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Our Grand Selfishness

On how we continue to fight each other, and other fun topics during this pandemic

Hi, hi!

This newsletter will be a full-on data-driven and yet fiery one, you have been warned. My books, music, food, newsletter list will be on the next one. Today’s topic is yeah, again, COVID vaccines. Because we need to discuss this pronto.

Are we doing well? I hear everyone is headed to exotic locations because summer vacations. I didn’t realize the pandemic was over, because, guess what? It isn’t. I’m glad your break was lovely. I’m also a desi Debbie Downer, apparently, because every time I talk about the delta variant, people roll their eyes like it’s still localized in India. But go on, sip your cocktail on whichever beach resort you’re in. I’ll wait.

But, but, are you vaccinated? If you are, do you still wear your mask like a dork like me, or are we wandering around free and unencumbered? The CDC—much maligned, much contradictory, but still an authority in science in this country—asks us to. In the delta-concentrated regions. And this is what takes me to my current rant about the grand selfishness of Americans.

Story Time!

In 2008 during the housing crisis due to predatory sub-prime mortgages destroyed families, incomes, home ownership as we know it and the US economy. If you’re reading this, and are like, hm, Madhushree, really? We will talk about houses while folks are dying of a virus, really? Is this where this is going?

Well, no, yes, no. Wait. We South Asians are storytellers. So, please, go with the flow.

In 1934, Congress established the FHA that offers government insurance on these home mortgages, protecting the banks. Now the banks are more ready to offer mortgages, even in tough economic times. 4 years later, Fannie Mae was established (with government backing) to promote greater stability in mortgages. Between 1940-60, in two decades, American homeowners increased from 44 to 62%. Home ownership became a symbol of ‘having made it’ in this capitalist country.

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