Cruising, Covid, and Trump being Trump


What I learned about America and Covid from a cruise vacation and its aftermath

Today is Wednesday, March 30, 2022. After returning from an eight-day Caribbean cruise on Sunday I began to get flu-like symptoms. I took a rapid Covid-19 at home on Monday morning. It was positive. I don’t know if any of you have taken this test, but there are some very specific directions; one is to not read any results until the 15-minute requisite time frame is completed. For this particular test, the positive result is identified by a red bar on the test strip. Mine turned red almost immediately. Not wanting to jump to conclusions, I waited, hoping that at 14:30 into the time frame, the red bar would start disappearing. No such luck. A PCR test I took yesterday will double confirm. Until then, I’m quarantining at home, coughing and NyQuilling away

I came out of the cruise with two take-aways: 1) Covid is still with us, so don’t let down your guard. I did, and am suffering the consequences; and 2) There are lots, and I mean lots, of Trump supporters out there. And they will not back down on their belief that their man is possibly not only the greatest president, but perhaps the greatest man of all time.

Needless to say, I listened when conversations veered into politics (“…boy, that DeSantis is doing a great job in Florida…”), or the Russian invasion of Ukraine (“…if Trump was president this wouldn’t have happened…”) or January 6 and the election (“…Trump won, the election was stolen, stop the steal…”) and didn’t engage.

I left my liberal bubble when I moved from Northern California in 2018. Palm Beach County is not deep blue, but it is blue. Most of my friends are like-minded on almost every issue of importance. Outside south Florida, the state, led by a “faux” right-wing, deceitful, presidential wanna-be governor is, if not deep red, red none-the-less. (I say “faux” because like many of his Ivy League educated youngish, Republican politicians, it is difficult to know whether he believes in the garbage he spews and the laws he signs or if he does it for only one purpose – his own political gain.)

My quarantine is allowing me to watch and read the news even more than usual, if that is actually possible. And, this morning I heard a news item that was so incredible, it actually stopped my coughing in its tracks.

As reported by CNN (and other news outlets)

In a new interview published Tuesday, former President Donald Trump called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to release any damaging information he has about the Biden family, in a brazen request for domestic political assistance from America’s top adversary.

It’s the latest example of Trump’s willingness to solicit and embrace domestic political help from foreign powers – even from Putin, who is currently overseeing a bloody war against Ukraine.

In an interview with “JustTheNews,” [a far-right media news site] Trump pushed an unproven claim about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Russia, and asked Putin to release any information that he might have about the situation. It’s not clear that any material exists, or if the Kremlin has access to it.

Here’s the interview:

And here’s CNN’s fact-check on the issue:

CNN fact-check

Let’s unpack this.

Just weeks after praising Russian President Vladimir Putin for his “savvy,” and “genius” for his unprovoked attack on Ukraine, the FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, more specifically, the MOST RECENT FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, the FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES who, while president, attempted to extort Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelinsky to provide dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden in exchange for the weaponry that Zelinsky needed to thwart a potential Russian attack, that FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES is pandering and reaching out to a man conducting an illegal, bloody, brutal war against a sovereign country and, in so doing is, along with his commanders and enablers, perpetrating what will unquestionably be considered war crimes and crimes against humanity when this war is over.

Oh, to be back on board that ship, if only to listen to what my Trump-loving shipmates are saying in defense of their hero. But why go back on the ship to find out since I know that they’ll simply be parroting what Tucker Carlson, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, Marjorie Taylor Greene and their ilk say?

Kind of makes you want to…quarantine yourself until it’s over. I’m just not sure what “it” is, or how I will know if “it’s over.”

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

7 thoughts on “Cruising, Covid, and Trump being Trump

  1. “Kind of makes you want to…quarantine yourself until it’s over.”

    Well, you could go to Portugal … or Sicily! I can tell you that following US politics from across the pond, is still upsetting, but when I go out, it disappears, and what matters is when is the fish store or ristorante open, and what is today’s catch. Refreshing … and i don’t feel any guilt.

    I’ll pick you up at Palermo airport, Teddy. 😉


  2. “It” is the MAGAt Stupidity Disease (MDS, also short for MaDneSs) which is currenly in pandemic mode across the Free World, and still in its First Wave! I would love to elaborate, but a medical appt. is calling, and I must go. But I think you get the gist. Stay safe, sir, and stay socially hermitized.


  3. Ted, I’m sorry to hear that you have COVID and hope that it is a mild case. I’s surprised that people on a cruise ship would be lax about it. Did you manage to bring home all of the products that you bought from your cute Israeli ladies?

    The content of this blog is very, very distressing. I try to avoid the news but I read this week that there are several new sites that are having a heyday promoting Qanon theories and that we are sinking deeper into a cesspool. Some say the pendulum always swings back but I fear that it is going so far to the right that it may never correct. I’m not hopeful.

    Welcome back, take care of yourself!!!!! Love, Toni



  4. I assume that (having to) watch (ing) more news is punishment for your laxity re:covid. I am suspicious that you secretly wanted covid so you could once more be in the majority in America. I’m going for the 4th shot!


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