Running On Fumes: Pandemic Fatigue

by | Oct 5, 2020 | Articles | 0 comments

Let’s face: the past four years have been exhausting.

But 2020 is a whole other level of exhausting. If you’re running on fumes right now—and I’ll be the first to admit that’s the case for me—who can blame you?

Ordinarily, I have a schedule for these blog posts, and I’ve been known to map out a few weeks or months in advance. Lately, though, it’s been more like, Hey, everybody okay out there?

 

Curiouser And Curiouser

Chapter 2 of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland begins with Alice crying out one of the more famous phrases in the book: “Curiouser and curiouser!” As we’ve all gone down the rabbit-hole, things really have gotten weirder and weirder. I would never have guessed that a phrase like “The President is gaslighting you again” would even make sense, much less become commonplace. And yet, here we are.

Way back in 2016, which seems like a hundred years ago—hell, this past March feels like a hundred years ago—I actively campaigned for the Democratic nominee. Not enthusiastically, mind you. I’d worked as a volunteer for Obama, but actually voted for Bernie in the 2016 primary. But okay—Hillary won the nomination, so she was the candidate. And like most of us, I believed the polls to be accurate, so the election’s result was a gut punch.

It wasn’t just any gut punch, though. I grew up in CT in the 1970s and 80s, and pretty much everyone I knew who grew up in CT, NY, or NJ back then knew what a turd this guy was. We knew it 30 years ago. Nothing had changed. If anything, he was worse: more of a blowhard, more of an opportunist, less sincere than ever. He was no reasonable Republican, nor even a lifelong Republican. Something was in the wind, and he saw a way to take advantage of it for his own personal gain.

 

It Tolls for Thee

In case any of my fellow Americans wonder how the world views the US government’s handling of the pandemic, a quick Google search reveals a host of appropriate adjectives: “botched,” “catastrophic,” “cavalier,” “self-inflicted.” Indeed, many of us here blame the President directly, and feel he has the blood of over 200K fellow citizens on his hands.

My wife, who is a permanent resident but not yet a citizen, pointed out a string of posts on social media where people were flat out laughing at the US, amused to see the superpower receiving such a large force-feeding of humble pie. And she reminded me of a couple things that should be obvious to us, but are certainly not apparent to many Americans: not everyone loves the US, and this horrendous President represents us to the world. Sad but true.

As the death toll rises, the number of positive diagnoses among those close to the President and his wife rises too: not only Hope Hicks, but Kayleigh McEnany, Chris Christie and Kellyanne Conway. No one knows where this is all going, but one thing is certaina lot of us Americans are way past that whole MAGA thing, and would be happy just to Make America Sane Again.

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