No alarm clock was needed, I was up. The previous nights sleep breezed by. I woke up feeling refreshed, thankful that the Lord had granted me another day to live.

As I gingerly walked to the kitchen soft rays of sunlight could already be seen breaking through the tree line. Though my home insulated me from feeling them, the look alone led me to believe that the tingling warmth my skin would later receive from them would be a welcomed experience indeed.

Coffee filter (check). Fresh water filled to the proper line in my coffee station’s reservoir tank (check). Fresh coffee grounds kept in the freezer like I like them (check). I scooped a half a cup, put the grounds in the coffee filter, shut the top lid and then pressed the start button.

As the coffee brewed, I began to notice a cacophony of bird song outside. They were exceptionally loud this morning. As I started to look out the window to see the merriment, I began to feel an itch on my right ankle. Having my attention diverted, my eyes shifted focus from up and out to down. My sweat pants were covering whatever began to be an irritation. I reached down and pulled up my pant leg to about mid-calf. Nothing visible was causing the sensation…? So curious!

Readjusting my pant leg, I walk to the front of my house. I know its going to be a good day, a warm day, a beautiful spring day and so I plan on opening up all windows to let the house breathe. My wife calls this “letting the fresh air in and getting the stagnate winter air out.” Beginning to focus on the task at hand something shimmers at the edge of my vision. It quickly dissipates, but for a fleeting second, I thought I’d seen the outline of bars evenly spaced in vertical rows on my window. Weird!

Two things I thought that were there, were not there at all. The first was the weird sensation on my right ankle. Though my investigation revealed nothing, I would have sworn that the feeling was akin to an ankle monitor. I’ve never wore one, but having seen them on others I imagine that the experience would be similar. The second was a mirage of bars on the windows of my home. I’d only mentioned one previously, but every time I turned to one of the other windows in my home the same eerie impression occurred.

Trying to shake those unsettling thoughts that are now creeping into my mind, I decide to step outside and get some fresh air. I slip my shoes on and head for the front door. Reaching out to turn the door handle I try to push down. Nothing happens except for resistance. Oops, I forgot the locks. Silly me, I guess my nerves were more shaken than I had first thought. A nervous laugh escapes my lips. Shaking my head, I turn the lock on the handle and to be thorough I also turn the lock on the deadbolt.

So, now back to square one I attempt to do what I had previously tried. But try as I might I cannot open the door. My initial panic returns. My heart is beginning to “thumb—th..rump” harder and harder. “Why won’t this stupid door open!” I say in frustration. Frustrated over what I’m feeling, frustrated that this dag-on door will not open no matter which way I turn the locks, no matter how forcefully I turn the handle and pull. Nothing is working!

As my breathing gets shorter and sharper and my skin begins to burn with a heated flush of adrenaline and blood, a loud automated voice begins to speak. It says loudly and authoritatively the following phrase:

“CITIZEN…YOU ARE TO REMAIN INDOORS FOR THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE! FOR THE SAFTEY OF YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS AND YOUR OWN GOOD YOU HAVE BEEN ORDERED TO ‘STAY IN DOORS.’ FLATTENING THE CURVE IS OF THE HIGHEST PRIORITY! I REPEAT….

THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION!”

And then, silence. A silence so deafening that the only noise I can pick up is the slight ringing in my ears. No longer are the birds chirping outside. No longer do the rays of the sun sing to my soul.

My home has become my prison. The apparent mirages I had been feeling earlier were my mind’s way of warning me of what had transpired overnight. My freedom had been taken and this under the guise of safety/security.

What I find amazing is the number of people who prefer this scenario over being able to live their life. They would rather have “Big Brother” tell them what they can do versus what they can’t do. They’d rather have “Big Brother” tell them what to think versus having their own thoughts.

The funny thing about this make-believe narrative is that it’s no longer looking make-believe. Where is the constitutional authority given to rob people of their livelihood? What kind of world are we leaving to our children if this becomes the “new normal?”

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