The coronavirus feels like justice.

As a self-described “good person,” I have to ask myself why I am having such a strong draw toward my most monstrous instinct: rooting for the virus. It’s not a surprise to myself, nor to anyone else, that I have a tendency toward darkness. Today, however, I’m a little caught off-guard by the strength of that darkness.

This is a little hard to write. I don’t like this part of myself. But it’s there, and I’m seeing it among peers and relatives and so if I’m not alone, maybe it’s worth writing about. Have at me in the comments. I am a shitty husk of a human; I deserve it. This is a bad thing.

By nature, I have a wild and creative imagination, a dose of paranoia, and a penchant for dystopian literature. In some ways, I feel like I’ve been mentally training my whole life to live in our dark timeline, because I have always halfway lived in a story where the question is, “what if the most terrible thing you can think of happens?” Epidemic was not high on my list of possibilities, though. Of course, plenty of people saw the writing on the wall when Trump gutted the CDC to pay for his tax cuts.

Let’s be clear: I don’t want to see carnage. I am not that dark; I don’t have a taste for the blood of the masses (although maybe the one percent….eh we’ll examine that darkness later). I don’t want to see any more deaths, I don’t want to continue to worry about my parents and my grandparents. I certainly don’t want to see people in compromised health face more problems. I’m sure some of you reading this are worried for yourselves or your loved ones. I absolutely don’t want to see them suffer.

But the darkness – the thing that makes me grin when I find out that COVID has hit CPAC and AIPAC and that Rep. Doug Collins is self-quarantining and shook Trump’s hand last week – that darkness is my thirst for any sort of justice to appear in our world. My entire lifetime has consisted of no fucking justice – none for marginalized communities, none for those who commit the crimes that affect the most people (wealthy white men in power!), and none for the rest of us who are just trying to make life work in an egalitarian society.

In addition to no justice, it has been a mantra of “personal responsibility” ignoring that the context that person lives in affects their circumstances. So we’ve been gaslit into believing we can never see justice because we don’t try hard enough; CAN’T end wars, CAN’T have healthcare, CAN’T feed the hungry, CAN’T control whether I’m pregnant, CAN’T mitigate gun violence – CAN’T CAN’T CAN’T CAN’T CAN’T. And, in my mid-thirties, I have felt utterly powerless and handcuffed, trying my best to make the world less shitty and waiting for horrible people to die so that maybe, JUST MAYBE, I could have some control over my own fate.

So then this wildcard arrives on the scene and starts taking out the people who demographically are inflicting the most harm on our people and planet – it’s hard to ignore how long I have thirsted for that.

What I am rooting for is the fear. I would love it if we got the deaths under control, but the fear remained. I hate to admit it. I like that it is mostly affecting Boomers but can be carried by all of us. It feels like one fucking weapon – one fucking advantage the younger among us finally have against the oppression of our white grandpas. And the propoganda machine can’t gaslight people out of thinking that they are actually sick. It surely will find a way to obfuscate these facts, but I don’t think they can hide from this one.

I like that Medicare would likely keep them safer if the rest of us had access to it. I like that paid sick leave policies would help keep them safe if we youngs and poors had it. I like that we are seeing why we need a government that functions – not in little patches, like natural disasters or something – but widespread and everywhere. Everyone needs the CDC right now, most of all, the demographic who was fine with kneecapping it.

It feels like karma is coming.

This virus levels the playing field; it’s not just the poor who will get it; it’s like Spanish flu, where just younger, stronger people got it – it’s not going to be the young generations who should have pulled themselves up by bootstraps to protect themselves and get “real jobs” with health insurance (as if those are so easy to find these days). It’s a clusterfuck of being proven right in a way that they truly cannot flat out ignore (even if they pretend they are).

It’s the very people who took away our boots so we had no bootstraps, blamed us for it, and who literally wish for us to die younger and poorer than them so they have more money – it’s those very people who are now more vulnerable because they made us vulnerable.

I’m not proud of these feelings, and this plague could very well affect people I love, and it could devastate me personally. But it’s hard to ignore that coronavirus is doing something that we have been unable to – exposing all our cracks at once, and targeting the very people who (demographically – obviously this is a gross over-generalization) created those cracks.



  1. This is an exquisite rant. I was thinking earlier today while reading people wishing Trump got the virus and died, that has there ever been a president in US history that people would celebrate the death of? I’m not for wishing death on anyone or any living creature, but this is where we are now.

    I can have open discussions and be open-minded and even learn from people from the opposite end of the spectrum, but I’m finding it harder and harder on the daily to even pretend that I have an open mind to anyone who supports Trump.

    FWIW, I don’t think you’re that dark at all, but you know me…I’m the last one to be the judge of that 😛

  2. Trump is telling aides that he’s afraid journalists will purposefully infect him with Coronavirus. He’ll probably deny it on Twitter in the coming days, like he always does, but this is just Trump doing Trump shit. He floats these trial balloons, denies it, watches the frenzy for a few days, then actually does the thing. The thing, in this case, will be using this to shut out the press and further increase his stranglehold on power.

    If someone in the administration DOES get it, and succumbs to it, it will be used as a rallying cry for the worst parts of CHUD America. We’re lucky it didn’t start to hit in September, I’m terrified as to what that would have meant for the election cycle.

    This isn’t justice, and any path that makes it feel like justice is just “and then things got shittier” with a different hat on.

  3. I feel the same grim way.

    It sort of is karma, but CoVID 19 just found its vector. Conservatives like Faux “news” loudmouth Pete “shithands” Hegseth who don’t wash their filthy hands after peeing/shitting or touching potentially dirty things in the belief that whatever doesn’t kill him will make him stronger (which explains why my ancestors preferred to bow instead of shake hands greeting strangers.)

    I know that this virus does not care about who is a liberal or a con, but these jackals have been:
    1) denying science (evolution in particular)… hey fundie motherfuckers! YOU WANT TO SEE EVOLUTION IN ACTION? THERE’S YOUR MOTHERFUCKING EVOLUTION IN ACTION. CO-VID 19 STYLE!
    2) tax cutting useful things like the CDC and health services for decades. Rather than admitting failure, they double down on the cuts.
    3) denying/gaslighting/pretending to live in their fucking bubble of unreality. Now, some of the denser are claiming it’s the jews (eye roll).
    4) no matter how hard he and his army of shit flinging flying monkeys tries Trump can’t bullshit his way thru. It makes me laugh to know that Trump is a major league germaphobe and this is simply him being a panicky shithead.

    • Yeah, I mean, I’m sure there will be plenty of disinformation that the Republicans will employ to make sure they remain blameless in the face of this, but the facts will be these: people will be suffering (whether physically or economically) and unable to get relief for it. They might blame Jews or Democrats or immigrants, but they will certainly not be under the impression everything is ok and that the status quo is acceptable. Whether that translates into a turnover in power, conventional wisdom would tell us the election in the fall will be a bloodbath for the Republicans but I think we have to abandon conventional wisdom. So who knows.

  4. When I heard about CPAC that put a smile on my face. It is hard not to be smug about people who hate the government until they need (deserve) it. I live in a conservative county. After the 2016 election we had a meet and greet with the local candidate that lost her bid for U.S. house to the republican incumbent. The message was we need to be helpful to the people who voted for Trump. His policies would eventually hit them hard and as democrats show what we could do to help them. That shit only worked for so long. I am a bad person and I own it.

    • I remember the days when I, too, thought empathy could bridge some divides and bring them into the light. Now I realize the whole point was that they wanted to feel powerful by making others suffer at their hands, and there is no cure for that derangement.

  5. I have had the exact same thoughts and guilty reaction to it. I’ve wanted to say these same things but have been reluctant to do so because it feels kind of evil.

    I just can’t help but imagine all those MAGA-heads at their rallies jumping around in an orgy of COVID-19 and going home to suffer quietly in their toilet-paper devoid homes.

  6. You are definitely not alone.
    I’m an Absurdist, I began identifying as one in HS after I read Camus’ The Plague. I don’t believe in a higher power, or afterlife. And if this is the only life/world I get I was determined to make it the best I could, for myself and everyone around me. Then this administration comes along and all of a sudden I’m hoping people get sick, like, REALLY sick, with a potentially deadly virus. I hate that I’ve become this person. But I’m just so angry all the time. And desperate for a small measure of justice.

    • Yeah exactly. I feel like I probably do not know true desperation, but I am getting a taste of it. In 20 years, will I be voting and acting specifically to punish conservatives for this hell they put us through? (And if I did that, would I be wrong for it?)

  7. As I’m sure you see, you’re not alone. Sample size might be skewed, though.

    For me, I was raised to be “good” which almost always meant being self-sacrificing and ultimately served the needs of others. My parents didn’t raise me with any particular ideology other than be “good” and be good to others, which for me translated into Leftism and being something of a goody two shoes.

    Yet there is a strong part of me that yearns for vengeance and occasionally violence. Richard Spencer and his type being beaten by ANTIFA? Awesome! Because there is so little justice in the world, I’ll take what I can get. So this virus might be a great equalizer; rich and poor elderly people who love Trump will die and that’s a net positive, as far as I’m concerned. Not all men are created equal so, certainly, many people deserve to die more than others.

    • “For me, I was raised to be “good” which almost always meant being self-sacrificing and ultimately served the needs of others. My parents didn’t raise me with any particular ideology other than be “good” and be good to others, which for me translated into Leftism and being something of a goody two shoes.”

      LOL this could have been written by me!

      I definitely have gotten so much angrier; my parents seemed to believe that when you put good out into the world, it comes back to you. That is certainly not true. Do I still believe in putting good into the world? Absolutely. But I no longer believe everyone deserves it.

      • I truly believe what you put out in the world comes back to you. The times I’ve wronged others certainly came back to haunt me in mysterious ways.

        But sitting with your hands folded while people trample all over you, where you can’t find peace in this world but are expected to take it in stride? Nah, I’m pissed and I wish I could let everyone know it. Those vegans who keep interrupting Joe Biden? They’ve probably got the right idea.

    • This raises a good point about upbringings because experience is individual and unique like snowflakes (no pun intended for the record) so it important to keep an open dialogue, in my opinion, with everyone and their opinions/values/ideals.

      I think everyone around here knows how left I am and I’m no goodie two shoes, but every story about how us leftists became leftists would be unique, in one way or another. So I think it’d be fair to appreciate that the people who grew up only experiencing the far right ideologies would grow into adults and become smart might not make it all the way to the left but have actual, relevant thoughts to which we should listen?

      But then there are Trump supporters and even as a self-proclaimed not-so-smart-person, I can’t fathom the dumbness/ignorance/hatred.

      • I think we can have a dialogue with those who think differently from us and be friends with people with different ideologies.

        Still, even if someone arrives at their conclusions honestly and with self awareness, many policy positions cause harm to living people. I don’t know where on the “actual malice” and “benign indifference scale” you can cut someone off at because it has to be an individual choice. We can’t run our government with Leftists alone (or at all) so of course there will have to be compromises. We should be kind to one another and do our best to understand and support each other, etc. to build a better tomorrow, etc.

        But anyone who supports Trump, even a little bit, is irredeemable until they admit to their mistake.

        • …most of the time I think most people would be in agreement with the idea that things could stand to be better than they are…so if there are suggested improvements that stand to make it better for as near everyone as can be contrived

          …say…severing the link between medical necessity & penury the way that a good many countries have managed to do without descending into amarchy

          …& you’re arguing those are bad in favor of changes that will improve things for a few while making things worse for a broad swathe of folks

          …like, say…a massive tax break for the insanely wealthy & their corporate entities at the cost of undercutting, underfunding, sabotaging & otherwise eroding the fabric of their government

          …it’s hard to come off as likeable unless you really put some effort into not thinking shit through

          …generally speaking, in person, I find I’m mostly capable of disagreeing politely with someone & not having things get heated but when you don’t have a whole person to consider & instead just their words alone in an online context…it can be much harder to remain civil about that kind of thing?

    • I was raised with a similar viewpoint on being good and I still hold up to it to this day. But I find that while I will never act to do harm to someone — much as I might want to hit a nazi I probably wouldn’t — I will harbor ill-wishes for those who do harm to others inside of me. I wouldn’t breathe on a MAGA-ite if I had a virus but I would inwardly celebrate them breathing it on each other.

    • Oh I know. One of the most pathetic things about this emotion is that I’m just pleased that the shitty people don’t have any advantages that they usually have.

      I’m thirsty, man. Haha.

  8. As someone who lived near ground zero of the 1993 Hantavirus outbreak (fatality rate of 50%, which makes Coronavirus look like a case of the sniffles), and spent so many years living in a state that still has annual outbreaks of Bubonic Plague (actually have two friends who got it–one died in the ER and had to be resuscitated), I had a ringside seat at the spectacle of full blown terror in a community over a fatal disease. Do I feel a certain sense of smug satisfaction that this latest outbreak has hit CPAC? You bet. Do I think that these people are ever going to develop a strong enough sense of empathy that they’ll actually have a revelation about their hatred of the poor and vulnerable? No. No I don’t.

    Does Trump and the general Republican bullshit piss me off? Yup. Does it distract me on a daily basis? Nope.

    You want to know why? Because, for so many years, I was so angry about so many things that I seethed all day long, every day. I could literally clear a room just by walking in because my whole demeanor was so bitter that people didn’t want to deal with me. I was making myself crazy and miserable until I eventually had enough. Around that time I was taught a little secret: acceptance. At first I rejected that as a solution because I kept mistaking acceptance for agreement or approval, but that’s not what it means. It’s essentially just recognizing the reality that’s in front of me, instead of making myself crazy by wishing that it wasn’t real. This allows me to be able to actually determine what I can do about it–which enables me to deal with it without making myself nuts. Sometimes, the thing I can do about it is…nothing. When that’s the case, then it becomes easier for me to discharge it without ruminating endlessly. What can I do about Trump’s lying and incompetence? Aside from voting, and supporting certain causes (either with money or volunteering my time) the answer is “nothing”. So, I recognize that, shake my head, maybe swear a little bit, and move on. It’s taken years of practice, but I’ve gotten pretty good at it.

    • I feel that I am ok at finding acceptance…like, for example, I tend not to spend a bunch of time obsessing over how stupid/hypocritical/wrong Republicans and Trump are about any one given thing because I have accepted they will always be wrong and self-serving and there is no logic to analyze or criticize because it’s all about power and greed.

      But oof, sometimes the rage consumes me. It is so entwined in who I am, I often forget it’s there, and I can only tell because my teeth will ache from me clenching my jaw so hard for days and days.

      I’m young enough I don’t remember Hantavirus – I just looked it up. Wow, that is scary shit. Thanks for sharing your experience and coping strategies.

      • One of the side effects of my acceptance is that I’ve also learned how not to put myself in a position to get pissed off. The main way for me is to not read everything that hits the news feed, particularly if it’s about Trump. I can scan the headlines and maybe read the first paragraph or two and that’s mostly it. Does that make me “uninformed “? I don’t think so. During the beginning of his term I read it all and eventually found that he is very predictable in his behavior so why should I keep reading things that will serve no purpose other than to reinforce what I already know about that shit stain which will make me crazy? There’s no upside for me so I don’t bother with it most of the time. I still manage to keep up

  9. eh…i’d be lying if i said i wasnt following the whole thing with a certain amount of glee (tho…admittedly i lean heavily towards glee as my first response to pretty much anything knocking the world on its ass)
    guess we’ll find out how funny i still find it when cov-19 mk2 : electric coronaloo turn up round november
    (well..if..i guess…anyhoo..genies out of the bottle now..i dont see it getting cancelled after one season)

    • …I think one potential strand of optimism holds that – absent the “novel” part – its sequel plays to an audience that’s heard it all before…a.n. other coronavirus isn’t something we shut down whole countries for the way they have Italy & eventually we get backstopped by herd immunity…although as the common cold demonstrates that doesn’t mean it entirely goes away

      …but we certainly do look as though we are past the point of containing the thing…indeed China’s approach to news media in general means there’s at least a possibility that by the time we had a name for the thing out in the rest of the world it was already too late to make containment work…not that something like that makes much difference to anything right this minute

      hard not to look at it in some ways as being an object lesson in why taking certain people’s word for it that they have shit under control is a less than smart move…& just damning of those who even now peddle the fictions that made it all possible…well, for me at any rate?

  10. You’re not alone. I think one of my first reactions was “Ha! The orange shitweasel is going to have to stop having his Klan rallies!” Because we all know he LIVES for that shit.

    Of course, his gang of criminals is trying to turn this to their advantage:

    But on the larger scale it’s going to erode Trump’s support among pretty much everybody that supports him, except for the hard-core racist xenophobes. The only thing most Republicans (outside the racist core) care about is money, and the economy is going into a tailspin. Tax cuts for the wealthy WILL NOT affect that.

    I also feel like if we can get a Democratic administration, there’s going to be LOT of support for universal healthcare.

    • One of the things I’m also hoping comes out of this is better sick leave for people. Too many people can’t afford to take sick time and this is going to work against the businesses big time right now.

      • Yes. The Florida Legislature, which is a corrupt gaggle of Republican grifters that subsist on voter disenfranchisement, voted in 2013 to forbid letting any city or municipality mandate paid sick leave for companies in their area. They’re catching MAJOR shit for it now. Little Marco Rubio, whom you might remember as a one-time Trump opponent who now spends his days licking Trump in places best left unmentioned, has stated that he “hopes businesses will do the right thing.” Yes, of course they will, Little Marco. Of course they will.

  11. I’m totally hoping he and other assholes who’ve spent their careers dismantling the apparatus we need to respond to threats like this die of their own stupidity. I don’t feel bad about that, and sleep like a baby with a free conscience.

    Some times evil people get their comeuppance.

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