OPINION | Epitaph 126: America v S.E. Asia & the CNMI in pandemic

Editorials & Columns
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“I PLEDGE allegiance to the flag (America) and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for ALL”!

As a youth we said this everyday but some IGNORANT U-Know-What(s) decided for all of us that WE the People have the FREEDOM and RIGHT not to pledge an allegiance to our nation ending a valuable American Cultural Tradition and now we even have Americans protesting to not wear a mask infringing on EVERYONE else’s RIGHT not to be infected by a non-mask wearer. Freedom isn’t FREE and it’s not TOTAL by our very consent to be Governed over in a Republic.

Well the FREEDOM & RIGHTS in America are turning out to be our greatness nemesis when it comes to fighting the virus. People protesting for the FREEDOM & RIGHT not to wear a mask, which is really LUDICROUS!!! But unlike America, the Republics of Southeast Asia where the People have virtually the same FREEDOMS & RIGHTS in these nations and they are FAR better-off due to their obedience to their Government. The difference in the reaction to the pandemic is more cultural than Governing because most of these cultures “do exactly what the government says” without hesitation, which is partly driven by fear of punishment. But none the less, the nations of S.E. Asia are doing a far better job fighting this pandemic than America.

The cultures of S.E. Asia and even in the Philippines are very PREDOMINANT in the everyday life of the People unlike in America where culture takes a back-seat which is also true in the CNMI. I first notice this when I first started teaching in the CNMI because when Final Exam time came around the Local students were pretty much on-their-own. However, the students from S.E. Asia had monumental support as they did not have to do any chores at home and their food was even brought to them while they studied in their room.  The commitment to education is FAR stronger in S.E. Asia unlike on the mainland of America and in the CNMI where educators have to literally BEG parents to come to school to just pick up their child’s report card which speaks volumes to the lack of real support for their child’s studies in America and we wonder WHY America has fallen from being the world’s leading nation in Education.

But I didn’t write this so much to wake local parents up as the need for EVERYONE in the CNMI to ALWAYS wear a mask. S.E. Asian People only needed to be told ONE TIME to wear a mask just like my MaDear would say but entirely tooooo many Americans with our freedoms & rights are just down right foolish, reckless, ridiculous and even CRIMINAL by not wearing a mask. I went to a Private Gathering and I won’t disclose details out of the respect I have for the family. But what I saw literally scared me to the point that I could feel my heart speeding up, as I have only one lung and the virus could literally be a death sentence. I was the ONLY ONE wearing a mask and it was over 50 people there. I was just glad that my awareness led me to sit at the very end of the property with the wind at my back but I could only wonder what would happen to the people “down-wind” who were not wearing masks and not practicing Social Distancing.

Americans, even in the CNMI, need to be more cognizant of our PLEDGE to our nation and to ALL the People or we will be DOOMED to deal with this pandemic when every other nation will be looking at it in their rearview mirrors figuratively. Our President is misleading the nation and our Governor is NOT leading his People, just managing the problem. To-date there has never been an announcement about a “hot-spot” where a person tested positive in one of the villages and they won’t even tell us what village. The President and our Governor are both trying to portray that everything is OK and under control but WE the People are continuing to see new cases on the mainland and in the CNMI from what I can only assume is Community Spread Conditions because we are not being told anything about HOW & WHERE the virus is spreading in the CNMI.

This Black Swan Pandemic Event is a REAL game of “Life & Death” that takes us ALL to win as it only takes ONE unknown person to kill a lot of us innocent ones. So please WEAR A MASK at all times People of the CNMI, WE don’t have any assurance about the virus in the CNMI and the Governor is not warning us about anything just doing “his-thing” to distract the real issues leading to a lapse in wearing mask. The recent YouTube Promotion is great and long over-due but I would also like to see a map of our Hot-spots so I can help in protecting myself and so would others, which leads to a future Epitaph on the many UNANSWERED Questions about our Governor & Legislature. To be continued: One People One Direction.

The writer is a retired teacher, former CNMI Board of Education Member, James Madison Fellow (U.S. Constitutional Scholar) and a Fulbright-Hays Foreign Scholar who resides in Kagman



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