It’s OK, America – CNN Will Tell You Exactly What to Do

Am I angry? Damn Right, I’m angry. Now that Covid-19 has hit critical mass on US shores it’s becoming a meme and I’m fed up. This is not a Kardashian reality horror show. It’s a pandemic. But like everything else in the world, the US will turn it into an opportunity to sell something. And it’s oh so American to have The Best of… lists, or Everything you need to know click-bait. And it’s unsurprising because in the US we know everything.

And actual COVID-19 store

This article about Everything you need to know to prepare for quarantine is absurd. But like we do so much in the US, we reduce it to stuff. What we can buy. Because the economy matters more than people’s lives – if you’ll remember. Business. And quarantine is big business – apparently. But what they don’t list is this:

  1. How does it feel to watch your husband leave the house in a deadly pandemic to get essentials? Knowing he’s going because you’ve got a cough. Watching him prepare as he suits up. Putting on his gloves and mask as the final step of protective gear. Going through the check list. Knowing he’s in danger.
  2. And what it’s like to go to a store for provisions for your family to be met at the door of the store by a hazmat team who will check your home preparations and do even more to you before directing your shopping?
  3. Or that one hour of him out of the apartment will feel like 5 waiting for him to get back, meeting him at the door with a plastic bag so he can strip down, put it all in the bag so you can take it to the laundry and wash it all – gloved and masked up, of course? As he takes a shower. Then you’ll get all the stuff out of the trolley and wash it off before putting it out on the utility porch for an hour or so – unless it’s frozen.
  4. CNN, can you tell me what’s it like to wake up to the grim news daily in my country, just waiting – hoping – that the number of deaths has slowed in Italy and Spain and around the world. Or the number of infections? Will you advise them what to do when day 10 brings uncontrollable crying? Not for yourself – you understand – but for the strangers outside your window who are sick and dying? And then the guilty relief you feel that for yet another day you’re well enough.
  5. How should they feel or what should they purchase when someone in the house/apartment spikes a fever or develops a cough? Is there something they should have hoarded for that? The fear you feel as you try to treat it with the old stand-bys and the waiting to see if it progresses or if you need to make the decision to go to the hospital. Is it safe to go?
  6. Will you tell readers/consumers there are days – even with all the food you advised them to buy – they will not be able to put food in their mouths? That there is too much death and bad news to allow food to cross your lips.
  7. And then other days when they won’t be able to stop eating.? As though there isn’t enough food in the world to sate the hunger.
  8. Then there’s watching CNN in the US from so far away. Listening to the government shit-show and knowing people you love are there, but you can’t get them to listen to you for weeks on end as you’re locked up. Will you tell them which Gwyneth Paltrow GOOP sensory deprivation chamber they should buy to combat those tough feelings? The sensation of being behind thick glass and no matter how much you scream, pound, and jump up and down you can’t get your US family’s attention. It’s like a horror movie and you’re yelling ‘RUN!!’ at the screen, for weeks on end – only to have them tell you ‘Not to worry so much. It’s not that bad here.’
  9. And what about the boredom? Will you tell them about that? Oh, the boredom. How you need to keep your mind occupied and away from the news. How to focus on staying healthy because you can’t really go anywhere or exercise in an apartment. Other than Yoga. Then the guilt for being bored when others are ill. And that meditation will become your best friend.
  10. @CNN can you sell them a exclusive quarantine face cream to prepare them for when a neighbor in their building is taken away by ambulance and then find out the person passed away? Sure, you just saw each other in the elevator, or on the bench outside every evening on your walk, and said a good day at the mailbox. But you will cry for her like you’ve known her all your life. Because she is you. And the virus is close.
  11. And finally, CNN – can you provide expert advice to them for when the government extends the quarantine another two weeks? Or for the realization that it could go on even longer? What should they buy from your sponsored ads then? Is there a magic pill you can sell them for that? Or a new body or bath gel I could buy that will soothe my frayed nerves with just one use? Yeah – thought not.

The way the US and the UK has handled this looming crisis is like watching a slow motion train wreck, yet the trains are speeding up now and people are sick and dying. Watching them reduce it to the same old sales consumption tropes is obscene and lethal. Can you tell I’m tired? Yes, I’m tired. And yet, CNN didn’t have that on their complete quarantine list, either.

I’ll stop now. Stay safe, Stay sane (good luck) and Stay inside.

10 thoughts on “It’s OK, America – CNN Will Tell You Exactly What to Do

  • Yesterday was the first time I tuned to CNN and Fox news to see what else is going on in the US. So it’s almost nothing. It was scary. I messaged my daughter, who as a cook was laid off, and told her to go and shop, while it’s not too bad yet in MD, for personal items, meds for the flu, etc to prepare for possible infection of her or one of the kids or my great granddaughter. Also to try and find things that they can do if quarantined, puzzles, paint by number, etc. She still has time to be proactive instead of reactive.

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  • While this is totally real and staying home and out of the pubic is very very important. There are some silver linings. My grandkids are very happy to have their parents at home. My wife and I are very sad that we cannot see them now but they still have their mom and dad which is a big deal to them. My 6-year-old granddaughter turned to her father, my son a few mornings ago to exclaim that she loved the coronavirus since they got to snuggle together and watch cartunes in the morning. We live on a corner and I see so many families out walking and riding their bikes together. All of course while maintaining a safe distance from others. People seem to be kinder and more caring. While this is bad there are some positives. Stay safe and healthy.

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    • You are, of course, right. There are positives. Many positives, as families are spending time together. Intensive quality time. Thats lovely. Our daughter is keeping company with my Mom. Which never would have happened wo this. Some days are easier than others. Today has been a good day.

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      • I completely understand. I have many friends in Spain and how difficult it is there right now. At least we can go out for a walk. We have a garden/backyard to go into. Living in an apartment would be very difficult. I am an avid reader of your blog and can feel your frustration. When will you be moving to Galicia?

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        • We were set to look at houses week before last. Had 2 fall thru over a Christmas holidays due to the deaths of the elderly owners and the estate being up in the air. We were ready with an offer for one we were set to see – if it lived up to the photos, location we were looking at online. At least we know no one will swoop in and snag it in the meantime. We were just now saying how much different it would be in a house. A back yard. Room to breath. A view of the ocean. I smile just thinking about it. Something to look forward to. Its good to have that right about now.

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  • It’s very difficult here in California as people are out, going to the beach and walking the trails. So now the beaches and hiking trails are closed. There is a closeness in neighborhoods that I haven’t seen before. Close but at a distance. Neighbors out on their lawns, talking to the next guy or the guy across the street. But the attitude is still….poor Spain, Italy, and China. Oh wow New York is hit hard, as is Chicago, and now NOLA. It won’t be until it’s in their face and their coworker, friend, relative, spouse, or neighbor….is gone… that some will take it seriously. I haven’t left the house in two weeks, except for groceries. My husband stopped working. People complain about this being the new normal. Get used to it because we’re in for a long run of this, our new normal. I hope that you and your family are as well as can be, physically and mentally.

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    • Thank you Linda. Neighbors are talking more and pulling together. I know at my Mom’s house she and the neighbor who lives alone take care of each other thru this. I’ve had lovely notes today from neighbors telling us they are there and if we need anything to tell them. I think its the little things that mean so much now. Ultimately, I hope things aren’t as bad as we believe they will get in the US. I think we have different news than they show there. So perhaps you don’t get the same view we do. And maybe its because Spain is a small country- like Italy – where we all live on top of each other. So what’s happening feels very close. Its not perfect here either. Saw ppl out the window at the dog park who were standing in the usual clump watching their dogs. But the police broke it up. I heard an older lady crying on her balcony the other day. Just wailing. I’m not sure why – so it could have been anything. But the sound was such sadness it was a profound moment. I felt like I was invading her privacy by being there. As my neighbors wrote today – we will get thru it. But we will be changed forever.

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  • I’ve read so much, been following so many people, watching and reading the impact on Italy and Spain and then how we have had so little preparation here in the US. I understand. And still so many naysayers. It’s as if I want someone close to them to get the virus and die so they’ll accept what is happening and stop being stupid. But, of course, I don’t want to see anyone go through that terror of watching a loved one struggle and possibly die. My heart is with Spain and Italy. Why oh why, when we had the ability to be prepared, did we think it couldn’t / wouldn’t / shouldn’t happen to us? Oh. Yep. Because we have an idiot for a President.

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    • Take good care of yourself. Dark days ahead, I’m afraid. I wore a mask here before mist pol but I didn’t care. Be the outlier and i hope you and your family will make it thru unscathed. Sending you all the good energy we can spare.

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