(As an aside, it is hard to write journal entries about a global pandemic in ways that don’t seem especially tropish and reminiscent of every journal found left in some film by the victims of a prior catastrophe. I am doing what I can, but I sometimes worry as I write these that the tone conveys more gravity than necessary at times or not enough at others.)

We have now had more US Citizens die from the coronavirus in the past three months than we had US soldiers die in all the long years of the Vietnam War.  Globally, the United States accounts for more than 1/3 of the total cases and we are inching higher and higher in our rate of deaths.  This is maddening for many reasons, but above and beyond everything this is a colossal failure of national leadership.

One can look to almost every other country in the world – including those with geographic and population distribution logistics that closely match those found in the United States – and find that the virus has been handled better.  Countries like Australia and New Zealand (under the leadership of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern) have virtually eliminated the virus from their countries and many others – like India and China – have significantly flattened their curve or otherwise found reasons for optimism.  By contrast, our moron president tells people on national television that injecting disinfectant might be a good idea and instructs the nation’s top medical officers to look into it.  He insists on pushing for the earliest reopening of the country as he can, terrified that he will otherwise have to face a reelection season that would force him to account for his role in creating the single worst economy the United States has ever seen. (That’s not hyperbole – this was a headline this morning). Trump is absolutely responsible for the deaths of so many souls and the loss of livelihood for so many others, and the final toll will, unfortunately, properly introduce that piece of shit into the trash heap of history with Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and his other fellow mass murderers

(Writing that kind of sentence seems cathartic, even if it is a bit heavy handed. This, again, is the problem of feeling both that everything is going to shit and, at the same time, wondering if writing in a cathartic way perhaps creates or amplifies that exact feeling. I just know that it is hard to express my disgust for Trump in ways that don’t sound overblown or like bad internet arguing (e.g. Godwin’s Law), so “trash heap of history” and the rest will have to do.)