Corona Princess Diaries Day 100
Hello. I hope you’re all still staying safe and healthy.
Entries from Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia’s diary* have fallen into my hands, and as the princess’s royal biographer, it’s my duty to share them with you.
*Please keep in mind that as with any diary, the princess is only recording her thoughts at the given moment. These entries have had no copy editing and the corona situation is fluid and changing daily.
I would like to thank health care workers, first responders, and everyone else out there working to keep us healthy, safe, and fed right now. If you’d like to help people who are in need during this pandemic, I suggest supporting your local food bank. Find one here.
And if you like to read, please support your local indie bookstore (many will deliver books to your home) by ordering them here at BookStoreLink.
I hope you enjoy this FREE installment of The Princess Diaries – Quarantine Edition.
– Royal Bedroom –
I don’t even know how long it’s been since I last wrote in this diary. All the days seem to be blending into one another.
I think the last time I wrote was right before I gave my commencement address to the Royal Genovian Academy’s Class of 2020.
And look how THAT turned out:
“The future is in your hands,” I said. “We’re counting on you. What happens next is up to you!”
God. What a stupid thing to say. What was I even thinking?
Why are adults always telling young people that the future is up to them when adults are the ones who messed up their future to begin with? It’s like in A Wrinkle of Time (which I watched the other day with Rocky and Olivia because we finally got Disney Plus to work here at the palace), when Mrs. Whatsit or whoever was telling those kids that it’s up to them to destroy the evil that’s slowly been eating away at the universe.
I remember reading that book when I was little and loving it so much.
But now, as the adult ruler of a principality, I was like, “WHAT?”
(And also, what was Mrs. Whatsit thinking, letting those children fly around on the back of a centaur or whatever it was without wearing seatbelts? That is extremely dangerous.)
Anyway, sending kids off to save the universe from evil is WAY TOO MUCH RESPONSIBILITY to put on a child. And also not fair: The children didn’t create the evil. Adults did!
Why are we depending on children to clean up the gigantic messes we’ve left behind? Adults should clean up their OWN messes and fight the evil themselves!
That’s why what I ought to have done in my commencement speech is apologize. I ought to have said, “I’m sorry, kids, for leaving you this great big pile of sh*t to deal with.” And then I should have assured them that SOME world leaders (such as myself) are definitely trying to fix things.
Although right now it certainly doesn’t look as if I am. Especially since the Prime Minister called me the other morning and said, “Your Highness, I’m afraid in light of the lawsuits brought about by the Paninis and the Genovian Hotel and Restaurant Association, we really do have to re-open.”
Me: “What? No!”
Prime Minister: “It only makes sense, Your Highness, since in the entire country of Genovia, there have been no deaths from Covid, and only a single positive case.”
Me: “But the reason we’ve only had one case is BECAUSE we closed the borders and all of the hotels and restaurants!”
Prime Minister: “I know. And no one is prouder of our accomplishment than I am. But we simply don’t have an excuse anymore not to begin a phased re-opening. The economy is suffering, Your Highness.”
Me: “I realize that, but think of all the lives we’ve saved!”
Prime Minister: “I know. But re-opening is a good thing, Your Highness. We’ve won! We beat the virus!”
Had we, though?
I would like to state right now—in writing—that I disagreed. I was against re-opening from the start. I know that 41% of Genovia’s economy is derived from tourism (the rest of course is from exportation of our delicious pears and olive oil).
But, I said, even in phases, it wasn’t a good idea to re-open so soon. As soon as we lift the roadblocks at the borders, I said, we were going to see a surge of new cases.
And what we were going to see wouldn’t be a “second wave,” I said, but a continuation of the first wave.
I said this to everyone, including Michael, who replied, “Mia, I get it. You said it five times during this episode of The Mandalorian alone, and I’ve agreed with you every time. It’s too soon to re-open. Now please can we unpause it to see if the Mandalorian saves that adorable alien baby?”
But did anyone listen to me? (Except of course for my darling Michael.)
No. Of course not!
“You’re not a doctor,” Grandmere said (because of course she wanted to re-open right away, in order to have her ridiculously large wedding to her ridiculously young fiancé, who has spent the entirety of this lockdown here in the palace with us, playing soccer with Rocky and Scattegories with Olivia).
“You’re just a privileged princess,” my cousin Ivan said (over the phone, because of course I don’t allow him into the palace). “What do you even know about these things?”
They’re both right. I’m not a doctor, and I am a princess. I have more privilege than anyone!
But I have seen every pandemic movie ever made. I’ve read (almost) every pandemic book ever written. I’m on WebMD all day long looking up diseases that I (or Michael and the twins) might possibly have.
I know how these things work.
And, perhaps more importantly, I know Genovia.
OF COURSE if you’ve been stuck in Italy or Germany or especially landlocked Lichtenstein during this difficult time, you’re going to make a beeline for Genovia as soon as it opens its borders. Why wouldn’t you? Because of our beautiful beaches, amazing food, gorgeous gardens, entertaining lounge acts, and of course plentiful liquor, Genovia is the ideal place to unwind after months of lockdown. We really do have everything!
So OF COURSE the second we opened, our hotels and Air BnBs and even our parking lots (yes. People rode here in RVs) went from zero percent occupancy to one hundred percent occupancy.
So right now our bars, restaurants, and beaches are PACKED with foreigners, most of whom refuse to wear masks because:
- they insist they don’t have to because their “immune systems are healthy”
- they don’t want their “rights to be infringed upon”
- “masks are uncomfortable”
Even someone who hasn’t watched the movie Contagion starring Matt Damon 14 times like I have could have predicted what happened next:
And what happened next was that suddenly bartenders, croupiers, Jet Ski tour operators, and servers at bars, casinos, hotels, and restaurants all around Genovia began experiencing symptoms of, then testing positive for, Covid-19.
Within just a few weeks, our numbers went from 1 recovered case to 102 positive and rising. We had 15 positive cases in a single bar just today!
And despite what SOME people might think, I am NOT happy that the bar happened to be Crazy Ivan’s, the one belonging to my cousin Ivan Renaldo, the person who sued to me to re-open.
I’m definitely not happy that Ivan himself is one of the people who tested positive. I would NEVER be happy to hear that anyone has contracted a potentially fatal illness! (His symptoms are apparently mild so far.)
Nor was I happy when one of my best friends, Tina, who is currently in residency at a New York City hospital phoned me urgently to say, “Mia, I saw on the news what’s happening in Genovia! You need to declare a state of emergency at once and close down again. And I hope you and Michael and the children are in lockdown at the palace!”
(We are, of course. Now that we have Disney Plus, we’ve watched all of The Mandalorian and every single Toy Story and are about halfway through all movies in the Marvel Universe – only Michael and Rocky and Olivia and I, of course, the twins aren’t watching those – and just about everything else on there, and are of course looking forward to Hamilton on July 3.)
When a doctor calls you from NEW YORK CITY because they are concerned about the lack of social distancing and mask wearing in your place of residence, you know the merde really has hit the fan.
“We have to shut down again,” I said to the Prime Minister just now when I called her.
“But American Independence Day weekend is right around the corner!” the Prime Minister cried. “That is when many of our businesses make so much of their money from US residents traveling abroad!”
Me: “US residents are banned from coming to Europe for the foreseeable future due to their president caring more about statues and the economy than actual human lives.”
Prime Minister: “Oh, of course. Silly me, I’d forgotten.”
Me: “So we have no choice. The young people of Genovia are depending on us.”
Prime Minister: “But we can’t close the borders again because we’ve exhausted all the overtime for the Gendarmerie!”
The Gendarmerie are our local police force. We do not have the same problems here with our police as the US has had with some of theirs because we give our police ample training and pay, and also don’t depend on them to do the kind of work that ought properly to be done by social workers, mental health experts, and jobs and community outreach programs.
“That’s fine,” I said. “The borders can stay open. I have another idea.”
“What are you going to do, Princess?” The Prime Minister sounded uneasy.
Then I issued the following proclamation:
Oh, I have to go, Grandmere is banging on the door. She seems very upset. I can’t imagine what’s bothering her now.
Check back soon for more entries in The Corona Princess Diaries