As I See It: Less than amusing musings

Pete Abler - As I See It.jpg

It’s rather dramatic how the public’s attention and consciousness has slipped away from the “normal” subjects that appear on page one of most newspapers to everything surrounding COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.

The jokes surrounding toilet paper are plentiful and mostly right on the target without nailing the real background message about our “I’ve got mine; it’s tough that you don’t have yours” greedy society where some are hoarding or price gouging for sanitizing solutions and wipes.

Thanks to the craft brewers who are making and handing out sanitizing liquids.

Doctors, nurses, attendants, hospital custodians, police officers, firefighters, first responders, emergency medical technicians are now some of the most important warriors and heroes/heroines on the front lines of responding to this crisis.

Truck drivers have suddenly earned a much higher level of respect and gratitude than they have ever received in the past. Clerks, cashiers and others who continue to staff grocery stores and convenience gas stations and stores - all the time being exposed to whatever the customers might be carrying - are also deserving of recognition.


I’m curious if all of those businesses that are offering $2 or $3 extra for new hires willing to work in some vulnerable positions at this time are going to keep them when this is over.

The online sales world is a lifeline for many elderly and others who are required to or voluntarily choose to self-quarantine. With access to these sources, augmented by the friends, neighbors and pure strangers who volunteer to shop and deliver prescriptions, food and necessary supplies to homebound people, being relatively isolated is not enjoyable - but certainly doable, at least for the short term. Who knows about the long term? We may find out.

With the closure of so many churches to little or zero attendees, the internet provides the conduit for worship, prayer, contemplation, spiritual advice and so much more. Drive-by confessions maintaining the recommended social distancing have sprung up in some areas.

As my wife and I participate in Mass, rosary and other prayer and distance learning sessions, the scrolling list of people making comments and asking questions is literally worldwide.

I believe Gov. Walz and his staff have done a pretty good job in their responses and actions. I was quite amused that in the state of Minnesota, liquor stores were among the list of essential services that could remain open. My cynical mind wondered if the sensitivity to the desires of the citizens for access to alcohol wasn’t slightly tempered by the continued flow of tax receipts.

Another thing that caught my attention in our state - my colonoscopy was canceled because all elective surgery was suspended - but abortions (which are obviously elective and don’t seem to fall under the title of health care) are still permitted.

Two or three times a day we hear the latest number of deaths in this country and the world from this virus. Would it be possible to balance that with the number of abortions performed in the last 24 hours? Sooner or later we are going to have to define what it really means to be pro-life. Pro-life “but” won’t float forever.

It was disappointing to note the legislative branch took so long to pass the first bailout package. I don’t know if it’s true or anecdotal that when the Senate bill hit the House, the representatives had about 1,000 pages of “stuff” they wanted to add. The wrangling about that took almost another week and some of the recipients of aid certainly have no basis based on this health crisis.


I guess disappointment in our national politicians in their ability to work for the good of all citizens won’t be over soon.

Wars are a series of battles, campaigns, engagements and skirmishes. This war is far from over and may go on for more than this year.

St. Padre Pio - a modern-era Italian Franciscan saint - said, “Pray, hope and don’t worry. Worry is useless.”

Good advice in my book.

Well, that’s the way I see it.

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