Two Murderous Viruses
Slightly less than two years ago, my wife and I were at one of our favorite restaurants near our home, and she was talking about a virus, emerging overseas.
She was sensitive to infections, having had a dangerous bout with something she picked up years earlier, probably in South Asia.
This is bad, she said. We’re not going out for a while.
Safely ensconced in our TV room a year ago, we watched another virulent invader swarm all over the capitol of the United States.
We were stunned to watch thousands of apparitions materialize with weapons and costumes and banners that proclaimed a war – dare I say a Crusade – against the established order of voting and succession. Democracy.
It was not hard to figure out these creatures meant harm, as they hurled objects at police and smashed doors and windows, and twisted peacekeepers’ faces at close order.
We saw familiar lawmakers huddle below their seats, and scurry to possible sanctuaries below.
We saw the Vice President being rushed downstairs, to avoid a crowd lusting to hang him, or so they proclaimed.
And those of us in front of televisions saw ghouls and zombies like Mark Meadows and Donald Trump, Jr., yucking it up at a rally closer to the White House, and we saw President Bone Spur urge his personal Brown Shirts to take the Capital, to “fight like hell.” He said he'd be right with them, just another lie.
That memory does not go away. My wife is struck by the good teeth of the invaders – paid by corporate America or government (even the military) to prepare these louts for closeups. The costumes and banners and even the shaggy hair styles suggest they are starring in the video of their own life, offspring of the social-media age. Look, I’m a star. They’ve made it onto TV, like the fool with the suit and the office who posed as a business savant for the reality show.
Today, we are still hiding out from the variants at home, watching what is left of the government we knew poke around in the copious evidence of evil.
There is tangible proof that people with access to Trump were beseeching him to call off the beasts, but he would not listen. Whose fault is that? (Somebody we know has pored over the list of businesses that accepted stimulants, well into six figures, and, look here, two are people we know, with theoretically good educations, who are staunch Trumpites – “he’s good for business” -- but not too proud to take a Biden handout for the needy.)
The investigation has uncovered plenty of evidence that shows which Fuhrer the shaggy Brown Shirts were obeying last Jan. 6. Now, the pace and tenor of the government “investigation” reminds me, alas, of vile attorney general William Barr eviscerating poor old Robert Mueller.
The Republicans are killing time with smirks on their faces, empowered by a frightening swath of the country that knows exactly what is going on.
We will watch these sad shenanigans while we are cowering at home, hiding from the latest variation. We know of sons who refused vaccination and endangered their loved ones. We know people who journeyed forth into crowds and proclaimed themselves “safe.” We know people who were extremely careful but somehow tested positive anyway.
We have survived. My wife’s alert has kept us safe, thank God. Our heads are busy, we read and we listen to music and watch good stuff (mostly on PBS) and my wife makes great meals, and we keep in touch with many, many loved ones. We are blessed with security as we try to ride out the double pandemic.
Now we will watch the one-year anniversary of that evil day, when the thugs and the monsters got a pat on the back from their hero, and lumbered forward, to try to take down a democracy, a crusade still very much in process.
1/5/2022 10:37:05 am
Thanks, George, and yes it is a sober anniversary. Mention of social media and the folks thrilled to be seen on TV, etc. reminds me of a realization of the profound influence of the internet and social media. It really struck home when I read a bit more about the protestor and Capitol invader who was shot to death. Her background seemed rather ordinary, but some of her posts were quoted - consistent in that she was obviously a supporter of the then resident incumbent and also affiliated with a store - hardware? in California? - which eschewed masks. It helped with the realization that the internet and social media, like no time in history:
1/5/2022 02:10:36 pm
Andy, thanks. Find me some "deceant" Republicans. I respect the two on the committee -- I may put Rep. Cheney on my (small) list of Republicans I Respect, along with some I met along the way as a reporter -- Howard Baker, Fred Thompson (back then), Richard Lugar, Tom Davis formerly of VA, Christine Todd Whitman, Ricahrd Thornburgh, and, at the top, John McCain, after spending two hours in his office one memorable day. These days? GV
1/5/2022 11:51:33 am
George: Good point. Your vision and understanding of these facts were perfect. Suddenly, the world got threatened by two forces of evil: the virus and the fascist thoughts. But we have a hope, we always have. As show a letter of samba by the songwriters: Nelson Cavaquinho / Elcio Soares, performed by the singer Clara Nunes:
1/5/2022 02:11:33 pm
Dear Altenir: I am going to search for that on the web. You know how I love Brazilian music...best, GV
1/5/2022 12:48:00 pm
It is almost too painful, Jan. 6, not Covid, to bear to recall. I usually am with Andy, but my lifetime optimism, is on the verge of disappearing. This morning’s NYT reports how the Republican leadership, has lined up behind trump, even those who criticized him, after Jan 7. They are, of course, hypocrites, who fear it is the only way to get elected.
1/5/2022 02:02:11 pm
1/5/2022 02:13:13 pm
Watching reps and senators fall into line -- Mitt Romney, who I thought had a bit of mensch in him -- I don't have much hope. GV
1/5/2022 02:17:58 pm
Ed, thanks, my response to Andy T holds up here..GV
alan d. levine
1/5/2022 01:17:21 pm
Beautifully put, George. Your former employer ought to publish it.
1/5/2022 02:15:19 pm
Alan, thanks, Maybe the Jamaica High Hilltopper will call. The NYT is doing fine on its own in the news and opinion sections. Best, GV
1/5/2022 02:10:03 pm
The hoodlums climbing the walls to the Capitol are no different than the hypocrites who denounce government handouts and then secretly, quietly take it themselves. If any have mirrors in their homes, I wonder what they see?
1/5/2022 02:24:20 pm
Di, Guess it's not so secret when their businesses are listed in government records. Those brave independent souls who don't like "handouts" to immigrants or aid to people hit by tornados or hurricanes don't mind six-digit payouts during a pandemic. I love people who made it "on their own" -- but dont mind tax breaks or roads and freight rails that move the goods faster, G
1/5/2022 02:24:45 pm
I am simultaneously following whether the congressional January 6th commission will be able to successfully carry out its mandate and also listening to Fiona Hill’s gripping new book, “There is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the 21st Century”. My outlook is generally upbeat and forward looking and Fiona Hill expresses much of the same in her book.
1/7/2022 04:28:57 am
The "party of law and order"...until they want to break laws and disrupt public order. Then they are "patriots". To hell with all of them. The jump right over civil disobedience(which, of course, they considered criminal when it was practiced by ML King and others)and went straight to violent insurrection.
1/8/2022 05:43:08 pm
John, buon capodanno. It's really ugly here. The defiant sneers on the faces of US Reps on Jan. 7, 2021....they were proud of themselves. Now they spread the word that Jan. 6 was no big deal.
1/11/2022 11:26:03 am
Same to you George. Buon Anno Nuovo. I am becoming more detached than ever, watching from a distance, but not feeling good about it. We grew up with a certain pride in our country and system, even knowing its many faults which so many have worked so hard to correct. Then along came the Tangerine Mussolini who opened the doors of what seem like a million dark and nasty closets and out came the hateful red-hatted morons en masse. They were always there, of course, but he made it acceptable for them to flout who they are and what they think in a way that was previously unthinkable. Instead of hope and pride he brought us shame and embarrassment. And yet his appeal, and his grip on his pathetic party, seem undiminished. I hate to think he could ever come back.The Democrats had better find someone appealing and inspirational in a hurry or we might be looking at Trumpty Dumpty Act 2.
Edwin W Martin Jr
1/7/2022 12:50:15 pm
Yesterday on NPR, I heard Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley discussing the need to make Jan. 6 a memorable date, one the nation should not forget. I see it joining “Days that will live in infamy,” with December 7, 9/11, and Jan. 6. We must keep the message of violent, insurrection against our democratic system/nation alive, so the attempts to cover it up, minimize it, do not succeed. Example, Florida governoepr “DeathSantis” says it is being “politicized.” Later I read of the Capital Policewoman, who received traumatic brain injury from the atrack, and a year of continual headaches. She is suing trump. May she prevail.
1/7/2022 04:12:38 pm
Ed, you are correct in that the events leading up to January 6, 2021, the day itself and the behavior of all concerned, particularly that of most members of the Republican Party., need to be thoroughly documented. I'm sure that many books, in addition to those already in print, will be written; but there is nothing as gripping as the actual footage.
1/7/2022 09:44:54 pm
1/8/2022 05:48:48 pm
Thank you-all for a second time around on this subject. It's true, citizenship is not being taught -- but then again, whose concept of citizenship are we talking about? The values are so different. I suspect the criminals who stormed the Capitol think they are standing up for the values of citizenship. That is the scary part. Try tossing in mentions of Frederick Douglass or Rosa Parks in a huge swath of this country. Or get into the current details of trying to purge people from voting. Very different views of the USA....GV
1/8/2022 10:09:42 pm
1/17/2022 01:50:36 am
My wife and I were at one of our favorite restaurants near our house a little less than two years ago, and she was talking about a sickness that was spreading worldwide. She was prone to illnesses due to a deadly episode with something she picked up years before, most likely in South Asia.
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“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.