It appears that, as talented as it is at infecting humans, and in making conservative pundits look even more like idiots, the old Covid-19 virus is as terrible a general election candidate as Barry Goldwater or Walter Mondale were. Operating within the looney-tunes recall system to which California continues to cling like a faded dowager to her jewelry, the pro-contagion forces were thoroughly routed by incumbent Governor Gavin Newsom and the No Deadly Virus Party by a mere 30-odd points or so.
5:30 am is the province of the hardcore. It’s a time of the morning familiar to deep-sea fishermen, dads of young kids, marathon runners, baristas, big-wave surfers, bakers, sweat-drenched CrossFit devotees who hurl ropes and flip tires into the hazy golden light of a fresh new day. And also to Jeff, an artist and woodworker in Aurora, IL, who gets up at 5:30 once a week for an hour-long drive to his nearest abortion clinic. He’s the lead volunteer escort at the clinic, protecting its patients and staff alike from the mass anti-abortion protesters who flank them as they enter the building—and often doing much more. “It’s not always just standing there and getting yelled at,” he laughs. “In the course of my duties I’ve jumpstarted cars, changed tires, helped watch kids, and given tons of people a friendly face and ear that they know isn’t going to judge them.”