Schadenfreude is a German word that means taking delight in the misfortune of others. I have seen it pop up several times lately primarily on Facebook and in relation to Donald Trump’s recent COVID-19 diagnosis. It is a rather complex word and there are several driving forces (per Wikipedia) behind its use: aggression, rivalry, and justice. I suppose if one were to take the high road when using it in the case of Trump then the motivator might be justice.
The reality he has flaunted for months now around the Corona Virus is that it is not a serious threat. It is just being greatly exaggerated by his political opponents to damage his re-election chances. Based on recent revelations in Bob Woodward’s book RAGE it is hard to tell what he does believe. He may know on some level that it is a serious virus but due to his ingrained hubris thinks it won’t ever affect him. I would say based on his current state of health, while lying in a hospital bed receiving multiple treatments some experimental for Corona Virus, that that bit of craziness has been laid to rest.
I would hope that he is being treated in the hospital like any other COVID patient by care providers in head to toe PPE in an isolation room with only medical personnel being allowed in. That wish on my part seems to have gone out the window this weekend with his leaving the unit or suite I guess at Walter Reed and having the Secret Service drive him around so he could wave at supporters. Maybe it is the very powerful steroid he received, supposedly only used in severe cases of COVID, that has been disinhibiting. Think about that for a minute – a disinhibited Donald Trump.
I do have a rather morbid curiosity about his hair and wonder how that is being handled. I cannot for a minute though imagine being one of his nurses. I can though imagine accidentally dropping his phone in the toilet giving me great schadenfreude.
The importance of masks has been given short shrift by Trump and his many sycophants numerous of whom are now coming down with their own COVID infections. We can only hope that this bit of insanity will be re-visited and mask-wearing will become no longer a hot button political issue.
I myself have had little trouble adapting to mask-wearing and it has made me actually realize how much I do enjoy a good breath of fresh air when temporarily lifting my mask up when out on a walk on a hot day and no one is coming at me down the sidewalk. I don’t mind the mask and distancing etiquette that has sprung up. I particularly enjoy it when people wave or say thank you when I swerve into the street to maintain adequate distance. Also bobbing and weaving from sidewalk to grassy berm or the street has added steps to my daily walks which have been a good thing.
One definite benefit for me with mask-wearing involves a bit of vanity. About a dozen years or so ago I had to have my few remaining upper teeth removed and I was given a very tasteful upper denture. I am still very self-conscious about not appearing to be a Jed Clampet knock off and have always worn the denture when out in public. Well, mask-wearing has freed me up to go commando when it comes to my upper denture. I may sound a bit different without those teeth in but that can always be chalked up to the muffling of the mask.
So, if I ever appear on our zoom meeting wearing my mask you can just assume, I was too damn lazy to put my teeth in.