Trump, COVID, and Uncertainty

Just last night, before I went to bed, I saw the reports that Hope Hicks had tested positive for COVID. I told Denisa, “Trump’s been with her a lot. If there’s anyone I wish would get COVID, it would be him. Maybe it would change the way he handles the disease, and we could get over this faster.” Note that I had no desire that he get very ill, and I definitely didn’t want the man to die. I just thought (when I made that statement) that perhaps if he actually caught it, then he’d stop downplaying it quite so much.

When I woke up this morning and read the news that he and his wife had, indeed, tested positive, I had a mixture of emotions and thoughts. First, I did feel guilty for having wished the disease on anyone, although I’m 100% confident my passing comment had no sway on what actually happened. (I mean, if it did, then I’d like to officially note that I also wish I’d become a NYT bestselling author and that I’d magically get a billion dollars. If those come true, then I will commence feeling *very* guilty about my wish for Trump. Not the least because it would mean I completely blew one of my three wishes on something as petty as that.) Once I got over that initial reaction, what followed was a whole ton of confusion. If anything, this throws so much of the future into even more chaos. Some potential scenarios running through my mind:

  • The President passes away. I have no idea what happens at that point. Who becomes the Republican candidate? Pence? Is there some sort of last minute grab for power among all Republicans? There are so many unknowns down that path, that I stop even trying to think through them. With Trump’s age and health, he’s certainly at high risk.
  • Trump was on stage with Biden for the debate. What if Biden has it? The same questions come up about him then. In a worst case scenario, you’ve got the Democrats and Republicans both choosing new candidates less than a month before the election, with a million votes already cast.
  • What if Trump stays virtually symptom free and emerges on the other end of COVID more convinced than ever that it’s overblown? What does that do to the response to the virus from everyone else?
  • What if Trump gets seriously ill and is in the hospital throughout the election season. What sort of an effect does that have on the election? Are people more inclined to vote for him out of pity? Less inclined? I have no idea.

I don’t know about you, but I am so tired of uncertainty, and this has done nothing more than pile more uncertainty on top of everything else. If you’re looking for some informed discussion around these topics, FiveThirtyEight has a good post on the implications today, as well as a post about what happens if a nominee is put out of the running before the election (posted back in April.)

I wish Trump and his family and advisors a speedy recovery: the same thing I wish for anyone who has this disease. I also hope this serves as a good reminder to everyone of the importance of wearing a mask, even when you think you don’t need to. Many of Trump’s entourage at the debate declined to wear masks. Trump made fun of Biden for wearing a mask more often than Trump felt was necessary.

If the President can still catch COVID, even with all the testing that’s been done around him constantly, then anyone can get it. Hicks attended the debate Tuesday. She would have been tested along with everyone else there. Trump made a big deal about how everyone in that room was “safe.” And yet someone caught it and spread it to others, and here we are three days later.

There have already been some politicians trying to spin this for their own purposes. I saw one senator tweet about how China had given our President COVID, and we need to hold them responsible. That kind of rhetoric isn’t going to help anything. We have been the masters of our fate in our country since March. What we’ve done with that has been up to us, not some other nation.

Did I wish for a billion dollars up above? Scratch that. I’d actually just love to have a normal world and life back. One where I can do my job, hang out with my friends, and not have to be constantly assaulted with turmoil in the news. Racist attacks. Pandemics. Economical turmoil. Who’d need a billion dollars if they could just have that?

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