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Like everyone in America, I am held prisoner by the rampant spread of the Covid-19 virus. At a time when I should be riding my bicycle through the countryside, I’m sitting and watching events unfold around the world.

Everyone has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in some way. Some people are unemployed. Some people are overworked. Some people are desperately clinging to their sanity while holed up in their TP lined bunkers or some other undisclosed location. Whatever your situation, I hope you are weathering this storm safely.

While I’ve been stranded by this new pandemic, I’ve been watching more than my fair share of the news and quite frankly it depresses me. I’ve never been into politics, but that doesn’t mean I don’t understand how the government is supposed to work. And having daily exposure to the news shows me how far this country has strayed from our founding fathers.

It’s sad that the constant barrage of news is about the discord between Republicans and Democrats. When did we, as a people, stop having discussions and start arguing about everything? When I was in elementary school, I learned about America as a melting pot. Different cultural groups that settled here brought their differences and made society better by sharing their customs and adopting new ones. As I grew up, the melting pot began to be described as a salad bowl. Very unique and different cultures living in harmony but maintaining their individuality.

Listening to the media now, I feel like every group is saying if you don’t believe what they believe, then you are wrong and must be removed. When did we become such an intolerant society? When did it become wrong to have your own beliefs and opinions? Why can’t we agree to disagree and get on with our lives? When did we stop talking and start fighting?

I am beginning to miss the days of being isolated from the news. I miss the world I lived in where my only concerns were whether I would wake up to photograph the sunrise or how many miles I would traverse during the day. There is something very liberating in not worrying about what is going on in the rest of the world. Knowing your world exists in what lays before you and nothing else.

Now I struggle with the limitations the government has put in place to keep everyone safe. I understand social distancing. I understand the need to limit large groups. But I take exception to some of the draconian measures our leaders have put in place. The closure of public parks is an extreme measure in my opinion. I don’t understand how walking around a park, alone, when guidelines say exercise is ok, can do anything to spread this virus. Further, the gestapo tactics of our police force shows me that they are more interested in showing force than upholding the law. Watching reports of police harassing people in their own yards for being outside during this crisis is shameful. My own experience with officers “giving lawful orders” makes me angry. When did we become a society more interested in bending people to the will of the government instead of a society where we exercise self determination?

I’m ready to return to my ambitions to see the world. I’m ready to return to my own world where my problems consist of seeing the sunrise or walking ten miles before breakfast. I’m ready to exercise my own self determination.

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