Not only do many people feel pessimistic about their personal future right now; there’s also an overwhelming collective sense of powerlessness and negativity. It’s not just that my future feels bleak, so does ours. And since the pandemic is a collective phenomenon, there is little any of us can do to ignore it or avoid the constraints it imposes on our lives. There’s very little novelty to break up our days, few new faces, little movement, few fun events to look forward to. All we can do is wait—for a vaccine, for the election, for herd immunity, for something, anything, that might change our prospects.
But we are not helpless. While there’s little we can do to change the harsh realities of the pandemic, we can change the mindset we use to face them. By doing two things, we can improve our ability to cope with this situation, as well as with negativity and feelings of powerlessness in the future.
“I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will.”
~~Antonio Gramsci, Letters from Prison (1926-30)
At Daily Kos on this date in 2009—Forty-Nine Out of Fifty Governors Managed to Take the Call:
Yesterday, the White House held a conference call between Vice President Biden and governors of U.S. states and territories. The purpose of the call, according to the White House pool report, was to “exhort the states to collect and submit quarterly numbers of jobs created and saved by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act by the deadline of Oct. 10.” Forty-nine state governors or their representatives joined the call. The one person who skipped it? Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R).
Jindal has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Recovery Act — at the same time he goes around the state and takes credit for the federal dollars he was handing out. In July, Jindal declared the legislation a “stimulus that has not stimulated.” Yet he had no problems with handing out giant checks with his name on them…that contained millions of dollars of Recovery Act funds for job training programs, housing assistance programs, homelessness prevention programs, police training, criminal justice technology upgrades, and community development block grants.