Site Overlay

The Virus: Week Nineteen

Continued from The Virus: Week Eighteeen

The next day we’re watching videos on our phones of the bedlam at the newly reopened shops at Downtown Disney, There are mobs of people scrambling to grab every bit of Disney merchandise they can, including the new special edition virus masks, which sell out instantly and show up immediately on eBay. The day after that we hear that Mississippi hospitals no longer have room for Mississippi residents, and that Arizona has ordered refrigerator trucks to accommodate the dead bodies that are beginning to pile up there, and that there are 1675 cases of the virus just inside San Quentin prison, and that there are now more than 70,000 new cases of the virus being reported in the United States every day. The day after that, people are in a state of collective ecstasy because Trump wore a mask in public. He’s visiting a hospital filled with veterans of the armed forces, but makes no comment about the bounties Russia has put on their heads. His mask has a little presidential seal on it that makes it look more presidential. My 80-year-old father-in-law, who is also a veteran, keeps telling us that he really needs to get back to work at the shipyards, where he hasn’t worked in forty years. I tell him that all the shipyards are shut down right now because of the virus, so he doesn’t need to go into work for awhile, and can stop worrying about losing his job, something that has become a constant source of worry for him now that his memory is slowly being obliterated. I ask him what he knows about the virus and he says he doesn’t know much. His mother, who died many decades ago, is supposed to come visit him soon. In the early hours of the following morning I (who am not Jewish) have a dream: an enormous congregation of us have gone to temple, and there are other people outside, and all of us in temple play with them through a screen that has been erected to keep all of us safe on both sides, and then everyone in temple begins singing and chanting, and I close my eyes and I can feel our collective body rocking gently in unison, and suddenly as we slowly rock and sway as one body we are transported, we are huddled together on a tiny boat in exodus from some place to a safer place, but the gentle rocking of our bodies remains the same, the waves silently undulating beneath us. The day after that many of the largest school districts in the state announce that all K-12 schools will remain closed through the fall, and all instruction will take place exclusively online. Parents everywhere still have no idea how any of this is supposed to work. By the next day the White House has been expanding its campaign to smear and discredit Dr Fauci and the CDC, and the following day the White House tells hospitals around the country to supply their data directly to the White House rather than the CDC. It’s the middle of July, and we’re sitting with our phones out once more, watching video after video of angry white people in public spaces yelling and screaming and refusing to wear masks, flipping people off, calling them names, using slurs, shouting conspiracy theories, and getting into violent confrontations. By now we all just call them “Karens.”

Twitter Facebook Tumblr

1 thought on “The Virus: Week Nineteen

Comments are closed.

Scroll Up