I am willing to bet that the first thing that crosses your mind when you wake up every morning is "Thank God I have lived to see another day!" Then you immediately start mentally reviewing a check list of priorities: What day is it? What time is it? What is on the agenda for today? Am I sick?
That last one is new…a few weeks ago it was probably, "Is Trump still President?" I am, admittedly, not inclined to such negativity. Most Americans that go to bed healthy don't wake up wondering if they are infected with a deadly disease or why the President makes them so miserable.
But, in the era of Covid19, everything has changed.
Kids aren't going to school anymore. Mommy and daddy are not going to work like they used too, and grandma and grandpa have disappeared altogether. No more church on Sunday, no more weddings, graduations or birthday parties. No Easter, Mother's or Father's Day or family vacations. No friends over to play in the yard or to have a barbeque. Oh, and please count your tissues before you wipe.
If I were a youngster today, I would think chaos in America was normal. I would be waking up like the kids in Northeastern Nigeria, anticipating another assault on my village by disease or Boko Haram. I would be concerned with race riots, school shootings, church bombings, war in the halls of Congress, and quarantines. Childhood post-traumatic stress disorder is so normal now, there is no 'post' about it.
How can our kids look at people without noticing their skin color, sex, age and the masks they are wearing? Everything they see is focused on gender identity, race and disease.
So Americans wake up each day and carry on with our chores, our business meetings on Zoom, our malicious Tweets and FaceBook rants, and our social interactions recorded on Marco Polo for playback at a more convenient time. We patiently stand in social distancing lines and tell the checkout clerks how much we appreciate them risking their lives so we can buy toilet paper by the bushel. We watch advertisements that tell us we're "all in this together" while simultaneously getting further and further apart.
Then we hunker down at night and watch the newsfeed that the Great Satan, the most dangerous and threatening force on Earth, our illegitimate President Donald Trump, has once again ruined our day. He has wrought a pandemic of disease, racism, xenophobia and misogyny while stirring up irrational hatred and violence across the planet. He is poisoning the environment and our politics with his fascist nationalism. He pretends to be a Christian but we all know he is the Antichrist! News anchors sign off, "Good night and sleep tight!"
Then when we wake up and start the cycle all over again our anger is exacerbated because that man is still in the White House. The daily indoctrination services remind us that our solidarity comes from collective outrage and that we are justified to reinforce it with protest activities. Hold your fist high to show your pride in our social justice movement, then toss a molotov cocktail through the window of your local barber who caters to the rich.
St. Paul-based developer Wellington Management Inc. woke up on Thursday morning to find its 190-unit affordable housing apartment project in south Minneapolis had been burned to the ground by people the media describe as "protestors".
Recently, Elon Musk's company SpaceX launched the first manned satellite in nine years. An amazing technological success story that was delegated to the second page because "communities in flames" stories are "more compelling". Why celebrate success when death and destruction, like a pandemic, are more universal and less about evil capitalism?
I woke up this morning to a radio station playing "What's New Pussycat?" and now I can't get it out of my head.