“COVID-19 is America’s karmic payback for callously murdering all those babies in Iraq and Syria,” stated Madam Jane this morning. “Karma’s a bitch.”
“Stop, just stop it!” I screamed at her, horrified. “This time you have gone too far.”
“I know what I know. I see what I see,” said Madam Jane. “Millions dead in the Middle East. Brutally dead. Blown up, shot, poisoned, beheaded, starved, jailed, tortured, murdered by America’s imperial forces—murdered without mercy in Syria and Palestine and Iraq and Afghanistan and Yemen and Lebanon and Libya….”
“No! No!” I shouted. “These two tragedies are not the same! Innocent Americans are dying here. Our elders. Our doctors. No! You are wrong! Get out of my house!”
“But I see what I see,” said Madam Jane. “A few Americans dead. Less than 0.03% at the most. Yet we wail and gnash our teeth and go into hiding like it was Armageddon. Well, I had a dream.”
“What can you possibly dream that is crueler than this—that the American economy is ruined? Our children afraid and our grandmothers dead? Our freedoms gone, our dreams destroyed, our cities ruled by martial law, everyone suspicious of their neighbors? Our businesses closed forever? Not enough medicine? Not enough doctors and nurses? Our leaders telling us lies about the wonders of deregulation while enabling greedy oligarchs to steal our life savings and the Federal Reserve prints up Monopoly money and pretends that it’s real? Our schools shut down, eviction just around the corner, our grocery store shelves soon to be empty—and our stomachs too? What can possibly be crueler than this!”
M.J. just kept rattling off statistics and shite. Thankfully she had no Power Point presentation.
I covered my ears. I didn’t want to hear any more. Blasphemy!
“What you have just described,” she calmly continued, “is just one more average day in Gaza, just another typical day in Damascus, just one average day in Sana’a, another average day in Kabul. Greedy Americans and their totalitarian allies have destroyed the Middle East for fun and profit. And, like all those endless ‘wars’ that our televisions constantly teach us to love so much, there clearly isn’t any exit strategy for our COVID nightmare here either.”
“No. I refuse to accept that,” I said. “You are clearly not Galileo. These two nightmares are not the same. COVID is not karmic retribution. COVID is just a disease. Wait six months. You’ll see!”
Madam Jane simply shrugged. “You just keep telling yourself that.” I shut the door in her face.
Jane Stillwater is a freelance writer who hates injustice and corruption in any form but especially injustice and corruption paid for by American taxpayers. Her latest book is “Road Trip to Damascus.”