I suspect that, like many, I’ve come to see the coronavirus as an indictment of political foolishness. Electing unqualified officials feels like all fun and games until a crisis emerges and the leadership has no idea what to do. The Trump administration announced itself as anti-science and began breaking down the carefully built institutions that made our way of life possible. His fans cheered. Now they’re huddled in their bunkers with their stockpiled Purelle and toilet paper and Fox News on 24/7. It’s a good thing that a stable genius is in charge. He’s trying to get Germany to move production of the most promising vaccine to the land of his anti-vaccers, something Germany’s reluctant to do because 45 has a reputation internationally. It seems he’s made America infectious again.
As those of us with brain stems try to find some way to comfort those we know and love, we keep coming back to the fact that this kind of pandemic is new in the internet-linked world. No matter what you try to do right now you have to assess whether it involves meeting other people, potentially infected, and whether it’s worth the risk. I had to go to a grocery store and Target over the weekend. I’ve never seen so many empty shelves before. This is what panic looks like. The difference is that even W., who will never be considered among the smartest of presidents, recognized that institutions are there for a reason. America’s greatness grew slowly by building on what’d gone before. Tearing everything down in a narcissistic tantrum and claiming all we need to do is adore our autocrat, we now see how great this country has become. Greatly afraid, that is.
Coronavirus closed schools more effectively than Betsy DeVos. Businesses are reeling as the businessman president fumbles with facts and figures he can’t understand and can’t admit that science is real because, well, global warming and all that. Internationally people are looking for solid leadership and finding that the autocrats they’ve elected have no idea what to do. Self-aggrandizement is no basis for leadership. The Republican senate had their chance just two months ago, but they were banking on their personal bank accounts, it seems. Even in the face of this crisis Mitch McConnell persists on insisting it’a all a game. As a child raised in a Republican home I was taught never to run with scissors. But then, I had all my vaccines. Mad dictator’s disease hadn’t yet been released upon the world.