It’s October. Schadenfreude season.
Let’s start with the obvious one – Donald Trump reportedly has Covid, along with a number of his White House staff, cronies, and trophy wife. Clearly this is justice in its purest form – that the man who by his combination of inaction and blustering incompetence has allowed the more than 200,000 of his people to die, should then be hoist upon his own petard.
The other, monstrous spurt of schadenfreude comes from closer to home. Here in Victoria, where there has been a prolonged series of restrictions to combat Australia’s worst outbreak of disease, we are seeing numbers of new cases drop precipitously. The Government’s management of COVID in this state has clearly worked thus far, and appears to have prevented an uncontrollable surge in community transmission. Despite this, the emotionally volatile and easily-led segments of society have been slurping at the teat of the Murdoch media machine and have spent the last several months hysterically bleating about how their rights have been infringed. If they’re referring to the right not to die from a highly infectious illness, I agree. If they are referring to some other kind of nebulous hand-wavey sort of rights, I must beg to differ.
The case numbers have dropped, exactly as predicted. The restrictions have been eased, actually ahead of schedule. And yet there are no black helicopters circling over Dandenong. No-one has been microchipped or injected with 5G-laden AIDS-gluten. And the Premier hasn’t established himself as dictator-for-life in the manner of a Caesar before unmasking himself as Q.
I would hope that both Donald Trump and the promoters of ridiculous conspiracy theories would be tying themselves in knots with confusion, before realising that they might have been rather wrong. Schadenfreude comes with a seed of hope that the victim might somehow be redeemed and return to the light.
But I doubt it. Trump will find some way to spin this to present himself as a superman (assuming he doesn’t die first) and the grumpy Victorian conspiracy theorists will go on being paranoid, and eventually find something else to latch on to.
But as for me, I’ll quietly chuckle, then return to planting out my summer vegies in this lovely burst of warm weather.