speed of a sneeze, a cough or a touch. In the name of “public safety,” we deal with isolation, self-diagnosis, long lines, food and toilet paper shortages and an unemployment crisis. All of these factors increase crime, violence, suicide, drug use and mental health crisis rates. All of these things are enforceable by force. Our leaders have taken advantage of us and this crisis for their agendas. The U.S. Congress loaded extra spending for their pet projects in the COVID-19 CARES Relief Bill while most small businesses did not get any relief. Facebook is pulling down rallies as “safety concerns.” In concert with the government, Apple and Google have agreed to work together to build contract-tracing technology into their phones that will work with both platforms. In May, they will roll out updates to our phones that will send location data to servers and cross-reference your location with someone who has COVID-19. Of course, they said, all of this information will be protected, and you will never get another spam email again. 

Why are American’s becoming impatient? America was founded by rebels. It is in our DNA. We come from forefathers who left Europe to find a new land to worship and prosper. We are the country that threw down with the king of England over a tax on tea. We howl, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Except COVID-19. We are a nation of crazy people who swim with sharks, pet bears, land on the moon and can land a plane on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the night. We are the home of the brave!

If you are alive, you are here because it is your time to be alive. In Bill Bryson’s book, “A Short History of Nearly Everything,” he said, “Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from its life’s quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result — eventually, astoundingly, and all too briefly — in you.” 

Americans seem to believe that we are immortal. It is true. We are, but for a minimal time. Whether we stay quarantined for another day or years, we have not faced the fact that we will either get this virus or we will not. Not until a vaccine is discovered. Anything short of that is just ideas. We have been scared to death that everyone is going to die or cause everyone to die. This is just silliness. Yes, people have died and that is sad. People die every day. Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in America. Not one person has recommended that you cut your heart out to avoid your own heart from attacking you. Not one! 

As much as we think we own our life, we do not. If a thug can walk up to you and kill you, your body is not yours. Let’s face it; you can die from a mosquito bite. There are 8,000 ways a human can die. We only get one of them. Our life’s Earth-clock started ticking the moment we took our first breath. Whether we think we deserve something or not, that is the way it is. When it happens to someone we love, we only have our beliefs and experiences to hold on too. This virus is getting passed around, and it appears that everyone’s body is affected and reacts differently. Knowingly or unknowingly. 

With each declaration and law, those orders are backed by force with a person with a gun. Is that socialism or communism? The Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte, has told his country that “the police will shoot you dead for defying stay-at-home orders.” Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya police have killed more people enforcing stay-at-home orders than the coronavirus has killed in their country.

The virus will continue to spread until we build our immunity or die. Our best course of action to bring America back to a thriving and free country is to let individuals be individuals. Let them start to rebuild their businesses, jobs, careers and lives. Let us learn to mourn the dead, care for the sick and move forward with our lives. You have the power to choose to rejoice in life or live in fear. How you live should be your choice. At least I still believe that.

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