Perhaps he didn’t really believe that the virus could touch him. Perhaps Trump thought the pandemic was only for other people, suckers and losers.

Because he thinks he’s above the law and has always wriggled out of every uncomfortable or difficult responsibility, such as contractors’ fees and taking care of his young children, he behaved as if he were immune to COVID-19. After all, he’s Donald Trump, head of the internationally renowned Trump Organization, master of the universe, president of the United States. Possibly a superhuman, a very stable genius, a world-class individual. How could a measly virus disturb this Übermensch?

Since early Friday, when the White House announced that Trump had been diagnosed with COVID-19, everyone, even Trump, has known that Trump is not immune. The lesson for this president is that, distort as you will—lie, cheat, and undermine the country’s truth tellers—reality really is reality, and no one is immune to reality.

During the pandemic, I have not lived like the president. Instead of wearing a mask over my eyes, I’ve confronted the reality of the virus, and worn it where it needs to be worn.

Let’s see. Since March 11, I have not hugged anyone except my husband. When our sons, who are in their 20s, visit us, they get tested and endure brief quarantines, and we still keep six feet apart and don’t hug or kiss.

I don’t shake hands with anyone. Do you? I don’t sit next to people, except for my husband. When we see other people, which is rare, we sit more than six feet apart and outside only. When we walk through the neighborhood, we wear masks and stay more than six feet away from other pedestrians. Sometimes it’s hot out. We still wear masks. If we forget to put on a mask, we go back to get one. We don’t want to get sick, and we know the mask is our best protection.

More than this, though: We don’t want others to get sick. In our community, as in many other communities in the country where so many have been sickened by this virus, it would be socially embarrassing to not wear a mask. A mask protects not only us, but the people around us; not just the people we know, but strangers too. And by protecting those other people, we also protect ourselves. It’s pretty simple. You know all this, and I know all this. And the president and all the president’s men and women know all this.

We know about this disease and what it can do to a person. We know people who have had it and gotten very sick and survived, and we know people who have died. But we don’t just know about the virus because we personally know COVID-19 patients. We know about it because we’re open-eyed people living in the modern world, listening to scientists and health experts, keeping abreast of the latest news on the disease—making sure we have the best information possible.

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