Four Years Since it All Changed

Four Years Since it All Changed

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I’ve been seeing a lot of memes on social media reminding me that this week four years ago is when life in the U.S. changed forever. Covid shut everything down. It wasn’t like we didn’t see it coming. Anyone paying attention watched the disease ravage China, other places, and then eventually, on January 20, 2020, the first confirmed case here in the U.S.- in Washington state (Source: CDC).

Could the outbreak have been stymied? Who knows? We do know this: also in May 2018 the White House’s National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense was disbanded by 45 (that’s the people who respond to pandemics.) Also “The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) epidemiologist embedded in China’s disease control agency left the post, and the Trump Administration eliminated the role.” So there’s that.

On January 22, 45 said “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.” He also praised China’s premier. On February 10, he said “Looks like by April, you know in theory when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.” Well, we know that didn’t happen.

On March 5, he said “If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work, but they get better.” The very next day, he said “I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work.” That same day, he said “I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it… Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president.

A cart apart

Wegmans 2020

The World Health Organization categorized the coronavirus as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. And everything shut down. I was here in State College, in my second semester of PhD studies. The students were away on spring break. . . and never came back. They were allowed to come back in shifts to retrieve their belongings from the dorms. Lines formed at grocery stores as access was limited to a certain number of people. There wasn’t much to buy, as the supply chain broke down. Graduation was cancelled (as it was everywhere.)

On May 17, Eric Trump said on Fox News that the president’s critics were using the pandemic to undermine his father’s rallies, calling it a “cognizant strategy” that would cease once it was no longer politically expedient. “You watch, they’ll milk it every single day between now and November 3,” the younger Trump said. “And guess what, after November 3, coronavirus will magically, all of a sudden, go away and disappear and everybody will be able to reopen.” (Washington Post) His father adopted that thought, calling covid a “Democratic hoax” as people were dying.

So many people were dying in big cities that morgues and funeral homes were overwhelmed and bodies of the dead were stacked in freezer trucks awaiting burial. Want to be there while your loved one dies? Here’s an iPad- talk to them. Not that they could talk, as they were intubated.

Here in a now empty State College, we averaged three deaths a day at the peak. The hospitals were completely full. When the students were allowed to return in the fall of 2020, there was mandatory masking and testing. The Nittany Lion Inn was closed and used as isolation housing for students who tested positive. It has yet to reopen.

Under 45, 399,200 people died of covid in just over nine months- almost as many as we lost in World War II. More have died under Biden, yes, in four years. Those are mostly in areas where people ignored masking requirements. We also got an effective vaccine.

All I’ve written above is easily verified by simple Google searches- like I used. I used three sources for it all except where noted for quotes.

I caught covid a couple of Junes ago. Wow it sucked, but as I’d been vaccinated, I had only a mild case. In my little world, I learned that all TG parties around the Philly area (including Angela’s Laptop Lounge) were cancelled, which shut off one of the few public places where transgender people could congregate safely. I knew several people who died of covid, including my roomie’s mother.

mask signLife changed for all those who survived. I still feel naked walking around without a mask. I keep one in the pocket of my coats and in my bags. Just in case. If I have as much as a cold, I mask up. Nothing returned to the way it was, which now seems positively carefree. How could it with all those dead? How could have things been different if Clinton won. “But her emails!”

What does all this have to do with being TG? Well, despite what you may have heard from the right wing, we’re human too, and are subject to disease and sorrow. Also, there’s an election coming. Remember who really did nothing but lie about covid and delayed the U.S. response which contributed to so many deaths. That person is running again- and his party has vowed to “eradicate” all TG people. In fact, the conservative magazine New Republic printed the following by activist and sage Brynn Tannehill:

“At the 2023 Conservative Political Action Conference, Michael Knowles took the main stage and called for the “eradication of transgenderism from public life” to a standing ovation. Not long after, Project 2025 (led by the Heritage Foundation) published the “Mandate for Leadership,” a 900-plus-page blueprint for the next Republican administration. The first legislative item in the executive summary declares that “transgender ideology” is a form of pornography, and that all pornography should be outlawed. It then goes on to call all trans people “child predators and misogynistic exploiters of women.” It further demands that anyone who is a “purveyor of transgender ideology” be put on sex offender lists and imprisoned.” (January 19, 2024.)

But Biden is too old!” Oh please.

Vote like your life depends on it. Because it does.

Be well.




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Category: Transgender Opinion


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