A Journal of the Plague Year 2021–chapter 197

Tuesday, March 2

March has arrived, and the first day of spring is only two-and-a-half weeks off.

So in honor of that thought, tonight we will have a wonderful, spring-ish, and couldn’t-be-simpler repast: steamed asparagus topped with sunny-side-up eggs, accompanied by a simple Greek salad.

When we order asparagus from Stop & Shop, they always give us lots—which means there will be more for tomorrow night. Then, I will make a new but also very simple recipe: penne with ricotta and asparagus. You just cook your asparagus, then chill it—then combine it with ricotta, parmesan, olive oil, and penne. Ecco—va bene.

Emily is searching around online, perusing her Facebook pals’ COVID information group and trying to figure out the best approach for securing our next round of shots. Should we call Walgreens corporate office? Or the First Avenue location where we are scheduled to get the next round on March 12—the place that once told us they had only the Moderna vaccine, not the Pfizer one that we need?

Tonight’s entertainment: having subscribed to Hulu in order to see two Golden Globes winners, Nomadland and The United States vs. Billie Holiday, we’re finding that there could be lots more there worth watching. So, we’ll try the Emily Watson thriller Apple Tree Yard and the TV version of Fargo, followed by our now-traditional nightcap of Netflix’ Call My Agent!

A Journal of the Plague Year 2020–chapter 107

Wednesday, July 1

More frightening stats that have come to my attention: 

The number of new cases in the United States has shot up by 80 percent in the past two weeks, according to a New York Times database.

More than 48,000 coronavirus cases were announced across the United States on Tuesday, the most of any day of the pandemic. Officials in eight states—Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas—also announced single-day highs.

New York added visiting citizens from eight states—California, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee—to a must-quarantine list that already included Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

New Jersey and Connecticut are advising travelers from the 16 states to quarantine.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says the U.S. is now having 40,000 new cases appear each day, and that that number could go up to 100,000 per day.

He also believes that many anti-vaccine Americans could refuse to get inoculated if and when a vaccine is made available. Seven out of ten citizens, however, say that they will get inoculated if the vaccine is free and available to everyone.

If, as the maps seem to indicate, the bulk of the new cases are appearing in so-called red states, where anti-science sentiment is the most intense, there’s a temptation to think that such people deserve what they are getting. But, it’s important that everyone recognize that we’re all in this together—that like it or not, this thing has to be stamped out everywhere or it will just keep reoccurring everywhere. 

Our next Peapod delivery is scheduled for between 5:33 and 7:33. Why this exactitude? Perhaps Peapod is a subsidiary of the Pentagon. Maybe, I think, the delivery guys will show up wearing military fatigues and carrying automatic weapons. 

Instead, it’s just the usual mystifying hit-and-miss delivery. We still can’t get various items, such as charcoal, and even stuff they had before, such as fresh spinach, is now said to be out-of-stock. Go figure.

Dinner: hot dogs, sauerkraut, and American Picnic Potato Salad, courtesy of the Silver Palate Cookbook.

Entertainment: Britbox’ very odd The Seven Dials Mystery.