I’m writing to you from my tiny apartment in Midtown Manhattan. This is an open letter to each and every one of you who are protesting at your State House.
I watched today as you stormed your State House, threatening the health and well-being of all of those you came into contact with. And carrying those silly signs with swastikas and Nazi symbols.
I also watched the demonstrations in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, where people demanded an end to the restrictions so they could play golf again… and get haircuts.
The videos and posts I saw didn’t make me angry. No. They made me feel pity for all of you pathetic souls. Pity. Because that’s what you need.
You know, it’s funny… I’ve heard so many times from people all over the country, the jokes about New Yorkers being selfish and rude… we’ve been the butt of jokes and memes on social media.
The next time I see something like that online, I’ll be sure to remind everyone about how millions of us are staying home— yes, in our tiny shoe box apartments— to protect the health and well-being of our fellow citizens, of our friends and neighbors… of our elderly who are more susceptible to getting sick and even dying from this virus.
The only protesting we are doing are protests outside our windows every night at 7pm to thank the healthcare workers who are risking their lives every day to keep people alive. In case you don’t know what appreciation sounds like, here’s a clip.
I also want to tell you a story about a tiny country where my parents emigrated from called Greece. I’m not sure if many of you have ever heard of the country or even know where it is on a map, but it’s been making international headlines lately.
I’m not sure if you read the newspapers but the nation is being heralded for the way it’s citizens have handled the coronavirus pandemic.
They’re freedom-loving, just like you think you are.
They have a disdain for authority and government overreach, just like you claim to have.
Of course, the difference is that Greeks have experienced a fascist military dictatorship, not to mention a brutal Nazi occupation that cost their country 10% of its population— and people are still alive who remember these events.
You— the protestor likening your governor to the Nazis. You don’t have that right— unless you’ve experienced the Nazis first hand, the way my father and his fellow citizens did. So put that ridiculous sign away, you snowflake.
You haven’t experienced anything like that. You haven’t experienced the entire male population of your town being rounded up and massacred. You haven’t experienced entire towns and villages burned to the ground. Your frustration and anger comes from not being able to play golf or get your hair cut, or when Walmart closes for inventory. Shame on you.
Unlike your so-called demonstrations, the Greeks are known for their demonstrations against the government when they feel that injustice is taking place.
They’re much more badass than you will ever be, demanding haircuts and the opening of golf courses and complaining about being forced to stay inside your trailer parks.
Another difference between you and the Greeks is that they understand and appreciate the value of human life and know what it means to respect life.
All it took for them to stay in line with unpopular government orders way back in mid-March was a reminder from their government’s infectious disease spokesperson.
“What’s all the fuss,” Dr. Sotirios Tsiodras asked rhetorically, explaining how a fellow doctor asked him why Greeks were making such a big deal about a “few elderly people.”
“The answer I give, and I leave it to your own judgement, is that the miracle of medical science in 2020 is the ability to extend a quality life for these people, many of whom are… our mothers and fathers. They are grandmothers and grandfathers. We honor them and we respect them all. We protect them— especially them. We cannot exist, nor have an identity without these people.”
This was a turning point for Greeks— when they were reminded that the “fuss” wasn’t about them. It wasn’t about haircuts or freedom, or going to coffee shops… or golf courses.
No. It was about something much bigger than that. It was about humanity— something each and every one of you selfish, asshole protestors lack.
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