Covid’s Legacy: A Word About Dead Skunks

By Michael Patrick, Ph.D.

When the happy-go-lucky fellow left home that fateful morning, he had a plan for his day. Poor wee skunk; he didn’t see it coming.

It’s kind of like when we learned that Covid-19 was this viral lung infection coming out of China that made people sick and fragile people were dying.
Covid-19 itself didn’t surprise me. After all, it wasn’t the world’s first nor most deadly pandemic.

What caught me off-guard me was the sweeping and penetrating authority that some government authorities seized for themselves without question nor a moment’s hesitation.

In high school, I wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. I had too many interests that weren’t happening in a classroom at the time. Nonetheless, somewhere along the way, I got the notion that the purpose of all those high-minded documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, The Bill of Rights, even the Federalist Papers that interpreted them, were to spell out to governments that all power not specifically issued to them, didn’t belong to them, but to ordinary people. Once upon a time, we had brighter lines. Government didn’t have any authority unless people expressly gave it to them.

The game has changed radically. For instance, exactly when did we give government the right to say people couldn’t choose to visit family or hold a dinner party with friends in their homes, that kids needed the government’s okay for a play date, or that a mom couldn’t cut her friends’ hair to afford rent or groceries? When did we decide that people couldn’t earn a paycheck to support themselves unless a governor specifically told them they could? Was that listed in one of those documents and I accidentally missed it?

Covid’s long-term casualties aren’t only the one’s who catch the virus. Nearly all of us will likely get this respiratory infection in the coming years. The truth is that ninety-nine percent of us will also recover.

The dead skunks in the middle of the road are those of us who unwittingly ceded authority to elected and appointed officials to rule and regulate every tiny living detail of our lives. Elections became a farce when we stopped saying “no” to them. We let them stay long enough on their thrones to think that they own it. Now that they see what they can do with no questions asked nor without any serious consequences on election day, they won’t ever look for your permission again.

Get used to asking for some official’s okay in your life. Make no mistake; all of this will happen again. The controllers will tell you it’s all for your own good and that you must wait for their approval. Otherwise, you’ll end up just one more dead skunk in the road.


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