It’s March 27, 2020 all over again.
March 27 was only seven months ago. With everything that’s happened since then, there are times when it feels more like seven years ago. With everything that’s stayed the same — at least here in the U.S. — it might as well have been seven seconds ago. It’s not October 27, 2020. It’s March 27, 2020 all over again.
About ten days before March 27th, the US’ coronavirus progression was ten days behind Italy’s. That’s when this video featuring Italians talking to themselves ten days in the past came out:
- March 27 was the day when the U.S. passed 100,000 cases of COVID-19. Not deaths, just cases. In case you were wondering, as of October 27, we’re at 8.8 million cases (about 1 in 37 Americans), and we’ve passed the quarter-million mark for deaths.
- The CARES Act — short for “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security”, it’s a $2 trillion economic stimulus bill — was signed on March 27. The follow-up relief bill has been stalled while the Republicans put their energy into a higher-priority task: Packing the court. This is counter to most Americans’ wishes.
- The Trump administration had to back off from suggesting that families would be able to gather for Easter. Seven months later, in his 60 Minutes interview, Mike Pence is reluctant to offer any guidelines on family gatherings for Thanksgiving: “That’s a decision every American family can make based on the circumstances in their community, the vulnerability of particular family members.”
- Back on March 27, Trump said that the priorities were “Life and safety, and then the economy.” Priorities are a little different today, and judging from his recent rants at his rallies, life and safety aren’t top-of-mind anymore.
On a personal note, I had full-time employment on March 27, 2020. Two weeks less two days later, I would be laid off. Today, on October 27, 2020, I’m not yet two weeks into my new full-time employment.
- We are a week away from a federal election that combines:
- An administration that’s all too happy to ignore the rule of law, ready to break norms if it suits their needs, ignore scientific and expert advice, turn a blind eye to malicious parties looking to affect the election, and bypass general human decency.
- Attempts to de-legitimize the election, from both inside and outside the United States, combined with a strong possibility of not knowing the outcome for a while.
- The twin threat of the Trump administration being either sore winners (we have some experience with that already), or possibly quite worse, sore losers.
- A toxic mix of QAnon, people who can’t tell the difference between inconvenience and oppression, the alt-right, Fox News, OANN, and general low-information voter idiocy.
- A push to prematurely to “return to normalcy”, including Florida governor Ron “DipShantis” DeSantis’ working to remove all coronavirus restrictions.
- Coronavirus cases in record numbers.
- Flu season.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s not October 27, 2020. It’s March 27, 2020 all over again.
We’re on our own, and we’re all in this together.
Because it’s March 27, 2020 all over again, it means that we’re simultaneously on our own, and all in this together. It means that bringing things back to normal is up to us. We’re not getting any help from what sadly and hilariously passes for government here.
It means that it’s up to us — as individuals, and as members of families and communities — to manage the current situation and help bring about a better one. It means taking simple but very necessary steps in order to make that happen.
If you’re eligible, and you haven’t done so already, vote. Want to make things better? Vote Trump out. Have a voting plan.
There will be fools and idiots who will buy into conspiracy theories, mistake inconvenience for oppression, and ignore science and medicine. Don’t join them.
We’re seeing record numbers of COVID-19 cases. We’re moving into flu season, which may create what some people are calling a “twindemic”. We might see election-related unrest.
There may be a run on supplies. There might be a need to shelter in place from viruses, violence, or both. You should take some time this week to make sure that you’re fully stocked on what you need, whether it’s food, medicines, and other supplies.
We’re more than half a year into a plague, and you might be suffering from “hygiene fatigue”. Don’t let up. Wash your hands. Wash your reusable masks.
It’s harder to keep your life in order when your environment’s a mess. Clean up.
In uncertain, unpredictable times, a routine can be a rock that you can rely on to help you manage. If you’ve been maintaining a routine already, keep it up! If you haven’t, start!
The twin terrors of stress and boredom can cause you to seek out “retail therapy”. The effect is short-lived, and right now, you should be saving. Cut spending wherever you can.
Get outside and keep your body in fighting shape. You’re going to need it.
It’s all too easy to not know the people in your immediate area, and we’re all the worse for it. Individual neighbors are a help, and when organized, they can do amazing things. Even though we have to stay distanced, find a way to get to know your neighbors.
There’s enough that’s gone wrong all around us. The last thing you want is more things gone wrong at home. Make an attempt to fix something at home that you’ve “learned to live with”. It’ll be good practice for fixing some bigger things.
Connect. Stay in touch with friends and family. Re-establish communications if you’ve let them slide. Also make new connections. If you have the inclination, connect with the intent to organize to help bring about better times.
It’s March 27, 2020 all over again. Maybe we can get it right this time.