I am not a doctor, nor did I sleep at a Holiday Inn last night—

(If you’re reading this post when that joke is no longer comprehensible, sorry) — but here’s a roundup of posts about our current COVID-19 crisis.

So we’re now officially in a pandemic. And President Tinybrain has declared “I don’t take responsibility” for being unprepared despite his gutting the CDC’s pandemic prevention budget (with more cuts proposed) and bungling our response. And making that medical marvel Jared Kushner (who needs time to research it) his point man. Failing to use existing tests for the virus. Massively behind on testing. And tanking the stock market (which is unimpressed by his calls for calm). Heck his own staff had to contradict his big speech.  We’re doing less well than Italy and South Korea; we’re a wealthy failed state. And it’s overwhelmingly Trump’s fault (“More people will get sick because of his presidency than if someone else was in charge.”) because he’s both egocentric and inept. And a liar. None of which would change if this was, in fact, unleashed from a Chinese bioweapon facility (of which there’s no evidence): he still failed by every possible standard.

He’s kicking people off food stamps at a time when many people might lose pay or jobs. And using the pandemic to justify handouts to oil companies (whose primary problem is the oil market, not coronavirus). But not allowing states to use Medicaid funding for this crisis. And suspending Medicare and Social Security payroll taxes benefits the rich more than the poor.

In a sane world, he’d be gone in November, guaranteed. But quite aside from possible Russian interference, vote suppression and the Republican advantage in the electoral college, his followers have their rationalizations for supporting him already in place (once again I recommend Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians for insight into the need to belief the Great Leader). If we slow the spread and it isn’t a massive U.S. problem, that proves he was right and the fear was just a dempanic. If it goes very bad, it’s a Chinese/Democratic/Deep State/liberal/Satanic plot against God’s chosen president. Trump himself claims it’s a foreign virus and his immigration restrictions are saving us. Either way, they’ll agree it’s not his fault. They certainly won’t think this says anything bad about the U.S. because we’re the greatest country in the world, just by default (that mantra is the equivalent of the participation trophies people are always mocking). Never mind how badly designed our medical system is for this threat even with the monster at the door.

And Trump followers will have plenty of support for that view:

Jerry Falwell Jr. claims it’s a North Korean bioweapon.

It’s a cover to blindside the Satanic pedophile conspiracy that Trump’s about to arrest them. In the Qanon world everything that goes wrong is just a cover for the imminent arrests; that they never happen doesn’t faze anyone.

Satan is targeting Christians with COVID-19 because they won’t take the Mark of the Beast.

Social distancing proves you have no faith in God!

Rod Dreher is outraged a teacher would criticize students for racists reactions to the pandemic.

Rush Limbaugh says COVID-19 is no more dangerous than hurricanes, which aren’t dangerous at all.

Alex Jones is hawking toothpaste he claims kills coronavirus.

If China gave Christians more freedom God would stop the outbreak.

Now, useful or interesting articles:

What you need if you’re quarantined at home.

Consumer Reports’ COVID-19 FAQ.

The Intercept argues the stock market slump is not the real issue.

Kentucky voted for Andy Beshear as governor instead of anti-vaxxer Matt Bevin. Good choice.

The Poynter Institute salutes the media for first-rate journalism in a crisis.

What if we tackled climate change as seriously as the rest of the world is taking COVID-19?

Twenty activities to occupy you while stuck at home. Or take a virtual museum tour.

A Portland distillery is turning alcohol waste into hand-sanitizer and giving it away. Other distilleries are doing similarly.

 

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