2020: The Year They Lulled Us to Sleep

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By Annie Peterson, Editor | Civil Patriot 

‘Emergencies’ have always been the pretext 

on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.

Friedrich August von Hayek

“It’s just for a few days,” they said. “Maybe a few weeks. Life will get back to normal in no time.”

But weeks ticked by and eventually morphed into months. 

Now months are tiptoeing into a new year. 

For a while, it wasn’t too bad. We shared funny quarantine memes on Facebook. We made encouraging posts and said fervent prayers for those who were sick. We made lists of all the places we would visit when the restrictions were lifted. We all got along—one big, happy (but terrified) family. 

Without hesitation we complied with mask mandates and social distancing protocols. Who wouldn’t? Not that many of us felt comfortable leaving our homes, anyway, even to venture to the grocery store. Instead, we fixed our eyes on our televisions and swallowed down the news stories as fast as they rolled in, all-the-more transfixed as each new case presented itself. Would we be next?  

When hyper-focusing on the death tolls became an intolerable form of entertainment, we switched to our favorite streaming apps. We grew comfortable on our sofas as we binge-watched Netflix series and we put on ten pounds—okay, fifteen—eating high-carb foods our grocery stores happily delivered to our front porches. 

Basically, we zoned out. 

Many took to lounging in their pajamas all day—for days on end. 

Others paced the floor, connecting to their children and grandchildren by Facetime, Zoom or Skype. 

Still others made ongoing calls to nursing homes, begging to see their dying parents or lonely relatives. 

When the “no’s” became overwhelming, they, too, gave up and settled onto the sofa for a long winter’s nap, TV remote tightly clutched in hand.

As human beings are prone to do, most of us got lazy. We dozed off. We forgot that without our supervision our country’s puppeteers go rogue. They look for opportunity. 

While we were sleeping they found one. Like thieves in the night, they crept in and stole away our freedoms. They nabbed our jobs, our schools, our personal liberties, and even our churches. They took our peace of mind, our community spirit, and our joy. They tightened the proverbial puppet strings and fixed the controls so that we could only move so far in any direction without repercussions. And they told us that we didn’t deserve the right to comment on any of it. For our silence—and total compliance—they would reward us with honest-to-goodness checks. Cash money. For doing nothing but sleeping. 

We awoke to find that our fuzzy COVID-esque dreams were now a full-blown nightmare. And though we were physically awake, we couldn’t seem to shake off the lasting effects of our slumber. Were we just imagining it, or had the First Amendment been rewritten while we were sleeping? Had we really shifted from freedom to slavery in so short a time? And why were we being censored? Was there some new sort of vocabulary—a list of words we were no longer free to speak? How could we ever get back to our pre-COVID reality? 

Months have passed and many are slowly awakening. They’re yawning and stretching and reaching for their glasses so that they’re better able to see what’s truly happening. They’re doing the very thing the puppeteers fear most—seeing and speaking the truth. They’re saying, “Don’t tread on me” and bravely reaching for the scissors to cut the puppet strings. Many are paying a price for these daring deeds but they forge ahead with the financial and emotional support of other like-minded souls. 

Many are still slumbering, of course. They’ve been given a mega-dose of government-issued Ambien, so you can’t really blame them. But for those who are now wide-awake the rallying cry has sounded. They will fight to reclaim what was once theirs. . .freedom. 

And, once captured, they will never let her go again. 

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