The Patience of Job

Morning rumbles across the US with furious, reactive outcries against the new Biden administration vaccination mandate. The power of Federal money is being used to wield a heavy stick against companies with 100+ employees, Federal employees and, health workers. A hefty slice of the working population. “We have been patient” Biden declared, “but our patience is wearing thin”.

Regardless of personal feelings or political loyalties, the Trump administration ripped off the pretences of the US as a functioning, equitable society.  In the face of this revelation, we “the people” took to the streets demanding justice for our broken dreams. We briefly lost our patience with consumer-driven policies. We “woke-up” for a moment.

2020 illustrated the historical pattern of disfunction across industries, politics, law, and society. As the virus burned through the country, individual counties defied State mandates while States snubbed the Federal government. It smacked of pure American individualism and freedom. Our original independence “mandate”.  We waved personally interpreted Constitutional “rights”  more than the flag.  We celebrated our new status of being; “un-united” by taking a sledge hammer to what remained of social and political unity.

In the arena of these contending epiphanies came the circuitous understanding that legitimate forms of legal enforcement no longer existed. Local and national legal systems had lost both bite and, validity. Police quit or simply refused to acknowledge 911 calls. Shoplifters pushcarts of blatantly stolen goods past helpless employees.

Cities like Portland (OR), San Francisco (CA), Seattle (WA), Chicago (Ill), Minneapolis (MN) and, Atlanta (GA) led the way in broadcasting widespread acceptance of this new “free” society. Those who lost patience with the city chaos and could afford to,  moved. Not my problem, walk away. That mixed blessing from pandemic 2020. Disconnection from physical worksites and, people.

Which brings us back to the new Federal masking mandate. And, the patience of Job. ( James 5:10-11).  We have lived through our second pandemic year. We are, tired. Winter is coming.

To date, we are logging 2,146 daily deaths related to Covid. ( John Hopkins University ) Nobody talks about it anymore. Death is, accepted.  In September 2020, during lock-down, we reported a daily average death rate of 1,500. We freaked.  Delta, Lambda, Mu. We will run out of alphabets as the virus mutates, ensuring its own survival.

We read the “Great Resignation” continues, despite the end of pandemic unemployment benefits. Empty store shelves illustrate a curiously broken supply chain. Everything is costing more. Garbage, populated by the burgeoning homeless, lines the streets. It’s not a pretty in the Big Picture.

Biden’s announcement, forces us to question not merely the intent, but the mechanism of implementation. How, is this Federal mandate going to be applied or, enforced? Companies will scramble for new processes and potentially furious employees that may, in this Great Resignation, quit. This dominoes into rising unemployment, aggravated housing issues, bankruptcies and, guns.  The sounds of a crashing empire.

Statistics are fun. They are beautifully malleable and such an excellent platform for ineffectual debates.  In April 2020, unemployment was 14.8%. It was dire.  The highest since the Great Depression of 1929. In August 2021 we logged in at 5.2%. Statistics had bounced back. Wall Street celebrated.

In the summer bliss of June 2021, the Federal government estimated the economy would return to a “healthy” 3.8% by 2022.  Oddly, unemployment statistics can only guesstimate the number of unemployed who have simply given up. This statistically healthy economy has not translated into a healthy or, functioning society.

I am not an economist or a statistical wizard.  I am going to try and patiently break this puzzle down to some basic but practical questions. My innate need to clarify this confusion.

If employees quit due to the new vaccination mandate, will unemployment go back up?  Yes. Does the administration believe the lack of unemployment benefits will force people back to work regardless of pandemic safety issues? Maybe. Will pandemic unemployment benefits be re-instated? Probably not.  Will companies be able to create legitimate vaccination processes and, afford the combined costs of these processes and employee losses?  No. Will more small businesses fail under the weight of increased supply costs? Yes. Will mandates be legally enforceable? No.  Will environmental disasters increase poverty and homelessness? Yes. Will more jobs vanish despite mandates? Yes.  Will the government invoke the military? Maybe. Will people panic when schoolchildren die? Yes. Are things getting better? No.

The recurring theme illustrates a severe disconnect between government mandates and policies vs the reality of the new “normal” America. Employers no longer command unilateral work conditions.  Gen-Z is kicking disposable consumerism to the curb. Gangs and vigilantes rule the streets.  To date, has been a gross miscalculation in the level of suffering and struggle the public will continue to accept.

Americans, do not have the Patience of Job.  The government, whether it be county, State, or Federal no longer carries the trust or “voice of God”. Even the echo has faded.

The President’s patience may be “wearing thin” in regards to vaccination. Hence his new mandate. But. Mandates mean nothing without a functioning legal system or means of enforcement. They simply feed the social media trolls with extra treats.

Average Americans are roiling with anger across a conflicted country. They have lost all patience with inept systems and disconnected politicians. And, their government.  Mr. President, may I suggest you wake up and smell the coffee? You are the President. You are appointed to bear the ultimate Patience of Job and lead this country out of its suffering. I am happy to bring you a cup of steaming reality while I still have some patience left.


Karin vonKrenner
Karin vonKrenner
Karin vonKrenner is a journalist and photographer. She has worked globally for over 20 years, in times of peace and conflict. Karin directs her pen and lens to document the contrasting narratives of the human experience. Her work invites you to engage the world from new perspectives.

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  1. Thanks for your input Ken. Not sure another “civil war” is on the horizon. That would require a level of organization and unity that is lacking at all levels. This country is simply “too big”. As with all empires, governance across an expanse of varied cultures becomes cumbersome and ineffectual at the local levels. The “silence” of this administration as it moves forward is concerning. Additionally, the lack of legitimate news and facts creates a vacuum for the social media trolls to distract everyone from what an actual agenda may be.
    Personally, I am “losing my patience” with “instant coffee” mandates etc that have no long-term implementation processes. Slapping band-aids back on festering wounds again. And, current administrations policy directions are literally driving the money out of the country. Never a good sign. Winter is coming…

  2. I agree with you, Karin. Much of the public has had enough of government officials that have been in office for 30-50 years and have only made things worse. It seems they create problems so they have a platform of promising to fix the problems when election time rolls around. We the people are fed-up with the management by fear, division, and dictates. Much of this is simply a grab at securing more power, and personal wealth at our expense. Will these new mandates work? Of course not. As you point out there is no way to enforce them short of becoming a military state and that is illegal and would take the cooperation of the military. That is unlikely. So, are we headed to another civil war as people take matters into their own hands? The violence we see in many of our cities are not with the intent of making things better. The city street violence is run by thugs and fuled by money from sources intent on driving more fear and division. It is part of the plan. Divide and conquor and manage by fear. As the current spiking of inflation takes hold of household budgets the civil unrest is likely to hit a breaking point.