Today I Bled, and Other COVID Thoughts

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I had to get out of the house and I put on my hiking boots and at the end of my neighborhood I ducked into a wooded area on top of the ridge above our rail trail. The landscape was gray and brown, like the rest of the day and my spirit.

  • We really are in a reality show, just like the president wanted when he ran for office. Only he’s the villain in this story, not the hero. He’s a bumbling, inept, stupid stupid man. Denial until it’s too late. States bidding against each other for ventilators and protective equipment. Refusing to open the ACA exchanges that would allow people to get health insurance. Telling Governors they’re responsible for their own states. Governors who won’t lead saying it’s up to individuals to take responsibility. Rewording a federal website to explain why states can’t have the federal stockpile of ventilators (here’s looking at you, Jared). Decreeing women’s reproductive care elective rather than essential. On and on. Corruption. Cronyism. Cynicism (my own). I would hate my country except that . . .
  • We do have real leaders, we have heroes. The doctors, nurses, volunteers, delivery drivers, bus drivers. The Amazon employee fired for staging a walkout due to unsafe conditions. The aircraft carrier captain fired for trying to save his sailors. All those putting others above themselves.
  • What’s so great about capitalism when it has to be bailed out by socialism every ten years or so? If this pandemic isn’t a call for universal health care coverage, an adequate social safety net, and protections for workers, then nothing is. We’ll find out when this pandemic ends. I’m already anticipating extreme disappointment.
  • I’m an introverted, work-at-home writer and not a leader type possessing the skills to rally all of us around the single, shared, relevant goal of defeating the pandemic. I’m more of an individual contributor. Citizen K. I’m doing what I can. I’m staying home. I’m trying to be good to my family and help shepherd us through this troubling time. We’re making donations to important causes. For us, that’s food banks and Planned Parenthood.
  • Today I bled, my pint-sized contribution to help allay the severe blood shortage. How kind and efficient the Red Cross team was. How careful and professional. I couldn’t see their faces behind their masks. I couldn’t smell anything other than disinfectant. Still, in the air — I wondered. Was the agent floating unseen and predatory? Was it planning an attack?
  • Oh, it’s there all right. There is a disease infecting us, but not a new one. The disease has always been with us. It is the quest for power, the willingness to do whatever necessary to gain it, the ability to marginalize others, the paranoid grabbing of finite resources. Is that what’s meant by survival of the fittest?

By David Klein

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.

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