We now live in two different countries. One nation is focused on COVID protocols, waiting on the edge of its seat to be told what to do by the CDC and FDA. The other, living life. Packing restaurants, bars, and stadiums as if COVID never happened.

The contrast with our new reality was never more obvious than the difference between Louisville, Kentucky, and Nashville, Tennessee.

We traveled to Louisville to spend some downtime and enjoy some local bourbon. Not so fast.

After checking in late we got a great night's rest and set out on the Bourbon Trail in town. Place after place denying us entry without proof of vaccination. Wow. Insulting. Unnecessary. And by the look of the empty streets, closed restaurants, and tension that was palpable, all on a beautiful weekend, the policies are clearly a self-inflicted wound for the city.

Couldn't get a shot of bourbon at the local distillery shops without proving to some kid staffing the door that we received the vaccine. It was a real wake-up call after a long trip.

As you know, we are not vaccinated and will not be getting the shot. Period. As healthy, younger people, we've decided personally that our immune systems are sufficient to battle viruses that come our way. Interestingly enough, recent studies across the world back up our position with science. In Israel, a study shows that natural immunity is actually stronger than the immunity conferred by the vaccines. A group of scholars in Sweden showed that although showing some efficacy, the immunity was short-term and isn't certain after six months. And in the U.S., Dr. Marty Makary from Johns Hopkins, who is pro-COVID vaccine, makes the medical science case for natural immunity and against overly broad vaccine mandates.

Regardless of the ongoing discussion and debate, although the government and social media have tipped the scales in favor of big pharma and mandates as many of us have been shut down every time we offer a counter opinion. After being suspended twice from YouTube, I'm now unable to access my LinkedIn account and the company has not shared the "offending" post.

OK, back to our road trip! We decided not to subject our weekend to the decisions of big pharma and complicit local politicians. We bailed, got my money back from the hotel after a little negotiating, and headed South. Less than three hours away was the great city of Nashville.

Bill and Jodi Spadea
Bill and Jodi Spadea

Passing through the Tennessee border was a breath of fresh air. No more billboards trying to push the vaccine. No radio hosts reporting endless COVID "metrics." Just normal American life.

Plus you can buy regular gas that contains no ethanol. Yes, it's more expensive but you get so many more miles per gallon, it's worth it, especially in a truck.

We stayed in downtown Nashville, walked to restaurants, and enjoyed the break. No masks. No vaccine questions. Just great food, packed streets, and friendly people happy we were there.

My wife Jodi and I love to drive and a 12-hour drive to #FreeAmerica is well worth it. We're already planning our return trip. With the loss of Philly and New York to the medical tyrants who refuses to recognize reality, those cities are off our list for good. We'll still frequent our friends' restaurants locally, provided they don't require their staff to wear masks, but for some real downtime it looks like Tennessee has jumped to the top of the list that already included the #FreeStates of Texas and Florida.

How about you? Have you experienced the two Americas? Been denied service based on your vaccine status?

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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