Exactly what normal do we need to get back to?

ATHENS — What is normal?

I keep hearing that word by those rushing to open up our country during this pandemic. They keep saying, “Let's get back to normal,” and I find myself wondering what normal is because it doesn't seem to have worked.

Is your normal like my normal? Or is normal in Missouri different than normal in Vermont? Or could it be we are all just not normal?

I am in the one of the groups considered vulnerable to this virus and frankly I am not ready yet to cash in my chips. But neither do I want to see people or the small business community suffer because of a prolonged shutdown.

In an economy in which most two-parent families have to have both parents working full-time jobs just to survive, I am pretty sure that is not the economy I would like back.

I don't want the economy back that has a Starbucks or 7-Eleven on every other street corner. I don't want an economy back that children get fed fast food because it is cheaper than good food.

I don't want an economy back that makes us all think that consumerism must be at the cost of the mom-and-pop stores. I don't want an economy back that depends on China and many Third World countries for a majority of its goods.

I am not willing to die for an economy that benefits the few and forgets the rest.

I also am not willing to die for those people currently in office who have backed the fool in the White House, whose “best brain” and uncaring, unsympathetic, greedy, narcissistic, self-absorbed attitude has caused many of the deaths during this pandemic.

“Do not go gentle into that good night/Old age should burn and rave at close of day;/Rage, rage against the dying of the light,” Dylan Thomas wrote.

We have become a joke to the world. People in other countries stand back and pity us because of our president.

It's not that I ever wanted our country to be the hero, to be the biggest and baddest superpower in the world. I always wanted to believe that we tried to do our best, to lend a helping hand, to reach out to those in need.

But if we can't do it in our own country, if we can't see all people created equal on our own shores and work together to make sure that the vulnerable in our population is protected, then how can we maintain any credibility with the rest of the world?

Is our economy as it stands now worth the risk of me dying for it? It is not.

The rich want the economy open so they can make more money, and they don't care if we die while their coffers fill with gold. I am not willing to die for them.

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