A Journal of the Plague Year 2021–chapter 237

An early winter for this guy.

Wednesday, November 3

With the first frost of the year predicted for tonight, I got busy this morning with yard tasks that may or may not have been necessary. First, I trimmed our now-bedraggled looking rose bush, following the instructions of a horticulture professor’s YouTube video. Then, I planted 16 tulip bulbs that I hope will blossom spectacularly next spring. 

You’re supposed to plant the bulbs in sunny spots. But the sunlight wanes in the autumn, making it difficult to recall just which are the yard’s sunniest spots come spring.

We’ll be going back to the city for at least three weeks beginning next Monday, November 8. The dreaded end to daylight savings time comes on November 7, so our return will coincide with the beginning of short, wintry days.

And the reason for our trip is also dispiriting: visits to dentists. My McGraw-Hill retiree dental insurance is being canceled thanks to M-H’s successor company, S&P Global. 

“There are many options available through insurance companies,” S&P Global declares in the form-iest of form letters dated September 30. As if this is a recent discovery!! OH, you could simply buy it for yourself! They strongly recommend that we “reach out” to such insurance companies for replacement coverage.

Are they allowed to cancel retiree benefits like this under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act, one friend asks? I guess they must be….

Anyway, both Emily and I will be getting new dental crowns next week, then seeing some other doctors while we have the opportunity.

We’re also weighing insurance options for next year, since the Medicare open enrollment period has begun. Always a pain in the neck. According to the Times, most people just continue with their existing plans, failing to weigh options that could save them many dollars. So much for economists’ rational-choice theory and the notion that people maximize utility. 

Dinner: a Latin American picadillo stew and a green salad with avocado.

Entertainment: the final episode of the weird French policier Nox.