A TGB READER STORY: Following Doctor’s Orders – Unexpectedly and Reluctantly
Visiting Old Friends Plus The Alex and Ronni Show

How's the Pandemic Going For You?

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?


He is a heinous excuse of a President. I'm with you-every word. I'm waiting for the magical disappearing act. Since the virus didn't "just go away", I pray he will!

I can only say that it feels better inside for us to be cheerful, optimistic, and even accepting of the current stupidity and foolishness. I have been trying to understand the point of view of the Trump supporters. I don't think he is dangerous. Some of his supporters just want to be contrarian, others deeply love their cause. For me it just doesn't feel good to be at odds with anyone, even if I am/we are right. Feel good, people, when it counts! Appreciation, respect, kindness, compassion!

Do you really want to spend time thinking and talking about the President when there are so many other things that are still beautiful and good?

Nevertheless, even reading your crabby old lady posts makes me smile.
I sincerely appreciate you Ronni

IMHO we should be prepared for Trump's refusing to leave the White House if he loses the election. I suppose I could just not think about it, but I think it wiser to be writing my senators and congressional reps to add my ant-like weight to the other communications they are surely getting from other concerned citizens. Oops, there goes another rubber tree.

Er... what in the world am I reading? (I’m not referring to Ronni’s post, I’m talking about one of the comments.) Trump IS dangerous, our country has been barely hanging on since Election Night 2016. I can’t comment on his base as I’ve done my best to steer clear of them, but I can’t begin to imagine what they see in this cancer of a man.

I don’t have a terminal illness like Ronni, but have been dealing with this awful jaw disorder for 18 months (which consumes much of my day). It’s left me feeling pretty hopeless, despondent. But if I was my old self, I’d be crushed & terrified right now of everything going on outside my front door. My god, this virus is KILLING tens of thousands and our president is playing with his base, coming up with cute racist names for it—“Kung Flu”? How putrid & sickening!

My god, Ronni—please stay with us and see us get past this walking, talking nightmare.

The voting public can often seem asleep and distracted by the concerns of everyday life. Yet, with this president's consistent shallowness and ineptitude on display - perhaps voters will clearly see the choice before them and vote him out.

I can completely identify with your feelings, Ronni. Some days it feels so hopeless, and I worry about what will happen if, God forbid, this man gets re-elected. Today I was reading in the New York Times that two political appointees have been installed in new positions at the Census Bureau, where they will be supervising and advising the civil servants there. Trump et. al. failed to get a citizenship question on the census, so now they're trying to corrupt it another way.

That's what wears me down. Every day there's a new effort by the Trump administration to strike at the heart of democracy, and things like what's happening at the Census Bureau go under the radar. Most people, I know, don't read newspapers or tune into legitimate news sources of any sort. They're all entertaining themselves, not noticing while our republic is being hollowed out right under their noses.

Yes, Trump is dangerous. Everyone, everyone has to vote in November, however long they have to stand in line. I'm grateful my state has vote by mail for everyone, but then again, the postal service may be gone before November because Trump refuses to fund it.

I find an equal amount of paralysis in the number of people who think Trump is a good man. It astounds me.

Trump's irrelevant; I don't follow what he says and does. The problem existed long before Trump became president, and, if Biden wins, it will persist - I won't be surprised by armed attacks on Dems and especially progressives. The Republicans signed a deal with the worst aspects of Americans' character when they signed up with Rush Limbaugh's followers. He was syndicated way back in 1988 - 32 years ago. Sarah Palin was a clear sign of how low the GOP was willing to go to make sure they got the far right votes. Compounding all that is the electoral college; sometimes I wonder how Hillary Clinton is bearing all this. She was the choice of the American people, and we need to remember that. Imagine how different this would all look if she were in the White House! Imagine the America if Al Gore, also chosen by the American people, had become president!
So, yeah, Trump is bad and I don't know if America will ever regain its proud and leading place in the world; how could anyone ever trust us again? But that's because of the GOP's ardent support of him, and its opposition to all things Democrat. Remember how they wouldn't even give a Senate hearing to Obama's Supreme Court nominees?
Still, the GOP is in power because its anti-Democrat stand is working among huge swaths of the American people-- your neighbors, my neighbors. Dog-lovers, home health care aides, owners of businesses large and small, churchgoers, mechanics, soldiers. There's the real problem.
I read "Listen Liberal" by Thomas Frank. I recommend it. It gives one view of how the Dems lost the very people who should be its biggest supporters.

Ronni, you can relish the memory of the metaphorical photo-op of the president in Arizona with his back to the wall. His wall.

I continue to find joy and beauty in this world, and am grateful every day for my simple life with a roof over my head, food on my table, and the ability to splurge on art supplies now and then.

That does not mean I will pretend that this disgrace of a president does not exist. Crude, cruel, narcissistic, ignorant and dangerous for our country, and the world. I am appalled by him and his cowardly cronies in congress every single day.

I'm all about joy and gratitude, but I'm also willing to call a spade a spade.

That man is dangerous
It is especially difficult living in Canada and hoping we can keep our borders closed
We just watch in horror
I read somewhere that for us it is like living on top of a meth lab ....

It’s true...he doesn’t care. Even though he’s obviously a very sick man...I don’t care about him either. Terrible to say....but If something deadly happened to him tomorrow...I would shout hallelujah! He is trying to destroy our democracy...he must be stopped. What’s next? We know he is capable of ANYTHING! And he will DO ANYTHING to not leave the White House. Why do Republicans in Congress still stick with him? He learned from Roy Cohn to get stuff on people and blackmail them...no question that is going on. Rare for me to be this angry and despise someone so much. This could not be more serious!

I can hardly stand it anymore. And yes, I feel paralyzed and deeply sad. All I can do is help to vote him out in November, but I’m sure he will make a pig’s ear out of the election too. Today feels like it’s going to be a bad one, but I get that we have to stay strong and continue to fight the whole mashup.

Judith Henry, thank you for describing the polarity of appreciating life and •at the same time• recognizing appalling governance from those in charge of your country. The two are not mutually exclusive; I can't believe the number of op-ed writers who get stuck only on one end of it.

Ronni, you have already done much to raise awareness. You had a bead on him from the get-go.

Me Too, and don't know if any of us are going to live to see it remedied, deeply sad, and watching the voter suppression and antics, thanks for your take today, just listened to 1A, and talk about changing the names of things, Aunt Jamima, Washington Blank-skins, Cleveland Browns, etc, we really have a lot of work to do to change more than that as a society, we can push for a start.

My biggest worry is that all this "wacky dude" has done is only part of the problem. the greater worry is as Bill Maher said (pre-Pandemic) this president's "handlers."

There is the bigger issue of those who are the "trumpet-masters."

I am an 83 year old very chronically sick woman (congestive heart failure) w ho even before the last election was terrified of the Republican party's resemblance to Nazi Germany's beginning growth.

On my feebler days I think Thank God I will probably be dead before the worst things can happen here. On my normal days I am angry--for my family, in particular my grandchildren, and for this country and for what it can do to the world.

Please, please, let us find strength and sense to vote in the Democratic Party and to let it perform in the right way with true courage and good sense.

Anyone who tells themselves that Trump isn't dangerous, has their head in the sand. Trump and his cronies and loyalists have degraded our country on the world stage, have corrupted our system from within, preyed on the fears of the weak, and signaled his approval of violence, authoritarianism, and racism. He has destroyed environments and wildlife through his deconstruction of laws that protected this beautiful earth. His egotism is easily preyed upon and manipulated by his need for approval by dictatorial father figures. And now, the pandemic, when we need to feel most unified, and support the common good of all of our citizens, Trump uses this to further divide. It is evil, unconscionable, harmful and deadly. I'm afraid I will never understand how irrational his followers are, i.e., the Engineer who came to my house to do a repair last week, actually believes the pandemic is fake, and a draconian conspiracy that only Trump can save us from. He and others like him, relinquishing their own good sense to be protected by a fear mongering narcissist.

Oh yes, the world right now is high evil, high bravery for the good, we are being shouted at all day every day..................in order to stay in alignment with my soul, and do what I feel called to do, I must shut the shouting off, breathe, look at my hands, my dog, the birds, the sun, the sky, a flower...........and remember that these too are real, perhaps more real than the hurly burly.
Trumps numbers have been dropping, anti-Trump feeling is growing, because people are coming to understand that he doesn't give a flip about them. Between this and the demonstrations, the beautiful, intelligent innovator of Black Lives Matter, and others of her ilk who are not going away, I feel fragile hope for the first time since Trump was elected.

I am planning on you being here in November. I will share my experience of attending Biden's inaugaration in January with you. I am betting Trump won't attend.

Much love to you, Sandr

Here in the UK, we watch with horror and trepidation as Boris Johnson seems to take his lead from Trump

I, too, am struggling today. Usually I am able to hang onto the hope of the election in November, but I feel overwhelmed today by all the terrible news. I believe that it will take more than 8 years to repair the damage caused by this president and all of his enablers and instigators. Thank you, Ronni, for continuing to begin this conversation. It's a real help to read your words and those of most of the people who comment.

All along, I have not been able to understand the Trumpers but yesterday I ran into a neighbor who I know loves Trump.
We talked for awhile and finally she started talking about how awful Obama was and what a silver tongue devil he is and it dawned on me that this is why they love Trump. Racism.

Even though we are currently on the SW coast of Oregon for the summer, we are from Arizona, and I am so discouraged by the high numbers of Trump supporters - especially young people- there who do not take precautions to avoid spreading this virus. Yesterday’s campaign event with 3000 folks without masks was so dangerous! Maricopa County just passed a Mask Up edict and hardly anyone did it there!

I am seriously wishing Congress could remove him now before his evil actions kill even more people! But then would be just become a martyr to his minions?

Dear Ronnie and Friends, i know it's not correct to laugh concerning the things our President says and does, but doggoneit, Donald Trump is the best thing that has happened in this country for too long a time. Yeah, he's far from perfect...it's a human thing.

Trump is a malignancy on the body politic. And it's as if, in his last few months, he is determined to wreak as much havoc as possible. I never watch him or his stooges, I can't stand it. I do believe the old U.S. is over, and can only hope that a better one will emerge. But our history of slavery has gone so deep in our bones that its effects are still poisoning us, which is what I think accounts for Trump supporters. Plus the fact that some people are just stupid and innately destructive.

It all makes me want to put my head back and howl.

I am recovering hope thru a personal campaign to find my car keys, Ronni. If I can manage that, my world will be closer to an even keel. If I can’t, my defeat brings me yet another reason to stay home, read my kindle, and ignore what is happening in Washington.

Yesterday, I got into a fierce argument on Facebook (on Facebook, for God’s sake!) with two women who attacked me for stating that my home state is a Corona-hot spot. These babes believe testing makes data less reliable, not more.

After exchanging multiple messages and recognizing that I was in high dudgeon over the matter, I began to laugh. Let’s return to fiction til we can vote in November. Set an alarm just in case.

OMG! I can hardly believe my eyes.......there are even readers of Time Goes By who think Trump is not dangerous ! With each new outrage, I think "Now they will see. NOW his followers will have their eyes opened." But they don't. It's as if they really did drink the Kool-aid.

Still I have sense the tide is changing. I am hopeful for November. and I am more hopeful for you, Ronni. I am nurturing that hope, so that it can become stronger and robust.

Hang in there. Not every day will be so dark——or so heavy.

I'm as horrified by Trump as anyone else but thought him a buffoon and fraud long before he ran for president. The true horror is that so many people voted for him and still support him. I feel insufferably arrogant when I say it, but how can anyone with half a brain still support that man? Or more to the point, I am depressed and appalled that so many Americans still support him.

Luckily I can vote by mail while staying safely ensconced alone in my little house. But I wonder every day when I'll be able to hug my son and grandkids again (they live just 1½ miles away). My greatest fear is getting the virus, being hospitalized, and maybe dying, without ever hugging them again. It's already been 3½ months.

One of the commenters here said living in Canada is like living over a meth lab, I had to chuckle at that, sorry. I get caught up in the mashup and recognize it as an addiction, I find it very hard to stop myself but know that it is not doing me much good to fixate on it. So I am trying to fill my life with more positive distractions, as some other commenters have talked about. My peonies are in full bloom and one top-heavy branch broke so I brought it in and put it in a vase of water. Now my house is full of the fragrance. I write, I weave, I cook, and I take care of my very old dog. I try to limit my screen time. No matter how hopeful the news is, it's still an addiction (for me).

Don't become paralyzed!
Keep the faith and continue to speak out -- even if you can only manage a "whisper".
At 95+, my main goal in life now, is to see Trump jailed along with his cohorts; namely, Barr and a few others.
Then, we can leave this earth, at least knowin' they will "pay the piper" , what a wonderful way to see this ongoin' tragedy end.
And in the meantime, Black Lives Matter -- along with "brown', and "yellow", and "red" -- and includin' Muslims, and Jews, and Hindus, and, oh for Gods's sake -- all decent people in this world.
Hang in there so you can vote in November -- let's throw the bastards out, for good!

Yup, it's all about the Kool-Aid! tRump and his sycophants Just. Do. Not. Care. about anyone except themselves, but those on board the tRump Train can't/won't see that. To defeat tRump, every single non-tRumpie voter needs to VOTE in November--by mail, we hope, but however the election is set up in their state. Overwhelming defeat will be needed to drive the would-be Emperor of tRumpistan out of the White House.

It's very confounding to see here --of all places-- even one post that sees Trump as not dangerous!

Like so many, I feel sick in my heart and digestion at the hurtling speed of his vicious actions. It's hard not to get overwhelmed. But Ronni, you help so much to keep the balance between caring and over-caring. It's largely due to your wonderful writing!

Santa Rosa

One of the things I most resent is that I can no longer pay close attention to the news. After years of working long hours and having to make do with quick snippets on the radio and a cursory read of the newspaper, in retirement I fully embraced being a news junkie. But now for my sanity I curtail my news intake. As for trump, I can't understand his inability to grasp that if his most ardent supporters will follow him into rallies sans masks, some of them will obviously catch the virus. Um, I just can't think of another example of a politician who doesn't mind killing his supporters, thus depriving himself of their vote. But he is the stable genius, so I guess I should take a lesson from him.

I try to avoid Trump but it's hard. He's everywhere. We have no vaccine , no national policies on mask wearing or social distancing and no national leadership. I'm lucky to live in a state and city where the leadership is strong. But, how about other states? Would I drive to another state? Not without checking their Covid 19 rates. Will other countries ban travelers from the U.S.A? They may.

Things are opening up where I live. Reservations are required to walk at the local botanic garden and zoo. One of my volunteer gigs is starting this Saturday because we work outdoors. I'm a volunteer gardener. My other 2 gigs are not resuming in the foreseeable future. I volunteer at the airport and as an usher for theaters.

I have family members who are Trump supporters. One of the blessings of this pandemic is our ability to get together and hear each other without anger. They haven't changed my mind about him.

My classes resumed earlier this month. They're all online for the summer and fall. What I really miss are my exercise classes. I miss the community and the exercising. I always felt great afterwards.

Trump is like an undisciplined four-year-old that a lot of frightened, ignorant, underserved people have put into the driver's seat because they've decided he's some sort of divine talisman that will save them, or at least entertain them.

I'm willing to give him some slack because of being a clinical case, albeit a criminal one. I don't care whether he gets put in a prison or a hospital. But for God's sake, get him away from that steering wheel by any means necessary. And then start dealing with the decades of corporate greed that have created a base of mindless supporters for anybody who can give them a hollow promise of hope.

He is a hateful man with a hateful heart. Running roughshod over the Constitution and the law as it pleases him, I am appalled that he keeps getting away with it. He was an ass when he was on The Apprentice, but I thought that was just for TV and I was halfway willing to give him a chance once he became president. But as the grandma of a special needs child, I completely and totally washed my hands of him the moment he mocked the disabled reporter. I learned he wasn't acting for TV, he really IS an ass. Not dangerous? Oh, think again aidawedo, think again.

Having a pandemic when this crazy person is in charge is some sort of insanity I've never known in my 68 years.

That said, I have tried my best to find joy every day in small pleasures. Today it was getting a watermelon at our local university farm store. Best watermelon any where. That's the best I can do for my own sanity.

I share the visceral dislike of T***p but mostly his policies and wonder how anyone can support him.

An article in today's NY Times offers an explanation.

The report tells of a 31-year-old Republican who planned to vote for Trump even though he had "real misgivings" and "part of you just feels icky voting for him." He explains that he will vote for Trump because Trump's policies on the economy, health care, and abortion are closer to his.

There's the problem. In my view the economy favors the rich over the middle class and the poor. Health care is rationed, expensive, wasteful and erratic. Abortion should be left to the woman and her doctor.

How to reach the people who seem not to see how Trump degrades these basic values?

I view my world of acquaintances as two circles that overlap at some point in some areas, not political. I try to think of a way I can influence the circle of Trump supporters that still overlap with me in my other interests.

I have to say I haven't succeeded in figuring out how to do that.

I’m with you Ronni. I’ve had enough and I can’t take anymore. Of Trump, or the virus. My mind is so overloaded it feels numb. I’ve reached a point where I must turn off all trumpvirus information flooding the airwaves and internet, in order to preserve my own sanity.

There is a phrase trending on Twitter today, #EndTheNightmare Please!

I can't look at the US stats anymore. I would post them on my Covid Site and be dumbfounded that nothing was being done to halt the pandemic. I stopped posting the USian stats as I kept thinking of the humans behind the deaths and the tragedy of knowing this corrupt and evil murderer was running rampant over any protocols.

And a horrible thought persists: wile he declare himself an Emergency President because of the sick and dying? He is plain and simple a monster, a terrorist.

And the whole Constitution needs to be revisited to prevent this in future.


I am always astonished when I see a seemingly reasonable person say they support the President. How is that possible? How do they not see what a deeply disturbed, uncaring, narcissistic , incompetent and corrupt individual he is?
I can only hope the polling actually is predictive of what will be the outcome but I take nothing for granted. I cannot eve imagine what will happen if he is reelected. God help us.

I fully understand your feelings and what you have said here.

Just returned home from getting groceries to hear my husband tell me that Trump has today issued an edict of some sort (no doubt another of his infamous executive orders) closing 7 testing sites in Texas. I don't understand how he can get away with this. If this is not dangerous behavior from an unstable and dangerous man, I don't know what is. People are dying. Hospitals are full. Yet, like a willful and out of control child, he covers his ears and shuts his eyes.

God help us all.

Watching the news is so grim but you keep looking for good news. Keep waiting for the decent Republicans to turn on him. George Bush, how can you bear this

A couple of my friends say that they love Trump because he’s saving us from Socialism. And he’s good to veterans. Sorry but my husband and I are both veterans and we are not impressed. The drivel that passes for news on Fox News seems to have brainwashed otherwise intelligent people in this country. As well as some who are not so intelligent. I think he and his minions, especially his family, are corrupt to the bone and I am embarrassed for this country that so many people voted for him.

I agree with you. It is comforting to read that all of us are aware of the danger represented by this President. The problem is also with : Johnson, Bolsanaro, Erdogan, Orban,, Maduro,...
As a member of Amnesty International, I try to do something useful for a better word

John Pavlovitz posted an internet article titled "Good People Don't Defend a Bad Man", and he defines what he means by a "bad man" very clearly. It would be nice if we thought about the consequences for our world when we give our support to a person who doesn't support us.

Trump supporters HAVE to believe Covid-19 is a scam, otherwise they would have to admit that their leader wants to put them in harms way, as long as they stroke his ego. His actions said "Come to Tulsa! Crowd together with lots of people who think like you do! You might not get sick but if you do, there are plenty more where you came from." "Applaud me as I drink water and insult good people." "Ignore advice of scientists who know what they are talking about."

Someone wrote that Trump is a weak man's idea of what a strong man is like. It also appears he is what an unthinking person thinks a clever man is like.

I agree with you , Ronnie. Trump doesn't care about anything except getting re-elected. He isn't with us, he is above everyone and everything in his mind. I'm amazed that his followers can't see him for what he is. Ignorance knows no bounds.

I feel very anxious and unsettled when I think about many things that are beyond my control. This includes Trump and local politics, the pandemic and states where cases are rising, racial injustice and violence that comes with it. There is a lot in my world that IS within my control, so I focus my ACTION on that.
I find EMOTIONAL RELIEF in my support group meetings, which I can attend anytime since they're international, and now on Zoom. I distract myself from unpleasant thoughts and feelings with storytelling podcasts, movies and TV shows, gardening, watching the birdfeeders, and talking to loved ones on the phone or online. I also talk about my feelings to people who will listen without trying to solve the problem. I simply want to talk and be heard; I don't want advice.
Oh, and I recommend watching the Pluto Living channel on YouTube.
Good luck to all of you out there in Ronnie-land.

People reading here should be cheered by the news that our generation -- white folks included -- is turning sour on Trump. Current polling (New York Times today) says that Biden leads by 6 points among voters over 65. In 2016 Trump beat Clinton by +13 in our age group. We're chipping away.

The Trump diehards are in the 35-65 age group. But our group is routinely 25 percent of the electorate. And we stubbornly find ways to vote. !

Yes, the whole thing is crazy making. Some days I don't feel like doing anything at all, can't watch the talking heads, avoid the newspapers, stay off social media...... it's all too too much.

I want someone to lead. Someone to take charge. Someone to make us whole again.

You are not alone, Ronni. Not now. Not ever.

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