The “Martyrs” of the Pandemic

As we have 1.2 million Americans infected with this virus (and that is just the ones we know of) and 77,000 dead and millions of jobs lost among the chaos and mayhem, there is another aspect of this whole pandemic that is starting to unfold and it is a virus all in its own.

This is the dozens and dozens of protests and mass defiance against the pubic health orders and state lockdowns that have been put in place to keep people safe all across the country since this pandemic started and these actions are selfish and problematic.

As if it was not bad enough that we have a deadly virus trying to kill us, but now we have selfish people who do not take it seriously who now are playing victim and trying to be martyrs of lockdowns across the country and it will get people killed, in fact, it already has started to do that.

They think that their rights are being violated, that the constitution is being “trampled on”, and that there is some big conspiracy behind the stay-at-home orders in cities and states across America and refuse to stop and look at the bigger picture that it is not about them or what they want to do, but rather it is about preventing the spread of the virus and protecting PUBLIC HEALTH.

There are a few cases that come to mind.

First we have the salon owner in Texas who defied an order that said non-essential businesses could not be open and as a result she was arrested and sentenced to 7-days in jail and the upon release she played the victim card, made thousands from a GoFund me account set up for her, and then did the talk show tour to play the martyr.

People make her out to be a hero when in fact she was endangering lives by being open, her actions endanger lives yet she is claiming that she is the victim in the situation and that is the furthest thing from the truth, she is the one putting people in danger.

She claimed on the Sean Hannity show that her workers use every safety precaution there is and that is simply not true as her hairdressers were not wearing gloves and her explanation was that it made it “hard to style hair”an thus not possible and that is not true, she simply wanted to be open and did not care who it impacted.

Then we have the Michigan barber who said he would have to be “taken out in cuffs” before closing his shop, which is the order by his state amid growing cases and deaths from COVID-19. The 77-year old barbershop owner claims that his “civil liberties are being violated” just as the Texas salon owner claimed and that is simply not true.

There was a restaurant in California who ignored the state lockdown and opened their bar and restaurant to dine-in patrons with no social distancing, no masks, no safety measures whatsoever and even went so far as to make jokes on their Facebook page about the Democrat governor of the state and the virus itself.

There are so many people who defy these public health orders and who do not take this seriously and what is even more disturbing are the growing number of our fellow Americans who defend these people who are endangering public health online and even in person by holding “End the Lockdown” rallies all across the country.

They view these people as MARTYRS of this crisis.

During a time when we should be coming together to support each other and stay safe during this pandemic, people are doing the opposite, they are making this all more difficult for everyone by protesting the safety measures our state and local leaders are imposing to keep us safe and slow and stop the spread of the virus.

Online they defend these people and make them heroes, when the reality is they are defying the law and ignoring public safety and CDC guidelines that have not been put in order to punish them or take away their rights like they falsely claim, but to keep people safe and prevent this virus from spreading more than it already has.

It reminds me of another criminal that far-right conservatives made into a martyr and cult hero.

Her name was Kim Davis.

You remember her, don’t you?

Kim was the county clerk in Kentucky back in 2015 who gained international attention when she defied a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that same sex marriage was legal.

She tried to play the victim card and then presidential candidate Mike Huckabee tried to gain votes by using her as a political ploy and make her a martyr of the anti-gay cause of the far right that existed back then and still does to this day even some five years after same sex marriage become the law of the land.

Just like what is happening now with the self-made martyrs of the COVID-19 lockdowns, Kim did the media circuit and became a hero of the cause to deny gay marriage licenses to same sex couples and became a hero for the anti-gay movement and was praised by the same people who are praising people like the Texas salon owner and Michigan barber today, people like Hannity and Huckabee.

The funny thing is that back in 2015 it was Davis who was violating the rights of these gay and lesbian couples and today these same conservatives are claiming that these stay-at-home orders are violating their rights, I find that quite ironic.

They forget that so-called martyrs like Kim Davis did violate the rights of the people by denying them a license, but these shelter-in-place orders do not violate any rights and are put there in place to protect people from getting sick and getting others sick and even worse, dying from this virus that we still know nothing about.

My message to these people is this.

Your doors are not locked, you do not have bars on your windows, you are not in handcuffs, you can go outside, you can go to the store, you can go on a drive, you can get an online job, get exercise, and so on — your rights have not been violated and those who have been forced to close TEMPORARILY while we figure this out have not had their rights violated either.

The people who refuse to close their business amid the lockdowns and in the middle of this pandemic are NOT martyrs of this time and they for sure are not victims, but rather they are selfish, inconsiderate, and negligent as they do not care about the public or the health of their customers, they choose profit over people just like the “president”.

I get it. I do. People are tired of being stuck (safe) at home and want to go back to how things were before, make money, have fun, and get on with their lives (we all do), but this is not the time and if we do not stay closed then so many lives will be lost and so many will get sick and then we can never open, or at least not for many years.

The curve has not been flattened, cases are rising as are deaths, and we are not in any position to open things up without thinking of the bigger picture and that picture is that if we do not think of public health and others then millions will get infected and the economy really will crash then and so many people will die.

When you repeat these lies that the virus is “fake” and defend the mishandling of this crisis by Trump while ignoring how people like the woman in Texas, the guy in Michigan, or the countless others not wearing masks, staying open when they are not supposed to, or social distancing then you become part of the problem and not the solution and you contribute to the spread of this virus and the loss of life.

These people are not victims and they are not martyrs. What they are is part of a growing group of selfish and ignorant people who do not care about the well-being of others but rather only about what they “feel” like doing and what matters to them.

They do not take this seriously because it has not personally impacted them and until it does then they will remain selfish and ignorant and they will continue to put lives at risk, just like that salon owner in Texas and the gentleman in Michigan are doing and to have that kind of disregard for the safety and health of others is nothing short of evil.

This is my final message.

Stop with the selfishness Trump supporters about how your“rights are being violated “ and not taking this public health crisis seriously.

Stop with the false statements about this virus because they believe his lies. Just stop . Please. This is no joke and is more important than a business being allowed to be home.

These people think this is a game and they think it is no big deal when in reality, it is the biggest.

They make it all about them and Trump makes it all about him.

Yes it’s sad that our economy is bad and people are struggling but NOTHING is more important than our health .

A salon or a barbershop isn’t an essential business and they should not be allowed to remain open until we get this thing contained and have a virus to keep people from spreading the virus.

Open now and millions get infected. We cannot do that. We need to think about others. It is not about you or me but it is about us all and the health of our communities.

We aren’t “scared”.

We aren’t “fascists”.

We don’t want to “destroy the economy”.

What we want is to keep people safe and protect public health. Public health matters most. More than your “freedom” and more than the mythical violation of your rights.

Without our health we have nothing and we have no idea how deadly and contagious this virus truly is and until we get a hold on it we must keep America closed for us to keep America safe.

These business owners who defy the law aren’t martyrs or victims.

They are putting lives in danger and they must be held accountable for that!



Author, activist, American. Love to write everything from politics to recovery and much more. Find me on Twitter under my name for much more!

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Rob Clewley

Author, activist, American. Love to write everything from politics to recovery and much more. Find me on Twitter under my name for much more!