Monday, March 16, 2020

Hang on!

                                    Oneanta 2020 oil on canvas 50x40 inches, 127x101.5 cm

 Somehow I had enough concentration to paint this. Last week was tense but the foreboding arrived on the weekend. Every time our president was on camera it was clear we could not look to the federal government for guidance, assurance or even honesty. It`s becoming evident that the criminal lack of testing capability wasn`t bad luck but remained inadequate for weeks because the president didn`t want to see the higher number of infections. Saw the looming crisis only in terms of his re-election prospects. Many people will die because we lost the chance to track the spread of the virus. Like China finally did, or Singapore or Hong Kong. Even today, March 16, the administration is not making the processing of tests any more efficient by relaxing rules on which labs are licensed to run them. This is criminal negligence. Senate Republicans are objecting to the paid sick leave provisions in the emergency legislation passed by the House on Saturday, Fox news continues to downplay our urgent situation.
 A corrective is coming. The utter mendacity of Trump and his Republican enablers will be visible to everyone at last. Even to the cult of his supporters. We will all know some of the dead. We will all be much poorer. The election is won, the Democrats will have to clean up the disaster again.
 Within this sad and terrifying scenario, collectively we must reimagine our country. The catastrophe will make crystal clear how unjust and unfair our society is. Low unemployment and a booming stock market will no longer conceal the cruelty. Because of the profound lack of leadership now, the reassembling of our lives will take considerable time. We will have the chance to  fix it. Create the more perfect union. Address the fearsome change in the climate, outrageous income inequality, racial disparity everywhere, and finally get some common sense gun laws. Let the mass killings end.
 On our way to this better reality, I hope as individuals we can be actively kind and generous. An ocean of need will surround us. As one of my heroes Marshall McLuan said "every breakdown is a breakthrough". A crisis is too good to waste.

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