We’ve gone through a whole wheelhouse of emotion during Covid. In February we had the medical professionals telling us not to worry. The flu was much more dangerous. Well-intentioned on their part, but based on very little information. They admitted they were wrong later, but, in typical medical professional fashion, they were arrogant about what little they knew and they threw us into the chaos of fake medical news for months.
Then came the hoarding. The American credo is: When in doubt, shop.
Then came quarantine and we had the new agers coming out and telling us we’d all better learn a craft during this time. Idle hands are the devil’s playground. Not a bad message, but again, it was condescending and came from people with lots of free time and money and it missed the point.
Then we had the backlash to that of people who said, “It’s ok to just survive this, you don’t need to learn anything. Maslow’s Hierarchy tells us to take care of our own needs for safety before we can even attempt to do anything more.” Mmm…yeah, but no. It’s not that we don’t need safety. It’s that safety doesn’t exist in a vacuum and we have to take care of each other as well. But boy did that give people permission to withdraw into their bubbles and be extra selfish.
Then it was Tiger King. People needed a break from the harsh reality. They could wait Covid out if they just had something to binge. While they were waiting Covid out, Wisconsin’s primary was fucked.
Then it was BLM and everyone called their one black friend to ask them how to fix racism. And then they were grasping at straws looking for easy answers. And then they were disheartened when the protest went on for *gasp* two weeks. All those well-meaning liberals asking for “peaceful protest” and invoking MLK and claiming they had any moral authority because they too had marched…or, you know, listened to Sam Cooke.
Then it just became #2020sucks and #Americasucks and people just had shitty opinions all over and were posting things that weren’t true and talking about how bad Republicans were. It’s the Republicans fault. They’re the bad guys. Not “us.” Definitely not all the well-meaning people who chose to “agree to disagree” with their hostile friends and family. Definitely not all those disaffected liberals who voted third party or sat on their hands. DEFINITELY not all those Americans who never really valued democracy and claimed the whole thing was rigged.
And the chorus of American voices rises in unison, “But nobody told us! They didn’t teach us this in school!”
And now it’s going to be October. Seven months have passed. But really, all of this has been coming to a head for decades. This didn’t start in 2020. It won’t end in 2021. So stop wishing it will.
Turn off your TV. Shoot it and give it a burial if you have to. Stop engaging in these masturbatory conversations about politics. Stop reactively engaging on social media. Use every ounce of effort and money you have to go at this full force. We get one shot. ONE SHOT.
Covid will become a blip in history, something that “came out of nowhere and went away.” But the end of American democracy will not be a blip.
It’s on everyone’s hands. If you’re not fighting for this with everything you have, you deserve what you get.