And so we come to more or less the middle of April, 2020, year 4 of the Donald Trump Plague and year 1 of the Covid-19 plague, both plagues much more lethal when occurring together. Just today, my own city of between 8 and 9 million people revised its accounting to over 10,000 coronavirus deaths here. That is more than one per thousand people now dead from a single condition, in barely a single month. Over three times the September 11th death toll. Thousands more than all American dead in September 11th, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the entire war on terror combined. One city, one condition, one month.
The tracking web site set up by Johns Hopkins University, as I write this, right around 5:00 pm EDT on 14 April 2020, puts the world's coronavirus cases at 1.99 million and over 125,000 deaths world wide (over 600,000 cases and 25,000 deaths in the United States alone). Yes, that means nearly 8% of coronavirus deaths in the world (and nearly 40% in the USA) have been in New York City.
Various public messages like #StayHome are everywhere: the people who can do so are urged to, and should (either because their employer has sacked them-- and over 16 million American workers have filed for unemployment in just the last three weeks, because their employer has made some kind of telecommuting option available, or because they didn't have a job in the first place) stay home. But in New York City, health care workers, transit workers, police, fire and corrections workers have to go to work. As do food service workers even as bars and restaurants are shut down, relegated to take out and delivery only, but grocery stores and pharmacies remain open.
Amidst what is, at least for a century, an unprecedented public health calamity, the alleged national leader of the alleged United States has declared himself supreme ruler.
For good measure, he played a bat-shit self-aggrandizing campaign ad attacking the press when doing so. Which is both odd and not odd. Because Herr Trump has a wink wink love-hate relationship with the media. Mostly, the media created this monster by, as our friend Professor Lemieux says, covering an election for the chief executive of the United States as if it were for fourth grade president.
But I can tell you that in my over 18 years of blogging, this is exactly my observation of how it is: the media doesn't play fair. EVER. They create narratives, and then they pick winners. And the public crosses the media on this less often than we would hope. Needless to say, a simple media narrative could finish Trump off TODAY, if the media were serious about being done with him and not serious about enabling and protecting him. It's a simple narrative, really. "OMG, Donald Trump is clearly working too hard to have come up with such an unhinged statement; is he getting proper medical care? Where is his dear wife
Melanoma Melania to take care of him? Is Vice President Pence up to the job of being acting president as the President appears ill." You see where I'm going? Instead, we simply have another perfectly ordinary policy dispute between a perfectly ordinary president acting in perfectly ordinary good faith (ignore the 25,000 and counting dead Americans) while he still can't figure out how to personally profit from Covid-19 testing and hence tests remain largely unavailable, and even a pandemic that has literally shut down the American economy is no reason at all to let up on whatever administrative or logistical bullshit is keeping these tests unavailable.
And so, his desired Easter "reopening" of the American economy foiled by those awful scientists, Herr Trump has nominated an entirely not nepotism driven panel that includes his daughter and son-in-law to "reopen the economy" (that he destroyed in the first place), although now that enough comedians have torn this nonsense to shreds, apparently, they won't be.
Meanwhile, in what might be the opening shots of another American revolution or civil war (as if!), two sets of governors (NY, NJ, PA, DE, CT, RI and MA in the East and CA, OR and WA in the West) have announced that they will be
seceding from a country stupid and batshit enough to have a system where Donald Trump could even become its leader and joining Canada coordinating their efforts as to when to relax mandatory social distancing measures on a regional basis, rather than as ordered by Der Führer.
For my part, as a 57 year old male in the sweet spot of coronavirus lethality, I have not strayed from more than 100 feet from my own house for several weeks now (that, to retrieve trash cans after they are collected and migrate up or down the block, or to retrieve mail or packages).
If we're lucky, very lucky actually, a vaccine for this might be available by sometime next year. Meanwhile, it is suggested by Harvard researchers that (at least some) social distancing measures might be necessary until 2022.
Meanwhile, because of a "slow" national response and "supply chain issues," personal protective equipment is still in critical short supply here (our country really can't do much of anything anymore except successfully bullshit itself.)
And so, here we are. You'll find me here in Stately Dog Manor, along with Mrs. TD and the Pup. We'll be here all week, folks. And possibly held over for a while.