Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Dear Editor: Pandemic a Blessing in Disguise?

Dear Editor,

These are just a few thoughts running through my head for a couple of years now.

What if the recent so-called pandemic (some say Plandemic) has been a blessing in disguise?!

Now, whether one believes there’s anything to all these conspiracy theories floating around or not, one must admit though it has been quite painful, much if not all of what has been revealed in the past years is eye-opening. And that is, to say the least!

When this pandemic hit our shores back in early 2020, after spreading waves of terror around the world, docking cruise ships, and bringing international airline travel to a shuddering halt, the immediate response was to quarantine, social distance, and wear masks in public.

In my opinion, the whole mask-wearing thing got WAY out of hand, bordering very closely on the ridiculous. Here again, I’m tempted to venture into the territory of conspiracy theory, whereas some theorists like to remind us why and for whom masks were mandated in the distant and even not-too-distant past.

However, aside from that little blurb, I’m not going to go there. Anywho...masks!

Even some doctors (many, in fact) admitted freely most masks didn’t really work that well. On the other side of that equation, studies and even common sense show how wearing those same masks, especially for an extended period of time, could actually be harmful to one’s health.

Personally, I vividly recall seeing photographs of rashes/sores that had developed, etc. To this day, even in areas as close as Bozeman (even Butte, to some extent), though the mandates have been lifted, one might witness them being worn proudly, almost, it would seem, as a fashion accessory!

The social distancing thing made about as much sense as the mask mandate. In fact, one might remember the question, “Why the mask if we’re social distancing? If we’re social distancing, why the mask?” On the other hand, though, the quarantine seemed to make the most sense. Whether one agrees with the fact that they were enforced or not, the general idea was pretty sound, one has to admit: “If you’re sick, stay home! If you’re worried about getting sick, stay home!” Wait, this sounds familiar...

Getting to the point of how this pandemic was a blessing in disguise: how much have we learned about the way our government operates? Are they (I say this very generally because I realize many of them really do want to see us healthy) really looking out for our best interests? Or is the bottom dollar, or possibly something even more sinister, at the heart of these mandates?

Speaking of mandates, what’s the deal with mandating the vaccine?! Last I heard, they were offering monetary incentives to take it. Does that sound like they’re looking out for our best interests? Either that or they think we need to be incentivized to do what’s best for us...

On a more common sense level, it has taught us more than ever before about the need for community and social stimulus. The forced quarantine forced us to realize that without the social interaction of the surrounding community, we are not only in danger of stagnation, but we could also even fester and die.

On the other hand, the importance of regular hand washing began to receive more attention. The practice of sanitizing public surfaces really ramped up as well. All good things, if you ask me!

In conclusion then, whether one wants to take this whole scenario (the past couple of years) at face value or not, there is no doubt there was most definitely something amiss! The disease that spread around the world (barely a country or continent untouched) ran roughshod, leaving behind many dead, and almost none that weren’t somehow touched by this health crisis.

Without saying much about the social and economic impact, which we’re currently experiencing, left in its wake, we may suffice to say this pandemic will not be soon if ever, forgotten!

Charles Haddon Shank

Whitehall, Montana


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