Outside of China, Italy has mysteriously and sadly become an epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 35,000 documented infections and more than 3,000 deaths, health and government officials in one of the most uniquely European nations are embroiled in the worst health crisis in decades.
Yet, amidst the heartbreak and carnage, something beautiful, extraordinary and unexpected has occurred: dolphins and swans have returned to the famed canals of Venice; the ancient city of dreamers and lovers. Because of its popularity, this beloved community has had to endure trash and pollution in its waterways. But nationwide lockdowns have allowed the Venetian canals to refresh themselves. In a Facebook group, “Venezia Pulita” (“Clean Venice”), locals are sharing pictures of the city’s water looking unbelievably clean.
Now dolphins and swans – two of nature’s most heralded and mystical creatures – have innocently made their way back into Venice. It’s a bright spot in a world consumed with illness and tragedy.
At a press conference on March 19 about the spreading COVID-19 flu, as Faux-President Donald Trump read from notes on the podium, a Washington Post photographer managed to take a photo of a page on which the term “corona” had been crossed out and replaced with “Chinese”. Trump had already used the word “Chinese” to describe the virus; later saying, “It’s not racist at all. It comes from China, that’s why.”
Yes, the virus originated in China, but sadly, the pandemic also has spawned hate crimes against Asian-Americans. It’s not uncommon for certain groups to fall victim to violence perpetrated by others in response to particular crises. At the start of the AIDS pandemic in the early 1980s, gay men and even some lesbian women found themselves targeted for violence; usually by people who would have used any excuse to attack anyway. Periodically, over the past several years, many Hispanics – including The Chief – have fallen victim to violence perpetrated by others over illegal immigration.
The current situation for people of Asian extraction is that we have a billionaire Republican, failed business tycoon, former reality TV star masquerading as the American president who has already proven he’s not above using racist tropes to communicate his point.
“This might be easy for you, Senator, but you’re not a server losing wages, a single mom losing her job to stay home with her kids, or one of 5 million Texans without insurance. I’m glad you’re ending your long weekend and hope you’ll pass the legislation they need QUICKLY.”
“They’ve redefined family for the first time in a federal – in a piece of federal legislation, to include committed relationships. The problem with that is it’s really hard to define a committed relationship, and it’s really hard to define anything related to that.”
– Rep. Andy Biggs, on a radio program produced by the conservative Christian group Family Research Council.
I’ve been listening to Dr. Anthony Fauci for several years now and know that he tells it like it is and doesn’t care about political ideology or shy away from controversy. Nearly four decades ago, he warned the burgeoning AIDS crisis posed a serious threat to the American health care system. But the right-wing idiots in the Reagan Administration still perpetuated the myth that only “Those People” could get sick with HIV. Now, we have another pack of right-wing dumbasses in the White House, and the same bullshit is spewing out. As far as I’m concerned, Fauci should be the most trust person in America right now.