June 22 – June 27
Uptown Love in the Time of Coronavirus: Jonestown 2020
Things are getting weird. As I write this, the coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 10,379,200 people worldwide and at least 507,300 people have died globally because of COVID-19. We are only 4% of the world’s population in the United States, yet we have a quarter of the cases and a quarter of the deaths. We lead the world, at least, when it comes to the coronavirus. Donald Trump was right, so much winning.
The coronavirus is not going away. Don’t let the outdoor dining fool you. NYC is no longer the epicenter of this pandemic, but the COVID-19 has simply relocated to more vulnerable locales. What NY and the region did to stave off the initial wave of the coronavirus was the result of really hard work. Social distancing, wearing masks and three months of quarantine flattened the curve. That is a fact. It will most probably revisit us again in the near future but what we have been able to do is nothing short of remarkable.
The rest of the country has done the opposite. Many states such as Georgia, Florida and Texas, among many others, never really closed down. Some folks, mostly Republicans, have decided that sensible social distancing measures are acts of outright tyranny – that somehow wearing a mask is an infringement of one’s personal liberties. George Takei of Star Trek fame put it best on Twitter: “The fragility of folks who won’t wear a mask is truly breathtaking. I lived for four years inside two internment camps, and I heard less bitching and whining there than I do today.”
To wear a mask is to care about your fellow man. Unfortunately, we no longer live in that country. The Cult of Trump has reached a crescendo. They are now headed, and leading the rest of us, lemming-like over the proverbial cliff. Cult 45 cannot be reasoned with. They do not, no, they cannot, see that the object of their adoration is a tired, racist and misogynistic sociopath that only cares about himself. They also cannot fathom that sane measures like social distancing and wearing masks can save lives. Their obstinance will lead to their, and our, downfall. The whole affair bears the stink of Jonestown.
In 1978 the megalomaniacal cult leader Jim Jones ordered his followers to first murder a U.S. congressman and then to commit ritual suicide in the jungles of Guyana. The Jonestown massacre, as it became known, was the largest single incident of intentional civilian death in American history until 9/11. The Cult of the Trump is the Cult of Jim Jones writ large and we are all held captive to its insanity and depravity.
Pa’lante, Siempre Pa’lante!
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The Uptown Collective
The UC’s mission is to become “the” definitive, transformative and community-based force impacting the arts, culture, business and New York City’s overall perception of Upper Manhattan. Its objective is to reset, reboot and positively redefine Uptown’s artistic, political, cultural and business spheres via the online space as well the collective’s initiatives and functions.