Outside Reading — Needless edition

(Rogelio V. Solis/AP Photo, borrowed from elsewhere)

Covid-19 killed my brother and sister a week apart. It didn’t have to happen. by Michele Genthon

We are now in the phase of the COVID-19 pandemic where people are no longer dying of the infectious disease. For every one of the people added to COVID-19 fatality list now (over two thousand people yesterday alone), the real cause of death is misinformation. Writing for The Washington Post, Michele Genthon shares the experience of losing her siblings well after the point they could have inoculated themselves against the disease that killed them. There is anger in her piece and also a profound weariness driven a rueful acknowledgement that she long knew this outcome was essentially inevitable. When her loved ones adamantly threw themselves in with the proudly foolish, the path was set. I can relate to every feeling she types out here.

The Shadow of Ronald Reagan Is Costing Us Dearly by Claire Bond Potter

This editorial is built on a premise that can’t be repeated enough, preferably with a fist pounding the table with every outraged point. Practically everything currently wrong with U.S. society can be blamed on the presidency of Ronald Wilson Reagan. He didn’t necessarily invent every toxic GOP concept that has persistently undermined our ability to be a caring society of shared prosperity, but he turbo-charged every last one of them. Worse yet, he created a cult-like atmosphere of blind veneration that has led one major political party — and the worst members of the country’s other major political party — to spend decades embracing terrible economic and social policies that require a willful ignorance of the statistically provable damage they wreak. Claire Bond Potter makes the case expertly, even as its clear she’s just getting started. This topic could fill a book the size of one of Robert Caro’s mammoth biographies. This article is published by The New York Times.

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