An Epidemic Of Stupidity Across America

The hit movie Forrest Gump with Tom Hanks playing the central character gave the world a great expression; “Stupid is as stupid does”. That well known expression perfectly describes the condition of the United States in the summer of 2020. There has been a pandemic raging across the country and it has killed more Americans than all the wars since 1945 combined. Yet it seems that many people are behaving as if they are invincible or are just plain stupid.

A few weeks ago, I took a Sunday drive to Geneva on the lake with a couple of friends. What we saw there was like “party like it is 2019”. The parking lots were full and people were crowded everywhere; crowding into bars, restaurants and shops with no one wearing face masks and no one maintaining social distancing. There were family groups with children, young adults and gray haired bikers all pretending that the pandemic didn’t exist. We just drove down the main drag and never got out of the car.

Later, on July 4, I was in Sandusky with some friends and met up with my daughters. It was suggested that we meet at a popular summer restaurant on the bay that had outdoor seating. Fine, until we got there. There was a very long line of mostly under 40 adults queued up waiting for take out food. No one was wearing a face mask and no
one was maintaining proper social distancing. We decided to go elsewhere.

Then a week later my daughter posted a piece from the Sandusky newspaper that the restaurant was being closed indefinitely because some employees tested positive for COVID. Why am I not surprised?

Then there were the images of a local school board meeting in Utah where people crowded into the meeting room, ignoring social distancing and no one wearing face masks. The people there were asking that schools be opened as “normal” and protesting rules requiring face mask wearing. The members of the school board promptly adjourned the meeting.

Then there is the governor of Georgia issuing an order preventing local mayors and authorities from issuing mask mandates in Georgia. It was a direct slap at the mayor of Atlanta who issued a mandatory face mask order in Atlanta to control the spread of COVID.

There have been people in Cleveland and throughout Ohio protesting the wearing of face masks as well as people getting violent when asked to wear a face mask.

I get it. I don’t like wearing a face mask either. It is uncomfortable and suffocating. But I do put one on when I enter a store or when I am indoors in public or outdoors among a crowd of people. But instead of acting like responsible adults, Americans are acting like spoiled children.

The experts have been telling us that wearing a face mask is the best means of preventing and controlling the spread of COVID. These doctors and other officials have spent years studying disease transmission and know what they are talking about. Yet why do so many people in the United States refuse to listen to them?

Don’t give me that “freedom” argument. Free speech doesn’t give anyone the right to shout FIRE! in a crowded building when there is no fire. You are required to be buckled in a seat belt when you are riding in a car. You cannot smoke inside any building not your residence. Nor can you walk down the street drinking beer. There are rules we must obey. That is called civilization.

Many other developed nations in the world were also hit hard by this pandemic. Yet they have managed to bring the infections under control. The nations of the European Union were hit very hard earlier this spring. But they have brought infections way down and are reopening their economies. Yet here in the United States, cases are out of control and we have become an international embarrassment.

There is an epidemic of stupidity throughout the United States as well as the coronavirus. This stupidity epidemic permeates throughout the country and is much more deadly than the virus. It seems to have infected more people than the virus.

Let’s be smart, not stupid. Exercise caution, wear a face mask indoors in public and outdoors among crowds. Avoid large crowds whenever possible and if you don’t feel well, stay home. That doesn’t mean that we cannot travel or dine in a restaurant. It just requires that we should act like responsible adults, not immature spoiled children.

Lee Kamps

Lee has been working with Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance since he began working at the Erie County Welfare Department in January 1973 where a major part of his job was determining eligibility for Medicaid. He went into the private insurance business in 1977 with Prudential Insurance Company and within a short time had become one of the company’s top sales agents. In 1982, he was promoted into management where he managed two field offices and as many as thirteen sales agents. After leaving Prudential in 1986, Lee decided to become more focused on health insurance and employee benefits. He has advised many local employers on how to have a more cost effective employee benefit program as well as conducted employee benefit meetings and enrollments for many area employers. The companies Lee has worked with ranged from small “mom and pop” businesses to local operations of large national companies. Lee received his B.S. degree from Kent State University where he has been active in the local alumni association. He has completed seven of the ten courses toward the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist designation. He has taught courses in employee benefits and insurance at Cleveland State University and local community colleges. In addition, Lee is an experienced and accomplished public speaker. He has been a member of Toastmasters International where he achieved the designation of “Able Toastmaster – Silver” in 1994. He has also served as a club president, Area Governor and District Public Relations Officer in Toastmasters as well as winning local speech contests. Lee has also been a member of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association’s Speaker’s Bureau where he was designated as one of the “official spokespeople for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” prior to the hall’s opening in 1995. He has given talks and presentations before many audiences including civic organizations, AARP chapters and many other community groups. With the implementation of the Medicare Modernization Act (Medicare drug bill) in 2006, Lee has shifted his focus to Medicare and helping Medicare beneficiaries navigate the often confusing array of choices and plans available. As an independent representative, Lee is not bound to any one specific company or plan, but he can offer a plan that suits an individual person’s needs and budget. In addition, Lee is well versed in the requirements and availability of various programs for assistance with Medicare part D as well as Medicaid. While he cannot make one eligible, he can assist in the process and steer one to where they may be able to receive assistance.

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Volume 12, Issue 8, Posted 7:34 PM, 08.04.2020