Notes from Jackson Street: Can you say tired?

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By John A. Winters, Publisher

I am tired. 

Scratch that. I am exhausted.

I am exhausted trying to figure out whether I will be able to have an intelligent, respectful conversion with someone. And if not, how to extract myself and not burn the proverbial bridge.

I have learned, painfully, that there are certain people, close friends even, where one does not mention COVID-19 or the presidential election. More specifically, masks or Trump.

I have pretty much heard or read every argument for both sides. 

How can a flimsy mask protect you or others from the virus. Look at what radiation workers, fire fighters, welders, miners, etc. have to wear to protect themselves. No comparison.

The best scientists, the latest science, says those masks help.

Trump is easy. He is the Antichrist or the Second Coming. 

I enter conversations cautiously with something along the lines of “did you see where we hit a new record in coronavirus cases yesterday.”

“THAT IS A BUNCH OF BULL. HOSPITALS MAKE MORE MONEY OFF COVID CASES SO THEY CLAIM EVERY CASE IS  COVID. IT’S JUST A SUPER FLU. TRUMP SAID WE’VE ROUNDED THE CORNER. HE IS SENT FROM GOD TO MAKE US GREAT AGAIN!!!!”

Or

“WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE. THE SEVEN SEALS ARE OPENING. TRUMP IS THE ANTICHRIST!!!!”

Or

Yeah, I heard about that. What do you think?

I am pretty confident I can talk to that last individual. 

In between those two extremes, I sense (I hope) there is a growing middle ground that is saying: “ya’ll chill.” That it is possible to have a normal, respectful conversation. Where you can, seriously, agree to disagree and still go have beer or ice tea or whatever.

I hear that potential in the conversations I have more and more with people saying they are getting off Facebook and other social media for a while. That it has become too mean and disrespectful, foul even.

They want nothing to do with that. They realize, at this point, no one’s mind is going to change. There is more harm than good in staying. And it is a beautiful day to take a walk.

 And I see it in the incredible long lines of people waiting with masks on to vote. At the Coweta County Elections Office, they set up rope lines that snake behind the back of the building to ease the flow. 

This may well be the highest voter turnout in history. That is a good thing. In some states, more people voted before Nov. 3 than did in all of the 2016 election. That too is a good thing. And that is counting those in long lines or who opted for mail-in.

Is it because of fears of COVID. To some degree. But I think it is more because people realize how important this election will be. And they want their voice heard. And that too, is a good thing.

Go vote. Then start making peace – or continue to keep the peace. Ignore the haters, those who refuse that commonsense is just that and we need a whole lot more.

And thankfully, by the time you read this, all those damn political flyers that have saturated your mailbox for the past months; all those texts from Bobby at Who Did You Vote For,  and Jill (who just voted for the first time and is now a political expert on how you should vote) and Tad from M’urica, will all cease.

Stay safe. Wear a mask. Pray for America.

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