Late Night Lockdown Thoughts

I think the scariest thing about Coronavirus is how unpredictable it is.  Some people get exposed without getting sick.  Some people get exposed and become sick immediately while others can walk around for weeks without feeling the least bit ill while spreading the virus to others.  For some people, it’s a death sentence and, for others, it’s just a shitty couple of weeks.  We can’t easily predict what the virus is going to do and that’s a scary thing.

It also means that we don’t know when our lockdowns are going to end.  We don’t know what type of world we will be entering after the virus has run its course.  Worst of all, we don’t know who is still going to be in that world.  When you see the statistics and the projections, it’s easy to imagine that, whenever this does end, every survivor will have lost someone to the virus.  I’m not ashamed that I find that to be a scary thought.

It’s got me thinking about the way I talk to people.  It’s got me thinking about all the times that I’ve wanted to say something but I haven’t because I always figured there would be a better time in the future.  This pandemic is making me think about not just the way that we make assumptions about other people but also the way that we speak to each other.  At times like this, we should be aware that anything we say to another human being could potentially be the last thing that we ever say to that person.  It’s a terrible thought but that’s the world that we’re living in right now.

I wish my thoughts were happier right now but they’re not.  I’m happy to be isolated with people who I love but I’m also missing my family up north and across the ocean.  I can’t wait to see everyone again, in person.  Take care of yourselves.

 

Shelter In Place

As of 11:59 tonight, Dallas County is under a “shelter-in-place” order.  It sounds more ominous than it is.  You can still go for a walk.  You can still go to the grocery store.  You can still do “essential” things but otherwise, we’ve all been asked to stay inside for the next two weeks.

Don’t worry.  I’m healthy.  Lisa’s healthy.  We’re all doing okay.  And don’t worry about me getting bored.  I’ve got some light reading to keep me occupied for the next couple of days:

Everyone stay safe out there.  As soon as this is all over, I’m going to head up to West Virginia, Baltimore, and Rochester and hopefully get to see everyone.  It’s scary now but we’ll make it.

Life During The Wuhan Virus

This morning, I woke up and I turned on the TV.  On CBS, I was shocked to see a college basketball game being played.  Thinking that maybe these were two teams who were playing in defiance to the cancellation of their season, I then saw that the stands were full of cheering fans.

“Are they crazy!?” I thought.  Usually, I’ll defend college students against the argument that they’re all entitled and irresponsible but considering what’s going on in the world, this seemed like peak entitlement….

Just as I was reaching total outrage, I realized that I was watching an old game.  CBS is currently showing a Michigan State/Wisconsin game from 2015.  I imagine we’ll be seeing a lot of this.  With so many big sporting events being cancelled and so many tv shows and movies suspending publication because of the Wuhan Virus, I imagine a lot of networks will be turning towards the archives.

What a time!  Last week, around this time, Lisa & I were on an airplane flying back to the U.S. after spending two weeks in the UK and France.  That seems like a year ago.

Right now, due to the Wuhan Virus, life is on hold in many places of the world.  That’s certainly the case down here in Texas.  I’m going to be working from home until at least the end of this month.  Lisa’s office is going to be closed until at least April 13th.

I’m not panicking about the Wuhan Virus.  I’m taking all the necessary precautions because that’s all you really can do.  These are scary times but we’ll get through it.  America is a much stronger country than a lot of people are willing to admit.

As for me, I got groceries, some peanut butter, to last a couple of days.  No worries for me.

This ain’t no disco.  This ain’t no fooling around.  But we’ll survive.

Checking In

After a weekend in Paris, Lisa & I are currently back in London.  One more week in the UK and then it’s back to the United States.

I’ve made it a point not to regularly check for any news about the 2020 Presidential election.  To do so would defeat the purpose of being on vacation.  So, it wasn’t until about an hour ago that I learned that, on Saturday, Joe Biden finally won his first presidential primary when he swept the contest in South Carolina.

I don’t even like Joe Biden but I’m breathing a sigh of relief.  Though there’s still a long way to go, this victory at least suggests that a Sanders nomination is not inevitable.  It also signals that the crazies have not totally taken over the Democratic Party.

As I’ve made clear here, I don’t consider myself to be a Democrat.  For that matter, I haven’t considered myself to be a Republican since 2016.  I think Joe Biden is a moron but the fact of the matter is that the Democrats have a good chance of winning in 2020 and, even if Trump wins reelection, we will still eventually have another Democrat president within my lifetime.  As much as I dislike Biden, I’d rather have an idiot in the White House than someone who, at the age of 79, is still making excuses for Castro and the Soviet Union.  Even if Sanders is nominated and loses, just winning the nomination will normalize an authoritarian outlook that shouldn’t be normalized.

I guess the next big contest is Super Tuesday.  We’ll see if Biden can keep his momentum going or if South Carolina was just a momentary hiccup in Sanders’s march to the nomination.

I also read that Tom Steyer withdrew from the race.  He spent millions and didn’t win a single delegate.  For all the talk about how democracy is for sell, it seems like those who blatantly try to buy it always end up failing.

A New Day With A Double Endorsement

Last week was a busy one and I feel like I missed a lot.  When last I checked in with the news, Cory Booker was suspending his campaign and Elizabeth Warren was refusing to shake Bernie Sanders’s hand at the end of the Democratic debate.  That seems like a month ago.

Today, on the other hand, feels like an entirely new news cycle.  The 49ers and the Chiefs are going to the Super Bowl and The New York Times turned their presidential endorsement process into a reality show.  Last night, people stayed up late to discover that the New York Times can’t even do an endorsement right.  That they endorsed Elizabeth Warren is not a surprise as Warren has always been the media’s favorite Democrat.  That they also endorsed Amy Klobuchar is a head scratcher.  I get the feeling that they secretly know Warren’s campaign is doomed so they tossed in a second endorsement to cover their bases.  Since Tulsi Gabbard is hated by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party and all of the other major candidates are white males, tossing a second endorsement to Amy Klobuchar was a safe way to be woke without tossing all in behind a campaign that is obviously self-destructing.

I think the real winner of the New York Times endorsement show was probably Donald Trump because the whole affair just made the NYT look like the collection of out of touch elitists that the majority of MAGA people already assume that it is.  (The New York Times seems to suffer any time that it tries to turn its top people into TV stars.)  As for the Democrats, the big winner was probably Michael Bloomberg because he wisely refused to degrade himself by begging the Times for their endorsement.  The Times‘s petulant response to Bloomberg’s refusal to kiss their ring probably did more to help Bloomberg than any endorsement ever would.

There’s been a lot of talk about what the media needs to do to regain the credibility that they’ve lost over the past few years.  It’s an important question because, as easy as it is to dismiss the media’s self-regard, they does have a very important role to play in America society.  It’s hard to know what the media has to do to repair the damage that’s been done to its reputation but turning their presidential endorsement process into a reality show was probably not the right direction to go.

Neil Peart, R.I.P.

I was sorry, today, to learn of the death of Rush’s drummer and lyricist, Neil Peart.  I had heard that he was sick but it was still a shock to learn that he had passed away on January 7th.

I would be lying if I said I was a huge Rush fan, though I appreciated the fact that they were, from a political and philosophical standpoint, more interesting than many of the other bands of their era.  However, when I was in college, my best friend Jay absolutely loved Rush.  I spent the entire summer of 2003 hanging out at Jay’s house and, whenever I hear anything by Rush, my mind immediately flashes back to those days.  Rush provided the soundtrack for one of the best summers of my life and for that I’m thankful.

Neil Peart, R.I.P.