From a Tale of Two Cities:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”
Dickens was writing about 1775, but he could have been writing about today. While most people are somewhat familiar with the revolutionary war, from the U.S. perspective, many are unaware of the impact on Great Britain. It was very expensive to build all those ships and fight a war 3,000 miles away. This put a tremendous strain on Great Britain and crime became a serious problem because all the “enforcers” were on the other side of the world. France, on the other hand, was run by an arrogant monarchy that supported the U.S. revolution probably because France was willing to do almost anything to hurt Great Britain. After the war, Great Britain had serious financial problems and had to raise taxes to astronomical levels. It took years to recover. France experienced the French revolution, inspired by the American Revolution. The French revolution lasted from 1789 to 1799. The monarchy was overthrown, but the result was violence and political turmoil that finally resulted in the dictatorship under Napoleon.
Great Britain turned to William Pitt, who became the youngest Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1783 when he was only 24 years old. Many people give Pitt credit for providing the leadership that allowed Great Britain to pass from the old order to the new order without violent upheaval. France turned to the mob and ended up with Napoleon who looked good in comparison.
The point is that times like this expose people with real leadership skill and it also exposes leaders who are totally incompetent.
I thought it would be difficult to nominate someone for the position of idiot in chief, but the Governor of Nevada rose to the occasion. He issued an emergency order banning doctors from using hydroxychloroquine or any other malaria drug on a coronavirus patient. He did this for two reasons. One is that Trump said this drug has promise, so the Governor is sure that Trump was lying. The other is that a couple decided to self-medicate using Koi Pond cleaner because it lists an ingredient that kinda sorta looks like hydroxychloroquine. It was actually chloroquine phosphate, which promptly killed the husband.
Sadly, fish tank cleaner containing chloroquine phosphate skyrocketed in demand and the price for a bottle of this stuff increased from $10 to over $400 in some cases, even though manufacturers warned against ingesting this stuff.
The governor either did not realize this is not the same drug, or he hates Trump too much to care. In either case he just ordered doctors not to use a drug that is having miraculous results all over the world. It is hard to imagine anyone doing something dumber than this, but there are democrats definitely in the running.
The Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcettil said that the city’s neighbor prosecutors will be scouring the city for “nonessential” business that are still operating and he threatened to cut off their utilities like power and water.
Then Ralph (Blackface” Northam, Governor of Virginia, issued an executive order making it a criminal offense to hold a church service attended by more than 10 people. Actually he banded all public and private in person meetings of 10 or more individuals. There are some families larger than that. While the executive order did not specifically mention church services, the Q & A sent out makes the intent clear.
- What about religious services? Can I still go to my church, synagogue or mosque?
- Virginians are strongly encouraged to seek alternative means of attending religious services, such as virtually or via “drive-through” worship.
In the meantime Trump has told people about hydroxychloroquine and is working with medical experts to make this available while also conducting clinical trials. There are reports from all over the world, including the U.S., that this is working wonders. I know of no reports of anyone seriously injured by the drug.
Trump is talking about getting the country back to work, sooner rather than later. Governors Cuomo and Newsom are saying this will take months. When Trump says we need to make sure the cure does not do more damage than the disease, most people understand. However, leading Democrats in position of leadership are having difficulty grasping the concept. Here is what Joe Biden had to say:
“We have to take care of the cure. That will make the problem worse no matter what,” he said. “No matter what. We know what has to be done.”
It is the best of times and it is the worst of time. This will bring out the best in some people and the worst in others. The good news is that the American people are catching on and the worst offenders are self-identifying. Ultimately the coronavirus may change a lot of things for the good. It is just too bad that like most important life lessons, this type of learning is often very painful. Dickens tried to warn us.