For months I watched the news of how the COVID-19 pandemic was being handled in the United States from the comfort of my home in Europe.
I thought to myself that the news could not be accurate and that the American people could not be handling this pandemic as badly as the press was saying. Because in Europe, the pandemic is pretty much over and definitely under control.
When I arrived back in the United States last week for a two week stay for work and visiting family and friends, it took me less than ten minutes to notice the stark differences between how Europeans and Americans are treating this pandemic.
Upon landing in Detroit, from Amsterdam I was wearing a mask as required. It was also my personal choice to wear one regardless of requirements.
While sitting down to get something to eat before my next flight, a person leaned over the railing, and over my table, to get a peak at the sports replay on tv. I looked at the person who was not wearing a mask and asked him to leave my personal space. The person looked at me like he was offended and I had to use rather stronger language in order for him to understand I wasn’t going to allow him to put me at risk.
Personally I dont care if you want to wear a mask or not. I dont care if you dont want to practice social distancing. If you are ok with the risk, its your choice and I support your right to choose.
What I dont support is your ignorance to the health and safety of those who choose to wear a mask and social distance. Your rights do not give you any right to infringe on the rights of anyone else. Your rights do not give you the right to put anyone else at risk.
This is the difference between the United States and the rest of the world.
In Europe people respect their neighbors. They respect personal space and everyone else’s personal choices. In Canada where the virus is largely under control it is the same.
In the United States this self entitled “my right” attitude is killing people. COVID parties and the absolute disregard for other people is simply embarrassing.
People wonder why Europe and Canada will be playing hockey this fall with little problems? Really?
The lockdown in Europe was three months. It was hard. It was unforgiving. It was enforced. People understood the risk and importance. No one liked it.
The United States couldnt manage a lockdown for a month in some places. Your poor little rights were infringed on. Meanwhile your neighbors died.
Now Americans want to complain that sports wont be played and what they want wont happen. All because they couldnt take some pain of a longer lockdown and some rules for a few months.
Yes I know people will not like my opinion. I really dont care. This country, my country, is an international embarrassment. IF that doesn’t concern you then I hope you enjoy the limited freedoms you will have until this actually gets under control.
Meanwhile, I will head back to Europe. Where I know its safe, and neighbors respect neighbors. Where people understand the value of a human life is greater than your personal inconvenience.
The politics of health and well being in the United States coupled with some mob mentality is going to cripple sport for young people this year. Anyone thinking hockey will be played as usual in the United States this season has not been paying attention.
The combination of stupid people and stupid politicians will keep this country from going back to normal for a very long time.
Maybe, just maybe everyone should take two weeks and just stop. Stop everything and let things dissipate. I know its too much to ask, but maybe its not too much for your children to ask so they can have a normal life again.
If wearing a mask and social distancing for two weeks was all you had to do to save your child’s life, would you do it?