A Journal of the Plague Year 2021–chapter 233

Sunday, October 3

I haven’t written much lately—mostly because there’s little going on.

The big event recently: On Friday, I got a third anti-COVID vaccination. Such “booster” shots are available in the U.S to the over-65 population. Are we robbing the less-developed world? Probably.

The video-streaming platforms are loaded with spooky content. The upcoming holiday of Halloween is so peculiar. Why do children enjoy ghost and horror stories—and getting a fright? If the victim has a close shave but escapes, I guess it’s a reaffirmation of the Christian idea of everlasting life. It seems that nobody ever really dies.

One Psychology Today article adds: “When we get scared, we experience a rush of adrenaline and a release of endorphins and dopamine. The biochemical rush can result in a pleasure-filled, opioid-like sense of euphoria.” Moreover, once the scare is over, there’s the sense of relief that, yes, we got through that.

And lots of kids like Halloween because of the treats—as I am reminded whenever I go into a supermarket. All of October is an occasion to binge on candy.

Dinner: Italian wedding soup, ham sandwiches, and leftover roasted zucchini with mozzarella.

Entertainment: The Netflix movie Official Secrets, all about a British whistleblower and the Bush-Blair deceptions that propelled the Iraq war.

A Journal of the Plague Year 2021–Chapter 229

“Midnight Diner,” the manga on which Netflix’ series is based.

Sunday, August 22

At first I was blasé about Henri. 

But as the storm got nearer to Long Island, it seemed better to make tracks. So Emily and I left for that haven of tranquility—the welcoming haven for refugees, the mother of exiles and huddled masses—New York City.  

We departed at around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. We passed scenes of panic, with long lines of cars waiting to fill up at gas stations and crowds grabbing provisions at stores and farm stands. The traffic wasn’t too bad; I think maybe we were among the early departures.

And here we are in Gotham. It’s raining hard, but there’s not much wind here.

At midday on Sunday, it’s hard to find out much about the storm damage so far…just lots of Accuweather generalities about storm surges and power outages. On Twitter, one can see video of floodwaters rushing down the streets of Brooklyn on Sunday night. But at this moment, utility provider PSEG-Long Island reports only six electrical outages affecting 23 people in East Hampton. 

There could yet be more outages and falling trees, etc. The eye of the tropical storm now seems to be nearing Rhode Island—but the storm is widespread and for all I know, the worst is yet to come on Long Island’s East End.

We’ll likely stay in the city through much of the coming week. That will give Emily an opportunity to seek a booster COVID shot, now available to the immunocompromised. I’ll go to H Mart and score some Asian food ingredients that are hard to find on Long Island. We won’t go back until it’s clear that the electricity is on.

Dinner: leftover sheet-pan chicken with zucchini and a warm lentil salad.

Entertainment: Episodes of Netflix’ strange and charming Japanese series Midnight Diner.