A Journal of the Plague Year 2020–chapter 73

by HardyGreen on May 22, 2020

A Peapod delivery truck.

Thursday, May 21

Today marks eleven weeks that we have been in the COVID-19 lockdown.

I spent a miserable morning trying to pay my East Hampton real estate taxes—being defeated by a bewildering online system, stupified by a non-functioning pay-by-phone thing, and finally surrendering and just mailing in checks to an office that almost certainly isn’t open. 

The East Hampton Star says that the Suffolk County executive has announced that those who are having difficulty paying may delay their tax payments. Once the governor’s office issues an executive order approving a delay, “the deadline to file taxes for those approved will be July 15,” the newspaper says. Huh? Once approved but only for those approved? 

“The plan provides for individuals who have lost 25 percent or more of their income or are awaiting unemployment benefits, and businesses with a net profit of $1 million or less that have experienced a 50 percent or greater loss of income or are waiting for P.P.P. payments would be able to apply for the relief with a form attesting to their need.” A form? Taxes are due in ten days, so that’s an awful lot of stuff that has to happen first. 

Fuggedaboudit.

Peapod sends Emily a message saying that their food-delivery truck will be coming between 4:59 p.m. and 6:59 p.m. She thinks the message suggests that the drivers are closely monitored. I think it resembles the 99¢ rule.

We’ve been watching a bit of the Netflix nature documentary Our Planet narrated by David Attenborough. Not to overdramatize, but our lives are a little bit like those of the wild animals in the documentary: They spend all their time hunting for or chasing after food—and we spend a lot of our time and effort doing the same. Meanwhile, the food-seekers are themselves being pursued by predators—and so are we! What is scarier, a jaguar or the coronavirus? At least the wildebeest can see the big cats or wild dogs that descend on them. We cannot see COVID-19.

The Peapod truck arrives almost an hour early, at 3:55. It is a fairly good haul, but there were 15 out-of-stock items, including toilet paper (of course), Kalamata olives, yeast (of course), lettuce, bok choy, carrots, avocados, apricot preserves, and Haagen Dazs vanilla bean ice cream. Lots of ramen, though, peanut butter, and Lipton chicken noodle soup.

Tonight’s dinner: Potato soup made with our newly arrived spuds, green salad, and corn muffins.

Entertainment: Two episodes of British thriller Retribution.

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