By Joe Rector

Americans baffle me. We never seem to stay on an even keel. One minute we are excited about the wonderful things in this life; the next, we are bemoaning the terrible fates that have befallen us. What we might do before the whining begins is realize that most of our problems are the results of our own actions.

Too many of us instantly buck any attempts to tell us what to do, especially when those guidelines cause inconveniences. Consider social distancing. It amounts to staying separated from others by at least six feet when a crowd has gathered. It also means that we should stay home as much as possible to keep from infecting or being infected with COVID-19.

All folks have to do to see terrible behavior is make trips to the grocery store or Walmart or Home Depot. Plenty of people are shopping in those places. Many of them are unaware of anyone else; they are more focused on getting items and checking out. Stores mark aisles “one-way,” but shoppers pay no attention to the instructions. They don’t want to walk the extra steps that are required to keep others a safe distance away. Instead, they want their rights to move freely. How dare anyone suggest or demand that they alter their lives in the slightest just to protect other people. Videos on social media show offended individuals throw fits and punches when another asks them to move back or go the other way.

Even worse are the reactions to wearing masks. Science shows the distances the coronavirus travels when a person sneezes, coughs, or sings. That threat of infection to another person is seriously blunted by using masks. Wearing one is also a common courtesy, and it shows a concern for others.

For some contorted reason, a large group of Americans revolt against the wearing these things. They go about their affairs without ever covering their faces. If a business or another person should ask any of them to wear a mask, these self-absorbed humans begin yelling and screaming and cursing. The first statement out of their mouths is, “I have the right to not wear a mask or covering!” Then the attacks that label those on the other side as leftists, rioters, looters, and un-American scum rain down.

Here’s the scoop on mask wearing. Doing so is being required in more places and situations with each passing day. There is an order to wear them in the local area. Those who disagree should realize that their rights always end where another person’s begin. I have the right to be in public or a business without having to worry about whether someone who is asymptomatic is infecting me as he or she stands in line behind me. Wearing PPE is an act of kindness that can protect strangers and family alike.

Too many folks in this country are spoiled, entitled individuals. They care about themselves and no one else. That’s too bad because a society exist for the benefit of all. Perhaps those who throw tantrums should recall the final reason for doing something that parents always seemed to give. Here goes:

Socially distance yourselves and wear masks to stop the spread of this pandemic…BECAUSE I SAID SO! It’s about saving others and the country.