Amy Patterson By: Amy Patterson
Professor of Politics
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29 Mar 2020 : Easter? April 30? What's a crowd?

A beautiful day on the Tennessee Cumberland Plateau. I should go for a morning run... that's allowed for those of us who were international travellers and must self-isolate. In my small town of 1500 (it is 3000 when the students are here),  it is likely that I might encounter someone I know when out.  But people are good about switching to the other side of the road and waving from a distance. (We are a bunch of academics, so get the science.) All is well on this morning, until I come upon the university track and there is a gaggle, yes, a gaggle of people walking, running. It actually looks like they are socializing! Definitely not 6 ft apart! Too many of them to be a family; it looks like a running club. Who are these people? Do they think that just because they can run around the track they are invincible? But, I live in a very, very red state, so I wonder if these "runners" (I guess?) are part of those scary people who don't really believe it is true. (Yeah, don't believe it is true till grandma gets it.) So, I think, a good run spoiled by what appears to be either the belief of invincibility or partisan-induced blindness. And isn't it scary how this virus has become a partisan issue? 

Now the president is backing off the "All will be well by Easter" stance to announce that social distancing (physical distancing, which is a better term) will last until at least April 30. No churches full on Easter Sunday.  The lack of common message from the White House is not increasing confidence, but since the issue now is so partisan, I guess Trump followers will not see the messaging as disjointed and confusing. 

And an irony? Today a commercial airline from China brought loads of supplies to NYC. (Of course, if someone had planned, paid attention to CIA reports, then "America first" wouldn't mean number 1 in corona cases and the US would have enough supplies). But yet the administration still seems to insinuate that the virus was intentionally brought to the US by China. 

As I read the Washington Post today, ads for the movie 1917 kept popping up. Would like to see the movie, but the scenes of destruction didn't seem very comforting in the midst of all of the corona articles. 

But on a happy note-- An older person in my church today called to check on my family, wanted to know how we had made it with our travels back to the USA.  Kindness and caring do exist in this crazy world; physical distancing, but not social distancing. 

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