Louis Fowler’s Pandemic Journal: The Push Back

I used to own a 30-30 rifle. It was supposed to be for hunting, but I was far too much of a beta-male to actually kill anything; I mostly shot at coffee cans on mounds of dirt at my mother’s farm, deep in the Oklahoma country.

But, after seeing this weekend’s roundly circulated photos of right-wing idiocrats looking to re-open America by any means necessary—flattening the curve be damned—I have been looking into purchasing a handgun, mostly for protection.

You see, last week Godhead Trump, in a call to arms via Twitter, told states such as Virginia, Michigan and Minnesota to “Liberate,” leading to scores of covidiots – some heavily armed – marching on their respective capitals in protest of their leaders’ stay-at-home orders, many protesters comparing themselves to Rosa Parks.

While the protests made it to Texas with a more apocalyptic bent, this insanity seemed to momentarily skip Oklahoma, but you know how much Stitt, the state GOP and their cronies love to intimidate people with their loaded weapons; it’s only a matter of time before they’re proudly marching through your neighborhood in the name of this diseased freedom.

And then, I ask, who will liberate you?

I’ve been walking up to the various pawn-shops in my area, my sanitizer-dry fingers eagerly flipping the debit cards in my wallet like an itchy trigger finger, always on the verge of almost buying a used piece; some of these places even do layaway!

If I buy a gun, will I be any different than them?

The 30-30, a gift from my ex-wife, was an instrument of death that I didn’t need in my life so I sold it, thinking that I would be able to get along just fine without, seemingly miles away from the racial tyranny of angry men that are just looking for a new flak-jacket and a clean shot, whatever comes first. I didn’t need it anymore.

Is it fucked up that I’m far more scared of my fellow citizens than I am of the Coronavirus? Maybe that’s the point.

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This weekend, the death toll in the United States from Covid-19 crossed 40,000.

I saw a few grade-school kids playing in a yard a few houses up from me today. As I spent a few minutes talking with my neighbor Carlos as he watered his lawn, I wondered aloud how kids are doing in this pandemic—this has got to be messing with their fragile minds, don’t you think?

Most parents—at least the ones I personally talked to—did the best job they could do with Easter, holding egg hunts in their home and so on. They younger ones seemed to enjoy it, but the older kids are getting restless, some upset about having to be behind closed doors most of the time. How do you explain this to a kid?

I have to ask…is Halloween going to be a return to normalcy this year? Is it possible to trust strangers to fill children’s bags and buckets with untainted candy on October 31st, this virus hopefully a memory? I don’t have kids and probably never will, so I’m not sure about those things. Maybe that’s my great failure in this life.

Even though they never came to my house, I always bought candy anyway. I’m still going to buy candy this year.

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Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.