- Fred Spriggs

This week, we’ll take a look at the “Good, The Bad and The Ugly.”

I’m not referring to the classic 1967 Spaghetti Western “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” directed by Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood as The Good, Lee Van Cleef as The Bad and Eli Wallach as The Ugly.

Rather, I’ve been researching some of the good, bad and ugly things going on in our world during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are just a few examples.

Good: In addition to the praise for our healthcare workers, accolades need to go to the people who are delivering vital necessities, folks keeping our grocery store shelves stocked and all the volunteers giving of their time and money to ease the burden on those less fortunate.

Bad: Top CEOs of some of the largest corporations in our country must have psychic abilities.

For example, in January, 219 top executives, and in February, another 172 resigned their lucrative positions. The list includes CEOs from Disney, IBM, Harley-Davidson, T-Mobile and Mastercard.

On March 13, Bill Gates announced he would be stepping down from the boards of Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway.

Let’s not forget at the same time these companies were laying off thousands of workers, they were accepting massive dollars in “bailout” money from the federal government.

Ugly: Top executives sold $9.2 billion in shares of their own companies between the start of February and the end of March, saving themselves $1.9 billion before the stock market “tanked” due to the pandemic.

Good: The pandemic has led to a huge global drop in air pollution. Reductions in industry and traffic have lowered nitrogen-dioxide levels around the world. Satellite imagery shows pollution levels have fallen by an estimated 40 percent.

One of the largest drops in pollution levels could be seen over the city of Wuhan, China, where many scientists point to as the location where the COVID-19 virus originated.

Bad: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released 1,700 inmates from prisons and jails. More than 100 of the prisoners released from the high-security prison complex at Rikers Island have been arrested for crimes. Police in New York City have said the spike in the city’s burglaries is a direct result of the release of those prisoners.

Ugly: Madonna, who is now 60 years old, decided her contribution in the fight against coronavirus should be a video of herself in her $20-million home, naked in a candle-surrounded bath full of rose petals while calling the virus “the great equalizer.”

Good: For seven weeks during the pandemic, between Feb. 17 to April 12, the city of Miami, Fla., reported no homicides.

Bad: While talking to a worker at the checkout line in a grocery store, she pointed out to me that she was making less money working than the people in the same job who had been laid off and were receiving stimulus money from the government.

Ugly: U.S. House of Representatives Democrats are pushing “The Devil’s Bill,” H.R. 6666 (Can you say “mark of the beast?), a $100-billion bill that would provide grants to entities so they can monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. I suspect the grants would be a bigger scam to taxpayers than when the big banks and stock market picked our pockets in 2008.

This list could go on and on.

It’s a short list indicating human nature.

No matter what, we’ll always see some people being good, others being bad and a few just being downright ugly.

Fred Spriggs is the former news editor of the Webster County Citizen, a position he held for nearly 15 years. He now lives in rural Stone County in retirement with his wife, Julie, who also is a native of Seymour. He can be reached via e-mail at spriggsfred@yahoo.com

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