I wrote a piece a lifetime ago back in July about the pandemic titled “Through the Pandemic, Leaderless.” It was a grim acknowledgement that we were hopelessly adrift and utterly devoid of a competent leader who has America’s best interests in mind. We didn’t have that leader, instead we were saddled with the most self-involved human being on the planet shaping the narrative of the pandemic to make it seem as though all was well. It wasn’t. America continues to have the most dismal COVID-19 numbers of all developed nations. The piece remains disturbingly relevant to this day, read it if you want to feel worse.
Allow me a brief digression: the pieces I write and post, I come up with them in a variety of ways. Sometimes a fully formed idea comes to me and I both conceive of the piece and write it in one shot. That’s rare, but it does happen. Other times, I have a complete thought and capture the essence of it in my phone notes so I can revisit it later. And other times, all I get is a short phrase that sounds interesting, so I put that in my phone notes. Today’s piece is the latter of the three methods. I was walking my dog Jango in the morning and as we were finishing up and nearing home, I saw a discarded mask on someone’s lawn. I thought to myself, “this doesn’t bode well, we’re heading into some serious darkness.” Then I began to play around with “darkness” in my head, only to arrive at the phrase, “through the darkness, together.” A number of much shittier phrases were rejected, and I noted this phrase in my phone as soon as I got home from walking my sweet prince, Jango.
So, when I began to consider the phrase, “through the darkness, together,” my mind naturally went to the aforementioned piece, “Through the Pandemic, Leaderless.” But what changed between that piece and now? Why explore such a similar topic with such a similar title again?
Things have changed. When the pandemic began, we were completely clueless. It was admittedly a scary time. Everything felt like a threat, strangers felt like enemies, human contact became alien – we wiped everything down, we left groceries outside, we stopped licking the bottoms of our shoes. We fumbled and stumbled in those early months, most of us favoring caution and following the protocols. But later we found how much of what we did was unnecessary, and how simple it was to protect yourself.
Things have changed. In the months since the start of the pandemic, we’ve come to see exactly what the President and his cronies were up to: they were bettering themselves and trying to win an election. They knew the pandemic was bad, so they spun it into their own success story. But what did all this posturing, lying, deception, and all-around skullduggery lead to? It led to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, indisputably. Now President Trump has been in seclusion, coming out only momentarily to rail on about the election he claims to have won despite several unsuccessful lawsuits filed by his drippy, farting lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
We know we’re heading for the worst of the pandemic yet. Our numbers are once again on the rise nationally, places are beginning to shut down, and ersatz hospitals have been erected to help manage at-capacity hospitals. But for some reason, things don’t feel as grim or frightening. Why is this? We know what we’re dealing with now. Come January, we’ll have leadership actively working towards helping the American people through the darkness. And we know there’s an end in sight with vaccines so close on the horizon. Yes, there is darkness coming, perhaps more than ever before. But this time, we head through the darkness, together.