Everything I’m about to say has, of course, already been said. By someone more or less articulate than I.
Quite apart from the malfeasance, the naked corruption of the current administration, quite apart from all the attendant death and pain they have brought about through their depraved stupidity, quite apart from all that what I hold against them is how they stole my sons’ spring away. The innocence of kindergarten in this, the latest stage of capitalist decadence, was, as it was always intended to be, a sweet and lovely thing. And those fuckers snatched it through their vindictive incompetence. Instead of coming home every Wednesday proud of the chess problem he solved, or sad that he got an orange card (and so gets no TV), or eager to show off his knowledge of Abraham Lincoln, the hero who freed the slaves, what I get is the saddest form of bargaining by a boy more afraid of a shot in the arm than he is of not being able to invite his friends to a birthday party at an indoor gym.
And then there’s this: the worst pain I’m personally likely to feel over this whole thing is a temporary 10% cut in my pay. I’ve had my parents staying with us, providing free childcare and homeschooling while the virus takes every fourth person in their age cohort. I’ve spent less on food, and eaten better for it. I’ve spent more time every weekend hiking trails from Volcano to Nevada City, from Delta Meadows up to the Yuba preserve, all for the pure pleasure of hearing my son point out the difference between a great egret and a great blue heron, and my younger boy ask whether there are tadpoles in the canal (probably not, buddy, but keep on looking, you never know).
I am not actually in pain, and am unlikely to take the brunt of it. I work for the state, my spouse consults for the state, my parents are pensioned off from the state, we all of us have money. It is a reminder, if ever I needed one, that money does not buy happiness — and that there are far, far worse fates than having to explain to one’s son (yet again) that no, we can’t go to the playground. Because of the Coronavirus.