Grandstand. A week ago, I vowed to stop watching the news on TV. Because I have come to the conclusion that in times of crisis, the incessant flow of continuous information becomes like the wheel of a hamster in your head. It turns and turns and turns by submerging you in images of a catastrophic present, repeating to yourself indefinitely what you already know, causing an existential panic in all directions. And, like the hamster wheel, it gets you nowhere. This is the myth of Sisyphus in electronic version, exacerbated by our over-connected era.
But, a few days ago, I betrayed my promise when a writer friend texted me from New York: " Turn on the TV. Trump is breaking his own dementia records. "
Thirty seconds later, I was planted in front of the one and only TV set in my house in Maine (where I am "confined", to use this new buzzword, with my 23-year-old daughter, Amelia, and her boyfriend, Zach, since the epidemic swept through our lives). And there on CNN (repeating Fox News), perorative this huckster of real estate developer reconverted into star of reality TV then nominal chief of the alleged free world. In this case, it looked like a game show host who was very badly made up and even more badly dressed. He was trying to reassure the nation by saying that this viral episode would be windswept by Easter Sunday (April 12). Besides, he hoped that the churches all over the country would be packed during this annual celebration of the resurrection of Christ after his bad quarter of an hour on the cross.
Even by any of the criteria for Trumpian madness, this statement was completely irrational. Trump is a New Yorker. Me too. The relentless advancement of Covid-19 has made our common hometown the American epicenter of the virus, with the number of cases doubling every three days. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo – whose voice is a raging realism and powerful local leadership in these dizzying times – warned on the same day of a looming health disaster. And explained that New York needed 30,000 respirators but only had 400 and was waiting for the 7,000 promised by the federal government. Just as he declared that the $ 3.8 billion allocated to New York in the Senate emergency plan was insufficient, given the devastation that was taking place in the city. He said it was $ 15 billion needed.