Each injustice, every soul-destroying twist of the knife, every degradation, no matter how brief or how minor, is now insta-magnified and broadcast around the planet by social media. The morning coffee hadn’t even cooled enough to sip when I learned that a woman in Wales was denied – banned! – from buying feminine hygiene products because a shop had declared them non-essential items. So goes 2020, the year of whack-a-mole spikes in COVID and rolling restrictions. Wales has gone into a 17-day lockdown and much of Europe isn’t far behind. Here in the United States, the President has declared victory – we are turning the corner! – even as cases top 80,000 a day and governors begin tightening the screws.
Will the governors soon order supermarkets to cordon off certain sections and cover the shelves in plastic wrap, closing them to the public? Wales has banned the sale of electrical goods, telephones, clothes, toys and games, garden products and dedicated sections for homewares. Granted there’s not much gardening going on in the fading days of this pandemic fall, but we remember how Michigan Governor Gretchen Witmer shuttered garden centers in spring. Vegetable seeds are non-essential. But Maxi-pads?
Whatever might be printed here today about the current state of lockdowns will be obsolete tomorrow. Fortunately, there are lockdown watchers doing the work for us. The AARP has a state-by-state status report:
Meanwhile, we have an election just a week away and cities across America are preparing for voter intimidation, unrest or violence.
While law enforcement agencies routinely plan for elections, officials say this year’s preparations are unusually extensive because of the sheer levels of anxiety and toxicity across the country — with fears that a modern American election could give way to potential violence. – Washington Post
Both rumors of election unrest or a run on tampons could spur the kind of toilet-paper-panic we saw in the spring. Better to be prepared. In this environment, a riot could be triggered by anything — a Trump win, or a tampon ban.