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And when they see their reflection, they’re fulfilled

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There is something deeply, deeply sick about a country in which Donald Trump — and not the theoretical President Trump but the Donald Trump who had actually been president for nearly four years — could get 74 million votes. And a pandemic that requires collective action and sacrifice to save lives is really throwing that into sharp relief:

The wedding photographer had already spent an hour or two inside with the unmasked wedding party when one of the bridesmaids approached her. The woman thanked her for still showing up, considering “everything that’s going on with the groom.”

When the photographer asked what she meant by that, the bridesmaid said the groom had tested positive for the coronavirus the day before. “She was looking for me to be like, ‘Oh, that’s crazy,’ like I was going to agree with her that it was fine,” the photographer recalls. “So I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ And she was like, ‘Oh, no, no, no, don’t freak out. He doesn’t have symptoms. He’s fine.’ ”

The photographer, who has asthma and three kids, left with her assistant before the night was over. Her exit was tense. The wedding planner said it was the most unprofessional thing she’d ever seen. Bridesmaids accused her of heartlessly ruining an innocent woman’s wedding day. She recalls one bridesmaid telling her, “I’m a teacher. I have fourteen students. If I’m willing to risk it, why aren’t you?” Another said everyone was going to get COVID eventually, so what was the big deal? The friend of the bride who’d spilled the beans cried about being the “worst bridesmaid ever.”

After the photographer left, she canceled her Thanksgiving plans with family, sent her kids to relatives’ houses so they wouldn’t get sick, and informed the brides of her upcoming weddings that she’d be subcontracting to other shooters. A few days later she started to feel sick and, sure enough, tested positive for the coronavirus. She informed the couple. “But they didn’t care,” she says. They didn’t offer to compensate her for the test, nor did they apologize for getting her sick.  

“He doesn’t have symptoms, he’s fine,” an epitaph for the more than 500,000 Americans likely to be dead of COVID-19 before the vaccines can produce herd immunity.

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