Response to Mitch Albom: Don’t Scapegoat

Mitch Albom released an Op/Ed that reads no different than anything I’ve ever consumed of his, which is albeit not too much. He has a knack for reasonableness. Today, he was not reasonable. That’s because, today, he defended scapegoating.

In his post, “Coronavirus represents a war of the Everyman,” Mr. Albom asserts, “In fact, I would argue, it’s the biggest issue question facing the U.S. today. How many can be sacrificed? What’s the ‘dead’ number we can live with?”

Later, while arguing that the disease is no less dangerous despite any flattening curve, he writes, “You can get this disease, not know you have it, act irresponsibly, spread it, and indirectly be responsible for someone’s death. If that doesn’t bother you, then you are either soulless, or a president who thinks it’s cute to not wear a mask in an auto plant where everyone else must.”

And to kick things off, before unleashing those two doozies, he describes the virus as, “…a monster that attacks through the air but is animated by unlikely foot soldiers: Ourselves.”

At first, it sounds like he is sticking to undeniable and unassailable truths, but listen closer a second time.

“What’s the dead number we can live with?”

“…animated by…Ourselves.”

Now wait for it…

You can…indirectly be responsible for someone’s death.”

Mr. Albom: someone’s body’s inability to heal itself from a virus does not make asymptomatic me responsible for their death.

Reader, wait! Before you think me callous, lend me your ear.

If all asymptomatic folks get back to normal life, no mask, no social distancing, no nothing—a return to actual normal life—handshakes and hugs, then what happens? We diffuse the blame. That’s what happens.

It won’t have been that the right-wing, gun-toting nut-jobs currently storming the Bastille caused the second wave, the second peak. And it can’t become the socialist, no consequence libtards who claim, “It was Trump!” that smugly prevent the second wave, the second peak.

Like the Senate who took down Caesar as a group, it will be all of us who are indirectly responsible for all COVID deaths. And when “all of us” are responsible, it means “none of us” are responsible.

As clearly as I know how: Asymptomatic individual humans will never be culpable or responsible, directly or indirectly, for deaths during “pandemics.” That is, unless asymptomatic individuals keep behaving in such a manner as to create scapegoats.

Mr. Albom: Don’t put on the mask. I know you’re scared. But sometimes people die. You of all people should know this.

Actually, every time, people die.

And Mr. Albom: Guess what? You aren’t responsible. Your pen can’t stop death. Your words can’t stop death. Your research can’t stop death. Your experts can’t stop death. Your mask can’t stop death. But your behavior can relieve your pain like a laugh can relieve sadness. Don’t put on the mask. You won’t have killed anyone, no different than before.

But when asymptomatic you puts on the mask, you put on something more. No different than Aaron the Israelite Priest of old put the sin on the goat, you put the virus on me.

One comment

  1. Andrew (Drew) Ford

    Ah—the sanctuary and safe-harbor of the herd…….no individual responsibility because the herd is just galloping along together in one blissful and innocent pack……..just don’t get in our way.

    Liked by 1 person

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