We have arrived.
This week, the week of April 5, 2020, is the Super Bowl for the most deranged amongst us…and believe me, there are plenty of them.
We all know them; the worriers, the hand-wringers, and the pessimists. These are the people who live life based on the worst-case scenario at all times. They tell you everything that you think is possible isn’t, and when you proceed with something that has the audacity to in any way be risky on any level they become hysterical, cover their faces in fear, utter nonsense like “why are you doing this to me,” and then tell you that your airplane will never fly, your investment in some company that sells things without a store and calls themselves “Amazon,” will lose you everything, your marriage will never work, the world will eat you alive, and you’ll come crawling back.
Chief amongst them; statisticians and math modelers. As recently as this morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo became the latest bipartisan to ridicule and chastise those using math models to make public policy, pointing out how wrong they have been from the beginning.
They’re always wrong, of course.
And that’s what makes this week Christmas in America for the demented. They will finally be right about something, and to further demonstrate their maniacal mental state, they will joyful over the reported deaths of tens of thousands of Americans. They will finally get to gleefully say “see, I told you so,” and they will dance with joy every time we’re told that another American’s life has ended.
The political and social divide that has plagued America for decades and most prominently for the last 4 years (and is America’s true virus) is alive and well and has taken over the Coronavirus saga. Despite that, there is one thing that everyone agrees upon; this week will be the week that America sees exponential surges in reported deaths from Covid-19. As of this writing, early Sunday morning, America stands at approximately 8,500 deaths. How many have died when you’re reading? Don’t be surprised if it’s already over 10,000 and it’s Monday. Or by mid-week, 30,000. Check for yourself here: https://covidtracking.com/data
In addition, this will be a week of nothingness, impatience and seeming delayed promises.
Over a week ago, Americans were promised money in a time when so many need it. Direct deposits of $1,200, $2,400 or well over $3,000 coming to hundreds of millions…and that won’t change at all this week. We will spend the week with absolutely no one actually receiving that money and it simply being “on the way.”
Small business owners spent the weekend scrambling with their banks to take advantage of the Payroll Protection Plan, a federal lifeline designed to get 2 months of revenue into the hands of America’s most important employers and help them pay and keep their employees. Some of us, like me, had amazing experiences, while others report nightmare scenarios…none of us expect money this week. Sole proprietors and Independent contractors can’t even apply until…you guessed it…the end of this week.
Amidst all of this is the backdrop of boredom and time moving slower than ever.
- The NBA and NHL last played on March 11. That was only 25 days ago. 3½ weeks.
- The Nevada and California lockdowns began just 18 and 16 days ago respectively.
- The Chiefs beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl just 62 days ago.
- Ricky Gervais uproariously hosted the Golden Globes just 13 weeks ago
- Christmas was 15 weeks ago
On Saturday, President Trump, who has often been criticized for being too optimistic, said that he “hoped” professional sports would be played beginning in “August.” August 1st is 118 days away. just under 17 weeks from now. In other words we’re closer to last Christmas than we are to the next time an NBA or MLB game occurs.
We’re in the center of the storm; people are bored and there’s nothing to do and no promise of anything to do anytime soon. People are desperate, and keep being told help is on the way and help is not arriving…and won’t for what seems an eternity. We all have way too much time on our hands, and it makes us devastatingly susceptible to the most hysterical reports, conspiracy theories, and the worst of the news. Never before have we seen living proof of the age-old phrase “An idle mind is the devil’s playground.”
Last week, Connecticut reported the youngest death ever related to Covid-19…a 6-week old baby. “SEE!” said countless Chicken Littles, “we told you!” It was a lie. Not just a misreport, but a lie. The child was smothered by a caretaker (accidentally it seems) and by law was still tested post-mortem for Covid-19. The baby tested positive and was therefore pronounced a Coronavirus related death. Despicable doesn’t begin to describe this story; one of far too many. We already have seen countless attempts by media and political operatives to make it seem as though young people in America are dying as a result of this outbreak, only to see time and time again, a reasonable explanation to the contrary. But by then, the damage is done, and the demented are celebrating.
This week, the certifiably unbalanced amongst us will be in Utopia. There will be endless reports of enormous numbers of death and positive tests for Covid-19 (the far greater numbers of those who have recovered and have tested negative will be ignored. There’s nothing sexy about telling people that far fewer than 20% of us are even catching this virus).
Just to make things a little more interesting, mask wearing is becoming between recommended and mandatory, depending on where you live. In places like New York City, where they are bordering on Martial Law in terms of the heavy-handed enforcement of the stay-at-home order, crime is all but non-existent. Similar results have been seen in the largest cities on lockdown, such as Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit, thus skewing national statistics. Almost everywhere else in America, where people are left to their own devices, most agencies report increases in assaults, stolen property, and car thefts. Putting an entire society in masks could have an interesting effect on that.
In the end, you must remember that they aren’t right…the demented are celebrating the horrible news, while ignoring the fact that everything they’ve been predicting and hoping for is not actually what is happening, it just feels as though as it is.
Strap yourself in for what may be the worst week yet. The reporting will make it seem that way, and the reactions of those both vulnerable and rooting for chaos will be pronounced.