There’s no such thing as a tsunami that stops at the shoreline. Without exception, each and everyone of them sweeps inland, dragging with it as much debris as it can from smashed houses, splintered boats, wrecked cars and broken bodies. As the wave picks up momentum, it continues to wreak untold havoc. By the time it is through, tens of thousands of people are left dead, and millions, if not billions, of dollars in property damage is sustained. No one or nothing is sparred. All that is left is a barren landscape of death and destruction.
It will be that way across the United States with COVID-19. Red-state governors who are minimizing the threat this virus poses to their constituents do so at their own peril. Maybe Arkansas and Oklahoma won’t have 60,000 plus cases, but they sure as shit aren’t going to have just 500. Not for long, at least. Rural hospitals who have only one ventilator are going to find out real quick just how unprepared they are for this pandemic. And far-right conservatives who are laughing – yes, laughing – at the hell people in New York, New Jersey, California and Washington are going through, will soon be singing a different tune.
Right now, Trump and his army of sycophants are having a real hoot blaming Democratic governors for being unprepared for this outbreak. And not just the governors but the hospitals, as well. Just wait until the cries for help go out from the heartland and the “faithful” learn how important it is to have a president who’s not an incompetent sociopath during a time of national crisis. I wonder what Sean Hannity will have to say when it’s Trump’s base that are the ones who are dying from this virus? Funny how perspective can quickly alter a person’s thinking. One minute, smug and self righteous; the next, humbled and contrite. So much for deconstructing the administrative state.
As I’ve said before, Americans have many strengths, but empathy isn’t one of them. Sometimes it takes a national tragedy like 9/11 to bring us together. I remember how united the country was in the aftermath of that attack. There were no Democrats or Republicans, just patriots united against a common foe. This is different. Not because the threat is any less real or deadly; far from it. It’s different because we have a president who excels at turning people against one another. It’s the reason he got elected and its the only hope he has of getting reelected.
But tribal politics will prove to be no match for the Coronavirus. At its core it doesn’t distinguish between liberal or conservative, male or female, blue state or red state, CNN or Fox News. And as we know all too well, it has no regard for borders. It is an equal opportunity killer and it will sweep through this country like the Indonesian tsunami that killed over 230,000 people in 2004.
Just so we’re clear, I wish no one any harm. The carnage that will soon be visited upon those states that are tooting their own horns will devastate them like nothing they have ever experienced. I wouldn’t wish what they are going to go through on my worst enemy. But if that’s what it takes to break the cult-like spell Trump has over them, then so be it. Farm bankruptcies certainly weren’t doing it.
Geographically, the United States is one of the largest and most diverse countries in the world. In a few weeks, the vast majority of its citizens will learn just how small a place it can truly be.