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Declaring war for Curtis

on Tuesday, 21 September 2021. Posted in Columns, Local News

Lynn Gendusa. .Essays from the Heart

Curtis is walking toward his first day of middle school this year with his buds. Curtis will notoriously spend a good bit of his time in the principal’s office for the comical excuses he invents for not doing his homework.

Being an eleven-year-old, Curtis would rather watch a movie, pick on his little brother, Barry, and listen to music. He is your typical American kid who resides with good parents and possesses a kind heart.

Curtis lives in the panes of a comic strip written by award-winning cartoonist Ray Billingsley. Curtis’s shenanigans usually make me laugh because they remind me of my own preteen son years ago.

Today, however, Curtis made me cry.

As he and his friends near the school’s entrance, they notice two groups of adults shouting. They are calling each other names, and it looks as if a physical fight will ensue. Curtis runs toward the group, telling them to “STOP!”

The angry crowd notice him as they argue over COVID masks and mandates to the point, they are clenching their fists as their screams become nastier. Finally, they look to Curtis to hopefully utter something profound to reinforce their side of the argument. However, Curtis simply says,

“Children used to brag ‘bout their parents…… but not very often anymore.”

I recall when my son was Curtis’s age. He played Little League baseball during most of his youth. Occasionally, a parent would attack a coach or umpire over a call, and the words that spewed forth for all to hear were nothing short of abysmal.

When we see parents in fistfights and public brawls while their young children watch, most of us want to crawl into a hole of shame. Adults can become as spoiled children in a nanosecond and should be humiliated each time they do. When a parent loses common decency because of a desire to win, the only one who loses is the child.

Today, parents are fighting over masks and vaccines. So, let’s say you don’t want your children to wear a mask in school. What do you have to lose if your child is required to wear such monstrous attire? You may say, “freedom.” What do you have to lose if your child doesn’t wear a mask?” Maybe his health or yours. Face masks do not pose a wellness threat, but COVID certainly does.

We should have declared WAR when COVID began. We marched to battle terrorism after we were attacked on September 11. When Japan flew to our shores we declared war, yet COVID has killed more Americans than all who died in World War II. Maybe if we had stated “WAR,” we would have joined to fight in the battle and win.

We are not winning this war. We are not united in battle. Many have put personal ideology above America, its people, and the children they vow to protect.

What if a foreign enemy dropped a chemical weapon on our country and forced us into gas masks? We wouldn’t think a thing about putting one of those on our kids to protect them, right?

Yet, we fight in front of schools, in front of our children over a harmless mask. What? Who are we, what have we become? We all desire our children to have a free life. We want them to be able to dream, play, and go where they would like. Because we are not consolidated to win this war, our actions are imprisoning us and them. If we had simply done what was required to fight the enemy earlier, the war could have ended before another winter of discontent began.

Many governors say, “People know what to do!” No, they don’t. If they did, this disease would not still be ravaging our lives, our sanity, and our ability to move on. We have let politics literally kill us. None of us should allow anyone to lead us into believing we are fighting for freedom when, in reality, we are actually fighting to live free from an enemy.

I’m sorry, folks, I’m tired. I’m exhausted from worrying over my grandchildren. Watching other’s suffer is frustratingly painful. I’m tired of the screamers, mockers,and bullies using deplorable tactics to gain power or fame. I’m tired of watching nurses and doctors tirelessly giving their all while folks refuse to just do what is healing for all. I am over folks exhibiting senseless acts of selfishness while professing patriotism. Patriotism is joining our comrades in a war to fight our enemies, not each other.

Curtis lives in a colorful cartoon where a brush of an eraser can stop the madness of his world. For the real little boy today, it will take much more.

Lynn Gendusa is a columnist and author. Visit her at

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