by Abdul-Hakim Shabazz

For those of you who aren’t aware, my father passed away this past summer due to complications from COVID-19. He was 83 and had diabetes. He managed to get through the COVID, but he had a heart attack and a stroke, and later his kidneys failed. Despite that, he had doctors, which helped him manage his pain, and at the end of the day, he was at rest when he made his transition.

Now, as much as I have my own issues with the President, I don’t wish COVID-19 on anyone. It is a dangerous disease that has the potential to take you out. And if you are older the age of 65, and the President is in his 70s, you are a lot more likely to feel the effects of COVID-19 if you contract it. I wish him and his wife nothing but the best for a speedy recovery.

While I want the President and the First Lady to recover, I hope they and their supporters learn something from this. Three things I hope they learn are to wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. This isn’t hard, folks. If you wear a mask, you decrease your chances of spreading the disease. This comes in handy if you’re asymptomatic and can spread the disease even when you don’t know you have it.

Secondly, I realize there are quite a few people who have (or in this case had) a problem with the stay at home orders and other COVID-19 government-related mandates. So did I, particularly here in Marion County, where bars have to close at midnight, even though the Indianapolis infection rate is under five percent. But once again, the point of the mandates and the rules are to save lives, control the spread, and make sure hospital facilities aren’t overrun with COVID-19 patients.

Just take a look at the states which have opened up too early; they are in a much worse place than they should be. For example, take the state of Wisconsin. According to POLITICO, COVID-19 has ravaged the state. Deaths rose by 53 percent over the last two weeks, the rate of infections has shot into double-digits, and hospitals are sounding the alarm on capacity issues.

Luckily, Indiana, under Governor Eric Holcomb, has managed to avoid that. By opening in a methodic, reasonable manner, the state has managed to control and slow the spread of COVID-19. Now, of course, no good deed goes unpunished. When my website, Indy Politics, polled with Change Research last month, Holcomb went from a 20-point lead over Democrat Dr. Woody Myers to a six-point lead, with most of his support defecting to Libertarian Donald Rainwater.

I want those people who are mad about the mask and social distancing mandate to think about your hero, Donald Trump. Trump, who was not crazy about a mask mandate, probably now wishes he would have had one in place; that way, he could campaign over the next month (or at least two weeks) rather than being stuck in the east wing of the White House.

As I said, it’s not hard, folks. And I don’t wish COVID-19 on my worst enemy, especially after going through what I went through with my own Dad. So do everyone a favor, mask up, wash your hands, social distance, and keep some hand sanitizer with you. And if I may paraphrase an old saying, the life you save could be someone else’s.

Abdul-Hakim Shabazz is the editor and publisher of Indy Politics.