Monday, March 09, 2020

Flu Monday

Quotation of the day, from Wonkette's Stephen Robinson:  "Trump refuses to 'drink with thine enemy.'  He's like a Klingon but with no honor and worse makeup."

If you were invited to the annual St. Patrick's Day lunch at the Capitol this Thursday, good news:  Trump won't be there.  No truth to the report that he will apply green makeup to the bottom half of his face, leaving a white horizontal stripe, and go as the Irish flag.  He won't go at all because he wouldn't be the guest of honor -- that's the Taoiseach of the Republic.  Also, he hates the hostess and, instead of a simple "no, thanks" he ordered one of his flunkeys to abuse her publicly.  And he heard a rumor about corned beef and cabbage, and the corned beef would not be burned to a crisp which is the only way he will eat meat unless it comes pre-masticated on a tasteless bun.

Trump will instead barricade himself in the Executive Time Bedroom/Bunker and fire off an endless salvo of demented tweets.  He won't let anybody near him who has coughed in the last twenty-four hours, or make physical contact with anyone.  A person infected with Corona virus was present at C-PAC on Saturday and several other attendees have self-quarantined, including Ted Cruz, Kellyanne Conway, Louie Gohmert, Matt Gaetz and Betsy DeVos.  (That Capitol lunch is looking better all the time.)  Trump is also convinced that the media or the Democrats or George Soros snuck a carrier -- let's call him Corona Carl -- onto Air Force One to infect him.  In short, he's about two hours away from bringing out the ball bearings.

Twitter readers are getting a lesson in bipolar disorder, as Trump swings wildly between insisting the "Corona flu" has run its course and that he's surrounded by tiny viral assassins.  As usual, his gut knows more than regular "science" guys -- like Dr. Scott Gottlieb ("We're past the point of containment") and Dr. Anthony Fauci, who won't rule out the kind of regional travel bans imposed in Italy and China.  Trump is still fixated on the stock market, made even more volatile by the oil price fixing of  his good friends in Russia and Saudi Arabia.  And it's all a media conspiracy to make him look weak and incompetent.  He barely has time to offer advice to Bernie Sanders and call for Obama's impeachment.  And he still can't think of a cleverly insulting nickname for COVID-19, which would solve the problem and galvanize the MAGAts.  Life stinks.

Meanwhile, his subjects keep cool and carry on, American style:  buying up toilet paper, hoarding hand sanitizer, disdaining Corona beer, refusing to patronize Chinese restaurants (it's perfectly safe, just don't order bat) and circulating some breathtaking conspiracy theories.  However did people lose their shit in 1918, with press censorship and no internet?  I suspect that before penicillin and other "miracle drugs," most people were fatalistic about disease instead of expecting a cure for everything and claiming malicious intent when it wasn't immediately forthcoming (see AIDS).  We're spoiled, is all.  Nature quietly sniggers at the foolish species that still won't acknowledge mortality and, in many cases, evolution.  That stirs up the last wild bits of the earth and unleashes new terrors on itself.  Read the history of cholera.  Isolated cases were described for centuries, but it didn't become a mass plague until Westerners began barging around in the mangrove swamps of India, places the local people knew enough to avoid.  By 1820 -- yes, exactly two centuries ago -- the British had spread it all over the world.  Just three years ago, it killed half a million people in Yemen.

This will end.  We will get back to the things that matter, like whether Houston's World Series victory should get an asterisk and why Florida police find it necessary to arrest and handcuff small children.  Woody Allen will find a new publisher, the British tabloids will find someone else to abuse, and Alabama will continue to execute people for absurd reasons.  Wash your hands.


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