- Washing my car
- Losing weight
- Remembering the name of that guy at the gym
- Renting the equipment to sand the deck down to bare wood
- Avoiding kids and moms selling Girl Scout Cookies
- Making sure there’s no dog hair on my sweater
- Avoiding Cadbury mini chocolate Easter eggs
- Being stuck behind the person who smells like sausage and sage in line at Safeway
- Music Award Shows
- Getting my bracket ready for March Madness
- Getting tickets on line for reclining seats at the movie theater – not too close to the screen
- Losing my car keys
- Losing my wallet
- Finding stations to listen to diurng the NPR Fund Drive
- Returning the call from the dentist’s office
- Making reservations for a cruise
- Wondering when Steph and Klay might both be healthy
- The state primaries
- Returning overdue library books
- The Royals, aliens, celebrity breakups – gossip papers and magazines at the checkout counter
There’s nothing funny about absurdity that puts lives at risk, but satire is the only response some of us have left.
We are all at risk, of course, most notably those over the age of 50, but given the disservice partisan denial does to those who are told to discount the certainty of viral infection, the subgroup most at risk may be Republicans over the age of 50.
Fox news and other right wing pundits have downplayed the risk of the novel coronavirus, explaining to viewers and readers that the pandemic panic is yet another ploy on the part of the left to attack the presidency of Donald Trump. Fox host Sean Hannity observed that the current concern about novel coronavirus was, “Like they’re (Democrats) hoping Americans get sick and die and that we’ll all lose a fortune in the stock market because of the jittery stock market.”
After the President’s disturbingly underwhelming press conference was cooly received by those who are concerned about the spread of the virus in the United States, Hannity put it this way:
““All the same people who have done the same thing for three straight years. … Russia, Russia. Ukraine, Ukraine. And impeach, impeach. Now, corona, corona.”
He’s not wrong that those issues have been and are being raised by the same people, those issues being attached to perceived assaults on the Constitution, but the tenacity with which Hannity and others make global pandemic a partisan issue is confounding. Apparently, there is efficacy in playing fast and loose with the truth in order to gain and keep power, and people only know what they are allowed to know, but …. an observable world does exist outside of Fox world, and one would think, well … one would think.
Ainsley Earhardt on Fox and Friends encouraged travel right now. Apparently it’s not only safe to fly; now is THE safest time to fly. Why? “Everyone I know (sic) that’s flying right now. (sic) terminals are pretty much dead.”
One would think.
As has been true since the start of his term, the president’s relentless egoism and self-interest has been enabled by a Senate majority that has abdicated moral authority. Vice President Pence’s gushing testimonial to the president’s leadership provided an Alice in Wonderland upside down window into the attitudes of the coalition of yes men and women standing in El Jefe’s shadow, but the impeachment process which offered Senators the opportunity to consider the president’s vow to support and defend the Constitution revealed the reality of partisan politics.
Today’s reality, however is not about politics. It’s about all of us. Today our hearts might be with the sons and daughters of parents languishing in nursing homes and critical care facilities. As reported by CNN, yesterday’s declaration of National Emergency a change in guidelines for nursing homes and long-term care facilities from the CDC.
“The guidelines now urge facilities to restrict all visitations except for “certain compassionate care situations, such as end of life situations.”
“She said she woke up crying this morning,” Bridget Parkhill said, whose mother is in the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington. The center has been linked to 25 coronavirus cases, according to the Associated Press.
Parkhill and her sister, Carmen Gray, sat outside their mother’s window with a picnic, trying to soothe her on the phone. They say their mother came to the center for rehab from a knee replacement and ended up getting coronavirus.
Parkhill says the process has been horrible and both sisters try their best not to show their mother the dread they feel.”
The dread we feel.
Good News! If You Have Symptoms, You May Be Able To Wait For Testing!
What do the NFL, the NBA, Broadway, the Pope, and the Disney Corporation understand about this pandemic that the Trump team has yet to figure out?
Only moments ago, the president of the United States declared what he called a National Emergency, as he put it, “Two very big words.” Apparently that declaration arrives even as he contends that “we are in very strong shape.” Disregarding the best advice of every practicing physician, clinical care giver, and ordinary informed citizen, he then shook hands with the ranks of corporate chiefs flanking him in this celebration of the union of government and business. The declaration was buttressed by the insight that the president had memorised the Stafford Act which allocates funds to states and localities in times of emergency.
I, like Will Ferrell as Mugatu, feel like I’m taking crazy pills. For example, I’m pretty sure I heard the President offer this opinion two days ago:
“The vast majority of Americans (sic): The risk is very, very low. Young and healthy people can expect to recover fully and quickly if they should get the virus. The highest risk is for elderly population with underlying health conditions. The elderly population must be very, very careful.”
Careful to …? Come on, we’re elderly. Throw us a bone. What’s the drill?
Ah, cover our mouths when we sneeze and stay away from people with symptoms. Oh, and wash hands.
The clear message from the assorted sycophants was that most people don’t need to be tested, this will pass, and that should people get sick, the new rules will allow doctors from another state to jump in to help. Oh, and wash your hands.
In a press conference that went right past self-congratulatory to celebration, the president’s coterie thanked him effusively for his far sighted leadership in avoiding a health disaster in the United States. Recalling yet another high point in unfortunate prognostication, the phrase “Mission Accomplished” comes to mind.
Dr. Fauci, who also endorses hand washing, declared that the administration was, “proactive, leaning forward, trying to stay ahead of the curve.” Unfortunately, both he and the president seemed somewhat confused about what had brought the downsizing of the Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, often known as the pandemic office. “I didn’t do it,” the president reminded the press, also clearly advising them that he was not responsible for the lag time in making test kits available. His words will ring through the annals of time. “I don’t take responsibility at all,” a bold assertion for any head of state to offer a nation in crisis.
And even more good news: We got a great deal on oil. Apparently we are now “energy independent” which will be good news for all those flights, cruises, and auto trips … oh … wait.
Apocalypse Watch 2020 is getting tricky. On one hand, the former governor of Alaska and former vice presidential candidate appeared on The Masked Singer as a bear rapping Baby Got Back, which, I gotta say, drove the dial pretty deep. On the other, the unleashing of the full power of the federal government and the business partners in emergency response was displayed by Dr. Deborah Birx holding what appeared to be a Science Fair’s C minus poster upon which the path to testing was presented.
Actually, the poster was not really necessary, as the president’s opinion is that, “We don’t want people to take a test if we feel they shouldn’t be doing it and we don’t want everyone running out and taking(sic), Only if you have certain symptoms.”
Ah Hah! And it is this directive that brings Google into the picture. The president seems to believe that Google has 1700 engineers working on a website as he spoke, a website that would allow virtual triage, probably in place by Sunday night. Yesterday, Sundar Pichai, the Chief Executive Officer of Alphabet sent an email to employees advising them that Google is working on testing, also asking for volunteers to work on that task. It seems that the president’s description may have been premature as Google immediately sent out a statement that the work was in the very early stages.
We can expect the Google product to match Dr. Birx’s poster, but it too essentially asks the responder to respond if symptomatic. A “YES” allows the subject then to begin the process of seeking testing, which we are lead to believe, will take place in a Walmart parking lot.
Tough choice as I post this piece. Picture of the Birx poster or of Sarah Palin in a bear costume? Pretty much a toss up when it comes to meaningful response to a pandemic already very much here.