The wheels are coming off as we watch. Hang on; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
The country is largely open for business again with varying degrees of restrictions against large gatherings and the almost universal requirement that people wear a facemask when out in public.
The statistics are showing a rapid increase of new infections as bars and restaurants reopen their doors and people start going out again. We are approaching record numbers of new cases in the states which eased restrictions the soonest.
We have been in a sort of lock-down now for 3 months and it is wearing on people. It was kind of nice at first – little traffic, everyone home, people walking more and riding bikes. The novelty has worn off though and people are getting frustrated and angry. Adding to this are countrywide protests in all major cities against police brutality, specifically the historically bad treatment of Black citizens at the hands of the police. Two Black men were killed by the police in recent weeks and it has breathed new life into the Black Lives Matter movement and the civil rights movement in general which has yet to see justice and equal treatment for all as the constitution purportedly guarantees.
The saddest part of this ugly reality we are living through is that it didn’t have to be this way. We are currently going through an unprecedented lack of competence and leadership in Washington. Without any guidance and little support from the current administration, states have been on their own trying to figure this out. Due to the absence of a leader there are no guiding standards or metrics or what have you to mount the proper effort required to fight this virus. The US, which has historically taken the lead in this sort of effort, has taken a back seat. As a result the US has the highest infection and mortality rate in the entire world. The only country close to us is one with a similarly incompetent leader, Brazil.
Largely due to apathy, partly due to a naive wish for change, America elected a TV personality to the office of president. His supporters claimed he would “drain the swamp” in Washington and restore America to its greatness.
What we have come to learn is that this president lies constantly. In fact, he most often perverts and destroys precisely the things he says he is fixing. He didn’t drain a swamp but rather created one. He hasn’t restored America’s greatness but systematically chipped away at its foundations. He’s just a con man who uses buzz phrases and outrageous antics to feed the base of his supporters. He is also way, way, way over his head. He is clearly the most idiotic excuse for a president the US has ever had. He has embarrassed us in front of the world and severed the trust and esteem other nations have traditionally had for America. How did this all happen? That’s another story.
We are now in uncharted waters on a rudderless ship with no one at the helm. The president has not only abandoned the fight against virus but has now declared war against any who oppose him. He has chided many governors for not using more force against protesters and even brought out the military in Washington DC to secure a photo op in front of a church. He built a fence around the White House to keep protesters out. He has created new enemies weekly throughout this crisis in concert with his plummeting approval ratings.
It sounds like a bad novel but the unfortunate reality is that this is the truth. It’s anybody’s guess as to what’s going to happen next. There’s a kook in the White House and an angry mob outside.