An email conversation from August of 2020.. “Barb” (not her real name) is a friend from high school and an ER Doctor..

Jim Riley: Freedom Rally and Protest! FOUR LIVE BANDS!  (Note: at the time, here on the farm, we were pitching a live outdoor event, focused on ending the economic lock-downs)

Barb: This is not a good idea. Not responsible. Respect the virus. I hope no one dies and I hope you don’t have hundreds of cases of covid spread from your proposed event. Isn’t this even illegal in California? (Definitely not ethical)

Jim: Barb, Old high school friend! (Not sure why you didn’t introduce yourself.)

I have a neighbor (also an ER doctor) who tells me – as have many other doctors – that your caution here is well meant – but foolish. If you look at CDC data for California, through 6/27, there were 9,155 more deaths OF ALL CAUSES as compared to the same period last year—in state with 40 million people.   But what I really resent is your self-satisfied false holiness. We’ve killed more babies with abortion during the same period. Where were you then, you false believer? This is NOT a Biblical epidemic, and there are people, unlike you, who need to go on with their lives and make a living. You should have some compassion on the thousands of service industry people who are asked to go without earning a living, while some of you in the medical profession plow right on during the “emergency.”

I’m very surprised by your lack of compassion..

Barb: Jim. You have an education (at an ivory tower institution, for sure). You can read the newspaper. Don’t you think the COVID pandemic (160,000 lives lost in the USA thus far) qualifies as an emergency? (You called it an “emergency” with quotes around it as if it didn’t exist or wasn’t an emergency).  That’s 160,000 families in the US who lost a loved one…. not a small number. According to the Washington Post we had almost 1,500 deaths in the USA TODAY (that’s the highest number per day of any day in the summer). Those are PREVENTABLE DEATHS. This is not going away any time soon because our country is not respecting the virus. “We” in the US are engaging in activities that spread the virus.

Its not just the deaths that are bad… its the long term effects on many people (organ dysfunction) who’s lives may never be the same or they will have an extended illness that can take quite a long time to recover. Its can be quite a bad infection…. and then there is the statistic that 40% of people who have the virus are asymptomatic and don’t know that they are at risk of spreading the virus to others. So there are lots of people who feel fine but can make others very sick. So large gatherings of people can easily spread the virus far and wide even if the people who are contaminating others with the virus feel just fine. Ugh!!!

This has nothing to do with abortion. Why did you bring that up? I’m not doing abortions

If you read the news you would realize that MANY in the healthcare field have been hurt economically from the pandemic…. but I am not talking about economics here…. I am talking about preventable illness, preventable long term organ malfunction, preventable deaths.  Do you think I really WANT to go to work recognizing that on any shift I could contract the virus even if I try to prevent it by wearing PPE? Do you think I WANT to be exposed to the virus and put myself at risk of getting sick just so I can make money?????? (Nope, I’m not that crazy). I think quitting my job at this time would be unethical. So, I go to work in the emergency department and take care of whomever comes in and do my best to take care of those people who could actually cause me harm by the virus. I am also on a national disaster team (I volunteer for it, NOT to make money) and will most likely be deployed in October to one of the virus hotspots (where they are overwhelmed with virus cases) because that is where the disaster teams are deploying to these days and my team is up for deployment in October. Again….. rest assured this is not a money making venture to serve on a national disaster team.

I am shocked at the disregard that people (even those who have a high level of education and who should know better) have for others in the community when they take actions that don’t protect their neighbors.

Did you see the article about the Pope’s opinion on “individualism” and the pandemic? Just came out in the news today. Here is the link

I’m not a catholic but I respect many things that the current pope says. I think he is right, but maybe you disagree with the Pope. Read the article.

These are tough times, but it makes no sense to make the whole thing worse by spreading the virus. I hope you and your family stay safe and don’t contract the virus because it is nasty. Yep…. a very NASTY virus…. and very contagious.

Your high school friend, Barb

Jim Riley:  Barb, I’m really having a difficult time processing how a person as educated as you are can have such trouble processing the truth:  life is a risk equation.  You could totally eliminate car accidents by telling people to not use their vehicles.  You could totally eliminate construction accidents by eliminating all residential development.

I brought up abortion because that is ENTIRELY preventable, simply by making it a homicide.  You’ve never written me about that, even though I’ve publicized that on the farm website, where my son has risked his safety protesting abortion in very hostile environments.  Listening to lectures about 160,000 seasonal deaths when we, as a nation, have killed 60 MILLION babies is such a monstrous absurdity, I sorta thought you would get it.  I guess not.

I know quite a few medical professionals, and the wise ones (unlike you) recognize that they treat people who actually NEED to make a living in an imperfect world, full of pathogens.  These folks, their patients, don’t get to hunker down at home when the virus Karens think everyone should, taking advice from medical professionals who will go right on getting paid when they are asking their patients to starve.  Frankly, people like you DISGUST me.  Are YOU willing to pay their mortgages when they can’t work?  You really have those means, Barb?

If there were body bags all over the streets, I think we would all take this seriously, but it is not the black death.  It is not the Spanish Flu.  It hurts, but life hurts – and we all must go on.

I am sorry, truly, to see you spread your cowardice as broadly as you think you are entitled to. You are a blemish to your profession.

I am no longer your friend,

Jim R

P.S. And can it with any reference to “Pope” Francis.  He’s a fraud.  He never was a Christian, and I think you know it.