“Life in the Time of the Coronavirus”
The chickens have come home to roost. I’ve always loved that saying. It carries with it both a sense of comfort and foreboding. Kinda of like sheltering at home and social distancing. Certainly, life in America, well hell, the world is not like it was at the turn of the New Year. Some things haven’t changed though. Trump continues to lie, but his lies now have an almost melancholy ring to them. In recent days he has been admonished for exaggerating his response to the Coronavirus to almost Herculean heights. I mean he is lying about shit that doesn’t exist, and get this, the media continues to allow him to get away with it.
Now, he has decided in his superior brain that he is smarter than the scientist and medical profession, and that he understands the Coronavirus better than they do. Currying favor to the “I believe in a fairy tales” crowd (most of his base), he wants to end social distancing, so the churches can be full on Easter Sunday. WTF? I won’t degrade my intelligence by asking if this guy is being honest on this one. How can someone who claims to to be a “stable genius” form those words and let them slip out of his pie hole? Of course, America gave up trying to make sense out of what our president says sometime around the “Grab them by the pussy” video back in 2015 or 2016.
Let’s be honest with each other, the shit has hit the fan, and there isn’t much America can do but grab the sides of the roller coaster car and scream like wild banshees. The coaster is heading for the apex of the track, and all of America is about to go over the big hill headed for the bottom. Who knows at this point if it will be Armageddon at the end or will the nation bottom out and continue on down the track to better days. The people at Odds Watch (yes, there is a handicapper for everything) predicts there is a 94 percent chance of a recession in 2020. If you ask Trump, however, everything is fine. Rearrange those deck chairs over there, please.
Speaking of people lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut, some of America’s finest (not) Congressmen and women got that little extra in their paychecks that you and I weren’t offered. Ahead of the coming pandemic a couple of weeks ago, the Trump administration briefed a select few of our legislators who then went out and sold off stock that appeared to be vulnerable if things went south, and we all know they did at this point. That paragon of virtue,
Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who as the Intelligence committee chair was sitting in on regular confidential briefings about the novel coronavirus, sold his stocks even as he publicly downplayed the risk of the outbreak to voters. Burr sold as much as $1.72 million worth, records show, with large amounts in companies that later would be slammed in the market sell-off.
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Among the stocks Burr sold was $150,000 worth of shares in Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, which has since shed two-thirds of its value. Burr also unloaded $100,000 worth of shares in Extended Stay America, whose stock price has been cut in half since then. LATimes
It appears, however, that Burr was a bit hasty and left money on the table.
Similar stock sales were also disclosed in the public records by Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, whose husband is the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. Loeffler, who also sold shares in companies that took a big hit, has denied any wrongdoing.
Loeffler and her husband began selling stock Jan. 24, the day she joined a private briefing for lawmakers by the Senate Health Committee that included administration officials leading the response to the outbreak. Her stock sales, totaling $1.2 million to $3.1 million, were first reported by the Daily Beast. In addition to the sales, Loeffler and her husband also bought between $100,000 and $250,000 in Citrix, a firm that makes teleworking software and has seen its value go up as Americans are directed to work from home. (my italics) LATimes
Americans have to admit that Trump has done one thing right. He has given the nation the best oligarchy that money can buy. I am over asking rhetorically or otherwise, “Do these people have no shame?” Okay, so I do still ask, but I don’t expect an answer. It’s pretty obvious at this point.
So, my wife and I are social distancing and pretty much sheltering at home. This morning I went out for the first time this week to be at Trader Joe’s when they opened. As I stood outside for five minutes waiting for the doors to open while a crowd of twenty or so fellow citizens milled around keeping our safe six foot distance from one another. As the countdown drew near to the doors flying open, the tension and anticipation was nearly palpable. Shoppers ahead of me and directly behind literally started leaning toward the doors. It occured to me that I should step aside and watch how things played out.
Sure enough, as an employee inside the store approached the door, bodies started vibrating all around me. It reminded me of those zombie movies where the undead are so drawn to human flesh they are literally pulled forward by some unseen force. When the doors opened, and these are grown people mind you, all pretense of social distancing went out the window as the group surged forward into a wad of teeming flesh jockeying for baskets and hand sanitizer provided by the store. In that one action, all plans of escaping contamination went out the window. I stood and waited for, literally, two minutes as the indoor crowd grabbed their baskets and flooded into the aisles. I strolled in alone and grabbed a cart and beelined towards the egg and dairy section first then on to the vodka aisle. A senior has to have his priorities after all.
One final note, I am an avowed news junkie. I get up every morning and read the AP Wire and RawStory. com. Interspersed during the day, I check in with CNN and various email posting from news outlets around the world. Granted, it’s a sickness, but one that gives me purpose.
The Coronavirus has upended my solemn routine. How much sadness and pain and suffering do the media outlets think America needs? Obviously, a lot if the cable news shows are any indication. Granted, Americans need to stay abreast of the changing environment as the virus progresses. However, I’ve found myself sitting down with my evening cocktail to watch the news only to change the channel to American Pickers or some other bland cable show within ten minutes. I know the virus is killing people. I know it is only going to get worse. I know Trump is a lying son of a bitch who will exploit this tragedy for his own benefit. It is just hard for me to watch it unfold hour after hour with no end in sight.