In the course of the last nine months I’ve heard it too often…people who are afraid to speak out apparently for fear of retribution from the Governor, the state, and even the OHSAA. If this is you…why?
If there’s one thing I’ve observed – worse than the frustration of living with mandates and protocols since March – it’s the fear of those who are afraid to talk about it publicly because they feel its safer to remain anonymous.
I’ve lost count of those who have shared that they’re afraid of some kind of retribution, either by individuals or some governing body like the state of Ohio, the Governor, the Dept. of Health, or the OHSAA. Let me explain.
During the course of our daily coverage during the spring, summer, and now into the fall – during official interviews and just casual conversation between relationships – here’s what people have said.
1) Please don’t mention the name of our school district because we don’t want any negative publicity.
2) Please don’t publish anything that shows people not following state protocols. We don’t want trouble with the Department of Health.
3) Please don’t publish my name because I don’t want to get in trouble with the state.
And of course, there’s the public service announcement at every OHSAA event warning that if you don’t have your mask pulled up over your nose you threaten the season of student athletes. How ’bout some guilt with your hotdog?
Without question, fear is the overtone of our daily lives now as a result of Covid 19, despite what you say you believe about the arguable facts. And while fear is a powerful emotion it’s not good for your health, mental or physical. And fear of individuals and governing bodies you think you trust is akin to the worst fear of all from wars and generations past. We’re not used to ‘not trusting’ our leadership, our institutions, and our future.
But it’s true. There are people who are deathly afraid of being named for fear of being out of step with the leadership of this state – for having an opinion of their own.
People who believe that the next step beyond ‘compliance checkers’ at football games will be surveillance of other future activities…because the ‘pandemic’, in their opinion, is here to stay.
School officials who live with constant stress over issues of compliance and enforcement – districts afraid to enforce the masks protocols at sporting events because of the bad publicity. Better to look the other way than to have what happened recently in Logan, Ohio, at a junior high football game where a woman with asthma (Alecia Kitts) was tased because she said she couldn’t breathe through a mask, and wouldn’t wear one. Litigation, according to the Marietta Times newspaper (Oct. 6), is up and running.
“I live in a society where men tase women in the back for not wearing a mask. And other men sit by doing NOTHING!” wrote state Rep. Nino Vitale, of Urbana, on Facebook. “I’m ashamed that we treat people, especially women, this way.”
He sounds a little on edge, himself.
And because of the relationship between the Dept. of Heath and the OHSAA, some people now regard going to a football game like they’re attending an IRS audit.
But it’s important to remember.
One, the state of Ohio as a governing body has far bigger issues than misdemeanor crimes.
And two, the state, the Governor, and the Department of Health…all work for us. We don’t work for them! It would make everyone feel better if they did a better job of expressing that very important distinction.
And one more. The Governor spends a lot of money on ads that say “We’re all in this together.” Fact is, never has the evidence supported more…that we’re not!