“Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain”

Iowa State Flag

“Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.”

That is the State of Iowa’s motto, which is also emblazoned on our state flag, designed by Knoxville’s own Dixie Cornell Gephardt during a time Iowa’s boys were fighting against oppression overseas. For these reasons and more, any decision by Gov. Kim Reynolds to institute a “shelter in place” order would go against everything this wonderful state stands for.

At the time I write this, Iowa is one of five states in the United States of America, land of the free, home of the brave, to NOT have a “shelter in place” order. This order is little more than the government restricting your movements, social interactions, habits, etc. Basically, the way you live your life.

It is my opinion that should never be the situation in this country. We were founded on the idea that we, the people, tell the government what it can do – it doesn’t tell us.

I do not mean to make light of anyone suffering from the disease, nor anyone who has died since the outbreak. But, if you look at the numbers, COVID-19 is not that deadly. Meanwhile, our way of life, our economy, our pastimes, our exercises of faith, our mental health and more are suffering.

Is it worth it? Again, as of the time I write this, 11 Iowans have died from it and 144 have recovered. Is that really much more than deaths due to drunk driving, suicide, cancer, the flu or any number of reasons that we have just come to accept as a society?

There is little credibility in government closures, in my opinion, when it seems to be the only retailers that are closed are small, independent businesses. Are you more likely to have a crowd of 10 or more at Nick’s Greenhouse or Walmart? Hy-Vee or Gibson’s Jewelry? I realize Walmart and Hy-Vee sell groceries, which people still need, but nevertheless, it is an unfair advantage.

Any time the government takes more power, through such action, it can be hard to take that power back. Has the Patriot Act been undone? Other than blindly being re-approved, has anyone taken a look at it to find reasons to end it? It’s clear from recent discoveries about the FISA Court and domestic spying on the Trump campaign that the government cannot be trusted with the kind of intrusive power it has grabbed and amassed over the years. The CARES Act is the latest entry in the ongoing list of government boondoggles that will ultimately harm this magnificent country.

Nevertheless, precautions need to be taken against the virus. I remain open-minded about that, continue to research it and do what is necessary to protect myself and my loved ones.

That’s just it. Protecting myself and my family is up to ME. It is not, and should not, be up to the government entirely. Police and military protection against physical threats is where it ends, in my opinion, but individuals should and will always be the first line of defense.

This country was founded on taking risks. It has grown to be the greatest country on the planet because of freedom and individuals willing to take more risks to better themselves and their communities. Taking a chance on going to work, a movie, etc., is just another risk. For those more vulnerable to the virus, they can choose to spend more time at home, but ultimately, it is up to THEM. Just as it is up to any of us whether we want to potentially expose ourselves to germs.

No government should be restricting our movements. It’s downright un-American. If Iowa truly wants to stand by its motto, let’s leave the decisions of what we have access to, by whom, up to the people.

Take care of yourself and thank you for reading.