Are we chilling at a cocktail party, wearing designer masks and standing six feet apart, celebrating the soft opening of the apocalypse? This glorious shindig takes place in a clinical and creepy art gallery. Vast renditions of this bitch bug hang on its sterile walls, scarier and more surreal than any fevered dream Dali or Picasso conjured up in their minds. At this moment in time, is there even some tiny corner on a remote Patagonian beach that Covid-19 hasn’t fucked with? This virus has even managed to widen the political divide in the United States, if you can believe that shit? It’s actually impressive. Who would’ve thought that chasm would become more difficult to cross? We’re going to need a rocketship to jump that giant sinkhole. It’s an election year, after all. I was expecting 2020 to be a mind fuck, but I had no idea we would all be able to somewhat relate to the main character in Richard Matheson’s I AM LEGEND.
I will keep my thoughts on this pandemic to a minimum as I am just some drunk that occasionally puts words together in an entertaining way. Let the smart people dissect this monster when it is, hopefully, dead on the autopsy table. I will mention that, especially in the last decade or so, the only thing the experts do with any expertise is get shit wrong. You only need to look to that ex-NFL star who smiles on ESPN every Sunday and who you base your football bets on. It could be why your credit score is hovering around 570. Never bet on the Jets, dude. It could be a silver lining for you if there’s no NFL in 2020.
The two main Covid-19 factions in the USA seem to be “open up shit now” and “let’s stay locked up until this thing is gone forever”. This is a simplification, but I am a simpleton and the example is as valid as anything you will get from the refurbished mannequins and scientists on the cable news nowadays. They just use bigger words as they talk down to us with their shiny white teeth and black death statistics. I think any reasonable person can see valid points on both sides. However, reason is more valuable than gold right now and ten times harder to find.
This virus is some nasty shit. Only a moron would dispute that. People are becoming ill. Some are getting violently sick. A growing and unfortunate section don’t survive it. Sadly, we have lost over 60k people in the States as I write this. I live about twenty miles east of New York City, which is the epicenter. Lucky us, I guess? Ground Zero for the viral bomb. For as marvelous a city as it is, the Big Apple and its inhabitants are no stranger to tragedy. New Yorkers are resilient. I have no doubt that we, as well as the rest of the world, will come out on top. We’ll be licking our wounds for quite some time, like a dog that gets kicked by a brutal maniac in a drunken rage. The aftermath of this will be painful, fascinating and frightening. And, whiskey glass half full, a story of triumph in the end.
I also believe that we need to start getting back to living our lives. It will have to be a gradual and intelligent wading back into the pool of normalcy. No drunken cannonballs into the deep end on day one, as your local government blasts Van Halen’s And the Cradle Will Rock from a boombox. There will be time enough for that. People need to be able to get back to work if they’re healthy and feel safe doing so. I don’t want to lose my job. I am lucky enough to be able to work from home. I survived a round of furloughs a few weeks ago. Who knows if I make it through the next batch? I feel like that jovial cop in a movie that is about to retire. You know they’re not long for this world, in most cases.
I believe we have a civic duty and I am doing the social distancing and taking this as serious as an idiot like myself can. Life, however, is never without risk. Look at the data on accidental deaths. A ton of unlucky people buy the farm in crazy ways. The global markets are suffering through the economic version of the Siege of Stalingrad because of this rotten bug. A global depression won’t be healthy, either.
And will last longer.
I am sure I’m not the only one who wakes up each day, touching their forehead and waiting to feel like there’s an inferno in their brain. Is that tickle present in my throat because I, once again, drank twelve or thirteen beers and Tweeted into the apocalypse? Am I the only jittery citizen expecting each email or Instant Message from their supervisor to contain the tragic words that HR will be contacting me? It’s worse than getting a letter from the IRS.
Am I the only one with some sort of addiction that is basically isolated on some craggy atoll in an angry ocean, face to face with their smiling inner demons? Got yourself a drinking problem, guy? Liquor stores are essential businesses. Imbibe with me, you fuck! Are you a degenerate gambler? Sports betting is out for the foreseeable future. However, I am sure there is some bookie that is taking action on the daily death rate for the USA. Quick, put on Cuomo’s daily briefing. I bet my Trump Bucks that the hospitalization rate will tick up. The corner coke and heroin dealer don’t heed the lockdowns, either. Crime has always been essential business.
Let’s not talk about the wife beaters or those who abuse their children. Too depressing. Being in close quarters with those monsters are real life horror movies right now.
Alone with my thoughts is not somewhere I like being. I don’t dig that zip code. It’s dark in there. There’s too much doubt in my mind when shit is normal. I’m always unsure of myself. Certainty is in short supply in these “uncertain times” and that’s a kick in the gut every motherfucking day. What day is it, anyway?
We’re all living on the edge, one way or another right now. Fear is the prevailing currency of thought. How much to credit it? How much to discount it? It’s more complex than Chinese futures in the Zimbabwean stock market, valued in pre-Euro Greek drachmas.