My oldest two kids can’t come to France. With few exceptions, France is not issuing visitor visas to people in the U.S. because the virus is still raging out of control in the States. I miss Maude and Ralph so much it hurts. I don’t know when I’ll get to see them again in person. Will we get to be together for Christmas? Is there a country that is accepting American passports where we can all meet up?

I am mostly able to remain grateful. My kids are safe and healthy. I can talk with them and see their faces on FaceTimes and Hangouts. Though sometimes I’m really angry. The photo at top, taken a couple of weeks ago, is missing two people.

This is one of those times where it’s very clear how much an election matters. If HRC was president right now, my kids would be with me on a family trip we planned a year ago to celebrate our upcoming 25th wedding anniversary.

But a missed vacation is nothing really. Much more important: If HRC was president, 150,000+ families wouldn’t be reeling from covid deaths. Yes, there would still have been lots of deaths, but nothing close to 150,000 and counting.

If HRC was president, the U.S. would have had a serious nationwide lockdown, and a careful reopening. Which means teachers and students wouldn’t be risking their lives this month because the virus would be under control.

But HRC is not the president, because an embarrassing number of people weren’t willing to vote for a woman. Sure, they tell themselves it was her politics, but if you have a conversation with them, get past the non-scandals of “but her email” and “bengazi”, and dig just a tiny bit deeper, it’s almost never about politics and almost always about sexism and misogyny.

Obviously I have no idea what would really be happening if HRC was president. She’s had four years mostly out of the public life, and the right still hates her so deeply, and have convinced themselves so thoroughly that she’s part of some Q-fantasy, that perhaps they would have assassinated her.

But it’s easy to look at countries who have leaders who are experienced, compassionate, and intelligent, and imagine what kind of excellent leader HRC would make in a pandemic.

This week a woman will be announced for VP. She will be torn apart. People will say: We’d be fine with a women, just not THAT woman.

I remember how they said: I can’t vote for Hillary, but if Warren was running, I would totally vote for her. And then Warren ran, and they said: I can’t vote for Warren, but it’s not because she’s a woman; if a different woman was running, then I would definitely support her.

I admit, I am dreading watching this VP candidate be subjected to every possible double standard. Anyone else? How are you feeling about the election these days? Have you double checked you are registered to vote? Will you be mailing your vote? Taking your ballot to an official drop-off point? Or are you planning to vote at a polling place?

P.S. — If you’re interested and healthy, I’ve heard more poll workers are needed this year.