Allison Hantschel, late of the blog First Draft (where she was appropriately nom-de-plum’ed Athena, and that is too a vurb) had a twitter thread last night on the end of the mask mandate that is so good, I hope everyone reads it.
The essential demand Hantschel makes is that she wants atonement from the stupid, selfish people who prolonged the Trump-Virus Pandemic that lead to nearly 600,000 dead Americans.
It’s not a long thread. Go read it. I’ll wait.
I was having a similar discussion last night. I know we are The United States of Amnesia, and indeed the Republicans are shoving Lord Damp Nut’s failed response and crimes against humanity and general eff’ery into the memory hole as fast as they can. 15+ months of our lives disrupted, families lost, fortunes destroyed, and now we’re being told to return to normal.
There is no normal, there is only now.
And so while Athena (sorry, Allison – old habits die hard) wants atonement, I want recorded history.
Here’s the thing: I don’t recall ever learning anything about the 1918 Pandemic; I’m not even sure it was a footnote in any of my US history textbooks. Maybe it was seen as an Act of Gawd and not a cascading sequence of political calculation failures as surely the Trump-Virus was.
I am reminded of the marketing of WW2 as The Last Good War. We proudly thump our chests that WE won the war, but say that to the europeans and you will get an earful. Marketing wins every time.
We Americans record our history with exceptionalism and we leave out the dissent and indeed the sacrifice of others. When this pandemic enters the history books, I predict that there will be plenty of heroics, and little mention of the know-nothings, the anti-vaxxers, the selfish assholes (from Spring Break to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, there were a lot of assholes) and the easily documented and deliberate failures of the Republicans who saw this only as a culture war leverage issue: the Freedom to be an asshole is greater than your health.
Every death is tragic, every avoidable death is a crime. I lay the tragic number of avoidable deaths at the feet of these assholes, mostly Republicans.
I hope everyone remembers this as they head to the voting booth in 2022 and beyond.