A couple poses for a photo in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, which is obscured by wildfire smoke.Wu Xiaoling/Xinhua/Zuma

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I don’t know if it’s because I just moved to a new city, but I feel like my tether to reality is growing looser by the minute.

The last four years felt dystopian. The last six months, doubly so. And the last week? Hoo, boy.

Our president is infected with the deadly virus whose seriousness he has downplayed ever since the necessary shutdowns started tanking the economy on whose prosperousness his 2020 presidential campaign hinged. Now, we have no reliable source of information on Trump’s health. His untrustworthy physician claims that Trump has been “symptom-free” for 24 hours. Trump’s (by my count) more than 50 original tweets in the last 24 hours appear symptomatic of, well, something.

Is this what it feels like to live in a democracy sliding toward authoritarianism? If Biden is elected, what will Trump’s time as a lame duck look like? Could 2021 be even worse than 2020?

At least we can watch this video of Hamlet the mini pig going down the stairs to get oatmeal. As my colleague Molly Schwartz says, “Seeing that pig jump with unadulterated joy into that oatmeal never fails to make me smile.”

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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