Newsflashes and pipedreams

Dear President Trump,

Are you tired? I’m tired. I’ve been sleeping moderately ok every other night and sort of so-so the other nights, but by the end of every day I’m just wiped out. I’m guessing you’re on fumes. At least I’d like to think you are since that would suggest you’re concerned. Oh, but it could mean you’re just concerned about your precious money-making machine and not about human lives and whether your administration is really doing what needs to be done to avert a humanitarian disaster.

Ok, now pretend you see urgently flashing lights and hear an obnoxious beeping noise that gives way to the following PSA: “We interrupt this painfully obvious and fussy rant to bring you an equally obvious, but not nearly as painful or fussy newsflash: “The way to achieve near 100% certain social distancing is to take the dogs for their walk in the pouring rain!”

Really, it’s a miracle solution. Last night when we went out at about the same time we had to cross and re-cross the street four times to avoid being too close to other people walking their dogs. I’m actually pretty used to needing to do this because our big dog is too friendly and the little dog is overly protective so we almost always need to take evasive maneuvers (one of Laura’s dad’s favorite phrases of all times). That said, the last week has been off the hook for people out walking – with dogs, without dogs, with kids in tow, without kids in tow – and that has made the whole leisurely walk-thing feel like a distant memory. Apparently, though, people are ok staying in when it’s dumping rain. We saw only one young woman, sans dogs or kids and sans raincoat or hat (dang!), out walking and she was going perpendicular to us and sailed across the street before we got to the corner so no overt social distancing efforts needed to be deployed. It was great!

The other thing to mention about walking outside is that over the last several days it’s seemed like there’s been a veritable parade of pedestrians going up and down the arterial in front of our house. A definite bonus of this is that a good proportion of them seem to be noticing the signs we still have up in our upstairs front window. You know, the ones that say “IMPEACH,” “REMOVE,” and “NOW.” They are getting faded from the sun, and sadly the opportunity for Congress to act on the all important “REMOVE” one is long past, but damn if I’m not going to take them down until you’re gone. One young couple actually stood outside our fence for a good 3 minutes today, looking up at the signs, then talking to one another, looking back at the signs, then conferring, and finally nodding sagely in the direction of the house before moving on. It was quite validating. I wish you could have seen it (assuming you were muzzled and restrained to the point that you couldn’t make any threatening or angry gestures at them and had to simply take in their quiet disapproval of you).

Here’s another newsflash for you since I doubt you’re paying attention to what’s going on out here: Tomorrow at 5pm Washington State joins 27 other states in the country to shelter in place to limit the spread of covid-19. The two-week timeframe seems like a pipe dream, but it was smart to start with a number of days that people can wrap their heads around and then if/when necessary, push it out further as the data dictate.

I sure don’t see any packed churches on Easter Sunday in my crystal ball and I don’t think you really do either so how about you get real for a change?

May we be safe from lame half-measures.
May we be willing to take this situation seriously.
May we keep our healthcare systems as healthy and strong as we can.
May we make peace with the full measures needed to do deal with this crisis.

Tracy Simpson

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