Daily corona round-up

Schadenfreude

It’s getting harder and harder to be a good person these days.

Take, for example, President Trump’s late-night Twitter admission that both he and the First Lady had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

A better man than I would hesitate before pointing out how the president had been dismissing the virus as a hoax from the beginning, how he purposefully “downplayed” the damage it has been causing, how he and everyone around him, from the White House to the rally circuit, adamantly refused to wear masks and encouraged others to do the same.

But forget my schadenfreude for a moment. What does this mean for the election? For the country?

On the real: Trump could die. He’s old. He’s fat. And he drinks 10 Diet Cokes a day. We will know within a couple days how serious his cases is. For now, he has not shown his face in public and has not Tweeted since his confession, about 1 a.m. So all we know is what people around him are telling us about him. And a lot of those people lie. Also, a lot of those people are coming down with the ‘rona.

Should Trump become incapacitated, Vice President Mike Pence is next in line, followed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. And I’m gonna stop right there. Because if Trump goes down and Pence turns up with the virus, a lot of people’s heads are gonna explode.

As far as the election goes: Will people still vote for Trump even if he’s strapped to a ventilator and can communicate only through thumbs-up gestures? I’m gonna say yes, a lot of them will. Even if he’s dead.

And what about all the people — Trump fans and otherwise — who haven’t been taking the pandemic seriously? Will they change their ways? That’s a no from me, dawg.

The next few days are going to be insane, historic, tense. And I don’t even know what to say about them. Gobsmacked.

Let’s all acknowledge that we are living through a most extraordinary time. It’s a damn honor just to be here to bear witness, terrifying though it may be.

I should say: Nominations for the Best of the Beat Winston-Salem/Forsyth County readers’ poll close tonight at midnight. Click on this link and fill out a ballot, why dontcha. These things are best with a large sample size.

One more thing: The bars with outdoor seating opened tonight at 5 p.m. Be safe out there, friends.

Let’s do the numbers.

The numbers

  • 1,775 new cases, a slight drop, makes 209,397 molecular positives in total, 5,287 antigen-positive cases.
    • 3,608 deaths (+29, 1.72 percent)
    • 5.8 percent positive test rate.
  • Forsyth County is up 55 cases to 7,237, with 6,578 recovered (90.89 percent) and 104 dead (1.44 percent)
    • 555 current cases
  • Guilford County reports 43 new cases for 8,896, with 5,270 recoveries (59.24 percent) and 180 deaths (2.02 percent)
    • 3,446 current cases

A diversion

In tribute of the bars opening tonight — without me, but I may always be a barfly at heart — I present a documentary about the ultimate barfly, Charles Bukowski. Bukowski: Born Into This paints as fine a portrait of the man as any, and I can’t stop watching it. NOTE: Not for the kids.

Program notes

  • For tonight’s featured image, we’ve got “The Chariot of Apollo,” by Odilon Redon, 1905-16. Taken from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s public-domain collection.
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