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Cabarrus Magazine

Opinion: The Destiny of a Freedom Loving People

Apr 17, 2020 03:08PM ● By Pamilla Tolen
By Pamilla S. Tolen

 *The options expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Cabarrus Magazine, ComfortPublishing, CabCo Media Group or its advertisers.

This past month has been both discouraging and enlightening for me. Now, we wait for healthcare researchers and providers to stamp out a virus that most Americans now think will either kill them or someone they know, if they don’t social distance. But this is what concerns me about this whole situation regarding this pandemic.

First, as a small business owner, I am suffering the plight that most business owners are going through. First, we were told, with no warning, to close our businesses, which shut down our income. Then we were told to “shelter in place”, a gentler way to say “stay home” while we wait on the government to step in and take care of us by giving us money to pay our bills. After waiting 4 weeks now, and filling out every application possible to receive some relief, I have yet to receive one penny of stimulus money. In addition, there is no one you can talk to in order to find out how much longer it will take to even have your application reviewed. From an individual standpoint we are being told that the checks from the IRS are “almost” in the mail, but not quite. But if you made too much money, even if your business is closed and you have no income, or have lost your job, you will not be receiving a check.
From a health standpoint, over the past month, we have progressed from social distancing to wearing masks whenever we go outside. Plexiglass “sneeze protectors” now are appearing at every retail cash register. We can no longer gather in places of worship, at public parks or even with our family. People aren’t even supposed to go to the funeral of a loved one for fear of this pandemic. Yet, we follow along because we believe this will be a temporary situation and everything will return to normal in a short period of time. But ask yourself, will it? Have you already been conditioned to live in a way that shuts others out, except for a virtual relationship online? Regardless of how noble or right the reasons might be, are we in some ways being programmed for the future. We, as good Americans, have meekly followed along unquestioningly because we are ingrained with an underlying belief that our freedoms will never be taken away. Yet, look at what Americans have given up in just 4 short weeks.

1.) The right to operate a business for profit, unless you are considered (by the government) to be essential.
2.) The right to gather together in one place for worship, meetings, family and friend gatherings, Sports events or concerts.
3.) We suspect every person we meet now of a potential carrier of this dreaded disease and we hide our faces with masks in a crowd, while we stay at least 6 feet away from everyone.
4.) We wait hopefully on the Federal government to pay our bills and keep us afloat because we aren’t allowed to earn the money ourselves.

We are told that everything that we are doing now is for our own protection, but let me just put out this warning. We have an element of our society that think socialism is a wonderful way to live. I want to say to them that what is happening now, in this country, is the way that socialism creeps in. Is steals your freedoms one by one and always presents itself as a good thing. It makes things appear as if you are uniting for a good cause. But what happens next year, when this virus, or some other, reappears? What I am saying is that we have to weigh what we are giving up. We cannot be like “Pavlov’s dogs” and allow ourselves to be conditioned to slowly give up our freedoms until it is no longer possible to get them back.

I am 72 years old and have lived through many crises in this country, but never one like this one. In 1984, I lived in Costa Rica during the time that the Sandinistas, sponsored by Cuba, lead the socialistic regime that took over Niagara. Before socialism took its toll on the country, it was the richest country in Central America. I had many friends who barely escaped with their lives as socialism took over. I visited the refugee camps set up in Costa Rica and talked with those who lost everything to escape. How did it begin? It began with the government taking away the freedoms of the people, one by one until their lives were totally dictated by the government. Then, they killed those who refused to comply. Be careful, America. We are only one step away from a destiny we cannot afford to take hold of in our society.

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