Doldrums

Dispatches from Covid-19

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It’s as if 2020 needed to get in one last fuck-you before being vanquished by 2021.

On Christmas morning, I woke up with a fever of 102.6°F – possibly the highest I’ve had it for a while. (It’s hard to get sick when you don’t leave the house for anything but work and the occasional grocery store visit.) It didn’t surprise me because my mom had been sick earlier in the week. Her started with fatigue before descending to being feverish and finally overcoming it. It was only a matter of time before I got sick and sure enough, I did. I thought nothing of it as my sense of taste and smell seemed unaffected (as was hers).

However, on the following Monday, we drove to an urgent care facility for a rapid test. After a twenty minute wait, we received our results and they were positive for Covid-19. We could spend time tracing back where and who we got it from, but there are too many variables. I called into work and told them the news and have been out ever since.

Seven days into the new year, I’ve been watching a lot of TV. National news, mostly, as the historic day of affirming Joe Biden’s presidential win was under attack by domestic terrorists. Days upon days of warning piled up to nothing but a small force of officers to protect the Capitol building. It was disgusting display of anti-American rhetoric fueled and fed by the President of the United States. Rather than condemning the actions of his followers, Donald J. Trump took to social media and praised them, calling them special and that they are loved.

It’s a terrifying thought that the most dangerous man in the country is also its president. Invoking the 25th Amendment is a far-too-late scenario for the stain he has left upon his administration and the modern history of this country. He will go down as the worst president of this country and we need to find a way to prevent others like him from gaining any sort of power within our country.

That said, his goons Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and all others who echoed and parroted his insane conspiracy theories need to be removed from their respective offices. They need to be expelled from congress and replaced properly by their governors or citizens of their states. It should not be allowed to continue on. To say that we’re the greatest country in the world is a bald face lie so long as they are allowed to continue to push conspiracy theories in order to remain in power.

As if a small light at the end of the tunnel, Georgia has elected two Democratic senators into office, giving Biden a strong Congress. The Democrats are majority leaders in the Senate and the House of Representatives. I look forward to the next two years and see what a positive change can do for this country. However, I am under no illusions that Joe Biden is our savior, nor his Vice President Kamala Harris. Unlike the Trumpian camp, we do not idolized our politicians. We know they are flawed humans. We know they lie and they lie often. The Democrats – for the first time in a long while – are in full power in our national government. If they cannot get things done, we’d know it was never Mitch McConnell and company keeping them down.

The balls in your court now, Democrats. Do your job and don’t let us down.

Doldrums

“Sigh, but not aloud; make no mourning for the dead.”

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On election day, I promised myself a social media blackout to reset the moment a projected winner was called. It has almost been a week since all major media outlets – this includes Fox News – announced Joe Biden and Kamala Harris the projected winners of the 2020 election; it almost feels like a lifetime ago that we were celebrating on Twitter, on the streets, on our blogs. But I’m still on social media, following election news.

Usually when a projected winner is announced, a concession speech is given by the losing party. It’s been tradition for some time now, I believe. However, we have never had a Trump presidency.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Donald J. Trump has been building a case for election fraud months before he lost. He stated falsehoods about mail-in ballots in order to better discredit them in the eyes of his following. No matter how many times his tweets were debunked, this base – like any true cult – ate it up. They took to their social media and began spreading his bullshit as fact. It got so bad that even Facebook took action against Trumpian groups, shutting a few down in the process.

Now that the election has come and gone with Trump trailing behind President-elect Joe Biden, the full force of these lies have come into play. Lawsuits were filed and tossed out in swing states that Trump didn’t win, and had no chance in winning. The phrases “legal” and “illegal” votes were introduced and now parroted by his base. Fox News has even interrupted a speech given by Kayleigh McEnany for pushing this falsehood. MSNBC stopped thirty seconds into Trump’s speech, not being able to continue the livestream in good conscience.

Clearly, I was naïve last week. There was no way that the 74-year-old toddler president would concede with dignity. And shame of on the Republican senators that allowed this disruption of our democratic process to go on for so long.

As I was writing this post, my aunt informed me that President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have won Arizona, given them 290 electoral votes against Trump’s 217. This just adds to the collapse of Trump administration, as it is coupled with multiple Republican senators stating that Joe Biden should be receiving security briefings. Among these senators is Lindsey Graham. Karl Rove has noted that nothing Trump does will overturn the election results, while Geraldo Rivera released a statement that it’s time to concede with dignity.

But the best part of this news cycle is General Mark Milley’s, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, statement: “We are unique among militaries. We do not take an oath to a king or a queen, a tyrant or a dictator. We do not take an oath to an individual. No, we do not take an oath to a country, a tribe or religion. We take an oath to the Constitution. And every soldier that is represented in this museum, every sailor, airman, Marine, Coast Guardsman, each of us will protect and defend that document, regardless of personal price.”

Personal

Tweet loudly; throw a temper tantrum for an election lost

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I stayed up late, not sure when I finally knocked out. The TV remained on throughout the night, a habit I picked up whenever there’s a major storm – natural or political. The volume remained just above a whisper, allowing me to perk up whenever an important update is made. An anxiety boiled in my stomach, almost reminiscent of the 2016 election. The feeling ate at me, no matter how much I tried to deny it. (I’ve written this before, haven’t I?)

Sitting at work, I had my computer open to MSNBC, Twitter, and FiveThirtyEight. My coworker approached me, asking if everything was all right.

“I’m worried, you know?”

She nodded, though misunderstood the source of my anxiety. Covid-19 has run our lives these last several months, and now the library was on the brink of reopening our department, spiking our risk of exposure.

“No, not that. Well that too, but this. All of this,” I responded.

After all, it was Tuesday, November 3, 2020. “I’m not going to get any sleep,” I admitted. “Going to need loads of coffee tomorrow. This whole week, maybe.”

“He’s going to win,” she said. “I can feel it.”

Continue reading “Tweet loudly; throw a temper tantrum for an election lost”
Personal

Giving Money to Strangers

After watching the shit-show that was the first Presidential Debate, I visited the Joe Biden campaign site and donated money. At the age of 37, this was the first time I’ve ever donated money to a presidential or any political campaign. During Obama’s first campaign, I didn’t have a steady job, working odd writing gigs here and there. For his 2012 re-election, I was working part-time and a new father. I don’t want to talk about Hillary Clinton – I voted for her and believe she would have handled the position better than Donald Trump has and I’ll leave it that.

Continue reading “Giving Money to Strangers”