Fear and Loathing in the Time of Covid

by the Ranty Librarian

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Hi. You may have been hearing a lot about people like me, especially in the last month. Underlying Condition. It’s on the tip of everyone’s tongues, along with phrases like “flatten the curve,” “social distancing,” and “self-quarantine.” You may even say it with a bit of an edge. After all, if it weren’t for us Underlying Condition folks, you might still be able to go to the store at a whim, or go running with friends. If we’re the ones causing the problems, maybe we should just stay home!

The thing is, we’re not so different from you. Well, except for the small distinction that we all think we’re about to die right now. In fact, feel free to think of us like that section in Us Weekly, “Stars: They’re Just Like Us!” …

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Hello, it’s me: America! You know, the one you wanted to make “great again?” Well, here’s the good news: if by “great again,” you meant draining the swamp of such unhelpful things as global health initiatives and the U.S. Pandemic Response team, we succeeded!! Let’s give each other a pat on the —

WAIT. STOP! Don’t give each other anything!

Um, I mean, not that human contact is wrong. As long as we all wash our hands, there’s really no reason to worry. You see, we have a fearless leader who has assured us that Americans are much stronger than the average person. …

Yes, YOU, progressive white dude.

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Hey brah,

I hear you’re super pissed about Joe Biden being the front runner. Just a few weeks ago you were pissed about Kamala Harris, and a few weeks before that it was Beto. I won’t even start on your flip-flopping over Elizabeth Warren. I hear you when you say Biden will be “worse than Trump” and that you’re already planning to sit out this election or vote third party. And I hear you when you say you’d “totally vote for AOC if she were only running.”

Let’s address your complaints one at a time, shall we?

1) We shouldn’t have a two party system

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I learned very early on that, when you’re under 60, no one wants to hear about your health problems. Unless you have a “normal” problem like a stomach or headache, or are actively dying from a disease, therefore rendering you inspiration porn to serve a somber reminder to the able community, nobody wants to hear it.

When I was in grade school, sitting alone on a bench because I couldn’t play sports with my peers, I always got the inevitable question: What’s WRONG with you? I took that question at face value, as I often do. I explained about my asthma, my body aches due to medication, and the fact that overexerting myself could literally kill me. Nope. Not what they wanted. …

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I think the one thing we’re all desperate to know is this: WHAT THE ACTUAL F*$&#? How on earth is Justin Bieber eating a burrito this way? Does he eat his pizza upside down? His waffles with a spoon? WE MUST KNOW!!!

Here’s all the intel I’ve gathered so far:

NOPE. Just vote. Donate Democrat. Vote Democrat. Call. Write. Share, repeat. Here are some of the top toss-up races in the U.S. LET’S DO THIS!!!!

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Dear Trump,

I'm SO sorry this is a 'scary time in America for young men.' This is a serious problem (from the standpoint of seriousness.) As a woman, I have a few suggestions for young men who are feeling afraid:

  1. Walk with your keys in your hands in case some villanous woman decides to jump out at you and accuse you of sexual assault.
  2. Talk on your phone or keep headphones in, so that women won’t see the opening to get in your face and accuse you of sexual assault.
  3. Use the buddy system on the way to your car so that if some evil women accuses you of sexual assault, a friend can be that extra body to make you feel safe, and also yell "dyke" at her while you peel out. …

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Dear October,

It’s October 1st today, and after having survived forty Octobers as of this year, I have something to say:


You’re basically a huge fucking lie. Every year, I fall for it. “Ohhhhh, it’s fall! Time for cool, crisp weather, and pretty leaves, and Halloween!”

A little surprised at this hot take, especially after all of the “Happy October!” love you’re getting today? Let me break down why you’re a bullshit month point by point:

The weather

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CIVILITY [səˈvilədē/]

English: Respect, courtesy, politeness

GOP: 1) Having the decency not to accuse someone of doing the horrible thing they just did. 2) Politely internalizing relentless racist attacks without making a big deal of it. 3) Not pointing it out when men rape you [see: unladylike]

GENTLEMAN [ˈjen(t)lmən/]

English: A courteous or honorable man

GOP: If you hold the door open for a lady, feel free to rape them on the way out.

FAILING [ˈfāliNG/]

English: To be unsuccessful in achieving one’s goal, neglecting to complete something.

GOP: A loser; also see: people who don’t like me

PATRIOT [ˈpātrēət/]

English: A person who vigorously supports their country and defends it from it’s enemies. …

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Somehow, even after this year we’ve had, we’ve all forgotten something. Is it our keys? Nope, got those. Did we leave the stove on? Nope.

Oh, yeah! It’s that we’re supposed to be moving towards ending rape culture.

But I can’t escape this feeling, even now, that the media attention is a fad, and that soon we will be back to square one. Is gender equality the new fancy track suit? Is it the new pogs?

A reference for the rest of us!

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So, you’ve decided to slink out from the hole you’ve been hiding in to get back to normal after a pesky sexual misconduct allegation. Welcome back! Somehow, your publicist or agent or whatever thought it was a good idea for you to just creep back onstage — much as you creeped on unsuspecting women — and get back to normal. Unfortunately, this process might be challenging for you (and it’s definitely YOUR needs and career that are our primary concern!) so here’s a handy guide for your reference.

Here at our satirical reference guide, we know how challenging it can be to come back into the limelight after an abuse allegation. I mean, where’s the rule book, right? How much time is time served? Which path in my own version of “Choose Your Own Adventure … NOW WITH DICKS!” …


The Ranty Librarian

Librarian who mega hearts nuance and also carbs.

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