We All Need a Little Christmas Right Now

The other day I read an article about a woman who’d lost both her father and her aunt (with whom she lived) to COVID-19 in January. Her dad always enjoyed decorating their front yard with Christmas lights, which he did before he fell ill. It was more than a month later, and the daughter hadn’t gotten around to taking them down; partly because of her grief and also because the act of putting the lights up meant so much to her dad. One would think people would be understanding in these circumstances.

But no.

Then came “the letter” to her mailbox.

The anonymous letter excoriated her for leaving the lights up so long: “Take your Christmas lights down! Its Valentines Day!!!!!!”

She shared the letter on a Facebook mom’s group and asked that people show a little kindness and understanding because you never really know what other people are going through.

In response, her neighbors put their Christmas lights back up in solidarity with her.

This country is nearing 500,000 souls lost to the pandemic. Texas just had a near death experience with its power grid, which had the very real possibility of leaving all of us without power for months. I was one of the lucky ones who was without power for only 15 hours and didn’t have to boil water to be able to drink it. Many others weren’t so lucky. There are many tales of people helping their neighbors instead of berating them. Here is one, and here is another.

So, every year I’ve done a Snoopy gingerbread dog house at Christmas and usually leave it up until Valentine’s Day because it lends a bit of cheer to my home after all the other Christmas decorations are taken down. But just before that day, our snow storm hit so I had other more pressing concerns. But now, upon reflection, I’ve decided I’m going to keep it on display until this pandemic has been tamed and people stop dying by the thousands. And also in the hope I can eventually get vaccinated so I can be with my family here once again. Sometimes we just need a little Christmas.




And Yet, All of These Bastards Made Light of Masks and Social Distancing

From The New York Times:

WASHINGTON — Ben Carson, Chris Christie and Donald J. Trump are not the sturdiest candidates to conquer the coronavirus: older, in some cases overweight, male and not particularly fit. Yet all seem to have gotten through Covid-19, and all have gotten an antibody treatment in such short supply that some hospitals and states are doling it out by lottery.

Now Rudolph W. Giuliani, the latest member of President Trump’s inner circle to contract Covid-19, has acknowledged that he received at least two of the same drugs the president received. He even conceded that his “celebrity” status had given him access to care that others did not have.

“If it wasn’t me, I wouldn’t have been put in a hospital frankly,” Mr. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, told WABC radio in New York. “Sometimes when you’re a celebrity, they’re worried if something happens to you they’re going to examine it more carefully, and do everything right.”

Mr. Giuliani’s candid admission once again exposes that Covid-19 has become a disease of the haves and the have-nots. The treatment given to Mr. Trump’s allies is raising alarms among medical ethicists as state officials and health system administrators grapple with gut-wrenching decisions about which patients get antibodies in a system that can only be described as rationing.

Mr. Giuliani, 76, appeared unaware of the scarcity issues, telling interviewers that politicians have taken masks and business closures too far now that Covid-19 is “a treatable disease.”

Health Secretary Alex M. Azar II told reporters on Wednesday that so far, 278,000 doses of the two therapies have been allocated. There were almost that many coronavirus cases (220,225) diagnosed in the United States on Tuesday alone.

Once state and local health agencies determine which hospitals or medical facilities should get the drugs, they are shipped out by a third-party distributor. Then it is up to health care providers to figure out what to do with them. Dr. Peter L. Slavin, the president of Massachusetts General Hospital, said in an interview Tuesday that access there would be by lottery.

“The notion that we are going to be able to treat a significant percentage of the people who qualify for the drug with the drug — it’s not going to happen,” he said.


And Another One Bites the Dust–Good Luck, Amy!

From the Washington Post:

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) announced that he, too, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The senator was at the White House on Saturday for Trump’s Rose Garden event announcing Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee where there was virtually no one wearing masks and no social distancing.

In a statement, Lee said he tested negative at the White House ahead of that event but began experiencing allergy-like symptoms Thursday. He got tested again, and it came back positive.

Lee, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, met with Barrett on Tuesday on Capitol Hill, and the two were photographed together not wearing masks. Lee has also had close contact with the committee’s chairman, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.).


The COVID Chickens Come Home to Roost

From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:

Around midnight, as Thursday became Friday, and we learned that the pandemic had reached into the administration*’s innermost inner circle, and then into The Residence Itself, these were the things about which I began to wonder.

1) If we’re serious about contact tracing, where does that leave Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who was having a tough day anyway?

2) What in the hell are they going to do about the air-conditioning/ventilation systems on Air Force One and on Marine One? Those must be alive with frolicsome viruses by now.

3) How does Joe Biden feel about this president*’s having spent 90 minutes bellowing at top volume just across the stage from him on Tuesday night? In fact, how does Joe Biden feel, period?

4) Is Section 3 of the 25th Amendment being discussed anywhere by anyone? I mean, the president* is 74 and is a walking co-morbidity.

5) How many handrails do the president* and his traveling party touch over the course of the average campaign road trip?

6) Do they have to disinfect the nuclear “football”?

7) Are all the people who have to be quarantined going to be confined to the president*’s hotel in D.C, and, if so, can they get a rate?

8) Are we all spared the other two debates?

9) Does the White House have enough roosts for all these returning chickens?

The announcement that the president* and his wife are now two of the over 7 million Americans with the virus, and that top White House aide Hope Hicks not only tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, but also was symptomatic when all hands flew to Duluth on Wednesday for one of the president*’s airport wankfests, creates a possibly vast Yggdrasil tree of contagion that now includes the president* and his wife and his children and his Secret Service detail, the entire White House staff, and their spouses and their children, the White House press corps and their spouses, partners, and children, several members of the Minnesota congressional delegation and their extended families, and an entire Air Force air wing based in Duluth, and on and on and on. And if you expand the universe of contagion to include all of the Republican celebrities who flew with him to Cleveland on Tuesday, and everybody who sat next to the unmasked members of that entourage, the whole thing gets ridiculous and it makes you hide under the bed.


More, obviously, to follow.


Dr. Trump, PhD

From Esquire, by Jack Holmes:


REPORTER: If 160,000 people had died on Obama’s watch, would you have called for his resignation?


[Trump called for Obama to resign over ebola, which didn’t kill anyone in the US!]

Well, here’s a different history lesson to start: in 2014, Trump called for Obama’s resignation should it turn out that one doctor, “who so recklessly flew into New York from West Africa, has Ebola.” He did not. One person died in the United States from Ebola, and they contracted it in Liberia. 160,000 Americans are dead from COVID-19, and we’re supposed to believe that Trump, who used to call for Obama’s resignation like he calls for another Diet Coke, would have backed him to keep his job? Come on, man. He’s backing himself to keep the job now, which is why he makes up wild alternate realities where millions of Americans could have died if not for his travel ban on China. The ban had so many exceptions that tens of thousands of people made the trip anyway, and the virus was already here by that time.

To buttress his meelyuns and meelyuns claim, however, we got that history lesson from Dr. Trump, PhD. We’ve now gone well beyond the president’s constant insistence that the Spanish Flu outbreak happened in 1917. (It was 1918, into 1919.) Now the outbreak ended World War II in 1945. Believe it or not, this is entirely related to the president’s seemingly more purposeful lies. It’s all of a piece with his complete rejection of the concept of objective reality. The truth is whatever you can get enough people to believe, so what actually happened is not relevant. This is what’s undergirding his claim that as many as 2 million people would have died without his travel ban, but also his declaration that the Spanish Flu ended the Second World War. There’s no need to learn history, or even acknowledge reality as it is right now. What’s the difference? Just say anything.

Donald in the Dunce Chair Again. Donald Trump is in the dunce ...