Gwendolyn Sims | It Is Time for Reasoned Freedom, Not Reflexive Fear

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Due to a death in the family, I recently traveled to, and stayed for several weeks, in the American Midwest and the South or what I call, Real America.

It was an unexpected cross-country trip, my sixth since the virus hysteria began. This time, unlike being in hyper-restrictive California, it felt like entering seemingly magical lands where people eat inside of restaurants, aren’t hysterical about dubious mask usage, and treat their fellow human beings with the kindness and respect they deserve. 

The trip was a distinct lesson in the joys of living in reasoned freedom versus the joylessness of living in reflexive fear. 

Not only were businesses more open, but the people were, too. Attitudes were different, more reasonable. Adults were expected to act as responsible adults and they did so. Having grown up in the Midwest, I instinctively knew this was so, but this trip solidified my conviction that it’s always better to live under the so-called dangerous freedom of the Right than under the paranoid subjugation of the Left. 

Living in northern Los Angeles County, I hadn’t eaten inside a restaurant since sometime in March. I’d also had the pleasure of living under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s mask edicts, which led to multiple close encounters with hysterical pro-maskers even when I had on my own correctly-worn mask.

By contrast, in the magical lands of Real America — even when I inadvertently forgot my mask a few times — no one screeched at me like a scene from “Dawn of the Dead.” In fact, when I locked myself out of my hotel room, no one stared daggers at me like I was covered in leprous sores as I rode the elevator downstairs and talked with the front desk staff maskless. No one narced on me, either, and at times the person working on the other side of the counter was also maskless. 

Meanwhile in California, many people treat their neighbors as if they are the virus personified, intent on targeting and killing them specifically. Our overlords are still focused on the fear porn of the useless number of cases and not the death and recovery rates, which are more useful in determining the severity of the virus.

Say what you want about the “flyover country,” but this trip proved to me once again that common sense is far more useful and valuable than groupthink. 

Perhaps if our overlords and their rabid followers ever left the bubble of the blue states, they’d realize the absurdity of continuing their virus hysteria and subsequent restrictions.

Meanwhile in California, scaremongering reports of the number of cases are played on a continuous daily loop in the media even though the only reports that truly matter in the end are the death and recovery rates. 

And before someone claims the self-righteous mantle of having had a loved one get the virus, yes, I’ve had someone near and dear to me get the virus. That family member recovered and so did the 11 other people who were exposed at the same time. 

I remain unafraid. 

On my flight, American Airlines helpfully scolded all passengers over the public address system that “wearing a face mask demonstrates your consideration of others.” Never before have the healthy been responsible for keeping others from getting sick. 

Since when is it my job to keep other people safe? Name one other disease in which that has been the case. I’ll wait. 

Meanwhile back in California, we’ve been stuck at Tier 1 since forever. Areas like Santa Clarita have no hope of ever reaching the artificial diversity equity levels since we are naturally less diverse. 

But that’s the point isn’t it? It’s never been about the virus or survivability. It’s always been about our leftist overloads teaching us a lesson in political correctness. This lesson comes regardless of the price of jobs, businesses, children, or lives. 

Yes, the magic masks are supposedly to keep you from coughing or sneezing directly on others, but when was the last time you actually did that as an adult? 

I thank goodness every day my kids are older. What are we doing to this generation of kids by continuing to force this hysteria on them? While it’s true my kids are older, they too are being impacted in ways from which it will take years to recover. 

My oldest son “graduated” from college in May with no ceremony, no celebration with his friends and family. He was the kid I was pleasantly surprised ever chose to go to college. The virus robbed me of seeing my firstborn walk in his college cap and gown at graduation. He will never have that experience now. 

My youngest son will never get his senior year of college back. He’s been stuck at home taking his last classes online instead of being young and free with his peers on campus. He’s missed out on getting internships that were pulled because of the virus hysteria, which is now making his job search more difficult even though his academic record is impeccable. 

Don’t get me wrong, we need to be cautious and mature about protecting the vulnerable populations, distancing and wearing masks if and when it’s absolutely necessary, and vigilantly washing our hands, but enough is enough. Nearly seven months of “two weeks to flatten the curve” is more than enough. 

Californians should be treated as responsible adults capable of mitigating this virus for ourselves. 

It’s time. 

Gwendolyn Sims is a Santa Clarita resident. Right Here, Right Now appears Saturday and rotates among local Republicans.

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