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GROB: I need a shot of the forgiveness vaccine, too

By James Grob,

Hooray for me, I’m getting my shot.

Yesterday I received a call from the good folks at the county public health department, and they scheduled me in. My first shot is later this week, and my second shot will be about a month from now.

I hope you’re getting yours soon, too. Please do what you can. If you’re having trouble getting scheduled, find someone who can help you. The sooner we can end this, the better.

GROB: I need a shot of the forgiveness vaccine, too
James Grob

For over a year now, I’ve been writing columns and articles advising and urging the good readers of this periodical to keep a safe social distance, practice good hygiene and wear a mask when you’re out in public. You’re sick of hearing that. I’m sick of telling you.

The “practice good hygiene” part seemed pretty easy for most folks, which is good. There were a few smart butts who got mouthy about that, probably because they’re still mad at their moms for making them wash their hands before dinner when they were little kids. You’re always going to have a few smart butts, bless their hearts.

The keeping a social distance thing was actually the most painful, but most folks eventually abided. The most heartbreaking part of that was families and friends unable to get together, unable to talk in person, unable to hug. Every story I heard about that made me want to cry. You couldn’t give your mom a hug? You couldn’t shake your buddy’s hand? That hurts.

People missed family Thanksgivings and family Christmases. That’s just not cool, and never will be.

The social distance part where you don’t sit or stand right next to someone should have been a lot easier, but unfortunately it wasn’t at first. More than once I had to get a little huffy and clear some space at my local convenience store. Once a few people were told to back off, however, most of them got the gist of it.

Personally, I hope the backing off and getting the heck out of my space part of COVID mitigation is something that lasts well beyond the virus. I’ve never liked it when someone is in my space. It stimulates a deep-rooted urge to become violent, and awakens my worst human impulses.

What should have been the easiest part — wearing masks — ended up being the hardest, and that still makes absolutely no sense to me. Why on earth would you not put a mask on?

People insulted me, they threatened me, they called me names, they called my wife names, they called my kids names — all because I asked them to do what every informed, educated person was telling them to do. Prominent local business people actually tried to get me fired from my job because I asked them to wear a mask.

I’ve been fighting cancer for five years, folks. I’m a high risk of death from COVID. My parents are, too. Same for my nephew, who has Down syndrome. My list of loved ones at high risk goes on and on. Is it any wonder why I’m insisting you put a mask on? Is it any wonder why, when you deliberately choose to not wear a mask, I consider you a threat?

And yet, I’m somehow the bad guy for asking you to do what you know is the right thing to do. And then, I’m told I’m supposed to have thick skin and not take things like that personally.

I don’t always do what I’m told.

Save your stories about how masks don’t help. They are complete BS, and you know it.

The fact is, more than a half million people in this country who would not be dead are now dead, mostly because there were enough other people who did not practice good hygiene, did not socially distance and did not wear masks when they should have.

I personally knew some of those people who died. I also know some of the people responsible. I’m not going to investigate the super-spreader locations here in our community, but we all know where they are. Some people should be ashamed, but they never will be.

We are nearing the end now. My best guess is that by the end of the summer, COVID-19 won’t be a thing anymore, and I am grateful for that.

I’m a strong believer in forgiveness. I believe that “forgive and forget” is the best way to live.

Sometimes it’s not so easy to forgive and forget, though. Sometimes it’s a lot easier to just wear a damn mask.

Anyway, I’m getting my shot. I’m pretty happy about that. Hooray for me.

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