Pre-Existing Conditions; or, Coronovirus Trumps All
“When Queen Elizabeth II of Britain turns 94 on Tuesday, it will be the first time in her nearly seven-decade reign that her birthday will not be marked by a gun salute — another longstanding ritual lost to the coronavirus.”
Lost? Or … changed? Mind you, at her insistence.
“Dr. Frederique Vallieres, the director of Trinity College’s Center for Global Health, said that the 9 percent of people who opposed taking a vaccine included both ideological ‘anti-vaxxers’ and people with underlying health conditions that would either prevent them from taking such vaccines or make them reluctant to do so.”
Ideology? Or … sheer cussedness for the principle of the thing?
“The Mexican government was ordered to extend its coronavirus protections to migrants in a ruling made public on Friday. The ruling said that health care should be guaranteed to detainees and that temporary residency should be given to people found to be particularly vulnerable to Covid-19.”
Ordered? Or … convinced, finally, to do the right thing?
Every single one of these examples, and there are hundreds more, are a line of sand for the entire population of this Blue Marble we know as Earth. They are also pre-existing conditions. Those two evil words that delineate the haves from the have-nots in the world of health insurance.
I owe David Remnick a literary debt for the notion of pre-existing conditions. His brilliant lead essay for “Talk of the Town” in the April 20th, 2020 issue of The New Yorker was called “The Politics of the Virus.” Here’s the sentence that stopped me cold.
“Donald Trump is a pre-existing condition of our collective experience of the coronavirus.”
Once he’d written it and I’d read it, it was like that picture of the old woman/young woman. Depending upon where you put your focus, it’s one or the other. Never both. There are some things, once seen, you can never un-see.
Suddenly, everything about The Trump Pandemic, and yes, I will insist upon calling it that for as long as there are xenophobes whose sorry attempt to evade responsibility mandates that they place blame, and place it loudly. Again, everything about The Trump Pandemic began to sort itself into pre-existing conditions or brand-new conditions.
Archimedes’ lever for moving the world requires a place to stand. The place to stand is in The White House where the pre-existing condition’s feelings, gut, and utter lack of regard for both science and reality reign supreme amongst the sycophants and toadies amongst whom he thinks he governs. There’s a reason Mitch McConnell has no chin, and it’s not genetic. Mr. Remnick observed, “From the beginning, [Trump] practiced social distancing from anyone who told him what he didn’t want to hear.”
The coronavirus is a line of sand, Beloved, because everything before it is up for re-examination ergo change. Everything during it has changed, well, everything, and everything after it will be changed whether we like it or not.
In fact, let’s face that right now. Things are different. Way different. Wicked different. Molto different, and likely to remain so for both the near and far future. Face it. Don’t hide from it. Don’t run away from it. Don’t stick your head in the sand and sigh for the ‘good old days’ of white supremacy, greed, and faux outrage.
The reason this is important is because how you do that difference is up to you — within distinct parameters — because if you do not lead your own life, then you are a victim of life instead of a participant.
World leaders, according to Jill Rutter, a senior fellow at the London-based Institute for Government, said, “ʻThe main questions for these leaders, is: Can they convey a clear message and give people the reassurance they need while admitting this is an incredibly fast-moving, difficult world of real unknowns?’ They also must ‘show that they understand that this is a massive human tragedy,’ she added.
All, all, all of these things are lines of sand.
And where have the United States and other First World countries allowed those lines to be drawn?
There are many places the world over. Try these:
We, the healthy, are on the inside of these lines.
There’s one in front of every assisted-living, nursing home, long-term care, memory care facility. They, the potentially ill, are on the outside of these lines.
There’s a line in front of every crowded, impoverished neighborhood, especially communities of color, and don’t get me started on reservations. They too are on the outside of these lines.
There’s a line in front of every single prison and every single jail, every single immigration detention cage. They too are on the outside of these lines.
There’s a line in front of every domestic violence shelter and every homeless shelter, every box, tent, or refugee city slum. They too are on the outside of the lines.
Do you feel what I feel? Do you see what I see?
Those inside the lines, going as stir crazy as we may be, are gathering into a smaller and smaller space, with the walls coming closer and closer, the more lines that are drawn which exclude.
These lines have existed in an implicit way for decades, but now they are explicit — bold, all caps, underlined, italic. No thinking being can ignore them for long.
Oh, but, right, thinking being. The White House isn’t thinking. It’s reacting just as it has done since the beginning of its tenure. Given that, of course they’ve done nothing to address these now glaring lines of insiders and outsiders.
After announcing his Opening Up America Again guidelines, this is what happened.
“In a series of all-caps tweets that started two minutes after a Fox News report on the protesters [against continued restrictions], the president declared, ‘LIBERATE MICHIGAN!’ and ‘LIBERATE MINNESOTA!’ — two states whose Democratic governors have imposed strict social distancing restrictions. He also lashed out at Virginia, where the state’s Democratic governor and legislature have pushed for strict gun control measures, saying: ‘LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!’ His stark departure from the more bipartisan tone of his announcement on Thursday night suggested Mr. Trump was ceding any semblance of national leadership on the pandemic, and choosing instead to divide the country by playing to his political base.”
What semblance? What national leadership? All I see is random divide-and-conquer-ship, and that, right rarely, with the occasional bipartisan crumb thrown in for the hell of it — a perfect nightmare of intermittent reinforcement. The Executive Branch as Tinder.
Beloved, we must look at the lines instead of the whole picture. It’s the lines, and where they’re drawn, that show unmistakably where we are being told, guided, led to create a ‘them.’ And it must not stand. Truthfully, it cannot stand because it will not.
A ‘them’ is built on sinking sand.
Here is where it falls apart — for every marginalized community and for every thinking person.
Opinion columnist Roger Cohen said it well. “Trump’s path to re-election involved getting enough Americans to say, I can’t stand this guy but, hell, I’m making money. This sordid calculation meant the opportunity to avert the Covid-19 disaster was lost. Warnings were ignored. Chaos prevailed, starting at the top with a president who can no more think through a process than feel empathy.”
“Trump’s genius lies in a sinister capacity to ignore reality and create another by getting people’s blood up in a whirlwind of chaos and distraction. That is how he got to the Oval Office and how he could remain there.”
Unless … we start to see something and say something loudly, clearly, and often about the lines of sand that cut out anyone and everyone who is at risk under the Coronavirus Regime. Which, it turns out, is a lot of us.
Who else is going to start to cross these insider/outsider lines except those of us who see them? When we do, we have a responsibility: To call attention to them, and cross them, not at our own physical risk necessarily, but at the risk of our own souls, we must.
I wonder if you noticed the oddity in my line of sand metaphor? The actual expression is a line in the sand. I don’t mean that though. I meant a line of sand. Here’s where that expression came from.
I was walking down Broadway with my favorite ex-husband one day years ago. We were near Lincoln Center by then walking south to our apartment on 49th Street. I said something about an event in our lives being a “sign of land.” He, suffering a temporary case of verbal dislexia, said excitedly, “Yes, a line of sand!”
There are lines of sand everywhere right now, Beloved. Which one are you called to draw attention to, speak up about, and do something about? Would you do it as soon as you can please?
Otherwise, I am concerned that Trump and his Pandemic will trump all the righteousness that we carry for ourselves and everyone else, the us. Here’s a placard: No Trump Tr[i]ump[h.] Pre-existing conditions waived forever.
Dr. Susan Corso is a metaphysician and medical intuitive with a private counseling practice for more than 35 years. She has written too many books to list here. Her website is www.susancorso.com
© Dr. Susan Corso 2020 All rights reserved.