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Celebrate the unsung heroes of the great pandemic panic

By Michael R. Shannon
web posted April 20, 2020

After the Flustapo reversed course, we currently live in a world where the suspicious characters are the people who aren’t wearing masks.

The CDC’s bogus guidelines never made sense. Masks are vital protective gear for medical professionals, but the coverings will only serve to infect civilians? Who believes that? I’ve seen hundreds of medical professionals and their ears aren’t any different than ours. One on each side of the head, perfect for stretching elastic.

I wasn’t the only non–professional who was skeptical. Masks in stores are scarcer than toilet paper. Obedient citizens can’t even find cheap painter’s masks with the metal band you smoosh over your nose to keep it from slipping.

Here in Texas the mask shortage has forced our family to adopt vintage clothing like my wife’s ancestors wore. We’re sporting bandanas tight over our nose just like Jesse James.

Bandanas have been another learning experience. During my shopping excursions, I’ve discovered robbing a train must have been much hotter work than it appeared in the movies. James Keach didn’t seem to break a sweat in ‘The Long Riders’, but I find the exhaust trapped by the bandana makes my face clammy and I have an overwhelming urge to yell, “Reach for the sky!” when I get to the cashier.

Then the cloth bandana eventually gets wet and you start to wonder if the bacteria you’re breeding next to your face are worse than the germs that produce the WuFlu.

Still, we shouldn’t let the negatives associated with the Kung Flu completely overshadow the positives. It’s been weeks since we’ve heard an Urban Movement Kommissar demand we abandon autos and invest additional billions in mass transit ‘to save the planet.’

That’s because we’ve learned when the public needs mass transit the most — say during an epidemic — it’s unavailable. While premium gasoline is under two bucks a gallon.

The Great Pandemic Panic has also caused many to start appreciating the unsung people without whose efforts society would soon be a Walking Dead episode. Starting with truck drivers. MSN.com found a driver named Bob Stanton.

Stanton is 62–years–old and has three underlying health conditions. That pretty much guarantees a fatal experience if he contracts the China Flu and he’s fully aware of the risk. In addition, he “only has a half can of disinfectant spray left. He doesn’t know where to go for testing if he were to develop symptoms, and he’s afraid of being caught far from his Illinois home if he gets sick.”

Stanton’s outlook on his role during the plague was so old fashioned he may as well have popped out of a time capsule. He has no intention of using his saved vacation time to self–quarantine until the WuFlu has passed. He’s also not demanding a hefty pay raise to continue to drive.

(Side note, why is it the evil ‘price gouging’ if a merchant raises the price on goods during a shortage, but perfectly fine if workers demand more money to do the same job they did before the Kung Flu?)

Stanton would like idiot governors to reopen rest stops they arbitrarily closed and it would be nice if truck stops could again serve sit–down meals. But that’s pretty much it. Stanton plans to keep working because, “If I take a couple of weeks’ vacation, you all starve. I’m out here trying to keep you all fed.”

God bless him for that.

Stew Leonard, Jr. the president of ‘Stew Leonard’s’ grocery is doing his part to protect employees and shoppers. He’s done his best to short–circuit panic buying. He was among the first to raise wages and install Pexiglas shields to protect his cashiers.

Leonard’s stores are still open. W. Kent Taylor’s restaurant chain, Texas Roadhouse, is essentially closed. He’s donated his entire salary and bonus — in the neighborhood of $1 million – to pay employees while China’s gift to the GDP rages.

One doesn’t have to be a tycoon help employees. Variety covered Mark O’Meara who owns two movie theaters in Fairfax County, VA. Many of his employees “make a living on a shoestring, and I can’t pay that well,” he said.

O’Meara then innovated by becoming the only movie theater in history of offer takeout. “He started to sell ‘curbside concessions,’ hawking large tubs of popcorn for $3.” The first day netting $25 in sales, but word–of–mouth kicked in and now he averages $300 to $400 per day. The money goes to the workers.

“I’ll do what I can to get these kids paid.”

Then there’s genuine tycoon Sheldon Adelson — owner of the Las Vegas Sands — who’s paying his 10,000 employees for the next two months.

You may not even be working yourself now, but you can do your part. Wave at a trucker and be extra polite in the store. ESR

 Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker. He can be reached at mandate.mmpr (at) gmail.com. He is also the author of  Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!). 

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