Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” is set in a country devasted by a plague which kills half the population. Its ruler Prince Prospero walls himself and his favorite courtiers into an impregnable fortress “to bid defiance to contagion. The external world would take care of itself. In the meantime it was folly to grieve or to think.” In the story Prince Prospero kept his pod to 1000 and threw one extravagant party where he and his friends get their just desserts from the pestilence. Today King Trump continually expands his pod to thousands of close-packed, unmasked cheering supporters at extravagant rallies and motorcades. Even his own brush with Covid has failed to modify his behavior. The flags on the RED ALERT crown read More American Graves Ahead; the rest of the mask is covered with words “torn from the headlines” as they say on TV. The left side of the quilt is a progression of characteristic Trump quotes about the pandemic from February through October, while the right details (in-)actions of GOP leadership and governors while cases rise in a second surge.
I was already angry with the GOP mismanagement of the fall 2020 surge, but the pandemic got personal and tense when my 98-year-old dad was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with Covid-19 while I was making this mixed media quilt.