On Being Expendable

We sure have fallen fast.  We Americans really are the world’s most impatient people.

We’ve all been self-isolating for what, 10 days?  It’s all a blur but here at my house we have been officially home-bound for exactly one week.  And I’ll be honest with you, it really hasn’t been that awful.  We’re retired so staying home most of the day is our lifestyle.

So, just for the sake of argument let’s say it’s been 10 days.  For 10 days many Americans have been working from home and schools have been closed.  We’re still buying groceries and beer.  We’re still mailing stuff.  We’re still ordering take-out.  And we’re all keeping Jeff Bezos at the top of the food chain.

I am not at all downplaying the extreme effect that Covid 19 is having on the economy.  It has actually kept me awake at night thinking of all the people I know who own small businesses or work for small businesses who are losing their livelihood.  It’s damn scary.  It will be extremely difficult to come back from this the longer it goes on.

But at 10 days in – 10 fucking days – I have found out that anyone over the age of 60 is apparently expendable.  And not only are we expendable but we should happily put our lives on the line as a patriotic gesture to the United States economy.

I am 63.  My spousal equivalent is 70.  We are both ridiculously healthy.  And active.  In June we rode our Yamaha FJR motorcycle almost 11,000 miles in 11 days across America in an event called the Iron Butt Rally.  We usually rode 20 hours a day and slept for 4.  We went through massive downpours (one that almost killed us), ice, snow, and oppressive heat.  We do this for fun.  Try that.  Most people I know can’t handle an 8 hour car trip with air-conditioning and a DVD player for entertainment.

But we are expendable.  After 10 fucking days of self isolation and the shutdown of only SOME of our businesses.  All of the larger businesses are still going.  I know more people who are doing their jobs from home than people who are out of work.  But the people who are out of work are the ones who can least afford it.  Waitstaff, bartenders, cooks, retail workers, fitness instructors, etc.  They are the ones needing a stimulus package.

So, apparently, if I were a true patriot, I’d happily agree to have all aspects of life opened up, let the virus have its way with us and if I’m one of the ones sacrificed then I’ll be remembered as a hero.  An unselfish warrior in the battle of Covid 19.  I am sure there will be monuments built in honor of our sacrifice some day.

This is where we are?  The United States of America can’t do any better than this?  If the Dow Jones is tumbling, let’s sacrifice some senior citizens?

I have known for a very long time that selfishness and self-interest have taken over our country.  I have watched as the most famous grifter of all time has taken every single beautiful thing about this country and ground it under the heel of his cheap shoes.

And I have watched in horror as people I love have cheered him on as if they are spectators at the cheesiest pro-wrestling match ever.  I have seen the effects of “I have mine. Screw you.”  I have seen greed up close and personal and it is God Damned depressing.  They talk about “bad choices” and “bootstraps” but we all know what it really is.

I’ll be the first one to say that the Boomers have screwed up a lot of things in this country.  And if you want to throw us out to the Covid 19 wolves, then I only have one favor to ask.

Since it was conservatives who came up with this idea, let them go first.





Strange Times

I’ve been gone for a while.  I’m one of those writers who does her best work under dire circumstances.

The Trump election seemed pretty dire to me which is when I started this particular blog site.  However, it became impossible to maintain that level of “direness” over the long haul.  I just couldn’t keep up that level of rage.  It’s unhealthy both for me and my relationships.  So I walked away from the keyboard and focused on the occasional snarky Facebook post and yelling at the TV.

I have watched, as we all have, as Covid 19 has taken over the world.  That isn’t an exaggeration, is it?  We are all now holed up in our homes wondering how in the hell our lives could be so upended in the space of a week.

I won’t rehash all that has transpired since we first heard of Coronavirus in December.  I won’t even rehash all of the missteps along the way by many governments across the globe.  I won’t turn this into a rant on the mind-blowing ineptitude of the man sitting in the Oval Office and those who stand behind him at every press conference bobbing their heads in agreement while he blathers on incoherently adding lie upon lie to his mountain of lies.

I will admit that in the early stages of all this I thought perhaps it might be overblown.  But as we watched the spread I allowed myself to re-calibrate my level of concern.  Even now I’m not panicked.  I have a full refrigerator and a fully stocked bar.  I can stay like this for a few weeks.  I am retired and my income will continue – although I refuse to even look at my investment accounts.  So, yes, there is some denial going on here.

But the dire part is out there – I don’t want to see people get sick and perhaps die.  And I don’t want to think about the effect this has on small business owners and the self-employed whose businesses have been shut down.  All of the restaurant and bar workers who are now out of work.  Hair stylists, fitness trainers, etc.  All of those people whose livelihood depends on the rest of us being OUT there.  We’re IN here and they can’t work.

The rate of change is now in minutes rather than days.  Remember when the NBA cancelled their season and we were all in shock?  That was exactly one week ago.  It seems like a year.  That began the landslide of sporting events to follow their lead.

And now here we are.  One week later.  Huddled in our homes, watching social media, binge watching anything that will take our minds off of this situation.

And wondering how it will all end.  When will it end?  And how many of us will come out on the other side completely healthy and financially secure?

So now I’ll turn it back to the reason I started this blog in the first place.   I would be so much more comfortable with all of this if I had even one iota of confidence in the leadership of the United States of America.  If ever we needed a strong person of character to help guide us through this crisis it is now.

The United States has always managed to steer its way through bad times in the past.  Whether you like the policies of the person in the White House or not, you knew, deep down, they all truly had our interests at the forefront of their decisions during a national crisis.

We cannot say that now.  We have a man in control of our very lives who has no moral compass at all.  To paraphrase Maya Angelou – He has shown us many times exactly who he is and we should believe him.  He is so far out of his league and he has no one with him other than the “D” team, if that.  All of the good ones have been fired or resigned.

I could attempt to end this post on a happy note but it simply isn’t possible.  The situation is much too dire.

And I’m back at the keyboard.