March 19th, 2020


Day Three

So the sun never emerged today, but there was no rain to speak of. The ground was still damp from last night's rain, and the broken canvas camp chair still had a small pool of water in the seat, but no birds came to bathe in it. A few of the small brown birds that peck about in the dirt did visit the yard, but chose to drink only from the end of the hose, which I have adjusted to drip just a little bit for them. They were the only company I had all day. At least some of the other tenants are staying home, too, as I saw their cars in the parking area most oft he day.

For a while I was tempted to break my isolation and make a quick run to Trader Joe's, as I have no lettuce and I wan to make some tacos. Instead, I think I might wait and contact a nephew or niece and see, if they are going out to a store anyway, i they can bring me a few items. I don't want anybody making any special trips for me, especially since I read an article (in The Guardian I think) about how even though people in their twenties, thirties and forties are less likely to die from COVID-19 than older people are, they frequently do require hospitalization, an often need the ICU. I'm going to advise the kids (some of whom are in their fifties or older) not to go out at all if they can avoid it. Almost no testing has been done in California, so the actual rates of infection are probably much higher than we've been told. This is probably true of the whole country. It's been a massive screwup by the authorities.

I think I'll try to figure out a substitute for lettuce on those tacos. I've got some cabbage. Maybe I could shred some of that. Anyway, I made something else for dinner tonight (Wednesday.) Now it's Thursday, and guess what? Vernal Equinox! Day and night are to be of equal length. Also you're supposed to be able to balance an egg on its end at the right moment (8:49 PM here), but I don't know if that actually works. If I remember, I might be bored enough to try it.

Right now I'm really tired. But I think everybody is tired these days. I'm missing getting exercise. This place isn't long enough for decent pacing. I'd go out and walk up and down the driveway for a while, but it's too cold again tonight. It will be a bit warmer today than yesterday, so maybe the mockingbird will show up. I hope so.

Day What Four: Vernal Equinoxious

It warmed up a bit today, and lots of those little brown birds I can't identify came back into my yard (though still no mockingbird,) and so did my allergies. Between the allergic sneezing and the cough I've had ever since the fire, and the headaches I get from my neck not being regularly adjusted by a chiropractor, I'd be unable to tell if I got the C-virus, since I've already got several of its symptoms. And I won't know if I get a fever— unless it gets really high— because I have no thermometer.

This morning I woke up too early again and was unable to get back to sleep. At some point I'll get one of those days when I sleep eleven or twelve hours and make up for the loss, but for now all I do is feel the exhaustion. To sort of compensate I took a longer than usual shower this afternoon. It didn't help much, though. I'm still pretty tense, and being cooped up is undoubtedly part of that. Also I totally forgot to try the egg-balancing thing at the moment of the equinox. Ah, well, next year, if there is one, and I'm still around for it.

As of today there still were no confirmed cases of the C-virus in Butte County, but given the scarcity of testing equipment and the fact that the mini-metropolis is a college town with a lot of kids likely to have minimal or no symptoms, it's far from a certainty that there are none at all. Still, the news had me tempted to make a quick run to Trader Joe's. Not only would I really like to have some lettuce, but the last of my milk has gone sour, and I'm running low on chocolate. I opened a package of cookies to substitute for my donut today.

Then this afternoon Governor Newsom issued an order effective tonight for everyone to stay home as much as possible. Workers providing essential goods and services are excepted, of course, but everybody else can go out only to go to grocery stores or drug stores. The statistical projections based on the trajectory of the virus so far predict that 56% of California's population would become infected over the next eight weeks unless strong measures to curb transmission were taken. That's close to 25,000,000 people, and even if only five percent of those needed hospitalization, which would be conservative, the state's hospital facilities and medical personnel would be completely overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, Governor Asshole DeSantis— oh, what the hell, Governor Asshole of Florida said that beaches in that state would remain open for spring break. Several mayors of various Florida cities, including Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale, quickly issued orders to close local beaches under their jurisdiction, but beaches in other parts of the state remain open, so partying kids can pick up the virus and then take it back to cities and towns across America next week. Thanks, Florida Man.

There's still an awful lot of traffic on that freeway. It makes things seem inappropriately normal.

Read. Sleep.