“How long will you be working from home?” Sharon asked.
“At least as long as the kids are home from school,” Cynthia said as she took dishes from the dishwasher and placed them in the cabinets.
“But your office is closed. Right?”
“Well, we are supposed to be working from home. But there really isn’t much to do.”
“You are still getting paid?”
“Oh yeah, for sure.”
“I’d count myself lucky if I were you. I really thought I was going to get that job with the county schools, but now with them all closed they aren’t even doing interviews.”
“You are still getting unemployment, aren’t you?”
“It ran out last week. Not sure how much longer I can hold out. Six months of no paycheck has really zapped my savings, even with the unemployment.” Sharon didn’t fear the virus personally, as she was in her 40’s and very healthy, but her dwindling saving account was terribly alarming.
“Will you please stop bothering me!”
“No, no, not you Sharon. I am talking to Jacob, he’s driving me crazy. I cannot wait for him to be back in school.”
“Oh, oh look at CNN, quick! There is an update.”
Sharon and Cynthia put each other on speaker as they turned up the volumes on their TV’s. Alisyn Camerota was telling the viewers that “Elizabeth Warren is the Democratic nominee, and she has already tapped Pete Buttigieg as her running mate.”
“Holy guacamole!” Sharon exclaimed picking the phone back up and putting it to her ear.
“Can you believe it?” Cynthia was torn between happiness and terror. While Elizabeth Warren had always been her chosen candidate, and she was broken hearted when Warren dropped out, she was worried about her parents who were in their 80’s. Her father was a lifelong smoker and had recently developed a bad cough.
“Wow. I think we will finally have our first female president!” Sharon was elated. Most of the people she cared about were not at high risk from the COVID-19 virus that had killed Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail. Her parents had died years ago, but she did have an 80-year-old aunt that she worried about. “I am so glad that Pete is her running mate!” Mayor Pete had always been Sharon’s first choice. While he wasn’t Warren’s first choice, she picked him to try to calm the very volatile situation.
Alisyn Camerota was on CNN discussing the wisdom of the Democratic Party having shut the Primary process down after the April 28th election. Which meant that Guam, Kansas, Indiana, Nebraska, Kentucky, West Virginia, Oregon, Washington DC, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, and the US Virgin Islands would not get to vote in the primary at all. Alisyn and the mayor of Portland, Oregon were discussing the fact that while Portland was known for its vocal protests, the Mayor had to warn the citizens that he would impose martial law if they did not voluntarily continue home quarantine.
“Holy crap. The entire West Coast is on lockdown,” Cynthia said.
“Times of great hardship . . .” They said in unison. Public officials had taken to saying – times of great hardship call for drastic measures – as they forced large gatherings to cancel, and quarantines were imposed.
They both continued to hold the phones to their ears as the CNN story switched to the missing president. Alisyn Camerota was now talking with the newest White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, who continued to spout the same lines he had been spouting for the past ten days. “The President is in the private residence. He’s fine. He just has a slight fever.”
“Well, why can’t he at least post a video to his Twitter account?” Alisyn asked.
“Right now, the president is just focusing on keeping the country safe.” Meadows was sweating profusely.
“Jesus, they never tire of those same old lines.” Sharon said.
“Do you think he’s dead?” Cynthia wondered aloud.
“I really don’t know, but I mean how are they going to cover it up? Keep a corpse in the White House?”
“Maybe they covertly took the body out, like in a delivery truck.”
“But wouldn’t they want a big deal funeral, with his body lying in state and all that?
“Yeah, and you gotta think Pence would be delighted to step up and be prez.”
“Maybe Pence doesn’t even know if he’s alive.”
“There is no way that Pence could beat Warren after this administration has bungled the COVID-19 situation so badly.”
“I hope you are right. I mean I agree, but things are so crazy now. I bet you he’s actually at Walter Reed, and they are covering it up.”
Alisyn Camerota could be heard saying, “The tweets over the last few days don’t really seem to sound like things the President would typically Tweet.”
“I assure you no one but the President himself posts to his Twitter account.” Meadows continued to sweat so much that a rivulet flowed down the side of his face and made a water mark on his jacket.
“Do you think those Tweets are coming from him?” Sharon asked Cynthia.
“There is no damn way. There hasn’t been a misspelled word or a rant in three days. He might be alive, but that’s for sure not him Tweeting.”
By November 4th, 2020 COVID-19 had not been front page, headline news for a month, as it was under control. All quarantines had been lifted, and the number of new cases was in the single digits. It had swept through the U.S. killing 3.5 million people. The Washington Post had been giving the stats on the virus mortality rates daily. By November the breakdown was 79% of the people who died had been over the age of 70, and 80% of those lived in group residences. 15% of fatalities had been over the age of 60. Six percent of the dead were of various ages, most of them had some previous respiratory dysfunction.
The headline in the Washington Post November 4, 2020 was –
Warren Beats Pence In Landslide