A penny for your thoughts.


We are back in the daily routine and Rossini’s Cinderella is our Opera. With a twist on the story, the evil stepmother is now an evil stepfather, the fairy godmother is now a fairy godfather sporting a set of gold wings over his white suit. The rest of the story progresses as everyone knows it, the story of someone wanting to belong after been told they could not. Cinderella finds her way but a lot of folks are still unsure, in many ways, if and where they belong. This was true before covid but accentuated since, with a lot of people frozen in place, some in countries foreign to them, in strange settings and near empty cities. It will take a long time for folks to feel they really ‘belong’ here or there, out in the open, in public without distancing or mask, at restaurants tables or at a concert or a movie theater. Thinking of that reminds me of my friends and the times we could just stop by and chew the fat, I miss human interaction, I will miss hand shaking as well.
As it goes with covid, Remdesivir is back in the race as a promising treatment, the news of the drug’s demise was premature. That’s good news and it restored faith in my intuitions. I was humbled for awhile but the good news has risen my ego almost back to normal levels, unfortunately, as it sometimes gets in my way. All plaisanteries aside, the news is encouraging and results of trials of the drug are expected soon, within a week. The world should keep its fingers crossed for Remdesivir to become the bullet to kill covid.

On the political news, our national evil godfather is treating some states as cinderellas, barking at the necessity to foot the covid bills that are falling upon the states, following the tunes of bankruptcy trumpeted by the senator whose states get a great part of the pie when federal money is distributed. The States contributing to this senator ’s state from going bankrupt are now asking for help, to a deaf ear apparently.  It’s no surprise his state is one of the poorest in the nation, that he could not lift up his constituents to decent living wages and their right to belong above poverty level after so many years as a senator since 1985. Let them eat cake says he.
Cinderella concluded on a positive note, she forgives the step family, marries the prince. Hopefully our battered States will find a good prince too in a new administration. Our master of fake news has decided not to appear at the daily briefings anymore. I’m not sure anybody cares, the covfefe is just too intense for all parties and the information  to be deciphered out of the scientists, very slim, all on account of the looming presence of a boss looking over their shoulders, interjecting and muddying the message, if there ever was one. Yes, almost everyday it’s s another Punch and Judy show with a mean twist, in that guignol theatre, the viewers are battered. I am ranting bitterly? I’m not the only one, I’m only a small voice in a chorus of indignation. The only hope I have for a better world is that our voices are heard at the next elections. Three millions people around the world had been infected by covid according to the latest figures. It’s difficult to not think about it. Only one country so far was able to eradicate the virus, with only one infected patient left. New Zealand, with five millions citizens led by a woman prime minister and the swift decisions she took at the very start of the covid threat, was able to keep its people safe. It helped to be far from the epicenter but covid was in her country already, arriving there from any passenger traveling at the time. So she did it by showing her humanity, taking time to reassure children on video chats, reassuring them that the tooth fairy is indeed an essential worker. But she did it because she was decisive and because her citizens understood their civic duties to do anything in their power to defeat covid. The lack of both these ingredients are missing in the potluck measures our government has taken.
Routines have a hard time dying, after only a few hours, the president’s decision to drop out of meetings was forgotten and there he was again, according to the news as we pay no attention to them anymore. The news we pay attention to are about the human misery this administration has created by its chaotic response, when it even responded. The most tragic and disheartening about a young ER doctor immersed in death and suffering, she had seen so much that she could not cope anymore and took her own life. I remember the presidents claiming that if we have a lockdown folks would lose so much money that “we’ll see a lot of suicides”. The good and aware spirit that kept our mood up is slowly morphing to depression, the tall vertical blinds, unless wide open or closed, are looking more and more like prison bars.
Gaetano Donizetti‘s Opera, Anna Bolena is not going to be a cure to our melancholy.

Our small town has taken the lead in with 14.3 covid related death for every 10,000 residents, making it the worse town in Connecticut, the runner up with 10.8 related death. The country has passed the million infection mark, and that’s with limited testing as news stories abound about the topic, blaming the shortage on screwups and mismanagement, from the start, and the persistent lacks of available tests and labs working over capacity.
We were treated with gloom yesterday watching the next Opera, also by Donizetti, Mary Stuart, another day, another beheading. Today,  another Opera by Donizetti from the Tudor series, Roberto Devereux. I hope he keeps his head. It’s hard for us to keep our heads together, even the good news seem pretty bleak when compared to the depressing majority of the stories, some macabre, some deeply poignant and some frankly obscene. As the death dance valses around the country, the White House and conservative governors, some governing states with raising covid infections, are pushing for reopening their states against scientists recommendations. There is no doubt that some corporation‘s bottom line is hurting, and they would prefer to have the lockdown lifted.  Some businesses with expandable and easily replaceable low wage workers don’t really care if they croak, no big deal, just collateral damage as long as the dollars flow in. Just like war, not everyone comes back alive as long as the generals and other brass are well protected far from the front line. The Queen decided poor Roberto’s live should be shorten together with his height on the chopping block, our self proclaimed king has decided that some of his serfs can be sacrificed for the cause. There is no better action to describe his callousness than the executive order to keep the meat plants open when it is evident that hundred cases of covid forced the processing lines to a halt. Could it be that his love for hamburgers and the threat of a shortage of ground beef would have forged his decision? Of course it did, what’s the life of a meat worker worse? Really not much, low wages, deficient health care and practically no perks have placed these workers on the low social scale, easily forgotten if one falls through the cracks and easily replace on the meat packer chain gang. But we are accustomed to the unethical ways of our President, dismissing the bearers of contrary news, like the aircraft Commander sacked for trying to alert a sleeping at the wheel brass to the covid epidemic on his vessel. News of his reinstatement by the navy have vindicated him but the questions remain, how does a commander in chief explains his lack of understanding that an army needs to be healthy to perform its purpose, that is to defend the country and allies. But questioning a liar presents almost insurmountable difficulties and the results amount to more disinformation and shameless propaganda used to stir the base. The base was at it again yesterday, storming the Michigan Capitol but this time forcing their way in, armed with automatic fire arms, during a lawmakers session, and posing in threatening manners, fingers on the triggers, above the folks trying to legislate covid. Of course, lots of trumpians in that crowd of Aryanists white men, and I’m pretty sure, none of them work in meat processing plants.

To complete the lot of pitiful news, the weather is doing is best with grey rainy days, and it’s keeping us locked up in this lockdown, our occasional walks in the fresh air suspended until further rays of sunshine. Staying occupied is becoming a challenge and Carolle has been complaining of boredom. Thankfully, she has started a project that she had mentioned about before covid. The preparation consists on destroying a couple of dozens leather garments she had collected the past fifty years. The various leather pants, shirts, leather skirts and jackets had run their fashion usefulness or fitting abilities and passed through the scissors to be separated in various sizes rectangles and colors. The finished product will be a hooked leather rug. I volunteered to cut the thin strips of leather she will need, one half inch bu four, and that will keep me occupied as well, and glad to take the opportunity! The French newspaper I read online has a column where readers questions are answered, I peek at it from time to time. Today came up a very important one, on sex, fellatio, and the spread of covid. The answer was direct and reassuring, aside from the close proximity, rest assured, according to scientists, covid and sperm don’t mix. Usual precautions should be taken, like thorough cleaning before and after sex, and the use of adequate protection with a condom is advocated. Strangely, gargling with mouthwash or peroxide was not mentioned. Alongside this important message, the south of France region covered by the newspaper is still in lockdown mode, not reopening any time soon, and when it reopens, safeguards will have to come along. The French President is warning about a flood of tourist invading the French Riviera will not be tolerated, leaving us waiting and unable to plan. The airline tickets I purchased over two months ago are still not reimbursed after the airline canceled the flights, but that’s not surprising, when did airlines really care about their customers? My trip to France is now postponed indefinitely, a small bother and I feel guilty just to commiserate about it.