The Mess We Are In

The Mess We Are In

Disclaimer: I wrote this way earlier in the day and then Tonald Drump's 17.5th Covid-19 briefing came on. I had the pleasure of watching it along with our nightly news and it changed my entire perspective. I had to go online and skim through the one hour and thirty six minute tirade and I lasted around a half an hour before I gave up and went to mop our hardwoods. I'll assure you doing that was far more productive than listening to him run the country and its morale into the ground. I later attempted to replay the highlights for my mother and I went from disappointment in him to pure vitriol for him. I mean the virus has doomed us all but he is just a straight non-stop flight to Hell. 

I have now edited out all the passive sentiments for fighting words...

The U.S. is now #1 in the world for new Covid-19 infections; we are outranking China and battling mortality with the likes of Italy & Spain. We aren't even at the peak for this virus and our hospitals, medical professionals and supply chain are all exhausted. The American public is all awaiting word from their government when we should be acting on trusted intuition and personal responsibility. Sadly no one is obeying any orders to stay home and the virus is spreading like a California wildfire. Everything is completely out of control so much so even Mexico has said Americans aren't welcome. The United States of America is an absolute shit show. The response from Drump has become an embarrassing mockery as he berates the press, instills fear in civilians and dukes it out with allies. To be here for his impeachment and following appeal now seeing him damn us all to Hell is beyond frightening. I have little to no hope for us now. Not like I had any hope left since November 2016. 

Let me break everything down.

Every country has a leader and a chain of command. The idea is that there is a head to a body of followers. That head controls the state and monitors the body to ensure he is walking straight ahead. Unfortunately, our head is on backwards or up his ass. He has deduced the country to useless bits to be ran, monitored, controlled by whomever steps up to the plate. This could be a mayor or a governor. It could be people; low lying individuals who see no other way but to answer the open call. It is also the countless many who simply say survival of the fittest. These are the people who will survive this disease and live to tell. I wish to be the latter as my hands are tied for greatness but I can do what I can to protect myself, my family and those I encounter. However, this is hard, unrewarded work and looking around to other countries, those leaders and their people in comparison ... trying to fix this is futile.

Around Here ...

Thankfully, I am in a small town of less than 100,00 residents. It is vast with very few planned communities and virtually no urban sprawl. This is the country and most development has only taken place in the last decade and it shows. If someone wants something done in the community all they have to do is make one phone call or simply show up. There is no bureaucracy here and this is both a blessing and a curse. Everyone relies upon city officials for any and everything. The city is trying to be hip and modern using social media, digital payments and green campaigns but the people here do not compute. Seniors and the working class seek information through word of mouth. They wish to convene in halls and buffet restaurants. They prefer to see it in the paper or have it posted on their city hall doors. Many of our local officials are in quarantine having all attended a conference in Boston where there is now a 100+ cluster of infected persons nationwide. So most people here have no idea about a public health crisis happening let alone an epidemic or pandemic. A lot of them only "go to town" once or twice a month for their basic needs, mail checks into utility companies for their resources and watch analog television. They don't see world news or have internet access. 

There is also a  mass amount of misinformation in the region. Nearby Winston-Salem opened up all schools and businesses last week assuming the worst was over. Yet Greensboro and Raleigh have a good amount of cases and hospitals there are already feeling overwhelmed. Normally, when I leave my house with as much a new dress on people ask me am I a celebrity. So imagine in the past weeks how it was going out with a mask on my face. People here think I am batshit crazy (no pun intended). I find myself informing people why there is no food on the shelves, that they too should be wearing a mask or that our city has enacted a curfew of sorts. So here while I can avoid large crowds, out of towners and overrun hospitals ... I am encountering a lot of ignorance. Today on my second outing in a week, I had people not practice social distance, laugh when I refused to touch things and inquire if I was waiting in line because I was so far back from others. The stores are following company wide policies by placing clear signage around and putting distance marks on the floors. But people are not adhering because they simply do not know what is going on. I personally feel safe because I am protecting myself but I cannot say the same for others. It is a sad state of affairs.


North Carolina was one of the last states to have infected people. Most people here do not travel so it took a long while for things to spread. The closest international airport is three hours away from me in the state capitol. A lot of the state is untouched or sat aside for farming and agriculture. The biggest issue we are having is that this is one of the worst states in the union for healthcare. We have a senator that has basically championed anything taking down Obamacare, Medicare or Medicaid. This has left a lot of uninsured citizens who cannot afford private insurance. There is also a strong university backed medical community who refuse to work for charity. I personally have been denied coverage here now three times. When this first happened I was a caregiver for my mother. I fully expected that the state would consider this and give me some coverage. It didn't have to be the best plan but something where I could get my basic needs met with a small monthly premium. Even now being here well beyond my travel insurance from Germany I sought coverage. I was going to pay out of pocket and cancel whatever plan before I left. I was met with plans for $500+ a month with an income of less than $600 a month. So yet again I am uninsured and since being here thankfully I've only paid full costs for some dental work. I do not want to imagine what a hospital visit would look like for me. I am contemplating suppressing my symptoms if I ever have any. I just can't be sick here.

My mother has been on Medicare along with a private supplemental insurance since retiring. She often chooses between seeing a doctor, getting emergent care or just self medicating at home. Had it not been for her supplemental insurance she would have most certainly died seven years ago. The additional things she needed outside of chemo and radiation for her Stage IV cancer would have never been covered. She would have been deemed as terminal and all that would have been provided was comfort and end of life care. She was lucky as she could afford additional coverage that took care of her home health aids, nutritional specialists and occupational and speech therapists. My mother had a twenty percent chance of living, lost over fifty pounds as well as the ability to eat, swallow and walk. She needed those other providers who were far from cosmetic or elective ... they were essential to her living and surviving. The state has many "cancer clusters" and around her home is one. She survived 48 others who were in her treatment orientation. I strongly believe the state doesn't want these people to live through their diagnosis and or treatment. Her and others like her are considered to be burdens and that is exactly how the state will treat people infected with Covid-19. 

As of today 5pm, only specific counties within the state are following a stay at home policy. So they said earlier in the week and texted every local citizen around 2pm today. However, later is was said it was to begin on Monday and that is isn't going to be forced. It is also several weeks prior to the most recent Presidential plan. The NC policy is that only essential needs be taken care of between 6am and 5pm, groups must be less than 10 and people can go outside. However, they have no repercussions for those that do not obey and refuse to call it a quarantine or a curfew. Meanwhile, other states have enacted Statewide plans and curtailed movement in or out of the states borders. NC as per usual isn't binding anyone to anything. Of course, people are very confused as they watch national and world news and see different actions. So there are people who believe everything will be like normal and those that think it is a crime even to walk their dogs. State guidance combined with ignorance and misinformation is going to lead to panic. And trust me the panic has already begun because there was no guidance for several weeks now. The stores have no hygiene products, no meat or dairy and worst of all people are still inundating medical services with their basic non-emergent needs because they do not have proper health care. And what can you do with the governor and a senator that prefers when people suffer medically all the time. This pandemic is no exception. 

And btw the Republican National Convention has no plans on postponing their obscene massing gathering with the President right here in Charlotte. 


I guess the worst part of it all is our President and his administration. The back peddling and denial of this pandemic started way before a time they have chosen to admit. The week of January 20th Thailand, Japan, South Korea and the U.S. had identified their first known patients with then novel Corona virus. In the exact same amount of time the effect on these countries differ immensely. In example, South Korea not only stopped outside travel but they did as China and shut down all activities. Any essential travel, business and supply needs were all monitored with contact tracing. Now South Korea's curve is flattening and much like China they are readying themselves for a full national recovery. Meanwhile, America is flailing having never officially shut anything down. Air travel while decreased has never officially ended, borders are still basically open and the powers that be have not been accurate with their predictions or suggestions. The narrative changes day by day with some discrepancies happening between leaders in real time for Americans to witness on TV. The President is still telling people not to be alarmed and basically lying about his abilities, the administration's actions and what agencies they are utilizing to save us all. There is no clarity on symptoms, incubation periods, expectations for testing or subsequent treatment. The numbers all over are flawed due to this gross mishandling of the virus from the start. In states like New York and California, those mayors and governors are giving their constituents vital information around medical care, first responders and supplies. They are doing this much to the chagrin of the President and his teams because their municipalities cannot wait anymore. Still, the rest of the American public is awaiting leadership and direction on things like rents & mortgages, Covid-19 testing and getting much needed supplies. He instead is focused on things like jumpstarting the economy, the stock market and forced manufacturing of goods we should have had on hand. The average American looks to him for how to proceed in life and so many are at a standstill not knowing what to do. There are a lot of sheep following a blind herd guided by a useless leader with no end in sight. 


As someone who has lived and traveled abroad I know our reputation. Americans are seen as ultra patriotic, ambivalent and stupid. For the rest of us ... the liberals, highly educated and reasonable folk we have no choice but to follow our own instincts in regards to Covid-19. We are not looking at the biased news or listening to his maniacal lectures. We are simply following the data marks around the virus and looking to China and surrounding nations for predictions and next steps. I hate that what the rest of the world sees is our entire infrastructure crumbling. The panic buying, the hysteria in the medical community and our elected band of clowns on the world stage. We are so much better than this. His failure is not going to determine our success as a people. It is unfortunate that he was appointed to run this country and even more so that we couldn't depend upon others in place to impeach him. We do not want be like Spain or Italy but it is inevitable especially without leadership and a positive alliance with the rest of the world. 


I honestly wasn't ready to go back to Germany for my own personal reasons. However, it was pretty frustrating to be sort of banned from returning at the 11th hour. Now that I've gotten over that initial shock, I have determined maybe being here is better. There is this notion that Germany is safer. They are testing more rapidly and the healthcare system is more equipped. I beg to differ because my medical history in Germany has been nothing short of a nightmare. I would much rather be allowed to assess myself at home and self medicate if need be and I cannot do that in Germany. I am worried for my husband, his family and our friends but they are used to that. As an American I have been forced to advocate for myself and empowered to that. It was a good call to shelter in place wherever that was at the moment. I feel miles ahead than my peers as I was proactive about getting supplies and preparing for this to happen in both of my households. My husband may be a first responder so I cannot control things there. But here, along side my mother, in this area I think there is higher probability of me surviving this thing. I also believe Germany is naive and the numbers are also flawed. This is why people are still congregating in parks, visiting each other and piling onto public transportation. I do not have to worry about that here as there is no density or a high concentration of people. Most of our neighbors have sheltered before the order and we feel confident that our area will cooperate. Here I can also grow my own food, avoid people in general and take care of my mother. At home in Germany, we have no balkon and we live steps from a local university. We are sort of in the middle of a war zone just out of Karneval and zwischen multiple international airports. I can manage here but of course I prefer being with my husband and in my own bed. For now, despite the craziness and the fuckery this will have to do. Eventually, I will get home and hopefully when all has gotten to some level of normalcy. But gee golly damn what a rock and hard place to be in between. Especially when you are seeing and hearing conflicting information about your fate and that of others. I pray we can get past this thing but I also don't pray. I am trying to remain true to self and see the other side but this may be the new normal for some time. 

Still ... I hope to see us all on the other side.