Striking Differences

We are settling in here in Texas and I am constantly struck by how different and yet similar our life here is, compared to our life in Philadelphia. The most obvious thing is the weather. I grew up in San Diego, so I’m familiar with warm winters. But it’s been twenty years since I lived in southern California. And, those twenty years have been filled with snow, freezing rain, sleet, ice storms, and just plain damn cold weather every winter.

Now we’re back to bouncing between cold (it was 36F when I woke up the other morning and didn’t get much past 42F), and t-shirt days (Christmas weekend is projected to be in the 70s). I like it. Of course my biggest peeve with winter weather was having to commute in it. I’m not commuting any more, so that’s a moot point now. Although, I have to say that last winter I did enjoy being able to watch snow fall and know that I didn’t have to go out in it unless I wanted to. But I’m enjoying the warmer weather a lot more.

Another thing…there is a LOT of wide-open space around here. Like a ton. I know Montana is Big Sky Country, but that’s true here too. Hella different than living in the city. When we head west on one of the main roads just to the north of us, we go right by a big, working ranch. There are almost always cows hanging out next to the fence. It’s an interesting contrast to the Kroger-anchored mall, or other strip mall across the street.

But the main difference that I’m noticing right now is the complete absence of masks and the so-called “Covid protocols.” Life here is completely normal. Yes, there are the occasional people wearing masks, and employees in the big national chains (Home Depot, Target, etc.) are wearing masks, but almost nobody else is doing so. And guess what? Absolutely nobody is dropping dead in the streets. Shocking, I know, but it’s true. I mean, according to the “news” types, Texas is a hotbed of unvaccinated grandma killers, right?

Wrong. Texas is filled with people who have decided that this entire Covid theater is a joke and they’re no longer going to play by those rules.

None of this – the masking, the social distancing, even (perhaps especially) the vaccine – is about “ending” the WuFlu. None of it. Omicron is more transmissible, but far weaker than the original strain of WuFlu, or of the (cue Darth Vader music) delta variant. Nothing is about “ending” or “stopping” WuFlu, or keeping people healthy. It’s about power and how those who currently wield power can keep it and wield it in ever growing amounts. It’s about crushing citizens until they become subjects. It’s about throwing money at favored groups (those who are favored today at least), and taking it away from other groups who aren’t spouting the party line. It’s about (trying) to stop everybody from criticizing those in power. It’s about dividing society into “clean/vaccinated” and “unclean/unvaccinated” for the purposes of crushing them all.

No, I don’t think there’s a single, coherent plan that politicians and bureaucrats are working from. But they’ve all absorbed the idea that once given power they must retain as much as possible and they have come to find out that they really enjoy wielding that power. They love the deference they get when they say “well, I’m a health inspector and let me tell you…” or “I’m a doctor, and I know…” (they neglect to tell you they’re a podiatrist or a dentist, not an epidemiologist). The tone is condescending, and the attitude is of the “I can’t be questioned because I’m an expert” variety. Next time you hear that tone, start asking questions. Yeah, you’ll probably get screamed at, but that’s on them, not you. If somebody can’t handle questions, you have to start asking if they really do know what they’re talking about or if they’re just angry about getting their self-appoinited authori-tah questioned.

But haven’t you noticed that while the ubiquitous “they” tell you that you need to do all the WuFlu dance things they’ve been screaming about for a year, that they don’t follow those rules? Kids are forced into masks at school all damn day (there’s a study out about how god-awful germy those masks get from being worn for eight hours…it’s disgusting, and your kids are breathing that. Asthma anyone?) while at the Hollywood award shows, precisely NONE of the celebrity attendees are wearing masks. But all the serving staff is. I saw a photo the other day of Maxine Waters on a plane not wearing a mask. She put it back on when she noticed the person across the aisle (who took the photo) looking at her. Those in power KNOW that it’s all theater, but they’re going to bully you into compliance and then laugh at you. Say it with me now…hy-poc-ri-sy.

So to everybody living in states where these so-called “protocols” are still in place and where you, your friends, and family are living in terror, I say, step out of your disinfected bubble where the vaccinated are still getting sick, and the unvaccinated are being jailed for personal decisions, and come visit us in the land of the “it’s none of your business if I’m vaxxed or not” and see for yourself. We’re not dropping in the streets like flies, the hospitals are not “overwhelmed” due to too many patients or not enough nurses or both. Gas prices are lower here (I’ve seen anywhere from $2.79 to $2.95 depending on where you are), less than what they were when we left PA, and waaaay less than the almost $5/gallon that California is seeing. Food prices are lower and we can go see movies and concerts without wearing any damn face-covering unless one chooses to do so.

The air is less stress-filled and you can see when people smile at you. Trust me, it’s good to see smiling people.

A free life is about choices. And here in Texas I get to make more of my own choices than I did in Philadelphia. And that makes me happy.

That and not having neighbors over my head.

Image by lorimalhiot from Pixabay

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