No March madness. No joy in Mudville, at least not for a while.
The NBA has suspended its season after a player tested positive for COVID-19, and the National Hockey League’s season is now over. St. Patrick’s Day parades from Donald J. Trump’s hometown of New York City to Joe Biden’s native Scranton, Pa., have been canceled. Catholic bishops all over the country are dispensing the faithful from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass — during Lent, one of the holiest seasons of the year.
At the Jersey Shore, Irish eyes are not smiling. Normally, Shore towns host at least one parade every weekend during March, so some have already been held. But the state’s Democratic governor, Phil Murphy, has called for the cancellation of all events that anticipate more than 250 people, so the prospects for the rest of the month are not good.
Even the Great White Way has gone dark for a month, as Broadway has decided to suspend performances rather than risk spreading the Coronavirus.
Either anticipating a long period of lockdown at home or just buying out of panic, shoppers are descending like vultures, snapping up toilet paper and hand sanitizer and bottled water, and causing some stores to place a limit on purchases. In many places, schools and colleges are closed and instruction is being done remotely. But don’t try taking the kids to Disney World. That’s shut, too.
More than 3,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the United States as of Sunday, and 60 people in the U.S. have died. Globally, there have been more than 162,000 confirmed cases, with nearly 6,000 deaths, according to worldometers.info.
This would be a good time to have a consoler, an intelligent person in charge, someone with a plan to help get us through this sad springtime. But what we have is Trump, who is obviously worried about nothing but the economy . . . and not even for the same reasons as the rest of us.
While those fortunate enough to have a 401K are watching their investments sink into the sunset, and those who live from one paycheck to the next are praying they don’t get sick or their workplaces don’t shut down, Trump is focused on his chances of re-election.
He’s rightly concerned that the economy, which was supposed to be the linchpin of his re-election campaign, is running away with his prospects for a second term. But often, the more he talks, the more Wall Street panics.
Finally, after more flipping and flopping than you’d see in a week’s worth of watching HGTV, Trump declared a state of emergency on Friday, and the market recovered a bit. Trump celebrated by sending Fox Business News host Lou Dobbs a signed printout of the market summary of the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the day, showing a gain of 1,985 points, its biggest ever. Never mind that the gain followed a 2,300-point loss on Thursday, its worst day since 1987. No word on whether Trump sent an autographed printout of that day’s results to Dobbs or anyone else.
Trump, of course, cannot be blamed for the pandemic. He certainly can be blamed, though, for the delay in action on the federal level and for his attempts to blame the outbreak on the media and on the Democrats.
He can be blamed for being in over his head and not having the humility or self-awareness to admit it.
At this point, there’s only one way he can make things better. He can shut down two more things: His mouth and his Twitter account.