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.
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:
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.’
- 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.
- @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.
- 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.