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What the Devil Won't Tell You

I've been mean. They're asking nicely. Will COVID skeptics hear the humility?

Pima County first responders and emergency room workers are asking nicely that people mask up and – most important — stay inside unless otherwise necessary, to help bend the COVID curve back down.

I'm going to keep this short and sweet, with a twist of sting.

First, let me just quote from the letter posted by the people dealing, coping and sweating the pandemic daily: 

"We, the undersigned representatives of your healthcare providers and emergency response network, and the Pima County Health Department, need everyone in Pima County to help us during the COVID-19 pandemic."

"Our acute healthcare system is experiencing heavy stress and is near the breaking point. If our community does not take immediate action to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19 in Pima County, the results for the healthcare delivery system could be catastrophic."

"Our emergency departments and hospitals are full, and they are facing shortages of staff and critical supplies. Hospital workers are exhausted and there is no end in sight, presently. Without significant changes in community behavior, there will be continued growth in positive COVID cases and hospitalizations through the remainder of December."

So they are asking people to wear a mask (good luck with that) and to stay at home even if it means forgoing Christmas. The hospital system is virtually overwhelmed as daily caseloads top 5,000 per day in Arizona.

The COVID rebellion has felt harassed and importuned. So these heroes of the pandemic are going with Plan B. They are begging.

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These doctors and health officials aren't even directly asking people to stop shopping or stop working. They are asking to keep it to what's necessary and not do up the holidays this one time. This isn't a stay at home order. It's just a favor. It's a big one. But it's just a favor. They are asking for volunteerism that conservatives say they so value. 

Will that get your attention?

We have heard government mandates aren't working for you. The state's governor more often listens to you than his public health officials. Coronavirus infections are now higher than the summer figures that freaked the state out.

A polite letter from public health professional doesn't count as the "jack boot of government." The jack booted do not ask nicely.

Not how it happens

If the concern is that big government shackles individual liberty and destroys freedom, what happens when the government beseeches?

That's not how freedom dies.

Do you think the storm troopers said "Pardon us, but can we trouble the Jewish-Germans to make post haste to Auschwitz?"

Did slave traders tap the tribes of west Africa on their shoulders and prompt them with a "I hate to be a bother, but there's a slave ship that requires your patronage. Would you be so kind?"

South American death squads didn't knock on doors to say: "Yeah, umm. Hi. We're from the regime you've been criticizing and we know this is an inconvenience but it would be most helpful if you came with us to the jungle. We have this machine gun, and there's no hole dug in front of it for your bodies to buried in. Can we get you to bring your own shovel?"

In this case, they are asking: "Pardon me, good sir, might I trouble you to please take certain salutary steps as to not turn our community into a mass casualty scene? That would splendid and most appreciated. You are a gentleman and a scholar."

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And since when does anyone who isn't a complete asshole respond: "Screw you. I do what I want."

Be polite (I know you are)

You don't, is the thing. 

I say this as a former busser in a restaurant.

You didn't just take the food you weren't eating and throw it on the floor.

You didn't just grab a steak in your mitts, lean back and gnaw on it like a popsicle. You used cutlery for God's sake.

There are conventions, standards, practices and routines we undertake as civilized people to show that we are part of civilization.

Not killing your neighbor or strangers with actions known to be lethal are about 40 of those things we do every day.

If this were an actual rebellion ...

Here's some straight up math. Walking around every day without a pandemic, people stand -- on balance -- a .02 percent chance of dying. That's smoothed out among all age groups. Now, if one of the patriots, waving the flag and ignoring the virus gets sick, they might not notice and spread it to other people. With COVID, the danger of death increases by 50 to 100 fold.

Now imagine you are working at a job site, or driving in your car and someone next to you did something that increased your risk of death by 5,000 percent. Would you say: "God bless your freedom, sir! You do what you want!"

So if you are hell bent on joining the underground resistance against tyranny, might you respond affirmatively to appeals to your human decency?

I could argue that nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does it guarantee a Free People the right to ignore public health orders. It would go in one ear and out the other without passing much in between.

I could point out that Article I, section 9 of the Constitution allows the suspension of even habeus corpus in times of rebellion putting the public safety at risk. Hate to break it to you, but you are in open rebellion if you refuse to recognize the sovereign government, duly elected, are armed and willing to take actions that kill in defiance of law.

It's a lot easier to make that case than it is say voter fraud cost Donald Trump the election.

Please and thank you

But I'm not going there because the government isn't doing that. It is kindly asking a favor.

I've got a neighbor who works at a local hospital. It would be nice if he didn't have to come home looking like he's lived an episode of The Walking Dead.

My parents are both pushing 80. I have a grand daughter born premature with lungs still being developed. 

Little Audrey would like to grow up knowing her great grandparents and maybe have some memories with them like I do with Grandma Rhodes. My parents have more things that they would like to do in life, like maybe have a few more Christmases — maybe 15 or 20. Who knows?

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Is it too much to ask that you not murder them, pretty please and thank you?

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