Sarcasm, Bleach and Sunlight: I Think I’ll Just Sleep Until Times Get Better

So, I saw an article on Fast Company today, “5 reasons we need emotionally intelligent leaders in times of crisis.” Are you nodding? Yeah. Me too.

Day to day people are struggling. I mean, they’re really struggling. At last count, some 26 million Americans applied for unemployment in the month or so.

It’s bananas. Almost completely out of control. I’ve never even read a fictionalized version of what we’re going through right now. Thinking about the full picture of everything that’s happening in this world — to people I know — is so dreadful my mind can’t fully comprehend it.

I mean, I’m a writer. A professional storyteller. But I’m not a sci fi fan. I’m into romantic fiction. You know, where love triumphs over all, and you’re almost guaranteed a happy ending?

Yet, at this time, when people are dying horrible deaths from a virulently contagious disease —and they’re dying alone because of that contagion — the leader of this great nation suggested that sunlight and injecting bleach as a treatment for the coronavirus were viable topics for study. Then he dismissed our concerns over his comments because apparently we misunderstood. He was being sarcastic.

“I was asking the question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen,” said that person in a press conference.

Really? Sarcasm about COVID-19 from the President of the United States. I just pinched myself to make sure that I still exist. It’s just…it’s beyond. It’s beyond anything reasonable. It’s just not right.

It’s like Holly Golightly said in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, “the mind reels.” She was talking about gaudy earrings from a misguided suitor. This person is talking about human lives.

People can’t even have funerals for their deceased loved ones because we can’t gather, at least not safely. There have been more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus in the US. A depression is looming. People around the world are in crisis upon crisis upon crisis.

I understand the need for levity in the face of serious or even untenable circumstances. But as the leader of the free world, is now really the time for sarcasm? Or, if that isn’t the case, to say anything carelessly that might be taken out of context? Sarcasm, as inappropriate as it is, would be better than what CNN anchor Anderson Cooper said, “Trump just lied about something we all witnessed.”

Is anyone else out there low key embarrassed to be an American? I am. I am embarrassed to be an American. I’ve been fighting the feeling for quite some time now, but today, I just can’t contain it.

I usually avoid talking about politics because no matter how carefully and objectively you try to approach things, the issues can be too divisive and ornery for cogent thought. And when it comes to votes and beliefs and what not, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Even if I don’t agree with it.

But this isn’t about politics. This is about a leader who is an active danger to those he is responsible for. Shit.

That’s all I got. I’m feeling quite low and dispirited. I’m gonna bundle up and go out for a walk. I pray I don’t encounter a single soul because I’m too glum to dodge people with the same vigor I usually give my social distancing efforts.

I’m being sarcastic. I dodge people like a dozen hard red rubber balls are being fired at my head. Barring that I may look for a loom with a poisoned needle or maybe a suspect apple to take a bite out of. Be safe, y’all.

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