A Journal of the Plague Year 2020–chapter 29

Delivered food in a 72-hour quarantine.

Monday, April 6

Two new celebrity coronavirus sufferers: British PM Boris Johnson and a tiger at the Bronx Zoo. It seems the tiger had been under the care of an infected human. 

Our Peapod food delivery came bright and early—and it was a major disappointment. Only half of what we ordered arrived, and many of the absent things will be sorely missed. No chicken, eggs, honey, mushrooms, rice, yeast (for use in our bread machine), jam, olive oil, lettuce, walnuts, or lentils. We got lots of cookies, a major supply of ramen, and a little instant oatmeal. Also, plenty of Haagen Dazs ice cream. The missing items are said to be “out of stock.”

What lessons, if any, to draw from this? Those staying at home are said to be doing lots of baking, so that accounts for the yeast shortage. I suppose the absence of rice, lentils and other dried legumes should not come as a surprise. For some reason, many items arrived in smallish packages.

The upside: We can have cookies and ice cream for some dinners.

Key bummer: no onion and sour cream potato chips

In arranging for the delivery, we were following the advice of a YouTube expert:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4A_1h4XpMes

As the doctor in the video recommends, we told Peapod to leave everything on a table outside the door. They say its possible for this virus to survive on plastic packaging and aluminum cans for 72 hours and on cardboard for 24 hours. So, while wearing rubber gloves, we wiped most of the goods off with paper towels soaked in diluted bleach. Fresh veggies got only a rinse with water. Finally, everything is being set aside for a 2-3 day period to allow any possible virus patches to degrade.

A comeuppance for coronavirus questioners? In addition to skeptic Boris Johnson, the BBC notes, a preacher from Virginia, 66-year-old Landon Spradlin, has died of the disease. Spradlin had attended Mardi Gras in New Orleans in order to save souls, and he mingled and partied with the crowd, which apparently included some who were infected. In mid-March, the reverend had gone onto Facebook to denounce the COVID-19 alarm as a politically motivated ploy intended to harm Donald Trump. 

The Donald once again uses his White House pulpit to promote hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus-killer, this time as he stands right next to Dr. Anthony Fauci, whom he prevents from commenting. After a reporter asks Fauci whether he’d recommend the malaria drug, Trump steps toward Fauci’s podium and interjects: “You know how many times he’s answered that question? Maybe 15 times.” Mr. MAGA says the government has purchased and stockpiled 29 million pills of the drug.

In other drama, the Times reports that Oberammergau, the site of perhaps the world’s foremost passion play, has been forced to cancel this year’s event as a result of the coronavirus. The town has offered its cast-of-thousands dramatic reenactment of Christ’s life once every decade since 1633, in exchange for being spared the plague that was sweeping Europe back then. The day-long dramas will return in 2022, said the organizers.

Tonight’s dinner: Progresso vegetable soup, baked potatoes, and salad.

Entertainment: More of The Crown and Berlin Babylon. One episode of Community, which strikes me as formulaic and snooze-worthy.

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