04:18:27 pm on
Tuesday 18 Jun 2024

A Memorable Memorial Day
AJ Robinson

Monday was Memorial Day, a day to honour fallen warriors. The day is also a traditional kick off to the summer and vacation season. In many places, such as like Martha’s Vineyard, where I spent the summers of my youth, this weekend signifies the start of the tourist season. When I was a bartender, this was typically quite the busy weekend, a time to make good money.

Tainted Memorial Day.

Covid-19 tainted Memorial Day, this year, but not in the way I expected. For months we’ve dealt with social distancing, home schooling, working remotely and so on. To some extent, this has worked; cases of the virus have leveled off in some regions.

There’s been something else at work here, though. Trump has engaged in several negative activities. He tweets, out pure venom, against all manner of people, especially anyone he doesn’t like.

Trump vilified the WHO, CDC and most any scientist that disagrees with his views on medicine, disinfectants and trends of the virus. He suggested ingesting bleach to cure covid-19. Several of his followers took his advice and almost died.

What is worst are his calls to open the country, to get back to work, church and school; back to spending money so his pals can profit. Now, his vacuous words wouldn’t be that big a deal if it weren’t for one thing: his minions, for some reason, believe every word he spews, That’s why we have armed thugs storming state capitols to demand their freedom from tyranny.

Mind you, it’s been White men. If Black, Brown, Latino or any other minority dared to do such a thing, arrests would follow and worse. We have people openly saying there is no disease; it’s all a hoax, a plot against the president, against America or against liberty itself.

This past Memorial Day weekend, as I and my family were being careful, many other people were not. I took our foster son to the community pool, which has new rules for usage. Only twenty people at a time, all pool furniture is gone, we could only stay for two hours, to ensure others a turn, and we had to keep our distance from others.

No hugging, kissing or ever shaking hands at the cookout.

Sunday night, we went to visit friends for a cookout. We were in their house, yet we still stayed apart: no hugging, sat and talked and ate, and played cards. When we got home, all clothes went in the wash and we all took showers.

Maybe a bit much, but we wanted to be safe, not sorry. Yet, what did we see on television? Huge crowds at the beaches, crowds in pools, in bars and restaurants and many people not wearing masks. I hung my head and sighed with sadness.

This reminded me of a meme I saw online a few months ago. It suggested removing all the warning labels from all products and then letting natural selection get the stupid gene out of the population. I know it was a jest, but, now, today, looking at the images of this past weekend, I have to say, I’m ready to try it.

As much as I am concerned for my fellow Americans and fellow humans, there comes a time when you must let go. It’s one thing to try to help people who won’t lift a finger to help themselves. It’s quite another when they vilify and berate you for trying, when they’re willing to literally spit and cough in your face as they think the whole thing is a hoax.

I can deal with people not expressing gratitude for what I and others do. When they try to get me sick, when they endanger me and my family, that’s where I draw the line. Your freedom is full until it impedes my freedom.

Attention all you Trumpsters, here is my official statement to you: you’re on your own. You think this is fake news and you want your freedom fine, you’ve got it. Mind you, when you fall ill, not that you will, but it is more likely than for those being careful, you will not get any help from me.

Focus on front-line workers.

No, what you’ll get is this: my thoughts and prayers. Am I being cruel? Maybe, but, at this point, I just don’t give a damn, My concerns are for the frontline people, the doctors, nurses, store clerks and even delivery people that are risking their lives on a daily basis to help all of us.

Combining the gimlet-eye of Philip Roth with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

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