Pressure Cooker
This and That

It’s A Mad World

Why am I on Facebook? Mostly because I love to be in touch with my friends and relatives from all over the country and different periods of my life with whom I would never be in communication with if not for Facebook. So I am grateful for that.

I taught a class at the local college that incorporated social media into its curriculae and I gave many lessons on the good, the bad, and the ugly of social media. The “stay at home” directives resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic have obviously given everyone more time to spend on social media. It’s also given a bird’s eye view of how things are getting downright ugly.

As would be expected, people are getting antsy, getting agitated, getting downright belligerent, at times. It is almost like we are in a bad science fiction movie where a virus is leaked (I am making no commentary as to whether Covid-19 is by the hand of Mother Nature or of some mad scientist) for the purpose of a social experiment to see how unnerved people could become. And they are getting unnerved. It is like a pressure cooker out there in social media land just waiting to explode.

I always stayed away from three subjects in my life – money, religion, and politics. My dad always taught me that those three subjects, when broached, could tear apart families and destroy friendships. Every so often, because I either can’t keep my big mouth shut (that’s what my mother tells me), or I can’t resist the urge to join the colorful debates (that’s what my therapist tells me), or I am just plain stupid regardless of my education (that’s what my social media adversaries tell me), I allow myself (yes, I blame ME) to get drawn in to the banter that is the subject of the day, the week, the month, or even just the moment. And sometimes I have gotten a rude awakening and learned some very, um, uh, tough lessons.

While I had believed it to be somewhat true before, these last few weeks have taught me that there is great divide in this country, probably the biggest divide since the days of the 1850’s and 1860’s and the Civil War. It is painfully obvious that there are two distinct factions fighting it out – Trump supporters and those that are anti-Trump.

I am, personally, not a Republican nor am I a Democrat. As a kid, my parents were Democrats and my father was active in the Democratic party in town and served as a district committeeman and as the recreation chairman under the Democratic mayor. But, then, my dearest friends became active in the Young Republicans. I wanted to be a part of their endeavors and, although I was out of town at college, I supported their efforts and even wrote speeches for one of them while they were running for office. I never declared myself to either party and have never, ever, voted in a primary election as a result.

It matters nothing to me what party a person is affiliated with. I know people who were Democrats who were not only good people, but were good for the office for which they ran. Similarly, I know people who were Republicans who were not only good people, but were good for the office for which they ran. And, finally, I also know people who have flip-flopped across the party lines for no other purpose than their chances of winning an election increased. Also good people and good for the respective office for which they were running.

I don’t care who is in office, who is the President of the United States. It matters none to me. What I care about is someone doing their job, being qualified to do their job, and being professional and transparent. Well, hopefully transparent. What President of the United States has ever been completely transparent? Presidents use “national security” as a shield like judges use “judicial immunity” as a shield.

I knew of Donald Trump like every other New Yorker and New Jersey resident. For years I watched him build his empire. I watched him hog the media much like John Gotti loved to soak up the media attention. Even to the point that he got his very own reality show. Despite all of the negative claims by businesses that he stiffed, the claims by women for indiscretions, the charges against his “university”, and all of the bankruptcies. I still did not view him in a negative light.

Perhaps I was biased because I thought that, perhaps, the media was creating the sideshow. And there was an incident some years before with my grandparents who lived in a Trump-owned building. My grandfather, who could be a real ball-buster, had constantly stuffed up his toilet and it did, really, become a chronic problem. The buildings’ super was no longer willing to come up to the apartment on an almost daily basis to plunge or snake the toilet, nor would he replace it. So Grandpa spent hours on the phone calling anyone who would listen and not simply hang up on him. And he finally got through to someone who said, “Mr. Karmin, I will get over there as soon as I can.” Later that day, a man showed up at the door in a suit, carrying a plunger and a snake. He went into the bathroom, took off his jacket, threw his tie over his shoulder, and began plunging the toilet. After a few attempts, he changed gears and began to use the snake. When that seemed to only somewhat solve the problem, the gentleman asked to use the phone and called someone and instructed them to get up to the apartment immediately and replace the toilet. The plumber was there in 30 minutes and my grandparents had a new toilet while the man sat at the table and had a cup of tea with my grandfather. That man? Was Fred Trump. Donald’s father. Donald Trump’s father plunged and snaked my grandparents’ toilet. So, in my mind, MY mind, if someone’s father is like that, concerned for the people of his community, concerned for the average man, his son was raised to be the same way.

So when Donald Trump put his hat in the ring to run for President, I had believed, or hoped I should say, that his ‘behaviors” were all an act, a shtick, some little sideshow to prove he was not a politician and was just an average guy. I hoped that once he won the election, the “act” would disappear and he would be aggressive and leave all of the politicians in the dust and forget about partisanship. But the day he lashed out during a rally and mocked the disabled reporter he lost me. That was it. As the father of a disabled child, that pushed me over the edge, it was over the line and, to me, in my mind, unforgivable. In fact, from that point on, I have seen him as a bully. He mocks people, calls them names, and then dismisses them while continually referring to them by demeaning “nicknames” simply because they may disagree with him. Once he won, he got a hold of Twitter and has felt compelled to Tweet out messages that seem like irrational rants, like someone passing notes in a classroom to one of his friends talking trash about a fellow student. He has built a cult-like and mob-like culture that honors him with blind loyalty.

Say any of this on social media, and feel the backlash. I have. I have been called a liberal, a damn Democrat, and some other vulgar names.

When Brett Cavanaugh was nominated by Donald Trump for the United States Supreme Court, there was a great outcry, a public humiliation, and an attempted public lynching of Cavanaugh. I was not quite sure about the nomination of Cavanaugh, I wasn’t educated enough about his competence as a judge. Quite frankly, I question the competency of most judges. (No disrespect to the few judges who have been supportive and acted as mentors to me.) From what I have learned, there were probably more qualified people to be selected.

My problem with the fiasco of the Cavanaugh “proceedings” was the very irony that was involved – that someone who was nominated to be a United States Supreme Court Justice was having his rights violated – the right to due process and the right to a fair trial. Did I believe Christine Blasey Ford? I did not totally believe her accounting of the incident in question. But I believed Brett Cavanaugh even less. That did not prevent me from voicing my opinion that Mr. Cavanaugh – Justice Cavanaugh – had his Constitutional rights violated and was being treated unfairly.

I said that on social media. And felt the backlash. I was told that I was only saying that because I was a Republican and didn’t care about the woman, the true victim in the matter. No matter how often I tried to explain that I was not a Republican, I did, in fact, care about the woman in this scenario, it did not matter. I was annihilated on my Facebook page and was “unfriended” by some friends and some relatives who now refuse to speak with me. Because I defended Brett Cavanaugh’s Constitutional rights.

When the virus first came to the forefront in March, I was against the idea to stay at home. I am the last person to sit still, to stay in one place, and the very last to be restricted or constrained. I was still going to the gym which I do, or rather did, six days a week. When a friend said to me, “How can you go to the gym when this virus is so contagious?” I actually laughed. I didn’t take it the least bit seriously. However, when I was at the gym one day, there was a guy who seemed to be following me onto every apparatus. I, personally, the OCD person that I am, wipe down everything that I am about to use, and wipe it down again after I use it. This guy was using the apparatuses immediately after me, dripping sweat from his entire body, including his exposed arm pits, onto everything. He was coughing constantly, and he didn’t wipe anything down after his use. I was on the treadmill, two miles into my 3 ½ mile run, and with nine other treadmills available, he conveniently chose the one directly next to me. So I am running, breathing heavily, and I have to breathe from his air space. He started his treadmill and within 30 seconds he was coughing and hacking without covering his mouth directly onto the control panel in front of him. He stopped the treadmill, got off of it, and then made his way into the locker room. He never wiped down what he dripped sweat on, what he coughed on. I finished my run but while driving home decided I just can’t go back to the gym, at least not for a while. The gym is a petri dish for germs and bacteria in the best of times. During a pandemic, it could be catastrophic.

Thus far, I have had 19 running events and two biking events in four different states cancelled and postponed, with a few going virtual. And I suspect more will be cancelled throughout the rest of the year. Am I happy about it? Absolutely not. The very things that I look forward to, the activities that make me feel good, that give me pleasure and enjoyment, and are so good for my physical and emotional health…gone.

Like I said, I was initially against any lockdown. In my mind, this “thing” has been around long before it came to the forefront. So many of my friends and relatives had been telling me how sick they were in the fall, in November and December, and even before that. I witnessed the crowds in New York City during the Thanksgiving holiday which began the holiday season. People from all over the world to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. The bustling streets of NYC during the holidays. New Year’s Eve in Times Square. And then I was in Walt Disney World in January, crammed into corrals on four consecutive mornings to run races with approximately 25,000 other people from over 30 different countries from all over the world – people coughing, hacking, sneezing, spitting, and other “secretions” and “excretions” within close proximity to their fellow runners. How could this “thing” not be spreading? So to me, in my mind, the horse had long been out of the barn and was running wild in the pasture.

I didn’t think that quarantining was the answer because I felt the damage had already been done. Heck, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio refused…REFUSED…to close the NYC schools. It took the parents, thousands of them, to get petitions signed on social media to finally, FINALLY, get Hizzoner to see the light and close the doors. Of course, that led to a trickle-down effect of parents needing to stay home because of a lack of childcare. And soon after, the ultimate shutdown. The city that never sleeps, is sent into a coma.

And, funny enough, NYC, the densest of cities, where people commute to work everyday acting like sardines in a can, was not the first area to realize the onslaught of the virus. It gained some publicity in the State of Washington first before making landfall in a suburb of NYC in an outlying county of New York State. However, it is highly likely that it was right under our noses for months before anyone knew what to call it with tens of thousands of people who were affected, fell ill, but were never properly diagnosed for months. There have been so many deaths that may not be DIRECTLY caused by the virus, but INDIRECTLY caused by it because it accelerated any pre-existing conditions that the patients may have had. Who knows how many days, weeks, months, or even years, the patient may have had if not for the infiltration of the virus. It’s like a math equation where you are trying to figure out what “x” is but you can’t because you don’t know what “y” is.

In the meantime, you have a “you vs. them” mentality that has grown, and grown loudly, each side trying to out-shout the other.

On the one side you have people such as Bonnie B. saying:

“I’m waiting…Anyone arguing that only 1 to 2 percent of the population dying isn’t a big deal and is concerned about their “freedom” to get back to “normal” need to identify 1 or 2 family members or close friends they are willing to offer up to death to “save the economy” or regain their “freedom.” Name them! Say them aloud with the same ease you offer up or dismiss someone else’s friend or family member.”

On the other side you have people such as John D. saying:

“Good morning everybody. The government issued a lockdown and stay-at-home order…they did this not for the virus, but so they can control the people. Democrats are socialists and they want to control you anyway they can. Now with this virus, they will start controlling us, limiting everything we do and keeping track of us by our phones and by drones. So the virus won’t kill you but the government is now on a mission to control us anyway they can.”

It has become the Virus vs. No Virus, People who believe it to be real vs. People who think it is nothing to take seriously, Health vs. Economy, Blue vs. Red, Democrat vs. Republican. I understand that somehow, some way, politics tends to rear its head in these things. And I get that people are apt to putting forth conspiracy theories…they do with everything. But I am not sure that saying that the “Democrats intentionally spawned a virus to ruin President Trump’s legacy” is justified, and I am even less sure that it is even possible. Maybe I am wrong, that is for the conspiracy theorists to flush out.

But what I have seen is the discord that has emerged from the very top to the people that click away on their keyboards on Facebook. You are on either once side of the fence or the other. And there are very few people who actually allow you to have a different viewpoint, a different opinion, a different belief. I have learned that. Because much like I took a stand on the Brett Cavanaugh proceedings, I have voiced my opinion about the situation regarding Covid-19. I have posted about some of the incidents that have taken place, things that have been said, and I have also felt compelled to comment on others’ posts.

I understand that the Constitution guarantees the right to peaceful protest and assembly. And when people in Michigan stormed the State Capitol building armed with weapons, I wondered how that could be construed as “peaceful protest and assembly.” I mean, I may be a city boy and not fully comprehend the thrill of carrying firearms, but why in the world would you need firearms at a “peaceful” protest? I wondered why the President of the United States would not condemn the action and provide support to the State government. Instead, Mr. Trump made an excuse and rationalized why the fine people were upset. And then I wondered what would happen if people showed up on the lawn of the White House fully armed. Would they still be viewed as “fine people” or would the Secret Service have taken them out?

Some people gave me kudos, the thumbs up, the good ole Facebook “likes.” While some others began a rant about how great President Trump is and chastising me for being a liberal.

Some days later, following a Tweet by Mr. Trump, I posted that Tweet on my timeline and said, “The President of the United States is encouraging the people of the states with Democratic governors to revolt, inciting uprisings…just wonderful. I remember hearing about fireside chats to calm the people and bring them together…once upon a time. I guess more chaos is just what we need. Let’s continue the mob-like culture.”

On the one side, Alysia S. commented:

“This is so ridiculous I can’t stand it. Anything to deflect his shortcomings. Sociopath.”

Sue P. commented:

“Trump should follow President George Bush’s example after 9/11. He tried and did unite the nation because we are more than parties. Trump must always make a nasty remark about the Dems.” And on the other side,

Kirk M. commented:

“The Democrats have almost succeeded in overthrowing our government. You people take the plank out of your eyes. Alan Karmin, your issue as truthful as they are, are equivalent to smacking a grizzly and complaining you can’t outrun the beast? That’s what they do, they swat bees and focus on the honey, their goal isn’t to listen to the buzzing. Ask a pilot what he’s doing while landing, he might bark at you too. My point is walk in the man’s shoes for a mile and see what you focus on the comment about.”

My response to that comment was:

“First of all, you can’t compare Trump to a pilot flying a plane. A pilot doesn’t get on the audio system of a plane and call people names and mock them. A pilot doesn’t say he will land the plane safely for one group of people but the others have to use their parachutes and jump at 30,000 feet. A grizzly bear is not a leader in the animal kingdom. It is a forager seeking prey for its own personal gain, not for the good of the animal kingdom. You are sounding like a parent who is defending their problem child, making excuses and deflecting.”

Kirk M. obviously didn’t like that and after some back and forth he commented:

“Alan Karmin get over it, he’s going to be the president in the morning, for around 4+ years of mornings. Fact.”

To which I responded:

“See? That’s where you lose credibility with me. You are telling me that it is a “fact” that he is going to be around 4+ years of morning. How can you honestly say that it is “fact?” How do you KNOW that? Do you have a crystal ball? Are you a psychic? It would be different if you said, “Alan, I respect your opinion but it’s my belief that Trump is going to end up winning the election regardless of everything going on.” Then I would have said, “Kirk, God bless you, I hope you get what you want.” But you are telling me that it’s a “fact” that Trump is going win the election. That’s exactly where I have the problem. But you ARE entitled to your opinion.”

And, of course, it just spiraled out of control from there. Because Kirk M. told me that he “loves our President and he going to take issue with any person who says anything bad about him. Well, okay, I get it. He is defending his candidate, his President. But then I wondered…who the hell is Kirk M? I had connected with him on Facebook just over two years ago. He had contacted me about the issue of Parental Alienation, for which I had been an advocate and spoken to support groups. I had never heard from him since the initial connection. He had never acknowledged any previous posts. He never commented, he never “liked” anything. Suddenly he pops up out of nowhere to take issue with my post involving President Trump?

Well, his commentary didn’t end that day. The next afternoon, he began trolling my page and commenting on just about every post he could find with “Trump in a landslide in 2020.” As quickly as I could delete one, he was posting another. Then, he posted a comment that said, “Why not go get yourself a piece of cheese, since that is your real passion?” That was in reference to my love for Disney and, I am sure, a reference to Mickey Mouse. So he was obviously trolling my page.

I reached out to him via Messenger and asked, “Kirk, why are you friends with me?” His answer? “I am here to show you the light. I am going to fill the empty space between your two ears. You don’t like the President. I love him. I am going to take down any twinkie that says anything bad about him. Anytime you rear your ugly head, I am going to pounce.”

So let me get this straight, you don’t like that I called Donald Trump a bully but you are going to bully me and indoctrinate me? Ok, I’ve got it. Unfriended and blocked!

My friend Denise S. posted a commentary about Woodstock and how it took place in 1968 during an epidemic of the Hong Kong flu. And while it is an interesting comparison, it has become apparent that the Covid-19 is not the flu. It doesn’t act like it and it is unlike anything scientists have ever seen before. But that wasn’t the point. The point to the post was as Denise commented:

“It’s the media. Drama. Exaggeration. Sensationalism. Selective programming. Not to mention scenery choices which often aren’t even correctly labeled. Putting any 2 sides against each other. They’ve been doing this all along. It’s just becoming more obvious now. What the choice of words in headlines and descriptions. Inciting anger and violence.”

To which I responded:

“Denise, Please stop being naïve. While the media can certainly spin stories, a la the National Inquirer, the President has encouraged a cult-like and mob-like mentality. He has encouraged defiance and rebellion. He has openly questioned why the Federal government should provide aid to Democratic-led states. He is the one who has created the divide.”

Denise’s friend Michael L. then commented:

“Lots of mentally and emotionally compromised people both feel and say shit like that. You’re basically pointless…if I am typical of a Trump supporter, you’re typical of your standard anti-Trump twat too.”

Denise S. added:

“Doesn’t anybody see that this FAR PRECEDES the Trump administration?

Michael L commented:

“People who aren’t fucktards do Denise.”

Denise’s friend Rick S. commented:

“Obviously there are folks that buy into what they’re fed. No matter what it is all the President’s fault. It truly is a mental disorder and you will never change their minds. They are programmed to blame.”

Michael L. added:

“I just hope that Alan continues to feed his many cats.”

(I don’t have any cats but obviously a reference to a crazy cat person?)

Michael L went on to comment:

“The cats Alan…feed them. It’s not their fault that you aren’t equipped as a man to deal with a President who fights back and doesn’t take the abuse, and instead gives some. But get ready for 4 more years of it fella…and I’d assume at least many more years of you being single.”

So Michael L. admits that the President gives some abuse and he feels that he, as his loyal follower, is entitled to abuse me? He isn’t friends with me on Facebook, he isn’t friends with me at all. He doesn’t know me. So how does he know that I am single? He trolled my page, of course. And instead of being able to have a rational debate…attack and mock. Wonderful.

A lawyer I know in Ohio, Connie R., posted on her page that “Texas hairdresser Luther FREE after being jailed for doing business.”

I commented:

“Connie…it’s NOT TRUE that she was jailed for “doing business.” She was arrested for violating a cease and desist order after multiple warnings had been given. She then mocked the court by tearing up the order. You can’t have people violating court orders.”

Another Facebook friend, Debbie L. posted something similar, saying that hardened criminals were being let out of jail while a poor salon owner was jailed simply for conducting her business.

Again, I responded with this comment:

“She was not locked up for operating her business to feed her kids. She was arrested for violating a court order after receiving several warnings.”

On both feeds, I was verbally accosted. The majority of the people responding to my comments continued to insist that the poor woman was arrested for just wanting to feed her children. And I just couldn’t agree with that.

From a legal standpoint, which is what I found disturbing about Connie R.’s post, the salon owner was, in fact, given multiple warnings. After failing to abide by the mandate to have her salon closed, a cease and desist order was signed and served on her. She then appeared before the judge and ripped up the order, disrespecting the Court. Anyone who has ever been in a court room knows damn well you never, ever, disrespect the Court.

To explain, it is called “contempt of court.” For example, if someone is supposed to pay child support and they fail to do so, a warrant can be issued for their arrest. Why? There are no debtor’s prisons any longer. So it is not, technically, because the payor owes money. It is because they are defying a court order and for contempt of court. Similarly with a restraining order. It’s not a law. It’s not a statute. But you defy that order, you go to jail. Same principle In the matter of the salon owner.

Many of the people on both threads commented that the salon owner was “just trying to feed her family” so what she did was justified. So I am wondering if “feeding your family” is a legal defense for any other person brought before the court? I asked one of the people who was chastising me and telling me that I had no compassion for the salon owner, “If I broke into your home and stole some items and sold them at a pawn shop, would you not press charges and allow me to keep the money if you found out that I did it to feed my family?” The question wasn’t answered. Instead, there was deflection, telling me that it didn’t matter because this one and that one stepped in and told the judge he was wrong and she was released? Really? Who were the people who orchestrated her release? Any guess which party they are affiliated with?

I am sure a lot of people would have gone to extremes to feed their families. However, the salon owner was/is not destitute. She is not living in poverty. Far from it. She lives very comfortably, she received funds from the government and a business loan from the stimulus package. She was warned multiple times not to operate a business in accordance with the executive order. She received her license to operate from the state, county, and/or local government agencies. To get that license, she agreed to abide by the rules and regulations of the departments and agencies that issued the license. When she refused to abide by the directive to keep her salon closed, a judge signed a cease and desist order. She took the order, and for the benefit of an audience and cameras, she tore up the order and continued to operate. That is defying a court order and is contempt of court, punishable by jail. She KNEW that. She did it intentionally to make a statement and gain publicity. She got exactly what she WANTED. She not only got the publicity, she even got Ted Cruz to come and get a haircut for the cameras, and she managed to get over $500,000 for her GoFundMe page. As far as I am concerned, it was well-orchestrated by her. Well played.

Connie R.’s friend Jennifer K. commented to me:

“the Governor let her out and I bet that judge is on notice…listen here…worshipping the state is a dangerous thing. LMFAO…restraining orders are a piece of paper and you’re a blatant idiot to believe a piece of paper will protect you. And just an FYI…I’ve been locked up…FOR KNOWING MY RIGHTS.”

Debbie L.’s friend Bill B. commented to me: “It’s all about blind compliance.”


I certainly agree that civil disobedience is sometimes a necessary action. I know, I have been involved in civil disobedience enough times myself. I am not disagreeing that the policies and procedures that have been in place have been overly restrictive and, some, unnecessary. But I also believe in doing things the right way so as not to lose credibility for the cause.

I also know that the legal system is completely broken. It’s absolutely horrifying. However, when someone like the salon owner does what she did, it diminishes what people are trying to prove. And when you have people, especially a lawyer that a lot of people look to for guidance, touting her efforts, it is a problem. The biggest problem getting anywhere with your cause is to have people undermine you with portraying themselves as a victim when, in reality, they are not. Think “Tawana Brawley.”

I understand that people feel their rights are being taken from them. I am still trying to understand what rights are being taken. One of my Facebook friends posted something attributed to an unnamed Constitutional attorney that listed all of the rights that the government is violating during this pandemic. And I have also seen another Facebook friend post something attributed to yet another unnamed Constitutional attorney that carefully outlined that no rights have been violated and the government not only has a right, but a duty to ensure the general welfare of the population during any crisis or state of emergency.

So I guess it truly depends on what side of the fence you are on – Health vs. Economy, Blue vs. Red, Democrat vs. Republican – that determines how you view it.

It wasn’t too long ago that people on Facebook were screaming about the unruly Jews of Lakewood, New Jersey. There was one person who wrote: “Bet it fucking stinks in there. Like body odor, unwashed beard, shitty food and sadness.” Another person wrote: “They are disgusting people.” Yet another person wrote: “Just dig a big hole and bury them all in it. Assholes.”

These people were complaining because the people of the Orthodox community were ignoring the executive order for social distancing and stay at home order. The people of the Orthodox community believed their rights were being violated and were not going to abide by any ridiculous orders. So “Just dig a big hole and bury them all in it. Assholes.”

Ironically, the very same people who made those statements are screaming loudly how New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is a…well…insert any and all expletives in there and it’s been said. And they are screaming even louder that their rights are being violated and to open up the State. How ironic.

There are the people who are screaming to wear a mask, social distance, and stay at home. Then you have the people that are screaming that their rights are being violated, they don’t have to wear a mask, and if anyone else is afraid, then they should stay at home.

On one of my posts, Cynthia L. commented:

“They need to know the truth. Masking and quarantining healthy people is NOT the way – and it’s being advised to keep people scared. Keeping Drs. And nurses masked all day is designed to kill off as many of them as possible, believe it or not. They are becoming more susceptible every day they wear a mask, they get less oxygen, their lungs grow weaker – it’s insane and a very clever fear plot. They need to go back to masking up for a surgery off the second they’re done. That is if they want to live. Wake up people!!”

As I am no authority on masks, I handed this one off to my friend, Dr. Noreen who tried to explain this way:

“OK here’s a try: oxygen moves through masks, especially the surgical ones in question, just as easily as it moves through air. It’s tinier than the virus. Think a sieve at the beach. Sand is oxygen but rocks are the virus. All the doctors I know want the mask to protect themselves., their families (so they don’t bring the virus home) and their patients. It’s science. We had to go to 8 years of higher education and 4 years of internship training to understand the complexities of things like this. So I’ve simplified it here.”

My Facebook friend John P. commented:

“You really don’t know what you are talking about when it comes to the virus do you? You do realize that the virus is going to be around for many, many, many months so if you think for one moment staying inside and then 6 months from now you are going to go out the door and somebody has it you are absolutely wrong. I’ve been going out doing the same thing that I’ve been doing for the past 30 years. I’m around people, I shake their hands. My mom’s in a nursing home. It has everything to do with your health if you’re not healthy then live in a bubble. We all have our opinion, you have yours, I have mine. In the next week or so things are going to start opening up and you know what…I can’t wait.”

There are people who are refusing to abide by the mandates, the executive orders, claiming that their rights are being violated. But it seems more like they don’t want to do it simply because they are being told to do it. There are people like that. I know. I was married to one of them.

And why should they feel they have to abide by anything? The man at the top, the President, has created a situation that is much like a principal of a school telling the students that they don’t have to listen to the teachers. He has shown that he will not stand behind any governor of a “blue” state and all but applauds any action taken that is in defiance of any state that is led by a Democratic governor.

It has become obvious that the President is on the side that is more concerned about the economy as opposed to the side that is more concerned about the health of the people. It is also crystal clear that the people who are supporters of President Trump are in favor of a fast and complete reopening of the economy, of all businesses, and downplay the impact of Covid-19. Similarly, on the opposite side, the Trump naysayers are in favor of a cautious approach and are calling for protocols to keep the public safe.

Everyone is screaming at each other. Who’s screaming louder? It’s coming to a boil. People are fed up.

In fact, my lawyer friend Connie R. posted:

“I am so over COVID. Done. Done. Walked straight into Publix. No mask. Broke social distancing. Done.”

It’s become a mad world. What I truly want to know is why it has gotten so hard. It’s OK to have an opinion. It’s OK to disagree with someone’s opinion. Discussion and debate are healthy. However, it’s not OK to humiliate someone, mock someone, call them names simply because they don’t think the same way as you do. The art of respectful communication seems to be truly lost. And it is hurting people, ruining relationships, and tearing friendships apart. We are experiencing rough times. Everyone is feeling it. But that doesn’t change the fact that everyone should be treated with respect, regardless if you agree with them or not.

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