Stupid vs Smart

In 1793, shortly after the Revolution and millions of years after T-Rex faded into history, the US had its first pandemic. Our population was a little over 3.9 million. Philadelphia, the nation’s capital, lost 5000 people, one tenth of its population. 

The illness caused high fevers. It turned people’s skin yellow and their vomit dark with blood. All who could, including George Washington, fled the cities. Whole families died. All they could do was cover their faces with cloth (sometimes dipped in camphor or vinegar) and stay away from each other.

Their reasoning was as sound then as it is now: there was no treatment and no way to prevent the “Yellow Fever”. The only thing they could do was isolate from each other. 


Oh, and the cause was similar too: a virus, which was identified in 1900 by army physician Walter Reed (yes, that one). He called it an “ultra-microscopic” organism.

So, let’s review: the country was swept by a mysterious, deadly, and painful disease, there is no cure and no preventative, so people isolated and covered their faces. And saved lives. 


There have been numerous world pandemics since, including the Spanish Flu of 1918 (which actually originated in Kansas, but that’s another story). Then, as now and many times in between, when there is no cure and no preventative, the only solution has been to isolate and cover your face. Which saved lives.


(Actually, I think it was a pandemic of asteroids that sent T-Rex and his buddies packing. I guess they didn’t know about self-isolating or covering their faces.)

For the last few months, as the coronavirus pandemic started sweeping the globe, our leaders chose a different solution: isolate the truth and cover your ass.


T-Rump people were briefed about pandemic protocols by Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice before the 2016 inauguration. Two years later, they dissolved the pandemic committee that the Obama Administration had set up.


T-Rump was informed of the pandemic in January. Soon after he told the country, “It’s a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for.”

Rather than order tests, ventilators, PPE’s, and other supplies, he told us, “It’s going to disappear. One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”

While South Korea and Germany took the same information and acted on it, saving thousands of lives, T-Rump said. “But we have it so well under control. I mean, we really have done a very good job.”


Going along with him in one way or another have been governors from southern and western states including Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arizona, and South Carolina. Incredibly, Georgia re-opened beaches just the other day.

Part of their reasoning was that local jurisdictions should decide.  That would work if, say, you could put a moat around a county, city, or town, keeping out all of those with the virus. But we don’t have moats! 


Several pastors across the country have defied governors’ orders and invited everyone to church. I’m sure they’ll have good explanations for all of their faithful who die as a result.

Governor Kemp of Georgia learned – just the other day, which everyone else knew two months ago – that people without symptoms can pass the virus. 

And Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards just had no idea – no idea! – that Mardi Gras crowds in New Orleans could trigger a city-wide coronavirus outbreak.


Fox viewers say that Democrats trumped up the pandemic (full disclosure: I chose the word “trumped” deliberately). 

Despite CDC warnings, T-Rump is not just touting an unproven treatment for the Coronavirus, he stopped his own Coronavirus expert from cautioning about its deadly cardiovascular side-effects. 


T-Rump and supporters parroted his desire to re-open the economy early, thereby insuring even more dead people.

It’s all stupid, especially when compared with how earlier leaders all the way back to Washington reacted. 

But you know what’s even more stupid? 

We elected this stupid, narcissistic, failed businessman (6 bankruptcies, over 3500 lawsuits in the last three decades), with zero government experience (beyond whom to pay off), and a reality show punchline.

When we need “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” or “The buck stops here”, we get “I don’t take responsibility at all”, and “You’re fired!”

And thousands of unnecessary deaths. 


But you know what’s smart?  Self-isolating and covering your mouth. Saving your life and those of others. Washington and the first Americans did it. We can, too.

And let T-Rump go the way of T-Rex.

(If you like this, pass it on. If you don't, pass it on anyway. Why should you suffer alone?)