Coronavirus plus 365.

FILE – In this April 30, 2020 file photo, a man writes information in front of Illinois Department of Employment Security in Chicago. U.S. businesses cut an unprecedented 20.2 million jobs in April, an epic collapse with coronavirus outbreak closing the offices, factories, schools, construction sites and stores that propel the U.S. economy. The Wednesday, May 6, report from payroll company ADP showed the tragic depth and scale of job losses that left no part of the world’s largest economy unscathed.  (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

Today marks the anniversary of the declaration of the coronavirus pandemic by the World Health Organization. It was this time last year that we began shutting down daily life and surrendering our basic liberties.

We were told that we could not leave our homes, go to our jobs, send our children to school, go to church, socialize with friends, have dinner in a restaurant, go to a sporting event, hold a wedding, hold a high school graduation, have a funeral for a loved one, visit our parents, send flowers to a sick friend, get a mammogram, have our teeth cleaned, get a haircut, go to the gym, shop in stores (save for those deemed “essential” by government officials), play golf, go swimming or have a picnic in the park.

Unless our daily work was considered “essential” (by the same people in government who got to decide which stores could remain open), we were told that we must put the earning of our very livelihoods on hold.

One year ago, today, the greatest government-mandated curtailment of personal liberty in the history of the United States began.

And we went along.

Untold numbers of books will be written on the Great Pandemic of 2020. This episode will take its place in the history books alongside the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War II and 9/11.

What I fear will be written in those books is that 2020 marked a point of inflection for American citizens with respect to their fundamental beliefs about the tradeoffs between safety and liberty. I fear that those in politics and government who are bent toward power for power’s sake – a cohort that is much larger than most people realize – were surprised, and pleasantly so, at just how willingly ordinary Americans surrendered their freedom.

I keep thinking things about the shutdown that I can’t prove. I keep thinking that pandemic be damned, if my World War II dad and his peers were still running things, a shutdown would never have even been proposed.

It is easy to look backward and say we should have done this, or we shouldn’t have done that. But I keep thinking that if my dad’s generation were still in their prime when this thing hit, they would have spent more time weighing the risks attendant to pandemic against the risks attendant to putting an entire nation under house arrest.

When the pandemic began it was appropriate to implement prudent measures aimed at minimizing illness and death. But a total lockdown will likely prove to have been a bridge too far. As the backlash to Gov. Abbott’s lifting of mask mandates and business capacity limitations reveals, lockdowns in the name of safety have resulted in a subsequent requirement that safety be guaranteed as a condition of returning to life as we knew it. Since no such guarantee can ever come, I fear that life as we knew it never will either.

A year after the dawn of COVID, the words of John Adams echo. Liberty once lost is lost forever.


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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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20 Responses

  1. Rich says:

    The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.
    — Thomas Jefferson

  2. Jim Lee says:

    Very good Paul. You think exactly like I do. What would our dads think?

  3. Mark J Mueller says:


    Very well put into words.


  4. C M Solomon says:

    The seizure of the Chinese Virus by the Global Left to enhance their perpetual goal of tyrannical domination of the American Medical profession was too tempting to pass up! They could not allow traditional, medically proven methods of isolation and treatment by experts in the field to exercise their state-of-the-art solutions to minimize public suffering and death while maximizing freedom in all facets of human interaction (family, education, employment, business, religion, assembly, travel, voting, etc.)

    The draconian mandates from the high and mighty, ivory tower, imbecilic, self-appointed (out of date) experts, employed as “medically qualified” government bureaucrats who haven’t treated a patient in 30 years, decided to “cancel culture” any serious medical opposition to their false promises of success. Remember the first 15-day guidelines that turned into 365 days of “goal post moving” totally unnecessary suffering by the public.

    Those States and Cities that used “medically proven common sense” as recommended by the REAL experts in the field had the lowest mortality rates and least educational and financial damage of any of those that deliberately bought into the Federal mandates that actually suppressed our Liberties in order to enhance their own insatiable lust for power. Do I need to name the Blue state governors who sent COVID patients into nursing homes and Blue city mayors who also condoned violence in the name of “social justice” in their dictatorial dysfunctional cities?

    This so-called pandemic has literally exposed the total incompetence, lack of accountability, and immorality of these anti-American Leftists as they pursued their evil lust for power (at the expense of human health or life) and their failure to defend the property and financial rights of citizens to provide for their families.

    I can’t help but believe that this is a step towards to the softening of the American people to accept total government domination of the Medical profession in the tradition of the Nazi-Fascist REQUIREMENT that all health care was to be administrated by Doctors that were Members of the Nazi Party. These Doctors were forced to follow ALL government treatment mandates regarding birth, life, and death of each subject of the State where funding and “acceptable practice” was solely for the advancement of the Fatherland.

  5. C M Solomon says:

    Correction: Please replace “all health care was to be administrated by Doctors that were Members of the Nazi Party.” with “all health care was to be administrated by Doctors that were Controlled by the Nazi Party.” Before the end of WW2 in 1945, over 65% of Doctors were actually Members of the Nazi Party!

    • Ron Eagleman says:

      As usual Solomon, you just stepped on the venomous snake under this mandated lockdown and other “mitigation”. Control of healthcare was the most direct method to control the German people, including their personal protection (firearms). If the possession of a firearm in the home was deemed to be a risk to the health of the family, and such a health risk was discovered, the possessor(s) and family would lose their health care. With this “public health” mandate, the only question left for the average citizen was “where do I turn in my firearm”? Once this has been accomplished, complete control is duck soup!

      • C M Solomon says:

        We need to recognize the totally deceptive language and terminology of the Left to fool ordinary Americans to believe in their multi-level Lies. For example, “health care” actually means tyrannical control of your Liberty by coercion to obey their draconian rules in order to obtain government dispensed and approved medical attention, particularly when it becomes a government monopoly.

        ANYTHING can qualify as a “health” issue that can affect the overall health of the Nation at large as the Left would define it. Several examples come to mind that are “unhealthy”: Climate Change (imagined CO2 pollution), Gun Control (willfully unpunished street violence and crimes both domestic and imported, as in open borders), Racism (untaught critical race theory and systemic white racism and need for social justice reparations), Poverty (unequal housing and non-governmental approved diets and food creation and supply), Religion (fundamentals of Christianity, bigotry against “modern” interpretation of family, sexual activity, gender choices and lifestyles), Diversity (the societal mix, not individual character, can cause arrested mental development and depression), and so it goes.

        In other words “health care” really means “coercion by health decree” to satisfy the Marxist goals of tyranny to take “care” of us as subjects of the State as their new Laws would demand. Ron, you are right! The fascist Germans perfected this scheme to dominate the population and it can succeed, again!

  6. Richard Anderson says:

    Regarding returning to normal, unimpaired as The United States of America, a Constitutional Republic, in FREEDOM under GOD, I do believe this will occur. But We The People must make it happen.

    First, I don’t believe liberty is lost, but instead has been mislaid and entrusted to the wrong people* [*i.e. democrats and bureaucrats] by misinformed voters along with others committing wanton fraud in the 2019 presidential election that to this day, has yet to be adjudicated. So wrong!

    However, this can still be corrected by VOTING all Democrats and RINOs OUT and by VOTING all conservative Republicans IN. As for career partisan Democrat bureaucrats like Dr. Fauci, he should be fired as his messaging has been mixed and confusing at best. Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota said it rightly, he makes a lot of mistakes. And I’ll shall add, his pronouncements are NOT based on science, but rather on skewed leftist thinking and narratives which has been anti-Trump since day one looking back.

    In 2022 & 2024, VOTE with abandon for conservative Republicans, including Trump in 2024 should he run. That is my remedy for the complete restoration of LIBERTY and FREEDOM which is currently in peril. Also, WE THE PEOPLE must place our TRUST in GOD as did our Founders as that is surely imperative now more than ever.

  7. Ron Eagleman says:

    This essay should be archived in a time capsule, as it encapsulates the year when our country officially moved from a government of, by, and for the people to a government of, by, and for the government. Your description of this lockdown as “house arrest” is dead, solid perfect. There is no way that our preceding generations would have allowed such an intrusion into their freedoms! When you look at the ages of the crews on many of the battleships that went into battle in the WWII, you will find sailors who were teenagers. After the Pearl Harbor attack, many of our youth grabbed their hunting rifles and asked, “where can I sign up”? Too many of the same age group today are worrying about getting to the next level in a video game. Our dads were law abiding, but they certainly would have offered more resistance to this erosion of the freedoms that they fought and bled to preserve. If this “house arrest” was a dress-rehearsal for future attempts to control the population, we would have to agree…it was an overwhelming success!

  8. C M Solomon says:

    Sorry for my long-winded comments for the subject at hand, but we are looking at the potential death of our Nation at our doorsteps as Liberty is under assault!

    We don’t have a snowball’s chance in Hades to STOP and REVERSE the downhill plunge into perpetual one-Party Commiecrat rule that the Leftist-Marxist dominated Congress is forcing on the Nation IF “HR-1” is passed. This bill legalizes (mandates) the WORST parts of the fraudulent, bogus ballot collection and quadruple++ counting (without verification or observation) that the Commiecrats orchestrated in the 2020 (stolen) election, EXCEPT that it will be forced in EVERY State and on heavy steroids.

    These (soon to be legalized) tyrants are within an inch of achieving their ultimate lust for power. What possible resistance from our accommodating Republicans (as demonstrated by their fear of declaring the last election “fraudulent”) is going to overcome the jungle fighters of the Commiecrats and their Lying Media propaganda division? Please check out the following links.

    What we need is a “fire and brimstone” set of TRUE Conservative Republicans that call out (without apology and spines of steel) the morally bankrupt and (YES) Evil anti-American agenda to destroy the Constitution and our Republic to establish the Global Marxist Dictatorship from which there is no escape! This Dictatorship would be a no-border, global government-corporate oligarchy of Marxists that turn all of us into modern-day Communist Slaves that exist only to serve the Cultist ideology of the Masters in charge. Why do you think Big Tech, Wall Street, Big Media, Big Education, and Big Government shares the same “vote stealing” Marxist agenda embodied in HR-1?

    This battle for our Liberty is a “Do-or-Die” event and ALL of the Evil goals of the Commiecrats MUST be exposed as a pack of Lies designed to indoctrinate the ignorant with security and prosperity that is guaranteed by a so-called “benevolent” government that CARES . . . HA!. This Lie has worked for the Democrats for over 80 years because Conservative Republicans lacked the “fire in the belly” to expose this Lie with mountains of evidence to the contrary. (God knows that Rush tried his best to expose this Lie!)

    This is why I believe the Federal contest is almost lost. It is now time for the States to assert their power of ultimate sovereignty if they wish to exist any longer and DECLARE their RIGHT to stay with the Constitution as the ultimate Rule-of-Law; independent of Federal corruption and malfeasance that has adopted the Rule-of-Man as a substitute. Maybe it is time to reconsider the famous quote: “Extremism in defense of Liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of Justice is no virtue.” Let’s turn the politically correct “Cancel Culture” on its head!

  9. Brendan says:

    Did you stay at home Paul? Did you wear a mask in public?

  10. Rilla Anderson says:

    This was chilling for me to read, though I have known this myself for some time. “I fear that those in politics and government who are bent toward power for power’s sake – a cohort that is much larger than most people realize – were surprised, and pleasantly so, at just how willingly ordinary Americans surrendered their freedom.” Keep up the great work/writing, Paul. (Rilla). and John.

  11. Michael Reagan says:

    To quote the famous Texas Rattlesnake on Covid, “And THAT IS THE BOTTOM LINE” cuz Stone Cold said so (paraphrasing) the dadburn Chinese concocted this virus, manipulated this virus, and spread this virus. At this point if a Chinese official were in the room, Coors Lite would be sprayed all over that person and then a “Stunner” would be performed on them! Three Count, End of Story.

  12. John Mark Lester says:

    You nailed it again sir! Biden, the President in name only, is not mentally able to carry out the Constitutional duties. Nasty Nancy and her crew are working on bills that appear to be unconstitutional. Congress is slamming us us with debts that we can not repay in our lifetime! We are in an terrible mess.

  13. Buddy Saunders says:

    The Chinese virus has thus far killed more than half a million Americans, more than in both world wars. The Chinese government did that without firing a single shot. It was a accident–this time, anyway. But our own government made things far worse with the two-week shutdown that lasted a year. We all will be facing the consequences of that shutdown for decades to come. For one, if we hadn’t already bankrupted our country, we sure have now. And our current ghost Biden president is only making matters worse.

    Rather than shutting everything down and papering over the consequences with trillions of out-of-the-air dollars, we should have done as many advocated–keep the economy open and let each person decide the risk they would bear based on such factors as need to work and health conditions.

    In the case of my business, because we are internet sales only, we never closed except for a time in April. Our 100+ employees have gotten paycheck over the past year and we’ve all been as healthy as we’d have been had we stayed home. Just a few got sick, and those few were quickly back at work. No one died. No one got seriously ill. My wife and I, both in our early 70s, had a business to run. We had no choice but to come to work. Life is full of risks. I like to think I and my wife are like my own dad and Paul’s, able to face life’s challenges. I’d prefer to do that as much as possible without government “help.”

  14. Richard Anderson says:

    IMHO, respected young conservative Candice Owens last year ZEROED in and hit upon the exact problem facing the governing of our Constitutional Republic, The United States of America, when she said the following words via a social media post…

    “..the Democrats have gone full Satan..”.

    Let that be heard loud and clear by every citizen across the fifty great States of our grand Union!

    The best way to combat Democrats and their twisted far leftist ideology is to vote AGAINST them not sometimes, BUT ALL THE TIME!! whether it be local, state, and/or at the national level.

    Today’s Democrats care NOT for the beliefs and values that we as everyday American families hold dear as did our Founders. That GOD and all that is in HIS Good Book STILL MATTER. ALWAYS HAS and ALWAYS WILL. It’s the very fabric that binds our Providence Blessed great nation -the U.S.A.- together.

    • Ron Eagleman says:

      Well stated Richard! When you take a 20/20 retrospective of this last election for president of the U.S., as well as the Democratic party taking both senatorial seats in Georgia, we must come to one conclusion. Those of us who love this country and the founding documents need to hope that those elections were indeed fraudulent. Why in the world would a sane person hope that an election was stolen by fraudulent means? If this outcome was truly an honest representation of the current beliefs and wishes of the American electorate, we are sunk! There is a chance that fraudulent or illegal voting schemes can be fixed, but you cannot fix stupid!

    • L Miles says:

      Richard, I’m so glad you found Candice Owens quote. She nailed it! We are observing the continued struggle of Good and Evil that started with Satan’s origination of Paganism at the beginning of Mankind. Please consider the Serpent’s beguilement in Genesis that is fraught with Envy, Jealousy and Covetousness, placing Man above God.

      These Radical Leftist Democrat elites (Satan’s Pagan generation of today) are Envious of our Love of God, Constitution and Country and Jealous of God’s authority as Creator, giving Mankind the Rights of Liberty. Also, this Pagan generation Covets Worship as the “all wise” intelligentsia endowed with sole source Supremacy who defies God in order to rule mankind. They have declared themselves as legitimate dictators in order to create their Utopian society, totally independent of the exercise of “individual” Liberty. This is Satan’s original LIE that will end in destruction and death as history has repeatedly demonstrated!

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