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Observations for summer

A few observations as the very hot and humid days make it harder to stay on a train of thought for very long:

* I wonder how many of the people who are now applauding Butler County Police Sheriff Richard Jones, who said he would NOT enforce Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s mask order last week, are the same folks who chastized sheriffs and other law enforcement officials when they said they would not uphold tightened immigration rules. I seem to recall back then the line was something like “They don’t get to choose which rules they enforce. It’s their duty!”

* Far too many people mistake freedom of speech for freedom from the consequences of that speech. Yes, you are, indeed, free from criminal prosecution for showing us all that you are a racist, a science denier or whatever other toxic personality trait you are nurturing. You are not free from the social, political and private consequences of that kind of revelation. Please do not be stunned (or worse, an offended “snowflake,”) when others — be they casual acquaintances or employers — choose to distance themselves from the beliefs you have expressed.

* Can someone please explain to me the logic of demanding — DEMANDING — our economy be reopened, and then causing a scene (or even bullying retail/restaurant employees) when asked to do the one tiny thing that will allow commerce to continue? Behaving in a manner that makes it difficult to safely reopen these establishments is not the behavior of a capitalist. That’s the kind of thing done by people who chain themselves to pipelines. I’m sensing a lot of people these days who did not know themselves as well as they thought.

* I do not envy the folks trying to push aside the political noise and figure out the best way to safely educate children in the coming school year. Even if everything goes as planned, and a five-day-a-week, in-person schedule begins Sept. 8, these kids have been out of a classroom for nearly six months at that point. Many of their traditional summer activities have been canceled or radically altered. I don’t even want to think about how long it will take teachers to get kids settled back into a productive routine. Godspeed, ladies and gentlemen!

* I had a chance to do a little hiking several days ago, and found myself getting miffed that the trail was “crowded.” By that I mean I was not the only person in the woods. I had to simmer down a bit and remember this is exactly what I hoped for when I encouraged more people to get out and explore the natural treasures all around us, after being cooped up for so long. There are many more people hiking, biking, kayaking, camping and generally enjoying some new kinds of summer fun this year. Despite my initial surprise, I am glad for it. That is one change I hope becomes a permanent part of our new normal.

* And finally, if while out in the woods you decide to bring your dog with you, take a lesson from me. A generally lazy pit bull mix who has had enough of the sticky heat WILL lay down and refuse to move until picked up and carried back to the car. (Yes, I had given him plenty of water.) Half a mile is a long way to tote a big dog — particularly one who, upon spotting the car, suddenly has enough energy to leap out of your arms and grin smugly as he props his chin up in front of the A/C vent. Choose your route carefully.

Christina Myer is executive editor of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel. She can be reached via e-mail at cmyer@newsandsentinel.com

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