• PPE Debris? Just One More Drawback of Gov’s COVID-19 Coercion

    Surge Summary: Along with all the other problems generated by society’s response to the coronavirus challenge, we can count more litter. It’s a development that speaks to much bigger issues.

    by Steve Pauwels

    A few weeks ago, my wife and I took an overnighter to a popular tourist spot in our region. I spied something there I’ve noticed elsewhere; abundant evidence of it, in fact, all around. Back home, there are indicators of it everywhere as well — along the highways and byways. around parks and ball fields, scattered throughout towns and cities.

    What am I referring to? It’s one of the unintended consequences of America’s herd-like hysteria toward the health scare rattling the nation since late winter. It could go by many terms:

    Lockdown-litter?

    Corona-trash?

    PPE debris?

    The stuff is inescapable: discarded face-masks, formerly strapped around the jaws and noses of the imperiled, now adorning the public spaces of this land of the decreasingly free and brave. Most of the aforesaid detritus is comprised of the cheap, hospital blue variety, but I’ve seen more stylish cast-offs too — brightly colored cloth numbers, floral patterns, etc.

    What’s a concerned citizen to do?

    It’s unclear to me how much of a garbage-problem was generated by 1918’s Spanish Flu, the fourteenth century’s Black Death or Justinian’s sixth-century Bubonic Plague. I understand those societies confronted an even grimmer disposal burden, but what about more prosaic refuse? Whatever … it seems face-mask untidiness is a unique feature of this twenty-first century contagion.

    Granted, strictly speaking, the pandemic per se can’t be dinged for this fetid flowering; it’s the tidal wave of PPE (personal protective equipment) in the teeth of it which is actually more indictable.

    That said, I really shouldn’t be surprised by all this ‘rona rubbish. It’s yet another of many, many other confirmations of a predicament older than even viruses themselves: man’s fallen nature. People are born prone to reckless and warped behaviors. One manifestation of this woebegone phenomenon is: Put enough of any item in the hands of enough human beings and you’ll pretty quickly discover its residue befouling the landscape. Yes, littering demonstrates human beings’ capacity for selfishness, for wickedness, for evil. It’s not, admittedly the most scurrilous exhibit of the problem, but it remains among them for certain. The crumpled coffee cup cluttering the roadway, the plastic grocery bag snagged in the weeds, the forsaken face-covering recumbent in the dirt? They’re all commonplace and exasperatingly remind us: humanity regularly does base things, indifferent to others. Thus: our need of a Savior.

    Furthermore, let me get this straight: Those intrepid souls willing to venture out into the big, bad — and now, purportedly, contagion-packed — world end up tossing aside the very implement reputed to protect them? Leaving a mess behind in the process? Odd indeed. Folks toting around a mask are presumably doing so because they’re convinced of its usefulness, right? It plainly does them zero good if, instead of shielding their orifices, it winds up a sodden lump of fabric besmirching roadsides, walkways or parking lots.

    So what’s on display here is more societal incongruity bubbling up from America’s frenetic reaction to all-things-COVID-19. It underscores once more: a) not only is man fallen/flawed; but b) he’s specifically, and often, irrational.

    As if the brute fact of the pandemic isn’t depressing enough by itself …

    Across the fruited plain, folks can’t enter a restaurant, buy a gallon of milk, attend a business meeting, view an in-person sporting event or return to the classroom unless half-screened behind a suffocating sheath of cloth. Inevitably, some of these end up scattered about; despoiling the scenery, courtesy of the government’s apocalyptic reaction to coronavirus. Wuhan waste is becoming an additional Wuhan woe: the environment besieged by face-mask rejects; something else we can cite among the obnoxious side-effects of the State’s pandemic policies.

    One cheering side of this situation may be it’ll nudge Leftist climate-obsessives to cool their jets a bit on Chinese-Flu fascism; to maybe self-impose a modicum of restraint on it. They’re normally all for preserving the environment at all costs, after all. Even at the potential diminishment of people’s well-being and comfort, correct? You’d think, then, it would dawn on them that a smidge less hectoring about their sacrosanct PPE protocol could translate, hesto-presto, into fewer coverings being worn and thus fewer carelessly ditched scraps of powder-blue and polychromatic fabric spangling vista Americana. Seems logical, doesn’t it?

    Then again, though Progressives are ostensibly the champions of jobs and the “working man” — err, “working person” — their fiercely defended COVID-19 orthodoxy has gutted the economy to degrees unseen since the late-1920s, devastating the little people they pledge to protect. Yahoo recently posted its analysis estimating “60% of U.S. businesses that have closed since the start of the pandemic have folded permanently”. Other appraisals are that one-third of the country’s small businesses which shuttered during the outbreak may not survive. Plainly, this trend is no shot in the arm for any economy, yet most liberals remain gung-ho — or at least acquiescent — toward the whole lockdown regime anyway. Logical consistency, apparently, shouldn’t be presumed among this bunch.

    So, shabbier, more physically unkempt environs? Another by-product we can lay at the feet of the government’s Covid-19 regime – sure enough, that and a reeling economy; bank accounts and emergency funds ransacked; livelihoods destroyed; personal dreams pummeled; a rolling global famine; skyrocketing rates of suicide, depression and other psychological pathologies; addiction setbacks; non-coronavirus medical concerns back-burnered, thus, other medical conditions worsened; funerals, weddings, and family celebrations scotched; relationships interrupted; months of students’ schooling drizzled away; an American culture saturated with fear; an entire generation conditioned to view other human beings as primarily hazardous vectors of infection;  hiding, cowering, hyperventilating being mainstreamed in the hearts of multitudes as the go-to reaction to life’s risks …

    Yep, all that.

    It reinforces: the overwrought, despotic lockdown approach to future challenges? No more. Never again.

    On top of everything else, the sightliness of the USA’s countryside may depend on it.

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge.


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    Steve Pauwels

    Steve Pauwels is pastor of Church of the King, Londonderry, NH, Managing Editor over at dailysurge.com and host of Striker Radio with Steve Pauwels on the Red State Talk Radio Network. He's also husband to the lovely Maureen and proud father of three fine sons: Mike, Sam and Jake.

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