by Shelt Garner
Today was different because it definitely felt we crossed the Rubicon when it came to public perception of what’s actually going on. It definitely seems as though a lot more people realize that it’s very possible a pandemic may strike the United States in the next few days. My fear right now, of course, is that it’ll show itself through a lot — a lot — of people getting sick to such an extent that we realize something horrible is going on.
A lot of social events have happened in the States the last two months, so there’s no reason to think Mardi Gras is going to make any difference at this point. But given what’s happened to Iran, it does make you wonder if whenever the pandemic does finally strike the states — if it ever does — a lot people who get sick will have some connection to tonight’s Mardi Gras celebration. But, what do I know.
The Mad King
Trump’s doing exactly what I have long predicted he would do — lie, lie, lie. So, he’s still in the first stage of may be his ultimate political demise. (Just kidding, he’s going to name himself Emperor Caligula II and force Ted Cruz to fuck a horse in the well of the Senate!) The second stage will be, of course, Trump freaking the fuck out. He’s going to go hysterical.
But, really, even that isn’t going to make any difference. What is likely to happen is Trump will go bonkers — maybe even bungle a limited nuclear exchange with the DPRK along the way — and he STILL will win re-election. The only thing that could possibly bring Trump down at this point is so horrific I barely want to think about it — millions of elderly people dying as part of The Gray Plague. That’s it. That’s the only way Trump will ever be removed from office other than him shuffling off this mortal coil in some peaceful fashion 10 years from now when he’s changed the Constitution and his doofus eldest son is the Crown Prince.
Or, the thinking behind the above rant is this. Trump is an avatar for some existential problems with the American Republic. In fact, Trump, personally, is the end of the Republic. So and Act of God that was both historically cruel and astonishing would have to happen that was so devastating to everyone, both Blue and Red that finally realized maybe having a Right wing celebrity Twitter troll as president MIGHT not be the best course of action right now. That’s never going to happen, so, lulz. See you in the Trump-branded ICE reeducation camp!
It seem as though Europe — because of a major outbreak in northern Italy — may be about to implode. If Europe goes, then that’s yet another huge H-Bomb dropped on Trump’s precious stock market. The global economy simply won’t be able to hold up if China, South Korea, Japan, and Europe are no longer functioning, even if the US somehow miraculously manages to dodge a bullet because, I dunno, Trump is actually the second coming of Jesus H. Christ and is single-handedly warding off the Gray Plague by him being both man and God? If that’s NOT the case, then, well, lulz! Guess what, America, you’re in for a sharp — if brief — depression-type event.
The Global Economy
I think because the fundamentals of the global economy are still sound, that any significant decline in the global economy will be sharp, but brief. I would say — just as a casual observer — that there are several major industries that are Dead Men Walking. Hollywood. Newspapers. A few others directly connected to social events. So, it’s at least possible that early 2021 will be a media wasteland while we wait for AR, VR and MX in general to spring into the gap left by all those empty movie theatres.
WARS & Rumors of WARS
It seems to me that if my fears come true about the amount of pandemic chaos caused by COV19 that there’s a good chance there could be as many as four regional wars in the next few months. Russia-Ukraine / Iran – Israel / India – Pakistan / DPRK – ROK. That’s pretty much the absolute worst case scenario, but it’s reasonable to assume that the liberal global order that’s existed since 1945 is just about on its knees as it is because of fucking Trump and so a pandemic would likely push us into the void again until we straightened things out. Or, put another way, it might not even be COV19 that kills the most people in the next, say, 18 months, but rather all the fucking wars it causes. Which would flip the script from 100 years ago when it was the Spanish Flu that killed a lot of people during The Great War.
To date, my fears about Iceland haven’t come true. So, maybe they won’t. Maybe my notion that it would be Iceland that sufferent for the sins of our for profit healthcare system may prove to be unfounded. I really like Iceland. So, I hope I’m wrong. Their tiny little Nordic nation wouldn’t deserve to be brought to its knees because Americans would rather go to their country that pay for a doctor’s visit.
I don’t know what the fuck is going on with Iran. It seems the worst off of any nation outside of the China hotzone. It definitely seems as though Iran may be in contention for the first nation to face actual political change becasue of COVID19. That, in itself, would be historic. That Iran is now being consumed by COVID19 definitely indicates that the major social events that occured in Iran over the last two months probably led us to this point. Given that the Grammys, the Oscars, impeachment and the Superbowl all happened in the United States during that same time period is enough to give one pause for thought. Add to that the surreal lack of cases in the States and…whoa buddy.
My birthday is Feb 26th. I would prefer it not be seen as a 9/11-type moment in our nation’s history when we all wake up to the cold hard fact that 60% of the American population is too sick to move.