So this morning while standing waiting behind another person at a service desk at a big box store, I got yelled at by a store employee for not positioning myself by a red X. I was not too close, mind you. I was actually at a further distance from any one else because no one else was in the vicinity and it didn’t matter.
I turned around and looked at the man who had yelled at me. I looked him in the eye, both of us masked. I just stayed put.
I fear the mentality with which we are dealing right now. I fear where that mentality is going.
I see both sides of the freedom versus fear schism we are watching in society right now.
The fear people are all about following the rules to make sure we are all somehow safe, trusting that masks and distancing and locking down and all will make us safe.
The freedom people have a heightened alertness to the dangers of those protocols. They are more questioning about the information they are given to justify the extreme measures.
The fear people resent the freedom people for not being considerate about everyone else’s health. The freedom people resent the fear people for not allowing them to make their own decisions and for not questioning the information and spectrum of risks associated with their actions.
And people are digging in their heels, like my store employee this morning feeling so emboldened with a perceived power he has never had before to actually yell at a person for not conforming to the red X.
Is this how it’s going to be? And where, exactly, does that go?
I confess I left the store feeling very down and very concerned for this path we are on. I don’t feel safer on any level for all the mandates. If anything, I feel far more at risk now than I have ever felt. Worse, I fear for the world we are swiftly creating for our children and theirs.
At the end of the day, we are all just people. We need to find our way together rather than picking sides and doubling down.