Stupidity is hard to tolerate under the best of circumstances. In today’s so-very-far-away-from-even-okay-times my tolerance for the idiotic is nonexistent. Stupidity is now lethal. Our Orange-in-Chief disbanded the White House’s pandemic response office, proposed brutalizing the CDC in Washington, slashed its staff in China. We’ve known that China is an unreliable reporter – their government is known to bend truth to their preferred narrative – for decades. So, limiting travel from the world’s second largest economy made sense. Why follow that up by refusing to heed the wisdom of our intelligence agencies who telegraphed this scourge’s stateside arrival in late 2019? Why was politics once again allowed triumph over policy? Each imagined answer makes me seethe. Stupidity is dangerous, when coupled with an insatiable ego, it’s proving deadly. I am angry. And afraid.
I have no earthly idea why a test developed in conjunction with and for the use of the World Health Organization should not be trusted. That is clearly one wheel we should not have spent precious time reinventing. But here we are. Each test, because there are so few, taking on epic proportions. Statistics swing wildly because our data set is tiny. I am bereft, certain in the knowledge that I will grieve Covid-19’s causalities personally, not just as a tragic statistic.
I am enraged at the hucksters who profit from our fears. People frighten me more than viruses – it doesn’t take a genius to determine which mutates more quickly. And lethally.
My phone chirps my bizarre new reality; Nordstrom welcomes spring with a sale while CNN alerts me that another country is locking down as heads of state are diagnosed with the virus. My net worth has plummeted by double digit percentage points in the last dozen days. Rage sets up shop in my soul. Fear lurks beneath it. How can a nation filled with such genius react so stupidly?
I take to my bed to feed the bereft beast. And, as my spoon searches for the final dollop of ice cream at the bottom of the Chunky Monkey pint there she is. “Look ahead,” says Hope before melting into my spoon.
My anger and my fear are reflective – a look backward at what could’ve and should’ve been done. But no one can rewind time. No one can make the politician see past his own ego’s craving. It is immoral. But it is. I must find the strength to look ahead. “Hello, Hope. Let’s move forward.”
Hope propels us to triumph, and necessity is the mother of invention. Distilleries produce hand sanitizer, military hospital ships speed to domestic ports. Scientists speak in the universal language of research and facts, ignoring boarders and bigotry in search of treatments. Is Covid-19 scary enough to enable us to see past our fears into the eyes of our shared humanity? Please let something good come out of this pandemic. Make us realize that we are better than our base, reactionary fear and rage. We can kick viral ass when we act as one. We are a singular people on the same planet, capable of brilliance, kindness – and even patience with damaged, idiotic narcissists.