What Is Wrong With America?

The Northern Ireland Executive announced on Thursday a raft of lockdown easing measures over the coming weeks. These include the opening of bars, restaurants and cafes; competitive sport to return; gyms, museums and galleries to reopen; and a halving of the two metre social distancing rule. Deaths and infection rates have fallen markedly. There is hope for guarded optimism, a chink of light at the end of the tunnel.

The vast majority of the Northern Irish public have stuck to the plan. We have kept to the rules and stayed at home. The death rate per 100,000 people for Northern Ireland is the lowest in the United Kingdom. Our politicians, normally a petty, dysfunctional bunch who can’t agree on anything, have pulled together and displayed real gravitas and leadership. I’ve been both impressed and surprised. It’s sad it has taken a global pandemic to garner consensus and common sense.

I return full time to work on Monday and the shops will be open as I stroll through Belfast city centre towards my office. Yes, I may have to wear a mask on the train and queue outside the local Tesco, but we are a quantum leap from the dark days of April where the city resembled an apocalyptic ghost town. There has been real progress. Whilst there is still much to be done and no room for complacency, there is hope for better days ahead. And soon.

Then I look elsewhere. Deaths in England are still near 200 as day, yet their beaches were packed two days ago when record temperatures hit. Despite being warned to stay away, the masses flocked to seaside resorts such as Bournemouth. Cars were abandoned, rubbish bins overflowed and fist fights broke out. It was the ideal breeding ground for a virus that needs no second invitation to wreak havoc. Did the beach goers give any consideration to this? It would appear not.

The death toll in Brazil has surged past 50,000 this week. And that’s a very conservative estimate. It is believed that many, many more may have lost their lives to coronavirus. The Brazilian President has headed an appalling government response to the crisis, describing it as nothing but a ‘little flu’ as he posed for selfies with supporters. The arrogance and callousness of the man has been staggering. The people he was elected to serve have been utterly betrayed and left horribly exposed to an invisible killer.

The same can be said about other nations. The virus seems to be ripping through countries such as Mexico, Chile and India. New infections are breaking out in Germany and New Zealand, nations who thought they had beaten the bug. Then there’s the USA. 49,000 new infections yesterday. Fresh outbreaks in Florida, Texas and Arizona. A nation led by a man who seems oblivious to the suffering of millions so long as his huge ego is massaged and nurtured.

If the rise in infections continue we could be looking at 10-15,000 deaths a week by mid summer in the States. These are heartbreaking figures for the supposed most advanced nation on earth. Trump supporters holler about the freedom to swagger through their towns and cities, toting automatic weapons. An assault rifle will be no use to anyone when they’re in an intensive care unit in a medically induced coma, their lungs turning to mush. Are they really that blind?

I’m not a politically minded person but I had to write these words. The land of the free and the home of the brave? Bravery is heeding the medical and scientific advice, taking the necessary precautions and keeping you and your loved ones safe. Freedom is staying healthy and living to see the other side of this crisis. You may not agree and I stand to be corrected, but how could such a global power have gotten it so wrong? And is there any way back?

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

92 thoughts on “What Is Wrong With America?

  1. Easy answer: There is an open rebellion against science being perpetrated by roughly a third of out entire population who describe themselves as being “conservative.”

    The politicization of science is a response to scientifically based liberal reforms. It really began in earnest with climate change. Climate change demands State cooperation and action in the form of new regulations designed to curb carbon emissions. If you are an American conservative, what you hear is “the government wants to control you,” and you react accordingly. Of course, this requires you to tackle the underlying premise: Climate change. How do you do that? Simple, you deny its existence. “We don’t need any of this because climate change is a hoax.” Done.

    Wearing masks is an inconvenience. Being required to a wear a mask by the government is interpreted by American conservatives (predominantly Republicans) as government over reach and tyranny. But, coronavirus is a thing that demands us wear masks and take other actions. Solution: Deny the existence of coronavirus, or deny its severity. Claim the tests are wrong, claim the testing criteria are wrong, claim the deaths over stated, claim anything and everything necessary to convince a sufficient portion of the public to employ the instrument of democracy to hobble the government’s response to the pandemic.

    Done.

    That’s all it is.

    Republicans, conservatives, evangelical Christians, avoiding inconvenience and challenges to their beliefs by denying science and claiming it is a conspiracy by “elites” to deny them the freedom to do anything they want, however they want, to whomever they want.

    Liked by 9 people

  2. In my town, there is a “I have the right to not wear a mask (or whatever)” mentality. I challenge that argument when that person’s “rights” are at the expense of someone else’s welfare or health. It’s a mindset that deeply troubles me.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s so bad I have relatives who are medical professionals who have been formally trained in such basic things as the Germ Theory of Disease, but they are also “god fearing Baptists” who all voted for Donald Trump, and so magically all of them have opened their skulls and tossed their brains in the trash.

    “I’m not scared of it,” says my chronically obese aunt and lab technician who suffers from COPD. This woman literally cultures bacteria on a daily basis, but because “Jesus” has decided she won’t suffer any consequences from contracting the virus.

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  4. All across America, there are still guidelines in place everywhere for social distancing and places where masks are mandatory. There are towns that have seen a resurgence in virus numbers that are going back into lockdown — but keep in mind, it is only recently that everyone across the country could get tested for the virus. Most people in America are very alarmed by the continuing spread of the virus in States that had not had problems with it before. Even though our Anarchy problems get into the news now constantly, most Americans are not heavily armed with guns, wanting to cause riots. Living in America and how America is portrayed in the news (meaning trying to find any possible way to make Trump, and therefore all Americans, look out of control) — these are often two different things. The US is an enormous country and hundreds of thousands of people are getting tested for the virus all the time now — these numbers do not reflect the hundreds of thousands of people who did not have access to tests for the virus back during it’s so-called peak. You can be sure that most regular Americans are extremely upset and anxious about what is happening here daily.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. To be blunt, the news isn’t trying to make Trump look out of control. He does that all by himself, and he knows who butters his bread.

      Don’t make excused for anti-science rhetoric and a president who enjoys wide scale approval among the willfully ignorant. Every time someone blames the media we drive another nail in our coffin.

      The news is accurate. Our president is a buffoon, and the people who follow him are all part of a large problem we failed to deal with before.

      Liked by 5 people

  5. What’s wrong with America? Everything. & it’s not just Donald Trump. It predates Donald Trump. It goes back to Ronald Reagan. Maybe back to the assassination of JFK. But definitely to the election of Ronald Reagan, the rise of the power of the right-wing evangelical Christians, & the start of the dismantling of the New Deal.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. To put it all together, it’s an age old power struggle fought from pretext piled upon pretext.

    I often point the finger at religion, but there are plenty of rational religious thinkers in America. Religion is ultimately one of those pretexts used to obscure a deeper issue. It gets to a point where we can’t even agree on what the problem is.

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  7. It is terrible to see, and to watch people get the CVOID-19 I was one, not as bad as some people, my girl-friend loss her sister she was in the ICU for 17 days her whole family got it Praise God they all beat it. The leadership in this country is horrible I am one to say that the man in the white house is NOT my president and never will be. As a Christian woman he and others need to walk the walk and not just talk the talk, he never open a Bible and the way he treats other people is not what Jesus has called us to LOVE our neighbor as ourselves. If anyone who does not follow the teaching of Jesus Christ is NOT a Christian. Act Justly, Love Mercy and walk Humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Spot on, my wise Northern Ireland friend. It is truly appalling. My only hope is that enough people will recognize this president’s lethal lack of leadership and vote him out in November.

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  9. It’s not that we’re getting any new community spread here in New Zealand, it’s just that once we ended lockdown we relaxed border restrictions and let citizens who were trapped overseas finally return. Some of them turned out to have Covid-19 and they are in quarantine. This was expected.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And we still are. If we’re going to let New Zealanders return from overseas it’s got to be expected some will have Covid-19. There’s not much we can do about that, unless we kept the borders closed and not let the people caught overseas return.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Sad but true, Stephen. I try to maintain respect for leadership but it’s not easy with Trump in charge. Fortunately, he does not represent all of the USA with regard to opinions and actions. Those of us who disagree with our political head are dismayed and not proud of the message he is proclaiming.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. America is huge and different state to state. I live in Massachusetts and people have been really good about wearing masks to indoor places. I know it’s a different story in other states (I haven’t been to another state since…..2019…ha)

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  12. Good morning, Stephen. Well-said. It seems only God knows how and why this virus ever became a “thing”. As you pointed out, it has been a test for nation’s leaders. In the U.S., we are also dealing with an uprise of protesters and riots. No telling what will happen as we get nearer to the presidential election. I may ask you and your lovely wife to scope out some real estate for us! All kidding aside, the Bible tells us the world, its wars, its famines will all get worse as it get nearer to the time of Jesus’s return. I believe we all are being tested in our faith.

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  13. America is the object of pity now. And as great as the ideals that founded the country, the reality has fallen way short. It has flirted with fascism before, but it really is on the knife edge now. I hope that the majority of decent and good hearted Americans prevail. But that has not always been so, especially for people of colour, first generation immigrants and Native Americans. For a country that started as a partial theocracy (Massachusetts Bay Colony), there is a lot of repentance needed. Some of that is now being reckoned.

    One of the reasons some think Huck Finn is the great American novel is that it addresses the two great themes of of what became the United States: race/slavery and belief/religion. The country was polarised from inception. The capital of Washington, DC was created from a drained swamp beside the Potomac from a section of free state (Maryland) and slave state (Virginia). It was thought a great compromise, but the fault line has been there from the start.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maryland was a slave state from the beginning; it chose to stay with the Union because it had – by that time – enacted emancipation laws. However, Maryland had one if the largest urban slave populations to be found, in Baltimore, after Pennsylvania’s emancipation laws finally went into effect and Philadelphia was no longer the urban slave capital.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I live in Florida. We now are told you have to wear a mask outside your home. I’ve been trying to do that anyway. Only twice did I not wear them. Once for a medical appt, and once to go shopping and to get something to eat. I will not be going out that much anymore. It’s sad that our government doesn’t care. The scary thing is I don’t have insurance, so if I get sick I end up with a huge bill.

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  15. This is what happens when a party lies to its believers, devalues education and sets the stage for a narcissistic entertainer with no moral compass to enter stage right and convince them he’s their king.

    Pray for us. It’s worse than it looks. We’re just trying to make it to November when the emperor with no clothes will topple.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Seriously doubt that will happen. Every election since November 2016 has been a Democratic blowout and they are regaining state legislatures. Current wisdom is that they’ll lose the Senate, too. If that happens, he’d be impeached immediately. Every poll has him in double digit losses. The virus is winning, unfortunately. We rarely leave our home except to grocery shop and get food.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. It has struck me that your post is looking for a more substantive answer. Unfortunately I was in an emotionally charged state and blamed religion.

    That was lazy of me. Please accept my apologies. There are plenty of countries in the developed world with religious values that don’t have the problems America has. So, I sat down and put more thought to it, and so I’m going to just say it.

    America’s problem is racism.

    Every divide in our country had a racial tint to it. Between the religious and the secular, urban and rural, and ultimately scientific consensus all has simmering beneath them all an unspoken posture on race. It has become unfashionable for white supremacy to be paraded openly. The message needs a vehicle, or vehicles. For proof, remember we are talking about the country that sent people to the moon on rockets run by computers with less computing power than a dime store calculator. What happened?

    It’s not hard to see what happened. Up until the Civil Rights Movement got into full swing, consensus among America’s white population was easy to come by, and since whites made up the vast majority of the population it wasn’t at all hard to do amazing things with that profound sense of unity. Even among whites who generally sat on the sidelines of the movement they were comfortable in the unspoken knowledge that their political power was absolute. In other words, being nice to black people was easy when we knew we had the final word on virtually every issue.

    That has changed.

    Not only are whites now a plurality among total population, in our lifetimes whites in America will be a voting minority compared to everyone else. That fact has not gone unnoticed. The message of white supremacy has therefore infected everything, as liberal reforms—even those proposed by 1960s white America—have given voice to the voiceless. Ergo, liberalism is now connected with multiculturalism and non-whiteness. For every white American terrified by this concept they’ve fled from liberalism and therefore fled scientific consensus.

    This is how America’s culture war has become so evolved. We virtue signal merely by advocating for or against a scientific hypothesis or an established theory. It will take us some time, but we will eventually beat this back. I promise.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. You would think that there was a protocol for removing a leader who could neither walk, talk or even argue coherently, and admits to taking unprescribed drugs with hallucinatory effects. You wouldn’t be allowed to manage an ice-cream stall if you admitted that publicly; like the rest of the world, I look on in horror as the unnecessary deaths pike up, caused by the politicization of the virus in an election year.

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    1. There is a protocol, but the people empowered to use it are his toadies — his cabinet members, such as the esteemed anti-education head of the Department of Education and the moderately senile head of the Department of Human Services. Hence, no action. It’s always possible we could have a military coup. That’s more likely than the nonsensical idea of a civil war.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Stephen, today my little town composed of mostly redneck trump supporters is hosting its annual July 4th celebration with no crowd restrictions – my partner’s son says this is just a flu and a Democratic ploy to turn the elections, masking is optional and the bars were briefly open for business as usual, but have now again been shut down. Greed and self-indulgence, the new American way😡

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    1. I find the notion that a politician would seek to sicken and kill off his own supporters to be quite curious. However, in this case, maybe that is for the best. The fewer trumpists around to vote in November, the better.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. So, I’ve done a lot of commenting on this trying to talk my way through this argument of mine. It’s a terrible habit of mine, but I think I’ve got it boiled down to one sentence.

    Science challenges white supremacy.

    Notice, everyone protesting the masks are white. That is not an accident.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I am quite sorry for injecting all this into your post, it’s just that America is an extremely racially charged country, and we refuse to collectively talk about it. What you see is the result.

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  20. As a U.S. citizen, I agree with you that it’s been appalling. NewOldType is right about the racial unrest that is always right below the surface, but also many Americans are very politically motivated. Both the Left and the Right are struggling for power (NewOldType makes very interesting points on the power struggle in the U.S. as well), and the current President is certainly NOT helping the situation any. People refuse to talk and listen to one another to find ways of coming together and meeting somewhere in the middle. The Democrats have been battling to get rid of Trump since day one and the Republicans have been fighting against it, and they have kept right on battling each other, even though what we really need is for them to come together and play nice ~ LIKE ADULTS. And to the Pandemic and the protests happening all at once is pushing people over the edge. Some of us are learning things about our families and friends we never knew and that is also adding stress to the situation. I’m not defending the behavior over here at all…it is truly appalling.

    But in regard to the virus alone, there has been so much information (and misinformation) here that it has almost become a “the boy who cried wolf” type of situation. Many people think information is being released in a way that benefits one side or the other, convinced the other side has an agenda. You don’t know who to trust and most people can’t say they know anyone who has been impacted by the virus, which is bringing the conspiracy theorists out of the woodwork. And once they start talking their stories on social media about how our liberties are being taken away, it gets even more people all up in arms. It’s a mess for sure. I don’t know what the answer is, but I sure hope we are able to find it soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am also appalled by how the corona situation has become a political situation. Politics has nothing to do with it. People just need some common sense, which apparently the Northern Irish have, the Americans in 1918 had, and 2020 Americans have abandoned. It’s common sense and consideration of others to stay at home as much as possible, wear a mask and maintain a certain distance when out and about.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Good luck with the relaxation of the rules!

    In our (NZ’s) defense, we went 24 days without a single active case. There are currently 16, all contained in quarantine facilities, all coming in over our border, no community transmission at this stage. We still have citizens and residents only, allowed to arrive into the country.

    That said, although we had a very well managed, hard lockdown – one of the strictest in the world – the move down to alert level one has certainly had some mismanagement that has angered our population after we, who were here, did the hard yards. People returning, with little or no regard for the safety of all. Disappointing standards at quarantine stations in some cases. Our health minister is a dickhead of the highest order. TWICE caught breaking rules under level 4 – complete lockdown (I don’t recall a single other public figure being caught) then publicly throwing our amazing Director General of Health under the bus, whilst he stood by, about something the Minister was in charge of. 🤦‍♀️

    Despite no cases in the general populace, we are having the highest number of daily tests yet.

    Remain vigilant. Good leadership is vital.

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  22. I am one of those “conservatives” that many spoke of on this thread. I find it offensive that people like myself were attacked. I am a Christian who adheres to the science based protocols of wearing a mask, using hand sanitizer, and socially distancing during this pandemic.

    Trump holding the Bible was a publicity stunt. I personally think that Trump is an asshat. That said, only God knows whether Trump is a Christian and true believer.

    The single reason that America is going to hell in a hand basket is not because of conservatism, right-wing evangelical Christians, or Trump followers. It’s happening because people have become sheeple. They have lost the ability to think independently and make decisions for themselves. One can’t blame any external factor on that.

    Additionally, some Americans are simply self-centered to the extreme, with seemingly no concern for how their own actions may impact their fellow man.

    Our nation as a whole is very insular and people are isolated aside of their own social cliques. This along with the hate crimes which have been occurring here, it’s becoming a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah.

    Let’s not point be too quick to the finger at any one group or groups. There may be just as many atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Jews etc, not following COVID protocols as there are their fellow Christian counterparts.

    If we are to get through this pandemic, we must work together and try to find solutions and ways to support, encourage, and uplift one another.

    I am embarrassed by the actions of some bad apples who allow racism to proliferate and also won’t do their part to follow science based protocols to fight this novel Coronavirus. However, I am proud to be an American. 🇺🇸

    May God bless you all.
    #BLM

    Liked by 1 person

  23. My heart breaks for so many people around this tired and worn world. The U.S.A. does particularly worry me though as Canada shares this continent with our neighbors to the South. I cannot help but wonder how long the border will remain closed to non-essential travel. I worry about that and what the increasing numbers of those infected will mean for our two countries. There is an overall feeling here that wants it kept closed until the virus is brought under control. But is it already too late? All I can do is pray.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I have to agree. However, there are still way too many people being quite cavalier and careless. Images of crowded beaches in Ontario and elsewhere makes me wonder just how seriously Canadians are taking this pandemic.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. The things that penetrate our spirit the deepest, are the things that have lots of repetition and with everyone wanting to be heard, there are many not listening to what is proven. The worst thing about it all, is that even though the word’s “freedom,” are being spat at every suggestion given from scientists, and doctors, how free can one feel with the Coronavirus at every turn? People are dying, yet people are fighting to die. Sounds strange, I know, but it seems like a slab of our reality. If they are not fighting to die, they are fighting to infect since mask wearing is a “right” and not a wise suggestion— bloop– (a rain drop falls in the bucket, as silence fills the air.)
    Prayerfully, more people will heed to the advice of those who can only suggest what may help decrease loss and restore some level of newness. As we all know, things are not going back to how they were.

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  25. I ask myself the same question all the time – especially for the last three years… COVID merely adds more confusion. I’m not surprised by the egotistical, inept megalomaniac in the White House. I am totally baffled by his followers who think he gives a rat’s ass about anyone other than himself.

    That being said, there are also wonderful people who exercise common sense, believe the science and medical community, and care enough for others to stay home as much as possible, wear masks to protect themselves and others, and desperately pray that November 3, 2020 begins the return to sanity for our afflicted nation…

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  26. 1. We cannot stay home. The economy of Northern Ireland and the economy of the USA cannot be compared. People have to get back to work; we have to enter into a semi normal state of consumer affairs again, and we cannot shut down the economy.

    2. I wear a mask, even though at first I thought it was a little silly. I only go to the store when I need to, I still do take out; I still do social distancing; and I am avoiding theme parks, beaches, and other packed recreational areas. I try to do all my shopping in one day, in one area, and chose stores that will meet a variety of needs.

    3. Racism is a massive issue. Both candidates are assholes who will only exacerbate the issue, and neither candidate has the intelligence nor the ability to handle this COVID situation nor the issue of racism. (And if you think Biden does, you need to research his actions during his term as a Senator during Clinton’s “War on Crime”, and look into the political reasons as to why Obama chose him as VP.)

    4. It is not fair to blame religion. Yes, I am aware of the group of evangelicals – we’ll call them a sect – who are claiming that masks “dehumanize people, show a lack of faith, and are an overreach of the government.” But for goodness sake people, they’re only getting attention because you’re giving it to them! Yes, we notice the ones who aren’t, but there is far more who are, and if the ones who won’t find themselves limited in where they can be…let them post their FB rants and go on living your life in your nice broad circle. They’ll either put on their mask, or learn how to eat crow. Literally. So many of us nice normal Christians are just out here, wearing masks and staying as far away from humanity as we can in public, reading books and listening, truly listening to the racism discussions, disgusted by all politicians, and not attempting to go out and “own” anyone. We’re really quite ordinary. 😂😂 And many, many, many of the people that elected Trump will not be voting for him again. I know this personally.

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  27. I wrote a song last year as a oarsman response to the mosque attacks in Christchurch here in New Zealand. The first two lines are as follows:

    “My heart bleeds for the lost
    Souls ache for innocence taken”

    This sentiment holds in my heart as I look around at other parts of the world, namely the countries you have mentioned which seem to lack a unified and cohesive plan to minimise the devastation of coronations. I pray for these countries, as I feel that’s all I can do right now.

    (On a different note, there have been more cases here in New Zealand. This is sad, but they are restricted to people already in care, or people in isolation who have arrived back into the country from overseas. There were mistakes made in terms of border control measures, but no more community transmission which is the key. We have not eliminated the virus, nor might we ever while flights still arrive from overseas, but we are still caring about each other as humans, as it sounds like you all are where you live too. 🙂 )

    Please do keep on sharing your nuggets of positivity too, it’s great to see!

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  28. Stephan,

    I live in the US, and while I try to stay out of politics, I’d like to ask that you take with a huge grain of salt every bit of news about America, particularly about President Trump.The news is heavily biased against him. Not many people know he is giving his salary to charity, and that he signed legislation to make it easier for African-Americans to get funding to start businesses in cities, which was much-needed. A lot of things are not being broadcast. Journalists used to try to bring balance to their reporting (in fact, it’s in their ethics paper, that they do that). I don’t see that happening anymore. Just a few words can slant the meaning of any piece, and lead people to conclusions that aren’t true. The difference between the way it used to be and the way it is now, and the fact that readers are being deliberately mislead is saddening.

    On the coronavirus situation: I don’t know who to trust as far as news about it. One day you hear one thing; another day, the opposite. I wear a mask when I go shopping (pretty much the only place I go). To me it makes sense, if you have an extremely contagious virus flying around, to wear a mask and stay away from large groups of people. That is one reason I quit my job at the local store of the largest retail company in the world. We had a lot of customers coming in every day. The store did nothing to protect employees –it said to employees to find their own masks and hand sanitizers (when none were available). My mother is in her 80’s; I was uneasy about continuing to work there. The store finally started giving masks out in mid-April. I was appalled by the lack of concern for “essential workers”.

    I’ve heard of young people having “coronavirus parties”, to see who gets it first. That’s stupidity and a lack of concern for others. Trust me, when I was young, we didn’t have “chicken pox parties”, “cold parties” and “mumps parties”. You didn’t want to get sick! Common sense, where are you???

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  29. Please Pray for the Holy Land of Israel-Yisrael and Our Judeo-Christian Nation USA and our Christian Earth, that CHRIST-MESSIAH JESUS-YESHUA CAME too SAVE Everyone!! “Pray Without Ceasing.” ( I Thessalonians 5:17 KJV )!!

    Love Always, YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

    Liked by 2 people

  30. “A nation led by a man who seems oblivious to the suffering of millions so long as his huge ego is massaged and nurtured.” Indeed, that’s what’s wrong in America, along with his Kool Aid-drinking followers who ignore science and think God will protect them regardless of their reckless behavior. What I don’t understand is how they can believe that willfully endangering others is “Christian”.

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  31. Great post, Stephen… I have some email penfriends in the States (one in Arizona and the other in Florida) and they are appalled at what is going on and the dreadful incompetence of the man in ‘charge’. I loathed that stunt outside the church and thought it a gross insult to Christians world-wide (and I say that as an atheist). The fuss about mask wearing is incomprehensible, though what is also interesting is that research has shown that more Americans are wearing masks than in the UK…

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