In many ways COVID19 was as bad as a pandemic could get without being really
bad. It doesn’t have the virulence of measles combined with the mortality of
bubonic plague. This, however, makes it all the more galling that Donald Trump
and his cadre of sycophants failed to guide the nation through these straits
Unlike 9/11, which literally exploded across the nation, we knew this was
coming with weeks of lead time and Trump’s team failed to act. Here’s the
story of how we got the signals of the threats ahead, how Lauren and I
experienced it, and how Trump spread disinformation ahead of it.
Prelude to a Season of Death
In February of 2020, I was due to start a new job. Ahead of it, and knowing
that new work tends to dominate life for a little while, Lauren and I planned
to take a trip to the beautiful Netherlands. I had long hoped to share the
wonders of the Mauritshuis, Zuid Holland, and Amsterdam with her. While we were
there, though, the European media, forever ahead of US media in terms of
international reporting, was running stories about a highly infectious illness
sweeping the Wuhan province of China.