Yesterday, as I was watching a 90s sitcom (don’t judge me), an Easter greeting from some well-known celebrities came on. Nothing unusual in that, except this year, in addition to the usual holiday wishes, they all implored viewers to ‘stay strong’ because ‘we will get through this together.’
Remember a couple of months ago, when the C-word was making only minor ripples in newsfeeds. Who can believe it’s come to this, and so quickly. That people have been reduced to weeping in carparks throughout the world over toilet paper.
In the Sydney Morning Herald today, there was a story describing how the police are devoting extensive resources to ‘cracking down on holidaymakers’ over the long weekend simply for being holidaymakers. It was a sentence I never expected to read.
While the lucky people are cocooned in their homes, watching Netflix and Youtube and chatting on Zoom, the novelty of seeing talk show hosts broadcast from their living rooms is beginning to wear off. Their faces register what everyone is feeling: This shit is real.
America the Beautiful
Meanwhile, in the land of the free, Trump continues to downplay the seriousness of the crisis, even as tens of thousands die. As far as he’s concerned, efforts to contain the virus aren’t that important because it will only take down the weak. The strong can continue to work for the health of the economy. The lies and absurdities mount up daily in the bizarre reality TV show that is American politics.
Imagine if Americans knew back in 2016 that under Trump’s reign, they would face the biggest crisis in modern history? A crisis which requires strong leadership, decisive action and the ability to listen to experts and make decisions for the collective good. I like to think that with hindsight no one would have voted for this narcissistic clown, but I’m not so sure anymore.
Past experience suggests that the next instalment in the Trump shit-how will be a massive disinformation campaign to hide the extend of the catastrophe and convince everyone that Trump is doing a great job. The best job ever some are saying. In fact, there are plans to change his name to Corona King to win back some of the attention lost to his Netflix doppelganger.
Dark Night of the Soul
So, what’s next? Based on Trump’s unconcealed fondness for fascism, it could get interesting. This is the man who announced in the days after he was elected that the rules don’t apply to the president because he’s the one who makes them. His wilful misunderstanding of how democracy works has been on display since day one.
From attacking journalists for daring to ask questions and suggesting that news organisations that don’t toe the party line should be shut down, to his insinuations that maybe he won’t step down if he loses the 2020 election; all the signs were there in flashing neon from the start.
The question is, how far will he go if the shit hits the fan? This isn’t a hypothetical question since it appears that even as the virus rages through the nation, testing is being wound back in some places.
Will Americans get rid of him? That’s what it comes down to at this point. When people can see with their own eyes how ill-equipped Trump is to lead the country through an unprecedented crisis, will it finally be enough?
I wish I could say I was hopeful, but it remains to be seen. In the meantime, I’ll be tuned in with the rest of the world for the next twist in the Corona King shit-show where nearly every single person is a piece of dirt and greed and vanity reign supreme.