A Journal of the Plague Year 2020–chapter 31

The front line in the fight against COVID-19?

Wednesday, April 8

“It’s one of civilization’s darkest hours, and all I can do to help is the dishes,” writes MarketWatch’s Jeremy Olshan in a penetrating insight about the lives of the quarantined. Every day the news reports get more terrifying; meanwhile, our existence is marked by mundane chores and a deepening sense of helplessness.

Are we more freaked out thanks to the availability of news stories from around the world? The characters in Camus’ The Plague didn’t seem particularly unnerved—yet there was no escape for them from the death and disease. The fact that ours is a global pandemic, as opposed to Camus’ one-city epidemic, probably helps account for our feelings of desperation. 

Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep: Early each day, truck after truck reverses its way into the driveway next door. Plumbers, electricians, carpenters and more arrive daily, looking to conclude construction on the house that sits next to ours.

News accounts and videos of empty city streets make it seem as though no one is at work now. But one glance next door tells a different story. And that must be the case all over America—not only are delivery, supermarket, and medical workers beavering away, so too are those focused on small construction projects.

It’s almost five weeks since we came out here, fleeing what’s become a disease-ridden city of New York. Yesterday, the U.S. recorded its highest one-day death total, 1,800, with 731 of these coming in New York State. There have now been 13,000 total U.S. deaths. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state may be nearing the peak of the pandemic, as hospital and intensive care admissions are down. But then, there can always be a second wave of infections—something no one can predict. CNN says Hong Kong is now experiencing a second wave that’s bigger than its first wave.

Even as Wuhan’s 11-week lockdown ends, Japan is just beginning a month-long state of emergency.

Dr. Michael Ackerman, a genetic cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, says the Trump-recommended hydroxychloroquine is likely to be safe for 90% of the population, but it could pose serious and potentially lethal risks for some with cardiac issues. Hey, whadda ya got to lose?

If Trump’s government has purchased 29 million hydroxychloroquine pills, where are they? Is Mr. MAGA personally handing them out to the sick in his favored states? Who would be surprised?

Dinner: corkscrew pasta with fresh asparagus and parmesan cheese, lettuce and avocado salad

Entertainment: Two episodes of Berlin Babylon, one episode of The Crown, and one episode of the muddled new Acorn feature Deadwater Fell.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *