PANDEMIC! Blog from a plague year, part 4

So we’re trying to stay home. The house gets messier and messier. The sink piles up with dishes. I drink too much, I eat too much, I sleep too late, I watch too much TV. The days are chilly and rainy, so I can’t even go out to do much-needed yard work. The cats are constantly crying for more food.

I’m still working on reading The Great Influenza, which is about the 1918 flu pandemic. (I’m kind of skimming it because I’m finding its over the top florid prose a bit hard to take.) That pandemic was a hundred years ago, but there are a lot of depressing parallels to this Covid19 situation. A government that ignores the problem for weeks. The disease travels quickly and around the world. Volunteer citizens have to step up because the government isn’t doing its part. Red Cross volunteers making their own masks, many of which don’t seem to make a difference. Slava and I have been getting exasperated with our neighbors here in the Berkshires who are up in arms about New Yorkers fleeing the city to their second homes here, but the book shows the only places that were able to keep the flu pandemic out were those that had strict quarantine rules, like Gunnison, Colorado, where they really didn’t let outsiders in, and put would-be visitors into strict quarantine. So I guess my torch-bearing villager neighbors are right. But it’s too late now – they’ve been here for over two weeks – so the point is moot.

I’ve put a bunch of stuff up on the Etsy and Ebay since I can’t sell anything in person. I know I’m dying to shop, hopefully people online are too! I’m absolutely miserable without the thrift stores. But as many have pointed out, I basically have a thrift store in my cellar so….

Some people out there are ordering food and whatnot online or getting it delivered or whatever. USA, land of Passing the Buck. I go to the store myself, with mask that foggs up my glasses and gloves. I just went for the second time since this got real a few days ago. We had to wait in line outside, 6 feet apart, and were let in as other people left. But the store still seemed pretty busy – although half the people were re-stocking. One other person was wearing a mask. One lady, there with her husband, had a phlemy cough. I went to a low-rent grocery to pick up a couple basics, but they were completely out of white vinegar.

Some of the more popular hiking trails around here have closed, which seems crazy for two reasons – one, do you really encounter so many people there that you can’t social distance? And two, people just park along the side of the road and go hiking anyway. It’s not like these places are fenced off.

I stopped in at the garden store the other day to pick up a bag of dirt, the day before non-essential shops were ordered closed. I was surprised to see they ended up being considered “agricultural,” and therefore could stay open. I mean, nobody wants their business to close, but we are not supposed to be out there! The hardware store is still open, too. Sure this is a time when we need these supplies for home projects, but then why not extend to art supply places and bookstores and the library?

Anywho, at least I got up at 8 today and am getting some things done besides writing this personal history. Ciao for now, I’ve got to go bake bread and make sauerkraut like some kind of early 20th century housewife. What is this, 1918?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s