Country club members tee up outrage by asserting privilege
SAN DIEGO -- I'm not accustomed to feeling ashamed of people in my beloved hometown. But, amid a global pandemic, the self-centered members of a Fresno, California, country club managed to get my blood boiling.
I feel blessed to have been born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley. Cradled in the heart of California, its farmland provides more than half of the nation's fruits, nuts and vegetables. The region also produces some of the best -- and most genuine -- people on Earth.
These are just simple folks, scratching out a living in dozens of hardscrabble small towns. What you see is what you get. Most residents don't put on airs, but they do put the interests of others before their own.
Of course, there are exceptions. Leave it to COVID-19 to reveal them. This plague brings out the best in some folks, the worst in others.
The evening news is full of stories of heroism, compassion, love and sacrifice. The saintly are taking meals to hospitals so that health care workers have the strength to stare death in the face hour after hour. Others volunteer to pick up food or medicine for the elderly and physically challenged.
Many Americans seem to have gotten the message that this is the time to stay home, tighten our belts and do without some of the luxuries to which we've become accustomed, in what country singer Waylon Jennings might describe as "this successful life we're livin'."
Unfortunately, others missed that memo.
Here you have all these heroic doctors, nurses, and medical staff who show up to work at hospitals every day, and they only ask one thing from the rest of us -- just one darned thing: Stay home. These warriors are on the front lines, but they don't want to see you there.
So, they plead, just stay home.
Who knew this would be such a tough order -- especially in the Golden State? Although California Gov. Gavin Newsom was the first chief executive in the nation to close dine-in restaurants (March 17) and issue a "stay-at-home" directive (March 19), people kept heading to parks and beaches for the next two weeks until Newsom closed those, too.