For all of us who have been following the daily news of the spread of the coronavirus, it seems that things are getting worse rather than better.

One reason that it’s getting worse is that some people refuse to cooperate in doing things to make it better.

We continue to see large numbers of people who, either out of ignorance, defiance, or indifference, refuse to wear masks or practice social distancing.

On social media and in person, we hear people repeat outrageous conspiracies concerning the virus: it is a hoax (tell that to the 140,000 dead people), it was created to discredit the president, it is not really that serious, it will soon go away all by itself, the Chinese invented it in a secret laboratory to poison the world, etc.

For some people, wearing or not wearing a mask has become a political statement. It is seen as a test of loyalty to the president, who until very recently, has made a point of not wearing masks.

All this distraction is pure insanity. The virus doesn’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat. It doesn’t care if you’re rural or urban, Yankee or Southerner, liberal or conservative. It is a mindless organism whose goal is to infect as many hosts as possible and to sicken and kill them.

As good citizens and as Christians or other people of faith who profess to love our neighbors, it is our duty to do whatever we can to engage in the best practices to ward off and eventually beat down this pandemic. When I was in the Army, and we knew we were going to be exposed to a gas attack, we put on gas masks. This is something that any idiot could comprehend.

Today, true patriotism consists of doing what is best for the nation, not in trying to make some kind of deluded macho statement.

THE REV. E. T. MALONE, JR.

Warrenton