This is what it’s come to:
In my household, we try to determine if someone’s cough is functionally “wet” or “dry.” Wet = phlegm or too much red wine. Dry = potential virulence. At this point I’m 75% sure all four of us are carriers. I keep a thermometer on standby in case my headache seems non-alcohol-induced.
Three days ago I marked a toilet paper roll with the date. (Said no one, ever!) I was curious to see how long our relatively meager stash would last. So, I wrote the date on the inside of the cardboard. Needless to say, with three females in our house, the results are grim: Three days per roll. And that’s the double rolls. The singles go before lunch. I’m either going to institute a five-square limit, or teach the girls “the shake.”
Today, for the very first time, I tried to order our groceries via Amazon Prime and have Whole Foods deliver them. In the hour it took me to figure out the system, every single item in my cart was reported as “out of stock.” The f-ing Red Boat fish sauce? Out of stock? Is everyone in Philadelphia who isn’t on a ventilator suddenly making Bahn Mi with Nuoc Chom? The algorithms are laughing at us. Where is Amazon’s vaunted business intelligence? This has to be some major block chain disaster. Whatever the hell block chain is. What’s the Amazon-controlled, 21st century-version of bread lines?
I heard a hospital ship is now heading to New York with 1,000 beds. Estimated arrival time: “a few months.” Is it under sail? Are they rowing it here?
Didn’t I watch a time-lapse video of the Chinese building an entire hospital in like a week? Granted, some called it a “prison” but… details!
My doctor emailed. All elective procedures are delayed. I’m 50 next year. If this thing doesn’t go away soon, my colonoscopy may be rescheduled. Every dark cloud...
Today, we begin on a high note:
We’re reducing global carbon emissions big time! We’ll be in good shape going forward just as soon as we revert to a fully hunter/gatherer economy. Mid summer, perhaps. The ice sheets have their revenge.
A list of things I really miss:
Bad rush hour traffic
Bad non-rush hour traffic
My retirement savings
The days we knowingly mocked people who used hand sanitizer that “didn’t really do anything”
The loud parties of the renters on my block
The utterly relaxing mode of travel known as flying
Hour-long waits at mediocre restaurants
Being able to do at least one thing offline: shop for groceries
Complaining about work colleagues in person
When my hands weren't as dry as peanut brittle all the f-ing time
When my allergies were just allergies and not potential plague
When “food riot” was just a Venezuelan concept
I took a nice walk today and was passed on the sidewalk by a group of 20-somethings strolling side by side. They might as well carry a sign that says “Asymptomatic Super Spreaders.” I’m not a doctor (though I do enjoy doctor jokes) but isn’t social distancing on the short-list for Oxford phrase of the year? Oh the humanity!
Because I found the news much too upbeat, last night I watched S3Ep1 of Westworld, followed by Ep1 of The Plot Against America. One imagines a dystopian future, the other imagines a dystopian past. And in between: The present! My wife had to pry the booze and sleeping pills out of my hands.
I measured our mixing bowls today. For my inevitable haircut.
Most of them are too big unless I wait at least a month. My stylist recommends dreads. I used a photo filter and, honestly, I look surprisingly good. I could, of course, just shave my head. Which will come in handy during the inevitable run on shampoo.
The cat is still unclear on what the hell everyone is doing in the house all day. (That makes two of us.) I’m beginning to think this is more traumatic for him than for us. Little does he know by May he’ll be sharing his food. I am partial to salmon, so there’s that.
I was turned away at Trader Joes today. Not because I didn’t have a tattoo or a piercing. Because: social distancing. “The store is too crowded now, please come back later.” Later: like when the only thing left is the rock-hard pre-cut mango.
This morning my daughter informed me we were out of toothpaste, and refused to use my “old man” Sensodyne. She also didn’t appreciate my suggestion of using a twig. Back to CVS, where there’s truckloads of medications and still zero toilet paper. Don’t people realize that Metamucil is a binding agent?
This afternoon I got a wonderful news alert on my phone: We may all be getting checks from the government! Finally, a Trump Dividend. I’m thinking I’ll spend mine on takeout. Or toilet paper. It’s not clear how much each check will be, but it’s times like these that I’m really glad I bought those three stolen social security numbers from Russian hackers. Be Prepared.
I’m beginning to come around to the idea that drinking at home all day and watching Gilligan’s Island may not be that productive. I do want to do my part for the economy. So I’m switching to QVC.
I read today that Amazon is about to bring 100,000 new workers online because of the uptick in virus-related demand for delivered goods. If just nine-tenths of those workers are robots, well… that will limit the community spread in Seattle.
Can’t Jeff Bezos just send us the checks?
We lost Max today.
We think he’s probably hiding in the basement. Cats aren’t used to having people in the house all day. Likely, he’s just exhausted and taking a long nap. His litter box is full (because Hello! I’m the only one who empties it!) so that’s a good sign.
Liquor stores close tonight for the duration of the outbreak. I think we’re probably ok, though on Day 22 we may be switching to Taylor Dry Sherry, or, possibly, Mirin. I’ve calculated that I can drink one quarantini per day for the next ten days before the gin runs out. But on day 5 I’ll have to cut back from three olives to one. It’s bad, people.
Went to five stores yesterday looking for toilet paper. They’re limiting purchases so I taught the kids a new game called “Hide The Roll.” I think I’d rather not wipe than use Scott Tissue. Single ply. #firstworldproblems.
How do you stay six feet away from someone in an elevator?
I took a long walk today because I had to get out of the house. My main concern was: Is the Parking Authority still ticketing, or is this like a parking holiday? A woman yelled across the street at me. She wanted to know if the Art Museum was closed. I told her I was pretty sure all the museums were shut down. She replied with an expletive. It’s good to know there’s still broad community support for arts and culture.
My office emailed and told me not to come in, because I am not essential. Was that not obvious before?
The kids are doing their school work remotely. Basically, this means that when they’re home, they each have three screens going at the same time. So, business as usual. My younger daughter has set up a remote workstation in one corner of her room. She has a file folder for each subject on her bookshelf and a special backdrop for her videoconferencing. I FaceTime in my underwear. She’ll learn.
I’ve gotten really good at hand washing. I think I could be a surgeon.
I coughed in public today. Not recommended. Virus and allergy season falling at the same time. Diabolical.
Comcast today announced they will offer free Internet to the needy, and unlimited data to everyone else.
So, all it took was a global pandemic.