Plague Diary: March 21, 2020


A friend of mine, having suffered an attack of plague-related night terrors a couple of days back, asked if we had a word yet for the panic, the pandemic panic. I spent a few moments cycling through the puns and the portmanteaus. “I mean, wouldn’t it just be ‘pandemic.’ “

I had a case of the pandemics about 5am this morning, when I woke to shut the downstairs windows and tried to surf my way back to sleep on a choppy sea of worry. I checked my email, decided that if I die of a heart attack in the next few, I’m sending the bill to the joker that puts together those “Latest Headlines” emails for the Washington Post.

I spend the morning trying to resettle. I talked to Mom for a while, which helped. The woman is a marvel of positivity, given how much time she spent in my childhood reminding me that I was probably going to die of pneumonia if I didn’t start blow-drying my hair. Her contention– that this is an excellent opportunity to take care of people and how we ought to start putting in the foundations to make a better world once this sickness is over–is a good one, and shared by the kindest, warmest, most generous people I know. They’re not talking in ifs but whens. It’s important for me to avoid the if-conjectures. A thing that changes is not the same as a thing that ends.

On a lighter note: how seriously effed up is all our hair going to look once we all start to have cutting our own bangs? Maybe we should just embrace weird hair for a while. It’s not like we have to impress anyone. And as I’m sure you all know, weird hair is a hallmark of any half-way decent post-apocalyptic film. Weird hair and combo chain mail evening gown/leotards. HOW DO YOU PEE IN THAT THING, TINA TURNER?

And on that note, picture today needs no explanation.

As of this writing, 91,540 people have recovered from COVID-19.

The Author

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