Author: Alison Fields

Plague Diary: July 13, 2020

Plague Diaries

I live in a college town. I chose to live here in large part because of what having a college at the center of the local culture and economy affords me. The kids are the kids. They’ve always been kids—entitled, invincible, narcissistic, reckless, and also impassioned, creative, eager, earnest, energetic and hopeful. Kind of exactly like we were when we were their age. I have a hard time getting more than annoyed at the kids. […]

Plague Diary: July 8, 2020

Plague Diaries

Pandemic time is a thing, a psychological truism, a meme, a joke passed among friends. Remember March, all two-thousand years ago? Remember this morning, which feels like it happened last week? Remember January, when everybody was mostly just talking about the primary, and I freaking out about closing on a house, and thinking forward, as I always do, every year to summer—everything is better in the summer. Remember back then? A long time ago, in […]

Plague Diary: June 30, 2020

Plague Diaries

What is the thing with masks? I spent the weekend in my hometown, a place filthy with maskless tourists, observed, primarily, through the passenger window of my mother’s car, as we drove around gawking at the hordes of popped collars and fanny packs crowding the sidewalks and breweries in downtown Asheville. We tried to come up with excuses using ranging from “they look to be very young” to “I’m guessing they are very Republican.” But […]

Plague Diary, June 24, 2020

Plague Diaries

A couple of minutes ago my best friend, a New Yorker currently working from my deck, received a News Alert on her phone informing her that the state of New York had issued a quarantine order on anyone coming into New York (and New Jersey and Connecticut) from a handful of states with raging COVID numbers including my own (North Carolina), as well as Florida, Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Arkansas. “They didn’t […]

Plague Diary, June 22, 2020

COVID / Plague Diaries

For anywhere between ten minutes to six hours every day since roughly March 20, I’m pretty sure I have COVID. Sometimes I’m able to chase off this worry with a long walk, sometimes with a stiff gin and tonic, sometimes just with fretting and eventually going to sleep, during which I wake up throughout the night and try to figure out whether my throat is sore or my chest is unnaturally tight or the lingering […]

Plague Diary, June 16, 2020

COVID / Plague Diaries / Uncategorized

I haven’t been sleeping well lately. I wake up at 3 at 4. Sometimes unprovoked, sometimes when the neighbors across the street turn on their floodlight and my bedroom windows glow silver behind the curtains, crosshatched with the veiny limbs of the tree in the front yard. I rarely try to will myself back to sleep. Instead, I rise and read or write until I drift off again. I pet Walter, who snores or purrs […]

Plague Diary, June 8, 2020

COVID / Plague Diaries / Uncategorized

My social media is a blur of memes and reading lists, of heartfelt pleas to listen, to amplify, to defund, to abolish. I watch friends get in fights with their relatives, their neighbors, a friend of a friend in a comment section on Instagram. Most of the time those relatives don’t say the really awful, overt stuff—though the Nazis and the Confederate Flag wavers and whatever unctuous post-post-modern fusion of has been enjoying a bit […]

Plague Diary, June 1, 2020

COVID / Plague Diaries / Uncategorized

I had a hard time getting up this morning. I read the news in bed, so I could have the option of turning over and crying into my pillow, should the mood take me. I didn’t. Maybe I’m cried out, dried out, not so much toughened up as turned brittle by Events. Maybe I’m too far up on the knife age between fury and despair to wring out any weeping. My life is okay, but […]

Plague Diary, May 26, 2020

COVID / Plague Diaries / Uncategorized

Over the last few days, one county, thirty-five miles and about 180 degrees removed, politically, from the overeducated, progressive oasis where I make my home, about 4000 mostly-unmasked white people descended upon a local track to socialize, crowd into the stands, and watch car races on a national holiday to commemorate war dead, hours before COVID-19 neared its 100,000th (reported) American life since, roughly, March. The smiling race fans, many of whom in a high […]

Plague Diary, May 25, 2020

COVID / Plague Diaries / Uncategorized

A woman I know once told me that when she was young, lonely, and broke, she would venture out to the nearest box store—a K-Mart, perhaps, in those days—take a cart from the dispenser by the front door, and wander each aisle after aisle, filling the metal basket with anything and everything that caught her fancy. Dishes, housewares, games, toys, art supplies, dresses, jewelry bedding, candy, whatever. Sometimes by the time she reached the far […]