Dear President Trump,
The beginning of Lent (February 26th) slipped right by me this year and I don’t think I can blame it on covid-19 since I wasn’t yet fully aware that it was coming our way. I just checked our gmail history to see when our wonderful King County Council member, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, started sending out daily covid-19 information and updates and it wasn’t until March 4th. Actually, I vaguely remember saying something to Laura and a friend of ours at the very end of February to the effect that I wasn’t going to bother giving up anything for Lent this year because I didn’t feel like it. Well, instant karma strikes again, doesn’t it?
Ok, I know it’s absurd to think that my laziness around Lent had anything at all to do with covid-19 and the ensuing sacrifice of so many day-to-day activities. Still, though, the timing is pretty weird, don’t you think? For about five minutes this afternoon after I realized my Lenten-lapse, I toyed with the idea of giving up any and all negativity in these letters to you until Lent is over (April 9th). However, once I had a reality-based chat with myself, I decided that just isn’t going to work for me to make such a sacrifice for 20 days at this point in our collective history – there’s too much scary, scary stuff going on for that.
Did you see the news out of Italy this evening? It’s horrible, isn’t it? When we were down at Magnuson Park with the dogs earlier today Laura and I talked about how each of us is experiencing the covid-19 crisis mentally and emotionally. She said that for her it’s feeling like a nightmare most of the time and I told her that I dip into that space frequently (yesterday was pretty bad), but that most of the time I’m trying to stay focused on what we are learning from all this. However, seeing reports that almost 800 people in Italy died yesterday and that their death toll is now over 4,800 has me solidly in the nightmare headspace. So, so much loss they dealing with and the infection rates there just keep climbing. Spain, Iran, and France are also seeing awful spikes in their death tolls and their numbers of cases.
The number of US cases also surged dramatically with over 7,300 new people testing positive for the disease yesterday. So far, though, the death toll is relatively low; 84 new deaths yesterday and 340 deaths overall. However, we can’t count on this US low death rate persisting all that long – you’ve got that, don’t you? We are just behind the curve for now and I’m really afraid we are headed for a nightmarish situation not unlike Italy’s given the vast numbers of Americans who aren’t listening to Dr. Fauci, or even to you, and who believe the recommended precautions are stupid.
Off and on all day I’ve thought about Patrick Henry’s 1775 declaration “Give me liberty, or give me death!” Henry used the phrase to dramatic effect in his argument for more troops for the Revolutionary War. I hope that he went with those troops since it sure would have been shitty if he said that and then just put other people in harm’s way to win his own liberty. Are you related to him?
Anyway, I really have been turning that phrase over and over in my mind today as I think about all those people who are choosing to pack bars, restaurants, and beaches despite the risks to themselves, their loved ones, and to RBG and Anthony (Fauci). It’s as though they’re saying “Give me liberty, and give me and you and you and you death!” Can’t you and your damn Fox News idiots have a heart-to-heart with them and tell them to knock it off?
May we be safe from our asinine entitlements.
May we be willing to make the sacrifices we need to make.
May we have the strength to do what we need to do with or without your leadership.
May we make peace with limits.