“Now You Decide to Touch Faces?”

Gov in the Time of Corona

30 thoughts on living with bad leadership in bad times.

  1. The key to all of this is hospitals. We need to delay the virus transmission to ease an overwhelming burden on health resources. Wash hands, avoid crowds, skip the high fives. It’s not about you. It’s about us. It’s actually a lot easier to behave properly when you realize we’re all in this together. The unity message won’t come from the top, so it needs to emerge from the rest of us.
  2. We made sure that social media apps and streaming video services could scale. We forgot to make sure the health system could. The more we can delay the spread, the better.
  3. There’s a difference between panic and preparation. Don’t listen to those who slam you for the former when you’re doing the latter. Overreact and people might give you a hard time on Twitter. Underreact and people will die.
  4. Thought experiment: Imagine how much better off the country would be if the second worst person alive were in charge.
  5. The virus must force the media to finally adjust to the Trump distortion machine. Amplifying his crazy lies on this topic means that people will die. Get the stories right. Get the headlines right. Stop quoting lies without stating they’re lies. This was pretty important for the past 3 years. It’s vital now.
  6. It’s gonna be a trip when Americans try to get into Mexico to avoid the deadly virus, and Mexico builds a wall and starts returning people to infected areas after separating them from their children.
  7. About a week and a half ago, Trump said the number of coronavirus cases was 15 and “within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.” We recently passed the 500 mark. (Now you know how the banks who loaned him money for his Atlantic City casinos feel.)
  8. Deep thought: With a virus attacking neighborhoods and towns, it would be a great time to have a leader with experience as a community organizer.
  9. No hand touching. No face touching. No unnecessary contact. So, for the average middle aged male, it’s intercourse as usual.
  10. 2019: “Oh those crazy billionaires and their idiotic plans to colonize Mars.” … 2020: “What’s the additional surcharge if I need to check a bag?”
  11. Scariest Tweet I’ve seen yet came from Julia Lindau: “I just landed at JFK after reporting on #coronavirus in Milan and Lombardy — the epicenter of Italy’s outbreak — for @vicenews. I walked right through US customs. They didn’t ask me where in Italy I went or if I came into contact with sick people. They didn’t ask me anything.”
  12. It’s not just that the federal government is failing. It’s that we barely have a functioning federal government at all. We should make containing the coronavirus a federal crime. Then the Trump team would be the perfect group to get it done.
  13. My kids have missed school for fires, floods, power outages, and soon a virus. I can’t tell if god hates the Bay Area or just thinks school is bullshit.
  14. If you’re like me, (and every other middle to old aged Jewish male in America), you probably feel a little warm right now, though it’s probably nothing, but it could be something. Seriously, I’ve taken my temperature 36 times.
  15. The US Government warned citizens not to travel on cruise ships. On Sunday, March 8. A warning for cruise ships to avoid icebergs is still in the works.
  16. Proof Trump’s playing chess while we’re playing checkers: If you don’t have tests, then people can’t get sick. It’s pure genius.
  17. The 2020 election will come down to who you’d rather have a beer next to in a hermetically sealed pod.
  18. Surgeon General Jerome Adams told CNN that President Trump “sleeps less than I do and he’s healthier than what I am.” If staying up all night to watch TV and rage tweet is a sign of health, many of us could live forever.
  19. More importantly, as Yale’s Jason Stanley points out: “Watching obsequious government officials praise presidents to their face on television is a distinguishing feature of growing up in authoritarian societies. And yet, this is how our children are now growing up, with this as normal.”
  20. According to the AP, the White House overruled health officials who wanted to recommend that elderly and physically fragile Americans avoid flying on commercial airlines because of the new coronavirus. Donald Trump is continuing to endanger elderly Americans with his reckless, ego-driven misinformation. Luckily, my parents hate the shit out of Donald Trump. If yours don’t, call them and convince them to take precautions.
  21. Even after years of this madness, it’s nice to know a headline can still surprise us on the downside. From WaPo. Trump ‘didn’t know people died from the flu.’ It killed his grandfather.
  22. Every time you think that the news is getting almost too overwhelming, another bigger story emerges. It’s partly the communications era we’re in. And partially some really big ass stories. I know you’re tired and overwhelmed. This is not the time to look away.
  23. A reminder: The way Trump is handling the virus threat is the way he has handled everything for more than three years.
  24. At least we can recycle all the hazmat suits when we clean out the White House in January.
  25. Thousands of people in government and health care are doing their best to protect and heal people under very difficult circumstances. One person is a lying monster. That person is the president. One wonders how the hell this happened. But one also must appreciate those working hard to protect us. And who keep working. And who deliver things. And who stock our shelves. And who work at our hospitals. Etc. Etc.
  26. OK, who the hell coughed on my stock portfolio?
  27. I realize that some of these takes can seem divisive. But I am calling for unity. I urge every citizen of the world to offer the president a hearty handshake, embrace him, hold his cheeks between your palms, get close enough so he can really hear you, and tell him how great he is.
  28. It looks like Oprah’s book club pick isn’t gonna be the biggest story of 2020 after all.
  29. Update: Everything is cancelled.

I write NextDraft, a quick and entertaining look at the day’s most fascinating news.

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