Jul 27, 2022

Ol’ Joe and Ol’ Me: Covid Co-Horts

In which we finally do something Presidential

By Ed Goldman

Don’t you find that the continuous commentary about Joe Biden’s age is getting a bit, well, old?

When it was announced last week that he had tested positive for COVID-19, almost every media outlet in the known galaxy felt duty-bound to point out that Biden is the oldest serving U.S. President in history.

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I don’t recall that when President Donald Trump oafishly slid down a staircase (and blamed his dress shoes) the media pointing out he was, at the time, the second oldest president in American history. And when President Reagan was shot, not much was made of his age—or that, at the time, he was the oldest POTUS the land had ever known. All that was deemed  newsworthy in each case was that the Leader of the Free World had respectively, taken a slider and a bullet. 

Listen, I’m as concerned as you are that Ol’ Joe really might be Too Ol’ Joe for the job.I recall thinking this when he gave a short talk after going to Saudi Arabia—to fist-bump a guy who’d had a journalist slaughtered; don’t get me started—and looked like he was going to lie down on the podium and speak into the microphone sideways. 

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For political novices: This isn’t called making a speech on the floor of Congress. What it resembled, God help me, was a labradoodle drinking out of a garden hose.

Now, I may be overly sensitive to the fact that Biden’s age was an implied factor with his contracting COVID. Because I seem to have done the same thing, last week.  And he’s older than I am. (So’s Trump. I like when U.S. Presidents are older than I am. I think my folks were a little jarred when John F. Kennedy, who was born the same year as my mom and only a few months after my dad, was elected President. You never think that your chronological peers will amount to that much.)  

Anyway, when the tips of my fingers started to experience shooting pains—as I was simultaneously sneezing, coughing and wondering why I bother to drink so much orange juice since it obviously wasn’t warding off this symptomatic onslaught—I had to admit this probably wasn’t your basic summer cold. Or at least it wasn’t my basic summer cold.

Not that I’ve had many of those in a very long time, so I’m not sure why at first I categorized it as one. I ran a mild fever one night and I noticed my voice was rasping more than usual. See, that voice used to get me a fair amount of voiceover work until I was in a car accident in 2007 and suffered a punctured lung; I thought it’d make my voice much more marketable but evidently none of the ad agencies who used to hire me had a need for someone who now sounded like Vito Corleone urging you to eat your heart-healthy Cheerios.

I’ll admit that I bypassed the confirmation of a COVID test my OSSO (oh-so-significant-other) offered me. But after she took it herself and tested positive, we figured it was likely my results would be the same, since we see each other every day and once I even touched the outermost hem of her garment. (Okay, enough of that. You should be ashamed of pressing me on this point. And as for that reader in Miami, no, there is no PowerPoint available, Murray.)

Anyway we immediately began to isolate (in separate homes, Murray—geez, would you give it a rest and just get the Pinterest app?). It’s a good thing we did. Within hours each of us was running a fever, hacking and, when able to nod off, having weird dreams. (By then I submitted to her giving me the COVID test and passed it with flying colors –pink, actually. I had it but good.)  

My OSS0 was pretty surprised by hers and asked me about my own. I had to admit that I’ve always had weird dreams, so these didn’t seem markedly different—except for my waking from them every 10 minutes or so to have a coughing fit then, much to my chagrin, returning to the same point at which I’d signed off, as though my coughing had merely been a PBS pledge break.

I’m writing this just a few days before you’re reading it—which is still a lot prompter than my local newspaper, the Sacramento Bee, runs crime stories, apparently believing that a newspaper story is not only the so-called first draft of American history but also the second, third and final drafts after a thoroughgoing peer review. 

The White House is reporting that Ol’ Joe is working but not too much, which I hope is true. Stay off the bike, Joe. We don’t vote for candidates in the hope that once they get in office they’ll compete in the Tour de France.  Or fist-bump murderers. But that’s another story.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).

Yes, Virginia

A Weekly Blog by Virginia Varela

President, Golden Pacific Bank, a Division of SoFi Bank, Inc.

photo by Phoebe Verkouw


Like all learning,” said Alan Greenspan, the economist and former chair of the Federal Reserve of the United States, “financial education is a process that should begin at an early age and continue throughout life.

“This cumulative process builds the skills necessary for making critical financial decisions that affect one’s ability to attain the assets, such as education, property, and savings, that improve economic well-being.”

Hear! Hear! It’s so important for everyone, no matter the age or background, to understand how money works, how to save money, and how to set money-saving goals. I believe that financial literacy is a necessity. Learning about money and finance is a right of every citizen. Let’s make it a clear requirement in our public education system.

The benefits of financial literacy go beyond the individual level.

Financially literate citizens should better understand our market and economy to help them make more informed political choices.

They may make better financial decisions that will presumably help our country’s economic future—or will, at the very least, give them a better understanding of how our economy generally ticks.

SoFi’s slogan is “get your money right.” That’s perfect. Let’s support kids of any age in any needed literacy training so they can get there.

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