A Journal of the Plague Year 2020–chapter 20

No, not that kind of P, Marcel.

Saturday, March 28.

“Invoke ‘P’!” our President commands on Twitter, apparently meaning that General Motors should begin cranking out massive numbers of ventilators for COVID-19 patients. The “P” in question—much mocked by Twitter’s urinal-obsessed activists—seems to be the Defense Production Act, a Korean War Era law that allows the federal government to boss private companies around. But doesn’t that auto maker have many, many fewer plants and workers than it had in the ‘50s?

Now, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he’s got the illness, not wishing to be upstaged by Prince Charles. I’m suspicious of these celebs who announce that they have COVID-19. Aren’t they at least in part showing off that they are important enough to get tested, unlike the proles who can’t get a test? And what about Jeffrey Epstein pal Prince Andrew? Aren’t these plagues supposed to attack sinners, as the Lord did in Pharaoh’s Egypt?

About 65,000 tests are being given every day in the U.S.—but public health experts say 150,000 are actually needed. 

New York City now has more than 23,000 cases of the coronavirus—the country as a whole has something like 100,000—and there have been around 400 deaths in the city.

And in other news, the House passes the Senate’s stimulus/giveaway bill. Publicly, Trump tells Pence not to respond to aid requests from the unappreciative states of Washington and Michigan.

The Times expands its obituaries to include a special section on victims of the epidemic. Five included are a former college basketball star, two school principals, a journalist, and a fashion designer, ages 48, 73, 36, 72, and 62.

Camus’s The Plague is out of stock on Amazon. The book’s British publisher, Penguin Classics, has reprinted twice this year.

Lunch is easy potato soup: You take one large spud per person, cube it and a small onion, add chopped celery and cover with water, then boil for 20 minutes. At the end, smash everything with a potato masher to desired consistency. Add 1/4 cup of milk, some butter and a bunch of salt and pepper. De-lish.

Now, Mexicans are blocking the border to keep potentially infected North Americans out. There are only 500 reported COVID-19 cases in Mexico, and a group called Sonorans for Health and Life thinks that’s enough. They’ve been blocking the border with Arizona for two days.

So far, they haven’t built any walls, though.

Dinner: Spaghetti with fried eggs—essentially a bacon-less spaghetti carbonara https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/spaghetti-with-fried-eggs-50189975

And a lettuce, avocado, and cucumber salad.

Tonight’s entertainment: More of The Crown and more Detectorists.

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