Thanks Vanilla Isis.
As the Thanksgiving season rolls around (which I don’t celebrate because it’s just another American lie), I find if there is very little to be thankful for. For those of us obeying quarantine rules, listening to science and physicians, and following normal public health protocols for infectious diseases, it feels like punishment. I feel like we have an entire world we can’t enjoy because half of our country is stupid, crazy, and racists. It’s a terrible combination and an awful way to live. I’ve been studying past pandemics in my spare time to see how long they usually last and how many people died from them and it seems this virus will surpass anything we’ve had in recent times because we have so many ways to travel these days and because we’re all connected globally via trade, work, etc.
The sad thing is White people overwhelmingly elected the dumbest motherfucker ever who doesn’t believe in science, is racist, and who doesn’t have the mental capacity of cat piss to lead 325 million people to their deaths. If these last three years haven’t produced enough evidence, we need to do something nationally as soon as possible about racism, our public educational systems, and stupid people, we’re doomed.
I’ve been reading “Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present” by Harriet Washington because I have zero trust in this administration or any vaccine made during this season of overt racism. My trust in White men in leadership and in positions of public trust is negative zero. They always have motives and agendas that usually have nothing to do with our well-being.
Just seeing White people all gleeful about vaccines and White men like Gov. Andrew Cuomo, President Trump (racist), and Bill Gates all giddy about getting Covid vaccines to Black people gives me pause. When White men fight for Black people and what they fight for on behalf of Black people I pay attention. It says more about them than they’ll ever know. We don’t want to be their guinea pigs. I know I don’t. Their sudden advocacy and enthusiasm about Black health hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Black community.
I feel as if Black people can’t win for losing in America.
If you want to understand why we don’t want this damned vaccine, read this book! There is a reason people like Bill Gates and the French love “giving” vaccines to Africans and Blacks first, and it’s not because they love us so fuckin much. Medical racism is a subject we don’t get into enough. Trump’s White Nationalism presidency and the White folks who helped elevate the illiterate orange Mussolini into the highest office have me reevaluating every connection Black people have in society. The last thing we needed was a pandemic to cap off the worst four-years in modern history for Black people, but here we are.
Donald Trump has turned the country into one giant ghetto, something he claims to vehemently hates, just like I predicted he would. My life has forever been changed by Trump’s presidency and the White domestic terrorists we’ve dubbed Vanilla Isis (aka Ya’ll Qaeda).
While I’m ready to never have to never see his orange face and bleached hair again, I’m thankful for the life-changing revelations that came from his presidency. So many things have changed my in life. Because I understand how infectious disease works and I live in a state with limitless amounts of stupid and selfish people that attracts more stupid and selfish people, I’m forced to adhere to quarantine in order to live for the future fights. There will be no gathering for me. Nothing is worth my life, and I don’t have time to play Russian Roulette with Rona to see if I get to live another year. I also don’t want to injure anyone I don’t know.
I was thinking about all the changes in my life in three short years, and I thought they were interesting enough to share. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has changed.
- I can’t travel. Coronavirus has made it so we can’t travel. I had to cancel my trips to Costa Rica, Italy and Greece because nobody wants our nasty non-compliant butts in their country. This was so unnecessary. And while some countries have lifted their travel bans because they are desperate for tourism income, the risk is too great for travelers and the poor islanders relying on our tourism dollars. I can’t put good people at risk for a few days of pleasure.
- I can’t take deep sea fishing trips. Because of racism, it’s nearly impossible to go deep sea fishing. Most of the captains running fishing charters around these parts are Trumpster types. From my personal experience, racist White men can’t help but express their racism when they see a Black person. They gotta let you know they are a Trump supporter. When Obama was elected, White people on fishing charters would suddenly have the urge to discuss their GOP politics with Black people as soon as we’d get far enough away from the shoreline on our non-refundable fishing trips. As much as I love fishing, I hate being in tight spots. It’s just not good to be the only Black anything in White spaces these days. Especially not on the ocean.
- I have to wear a mask. It’s hell walking around in South Florida in the summer with an N95 mask on. Shopping is a pain. Going through the drive-thru is a pain. I can’t have work done or have people in my home without a mask. If I go to the beach, I have to keep a mask under my chin because rude White people believe they own all spaces and will even come and ask you to take a family photo with their cooties phone without wearing masks. If I walk in my community, which is rare because the White people don’t wear their masks, I have to wear a mask to protect myself.
- Most don’t even practice social distance social distancing anymore here. My mask is the new bra (I hate bras) and I am tired of it, but like a good pair of underwear, a good mask is essential to living. A mask is going to help me live to tell the story.
- I can’t dine out. I loved brunch buffets anymore because the virus has shown me people are nasty and inconsiderate as hell. Dining out requires you to move your mask while eating and drinking with complete strangers who have been God knows where, doing God knows what, with only God knows who. People are so eager to get back to normal they’d put their lives and the lives of others at risk knowing full well they aren’t adhering to public health best practices. Dining out is one of the fastest ways to contract COVID according to data. I prepare most of my meals at home to protect myself from contracting COVID. Occasionally, I order GrubHub or DoorDash or call in a carry out order to my favorite small local eateries sometimes. No more beachfront dining on or inlet waterside dining. No more sunset cruises or Sunday brunches with unlimited mimosas. No more music shows or food truck lines. Sigh…
- I can’t see my grandkids. Visiting grandkids happens now by Duo or phone. I can’t give my grandbabies a definitive date for visitation because I don’t know what their parents are doing. Instead of bringing gifts, I send them by mail and order them online. I can’t get hugs or prepare meals for my grandbabies. I can’t get grandma tea about how terrible their parents are (lol) or get in person school progress reports. Not being able to see them has been painful. I talked to my oldest granddaughter last night, and she told me she was ready to come back to visit me here in Florida. All I could do was go to some online store and order her some Easy Baker over stuff to occupy her little time. This is so unfair to everyone. Thanks racists!
- I’m unable to spend time with my sons. I have only seen my sons in person once this year. I prayed when they were younger that I would live long enough to see them grow up and become self-sufficient. Now I pray we all survive COVID so we can hug again. I never thought I’d miss my adult kids so much, but a global pandemic causes you to put things into perspective. There is nothing more important than family, and when this is over, I hope we can spend more time together.
- I can’t visit my friends. Nearly all of my friends live up North and they aren’t taking the virus as serious as I am. Therefore, I’m unable to see them. People who can’t grasp the severity of infectious diseases are having a hard time sitting down and being still until the virus subsides. Following the lead of anti-maskers, my stupid friends are also feeling the need to exercise their rights to be free. They can be free, they just won’t be seeing me! I’m good with Facebook friends at this phase of my life. Nothing or no one is worth my life, so no birthday celebrations or girl gatherings. Thank Vanilla Isis.
- My employment options are slim. Between the poor economy and the threat of a totalitarian government and Covid, the work I can do now is limited because of safety concerns and an inability to teach in traditional settings. Training online isn’t the same as training and teaching in person. I can’t travel to teach anymore either. With the mixed messages on air travel and the number of nasty people we cross traveling, I’d rather not. I’m having to revamp my life to survive the COVID era. We all gotta hustle to survive in America now. Another election season is upon us, and I’m in the wait and see position as far as work my government contract work goes. Everything is political, and the interests of this Administration and mines are very different. Going forward, I’m going to need to diversify my skills in order make a living going forward, especially if Trump manages to successful coup. Yeah, for us!
- I have no peace or privacy. Kids are home from school and work is happening from home. There is literally no place to hide. Every room is consumed by a person doing something for work or school 5 days per week. Kids don’t go visit their friends. With kids not leaving and me being unable to leave, there is no escape. I have purchased more books to read, and I have a good set of headphones that I can wear to listen to music and escape in my mind. Thank goodness for the online libraries and the internet. People are so selfish they can’t sacrifice today so we can have peace outside of our homes tomorrow. If “don’t have no common sense” was a person or a nation, it would be America right now.
- All my travel now is in state. I take more road trips to places where I can get to and get back home on the same day. Just old, boring road trips. They are nice, but not the same. I limit in-state travel too because you have to use public restrooms amid Covid (** face scrunches**), which may or may not be cleaned well or frequently. I got no time for Rona swirling around in the bathroom. There is too much to consider when traveling in the middle of a pandemic. It’s so much work, I’d just rather stay home. I’m trying to be thankful for the small things because I realize so many of my fellow citizens are struggling.
- I disinfect like crazy. Bleach, spray disinfectant, and sanitizer in the car, in the kitchen and that the door. I spray the mail before I bring it in the house and disinfect all the groceries with bleach and soapy water. I know it’s much, but my life matters and I don’t trust the sketch advice I’ve received over the past 7-months. I don’t wear my shoes in my home and I spray the soles when I come back out of the nasty streets running necessary errands. I trust nothing these days. I keep disinfectant wipes and a travel Lysol in my purse. I even make the mail stay outside for a day or two to make sure Rona isn’t dancing on letters. Disinfecting has become a way of life. It costs more money too. Another unnecessary living expense, thanks to Cheetohlini.
- I started a garden for my emotional wellbeing. I started a garden in my backyard and it’s been interesting. I’ve been struggling with bugs and Iguanas, eating my leafy greens and flowers. I refuse to give up though. Gardening is a way for me to get outdoors, grow some veggies and fruit (or at least try) and to relieve some stress. It’s hard work. I don’t know how farmers do it. Growing stuff here in South Florida is hard. I refuse to let it beat me, so I’ll keep trying. But I take breaks because it’s depressing to have a nice crop of stuff or flowers blooming, then a late tropical storm comes through and kills all of my stuff or bugs eat my veggies because of the excessive moisture.
- I limit my movements. I live like Black folks did back in the 60s. I limit my outings to the daytime. I don’t travel alone. I carry when I travel and I advise other women to do so too. I’m mindful of people flying Trump flags on the road, most Trump supporters around Florida drive aggressively unless they are old Trump supporters. They just tend to be more rude and arrogant when I’m out and about. I don’t enter any businesses with Trump flags and signs on the windows, and believe you me, there are a bunch still flying here in South Florida. That shit flying is like the new Confederate Flag. White racist losers love their momentos, I suppose. When the sun goes down, I’m in my house. White folks have behaved in the past in ways that can get unsuspecting Black people hung from trees, snatched, or in a dangerous situation. Being home at dark ensures I get to live another day.
- I have heat, lots of it. I subscribe anonymously to a lot of White survivalist websites. You should always monitor your enemies as a countermeasure if you’re Black in America. We’re in a never-ending war. Over the past year, I’ve noticed the tone of White survival guide messages change drastically. They’ve gone from prepping just in case to preparing for civil war and the Black boogeyman stealing their cars (all the criminals in their pics are always Black). So racist domestic terrorists won’t catch me off guard. I protect my home and person at all times. We know most White men have never believed Black people should be armed legally to protect ourselves from their paranoia and White rage. The buying processed proved it. White gun shop owners treated me a little better when I went with some Black friends in law enforcement or men, but the receptions were not that much different. There is definitely less respect for Black gun owners. I hope Black people considering business opportunities when all is said and done; I hope Black people will consider entering gun shops and self-defense businesses and creating safe Black self-defense practice spaces because going to White people to get stuff to protect us is a pain in the ass these days. I pack. I recommend all Black women to get something to protect themselves with, and every Black home that desires should be ready to defend itself with a legally purchased and registered firearm. White gun shops should not be barriers to our safety.
- I deal with more harassment. I get lots of harassment from White men now in stores and online, more than I have over the past few years. As I think about it, more than any other time in my life. White men think they can say and do whatever they want to Black people. They are ruder in the stores, on the roads, and even online. The current occupant of the White House has emboldened them. Dealing with the legal microaggressions is exhausting. It doesn’t matter whether it’s online or in a store, more White people are hostile towards Black and Brown people. I just try to interact with people as little as possible, especially White people. Things are going to get worse before they get better. White people misbehaving with no punishment is the American way. The more I speak out about my oppression, the more my oppressors attempt to silence me. That’s the American way.
- I drink more. I abstained from alcohol most of my life to raise my kids in a substance free home. I have been waiting for a reason to drink like a grown person. Trump gave it to me. I order my libations for the month from Total Wine and sip when I feel like it. Alcohol makes the world more tolerable for me. No, I am not out of control, but I know I drink more now than I ever have in my life and I am thankful for it. I look forward to cocktail hours and late night toddies. We’re all going to need therapy when this is over, but we won’t get it because Republicans destroyed our mental health infrastructure decades ago. Unfortunately, because we don’t invest in physical and mental health, our healthcare system does not treat all in need of mental health care. Shithole countries are taxing on the soul. I feel like an adult now.
- I take nothing for granted anymore. With COVID, we could literally be here one day and gone the next. I do what I want to do now. I don’t worry about consuming too much of anything because guess what, I could be dead in 2 weeks. I don’t worry about things I can’t control. I enjoy and appreciate the simplest of things now. I help more often. I share what I know. I eat what I want. I buy more stuff for my grandkids. I drink what I want. I don’t take shit from anyone anymore, especially folks who were barely hanging on in the friend area, and I appreciate good health. Nothing is guaranteed anymore, not even tomorrow.
- Trump changed how I see White people. Once you’ve seen that half of America’s White people (or more) are racists, you can’t unsee it. It’s difficult to see the humanity in most White people. It’s amazing watching gangs of White men and boys cross state lines to carry out the orders of an imaginary orange sky daddy to avenge White grievances. It’s horrific watching White men do whatever they can to hold on to their power, to include sacrificing Black and Brown lives, and seeing them get away with it is disheartening. Until there is justice there can be no reconciliation. Karens gone wild and Bobs pretending to be the victim while bullying others at the same time. The insanity of Whiteness is like living in the Twilight Zone. It’s depressing. Also, see my intro on medical aparthied.
- My optimism about America’s condition has changed drastically. I cannot underestimate that the racism and turmoil will go away with Biden’s election. America has conservative, liberal, and progressive racists, and White people won’t own their shit. It’s inconceivable that they don’t know how to fix this mess they’ve made. Black folks can’t speak truth for alienating or hurting feelings. We’re expected to maintain composure as our lives are literally hanging in the balance. We’re expected to teach the ignorant and lead the blind, all with a smile.
- I have lower expectations for humanity. Much lower. I have higher hopes for birds and squirrels than I do for people these days. It’s hard to continue believing the best of people when you can see a system that works like a well-oiled machine to harm others for money, run by people. People won’t wear mask to keep us safe. Stupid people elect stupid people to lead them. People will do many evil things to hide their sexual indiscretions. Our president is a serial killer, and folks are perfectly fine with it. White people work actively and maliciously to bother and harass us because they believe they belong in every space. Black people will throw their own under the bus for their White Masters. White women will stab all other women under the bus to get and keep White power. We don’t respect each other anymore. Trump’s presidency has exposed the morally bankrupt, pulled the sheets off the stupid, set racist captives free from confinement, and put snatched the blinders from the eyes of too many wilfully ignorant people.
- I see mental illness is everywhere. People I know who never had issues are struggling now. Solitude isn’t for everyone. My sister took in my mom who is schizophrenic and delusional against our best advice, and she’s catching hell you catch when you don’t listen to experienced folks. She’s catching so much hell, she hates going home to her own house. A few of my friends are struggling with parents who have dementia, Alzheimer’s, or some other combination of mental health disorders and are experiencing trusted family member preying upon their loved one’s bank accounts. Mental illness seems to be everywhere. Clearly a lot of Trump zombies in the streets angry about wearing a mask are not mentally well, likely suffering from some undiagnosed paranoid personality disorder. How else could you explain such nonsensical behavior? Folks are trying to get help for their mentally ill loved ones, and there is no help because of Covid. We also have a shortage of providers, leaving many of us to care for loved ones. Others of us are sounding boards for caretakers. People are suffering in homes with loved ones who really should be institutionalized, and caretakers have no place to escape to. Our national reforms have had unintended consequences. Mental health should become a top priority for this administration. Currently, the criminally insane are running the asylum.
I’m exhausted. And to think, we gotta go through all this suffering, neglect, abuse, and isolation because Vanilla Isis loves racism and White Supremacy more than they love humanity. Racism is a hell of a drug. Hopefully it’s coming to an end. But even if it’s a few more years, at least Tang will be gone.
How about you all, how has your life changed over these last 4 years? Confession is good for the soul.
Marley K in Quarantine 2020
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