Picture us on a zoom call. Something you probably do yourself. We have a weekly Friday evening chat with a friend about what’s not being achieved while the plague keeps us incarcerated so that our health isn’t compromised by our underlying conditions. You know, the underlying implication that our own medical conditions are the cause of any public health failures.
One Friday in particular, I learned that Trumpian delusions may be as infectious as anything that’s out there.
We’d been zooming about the books we’re reading, the news and at the point of swapping recommendations on TV programs we might enjoy watching. I recounted seeing coverage of a dreadfully lax Trump rally that sent all the wrong public health messages.
It was around the time of publication of John Bolton’s book The Room Where it Happened. You may have read that CBS correspondent Paula Reid asked Trump at a press conference why he kept ‘hiring people that you believe are wackos and liars’.
Reid also asked of the White House, who had Bolton’s book for six months before publication, why they didn’t try to block publication if they didn’t like it.
Reid has a track record challenging Trump. In a prior press conference in November 2018, she fact-checked his false claim that separating migrant children from their families had also been an Obama policy. He didn’t reply, he simply walked away. Something he did this time too.
I was still remembering and retelling that other dreadful conference story that none of the other zoomers had seen.
I told the zoomers how Trump was waffling on about opening up America. I talked about the lack of masks on anyone. I joked about how Trump was taking no chances, standing behind the plexiglass shield. Everyone else was standing shoulder to shoulder, no social distancing among any of the baseball capped supporters. And how the undertakers had … I froze. The undertakers?
Suddenly, it became clear. I must have dreamt it. So embarrassing and worrying that the memory was so vivid.
Then I paused again. That was no dream. I could see it clearly. The lines of the images came back into focus. Lines?
I was remembering a dream. It was a brain-crazed animation inspired by Martyn Turner’s cartoon in the Irish Times the previous Saturday, June 20th. We still had the paper. It was sitting on the top of the dog’s cage, folded open to the very cartoon. Look, there’s the Covid bouncing off the plexiglass.
Delusions. Confusions. Fake news.
Yes, it’s true, Gus dog sleeps in a cage in the kitchen. The cage is his kennel, his choice though perhaps the kitchen isn’t. Truly, it is his choice. He’s been doing it since he was a rescue puppy after being saved from unknown but serious abuse 14 years ago. The cage is his special sanctuary even today. And he sleeps soundly for at least eight hours if not nine every night and while there, the bad things can’t happen to him.
Perhaps he’s just showing off, teasing us with his awesome bladder control.