To All Theorists and Pundits of a Certain Stripe

There’s a difference between stubbornness and dogged determination. Stubbornness is often stupid on the face of it. Stupidity wears stubbornness on its sleeve like a badge of honor. The “hold my beer” crowd often get their 15 minutes of fame because they think dancing on a wobbly table is funny, or skateboarding on a hand rail is impressive, or sliding down a set of stairs in a laundry basket will always end well.

Impaired judgment aside, people like to show off, respond to a dare, flirt with disaster and tempt fate, willing to risk embarrassment and bodily harm for a laugh or the opportunity to say “I told you so.” They revel in the “challenge.” Fine. Knock yourselves out.

Just don’t confuse your YouTube shenanigans with actual life and death decisions. Like in the coming days when the temptation will be to ignore continued warnings about gathering in crowds and underestimating the staying power of this virus.

Don’t fall for the lame and misplaced concern over infringement of constitutional rights. We aren’t free to do whatever we damn well please, especially now.

With apologies for the dated reference, do you remember the scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind when Roy Neary dares to take off his gas mask and discovers that (spoiler alert), yes, the air is indeed ok to breathe? This isn’t that.

To all you naysayers and strict constructionists out there– no one has anointed you judge, jury, and executioner. And don’t listen to the man behind the curtain, the one with the lifeless eyes. Or the one currently occupying the White House. Neither one could care less about you. Well, except as potential votes and stooges who have no problem telling them how great they are at their jobs.

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