…because somebody wants to drink

or eat, in a crowded bar or restaurant?


By mid-October, Marathon County had 3,531 confirmed cases of Covid 19 and officially registered 38 deaths to this virus!  By the time you read this, the number of cases, and the number of lives lost to this deadly virus will have increased.  To find the effect of Covid-19 on your friends, family and neighbors in your county, go to: 


Like many of you, my family and I have enjoyed eating in Wausau’s local bars and restaurants.  Over the summer, we’ve eaten outside, or ordered-out to reduce our exposure to risk.  However, the weather is changing and outside dining is not an option for us.  We also enjoy watching ball games and other sports.  But we can eat and watch sports from our home without increasing our exposure to the Covid-19 Virus.   With and wife and a daughter in medical fields, and another who teaches, we have concerns about the recent events that increase everyone’s exposure to this deadly disease.  This question came to my mind:  How many lives will our community lose because someone is temporarily inconvenienced?


I grew up with a father who was a committed Career Marine.  He spent 30 years in the Corps and even died on the Marine Corps Birthday!  He met the daughter of his commanding officer in San Diego and married her.  I remember Mom telling me that they’d only been married for a year and a half before my Dad and Grandfather were sent to the Pacific for the duration of WWII.  Their wives were left alone for four years while Mom lived with her mother in San Diego.  They both worked in the war effort.  I grew up hearing the stories of rationing, shortages, blackouts and other restrictions on their “freedom.”  They didn’t enjoy the War, but like men and women all over the country, they did their part to shorten it!


Today, my brother lives in a Southern state.  He and I were talking about the current challenges to the health and safety of folks in our communities, under the auspices of “individual freedom.”  He offered the following:


Someone posted yesterday that we cant shut down our economy just because of a virus.  Well, at some point that might be true, but…


For several years in the mid-1940’s we effectively shut down our economy to fight a war.  It might not seem like that is what happened, but it’s true.  Our economy, based on consumer demand, was slashed to a fraction of even it’s Great Depression levels.


The “wartime economy” consisted mostly of the government borrowing money and then paying it out to fund the war, then borrowing it right back again. (Along with taxes.)


Wages were frozen, profits slashed, our famous “market economy” disappeared as the government became the #1 consumer, set the prices, it would pay, and rationed what everyone else could buy.


And might I add, most people went along with the rationing, blackouts and other “incursions on their freedom,” and did not think well of those who refused to “do their part” to achieve an important goal and counter a potentially existential crisis (Situations in which people simply give up and question whether or not their lives have any meaning, purpose or value.) . So when you say we can’t shut down the economy to fight a dangerous virus, you’re really saying the “will” isn’t there to, at least temporarily, shut most things down when it’s necessary.  We’ve done it before, and to a greater extent than the pandemic calls for.  It’s not that “we can’t do it,” it’s that “we won’t do it!”


Damn, but people today look weak compared to “The Greatest Generation” despite running around with weapons, banners and slogans!


It’s as simple as that!  Some of us are endangering, and even killing, our family members, friends and neighbors because we don’t want to, temporarily, give up something we enjoy doing! 


My family members and I buy locally whenever we can.  My brother and I have run small businesses and understand how difficult that can be.  But this is not the first time small businesses have been economically challenged.  Sears and Roebuck started out as the “Amazon” of it’s day!  Sears was a catalog business.  My wife’s father built a “Sears house” for their family!  Large box stores compete with lower prices because of their purchasing power.  Like “The Greatest Generation” in WWII small business owners, and their employees, can survive, if the leaders we choose, agree take the initiative to provide appropriate, temporary support to get everyone through this Covid War.


The United States, and countries all over the World, are in a war with this virus!  The enemy is invisible, but the death and injury toll to citizens and businesses, isn’t!   Nobody can afford to trade lives for profit and jobs.  Just like a war, have to support each other to win.


When you vote this year, send a message to our Local, State and Federal Governments, that we realize we’re in a war that interrupts our lives, businesses, and communities and we want our leaders to help us win this war!