When I heard that the POTUS and FLOTUS were diagnosed with COVID-19, did my mouth drop, did my hands cover my mouth as I stifled a good old fashioned belly laugh? Maybe. Did I instantly pray for God’s forgiveness for feeling joy at the misery of another human being? That’s possible. Did I simultaneously feel joy and repentance about 14 more times during the day? Chances are likely.
Any American who is paying attention and not part of the Trump cult will tell you that this has been the most hellish four years in modern memory. He lost the popular vote, but won the Electoral College. He fanned the flames of racial discord with dog whistles to right-wing white supremacists to “stand by.” He virtually ignored and then mocked those trying to stay safe from a raging pandemic. He denied science, fact, decency, social norms, decorum, and basically made the United States a global laughingstock.
So yeah. It’s been hell. And then Hope Hicks gave Trump COVID.
It is a rare opportunity when one can see Karma in full display. I’ve seen it before in small ways when someone cut me off in traffic and then were pulled over by a cop a few miles down the road. It’s satisfying. I gloat. I smile to myself as I pass them by. Sometimes there is justice. Sometimes God lets us see it in real time. It is normal human nature to seek justice and fairness. We love the underdog who overcomes the schoolyard bully.
After nearly eight months of fighting COVID in the United States with confusing, haphazard regional attempts to gain control of a worsening pandemic, amid national leadership sowing conspiracy theories and misinformation about a virus that has killed over 200,000 Americans, the man in charge who mocked the rest of us is now hospitalized and likely fighting for his life. I hate that I have been put in a position to say “serves you right” because that is not my nature, but a bully is a bully.
He has shown no mercy to the American people when it comes to this pandemic. His cronies withhold valuable stimulus money, giving money to the wealthy instead of to small business owners. They send our children back to school, putting teachers, children and their families at risk. Trump mocked mask-wearers, encouraged large gatherings of his sycophants and created super-spreader events. He downplayed the seriousness of COVID-19 and people have died. He secretly admitted that COVID was worse than Influenza, then peddled lies to the American people: “It’s going to disappear and I will be right.”
I find myself feeling deep, seething anger. I am appalled. I am sickened. My job, my life’s work is all about the health and well-being of others. This man shit all over my life’s work. The lives of Americans. He shit on us. He mocked the very things, like masks, that would protect us and our families. He mocked the science, the healthcare workers, the doctors. He laughed in our faces and breathed his plague all over his closest supporters, his inner circle. Dear God, it sickens me.
Seeing instant Karma doesn’t really feel as good as I thought it would. I hate it. I wish he could have done the decent thing from the beginning. If he cared about us from the beginning, I would not have to look at myself in the mirror and say, “Are you as bad as he is?” Because I want to think I’m not. I want to think I am better, farther along in my faith, kinder, forgiving, merciful. I guess a little suffering never hurt anyone.
The last four years have been a lesson in suffering for most Americans. Maybe he will suffer just a little. I pray he will never feel the full suffering of the 200,000 Americans who died while on his watch.