Simanaitis Says

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RIP VAN WINKLE slept—and dreamt—from January 20, 2020, to January 20, 2021. When he awoke from this extended nap, he asked his daughter, “So, what’s new?” 

“Dad,” she said, “you better sit down.…” 

Coronavirus Responses. Rip acknowledged, “Early on, I did have this nightmare about a world pandemic. But Trump and other world leaders proved up to the challenge. Scientists devised preventative measures: masks, PPEs [yes, Rip occasionally dreams in initialisms, even acronyms], hand washing, and social distancing; vaccines were also developed and administered.”

Rip dreams graphically as well. This is an SIR model, as in Susceptible, Infectious, and Recovered. See “A Glimpse at SIR Modeling.”

Rip said, “Americans accepted matters, akin to rationing in World War II. It wasn’t easy, but Americans are like that.”

Political Dreams. “Don’t forget, though,” Rip’s daughter said, “there was a presidential campaign going on.”

“My dream had that too,” Rip said. “The differences of party, policy, and personality between Donald Trump and Joe Biden energized the American people. We all watched as the two statesmen debated policy with none of Trump’s shark maneuvering of Clinton/Trump 2.”

Image from Vox.

“However,” Rip said, “did I dream of Biden saying, ‘Shut up, man’ ? ”  

The Election. “I also remember,” Rip said, “dreaming about mail-in ballots to counter pandemic concerns. On Election Day, everybody expected an initial Trump wave of Republican direct balloting, followed by a Biden surge of Democrats’ mail-ins.”

 “And that’s what happened in my dream,” Rip said. “Trump conceded after his pet Fox News predicted Arizona going to Biden. Typical of Trump, he spent his 1 hour 25-minute concession speech boasting about his huge 74 million votes, what a great job he had done, and how he was looking forward to 2024.” 

Dreaming in Numbers. “My election dream then took a numerical turn,” Rip said. No surprise, this; Rip had been trained as a mathematician. “Biden won the popular vote, 81,268,924 (51.3 percent) to Trump’s 74,216,154 (46.9 percent).”

“Sure,” Rip said, “there were election squabbles. But, in my dream Wikipedia noted “Federal agencies overseeing election security said it was the most secure in American history.” Rip occasionally dreams in Wikipedia, The New York Times, and The New Yorker, rarely in Fox, Breitbart, or Parler.

Rip’s Wikipedia reference had three citations attached, from Sinclair Broadcast Group, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and Axios. It is only rare that Rip’s dreams have such annotations. 

“Then,” Rip said, “my dream got positively analytical. Biden won the Electoral College count, 56.9 percent to 43.1 percent.”

Image from Wikipedia.

“My dream got historical too,” he added. “The closest Electoral College margin during my life was Bush II over Gore in 2000 (Electoral College: 50.5 percent versus 49.5 percent).”

A 1960 Flashback. “Kennedy and Nixon popped up as well,” Rip said. “In 1960, the popular vote was a squeaker: Kennedy’s 49.72 percent to Nixon’s 49.55 percent. In my dream, some wanted Nixon to contest the matter. But, said Wikipedia, Nixon felt ‘a lengthy controversy would diminish the United States in the eyes of the world and the uncertainty would hurt U.S. interests.’ ”

Kennedy and Nixon. Image from Politico, October 10, 2020.

“I replayed this part of my dream,” Rip said, “just to make sure I dreamt it right. And, indeed, as described in Politico, October 10, 2020, things were more complicated than as first dreamt.”

An Efficient Transition. “What with the 2020 election settled,” Rip said, “my dream had Trump and Biden teams meeting intensively to make for an efficient transition. The best of Trump’s people would continue, Tony Fauci among them.” 

“Well,” said Rip’s daughter, “that was quite a dream. But you’re woke now, so let me tell you what really happened.” 

Image above by Evan Vucci/AP from Image below from Science magazine, January 15, 2021.

After his daughter recounted actual happenings, Rip Van Winkle said, “I believe I’m ready for another dream.” ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2021

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