One of the major themes that arose out of World War II was how America's national character helped propel the Allies to victory over the Axis powers. Americans came together and sacrificed by either picking up a rifle and heading "over there" or on the homefront, they did whatever they could to help the war effort.
They bought bonds. They turned their businesses into factories. They rationed items such as meat, dairy, fruits, shortening, cars, firewood, and gasoline.
After living through nine months of COVID-19, one wonders whether today's Americans would be adult enough to make the sacrifices necessary to win such a war.
While many people have sacrificed during the pandemic, for some, getting them to social distance and wear a mask has been like pulling teeth. This reluctance to sacrifice for the common good has led to tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths.
Courtney Farrar lost his father Dr. Marvin Farr, 81, to COVID-19 on December 1, and used his obituary to illustrate the difference in attitudes between those of the "Greatest Generation" and the selfish anti-maskers he believes contributed to his father's death.
"He was preceded in death by more than 260,000 Americans infected with covid-19. He died in a room not his own, being cared for by people dressed in confusing and frightening ways. He died with covid-19, and his final days were harder, scarier and lonelier than necessary. He was not surrounded by friends and family."
The obituary draws a sharp comparison between those who heard the call of duty when their country needed them versus many today who confuse inconvenience for tyranny.
"He was born into an America recovering from the Great Depression and about to face World War 2, times of loss and sacrifice difficult for most of us to imagine. Americans would be asked to ration essential supplies and send their children around the world to fight and die in wars of unfathomable destruction. He died in a world where many of his fellow Americans refuse to wear a piece of cloth on their face to protect one another."
Marvin Farr had a doctorate in veterinary science, which stands in sharp contrast to those who've chosen to promote the spread of the virus.
"He chose life over death. The science that guided his professional life has been disparaged and abandoned by so many of the same people who depended on his knowledge to care for their animals and to raise their food."
After the obituary went viral, Courtney lashed out at those who've played down the deadly virus.
"I've spent most of this year hearing people from my hometown talk about how this disease isn't real, isn't that bad, only kills old people, masks don't work, etc," he wrote on Facebook. "And because of the prevalence of those attitudes, my father's death was so much harder on him, his family and his caregivers than it should have been. Which is why this obit is written as it is."
He also pushed back against those who criticized him for turning his father's obituary into a political statement.
"Well, his death was political," Courtney Farr wrote. "He died in isolation with an infectious disease that is causing a national crisis. To pretend otherwise or to obfuscate is also a political decision."
Courtney Farr isn't the only person to use a family member's obituary to speak out against those responsible for spreading the pandemic.
In July, Stacey Nagy, 72, blamed the death of her husband, David W. Nagy, 79, on President Trump, Texas Governor Greg Abott, and "the many ignorant, self-centered and selfish people" who refuse to wear a mask.
"Dave did everything he was supposed to do, but you did not," Stacey Nagy, 72, wrote in the tribute to her husband. "Shame on all of you, and may Karma find you all!"
"Family members believe David's death was needless," the obituary reads. "They blame his death and the deaths of all other innocent people, on Trump, Abbott and all of the other politicians who did not take this pandemic seriously and were more concerned with their popularity and votes than lives."
When the history of America's reaction to COVID-19 is written, the story won't be about how America's heroic national character shone through and helped the country beat the disease.
Sadly, it'll be about how a lot of Americans didn't stand up and sacrifice for their communities' health and refused to listen to science until it came up with a vaccine, then they were all ears.
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