Okay. So this is really happening. We are, all of us, dealing with a pandemic. It feels odd to even type those words.

Depending on where in the world you happen to be, circumstances may mean you have access to testing and care (props to you, South Korea!). Perhaps you are on major lock-down (I feel for you, Italy). Perhaps you’ve got an untrained monkey at the helm (holding the mirror up to us, United States). If that’s the case, I’m writing to you.

It’s been weeks since I first heard the mayor of Los Angeles speaking about preparations in our city. At that time, some of my friends were already freaking the fuck out. I told them to have a little faith in our local officials and medical personnel. So far, I stand by that.

Now, well, I know of someone who’s been in contact with people confirmed to have COVID-19. I know someone who’s showing multiple symptoms, but isn’t allowed to get tested because she can’t name a direct link to someone already diagnosed as having the virus. I know someone who has self-quarantined in the hopes of not getting the damned thing at all, because she knows her underlying conditions could prove disastrous for her. I know someone who’s hoarding paper products and bottled water. I know someone who’s decided to purchase a firearm. All these people are doing the best they can.

I keep thinking about my country, and seeing us as a dysfunctional family. Daddy’s passed out on the floor behind the couch, with an empty bottle in his hand. Mama’s just gone (no telling where). And we – my fellow citizens – desperately need a parent. We need real guidance. We need comfort. We need truth. But we’re not getting those things from our so-called leadership. We just aren’t. And honestly, we were never going to get those things from this president. He’s simply not capable. Every time he addresses this crisis, he can barely speak. I think his stupidity is mucking with his idiocy.

I’m still counting on my local authorities to do the right things. I believe they’re sincerely trying. All across this country, I see examples of other local authorities doing their best with the aim of helping us get through this. I don’t know what that will look like. I don’t know how we’re going to fare. I really don’t.

But I’m not giving in. Neither should you. If extra toilet paper brings you comfort, then by god stock up. If a freezer full of meat brings you peace of mind, go for it. While you’re at it, count yourself lucky if you have loved ones. Friends, family – it doesn’t matter. Love is love. Hold on to it. Hold on to yourself. And wash your hands like crazy. That’s what I’m doing.

Well – that and drinking.

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