It feels different already. When I wake up, I turn on the radio next to my bed and listen to the BBC World Service, which is the overnight broadcast from the local NPR station. For the last four years I’ve been hearing from them with their patented British understatement what’s been happening overnight, often leading with something Trump did or said that made me want to roll over and put the pillow over my ears. But this morning…
Things are happening. Good things. Xenophobic and regressive policies are being rolled back. Covid-19 is being taken seriously. A press secretary at the podium in the White House briefing room is actually answering questions instead of making shit up on the fly. People are smiling; you can see it under their masks.
It’s not just about policy, either. It’s just a feeling that the confrontations, the bullying, the lying for the sake of one-upping, the brutal glare of petulant score-keeping even on those rare occasions when things go well, is now in the past. The adolescent tantrums are being replaced by the steady hand of maturity and grace.
My jaw isn’t clenched. I am still aware of the dangers of the pandemic, of those forces inside and out who are against us, but at least I don’t feel that we are teetering on the edge of a cliff.
I know that the euphoria won’t last, but now we can at least get back to work. We have too much to do.