Thursday, March 12, 2020

shake, rattle and roll ...pandemic

A hundred years ago, in 1918, it was being withheld from the U.S. electorate that the "Spanish Flu" killed more American soldiers enroute to World War I than the war itself claimed. I read that somewhere and, given the crowded conditions of the troop ships, it seems credible. "Spainsh flu," like the current flu "pandemic," claimed a lot of lives, including that of my mother's mother when she, my mother, was 2. My mother spent her life yearning.                                                                                

But now there is the internet and the dizzying tsunami of facts and figures spills out of the TV screen. Perhaps a month ago, an outbreak of coronavirus was reported in China. Today, Italy is locked down, schools are closed, the stock market has taken a 2,000+ pasting and those who rely on schools to feed their kids are in limbo.

Donald Trump, the impeached president of the United States, is preparing to run against either Bernie Sanders -- a "socialist" Democrat on the cutting edge of global warming, health-care for all, infrastructure repair, free secondary education and a host of other issues about which the college educated cannot be bothered to look up the word "socialist"-- and Joe Biden, former vice president to Barack Obama ... a warming septuagenarian whose challenges are less challenging.

The times have been rife with political chaff. Once, Elizabeth Warren was a female candidate and Senator from Massachusetts who was squoze out, as were Amy Klobachar and Pete Bouttgieg, the latter of whom I favored (gay marriage in an age when having outsider credentials counts.) I liked Elizabeth Warren but a niggling voice in my mind said, "She's too smart." The next president is going to spend at least a year undoing the  Washington Post estimated 16,200+ lies and misstatements Trump has perpetrated since he assumed the presidency with his promise to "drain the swamp." Behind the scenes Trump is setting the stage so that he might say, "I told you I'd end the war in Afghanistan ... and I did. Only of course, he didn't.

A "pandemic." People are getting hurt ... can't go to work ... basketball playoffs on track... but no crowds... streets empty .... and where is Monty Python now that we really need him: "Bring out your dead!"

The other end of the telescope. No touching. Wash your hands. Wash 'em again.

"Pandemic" -- and here we are in the 14th or whatever century.


1 comment:

  1. Pandemic as deus ex machina to flip the Trump plot, but at a terrible price for real people. One can only hope for a gentle denouement (soft landing). Happy Birthday, Adam.