201006 Trump
US President Donald Trump wears a protective mask while walking out of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to board Marine One Image Credit: Bloomberg

“How could the most powerful man on Earth get coronavirus?” asked my wife, and I was unhappy that Russian President Vladimir Putin got infected.

“No, no, not Putin. It is US President Donald Trump who got ill,” she exclaimed. “Doctors said his oxygen level was down. Aren’t you glad I bought an oximeter from Amazon?”

“That’s not surprising,” I said. “Trump does not believe that the virus exists or even if it is in the air, he thinks the summer heat will kill it, even though he rubbishes the idea of climate change.”

“It says here that Melania Trump has also tested positive,” said my wife pointing to her mobile phone screen. “How could that be, she never holds Trump’s hand in public and brushes it away whenever he tries to hold her hand,” said my wife.

“Isn’t that a bit rude?” I said. “She should just carry a pocket hand sanitiser instead, and every time they hold hands, she could dab a few drops of the cleaning alcohol and rub her hands briskly, before shaking hands with the other mentally unstable people around them in the White House.”

The wife's rebuff

“Come to think of it, isn’t it sad that Melania rebuffs Trump publicly?” I joked.

“Where do you think Trump gets his wild ideas about climate change and Covid-19? Do you think he speaks to his good friend, Modi, on the hot line every day?” said my wife.

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“Could be”, I said. “Modi’s cabinet members have equally strange ideas about how to fight the virus infection.

I remember one lawmaker saying that the best way is to roll in the mud and blow into a conch. And another said banging on steel dishes, standing on balconies, does not really do the trick, unlike reciting, ‘Corona go away’, a couple of times.”

The prime minister himself had once said there is no such thing as climate change, only that our habits have changed and that we have grown older and our immunity has diminished. I think the only thing that has grown for the better in the country, is his beard. Do you think he uses Grandeur Mooch and Beard Oil, for men?”

“Anyway, the good thing is that Trump is very rich (since he does not pay much taxes) and he has been given the luxurious suite in the Walter Reed Hospital in Washington.

Escape from the hospital

It has a 52-inch screen TV so he can watch Fox News and also simultaneously tweet and there is no question about him trying to escape from the hospital like many of our people here do, from the government hospitals,” said my wife.

“One channel is saying that Trump knew that he was infected, before he announced he was sick, but he anyway went to a fund-raiser and may have passed on the virus to many of his supporters,” I said. “There was no social distancing and nobody wore a mask.”

“Don’t believe everything what the media tells you,” said my wife. “Remember that’s what they said about the poor Tablighi guys who came from across the globe to their annual soirée in Delhi. They called the meeting a “super spreader”.

“A British actor said he was astonished to heard that Trump caught the virus. Ayeyo, how can people be so callous. Remember when (Indian) Home Minister Amit Shah fell ill and had to be admitted into the hospital, twice and how people said all kinds of things,” said my wife.

“Will they make Melania the president?” I shot back.

Mahmood Saberi is a storyteller and blogger based in Bengaluru, India. Twitter: @mahmood_saberi