For months upon months, we have been told in no uncertain terms that if we tried to resume a normal life in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic, we risked spreading the virus across our nations and killing millions upon millions of people.
So dire a threat was the virus that governments at all levels pounced on those with the temerity to break the prohibitions.
People walking their dogs were ticketed.
Barbers trying to ply their trade were arrested and their licenses revoked.
Churchgoers were ticketed and arrested.
People who protested the lockdowns were arrested and hauled off to jail.
All of these draconian measures were undertaken because the risk was that great – millions becoming infected.
Elected officials and appointed officials alike said they were justified in limiting our freedoms because what was at stake was the lives of millions of people.
On television, commentators bemoaned the irresponsibility of protesters, those who long for a return to normalcy.
There was even a term for them COVIDIOTS.
Then the George Floyd protests began, Thousands upon thousands of people took to the streets day and night.
During the day they were cheek to jowl in their denunciation of police brutality. There was no social distancing. There were few masks in sight.
During the night, there was rioting and looting. Protesters spit on police, coughed in their faces when they weren’t jostling for a pair of Nike runners or a big screen TV.
So for the last seven days, commentators who had spent the last few months castigating people for not following the lockdown rules, the prohibitions against mingling and not wearing a mask did an about face.
All of a sudden, protests were OK. The protests, in fact, were more than OK. They were necessary. Violence was excused because ending racism and oppression was that important.
More important than saving lives?
So the prospect of sparking a second wave of the virus in which hundreds of thousands, if not millions might die took second place to protesting the death of one man whose alleged murderer has been charged.
It’s hard not to scoff at our chattering class whose principles are like bits of grass floating in the wind.