The president checked in this morning with this rambling message meant to put Americans at ease. He spent four minutes to say what he could easily have said in half a minute: that he feels pretty good, that he has benefitted from the miracle of modern medicine (didn’t he tell us there would be miracles?), that his spirits have been lifted by the well wishes he and Melania have received from, get this, people from both parties (a good example of bipartisanship, why doesn’t the democrat party try that?) etc. Then he said it all a few more times for emphasis. HE CAN’T DO ALL CAPS IN A VIDEO; PEOPLE TURN HIM OFF WHEN HE’S TOO LOUD. So he just meanders around and says it three or four more times.
At first I thought he looked terribly pale and my heart skipped – is my president’s life in danger? But as I recovered my composure, I slowly came to realize that he didn’t look ill; he looked humanly normal. I had become accustomed to an orange Commander-in-Chief. But today our Fifty Star General looked so natural. No makeup and no tie. I thought for a moment he was going to slip out of his coat into a soft blue cardigan and reach for a pair of Top-Siders and tell me that he’d love to be my neighbor.
But no. It’s my neighbor he wants to be the neighbor of. The one with the MAGA signs in his front yard. But he never said it. This was our tender moment of bipartisanship.
So, in keeping with our tender national moment, allow me to offer thoughts and prayers to the president and his family. And also for all those maskless Republicans and other followers who gladly expose themselves to this life-threatening disease as an expression of their loyalty.
The president’s co-morbidities, such as age, weight and high cholesterol, have been widely reported. (There has been no mention of bone spurs but they apparently add no risk for sufferers of COVID-19.)
Less attention has been paid to the pre-morbidities and they, however, can be much more deadly. And they vastly enhance the virus’s transmissibility.
So, check yourself out for these dangerous conditions – pre-morbidities if you will – that can make you a victim and bring you down just as they have the president: 1. narcissism, 2. solipsism, 3. arrogance, 4. science illiteracy, 5. mammonism, and 6. (somewhat counterintuitively) germaphobia.
The latter is included as a pre-morbidity only because sufferers of the disorder tend to focus their entire disease prevention efforts on hand washing to the exclusion of other useful practices such as mask wearing.
So, before you go shopping or to a political rally (and now I borrow the style of a friend) put your mask on, dammit.
And of course, I would be remiss if I did not offer blessings to our president and his family. May they all recover and enjoy good health for many years to come. And may this experience encourage them to work on those pre-morbidities so that they may reduce their influence on their lives. And ours.