343,407 pandemic deaths in America out of a world total of 1,774,390. I’m not noting that to put the number in any kind of perspective; I’m simply appalled. And I’ve got to say, based on past pandemics, I would expect that the worst is ahead of us. Regrets are vain, but I can’t help thinking—what if we’d had somebody even marginally competent in the cockpit? What if America had taken the lead in the pandemic response, instead of tagging along behind everyone else, like somebody’s slow-witted cousin who had to be included but nobody really wanted along? “America First” certainly proved bad policy in this case—we’ve ended up in first place in a category nobody wants to be in.
Whatever. 29 December 12020 is the fourth day of Kwanzaa (African Diaspora), The Fifth Day of Christmas (Christianity [west]), Constitution Day (Ireland), Independence Day (Mongolia), Udhauli Parva (Nepal), and Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day (Sri Lanka). (I don’t know how many of these are real or current, but they’re what I have.) And it’s Pepper Pot Day. The saint of the day is Thomas Becket, the subject of plays by T. S. Eliot and Jean Anouilh, who came to a bad end during the time of Henry II of England. Today is Yvonne Ellison’s birthday. And I’m done.