Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, April 4, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, April 4, 2020 




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 



Stuart Tolchin 

Audrey Swanson

Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee

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 We in the Pasadena, Arcadia, and Sierra Madre area are 
pretty used to be getting forked. For you far-away folk who happen 
to stumble upon this article I am talking about the giant eighteen 
foot fork seemingly suspended in the air where South St. John Ave 
and Pasadena Ave. diverge. It looks like a huge metal fork stuck in 
the ground; but when you look closely you can see that it is floating 
above the ground attached to an almost invisible pole. If you want 
to know more of the Fork in the Road’s secrets you can look it up 
on the internet. For my purposes right now I am using this totally 
surprising fork in the road as a way of illustrating the problems that 
are facing all of us right now.

 The relevance today of the giant fork is that it substantially reflects the 
situation of most Americans today. It is confusing to look at, completely unanticipated, 
and potentially harmful. It can lead you in the wrong direction after which it is often 
difficult to know what to do next. Sound familiar? 

 Maybe you get my point. Suddenly, unexpectedly and out of nowhere there 
came this pandemic which has left us all confused. Of course, it didn’t help that our 
quasi-elected leader has now admitted to us that he has been lying all along. Why? 
Because he did not want the whole population to panic. (Sure it was) At first I admit 
it was a relief to briefly find a respite from continual discussions regarding Democratic 
Presidential aspirants and to hear the news discussing this flu-like thing that the 
President told us was mainly a hoax designed to hamper his re-election prospects; but, 
not to worry as there was no danger. This little flu thing was completely controlled and 
not really of any concern. 

 Wonderful, I thought, now I can go back to worrying about the Climate 
Emergency and the possibilities of nuclear war, my usual concerns. Does anyone talk 
about these things anymore? But this coronavirus thing wouldn’t go way and soon it 
was all that anybody talked about. It became so gigantic that I had to do more than 
think about it, I actually had to do something. Well at first it wasn’t so bad. All I had 
to do was stay home; not too hard as I had just recently retired and really had no place 
to go other than to doctor’s appointments and pick up medication. Staying home for 
a couple of days wasn’t really that hard once my wife and I agreed to limit ourselves 
to one fight a day (actually this agreement has never really been consummated but it 
sounds like a good idea) but not being able to see our granddaughter was more than 
annoying. At first, I thought it would not be a problem for a couple of weeks. Now, 
of course, we have been told to forget all previous Presidential information. What 
was thought to be restrictions lasting only a couple of weeks will now be in place 
for months. We are told not to leave the house and to prepare ourselves for news of 
eventual deaths in the United States numbering 100,000 -250,000 if everything goes 
right. That’s what we were told yesterday. Certainly the consequences of this shut 
down and the absorption of so many deaths probably including people close to us will 
have a tremendous effect on all of us, if we should happen to survive. To me it seems 
like we have come to an enormous fork in the road. One fork requires all of us to do 
follow the regulations and stay home while the medical professionals try to develop 
vaccines, and appropriate medications. Additional medical personnel and the masks 
and gowns to protect hospital staffs are competitively being sought. There is all this 
talk about ventilators and who is entitled to them and how to use them once they are 

That’s what almost all the news talks about anyway along with questions to experts 
and other reporters. Yesterday I heard a comment from an elected official responding 
to a question about what changes will have to be made in the post pandemic world. 
He responded by saying “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it”. Absolutely 
wrong! What happens if there are no bridges? Now is the time to think about the 
construction of new bridges, new adaptations that will be needed in the Post pandemic 
World. There are many social-evils that faced Americans long before the arrival of the 
Pandemic. Despite our overall affluence, many Americans report themselves as being 
miserable. Suicide rates and divorce and abuse of alcohol and drugs are rampant. Vast 
number of non-violent people are in prison with problems probably connected to their 
poor education. This is the other fork that should be considered right now. Can we 
learn to live more cheaply, consume less energy, and still be better prepared for coming 
calamities? Is there a lesson to be learned that will allow us to better educate our 
children, to be more comfortable and appreciate what we have and not be consumed 
by the pursuit of what we don’t have. If we are to be surrounded by death perhaps we 
will learn to be more accepting of death and aging and not be in pursuit of a perpetual 
adolescence which contributes to frequent destruction of family bonds. All I am saying 
is that there were and are problems in America that have nothing to do with the virus. 
The important second fork I visualize is a serious consideration of our values and the 
development of potential plans that might help all of us be a little more content and 
save the planet as well. We might as well talk to each other about that now as we have 
to stay at home anyway.

Stay At Home kia ora 






Walking my dog Dorothy a few months ago 
I didn’t recognize the fellow waving from the 
white car until he stopped to say hello. Turns out 
it was Ed, a casual acquaintance, whose wave I 
hadn’t acknowledged because I couldn’t see him 
through the tinted glass. 

Since then I’ve made it a point to wave at every 
car that passes on our quiet street. Maybe I know the driver, perhaps I 
don’t. But the wave can’t hurt; in fact, it’s rather nice. 

Nowadays, with social distancing, we’re all doing a lot more waving. Folks 
keep their distance but most wave, salute or signal - acknowledging that 
we’re in this together. Jerry Seinfeld’s old complaint that people don’t offer 
a proper “thank you wave” doesn’t hold in coronavirus times. 

I’ve long been intrigued by simple hand signals. As kids we thought we 
knew a big secret: If you made a pulling motion with your arm as a truck 
passed, the driver would respond with a blast of his air horn. 

Sitting on the observation deck at our local airport I’ve noted that the 
ground crew - those folks with the orange flashlights - give each pilot a 
final salute, which is always acknowledged with a salute from the cockpit. 
It’s a civilian version of scenes in “Top Gun” when Tom Cruise and the 
other fighter pilots salute the guys who send them off the aircraft carriers. 
Another old film, “The Sting,” features a band of lovable con men who 
identify each other with a forefinger salute across the nose. 

It’s believed the origin of hand saluting was in Roman times. A citizen 
who wished to approach a public official raised his right hand to show 
that he was not carrying a weapon. According to the Armed Forces Museum, 
the modern salute evolved as a show of respect. “By 1820, the gesture 
was officially modified to the current version still used in the military 
today - the touching of the hat. Hand salute, palm down is believed to be 
an influence of the British Navy, as deck hands were often dirty and to 
expose the dirty palm was regarded as disrespectful.” 

Many of us will never forget the sight of three-year-old John-John Kennedy 
saluting his father’s casket as it was carried from St. Matthew’s 

During the crisis, President Trump favors the simple thumbs up. Some 
give the A-OK sign, forming a circle with thumb and forefinger. You 
might use two hands to make a hand-heart gesture, popularized by the 
singer Taylor Swift. Or maybe the Hawaiian Shaka, a waggle of the upward 
thumb and forward-pointing pinkie with the middle three fingers 
curled to the palm. Perhaps just a nod to strangers crossing the street. 

A hand on the heart, often accompanied by a soft pat-pat on the chest, is 
better than words when it comes to saying “thank you” and “I really care.” 

While walking Dorothy the other day I stopped to watch the mail carrier 
make a delivery across the street. As he pulled away, I felt compelled to 
offer a military-style salute. He slowed, turned slightly, and saluted back. 

Sometimes the smallest gestures have the biggest meaning. 

Peter Funt is a writer and speaker. His book, "Cautiously Optimistic," is 
available at and 

A million years ago, we were worried about who was going to 
win the Iowa Caucuses, and then Super Tuesday, and then when 
Bernie Sanders was finally going to pack it in.

 Now, despite what the most die-hard political operatives might 
believe, we really don’t give a flying fig. What we care about now 
is that our families, friends and other loved ones come through 
this dark time safely, whole and with as little damage to their 
bodies and their psyches as possible.

 At least, that’s what we tell ourselves. But then travel over to social media or the traditional 
“Jurassic” media, and it’s quite a revelation. Politics are still very much involved in 
how we navigate this new landscape, a different planet in the same galaxy.

 Actually, to be more accurate, we live on two separate planets. There is the one where 
the atmosphere is filled with pestilence, and the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse are 
called “Trump, Pence, Falwell and Fox.” And there is the one where the only thing that 
matters is the economy tanking, people are making too much of this “flu on steroids” 
and it’s all a leftist plot to turn America into Sweden (without all the pickled herring and 
sexy blondes.)

 To be fair, there is a third planet, but it’s caught in the interplanetary crossfire between 
the other two, with their extreme populations that want to annihilate the enemy. I happen 
to live on that middle planet, and it gives me a bit of perspective on clear nights 
when the stars are out.

 The people who absolutely hate Donald Trump are using this tragic health crisis to 
make sure that he does not win a second term in November (assuming we still have 
elections then.) They are people like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, who 
rail against the GOP every day and pretend that conservatives want people to die from 
lack of water, food and face masks. 

 They are not alone in blaming the administration for putting out false information, and 
pointing the finger at the White House for the rising body count. Certain media outlets, 
mostly televised but also in print, are accusing the president of telling people to buy 
pool-cleaner chemicals and ingest them as a preventative measure against COVID-19. 
When some poor fool actually did do that, his death was placed at the president’s doorstep 
by both innuendo (NBC News) and direct accusation (many of the people on Twitter 
important enough to have blue-check, verified accounts.)

 I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that we’ve come to this, since I’ve seen the hysteria 
whipped up in opponents of this president, even among lawyers I know who you’d think 
were intelligent enough not to let their insanity be seen in professional circles. But that 
is so Pollyanna of me.

 On the other hand, there are other sorts of crazy out there, comprised of those who 
think that this pandemic is “no big deal.” Worse, I have seen some of them spouting 
about how George Soros orchestrated this, how it’s all a hoax to tank the economy and 
how we should just go out about our business. This, too, is a particular madness caused 
by the exact opposite of what has infected the Left: a desire to defend and protect this 
president at all costs, against all criticism. To use an unavoidable pun, a plague on both 
their houses.

 This middle planet that I inhabit with a large and comforting number of Americans 
does not care about scoring political points just now. I frankly have no interest in thinking 
about who will be the non-Hillary of 2020. I’m not even particularly interested in 
the “woman” that Joe Biden has promised to pick for his vice presidential candidate. I 
am not interested in the fact that the Olympics were canceled, that mommies are doing 
“Corona Blogs” from their bedrooms and that some news agencies are actually using 
this crisis to get subscribers.

 I am interested in making sure sick people get better, and healthy people stay that way. 
That’s it. The team that President Trump has gathered together, with the magnificent 
Doctors Tony Fauci and Deborah Birx, gives me comfort that the right people are at the 
helm, even if they don’t always have a tight grip on the wheel. I am troubled when the 
president says things that contradict his scientific advisers, but equally troubled by the 
shenanigans of Democrats who want to use a rescue bill for the economy to pad it with 
lots of precious pork. Both political sides have performed horribly in this mess.

 That’s why I disregard the noise from both sides, but which seems to be coming most 
loudly and stridently from the side trying to get rid of this president in the Fall. The 
time will come to deal with that honestly, and politically. Just not now, in the midst of 
a life-and-death struggle.

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