Fighting the Virus in Trump’s Plague

It is a nice short piece written by Roger Cohen. He starts the piece by "A friend of mine opened her closet the other day and felt she was gazing at the clothes of a dead person. They belonged to the world of yesterday". I thinks a similar feeling and experience is shared by a lot of us too during these difficult times. The author then tells a little bit about how he has caught coronavirus now, inspite of precautions taken. He then quotes a line;“All the livid steeds of the Apocalypse have stormed through my life.”; from Stefan Zweig’s “The World of Yesterday”, a book on his bookshelves. He then describes about his constant struggle with himself, trying to justify if the lifestyle of "Stay Safe" is worth it when his most powerful memories and experiences involved risk; and finally telling how he has tried to adjust to the new normal. He quoted Zweig again: "I have seen the great mass ideologies grow and spread before my eyes — Fascism in Italy, National Socialism in Germany, Bolshevism in Russia, and above all else that pestilence of pestilences, nationalism, which has poisoned the flower of our European culture."

He then jumps on to counting what he considers as serious issues with Donald Trump, while at the same time sarcastically calling him "My President" and how his administration acts as puppet dolls in his hands. In the next paragraph he comes backs to talking about COVID-19 again. He says "The virus is deadly serious but plays games. A little relief to tempt you into activity — then it smites you with a cudgel. ..... It was out there somewhere, fighting. The fight demanded all its energy. There was nothing left for me." He then describes how he is no different then everybody else when it comes to ignorance. Although having lived through the cold war, it was history to him now. He quotes a very interesting statement by Albert Camus: "The most incorrigible vice being that of ignorance that fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill.". He again describes our love for ignorance by telling how in-spite of guessing very well that he has COVID, he waited for the final stamp of approval from the lab, and says "The only way out of this is through."

He again finally hints to the violence loving nature of Trump and his love for Russia. He finally quotes from Zweig’s book epigraph which is a quote from Shakespeare’s "Cymbeline":

"And meet the time as it seeks us."

He finally finishes by saying "We must all fight, in the way my body is fighting now with every ounce of its strength to see off the enemy within, if the orange face of the plague is not to devour us all."