These Are Our Lives Now

Today, I just feel beat up. I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

Shelter-in-place has arrived in New York, though owing to the Governor’s fragile ego and the importance he places on communication, it’s being called, here, a stay-at-home order. Sounds so cozy. Cuomo was worried that “shelter-in-place” makes people think of active shooter events and nuclear war, and this is just a global pandemic, so he didn’t want people to feel too alarmed.

Anyway, at the national level, our feckless Democratic Party/establishment has been so intently focused on preventing Bernie Sanders from getting the nomination that it seems, impossibly, they’ve now ceded the high ground to the Republicans when it comes to pandemic response. Basically, for weeks on end, the President spewed racism (which he continues to), dismissal, and denial when it came to COVID-19. Then, on a dime, he a made a 180-degree reversal, claimed he’d known all along it was a pandemic, rated his Administration’s response to the crisis a perfect “10,” and began attacking Cuomo and the states for asking too much of the Federal Government, while, meanwhile, his Treasury Secretary, in a big reveal, announced that the President wanted to get money to every US citizen, and fast.

Americans need cash now. And the president wants to get cash now,” Mnuchin declared. Such is the idiotic state of play in this country.

I encourage everyone who hasn’t seen this before-and-after video from the Washington Post, comparing comments (pre- and post-the President’s epiphany on the novel coronavirus) from various Fox News talking heads; it is absolutely damning, and if there is a reader out there who feels inspired to make a similar video doing side-by-side comparisons of the President’s own remarks in recent weeks and months, you would be doing us all a great service. (The best current resource I’ve found to this end is from France 24.) The President and the Republican leadership cannot be allowed to escape responsibility for what they have cost us all; thankfully, at least, some Congressional Republicans are making this very easy for us.

In the spirit of sharing resources as we all work to educate ourselves about our changed and rapidly changing world, Doug Henwood (whose radio program / podcast I recommend) has a good piece up on his blog about responding to the economic crisis in the US, and Heiner Flassbeck has a good piece up on the same, but in Germany. If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend you watch Naomi Klein’s short (~8 min) video at The Intercept entitled Coronavirus Capitalism — and How to Beat It. There is also an excellent two-part interview up on Democracy Now! with “Stanford University global health expert Dr. Michele Barry” in which Barry does a great job setting the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of global climate crisis, disinvestment in public health, and past emergent zoonotic epidemic diseases, like SARS.

Keeping this short and sweet. Monday was a turning point in that the emergency was finally officially acknowledged. Today feels to me like the last day for a long time that the emergency, at least here in New York, won’t feel constantly, readily apparent to us all.

These are our lives now, and I’m sure some of the strangeness is in getting used to that and settling in for the long months ahead. To that end, here are a few things I’ve been trying to do / finding helpful:

  • Showering in the morning;
  • Doing yoga;
  • Talking with friends on the phone;
  • Not over-indulging;
  • Leaving my devices off until 9 AM and putting them away by 9 PM (that was a battle in the first few days post-declaration of the state of emergency but is now feeling doable);
  • Going for short, socially-distant walks;
  • Striving to be a good neighbor (all the basics become so much more important now that so many of us are at home almost all the time);
  • Striving to be a good partner / roommate (same as above);
  • Opening the windows; and
  • Appreciating plants.

I’ve also been writing like crazy as any regular reader of this site will well know, and I plan to continue to. Thanks for reading along.

2 thoughts on “These Are Our Lives Now

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