Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet," "Endangered Edens," and the "Time Is Irreverent" series.

The Great Stupidity Purge of 2020

Let’s call the COVID-19 pandemic what it is: The Great Stupidity Purge of 2020. A key trait of conservatism/Republicanism is that once a person believes something is true, no evidence whatsoever will convince that person to change his/her mind. Consequently, those initial months of Donald Trump treating COVID-19 as nothing more serious than the flu is now a permanent conservative belief—no matter how many people die or what Trump may say about taking the virus seriously later on.

Personally I know of two such examples: A wedding of more than 160 people just two weeks ago (I watched on Zoom. No one wore masks), and a couple in their late 60s that were in the hospital for COVID-19. The husband side of that couple was released from the hospital and is now at home, still feeling ill. Nevertheless part of his family is going over to his house today to have a welcome-home-dinner for him! The common element of both events, of course, is conservatives/Republicans in charge who refuse to take COVID-19 seriously.

Furthermore, although I have been avoiding stores, yesterday I had to stop by the local Kmart to pick up an item for a dog I am adopting. There, despite the Governor’s Mask Mandate and signs on the door, 60 percent of the people inside Kmart refused to wear masks. That matches up almost exactly with the 60 to 40 percent Republican to Democratic ratio in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, where I live. And really, by appearance alone, it wasn’t hard to tell which way those maskless people vote.

Conservatives/Republicans own COVID-19! My only hope is that they are better at keeping the virus to themselves than they are at keeping their religion to themselves.

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