Saturday, May 9, 2020

Daytime Thoughts on the Pandemic

Because I'm lazy, I just lifted the following from my journal today.  I'm leaving in street names and such, for vividness and because I doubt anyone knows this town anyway.  Indiana is beginning to re-open, and many businesses are taking the first steps starting on Monday.  The stores I passed that were announcing their re-opening mostly had signs up imploring customers to wear masks  My barber is taking appointments, and I'm not sure whether to go for it or not.  By luck I got my last haircut just a couple of days before the shutdown, and I'm not very shaggy yet.  It can wait.

I didn’t get anything done all morning.  Had a late lunch, then rode downtown.  It was in the 50s and still sunny, though the west wind still had a bite to it.

There was one brownie left at French Press cafe, which I bought and carried with me to eat as I walked around.  I tried calling the barber shop, hoping that the problem lay in where I was calling from; but no luck, I got a ring and a beep.  I could see from Laporte and Michigan an unusual number of cars parked in River Park, so I walked down that way.  There were maybe three dozen or so cars and an all-white crowd milling around, none of them wearing masks, none maintaining social distance.  One pickup truck had a big TRUMP 2020 banner on a staff.  But, for some reason, almost no MAGA hats.  I took some pictures.  A helicopter scoped out the scene, hovered over the crowd for a few moments, then flew away, and I also walked, to Garro Street then back to Michigan.  Got my bike and rode home.  Well, the state is beginning to re-open, so maybe these fools will simmer down.
I later wondered: it’s understandable that they’re unhappy about being out of work (if they are: I see a lot of working-class white guys at work around town -- construction, maintenance, transport; the bank next door is repaving its parking lot), but why be so stupid about their health?  It’s clearly a point of pride for them not to wear masks or keep apart, just to spite the Governor and the virus and the libs.  I imagine there’ll be a new cluster of cases around the county, just as there is now in Wisconsin in the wake of the anti-shutdown protests, and probably will be in other places.  It also looks like there will be one in the White House, now that two high-placed staff members have tested positive: one of them is Mike Pence’s press secretary.  Trump must be sweating a little.  What will he do if he gets sick?  As Jon Schwarz tweeted today, "It's unfortunate that Covid-19 has reached the inner circles of the White House, but I view our great president as a warrior."  I hope he doesn't die, just because the pious eulogies to Trump's decency, brilliance, compassion, integrity, from all over the political spectrum will be too nauseating to bear.  Let his rehabilitation by the Democrats begin later.

On my after-dinner walk I noticed a red convertible pulling out onto the street, driven by an elderly man in sunglasses and a MAGA hat.  Sometimes I forget that I'm in Trump country; today I was reminded pretty forcefully.