By the simple ceremony this evening honoring those who died of COVID-19. The simplicity of the prayers offered struck me more deeply than a long sermon would have done. I cried when the nurse sang Amazing Grace. I imagined how her patients would be comforted by her singing, which was beautiful.
I particularly was struck by how they kept political point scoring out of everything that was said. It really was about honoring those effected, not putting people down. This was real leadership.
Don’t worry, lots of people live in fascist, authoritarian regimes. Quality of life for regular people inevitably drops, but that takes time. (Time that lets the authoritarians cement their power as they take from poor and middle class and give it to those who will help them stay in power. No one really cares about those losers anyway.)
I am tired. My heart is sad and my nerves are frayed. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, even more than usual.
I find myself just over it, in terms of antipathy. I’m ready for a sane president who respects the constitution and the citizens of the USA, and that is sounding like that might not happen, through cheating and collusion. I’m not angry about it. I’m depressed.
It’s those pesky ballots, you see…the ones people use to vote. “If you get rid of the ballots…” Donald Trump said at one of his rallies last week. Let’s be clear: If you do that you get an autocracy, in this case a fascist autocracy.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:8, King James Version of the Bible
I know I should have sought a Jewish passage for Justice Bader-Ginsberg, but that one jumped to mind.
Consider taking a small action
Don’t let this great woman become just another campaign rally event for someone who has no respect what-so-ever for the constitution and laws of our land.
In addition to voting in the election there are other ways to make your opinion known.
The current incumbent of the White House is again pushing against all that is even marginally decent. By announcing his proposed replacement for Justice Ginsberg before the dirt has had time to settle on her grave.
Please do not watch his obscene news conference. Instead spend the time honoring the truly great person Justice Ginsberg was. There are numerous movies and programs available to stream during that time. Please, don’t let her passing become just another campaign event for a petty dictator. Let the ratings reflect your priorities: honor and decency over a three-ring-circus.
My Pinterest feed has been popping up a lot of “prepping” articles lately, leading me to believe that a lot of people are very pessimistic right now. I understand that. But I think the “preppers” have the wrong end of the stick.
With the passing of RBG, the T-party has embarked on yet another power grab. It’s getting boring.
The US Constitution isn’t worth the paper it’s written on anymore.
Give up protesting, kids, the first amendment** is toast at this point. Also, protesting just gives the T-Party a target, and attention, for reprehensible behavior. But, also…
The real risks right now are fiscal. But don’t panic, prepare.
Vote…and prepare for a depression
Medical expenses are no joke, and medical insurance is not cheap.
The Affordable Car Act is gone, give it up. There is no way to save it. If the Senate flips and Joe Biden is elected president, there might be a new plan, maybe even a better one, but don’t hold your breath. If the senate doesn’t flip, forget it. The Republicans haven’t ever done anything meaningful on health care and they won’t start now.
We all need to take stock of our finances and figure out how to manage without health insurance if you get COVID (or anything else) and cannot work. COBRA insurance costs an arm and a leg, and paying for it may mean some serious sacrifices if you have not accrued some savings before hand.
Remember that POTUS has already signed an executive order that de-funds Medicare and Social Security until the end of the year. The promise to make that permanent means that NOW is the time to get your finances in order, before the payments stop.
Figure out how you will manage without Medicare and Social Security. If you rely on the Affordable Care Act, figure out how you will either manage without health insurance or pay the increased costs.
Spending money stocking up on beans and ammo* may not be the best use for it. A better idea is to make sure to have money on hand. A massive pile of bullets or beans won’t help you pay medical bills…And if you don’t pay those you may wind up on the streets. And those streets are already full of people who went that way before you. The best shopping carts are gone. (That is a reference to an old Dilbert cartoon.)
It also means not borrowing more and paying down any debt you have, maybe giving up on a few luxuries like high price cable, Disney or Netflix.
We went down to one, paid-off, older car a couple of years ago. Savings on insurance alone were big. Maybe you could live in a more modest house…that could save a bundle. I’m putting off things like new carpets (my current one is about 40 years old) and my rummage sale wardrobe is holding up quite well. My husband likely never will finish replacing our fence, but we saved $20 grand over having it done by a contractor, and the dogs aren’t really inclined to roam…
Think through your medical choices and get your will in order
Like the teachers who responsibly made out their wills as they were being forced back to work, we all need to think about how we will manage.
While I plan to keep hiding away in the basement, wearing a mask when I do go out, and generally avoiding people to prevent getting sick (or making others sick), I have already decided that I do not plan to seek any treatment if I do get very sick, from COVID or cancer, or what-ever, in hopes that there will be something left for my son to inherit.
The younger generation is at a tremendous disadvantage: the plethora of jobs created recently are pretty much crap, like serving beer, delivering Amazon packages, and driving Ubers, with low pay and no benefits.
I do sometimes wonder
Will The Economy (as measured by stock indices) eventually reflect what’s going on in our homes?
*Most of the articles on “prepping” are very thinly veiled marketing to get you to spend (waste) a bunch of money so the authors will get rich.
**Second amendment folks shouldn’t get too cocky: they will be next.
People were free. They went out into a tinder dry world and set fires, because they were free to set off fireworks and build campfires and no one could tell them what to do.
Now we can’t leave the house, again.
Technically we are “free” to do so, but…
The air is a sickly yellow color. It’s worse than the pandemic restrictions. Before I could take the dogs for a vigorous walk and exercise, now I have to avoid breathing deeply; it’s even unhealthy for my dogs. I got us take out at the local diner last night and spent the evening coughing.
We aren’t free to breath clean air.
A similar “freedom” phenomenon happened with the pandemic here in the USA. People had to be “free”. They went out and did what they wanted, the virus took hold and people died, and were maimed by the virus.
The people who got sick and died and their families and loved ones had their freedom eliminated by someone else’s freedom; someone who thought that being unable to go out to a bar and party was an outrageous infringement of their rights.
I watched a video about Sweden’s response to the pandemic. It is held up by many as a shining example. But there are actually some key differences between lying about the severity of the virus and pretending it is safe for people to pay no mind to it and what Sweden did.
In Sweden the government told people the truth about the virus and what they could do to stay safe. They requested that everyone do their best to keep the virus under control. AND THEY DID!
They trusted their government and the doctors and did as they advised. They were free to make decisions and made ones that supported the common good.
I’ve been following the news lately and pondering about “The Economy”. These days The Economy is being treated as a living entity. We are being bullied to do unsafe things for its sake.
The Economy has more respect and right to life than human beings. The USA recently passed 190,000 COVID-19 deaths with no fanfare from the press, or any acknowledgement of that grim milestone of pain from our dear leaders, but plenty of assurances from those same “leaders” that The Economy is healthy.
I have been in deep depression this weekend. I was already down after the ridiculosity of the TNC* and violence of last week. But I have a college age niece who lives in Portland… The images of Trump supporting, crassly immature, wanna-be real men driving their phallic symbol pickup trucks as they acted out some kind of video-game fantasy by shooting randomly at people (paint balls can hurt people and mace is a weapon) raised my ire.
This clip by John Oliver contains some foul language**, but it puts into words a lot of what I’ve been groping to express.