The following letter is real. It is part of a longer missive sent by a young Chagrin Falls friend I will call Kate, not her real name.

She is bright, inquisitive, kind, artistic, willing to speak her mind and brave enough to march to a different drummer.

My only issue with this engaging young woman is the current beat to which she steps is the off-tempo shambling of one Donald Trump.

She wrote because she was troubled by a broken friendship. The split was over politics. She explains here.

Dear Barbara,

So, a chance encounter, this afternoon, with a respected elder in town, has left me stymied and bewildered. Much of that bewilderment was due to what came out of my mouth. I really hate when that happens.

It started as a friendly “Hello,” and at this point, we know not to venture into political waters. Yet, we share a love for nature.

I had just heard that Florida lifted the “state of emergency” mandates and are trying to facilitate some return to normal life. I thought that was a good thing. But she made a disapproving face and said that Florida is making a mistake and it will make people sick and die.

So, I brought up the two-year time frame that Bill Gates has outlined for the world. I said he is not an elected leader or a doctor. Bill Gates and his two-year prediction of the virus lifestyle (population control). She quickly said he has good medical advice and knows these things.

This is when I become bewildered and stated that “people die”– many, many every year from many things. I also said something about the coronavirus being the same virus as the common cold. This is a prime insert foot moment into my big mouth. Of course, I do not think that.

But how I regret that interaction. I regret saying Joe Biden does not have two brain cells to rub together. I know that is not true and he has more than two. But she put her car in reverse and was gone.

Best, Kate

Dear Kate,

Your friend was demonstrating the fight or flight instinct. Rather than argue with you, which is never productive for either side, she took flight.

To paraphrase Bill Clinton, I feel her pain. You and I have had similar discussions and they are always exhausting because common ground is impossible between polar opposites. COVID-19 and the handling of it by our president is a prime example.

We, over here on this side, are tired of the president’s defenders defending the indefensible. Reason and proof have no standing with those who choose to believe a proven liar and less-than honorable, amoral man.

What happened to reliance on facts? Why has this president made science one of the “dark arts” and marginalized covid-19 as a hoax? Made mask-wearing and social distancing synonymous with the loss of freedom therefore okay to ignore?

Covid-19 is not a temporary inconvenience which sometimes causes death. Did you know there are long term consequences and irreversible damage to the heart, lungs and immune system? What is wrong with staying as safe as possible until a proven vaccine can be developed?

Remember when he first started talking about opening the country/Wall Street then rejected additional Covid-19 testing because it would only trigger more reported cases of Covid-19 and stagger the stock market?

You questioned Bill Gates’ right to discuss the subject. Perhaps you did not know he has funded scientific research into infectious diseases for years and was warning about an inevitable pandemic before anyone heard of COVID-19. He is being listened to now.

I hold out hope you will snap out of whatever spell this undeserving president has over you. Perhaps you already are “recovering” by acknowledging that your over-the-top, heat-of-the-moment hyperbole on Biden’s “two brain cells” and comparison of Covid-19 to the common cold were false.

Thank you for restoring my faith in common sense and accept my hope for the continued recovery to your old self.

Peace my friend,

Barbara.

A veteran reporter and columnist, Barbara Christian has been covering Chagrin Falls since 1967 and is currently responsible for Chagrin Falls village events, government and school board news along with her weekly column "Window on Main Street."

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