Plague Diary, 4/6/20: This morning, I watched a shirtless jogging dude clear a bottleneck up the trail by yelling out “I WORK IN THE HOSPITAL,” which sent a couple of chatty pram-handlers and inappropriately-distanced dog owners headlong into the brambles and wisteria. I don’t think I’ve laughed—into the crook of my elbow, in the event that I snorted–that hard in weeks. And while I can’t advocate for you using medical stolen valor to enforce social distancing, it was definitely effective.
My nurse, doctor and healthcare-adjacent scientist friends right now are sort of the best. I don’t want to tell you they’re rays of sunshine. That would be wrong. But in the heat of a pandemic, with mounting death tolls, critical lack of equipment, and all of them exhausted and terribly anxious, it’s nice to, say, hear a friend in an ICU of a large hospital discuss the overwhelming amount of food being sent up to front-line health care workers by thankful community members. It’s lovable, a little hilarious—“Seriously, you have never SEEN so many Girl Scout Cookies”– and weirdly encouraging. S
ay what you like about humanity, but if the concerned general public had the same access to ventilators as they do to doughnuts, mac & cheese, and bags of candy and salty snacks, I honestly don’t think there would be as many shortages. Unfortunately, I don’t think you can make a ventilator out of Velveeta and canned Cream of Mushroom (but don’t let that stop you from trying, Aunt Brenda), and the nice people down the street stitching fabric masks for neighbors can’t stitch the various economic stimulus plans into something more fair or functional. But plenty of them would, if they could, and knowing that takes the volume of overwhelming awful down a notch or two.
Speaking of noise: I’ve started the music back up and am trying to cycle through a bunch of new releases I missed between illness/move/plague over the last few months. Last week, I fell back into some old chestnuts as I tried to steer through the worst of pan(dem)ic. Not sure the three days of mainlining the Dylan discography helped but it’s possible I have developed new, maybe blasphemous opinions about “Blonde on Blonde” (ask me when we’re out of quarantine). So I shifted up a few decades, and I may finally have a 2019 playlist I’m willing to share sometime before 2020 ends. In the meantime, I’d honestly love to do a thing where we just drink beer and talk about records and argue about who is wildly overrated. I miss the days when I could roll my eyes at your earnest defense of terrible prog rock and you could roll your eyes at my undying affection for Carly Rae Jepson , when “Oh Christ, Are Jam Bands Really Coming Back In Style?” legit made the Top TEN of my frustration/worry list, when trying to decide which shows to see was a part of my daily/weekly life. I’d also love to know what you’re listening to, or what’s worth listening to. No limits on self-promotion, either. If you have new stuff out there right now, let’s hear it.
How is it that Monday still manages to feel like a Monday?
Picture today is of a throwback in Tompkins Square Park, almost exactly a year ago, which feels like roughly dinosaur times ages from now.
As of this writing, 275,832 people have recovered from COVID-19.