Thursday, March 19
Much of the day gets spent futzing around with the website, taking and downloading photos to be posted, and seeking e-books about previous plagues, the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak, and other such epidemics. None of these are available, so I pursue escape in Kenneth Grahame’s children’s book, The Wind in the Willows. Surprisingly, there is some resonance with our situation: Rat and Mole get caught in dire weather in the Wild Wood and seek to shelter in place with the hibernating Mr. Badger in his remote bunker, which fortunately has a well-stocked larder.
Back in reality, deaths in Italy have risen by a startling 475 in a day, with 3,000 total fatalities so far. Asians worry about a second wave of the infection, as people returning home from abroad could bring it back with them.
The crisis could be a boon to writers from Richard Preston (The Hot Zone) to Octavia E. Butler (Parable of the Talents)—but can homebound readers find a way to get their books?
Stocks close up slightly, with the S&P 500 rising around 1%.
Dinner: Progresso beef barley soup, lettuce and apple salad, baked potatoes with sour cream.
Evening entertainment: two episodes of Netflix’ impressive The Crown and an episode (impenetrable to me) of Sherlock.