How are you holding up? I feel exhausted by the election and this post-election week. It’s emotional exhaustion. The relief I felt after the election was finally called lasted only a few hours, barely enough time to pop a bottle of Champaign before the drama resumed. That was predictable, of course. Trump made his intention not to accept defeat very vocal. Still, it’s so tiring.
I used to think being a journalist would be an ideal job. Exciting, smart people, always in the know, but 2020 has just been too much. I wonder how many of my favorite reporters and magazine writers just want to bury their heads under the covers and sleep for the next two months. I do. Even the good news of a Biden/Harris win comes with so many caveats that I’m still doomscrolling every morning to find out “now what the fuck.” (The one bright spot was Rudy Giuliani and the Four Seasons Total Landscaping SNAFU. I’m still laughing.)
And COVID! Our governor has taken the herd immunity strategy to heart and has offered up Florida as the nation’s guinea pig for the “let’s just ignore it and see what happens” experiment. People are getting sick and dying at an alarming rate, that’s what. My teacher friends are frustrated and scared by the lack of transparency in reporting from the state and the school district. Because of privacy issues, schools must rely on parents to self-report when a child gets sick and this results in little or no effort to contact trace or in preventative quarantining. It’s often too late for those measures to be effective.
I spoke with my niece who is an ESL teacher (English as a Second Language) in Georgia. A new student from Iran was told by letter he needed to quarantine for 10 days before returning to school. He came to her in a panic because he thought he had COVID. No one from the school had explained to him or his parents it was because the girl he sat next to in class had tested positive. Unsurprisingly, no one from the school in her small town spoke Farsi. “Miss, Miss, am I going to die?” he asked her. She assured him as well as she could that he wouldn’t die but said he didn’t seem convinced. How sad. As ill equipped as states are to deal with this worsening pandemic, schools are even less so.
Although I’m frustrated at having to stay home, exhausted by the happenings in the outside world and furious at people who seem to think mask wearing is not imperative, I thank my lucky stars that I retired this year and can stay at home. A retired friend of mine said to me the other day, “I’m going to be really pissed if, after 8 months of being really careful, I die because some asshole refuses to wear a mask.” I had to agree.