I was a skeptic. I was wrong. My sister’s family set up a Zoom chat tonight, and it was a heck of a lot of fun. I was dreading it. Not because I didn’t want to talk to my family. I’ve just always hated video conferences, tele conferences, whatever you want to call them. Can you hear us? We can see you. I don’t think they can hear us. Can you hear us? We can see you. On and on.

This went pretty smoothly. As far as I can tell, no Bulgarians sitting in basements appeared out of nowhere to ask me to confirm my bank account password.

As might be expected in a first-in-a-while family chat, we talked a fair bit about the coronavirus. That will probably decrease if we keep these up. But the discussions were interesting. I particularly liked the Fauci discussions. He’s the Bono of epidemiology right now. Did Brad Pitt’s portrayal of him on Saturday Night Live ensure his eventual marginalization? And is marginalization a word?

I won’t give a play by play. I’ll cut to the chase. In late February or early March Fauci said something to the effect of Americans not needing to change their daily behavior. I think it was a bad statement, far less measured than he normally is. I think he’ll end up regretting that statement even though he has provided calm, sage counsel throughout this ordeal.

Sometimes we can overlearn a lesson. I probably have. I am very critical of Colin Powell’s decision to help sell the Iraq War. His instincts told him it was a bad idea. But when you reach that level, you start buying too heavily into your ability to right the ship. You’ve got to be able to make a stand and walk away. Powell couldn’t. He reasoned that America needed him there to help Bush Cheney Rumsfeld make the right calls. But they didn’t need Powell.

There’s a quote attributed to De Gaulle. I have no idea if he actually said it.

“The world’s cemeteries are filled with indispensable men (and women).” (parentheses mine)

There have been times where I thought Fauci was pulling a Powell. At some point in these press conferences you need to be willing to say, “What the President just said is absolute bullshit.”

My sister had some great points. She acknowledged the importance of getting that line in the sand right. But she got it through my thick skull that with this president and this GOP, the indispensable men (and women) theorem doesn’t apply as well. If Trump fired Fauci, he might very well appoint Giuliani or Gingrich as the next head of infectious disease policies. Yes, I’m exaggerating a little.

I needed to eat some food after the Zoom chat. My cupboards are almost bare. Procrastination. Grocery store tomorrow. So I went with straight up comfort food. Penne pasta, butter, and FireFlower Main Squeeze Jalapeño&Tomatillo. Delicious. I bought it because I saw it was local. Shoreline, WA. After I sign off I will be reading up on what the hell is a tomatillo.