Among many of the people I speak with regularly there are, these days and for a long time now, two topics of conversation: COVID-19 and Trump - except when one crosses over with the other producing a third topic, the mashup, Trumpvirus.
You would think by now that we would see each day's new Trump outrage as ho-hum. After all, he has been saying and doing stupid, corrosive, racist, corrupt, mean things and lying about them since he first rode down that escalator in Trump Tower in 2015.
Increasingly, it appears to me, the subject when friends and I speak is the mashup. Take yesterday. After Trump's minions insisted for two days that he was kidding in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when he said he had ordered his people to slow down virus testing, he said he never kids. He really did order a virus test slowdown, he told the cameras.
How deeply grotesque is that? Hand washing, distancing and testing are the only tools we have against the pandemic. Puny as they are, they're all we've got. What kind of hideous monster deliberately sabotages one of them?
And yet, mostly now I am so deeply weary, so depleted by his daily attacks on this, that and everyone he thinks has done him wrong (which is everyone, apparently, except his henchman Bill Barr), that I just want it to stop. Just please stop.
Sometimes I remind myself that I won't be here to see whatever the outcome will be like from the virus, the trashed economy, the Black Lives Matter movement and even Trump. I can't do anything.
But as helpless as I am, I still care. And most of all, the problem is Trump.
Some countries like New Zealand, Iceland, Australia and much of western Europe have shown us what good leadership could have looked like against the virus in the United States. Too bad for us.
People keep getting sick by the tens of thousands a day. People keep dying. Hospitals are running out of beds again. And PPE too. And here's what no one I've seen has said: Trump doesn't care. It's true. He doesn't care.
There are days when the awfulness of it all just paralyzes me. Today is one of them. How about you?