An episode of “Death Valley Days,” set in the 1820s, told of a settler attacked by Indians, thieves and land-grabbers. Through it all, this older settler and his wife prevailed and kept their land. It might have been wise for them to just leave and be safe but they didn’t, they stayed.

Remember the past ages and our nature as a wandering people? Many left Europe and foreign lands to come to America for a better life. Numerous hardships were endured in crossing oceans in crude ships. Once here many went west in search of better conditions, free land, or riches as in gold or furs. What were the hazards that were encountered in crude wagons on foot or pack animals? There were diseases, drought, cold, snakes, plus wild Indians, robbers, and the basic unknown awaited them. Danger and death were all around and could come at any moment. But what did these early Americans do? They persevered, conquered all these adversaries and went on in spite.

In our present COVID-19 age, we are ordered to stay home with only limited rights of movement for our safety, we are told. Surveys seem to support hunkering down. Would America ever have been what it is today with a society that has such fear of the unknown? I dare to say that the so-called “American Experience” will now be buried in history, never to be to be seen again. America will never be the same in more ways than one.

Are we a nation of sheep? I just pray that we are not ripe for slaughter.

—David Naeyaert,