Essay: Overwhelmed by Events

Aug 3, 2020

Steve Plotkin
Credit personal photo

It seems that we live in a maelstrom of events that keep unfolding before our very eyes. Delmarma Public Media's essayist Steve Plotkin writes there doesn't seem to be a moment to rest against the overwhelming tide.

 Overwhelmed

This week there are so many problems on so many fronts, my
pen experienced sensory overload and simply shut down,
leaving me speechless.

Covid Pandemic
Should I comment about the Covid pandemic which is covered
ad nauseum?  Or the revolting statistic that every 70
seconds someone in the U.S. dies from Covid?
Or the fanatical absence of federal leadership on 50
battlefields in the Covid wars?
How about the stupefying mask controversy after half a
million dead, or the intransigence of a few red state
governors regarding masks?
Maybe how the Corona hotspots migrate across the U.S., or
comparing the pathetic U.S. response, in comparison with the
rest of the world?

And then what the social distancing, lockdowns, not seeing
friends and relatives for months on end?  What is this doing
to our kids?
Also, what the 2nd or 3rd wave boomerang of the virus might
mean to us?
Is there is something we do not know about Brooklyn's
revered Dr. Fauci who will be 80 in December?
Or the impossible dream of herd immunity?
Our overworked hospitals operating at capacity, are always a
dramatic story.
How about the sacrifices of our medical heroes at the front
lines?

Election
How to deal with mindless tweets and disinformation coming
from the White House?
Or, should I focus on the 95 days until the election?  Or
the millions of mail-in ballots cast prior to election day,
that may or may not get hijacked?
Or how the Republicans were favored to keep the Senate 100
days ago, now are running scared?
Or what dirty tricks the Russians are up to this time
around?
And why we get only 2 choices for president?

Business & Commerce
Or the colossal spiraling unemployment of 30 million
workers?  Or the tens of thousands of businesses shuttered?
Including my favorite restaurants that will never open
again.
I could write about the total grounding of the airlines,
sinking of the cruise ship industry, and lack of demand in
the oil business?
Then we have the economic wars with China costing us
thousands of jobs.
On the bright side, we have a lack of inflation, and almost
interest-free money.
Also, I can explain how I use 2 gallons per week for my car.

Federal Government
Then there is this year's public deficit of merely $3
trillion.  A pittance when measured against the blossoming
runaway $26 trillion national debt.
There is the undependable federal assistance for millions of
starving unemployed citizens.
The political sabotage of the U.S. Justice Dept.
What ever happened to that swamp that needed draining?

Race Relations
How about the social upheaval of Black Lives Matter?

Politics
The perpetual scrimmage between the Democrats and
Republicans, blue vs red states, is always reliable for a
few column inches.
How about the treatment of immigrant children imprisoned at
our borders?
Or the EU placing the entire USA in quarantine?
Have we completely overlooked climate change?

Schools and Sports
From pre-school to universities, what are the plans for
reopening schools?
What will they do about sports?

Should I pause here and regroup?  No time for that!

This year is already far from a normal year, does not
resemble previous years, and predicts that difficult days
will follow.

Look around - the world has gone crazy.

It strikes me that a Martian landing here would assess the
situation, grade it a "F", hang a "Do not disturb" sign, blackball, and quarantine
Earth, and immediately return home.

So, you can see why I have a problem focusing.
Thank goodness the pharmacy is open.  Maybe there is some
vaccine to alleviate my stress?

This is Steve Plotkin for Delmarva Public Media