A Journal of the Plague Year 2021–chapter 225

Be my little baby..basil.

Saturday, July 17

A year and some months since the COVID crisis officially began, I am still racked by anxiety whenever I have an appointment scheduled. The concern about coming into contact with other humans in public spaces has merged with worry that I will forget about or miss the appointment…that the person/doctor/functionary that I am supposed to see will cancel the appointment…or that another crisis will intervene. 

They used to talk about free-floating anxiety, but this is not that. It’s largely rooted in pandemic-related issues: It’s frequently hard to even get an appointment. Then what about mask-wearing and social distancing? Should I? Will others?

Then there are the crowds associated with summer on the East End. Hordes of summer people come here, perhaps more this year than in previous seasons, with everyone looking to recapture the good times. Auto traffic can be nightmarish, especially amid the current heat wave, so it’s best to schedule things early…or, then again, maybe in mid-afternoon, when lots of folks will be courting skin cancer down at the beach.

On Thursday, I went to Amagansett and got a haircut and picked up a pound of coffee. I worried a lot about the haircut experience ahead of time. There are no appointments, you just show up, sign onto a waiting list, and loiter outside till they call your name. Would I have to wait for a long time?

Vinnie, the barber, told me that there were several people waiting at the door when he arrived to open at 6:30 a.m. (I got there around 7:45.) Everything went fine. At the coffee place, there were six baristas busily filling orders, and a line of twenty-something folks ordering fancy lattes, etc.

On Friday, Emily and I drove over to the the East Hampton post office and then to the library. We ventured out around 1:30 p.m., and the traffic wasn’t too bad—certainly not nearly so bad as it had been at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. There was a bit of a line at the P.O., but things went O.K.

In the coming week, I have a physical therapy session scheduled for midday on Wednesday in East Hampton. And an appointment for a state-required auto inspection on Friday at 10 a.m. Now, I worry that either or both of these could be canceled.

And—maybe I have said something like this before—if both of these go off without a hitch, I will likely begin worrying that I am forgetting something. What could it be?

I still have to acquire a new battery for my laptop, and we have to go back into the city in mid-August for Emily to see her dermatologist again. It’s all more stuff to worry about.

Dinner: leftover meatballs with pasta and a green salad. Emily’s increasingly severe acid reflux has begun limiting our food options—no more tomatoes, it seems.

Entertainment: old episodes of Inspector Morse and Bergerac on BritBox.

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