“I miss him more and more each day,” she confides. “That sparkle in his eyes, the warmth of his smile. Our charismatic leader. My… my Obama.”
Though slightly muffled by one of the many N95 masks she’s been issued by virtue of her journalistic credentials (thank you, Andrew Cuomo!), the sadness in her voice is palpable.
I’m sitting in the kitchen of one Aurora Aventina Minorov, community manager for Friends of Journalism, the digital media advocacy network founded in 2019 by Dustin Levitt of Journalist Excellence Worldwide and NPC Daily’s very own Quinn Barton.
The lockdown has not been easy on Mx. Minorov — Tina to her close associates. Though she remains gainfully employed (and recently secured a substantial raise after seeing her name appear in Forbes), her anxiety is at an all-time high, what with her yoga classes canceled for the foreseeable future and half her neighbors drowning on their own lung secretions.
“You’d think they’d have the decency to die in the hospital,” she laments. “I can’t tell you how much dead people creep me out.
“Those sirens, day and night — what’s the point? The roads are empty, and most of my neighbors have been DOA anyway. I’m running on six or seven hours of sleep here.”
Still, Mx. Minorov doesn’t entirely regret her decision to spend the lockdown in her posh Manhattan apartment, having fled her primary residence in Olympia, Washington for what she’d assumed would be relative safety.
“When Governor Inslee ordered the lockdown [on March 15th], I figured it was time to get out. New York seemed the place to be, what with Mayor Bill de Blasio encouraging everyone to get out on the town and mingle. Hindsight is twenty-twenty, but at least this has offered me the opportunity to report firsthand just how badly Trump has failed the people of New York.”
And report from the front lines she has, tweeting daily about the dangers of reopening the economy — often from her balcony, which offers a generous view of the very businesses she hopes will remain closed.
“I get it, I really do. I enjoy having my hair and nails done twice a week and bar hopping as much as the next persyn, but lives are at stake here. Trump supporters like to pretend that access to food and medical care require a functioning economy when in fact both those things are human rights.”
But despite all of the blood on Donald Trump’s hands and the absolute certainty that reopening the economy will lead to a breakdown in social order, she remains optimistic.
“Now that we’ve stopped airing his daily press conferences, the American people realize that both the Trump Virus and the Trump Economy are Trump’s fault, and they are eager to vote for Joe Biden.”
Mx. Minorov believes Biden is offering the American people a return to normalcy and an end to the racism and xenophobia that have defined the current White House occupant’s every action.
“Joe Biden is a visionary. He knew instituting travel bans from the countries hit hardest by COVID-19 — China and Iran, later Italy and all of Europe — would only worsen the pandemic. Not only that,” she adds, “he knew that it was racist“.
She goes on to point out how in his three years as president, Trump has done nothing to replenish the federal supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) that was all but depleted during the Obama era. Worse still, he reorganized The Global Health Security and Biodefense Unit, which is essentially the same thing as having fired them all.
“He’s still at it. He decided to defund the World Health Organization without the approval of the United Nations. Obama never would have done such a thing. He knew what it was to lead from behind — and Biden does too.”
Obama indeed favored subordinating our national interests to those of the global community, which is precisely what is needed during a global pandemic.
“I firmly believe a Joe Biden presidency would spell a return to the golden era of the Obama years, and that’s enough to give anyone hope for the future.”