By BERNADETTE WILSON
Your chances of surviving COVID-19 are greater than 99%.
Take a break from all the headlines, the press conferences and the emergency alerts, and stop and truly ponder that statistic – A survival rate greater than 99%.
Yes, people are going to get COVID-19. It’s a virus. It spreads. That’s how viruses work. That should not be alarming.
Yet in the name of saving our health, we are losing the very essence of who we are as a culture and as a society.
Our children are being deprived of an adequate education. Our friends and family are losing their livelihoods. We are being told to give up basic constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.
Look around you. The conversations standing in line at the checkout counter are minimal, the eye contact and friendly smiles at the grocery store are nearly nonexistent.
I’ve seen children playing sports with sweat-soaked masks covering their faces. We’ve effectively been told not to assemble. Going to church is a hazard for your health, we’re told, and in a warped way, we are being sold a lie that our constitutional freedoms are now “selfish.”
It’s time for a truly American reset and reflection and there is no better time than this Thanksgiving.
When the first pilgrims came to America, nearly 50% of them died that first winter. Stop and think about that – they had a nearly 50-50 chance at dying when they came to the New World.
Yet they came.
They came despite the risk, because the promise of freedom, the ability to worship and educate their children, the ability to live and work without an oppressive government were worth it.
They knew their friends and family, including their own children, could potentially die, but they knew that their freedoms were worth the risk and they came because the promise of a free world was worth the health hazard and even death.
That first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Rock is especially important for us to reflect on this Thanksgiving. Stop and reflect on the very essence of freedom that our country is founded on. The first pilgrims and our forefathers understood health risks far better than any of us will ever appreciate.
“Give me liberty or give me death” was not some cliché. It was truly a way of life, a comment from the heart that spoke in a very real sense of a risk that was understood and freedoms that were valued.
Across our great city and state and nation we are being told not to gather this Thanksgiving. Nearly 8 million more Americans have slipped into poverty since the pandemic. Children have been told that they cannot go to school. People have lost their jobs and businesses are closing their doors. Churches have been hammered with “social distancing” mandates.
The American Dream is hardly thriving under these conditions.
Now, as a collective body with our family and friends we have now been told “do not assemble.” The very freedoms our forefathers fought for are now being sold to us as a health hazard.
No current elected official anywhere in Alaska, no government bureaucrat, understands the risk of death versus freedoms better than our forefathers. Yet the Constitution was written and the Bill of Rights was forged with no caveat — and the Founders of our country faced illnesses far worse than COVID-19.
The ability to work and worship without an oppressive government is not selfish. Your freedoms are not selfish. In fact, your freedoms are worth the health risk. That belief is the very foundation of our great country.
Those who would convince you that your freedoms are selfish? Their ilk never got on the boat to begin with.
This Thanksgiving let’s reflect on that first Thanksgiving – how we got here and why we came. It’s time for an American reset. Your freedoms are worth the risk.
Happy Thanksgiving. May we continue to be blessed as “one nation under God.”
Bernadette Wilson is a business owner, mom, and civic leader in Anchorage.