Well, here we all are, bunkered down in our homes with no place to go, other than work — if you’re lucky. The coronavirus outbreak and subsequent panic caused by the media has effectively shut down the country. We do have the internet, television, our families and, in my case, lots of liquor. I’m going to have to start liking all that red wine I’ve been given as a gift over the years.

It was requested I keep thoughts about the epidemic to myself so as not to cause “further confusion.” Seems a reasonable request, particularly since I’m not a medical professional; just an opinionated suspicious “person.” (My late father used a different word.) If you’re interested in that opinion, it can be found on my Facebook page or blog. It would appear many people have agreed with me, more than normal.

Anyway, observing social media, television and newspapers, there seems to be many people foolishly blaming President Donald Trump for his handling of the virus. Most claims made by these people are factually wrong and their opinion of Trump’s handling of the virus is about the same as their opinion of Trump before the virus. Nothing has changed other than yet another opportunity to thump on Trump. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome for a reason.

We’re facing an unprecedented quarantine of our freedoms, yet have a collection of “Monday Morning Quarterbacks” blasting the president’s efforts to keep the country safe and healthy. Those misguided soles are not really doing us a lot of good, are they? How about the reporter, who, during a news conference, kept badgering Trump about being racist for calling the virus the “Chinese-virus?” How about all the folks who thought Trump was racist when he closed the border for Chinese traffic?

To all you naysayers, I would direct you to a great speech made by past-President Teddy Roosevelt in April 1910 while in Paris. Usually, when they etch your likeness on the side of a mountain, an honor only reserved for a few, people believed in what you did and said.

To quote part of Roosevelt’s speech, later to be known as “The Man in the Arena” speech, it stated:

“It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood …”

And;

“If he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Some cynics might need to read that again.

• • •

On a different but related matter concerning the coronavirus, now would be a good time to point out how all that stuff gets from manufacturer to distribution center to your favorite store for your hording pleasure.

Nearly everything you buy comes by truck, of which are manned (if feminists will forgive my politically incorrect term) by truck drivers. While the rest of America is hunkered down in their homes, protecting themselves and their family from contracting the virus, the trucker is out among the public ensuring your products get delivered. Lately though, drivers have to put up with a number of additional indignities that you wouldn’t. Consider:

• Outhouses now being placed outside shipping/receiving facilities, rather than the driver being allowed to use the facilities’ restrooms because the facility doesn’t want the driver contaminating their business.

• Hand sanitizers are unavailable anywhere, unless provided by their company.

• Truck stops are shutting down shower facilities, even though hot water and hand-washing are recommended.

• Rest areas are full or shut down, giving the driver no place to sleep.

• Drivers being made to sign forms about their medical condition, against HIPPA rules, before being allowed to enter a facility.

• Sit-down dining areas have all closed. Most drive-through facilities are not equipped to handle large trucks, and yet many more will not allow for walk-up traffic. If the driver does get food, he/she has to eat in the truck. If they shut down the seating area and won’t allow for walk up traffic, how is the driver to purchase food?

I urge all of you to think about this — the very people making sure your stores are being restocked are being treated, at times, like second-class citizens. These indignities are rather short-sighted by the folks who have perpetrated them. You wouldn’t put up with this type of treatment.

We are all in this together. We need those truckers now more than ever. If they stop, because of sickness, lack of rest or food, the country will stop with them. If you see a trucker, you might not want to hug him right now, but you might want to thank them.

Alan Webber is a local businessman, author and blogger. He can be reached at edi Alan Webber is a local businessman, author and blogger. He can be reached at editors@daily-journal.com or directly at packerbacker1957@yahoo.com.

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