Over the weekend, media outlets were full of debates about Trump’s statement a few days ago that he wants to reopen the country on May 1. But instead of reporting it, they should have all ignored it. Trump didn’t close the country, and has no power to re-open it, particularly on a date chosen at random. First it was Easter, now it’s May 1, then he’ll change it to Memorial Day, and on and on — none of it matters, and it won’t be a “switch-on” moment. It will be a gradual thing, as people decide on their own when Americans can return to some semblance of a normal life and be around others who are not wearing hazmat suits. Frankly, I wouldn’t trust Trump to tell me when anything is safe. If he said it was okay to cross the street, I’d still look in every direction first.
In every major city in the US — and around the globe — where people are sheltering in place, the air quality has improved. Funny how that happens when you keep all the internal combustion engines in garages, instead of spewing their noxious fumes into the air. You know it’s serious when people in Mumbai look up and see a blue sky for the first time in their lives. But tell me again how humans have no negative impact on our environment.
Meanwhile, here in St. Louis, we had a few days last week with spectacular weather — temperatures in the seventies, plenty of sunshine. Unfortunately, because I suffer from extreme hay fever, I couldn’t step outside and enjoy it. I assume this is a much bigger problem for anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, which attacks the lungs. Fortunately, I get daily e-mail alerts from Pollen.com that tell me how bad the pollen count for the day will be, and the sources — which trees, grass, and flowers have it in for me. For some reason, they rank the bad news on a scale of 12 (probably designed by Nigel Tufnel, for whom 11 wasn’t enough). The numbers on the alerts for three consecutive days last week were 11.2, 11.5, and 11.7. Because I remain quite fond of breathing, not only do I have to stay inside, but we can’t even open the windows. Yes, I’m the doofus in the neighborhood hoping for a spring day with gray skies and a light rain, just so I can go for a walk.