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A personal note: the virus and me


(random baby from my wife’s iphone)

This out-of-focus photograph illustrates how I felt on February 28, 2020.  I didn’t know what was going on, I had no memory of the past; in fact, I had no past.  I do remember thinking, when I first heard of the virus going around in Wuhan, this is going to be a veryveryvery serious problem.  I had really no conception of just how serious it would be.  Every day there are more infections and more people die.  Yesterday, there were 2,340 deaths from COVID-19; 889,661 people were confirmed to have been infected in the United States according to Johns Hopkins.  According to Worldometer, there are 912,913 confirmed cases in the US.  There were 419 cases and 7 deaths recorded in Fresno County (my county) per Johns Hopkins.  We have been in a government ordered community quarantine (whatever that means) since March 20.  These numbers will be out of date by the time you read this post.

The staggering, eye-popping speed of infections and deaths here and throughout the world is staggering and eye-popping.  I don’t know what to think.  I must be extremely anxious, but my pulse, blood pressure, and temperature are normal.  Maybe I should check them again.

Very little has changed for me.  I do the same things every day, same as I did before this started.  I don’t go anywhere.  I sit in front of the computer.  I go out and dig in my garden.  I water the lawn and the flowers.  One thing has changed.  I’ve given up watching the news.  I read the news on my new-ish iPhone, for three or four hours a day, but it’s always the same.  The president has done and said something alarming and disgusting, maybe to restrict someone’s rights or throw someone off a government program.  Now, he’s on TV for two hours every day, which I especially avoid.  I can’t stand to see him or hear his voice.  The prospect of having him for president for another four years is enough to make me vomit, but there’s nothing I can do about it.  I can’t even stop Devin Nunes, the representative in Congress for my rural neighborhood.

I can’t clearly remember what I used to do before all this began.  Was everything really the same?  My parents have been safely dead for some time.  My wife has been semi-retired for some time.  I have been retired for more than ten years.  I recovered from surgery on my spine four years ago.  Nothing has changed, but everything is different.

Now I live with a virus.  It is too small to see, but so big that it overshadows everything.  I think this is a good place to stop, because I can’t stand thinking about it for too long.  I will go to seek solace in an old movie, or a few minutes of meditation, or a cheese sandwich.  Anything but that orange-haired man-beast and that ugly little coronavirus.


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