Is there a rebel coronavirus “underground”?

Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.

By Maramis

Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.

It’s been long enough now for those who have become dedicated coronavirus rebels to either have gone “underground” or to become brazenly “above ground” rebels, just daring the state police or local government to arrest them for violating the “stay-at-home/wear-a-mask” mandates.
Back in the “Roaring ’20s,” during the days of Prohibition, those who enjoyed their alcohol — or even the ambiance of the alcohol type of environment — would find creative ways to obtain their alcohol, even if it had to be hootch, or find a place to which only those with the secret password would be allowed in. It seems there are some things without which some people cannot survive in their day-to-day living.
So while we well know that the present coronavirus pandemic requires (according to our state’s governor) to stay at home, and when going out only for such necessities as food and medications and such, to wear a protective mask and maybe even gloves.
But there have always been those rebels, in every age, in every situation, who took a stand, whether because they just didn’t like being told what to do, because they just want to do what they want to do, or because they genuinely do not believe the story that tells them they must stay home, wear masks, and that if they’re over 60 they’re
in more danger than those under 60.
During the past 100 years or so, as we all know by now, there have been several major health issues with illnesses like the flu, starting with the really big one… the Spanish flu of 1918, that led to possibly as many as 50 million deaths, or on the “low” end, “only” 20 million.
Then there was the Hong Hong Flu pandemic of 1968, the Asian Flu pandemic of 1956-58, which led to almost 70,000 deaths in the U.S. alone, and what some people might not consider a pandemic, but it was, and that is the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which has stretched out over the years, being first identified in 1976, but having been responsible for 36 million deaths since 1981.
But getting back to those who choose to be rebels, even with the HIV/AIDS pandemic, although many or most people may not have been part of the population that would be most affected, there was still the concern of coming in contact with an infected person and a lot of paranoia surrounding that. But no matter when or where that devil-may-care attitude that many people have, or develop, first seemed to be noticed, no doubt there are those who have always enjoyed doing things their way simply to go against the masses or the official line. And this latest pandemic scare — and it certainly can be scary — is still not enough to cause 100 percent compliance with the mandates to stay home and wear a mask when you go out.
During any major illness concern, even if we feel somewhat invincible to the particular “whatever’s going around,” even rebels would do well to wash their hands often and well. The best image they can keep in mind regarding hand washing is Typhoid Mary.
Some of the things I’ve heard “rebels” doing these days are disregarding all warnings to the contrary and going to the beaches of California, continuing to hold their Wednesday night card games or their Thursday afternoon lunches for the girls. Some continue taking care of their neighbor in need just as they did before. Which reminds me of something I did about 45 years ago. I was married to the Forest Ranger in upstate New York at that time, and while he warned me about various things not to do with animals of the wild, I came across a little family of four fairly newborn raccoons out in the woods near where we lived. I was told to never get involved with any animals of
the wild. Well, I didn’t do a thing when I first found them, thinking their mother was probably out foraging for food or something, but I thought I’d check up on them the next day, and I did. Their mother was still not back. That did not seem normal or usual for a mother animal to leave her little babies, so I started to feed them myself. I guess I was ignorant enough to not consider all the things that could go wrong, and just cared for them for about a week, with no gloves and no mask, and maybe not enough common sense, but oh well!
One day it kind of slipped out what I was doing and my husband got terribly bent out of shape. He called the Animal Protection Service and they sent out two big burly men, with leather gloves that went up to above their elbows, and wearing something like the kind of mask one wears when fencing. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw them, and I suppose they were right to be wary, but I had been feeding them with my bare hands for a week already.
Anyway, I led them to the baby racoons and let them do their job. I got highly reprimanded all around and I probably deserved it. But because I didn’t feel fearful, I didn’t convey any fear to the little critters and maybe that’s why they let me feed them without incident.
So I can understand rebels, but because I also have learned a bit since then, I’m not about to roam about “out there” for no good reason. And I happen to have a very fashionable face mask that was made especially for me, so if I choose to wear it, to make others feel safer around me, or vice versa, I can obey the mandates while looking very stylish.
We may all run into rebels here or there, but please remember: we’re all able to choose what we do while we can — nobody really wants a police state. It’s kind of like with the helmet law — it may well save your life to wear one, and I always did, but it’s so much better when we’re allowed to choose. The idea I believe behind all the choosing is to genuinely be aware of the possible or probable danger in any situation and use your God-given common sense!
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Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at

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