My CoviDiary: The January 2021 Entries

Image via NYC Department of Health

EDITOR’S NOTE: Below, find the latest diary entry, then other January 2021 content. Click here for December 2020 content. Click here for the November entries. Click here for the October entries. Click here for the September entries. Click here for the August entriesClick here for the July entriesClick here for the June entries. Click here for the May entries. Click here for the April entries. Click here for all March entries . My CoviDiary is reprinted, with the author’s permission, from its original publication via maxburbank.wordpress.com. Oh, and by the by, we’ve stopped deleting the “uc” part of Mr. Burbank’s liberal use of the “F” word because, well, when he invokes it, it’s in the service of a righteously angry response to the times we’re living in. So, you know, Trigger Alert: Spicy language abounds, should you choose to proceed ahead.

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BEFORE YOU CONTINUE, LEARN A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MAX BURBANK | Burbank is a freelance writer living in Salem, Massachusetts. His work has been published by Cracked.com, NationalLampoon.com, i-mockery.com, and the literary magazine websites (because he is both hoity and toity, but neither enough to get in the print versions) Monkeybicycle.net and Frictionmagazine.com. Once upon a time, before the Internet, he sold science fiction stories to the legendary Algis Budrys for Tomorrow: The Magazine of Speculative Fiction. Until recently, he was the political satirist for Chelsea Now, where he won a PRESTIGIOUS first-place award for editorial cartooning from the New York Press Association, because gosh darn it, he draws real good, too. A huge, steaming pile of Max’s comedy writing can be found archived at maxburbank.wordpress.com. Max is available for freelance work, both writing and illustration, because he likes to eat.

This is a regular pattern with me and the arts. A period of commendable productivity that slacks off and eventually peters out. It’s not so much that I run out of things to say. I run out of the facility to say them. It gets hard to imagine an audience inclined to listen, an arrogant and difficult thing to imagine under the best of circumstances. Ideas become too monumental and amorphous to attack. Drafts start to look like some unattended child ate a box of refrigerator magnets and vomited on a cookie sheet.

I worry that I may have lost my muse.

I do not think I could have guessed that things would seem this much quieter since they kicked it’s corpulent, golf pant encased ass off Twitter. The national volume has been turned down. And now, of course, he has skulked out of the spotlight, retreated to the Mar-a-lago omelette bar to plot and seethe

I can’t recall the very first time I wrote about Donald Trump, but I have been writing about him (and drawing him) professionally since the Iowa Caucuses in 2015. Staring into that particular putrefying orange abyss has become habitual. I grew… accustomed to its face. The way you’d never be fond of, but might get used to, a slow growing goiter that you knew one day, shortly before it became the same size as your head, would cut off all circulation and kill you.

And now, miraculously that goiter is gone. And my head is still attached. I will need to shop for shirts with collars fitted to a normal, human neck size. Metaphorically. Whatever that metaphor means. I may have strayed from the track.

In March I thought we’d be shut down for a month or two, that it would be like being snowed in, but more science fictiony. The idea that 10 months on things would still be the way they are now? That more than 400,000 of my fellow Americans would be dead? I could look up the global body count, but I haven’t got the stomach or the heart to.

But now we have the vaccine, you can see the trail. It’s hard to know how long it is, but it’s blazed, it goes somewhere, we aren’t wandering in the wilderness. And if Trump had won, vaccine or no, it wouldn’t be there. If the GOP and it’s mob had succeeded in overthrowing the government, there wouldn’t be a path forward in my lifetime. Hell, if we hadn’t won both damn seats in Georgia it would have been a pretty sketchy path.

We’re lucky is what we are. Things are still very hard, but we’re lucky.

I think this far in I need to take a look at what I’m writing. Write when I have something to say, not when I’m so angry and frightened I can’t not write. Maybe that’s already what I’ve been doing and I just now put a name to it. And hell, the Senate trial is coming and whatever else, that’s bound to make me too mad not to write again.

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