Got to Party?

2 Comments for “Got to Party?”

  1. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    I have no issue at all with public exposure of people who willingly participate in super-spreader events and practices, whether on the White House lawn or at Circuit parties. If exposure costs participants their jobs, so be it.

    Let me illustrate with two examples:

    (1) I have a friend, Mike, who owns and operates a company in Iowa. Company policy required employees to conduct their off-job lives in accordance with CDC recommended practices (social distancing, masks, avoidance of large events, staying home if exposed, and so on) in order to keep the workplace safe. An employee knowingly violated that policy over the 4th of July weekend, contracted COVID, and brought it to work. Mike and four employees of the company became infected as a result, and Mike’s wife also became infected. Mike had to shut the company down for three weeks as a result, and his wife suffered permanent lung damage. Mike fired the employee, and rightly so.

    (2) Another friend, John, works as a forklift operator in a factory. John, who is overweight and severely diabetic, is at high risk if infected. The company that owns/operates the factory has strict off-job requirements for employment similar to those of Mike’s company. John’s health (and perhaps his life) depends on other employees conducting themselves in accordance with company policy. John told me in a phone call several weeks ago that the company had fired several employees who violated the company’s policy by participating in a large, indoor party at a local bar. Tough.

    My view is that this is a case of “your personal liberty to swing your arm ends where my nose begins”. The people being “shamed” (if that is what it is) are endangering those around them, and those with whom they are in contact after the event. I have no interest in protecting them from the consequences of their behavior. I have a lot of Trump-ish friends and listen to mindless bragging about how tough they are by not wearing masks or taking other reasonable precautions. I tell them “You don’t know enough people who have died yet.”

    If anyone should understand this simple principle, it is gay men.

    During the dark days of the 1980’s, those of us who survived unscathed (if not having personally become positive, but having lost close friends to AIDS can be called “unscathed”) learned to conduct our sexual lives on two assumptions: (1) We could be positive and needed to we conduct ourselves with the understanding that we could infect our partners with HIV if we did not use condoms, and (2) Our partners could be positive and could infect us if they did not use condoms. It really was that simple.

    It is as simple today. All of us need to understand that we could be infectious and pass on COVID to others, all of us need to understand that anyone around us could be infected and pass on COVID to us, and all of us need to conduct ourselves accordingly if we have any pretense of responsibility to one another.

    I am old enough to remember a time when cultural conservatives were willing to take as much communal responsibility as cultural liberals. We differed over the means (private versus government), but not the sense of shared responsibility. That sense of communal responsibility has greatly diminished among cultural conservatives during the last decade, and particularly during the last few years. I cannot imagine President Bush, Senator McCain or Senator Romney pushing reckless and irresponsible behavior in the way that President Trump and his ilk have virtually mandated defiance of CDC recommendations as a litmus test for conservatives. Conservatism has become warped, almost beyond recognition, in recent years in many ways, and defiance of common sense and personal responsibility is one of them.

    Be that as it may, none of us need feel sorry for those who suffer the consequences of reckless and irresponsible behavior, whether it be “shaming”, firing or whatever. Actions have consequences, which is another idea that seems to have gone missing in conservative thinking recently.

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    • posted by Jorge on

      Company policy required employees to conduct their off-job lives in accordance with CDC recommended practices (social distancing, masks, avoidance of large events, staying home if exposed, and so on) in order to keep the workplace safe.

      Dayum! That’s harsh.

      It is also clear. Like you say, private vs. government.

      And since we are talking about private behavior on all sides, if should ever feel that I’m better than a mob of uncultured boors (which I at times do) I would hope that I not fear in saying so and saying why.

      I tell them “You don’t know enough people who have died yet.”

      Very true.

      Reply

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