called me this morning. She's worried about me, thanks to Covid-19
. I'm worried about her. She's 82, has COPD
and is thus on oxygen because she can't breathe without it. If anyone
is likely to get taken out by the corona virus it's my Mom. But she doesn't have to go out. She can have food and groceries delivered. So she worries about me
. I have to go out. I fix things for a living, and equipment isn't going to stop breaking because of Covid-19. So I have to go out. At home, I'm not much risk because I only go out a few times a week and my bowling league was just cancelled thanks to the damned virus. I live alone
. I am always alone and I'm used to it.
It's sort of strange going out there. I spend a lot of time washing my hands and I wash them way more carefully than I ever have. I went to a restuarant and they were cleaning up and making takeout but weren't selling much during the day. They're trying to figure out how things will be. Another one they just closed. Lots of people laid off. I know that wasn't a pleasant conversation for anyone. And I'm worried, because my favorite restaurants are local places like the Thurman Cafe or Starliner Diner. The big chains are likely to ride this out because they have big cash and political power behind them. Mom and pop don't, neither do their staff. For decades now big business has been swallowing up the local owners like a vacuum cleaner. Every recession, the little guy gets hit harder and more and more disappear. Will Covid-19 finally finish them off?
And finally I have zero faith in our national leadership. Our President, Donald J. Trump, has already shown himself to be the biggest liar in American political history with no real rivals. He ignores expertise, expert advice and its clear he was told what would happen a couple months before he actually did anything about it, and it seems the primary reason was he feared political damage. He shouts down tough questions and when the media doesn't follow the party line it becomes the enemy of the state. But the real truth is I don't think he actually gives a shit. Oh he cares, but about his reputation, and nothing for the job he was elected to do. Yet his sycophants and congressional Republicans continue to stand up for him. Most know he's an asswipe, but he's their asswipe dammit, and he's better than anyone from the other party even if he or she possessed actual competence and the desire to actually do the job. The Congress is taking up bills to actually deal with the fallout of this very real crisis, one that was not made in China, but I figure that ideology in the Senate will have a lot more to do with what actually gets passed than an honest attempt to get the job done.
Monetary policy and conventional conservative economics have zero effectiveness here. Conservative economics is all about interest rates with the idea that if you give business owners more money they'll invest it. And they will, but it's pretty clear by now that they'll invest it in stock buybacks rather than training, capital or research and development. We aren't facing a capital shortage, we're facing a demand crisis because the reason the economy is tanking is because people can't go out to eat or the theater, or to the local watering hole for a cold beer and companionship. Because crowds spread the diseases. So they're not getting paid, which means their mortgage or car payment isn't getting paid. So somehow we need to keep paying these peoples so their bills don't overwhelm them. The truth is the solution to this economic crisis isn't giving more money to the people at the top, it's keeping the people at the bottom alive. Which is something Moscow Mitch McConnell and his cronies are completely unable to understand.
So America is likely fucked. And my Mom may die. And my Dad, who's 85, and though in good shape, he's 85. And my Uncle Dick who has emphysema. And maybe me because I'm 63, diabetic, overweight and had part of my right lung removed in 2017. But I'm still going out there, because stuff will still need to be fixed.
And my Mom will keep worrying