As we close in on the most anticipated election of a lifetime, it’s worth noting that we’re not voting on the same thing, or even in the same reality. The great American disconnect, from each other and in some cases from reality, is the wildcard in this election, and sadly, beyond. “My phone was filling with news: news about wildfires engulfing the West Coast; news about Trump reportedly calling fallen soldiers ‘losers’ and ‘suckers’; news about the death toll from COVID-19 passing 200,000; news of Trump’s admitting to journalist Bob Woodward on tape that he had intentionally downplayed the virus, purportedly to avoid causing a panic. But almost nobody seemed to be talking about these headlines, and when I asked about them, people often didn’t believe them or didn’t care.” Time’s Charlotte Alter: How a Road Trip Through America’s Battlegrounds Revealed a Nation Plagued by Misinformation. “Much of the time, I got back into my white Ford rental with a pit in my stomach. Conspiracy theories like QAnon–the perverse delusion that Trump is the final defense against a ‘deep state’ cabal of Democrats and Hollywood elite who traffic and rape children–kept cropping up in my conversations. Two women in Cedarburg, Wis., told me the ‘cabal’ was running tunnels under the U.S. to traffic children so elites could torture them and drink their blood. When I checked into an airport hotel in Kalamazoo, Mich., the night manager made small talk about politicians running a pedophile ring as he directed me to the elevator.” This is the American virus that scares me the most.