Being under “shelter at home” orders has given me a new perspective on the many freedoms I have taken for granted. It seems like overnight; the world has “closed” its streets, shops, cafes, parks, beaches, and even our public lands. When I do venture out for essentials, the atmosphere is filled with fear behind masked faces.
I am in my sixties and have never seen American freedoms diminished and patrolled like this in the history of our great country. Two of my three children served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Our soldiers are fighting for FREEDOM from the tyranny of controlling dictators and governments.
Taking away our freedom would normally result in a fight or revolt. After all, America stands for liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Instead, Americans are hiding in their homes from an unseen enemy.
Liberties I took for granted
This unique time in history has given me a new appreciation of my liberty. Our nation fights for freedom from tyranny, communism, or dictatorship. Our current state of affairs gives me just a little taste of what living under those controls must feel like.
I have a deeper appreciation for being able to attend church services, go to a ballgame, eat junk food at the state fair, rock out to a live concert, enjoy a theatrical performance….what once were ”normal” activities were taken for granted.
Freedom of the outdoors
Fishing, boating, hiking, camping, hunting, swimming – the freedom to enjoy all of these healthy outdoor activities have greatly vanished. The outdoors and our beaches once were a healthy place for people to find refreshment rather than being confined to “virtual” tours of what we can no longer enjoy.
We are avid campers, able to be self-contained, preferring to camp outside of developed campgrounds in our truck camper. However, BLM, National Parks, State Parks, etc. have been closed off. Done responsibly, this style of camping maintains quarantine, yet even that freedom is difficult to find.
The cost of sacrificed freedom
During WWII the American people worked together with food rationing, victory gardens, and in the mass production of airplanes and military equipment. Today the American people have worked together to flatten the curve and wait for our scientists and medical personnel to get the data they need.
Sacrificing our liberty has come at the expense of our economy, jobs, and now the welfare of those who are healthy. Child abuse, domestic violence, and suicide are collateral damage that will only increase if the shelter at home order is not lifted.
My grandchildren need to enjoy friends and school activities. Folks need to go back to work. I want to be free to hug family and friends. I need to go back to my church and worship with fellow believers. I need to camp in this nation’s beautiful parks and lands.
I don’t have the answers to this terrible dilemma. I do my best to focus on the things I can do. I can pray, do my part to help others where possible, and be prepared for prolonged quarantine. However, may I never again take these essential, beautiful, and joyful liberties for granted.