So I said this way the hell back in March, which was only six months ago but feels at least six years past:
Viruses are not Tinkerbell. They will not go away if you don’t believe in them. What’s happening in the US right now is the inevitable outcome of people pretending that science is just an opinion. That was never going to end well.
That comment has never felt truer than it does right now.
I learned about Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis when the news hit Twitter around 1:30 AM my time on Friday morning. Ever since, I’ve been seesawing back and forth between experiencing schadenfreude and feeling like the worst Buddhist ever, because I’m guessing my initial reaction isn’t the kind of thought one should find anywhere on the Eightfold Path. I’ve been trying to refocus that wild emotional energy on hoping that Joe Biden stays healthy and safe, especially knowing that he could have been exposed to COVID-19 during Tuesday night’s debate.
Mostly I’m angry and sad, because this year could have gone so differently. Trump knew from the start how bad this virus would be,* and he lied about it, and his supporters bought into his bullshit regardless of what was already unfolding in the rest of the world. The simple act of protecting yourself from a virus became politicized, which should not have ever happened. Trump cares more about his precious economy than he does about the lives of the people he’s supposed to be serving, and now here we are: 200,000 dead in the US, and no end in sight.
Yes, COVID-19 would have been bad no matter who was at the helm in the US; even countries with governments that have their shit together had problems. Would things have been this bad? This politicized? I don’t think so.
And as I write this, the virus is ripping through top Republicans as if someone out there has an actual Death Note, but for COVID-19. It’s hilarious to me that some Republicans are hinting broadly that they’re being “targeted.” It couldn’t possibly be that the things some Republicans have been calling Democrats sheep for doing for the last six months—quarantining or staying home as much as possible, wearing masks if we have to go out, and avoiding crowds—are effective, or something.
And fuck no, I don’t feel sorry for Trump. I’m only surprised it took this long for his idiotic “If I pretend this virus isn’t that bad, it’ll go away” strategy to bite him in the ass. If I thought he might learn something about hubris and arrogance from this, I might feel differently, but he won’t.
Remember, people: Viruses are not Tinkerbell. I’m just as sick of isolation as you are. I don’t like wearing masks. I haven’t seen my family in ages. I’ve missed out on things I really wanted to do. I never got to give my coworkers a proper goodbye. I’ve already seen some of my favorite hangouts for the last time.
And I’ve had it really, really easy compared to so many during this whole nightmare. You know what would suck more than all those things? A ventilator, or a lonely death.
*Should Bob Woodward have said something? I dunno. Probably. But be honest: Given what we’ve seen this year, what do you think would have happened if he had? I think Trump would claim Woodward was lying, Republicans would believe him, Democrats would believe Woodward, and…nothing would really be different now, I don’t think.
Besides, Bob Woodward? He’s not the President.