ICUs (Immigrant Care Units)
The face mask and the plastic face shield do not obscure the fact that the nurse speaking with and anxious voice into the camera, as an occupied gurney festooned with dangling bottles and bags of the infusions is rapidly pushed through the corridor behind, is a young Nigerian-American immigrant. She explains that she is exhausted by extended shifts, not getting enough sleep, and trying to make do with limited safety resources. She’s explaining, not bitching, and it is not lost on me that underneath that protective she is wearing a hijab.I’m eating my dinner and watching her on TV. I feel a pang of guilt at having bemoaned my minor inconveniences.
The doctor being interviewed has an ID badge with the name that twists the tongue of the interviewer. The name fits the tawny face that is from somewhere in the Indian subcontinent. He’s an ER doc, and he looks knackered-out, too. But the doctor who was interviewed yesterday was a virologist from Singapore.
Add to the dramatis personae of the front-line medical responders to the virus in the beleaguered hospitals of America’s major urban centers plays out there is the undocumented Hispanic EMT driver and the Haitian technician.
Lift up almost any N95 mask in these medical facilities and you will reveal and Ellis Island’s worth of American immigrants. Yup, these dark complexions and brown eyes are the faces that Trump and his battalions of bigots insist are taking American jobs. And but you don’t see a lot of White faces rushing into man those ER’s and ICU wards, putting their lives in danger to medicate and intubate bodies of any race or ethnicity. These are the people of Trump wants us to blame for our problems when, in fact, we would be in a far worse raging shit-storm of trouble were it not for the selfless heroes.
Right now, the only disease that rivals Covid-19 in this country is that good all Americans standby, hypocrisy. It is not those swastika-tattooed, confederate flag-waving, AR-15-brandishing assholes storming the statehouses that Trump cynically plays like political chess pieces, who have even an iota of the courage and compassion of these selfless immigrants. It should not take a pandemic to rip the veneer off our false democracy and egalitarian society and perhaps restore it to some semblance of its better days, but if it does, there might be some good blown in with this pandemic wind.
Think about it for a second: a pandemic would be a good time to get away with murder. Back in the bubonic plague days of the 15th-century, a time when bodies were just tossed out of windows to be carted off to mass burial places there wasn’t any diligent forensic work being done to discernment cause of death. Pandemics are definitely a distraction from the normal processes of life, and death and dispose of that person you are quarantined with who has flatulencia extremis.
I’m not suggesting hear that you just might want to get rid of somebody under the cover of Covid-19 (so put down that steak knife). No, this is just a catchy lead to my topic of the day, which is that it does seem that our morally challenged president and his lackeys at the DOJ and on his McConnell packed courts are taking advantage of the diversion of the current plague to spring some of his scumbags.
General Ryan has been avoiding sentencing and jail time for a couple of years now. So, under the cover of the pandemic, he has the balls to actually retract his own two guilty pleas, and attorney general Bill Barr removed his lips long enough from Trump’s ass to declare that he was dropping the case entirely, so we should forget that the good general never conspired with the Rooskies and lied about it to the FBI.
And then there was Paul Manafort, with his stock “I’ve just been caught masturbating” look on his face, prancing out of jail to serve the remainder of his all too short sentence in the comfort of his home. So, you don’t want to be standing in front of the jailhouse door and risk being run down by Roger Stone, George Papadopoulos, Rick Gates, or Michael Cohen in a Republican pandemic scumbag jailbreak.