Check out this powerful Facebook public post, on the terrible impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and of everyone who has refused to take it seriously or “spread lies and anti-science disinformation” or “refused to model appropriate behavior.” The post is by Jay Timmons – president/CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers and previously “chief of staff to Congressman, Gov. and Sen. George Allen (R-VA) from 1991 to 2002 and as executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 2004 election cycle.” Deepest condolences to Jay Timmons on the loss of his father, particularly in this way; so horrible, infuriating, sad and – as Timmons correctly points out – *avoidable*. Ugh. Also, thanks for putting this out there, as it might reach some people – including conservatives like Timmons – and maybe save some lives and prevent other families from experiencing this grief?!?
P.S. Karen Duncan, whose public Facebook “share” of this post is what alerted me to it, wrote the following powerful words:
“I am sharing this, as I have so many of Jay Timmons’ articulate and tragic posts. With this one, be warned, if you try to argue the science of mask wearing and social distancing as mitigation measures or anything else, I’m just deleting your comment. This is *not* an exercise in civic debate or free speech. It’s one man’s heartfelt grief and well deserved anger at the selfish morons who deny Covid, risk reduction methods, and science.
I’m half past furious and tired of the idiocy of the covidiots and I don’t have the patience for politeness for them. If you want to debate or spout anti science disinformation, go do it elsewhere. Do it on your own wall. Not here. Not now. Not ever on any site of mine.”
P.P.S. Also see NBC4’s story on this
And now, Jay Timmons’ powerful post:
This photo is for all those who have said COVID is a hoax, and those who are anti-maskers, who have used social media to spread lies and anti-science disinformation, and/or who have participated in gatherings, such as “peaceful protests” or political rallies. That includes our national “leaders” who have refused to model appropriate behavior and who have actually encouraged denial, and who have not shown even an ounce of empathy for the massive number of deaths that were entirely preventable if those leaders had acted responsibly.
This is my mother when she first saw my dead father in his casket.
My faith was supposed to prepare me for this moment. It did not. I am supposed to forgive those who trespass against me. I do not.
I have no grace for those who are responsible for ripping my father away. For taking him from his soulmate and wife, from his only child, from his grandchildren, from so many who loved him.
I know who you are and I will never, ever forget what you have done to my family, nor the pain and suffering you have brought to hundreds of thousands of others.
The only thing I will offer you is a prayer that God will forgive you for what you have done. Because I cannot.
Here’s what I’d like those selfish and irresponsible people to think about. While screaming about liberty and individual rights, here is what you have stolen from our family, and what you are stealing from others:
– My parents were married 66 years and together for 70. She could not be by my father’s side as he died of COVID. He died alone. She was able to visit one day before. That was the only time during those two weeks of horror that he had another human who loved him beside his hospital bed. And it was to say goodbye. As she gazed into his frightened eyes and he desperately tried to gulp oxygen, she talked about every poignant memory they shared. She was robbed of the ability to be by his side during his transition.
– The rest of us said our final farewells over a cold, two-dimension computer screen, which my father attempted to touch at the end to comfort his sobbing grandchildren and son. Until he died, I have never known a day when the sun rose that my father was not on earth and alive. We were robbed of our ability to say a proper farewell.
– My parent’s friends and our family were robbed of properly paying their respect at the funeral home. We had to strictly limit the number of people who came in person, and we only let one carload of visitors in at a time. Our family sat by ourselves 20 feet away, unable to hug anyone, and it’s fairly impossible to express your sentiments from such a distance. So many just stared at us and we at them as waves of sobbing racked our bodies.
– our family has been robbed of joy this Christmas. Sure, we will put on an appropriate show for the kids. But the emptiness will consume us. My father’s grandchildren will never again experience a holiday with a man they adored.
Those are just a few of the things you stole from our family as you strutted through grocery stores maskless, in defiance of posted requirements…as you parroted the deniers who are supposed to lead our country and keep us safe…as you recklessly demanded that it was your right to pack into a church and sing or attend a political rally…as you allowed yourself to be manipulated so that this deadly pandemic could be politicized and weaponized.
Your actions – or lack of them – means that you have deliberately chosen to take the lives of other Americans. You willfully killed my father.
To all of you deniers, I do offer you some advice. As you take the virus back to your families and infect those you love, you may want to prepare a few things as you gather to celebrate the holidays:
– find a funeral home that you can work with when you or your loved one dies a horribly gruesome death. Make sure you trust them to prepare the body well and make it look as natural as possible. When the body is oxygen deprived, there is often a grimace at death and you should be confident the mortician you select will be able to make your loved one’s mouth (or yours as the case might be) look as close to normal as it did in life, although it will not be so. Also, be sure they are willing to prioritize your service because they are all being overwhelmed and you or your loved one will be kept in a freezer until the service can be held – unfortunately the freezer may be on a local sporting field in the back of a semi because the morgues are overflowing.
– pick out a casket now for yourself and others you care about because there are many choices, and it becomes overwhelming when the death of your loved ones comes so quickly. Your preferred funeral home can give you several options.
– buy a plot in a cemetery. This is not as easy as you might think and you need somewhere you can bury the body of your loved one, preferably somewhere you can visit regularly. The headstone and grave marker also will need to be considered.
– think of how you want funeral services to proceed. With so many state and local restrictions, make a priority list of those you will invite to attend. It may well be limited to as few as 10 people, which will include your immediate family, although not the funeral home personnel.
– which family members will you or your loved one want to serve as pall bearers? They need to be rather sturdy because carrying a casket and dead body across unstable terrain to the gravesite can be difficult.
– will you give the eulogy? Have you taken adequate notes over the years to properly eulogize your now dead loved one? If you are the one who dies, who should give your eulogy?
– take some photos now just in case. The last photo you take of a loved one becomes surprising very important. Especially when the mental image of your wife/husband, mother/father or son/daughter on a video screen, hooked up to tubes and gasping for air will be forever imprinted on your mind. Be sure to tell them you are taking this photo as a potential last memory so they smile appropriately.
– tell your loved ones how much you love them now, because while they are hooked up to high flow oxygen, they will have a hard time hearing you over that video feed. And the air flow will dry out their throats so they won’t be able to communicate very well with you. Remember, COVID hits quickly so look at your loved ones carefully because in two weeks they may well be dead because of your selfishness and lack of responsibility. Two weeks from now – what were you planning to do before your loved one died?
– make decisions now about what to bury your loved one in. It is very difficult to find just the right outfit when you only have hours to make a decision. What suit or dress would your parent, spouse or child want to wear? Maybe you can just ask your loved one to set aside an outfit they like and will want to wear for eternity.
– and finally, discuss how you should handle hospitalization and the timing of when you and your loved ones will receive the vaccine. Since you have caused so much carnage in our country, you or your loved ones who you have infected should probably spend your final days at home without any medical care, instead of taking a precious and scarce hospital bed from those who tried to do the right thing. Fair warning – death from COVID is horrific and gruesome, not just at the end by for days and possibly weeks before. The health care providers will take you in when you get ill because that is who they are. But since you are a denier, it’s best to continue that denial in your own bed. And as for the vaccine, it’s best for you to go to the back of the line and let others who have been acting responsibly receive the protection.
I have had many well meaning friends virtually embrace me, and attempt to comfort me by saying that there are things that are beyond our control. They have gently tried to convince me that we cannot change the minds of those who refuse to learn.
But this is like a massive epidemic of drunk drivers killing hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans. Would we shrug that off? Hardly. We would change laws and we would hold the drunk drivers accountable. We would not ignore them, we would punish them and shun them. Those who have died from COVID and their families deserve no less.