top of page
  • Glenn Sonnenberg

Musings from the Bunker 6/30/20

Good morning,



The United States.

These are the largest countries whose citizens likely will be restricted from entering the European Union when the EU begins accepting foreign travelers.

How did we end up in such company? We have completely and totally botched the Coronavirus pandemic. And not by a little. It is through a combination of incompetent and downright cynical and mendacious leadership from our President and from the misguided, selfish, non-communitarian, anti-scientific actions of our citizens. It is, of course, possible that our citizens get a partial reprieve since they received so little definitive, science-based direction from our leaders.

But it’s pretty clear our fellow citizens just wouldn’t “take the pill” and stay at home, under rigid lockdown for a few weeks back in February or March—when it would have mattered. Their demands of the political leaders (who provided little guidance) resulted in lackadaisical enforcement of half-measures, followed by a too-soon opening of public venues, all with insufficient testing and tracing capacity.



I feel like Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grief can be applied to this situation. As you may recall, Kubler-Ross said that people go through stages when presented with the untenable truth of the loss of a loved one. These are:

  • Denial

  • Anger

  • Bargaining

  • Depression

  • Acceptance

The parallels are interesting when looking at our current COVID untenable truth, which also can be traced to our President’s words and actions:

  • Denial—it’s not going to get here and even if it does, it will “fade fast”

  • Anger—Why is this happening to us? We are doing everything we can. It’s the “Wuhan Flu”—blame the Chinese

  • Bargaining—We’re doing great. We deserve an A. It’s all going away. It’s only 100,000 deaths.

  • Depression—We need to “open up the economy” quickly. The economy will be booming in Q4.

  • Acceptance—It’s going to last a while, let’s open up, we can’t stop it but let’s stop talking about it and get to campaigning, let’s get herd immunity, every man for himself…



There may be a sixth stage in this case—the “rugged American individualism” that masks are for sissies, that “you can’t make me do it.” Basically, a bastardization of the “Don’t Tread on Me” revolutionary-era flag. There is a growing groundswell that the efficacy of masks and distancing are not scientific facts but merely opinions being imposed by the liberal elites against people’s sacred right to choose…

These are sad, sad days for our country.



Thanks, Dennis Mulhaupt and Susan Booth, for reminding me that the Stanford students actually voted for the “Robber Barons.”

For those who may not recall the genesis of this moniker, the Robber Barons were ruthless businessmen of the 19th century. While they are chiefly responsible for the advancement of American industry and finance, they were also deemed ruthless (some might say unscrupulous) in their dealings. The names included such famous folks as Jay Gould, Andrew Carnegie, Jay Cooke, Jim Fisk (Tammany Hall), Henry Frick (the Frick Collection in New York), Andrew Mellon, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, and J.P. Morgan.

The four primary California Robber Barons were Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins, Henry Huntington, and Leland Stanford. They preferred the name “the associates.” They made money on the railroads and sale of selling material to the 49ers in the gold rush. Leland Stanford was governor for a short time and U.S. Senator from California. He, along with the other “Big Four,” was instrumental in railroads throughout the West, starting with the Central Pacific, which met with the Union Pacific in Promontory Point, Utah to complete the first transcontinental railroad.

As a side note, as I am sure you know, the noteworthy university is named not for Leland Stanford, but for his son, who died young. Hence the name Leland Stanford “Junior University.” It all depends upon the word one stresses…

Hang in there,


1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Good morning friends, You may note that the name is changed and the “clock” has been set back. 401 days after the publication of the original Musing from the Bunker. It seems appropriate that the days

Happy weekend! It’s a wrap! This is the 400th Musing from the Bunker—and the last. Tomorrow is the beginning of the next chapter. It seems that, with nearly 40% of Americans now vaccinated, projected

Good morning! DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES ON ANTHROPOLOGY From Bob Badal: “If you are interested in evolution, take a look at Richard Dawkins' book, The Ancestor's Tale. Combining traditional fossil

bottom of page