The United States’ plan for the coronavirus is, apparently, not to have a plan: no national effort at curbing the virus, no coordinated response system, no quantitative goals set, no mandates, no playbook, no plays, even, when it comes to the welfare of the American people.
Right now, our country is not asking what it can do for us. Rather, it wants to know what we can do for them, and on the shortlist is this: Fund their campaigns and get them re-elected.
In lieu of a national response then, we’re all forced to come up with our own strategies when it comes to going back to work, sending our kids to school, exposing ourselves to risk and even the weight we apportion to the global pandemic. I know people who are trying mightily to live as if there were no pandemic at all.
Not me, though.
My own personal coronavirus plan begins with a premise. I treat the coronavirus like the Wu-Tang Clan: Nothing to fuck with.
I wear the mask. I wash the hands. I social the distance. I haven’t shaken a hand in months, and when I order delivery, I have the driver leave it on the front porch. No crowds, thank you very much, and I will respectfully decline a ride in your car, the use of your pen or a hit off your blunt. And if you make a move to hug me, I’ll squirm away like you’re covered in vomit, which you might as well be.
I’ve been working from home, leaving only to buy cigarettes, gasoline and groceries, and to do newspaper production in a mostly empty office building one day a week, faces covered. I’ve got extra masks and hand-sanitizer in my car, along with a fresh glove in case I need to pump gas; I bring my own water.
I shaved off my facial hair. Five months ago. Like anybody noticed.
My coronavirus plan is about mitigation: keeping myself out of harm’s way as much as possible, decreasing my odds of contacting the virus when I must, allowing for those who may not take the threat as seriously as I, always thankful I have the privilege to keep my profile low.
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