2020 Pandemic

Other than thinking that 2020 was going to be the year we “fired trump,” I would not have guessed, had no inkling, 2020 would turn out the way it did. I knew a Corona Virus had hit China hard, but never thought we would see the devastating results we have seen in America and all due to the incompetence and narcissism of Donald Trump (yes, at last, I capitalize his name).

From January to March—we coasted—not recognizing the rollercoaster ride we were about to take and all the while, going about our “normal routines.” Now, we wonder if in fact, there was anything normal about those early months—especially now that we know trump knew in December what China was facing—well, actually what the world was facing, but he downplayed at the beginning and is now—at the end of 2020—still not dealing with the reality of this deadly virus as we can see in the 333 thousand deaths of Americans, with many more expected, by the time we reach the end of the year.

Our lives have changed forever.  What we thought was normal, is now a thing of the past. We are living in a new normal and no one can adequately predict how long the new normal will last which includes masking up—especially in close quarters with others. What we already know is that some will rebel and cost others their lives simply because they do not care about other people—though they will never admit it. That is the bottom line. Wearing a mask for them—infringes upon their freedom. They do not want to look like “sheep.” They do not want to maintain social distancing or follow any of the other guidelines determined by the experts—and of course—none of the rebellious are actually experts at anything other than complaining about “their rights,” while totally ignoring the rights of others, those of us who want to live a long life, totally unencumbered by the effects of COVID-19 or any of the mutated variants, now coming to light.

Many of us, while at home awaiting orders to resume our lives outside of our homes, took up baking. We baked and baked and baked and then we gained weight. Some of which, we have yet to shed because getting outside with mask-deniers is simply not worth the risk. So, we find other things to do—that are, unfortunately, not related to exercising. We watched more television, both news and movies. The news depressed us, so we retreated to heartwarming movies that gave us a bit of a reprieve from the devastating news of death totals across the country. We learned the art of video conferencing, thanks in no small part to Zoom, Google Classroom and Facebook Video Chats. Other companies have come aboard with the video capacity for those of us who are not corporate elites, but the retired and otherwise, working poor who can now communicate with family and friends without jeopardizing our health. Amazingly, churchgoers (not necessarily Christians) discovered they could actually worship God at home or enjoy church services via a video platform on their phone or laptop or tablet. How about that? God is everywhere! Of course, there is always a downside to just about everything, church leaders missed their offerings and so they filed lawsuits against wise government leaders who restricted the attendance of churches in person. We can see where their priorities lie—in the offering plate—not in the safety of their congregants.

We have seen throughout the four years of the current administration more blatant expressions of overt racism and bigotry than this country has seen in a long time. So much so that we have given the white women who make false claims against black people a name—Karen. The white males who are haters are more likely to kill a black person than to just call the police filing false claims, and then the black males, mostly, end up dead, for no apparent reason other than being black. We have seen protests arising from the disproportionate incidents of black deaths and we have also seen the total ignorance and lack of understanding of white people who simply choose to ignore the obvious. They have ranted against Black Lives Matter because they simply do not understand that the movement is not about ignoring the lives of others but highlighting the loss of black lives—specifically those killed by police officers or other angry white men. What we have seen in this country is the totality of ignorance abounding in people who refuse to research, using credible sources, and instead, choose to regurgitate the hatred and discompassionate rantings of idiots—including the orange menace. Though there have been some, as usual, who dared to stand up against the hatred and bigotry risking repudiation from members of their own families and certainly political parties and communities, the hatred abounds and swarms over communities of color with reverse racism, felt across the land. Too many people, so-called leaders in the black community, are engaging in efforts to vilify all white people, while promoting the antics of black people that are questionable, if not downright illegal.

We have watched while small businesses went under, not only because of the pandemic, but because rich lawmakers helped themselves to billions of dollars intended to help the small business owners. Families have suffered due to lost jobs and lost loved ones. The economy has certainly suffered, but it could have been saved sooner if those who have been and are still rebellious had just complied with the guidelines provided by the experts.

No doubt about it, this past year has been a rollercoaster ride for most of us and the end of the ride, is not yet known, even with the production of vaccines or getting vaccinated. All we can do to ameliorate the incoming year, is to remember this past year is to commit ourselves to doing better in caring about all. Mask-Up America, for as long as needed, without complaining or putting yourself or others at risk.

Donald Trump’s Devil’s Deal

“The Art of the Deal” negotiated from hell!

When will “real Americans” stand up—sans political party affiliation—and do what’s right for America?

From the beginning—in 2015—most of us knew that a racist, pathological lying narcissist was running for the highest of the land. And most of us knew—he would make a mockery of it and he has.

From making “Faustian” deals with the White Evangelicals to the brain-numbed Republicans, a deal was made with devil. The “Art of the Deal” was to negotiate giving him cover for whatever he wanted to do, and they did, including allowing Putin’s influence to reign in the White House.

He told the churches, he’d get them whatever they wanted as long as they provided him with superficial “religious” cover—just enough to fool the gullible—and they did, according to Reverend Ron Schenck in a CNN interview. I’m sure, if Republicans were truly to be trusted and showed any integrity at all, they would probably say the same thing and even if we don’t know for sure what was said to them in 2016, we see the results: tax cuts for the rich, nothing for the poor; Betsy Devos serving as the Secretary of Education when she knows nothing about public education and therefore, all American students suffer for the payment she made to Donald Trump to destroy public education. Immigrants lost—they are no longer wanted in the United States—a bigoted stain of ugliness we may never be able to shed.

“What do you have to lose?” he asked of black voters. Well, we have lost so many lives that I do not dare attempt to name them or this essay will be far longer than I originally anticipated. With all of the brutality shown by some police officers against black people—more than ever, we have to vote for people who see us as people and will do the right thing, no matter what the political party affiliation is—Black Lives Matter—whether they’re Democrat or Republican and no one should be allowed to get away with snuffing out their lives simply because of hate. Now, this doesn’t mean that everyone else’s life doesn’t matter, but specifically it means that we all recognize that all life is important, but when it comes to Black Lives, it would appear that officers in certain police departments are members of the KKK or some other White Nationalist group and they demonstrate their loyalty by killing us and laughing about our cries that, “I can’t breathe.” We are not people to them. We do not matter to them. Donald Trump gave white officers the green light to take our lives—without fear of consequences.

He duped the LGBTQ community by ignoring the needs of the trans members and denying their right to serve in the military or receive medical care for their transition. Religious fodder that made the Evangelical community grunt with satisfaction and greedily beg for more—disdain and disregard of our fellow human beings.

The Hispanic community fare no better than any other group of non-white Americans and many of them still support this inept bungling menace. He turned his back on Puerto Rico during one of the worst times of their lives and thought tossing paper towels at them like they were some sort of game show contestants.

To say that Donald Trump is an ignorant son of a gun (my mother raised me right) would be an understatement. He has proven time and time again just how ignorant he really is—from not knowing historical facts almost every fifth grader knows to deliberately and calculatingly turning back consumer protections—designed to keep us safe. As a result, when the Coronavirus Crisis hit the shores of America, we were woefully unprepared because the “stable genius” ignored the warnings from the WHO and China. His ego would allow him to admit he didn’t have a clue and when the experts repeatedly made it clear he knew nothing, he stopped heeding their advice and as a result, as of this writing, America has lost over 134K people to this virus. Had he one ounce of dignity, integrity, or empathy, many of those lives could have been saved, but no—his ego and his desire to be re-elected is far more important than human lives.

There is some hope on the horizon, and it does not come from the federal government or anyone in the White House. The beacon of hope America has lies in the intelligence and willingness of its governors to do what is right for their constituents. Leading the way, Governor Cuomo, and Governor Gretchen Whitmer—Michigan’s own, “That Woman.” There are others, but these two refused to give into the egotist’s noise and did everything they could to save lives which included, total lockdowns (except for essential workers) and daily briefings as they disseminated the data for all to hear and understand. Yes, the economy took a hit (but Wall Street rallied), but the loss of lives could have been worse had it not been for the stance taken by the governors who refused to cave to the bullying from the White House or other Republicans. Our heroes—and they deserve to be called heroes—are the governors who put people before profits and dared to mandate protocols to keep everyone safe—wearing a mask, social distancing, and making sure hands were clean. Its commonsense approach is still shunned by the idiots, but some of those idiots—learned too late, that wearing a mask, saves a life. Some of those who raised the loudest ruckus, are no longer counted among the living.

I’m sure I haven’t said anything that most attentive people don’t already know, but I felt  the need to reiterate some of the travesties we’ve endured because some people—just didn’t understand—elections have consequences and we are all suffering from those consequences. We have another presidential election on the horizon. I hope the gullible have learned their lessons and will vote for the people who care about them more than money, who care about children more than money, who care about our military more than Putin. It is not about party affiliation—it is about voting for the people who understand the Constitution, will keep their oaths of office, and stand up for all Americans—just doing what’s right, rather than what is political.

If we want this Devil’s Deal to end—everyone eligible to vote—must vote Blue for every Democrat on ballots across the nation so we can move forward and clean up the mess and the stench left in the White House. We can do this. I know we can. I am going to do everything I can to remind people, daily, until November 3, 2020—our voice and vote matter and if we look to a future that includes us all—we will vote Blue.

Come on Michigan Women of Valor! Come on American Governors! Come on American Voters — let’s end this deal with the devil!

 

A Little Perspective

A Little Perspective

With all of the Executive Orders limiting and quarantining people–all over the world–and especially in the United States, people are grumbling.

CEOs are grumbling about losing money in businesses–the sports arena, airlines, children and parents are grumbling, every market that contributes to the economy is grumbling because of the attempt by many leaders to save lives–from a destructive virus that does not discriminate and then we have an occupant in the WH who chose not to recognize and deal with the situation earlier than he did. But this isn’t about him, it’s about us–the everyday, working Americans who have apparently taken the privileges (to get into cars and drive where we want to go, when we want to go, and do what we want, when we want to do it), we have as a right.

There are hungry children all over the world. There are adults struggling with lack of job skills, addictions and apathy. There are homeless people living in parks, dumpster diving to eat, sleeping in public toilets so they have someplace to wash their face. There are people who have job skills and can’t find jobs. There are companies who won’t hire specific groups of people and have wage caps that won’t allow a person to save for a rainy day.

Well that rainy day has come and it’s been raining for four weeks now with no sign of a let up, yet. Why? Because of that pesky virus that’s killing people and since we weren’t prepared to contain it or stop it, here we are–on lockdown–except for going out for essential needs–food and medicine. And here is where things get really crazy. The grumbling by folks who yet have lives to live–angry because they can’t travel to their homes up north, or have their landscapers cut their lawns (they can do it themselves, but that’s too much to expect of the privileged, right?) or they can’t go to the salon or the barber or get their nails done or do some spring painting or plant gardens. Really? Did anyone see the statement about lives lost?

Over 200,000 thousand people have contracted the virus in America and 20 thousand have lost their lives. In order to minimize any further loss of life, governors–primarily–have issued executive orders asking people to stay at home, away from large gatherings so they limit contact with others who might be carrying the virus. And what do silly people do? Complain and grumble.

I wonder what they would do if someone had started a war and over half of the nation’s buildings were destroyed, banks, hospitals, stores, farmland–everything. The homes in the Hamptons, and Martha’s Vineyard and further north in Michigan–all desolated and the beaches demolished with contaminated water. What good would privilege do anyone then? There is no food to be found, no water to drink and the air is polluted with contaminates from exploding bombs. What would we do then? There is no shelter other than a partially standing wall here and there, and masses are huddled wondering which way to turn or fearful if they’ll be attacked for the shreds they now call clothes. The rats are thriving, but there is little animal life left and people are hungry. What will they do?

We are not in that situation but there are people in other countries who are and they’re too busy trying to survive to complain. So why can’t we do the same? We need to take another look at ourselves and see this situation from a different perspective. We may be doing without our favorite restaurant or getting gussied up or entertaining friends and families, but what we have, that the dead don’t have is–another chance to live our lives, if we practice social distancing and abide by the executive orders of those who are simply trying to keep us safe. If we don’t have life, having a job won’t matter, flowers and vegetable gardens won’t matter, homes in other places won’t matter, none of it will matter if we are dead.

So, do everyone that’s left a favor–practice social distancing and give us all a chance to live until the next pandemic (for it will come), but let’s learn from this one how to survive and thrive, while we can. Think about it, with a little more perspective other than not being able to live our “privileged lives” having everything we want.