By Sigrid Weidenweber
Ever since I came to America, I have found Americans to be the kindest people on the planet. They co-operate, they give money to good causes and, they give freely of themselves. They have a can-do spirit and the freedom to operate in a manner allowing them to accomplish great things; magnificent works other countries have not been able to achieve. It is, therefore, no wonder that once again Americans follow strictly what they perceive as reasonable rules to save members of their country from viral death. I, however, having lived under Communist dictatorship, am paranoid. And so, my very first thought is: this goes too far. Many strictures are applied. The government is given far-reaching powers. Shutting down thriving businesses? That should be the decision of the person earning a living not the government’s prerogative. Should it not be up to the business owners to clean their establishment and keep customers separated? And should not the customer have a choice to attend establishments at their own risk and judgment? For the last few days, I have observed that courageous men and women, knowing fully well that without their service chaos will ensue, still do their vital jobs undeterred. They make me believe that we all could do more like they do, for I also know others, who take advantage of the virus to close shop and go skiing because the powder is good.
In the midst of entropy, I had a tire blow out while shopping for essentials. There I stood, in a Carson City, Nevada, Target parking lot, calling on every gas station for miles. Not one person worked the shops. Triple AAA finally sent me a tow truck after asking a hundred questions. Did I have a spare tire was one of the queries. I looked in the back—no there was nothing. As I stood there helpless, looking bereft, and I guess very befuddled—I had to cross a mountain to get home after all, a young Target employee approached me and enquired into my problem. He never hesitated. “I can help you,” he stated. He looked under my car and said, “no problem. You have a spare.” He then wanted to change my tire. I did not allow it. I could not take advantage of such an amazing young person who, after all, had a job to perform for his employer.
Instead, a wonderful young woman from AAA did this work very efficiently. I congratulated her on a difficult job well done—both tires were heavy and dirty with snow-muck, and asked her why she was working such a hard job on a Sunday. “I love to work and people need me. They, like you, would be stranded with nowhere to go,” she answered. Then she said, “we can’t all quit. What would happen to the country.”
Well, there, in her answer, I had my American heart. There also are the men and women who stock the shelves in the grocery stores, the guy in the ACE store who sold me batteries and garage door openers, the guys who plow the snow of my street, and all the other unsung heroes of the real world, who keep it rolling. They follow only one rule—it is service.
Meanwhile, I hear during my fifteen minutes of news-watching the squabbles in the House. May I remind you that listening to Congress and the news, is hazardous to your health. Nancy Pelosi is unbelievable. Once again, she is ripping apart a bi-cameral vote to help businesses that were forced to shut down by fiat, much as she ripped the President’s State of the Union Address.
So, I look at the rules and regulations of the virus war and stipulate, that’s fine for today. But what about tomorrow? Will all the regulations be rescinded, or will they be kept in place? Might I remind you that government, once having grasped new controls, rarely gives them up. And if it gives some control up, it’s never all of them.
I will be watching. You should be, too.
Editor’s Note: This is an opinion article.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.
Sigrid Weidenweber grew up in communist East Berlin, escaping it using a French passport. Ms. Weidenweber holds a degree in medical technology as well as psychology and has course work in Anthropology. She is co-founder of Aid for Afghans. Weidenweber has traveled the world and lived with Pakistani Muslims, learning about the culture and religion. She is a published author and lecturer. You can find her books on Amazon.com