- The Washington Times
Thursday, May 21, 2020


Nobody knows whether the fat lady is warming up her vocal cords or not. America’s prima donna of political song has been in self-quarantine — alone — since the Chinese lied about the existence and origins of COVID-19.

The response here in the States was so China-like, too: Shut up, lock your door, close the drapes and mask yourself.

With no orchestral accompaniment, the fat lady sits, alone, awaiting her cue — a reason, any reason, to emerge.

Well, the time has come. May has Memorial Day. June, Flag Day. July, Independence Day. Come the Eighth of September, Labor Day.

If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can urge the masses to join her in San Francisco to celebrate the Chinese New Year, why shouldn’t freedom-minded Americans bust loose, too?

It’s the time of year to battle over BBQ sauces, not government shutdowns.

We should be headed to cemeteries to pay homage to loved ones and veterans, and placing flags graveside.

Firing up the grill to honor grams, moms and moms-in-law — face-to-face celebrations darkened by the Chinese virus. It was just prior to Mother’s Day, indeed, when the calls for liberty began ringing the loudest.

Now Memorial Day is upon us, and the anti-democratic buttons that say “government knows best” are being pushed yet again.

We’re told it’s OK to venture outdoors but avoid crowds like the Pelosi-Chinese New Year merriment, and to wear masks, as the people of China have been doing on and off since the 2002-2003 SARS pandemic.

In fact, all 50 states are allowing us to slowly, too slowly, emerge. None fully, though, as if sunshine is not a disinfectant — that’s government-think, for sure.

Some say it’s OK to get your locks dyed or shorn at a beauty shop but by appointment only, and authorities are loosening restrictions at public recreation facilities. They should be careful, though, to not look foolish, as Laura Curran, the chief executive of Nassau County, New York, did recently at her press briefing announcing a reopening. Her attempts at tennis lessons were more laughable than serious. (Guess comic and Trump impersonator Alec Baldwin wasn’t available.)

The mayor of D.C., meanwhile, continues to hold tight her reins on residents and other stakeholders.

There’s no doubt COVID-19 is a frightening virus and that we must arrest its human-to-human spread. The use of artificial intelligence to uncover who has the virus and who his/her potential contacts are should be welcomed — but not until individual privacy is protected 99% — as the cleaning wipes and sprays we’ve hoarded, say.

Or, of course, until a vaccine is discovered.

Until then, governments should open wide the doors of freedom and liberty, and family and togetherness.

Again the reminder: May has Memorial Day. June, Flag Day. July, Independence Day. Come the Eighth of September, Labor Day.

That’s how the fat lady and other Americans begin looking forward.

After all, we should be slapping a few slabs of ribs and some chicken on the grill and battling over which is the tastiest barbecue sauce recipe — Memphis, Kansas City, North or South Carolina, or Texas.

• Deborah Simmons can be contacted at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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