It’s been instructive over the past eight or nine months to learn the interesting ways the coronavirus behaves. Under normal conditions, this is a deadly disease that mandates our most extraordinary precautions. In deference to this fact, we’ve: Closed schools, closed restaurants, destroyed the domestic movie theater industry, canceled vacations, left grandparents to live (and die) alone in nursing homes, and so much more. In the meantime, we’ve collectively tsk-tsked at everything from Florida Spring Break to Sturgis to Trump rallies. We just saw a study that somehow concluded that Trump rallies had infected 30,000 people. Monstrous.
But then, strangely enough, there are times when it is perfectly okay to defy social distancing orders, toss caution to the wind, and act as if there’s no such thing as the coronavirus. Black Lives Matter protests were the first phenomenon to enjoy the privilege of “taking some time off” from the pandemic. Even public health workers got out there in the mix – this after telling us that we were literally killing our most vulnerable family members by having that birthday party. Racism, we were told, was an even worse killer than COVID.
Okay. Weird, but all right.
But now we learn that it’s not JUST anti-cop protests that are exempt from coronavirus distancing mandates: They were also suspended for anyone who wanted to get out in the streets, drink community champagne, and dance shoulder-to-shoulder in celebration of Joe Biden’s election win, which was announced by the major networks on Saturday.
In our survey of the coverage, we saw exactly one guy even making mention of the pandemic: Brian Williams at MSNBC. Other than him, the liberal anchors and hosts covering the day’s news seemed to forget that the coronavirus was even a thing.
“There is a sense of euphoria in this country,” said CBS’s Norah O’Donnell, watching footage of celebrations in Washington and New York.
“Yeah,” agreed co-host Gayle King. “I called it unbridled exuberance. It’s like, Norah, the country is having a nationwide block party. You can go from city to city to city and for the most part, see people jumping out of their skins…Most people are wearing their masks — some people are not. But people are being very respectful and just very happy and embracing of one another on Times Square, which is huge at this particular moment. You feel it. The joy is palpable out there.”
And since these people are so joyful and euphoric and exuberant, we’ll give them a pass on their COVID transgressions. So what if we’re breaking infection records every single day? This is more important than keeping grandpa alive – this is about booting Trump!
Over on ABC, you had co-host Byron Pitts marveling: “Looking at these images, this is football season, right? This looks like Friday night in America after your favorite team just won the state championship. And wonderful for our nation in this divided time to have a night like this where people seem joyous, at least for an evening.”
In CNN.com’s long article on the celebrations – (From New York to Miami in the East and Denver and Austin out West, Biden supporters flooded into the streets after CNN and other news organizations projected Biden as the winner Saturday morning, honking horns, cheering, dancing and popping champagne.) – there was not a single mention of the word “COVID” or “coronavirus.”
This from the network that, just two weeks ago, ran a piece titled: There’s no one left to rein in Trump’s reckless rally strategy as virus rages.
Maybe in a few weeks, a “study” will tell us how many people were infected thanks to these folks out there celebrating Biden’s victory.
Somehow, though, we doubt it.