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And You and Me Are Free To Be...


If you're old enough to remember this 1974 project by Marlo Thomas and a cavalcade of celebrities, you may be as dismayed as I am today. I thought the political landscape was bad, divisive. And it is. But the COVID-19 state of the nation is even worse. Anti-vaxxers are now competing with anti-maskers for the role as the worst people on earth. My girls and I have been self-quarantined since March 12. They go in the car with me occasionally. They have not been out of the car. I have left about 6 times to race through the grocery store or CVS for mini food shopping trips. I even put on an American Flag mask every time I go into a store.  I hate it. I can't breathe well. It hampers my peripheral vision. It makes my ears itch. And I forget that I'm wearing lip gloss so it sticks to my mouth.

Dan Olmsted always tried to make us "Switzerland" when he was here guiding AofA. As a non-profit, we don't get involved in actual political opinions, that's a legal no-no and frankly, I'd rather talk about my sex life with strangers on MetroNorth than discuss politics with just about anyone today. I'm grateful we can't endorse or eviscerate candidates the way I see on social media. Speaking of which, social distancing is turning into social shunning. I see even more splintering in deeper, wider pockets of my social sphere.  Anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers. I have thousands of "friends" on Facebook. Rifts are chasms. COVID-19 is splitting communities, towns. Some of my town lists are a nightmare of shaming those who stand too close at the Stop & Shop and who dare ride a bike down a sidewalk past walkers, to those who want to stroll naked down Main Street defiantly waving masks like fig leaves and pasties in their hands. 

As a nation, I think we made great progress after 1974 and the spirit of the beautiful, funny, engaging songs on Free To Be You To Me. Take a listen to the entire album, it's terrific. But today, 46 years later, I see a country that is more divided than ever. As we sit alone in our homes. Not free at all.

There's a land that I see where the children are free
And I say it ain't far to this land from where we are
Take my hand, come with me, where the children are free
Come with me, take my hand, and we'll live

In a land where the river runs free
In a land through the green country
In a land to a shining sea
And you and me are free to be you and me


I see a land bright and clear, and the time's comin' near
When we'll live in this land, you and me, hand in hand
Take my hand, come along, lend your voice to my song
Come along, take my hand, sing a song

For a land where the river runs free
For a land through the green country
For a land to a shining sea
For a land where the horses run free
And you and me are free to be you and me

Every boy in this land grows to be his own man
In this land, every girl grows to be her own woman
Take my hand, come with me where the children are free
Come with me, take my hand, and we'll run

To a land where the river runs free
To a land through the green country
To a land to a shining sea
To a land where the horses run free
To a land where the children are free
And you and me are free to be
And you and me are free to be
And you and me are free to be you and me

You and me
You and me
You and me
Ba ba-ba-ba-ba-ba, ba ba-ba-ba-ba-ba
Ba ba-ba-ba-ba-ba, ba
And you and me are free to be you and me
Copyright: Lyrics © Original Writer and Publisher




Thank you, Aimee and Cia, for your replies. I hope you are right, Cia, that no one will say anything. I worry because nearby towns are imposing fines and refusing entry to stores, etc. to anyone not wearing a face mask. This is not going to work for us at all...



Children under two don’t have to wear masks, nor do people with respiratory conditions which make it hard for them to breathe through a mask. No one would say anything if, when asked (and you probably wouldn’t be), you said that your child had a developmental disability which made it impsiible for him to wear one. My daughter has improved a lot with age and wears them with no problem. She follows my lead, and when we’re back in the car and I push mine down, she does the same.

Aimee Doyle

@ Frustrated -

The big autism organizations are all about lighting it up blue and fundraising.

I'd suggest checking with ASAN (Autistic Self-Advocacy Network) and see what they suggest. I doubt they'll be helpful (they weren't when I contacted them), but I think it's important for neurodiversity advocates to realize what the majority of the spectrum is experiencing. They seem particularly unaware of the difficulties of aggression and self-injury in severe autism. At least, no one in the movement ever seems to talk about that end of the spectrum.

The neurodiverse claim to have unique insight into the difficulties faced by autistic individuals, because only they (as opposed to parents, relatives, friends, doctors, therapists, etc.) are "autistic." Well, now is the time for them to prove that's the case.


"As we sit alone in our homes. Not free at all." So true, Kim. What a pathetic mess.
I have a question that I'm posting here only because I cannot find an answer anywhere else online -- maybe someone here can help:
What are we supposed to do about these face mask mandates if there is no way in hell our kids with autism will ever wear face masks? And there is no way in hell we can keep them locked up inside without being beaten to death by them?
What are we, whose kids have been so disabled by vaccines from previous wars on disease, that they cannot comply with mandates for this current war on disease, supposed to do?
I have searched everywhere for an answer, guidance, anything. All of these organizations like Autism Speaks, Autism Society, etc. that supposedly exist to help our community (but never actually help our community) offer no advice on this issue whatsoever.


I'm SO GLAD AoA chooses to remain as politically neutral as possible!
KEEP UP the GOOD WORK people....

Jenny Allan

And of course this Dylan classic, which was performed by another artist in the recent Covid-19 concert to raise funds for the WHO. I have my own opinions about the WHO. More vaccines for Africa and India it seems, whether they want them or not.

"Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled
The battle outside ragin'
Will soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin' "
Coronavirus: Stars take part in One World: Together At Home concert

Jenny Allan

One of my husbands old Leadbelly records from the 1950s/60s
We're in the same boat brother
We're in the same boat brother
..and if you shake one end
you're gonna rock the other
We're in the same boat brother

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