Tag Archives: United States

Pandemic Diary: 23 Nov 2020

Yesterday 1,506 Americans died of COVID-19. That’s more than 1/minute. In the time it takes you to eat Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, dozens of people (depending on how long you take for dinner) will have died.

It’s hard to find things to be thankful for while people are dying. But one big one for me is the chance this past weekend to spend time outdoors walking with our kids and grandkids in Rockefeller State Park. When we arrived, Anna (3 years old) ran across the picnic area, arms spread wide, yelling, “Dima!!!” There’s nothing better than a child flinging themselves at you in joy. Later on, Louie laid his head on my shoulder, with his nose plugged so as not to infect me, while Jesse was taking a picture of us. He’s such a deep, sweet child of 7.

Photos by Jesse Lumsden Piscitello

Pandemic Diary: 16 Nov 2020

Over 250,000 deaths from the coronavirus in the U.S. so far, and increasing by over 500 every day right now. New infections are coming at a rate of hundreds of thousands a day.

Trying to help myself imagine what 250,000 people means:

  1. The population of Berkshire County = 126,000
    • Almost twice the population of my county have died.
  2. Franklin County @ 71,000 + Berkshire County = 197,000
    • More than the combined populations of my county and the one next to it have died.
  3. Hampshire County @ 162,000 (with 5 colleges: UMass, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, Amherst, and Hampshire) + Berkshire County = 288,000
    • At the current death rate, we’ll reach the combined populations of Berkshire and Hampshire counties soon.

Wiping much of Western MA off the map—that’s the reality of COVID-19 in the U.S.

[WordPress won’t let me embed the live chart from Our World in Data for hyper-save-their-asses reasons. So you’ll just have to click the link for up-to-date statistics on COVID cases and deaths in the U.S.]

Pandemic Diary: 5 Nov 2020

Two days after the election and still no new president announced. A few key races are running almost neck-and-neck, with thousands of mail-in ballots still to be counted. In favor of a return to sanity, mail-in ballots are trending towards Biden. Trump is already trying to file lawsuits to require recounts where they aren’t automatically triggered, and he’s declared his intention to take it to the U.S. Supreme Court if he doesn’t win.

Of course he isn’t going to accept defeat. Never has, never will. It’s not in his intellectual/emotional repertoire. Why people keep talking about him like he’s a sane person is beyond me, like we can actually expect something besides megalomaniacal narcissism from him. He’s a megalomaniacal narcissist. It’s pointless, and even dangerous, to normalize him. You simply can’t discuss a mentally ill person’s motivations and behavior the same way you would a healthy person. And it doesn’t help either you or the ill person to try to.

Praying that enough Americans want to function as a democracy grounded in sanity to defeat Trump. Four more years of insanity could very well destroy us.

Photo from New Hampshire Public Radio

Pandemic Diary: 1 October 2020

Holy cow, October already. And still sheltering in place. The infection rate is currently very low here, but it’s starting to go up again in other places—like Brooklyn, sadly—so we continue to be careful.

The first presidential election debate was Tuesday. It was a total shit-show, with Trump shouting over both Biden and the moderator for the entire hour and a half. And he said some super disturbing things. He refused to commit to telling White supremacists to stop the violence, and he reiterated his threats about not respecting the election process.

I haven’t been able to sleep since then. I still believe that the majority of Americans don’t support him, but there’s definitely a powerful minority who do, and they’re scary people. Given the last election where we went to bed thinking Clinton had won, only to wake up the next morning to President Trump, I’m not counting on anything this time around. And Trump has pulled so many unbelievable stunts since then that there’s no room for certainty about the future.

Whether he wins or not, I’m really afraid of that violent minority and what they’ll do. With the pandemic still raging, too, we’re in for a serious rough patch in America.