Greetings, Dear Reader. It’s late morning (10:10 AM Eastern) as I start this installment of Musings & Thoughts on this Tuesday, October 6, 2020. Currently, in New Hometown, Florida, the temperature is 82˚F under mostly cloudy skies. With the wind blowing at 5 MPH (with maximum gusts at 9 MPH) and humidity at a sticky 86%, the feels-like temperature is a summer-like 95˚F. The forecast for the area calls for a high of 92˚F and a low of 77˚F, which are higher than the normal “hi-lo” temperatures for October 6 (87˚F and 68˚F).
Per my phone’s AccuWeather app, we are not expecting any rain within the next 60 minutes. We’ve already had some showers pass through, but the radar shows that whatever precipitation is out there, it is offshore and nowhere close to New Hometown. If the skies are still rain-free and if I can post this on WordPress before, say, 11:30 AM Eastern, I might venture out for a brief walk. If not, I’ll wait until the late afternoon to go for a constitutional. That is, if the weather holds and it’s not raining. Otherwise, that’s one more day – of many such days – of staying in what I now call my “gilded cage.”
On the good news front, I slept a bit better last night; I only woke up once in the wee hours of the morning (at 2 AM) to “use the facilities” but was able to fall asleep again until around 6 AM. I wish I’d been able to sleep another hour or so, but this house operates under a set schedule – which I have no control over – and though no one says I can’t sleep in if I need to, I can’t do it in the master bedroom because that is my caregiver’s home office during her 8-5 work hours. So…I have to wake up early whether I want to or not, capisce?
Also on the good news front, I see that yesterday this blog set a new record for one-day pageviews: 147. Yesterday I was unusually prolific: I wrote three Musings & Thoughts pieces and one Life in the Time of COVID-19 op-ed column. The latter accounts for most of the pageviews from yesterday because it delves into the possibility – now pretty much proven to be false – that President Trump might actually be faking his bout with COVID-19. (To be fair, I basically stated that there were two possible narratives, and that one was likely to be true whilst the other was not. As it stands, Trump does have COVID, but he is – typically – trying to make it look as though it’s not serious. He even said, “Don’t be afraid of the virus,” and removed his mask as soon as he returned to the White House on Monday night from a brief – too brief, I say – stay at Walter Reed National Medical Hospital.
Uh, no, sorry, Donald, but that isn’t what a serious and sober-minded Chief Executive would say in the midst of a public health crisis. A more responsible approach in a situation where 210,000+ Americans have died from COVID-19 is to find a happy medium that encourages the citizenry to take proper precautions to “stop the spread” and minimize the death count while at the same time avoiding mass panic. Trump has focused far too much on panic avoidance and not on the proper precautions, and he has done so for purely selfish and politically-motivated reasons.
In an article from the September 21/26 double issue of Time – an article that I’ve cited before – reporters Alex Fitzpatrick and Elijah Wolfson write:
Although America’s problems were widespread, they start at the top. A complete catalog of President Donald Trump’s failures to address the pandemic will be fodder for history books. There were weeks wasted early on stubbornly clinging to a fantastical belief that the virus would simply “disappear”; testing and contact tracing programs were inadequate; states were encouraged to reopen ahead of his own Administration’s guidelines; and statistics were repeatedly cherry-picked to make the U.S. situation look far better than it was, while undermining scientists who said otherwise. “I wanted to always play it down,” Trump told the journalist Bob Woodward on March 19 in a newly revealed conversation. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.
It gives me no pleasure to know that the President of the United States is now undergoing treatment – including steroids – for his bout with coronavirus. COVID-19 is not something that I would wish on anyone, not even Donald Trump.
But there is irony in the fact that COVID-19’s most prominent sufferer is also the same individual who claimed it would only affect a few Americans – I believe his prediction was a ridiculously low figure, like 15 or something – back in February.
And there is also outrage, too, in the fact that there were vast numbers of Americans who were extremely skeptical when the news broke Friday that the President and First Lady were among a cluster of White House and Republican figures (including Trump’s loyal former assistant, Hope Hicks) who were diagnosed with illnesses caused by the novel coronavirus. On Facebook and other social media, at least until last night when we saw video proof that Trump is having difficulties breathing, the buzzwords were He’s faking it.
Well, no. He wasn’t faking it. He is sick from COVID-19, and there is always the possibility that he might be impeded from being more active in this Presidential campaign by the debilitating effects and contagious nature of the virus. But the fact that Trump’s track record for creating false narratives – what his 2016 campaign manager and former Special Assistant to the President Kellyanne Conway famously labeled “alternative facts” – has caused many Americans outside his “MAGA” base to disbelieve anything that comes out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW is indisputable.
 I got tired of the stock phrase “my little corner of Florida” – and variants thereof – but I don’t want to reveal my current location yet.
 COVID-19 Has Killed Nearly 200,000 Americans. How Many More Lives Will Be Lost Before the U.S. Gets It Right?, Time magazine, September 21/26. Accessed October 6, 2020 at time.com (https://time.com/5887432/coronavirus-united-states-failure/).