Tag Archives: Coronavirus

Thanks, But No Thanks.

Apparently Vermont is one of the nine states getting the “all clear” from Il Duce Don to end social distancing and resume business as usual by May 1.  It is unsurprising that he cares little for the lives of vulnerable people in the state least likely to support him in the upcoming election.

He might just as well say, “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat,” because he’s made it very clear that he believes voter suppression is the only way that Republicans retain power.

Let me be among the first Vermont seniors to say, “No thanks, Mr. President.”  We don’t want to be the canary in your coal mine.

I give Phil Scott credit for a little more common sense than to follow his party’s nominal leader right off the Coronavirus cliff, but I think we should all make ourselves perfectly clear, nonetheless.

I propose that all the vulnerable people who have been endangered by Trump’s self-dealing and deliberate ignorance in the face of the pandemic begin to come together to develop a massive class action lawsuit against him, to launch the day after Joe Biden is inaugurated as President.  No doubt, it will be only one of many awaiting him on that blessed day.

Who cares whether any lawsuit succeeds in the long run!  The idea is to hound him and his family of horrors for the remainder of their days, just as surely as they have darkened ours.

The Worst of Times

We’re in it now.  As of this afternoon, Vermont has 95 cases of COVID-19 and five deaths; but those figures represent only a moment in rapidly moving time.

When I take my little dog out for our daily walk through the empty streets of St. Albans,  I am largely impressed by my neighbors’ self-discipline.  We pass only the very occasional individual or couple, also out for a walk;  we wave from a careful distance and wish each other health.

If only this sort of distancing was being observed everywhere.

Social distancing is the single most important thing we can do in this crisis, but the President of the United States is dangerously using his “bully pulpit” to undermine that message and the urgency of the situation. 

Rather than focussing on supporting the needs of the poor, the sick and the unemployed, Donald Trump has turned his attention on the fantasy casino that is the U.S. stock exchange.

As it gyrates wildly in a largely downward trajectory,  he’s throwing good money after bad to prop it up, yet another time.

His daily press appearances get longer and longer, further and further distanced from reality: orgies of self-congratulatory nonsense.  He doesn’t want to listen to anyone who isn’t singing his praises, yet he assumes that the American people have an endless appetite for his repetitious blather.

This isn’t news.  We’re all stuck indoors, at the mercy of the ever worsening news cycle; and a side helping of Trump talk goes with every serving.   I promise myself daily that I won’t get sucked-in, but it’s damned hard not to peek every so often to find out what he’s been up to.

The answer is always the same: no good.

So I go back to knitting, reading, writing and planning our storeroom dinner, with the occasional reach out via Skype or FaceTime to family and friends.

It feels, for all the world, like the end of one of those “Twilight Zone” episodes, where an ordinary family awaits the apocalypse, all the while maintaining the routines of an irrelevant past.

“Bolt the hatch and pass the potatoes, Ma.”

Coronavirus in America: Another Healthcare Failure

In typical fashion, Donald Trump is ignoring the experts and offering his own opinion that he has done a fantastic job of meeting the Coronavirus challenge. In fact, he insists that he’s just about got it licked.

At this point, it is wholly unnecessary to tell anyone outside the Fox & Friends universe that this is utter bullshit because he completely lost his credibility somewhere south of his first thousand lies in office.

What we cannot assess, thanks to the “Fog of Failure,” is what exactly the dimensions of that failure are; but we are on notice that the identified cases in the United? States are likely just the tippity-tip of the iceberg, since the Trump administration, either through gross incompetence? or plain malfeasance, seems to have gone out of its way to keep us from discovering the truth.

Of the nine countries tracked on worldodometers.info, the U.S. has administered the fewest tests per capita…by a magnitude.  The only figures available are from March 1 because that tracking information was removed from the CDC’s website on March 2.  

With a population of 331-million, as of March 2, the U.S. had only administered 472 tests; whereas the U.K., with a population of just 13-million, had already administered 13,525 tests…roughly two-hundred times the penetration of U.S. testing.  The number of positives in the U.S. was 14 and the number of positive in the UK was 13.  Even Turkey has better numbers than we do.

Now why might that be?

Apart from deliberate opacity and gross incompetence by the Trump administration, it could have something to do with the fact that Great Britain has a National Health Service and the U.S. still maintains a private, for-profit model.

The Coronavirus provides a rather timely demonstration of one of the benefits of universal healthcare administered under a unified, not-for-profit system.  I’m afraid that nothing in the for-profit model we cling to, not even an expanded Obamacare, fits the bill here.

Quite apart from obvious cost-efficiencies, a universal system is likely to be far more nimble and prepared in the event of a pandemic or, God forbid, mass attack. 

Standardized testing and treatment; streamlined record sharing  and protocols, combined with non-profit testing, lab analysis, vaccines and/or remedies, would result not just in lives saved, but also in productivity preserved.  That’s dollars and cents, my friends; something even Donald Trump might understand, if explained in single syllable words.

The U.S.’s anemic Coronavirus response is just another example of how our president’s daily brain-farts threaten not just our health and safety, but our national security as well.