election anxiety countdown

3 Days: Hold Steady

The election is in three days. All reports on early voting suggest turnout is high and climbing. High turnout usually helps Democrats. Surveys suggest Democrats are far more enthusiastic about voting. But it isn’t over until it’s over. Hold steady for three more days. Then we can dive in to what comes next: responding to Trump’s reaction. There will certainly be more legal maneuvering and more scenes of vote-tampering contrived for the cameras and turned into viral misinformation.

But since today is Halloween, I’m picturing Trump and his followers like the Wicked Witch of the West dissolving into a puddle, shrieking as they disappear. Or as ghosts being sucked into an electronic trap in Ghostbusters, monsters reacting uncontrollably as they realize their unthinkable demise has come.

It probably won’t be that simple. I expect we’ll be in the streets of D.C. protesting. Hopefully, we’re just out there celebrating, but it might be tense until it is all sorted out. Businesses are boarding up their windows again. Although, some of that is because cold weather is coming. Several restaurants have announced their intention to “hibernate” since the little income they were earning from outdoor dining is drying up with temps now dropping into the 40s after sunset, and Daylight Savings Time ending tonight.

The pandemic has been escalating in recent weeks as activities shift indoors and fatigue erodes the precautions of formerly vigilant followers of epidemiologists’ recommendations. Much of the country is now seeing the worst Covid caseload since the pandemic began. Hospitals are at or near capacity in several states. We are eight months in. There aren’t a lot of actions an ordinary person can take beyond remaining vigilant, socially distancing, wearing masks. This insane and all-consuming election may be a helpful and productive distraction from it all. What if the pandemic had come one or two years into Trump’s term, with no hope for a change in sight? Right now, we can at least collectively chip in on this one project, solve this one thing: the leadership vacuum. Even if the replacement won’t be in power until January 20, we’ll know we’ve done what we can to bring about some improvement in our chances. It’s a way to begin restoring trust in this collective project we’re all a part of (whether or not we choose to participate) called government.

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