A Journal of the Plague Year 2020–chapter 21

It might as well be spring.

Sunday, March 29

If April is the cruelest month, what then is March? Certainly one of the cruelest months this year, and one of the oddest for sure. Surely a majority of Americans are wondering whether civilization can survive an economic collapse brought on by a global pandemic presided over by a mentally disturbed, maliciously narcissistic, reality-denying plutocrat. Who today can remember the golden days of Trump’s impeachment? 

It is rainy and cold, day after day. Spring is officially here, but the signs of verdant life are few. March often looks like this, I have to remind myself. 

And the idleness. It was like this back in 1973, I recall: I had dropped out of graduate school, which seemed very pointless, and sat around in my mother’s apartment watching the college basketball playoffs, while outside it rained and rained. 

Here and now, the death toll from the pandemic continues to mount. There are now over 2,100 deaths across the U.S. and more than 124,000 infected. A third of the deaths take place in New York City. If the current rate continues, there could be thousands of deaths each day.

For cheery news, one has to turn to reports of other species. Have you heard that fish are returning to Venice’s canals, less polluted now that humans are in retreat? And of course the birds must appreciate the reduction in air pollution resulting from the lessening of auto traffic. 

The online New York Review of Books carries articles questioning whether the medieval Black Death was really bubonic plague, as most believe—or maybe something airborne. There are streaming audio reports from Paris, Bogota, Tokyo, and Oakland, all of which sound pretty awful. https://www.nybooks.com

Our food supply is dwindling, and we anticipate with some anxiety the promised Peapod delivery that we have scheduled for April 6. That’s a week from tomorrow. Can we make it till then on our cache of beans, lentils, pasta, and a little frozen meat?

Tonight we will be having canned Progresso split pea soup, baked potatoes (ever fewer in number), and salad. 

Entertainment is also repetitious: The Crown and Detectorists.

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