We’ve all been living under some version of a local stay at home order since the end of March, and I’m just about ready to see everything open up and be back to a “real” normal.

I say that, not because I don’t take COVID-19 seriously, but because I think those who want to be normal again should have that right – as long as they don’t act stupidly. On the flip side, everyone who is in one of the groups that is more susceptible to dying from the virus, or those who are genuinely afraid, should continue to stay at home and do whatever they are doing.

I’ll be honest, I don’t like to wear a mask, but I do when it’s called for. I practice social distancing to the best of my ability, I wash my hands more than I ever have before, and I don’t cough on people.

Don’t take that as me being some type of rebel. Take it as me being a realist.

I’m glad I’m not a local official who has to make the decisions that control our behavior, based on edicts passed down from our governor.

I’m also glad we have a President who is letting governors make decisions for their states.

I believe we’ve done a great job doing our part to protect ourselves, and others. If you want to condemn me for not wearing a mask 24/7, so be it.

I won’t be condemning you for your actions, unless I see you doing stupid things, such as coughing in someone’s face.

I will not come up to you with a yardstick or some type of measuring device and demand that you social distance.

Much of what we have to do during this pandemic has been called the new normal.

I hope this new normal passes quickly, and I believe it will.

The American people will force the issue, and those who oppose their actions/beliefs might see them as people who don’t care about another person’s life.

I don’t think it’s an either/or situation.

We will soon reach, if we haven’t already, that point where deaths due to suicides, drug overdoses, alcohol abuse, and yes, even murder, outnumber COVID-19 deaths. However, you won’t hear those numbers counted up on the nightly news.

You can call me what you want, but I don’t think COVID-19 death numbers are accurate. I believe a bunch of deaths have been called COVID-19 deaths when in fact many “died with” COVID-19, not necessarily “due to” COVID-19.

You know that’s true, because the numbers are being adjusted weekly, if not daily.

We cannot live in fear, and we can’t sacrifice our country’s economy based on a bug that will ultimately kill the same amount of people, or less, than many other “things” that cause the end of a life.

I’m glad we live in Texas. The horror stories I’ve heard in some states where governors have become power hungry idiots, is alarming.

One of the saddest things, at this point in our COVID-19 fight, is that it has become quite the political football.

I can’t help but wonder what the situation would be like if the pandemic had occurred shortly after President Trump was elected, as opposed to during an election year.

If you don’t think politics is coming into play, you are sticking your head in the sand.

Here’s my prediction.

The fear mongering will all but end the day after the election in November.

COVID-19, I’m sure, will still be part of our lives, but the political circus will shut down, and about half the country will be happy, and the other half will be mad.

I don’t like not doing the things I did prior to the pandemic, and my saying so, doesn’t mean I don’t care if people die.

It’s time everyone, individually, takes responsibility for his or her own behavior, care for others, and respect other people’s thoughts about everything COVID-19 related.

Just remember … the day after the November election will be much different than today.

That, I can promise.

Until next week, have a good week, and don’t be stupid.

Mike Probst can be reached at publisher@rockportpilot.com.

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