People found the funny side of a pandemic:
One Year Later, April 7, 2020. “I donated to Columbia Pacific Food Bank because I am worrying about people losing their jobs due to the pandemic and not having enough money to buy food. I always feel better about giving to my local community than to a large organization. I mean, I always give to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) and Children International, and they are noble causes, but CPFB feels personal. It feels like my neighbors, even though I don’t know any of them. They said anyone who donated over $25 could get on the TP Wall of Fame! Ha. Toilet paper is the new joke and probably will be for years. I saw a short video of a guy stuffing sheets of TP into envelopes to pay off his bills. One of the first pandemic memes I saw was a man talking to a nurse who informed him that he had tested positive for COVID-19, and he said ‘that can’t be possible because I’ve got 300 rolls of toilet paper at home.’ Steven Colbert said he’s actually hoping his house gets TP’d.“
“Big big scandal today regarding the Acting Secretary of the Navy, Modly, bashing Sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt for supporting their CO Cozier when he was relieved of duty and forced to leave the ship. His crew had given Cozier a standing ovation. Modly was FURIOUS and lashed out and said some horrible things to the Sailors. I heard a recording of his speech. He was being awful. By the end of the day, Modly had resigned.”
April 8. ” Globally, 1,279,722 confirmed cases, and 72,614 deaths from COVID-19. There are countries that still don’t have it, can you believe that? Lesotho, Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, for example. China had only 66 new cases and no new deaths yesterday. That is a triumph. Last night, right as I was going to sleep, I noticed a painful lymph node in my neck. “Painful lymph nodes” has never been a symptom listed for COVID-19, but I’m concerned anyway. It’s likely just a random cold. But it still makes me curious. I’ve been trying harder than ever in my life to stay away from people, so who the heck did I get a cold from? That’s just weird. I did a keyword search with painful lymph nodes and COVID-19 and the only thing that came up was advice from a Reddit bot to a guy asking my exact question. The bot said stay home. I mean, it’s a bot, and it’s what I thought anyway, but it seems like good advice. Am I going crazy?“
A month later I had the same symptoms and realized that both times it was right after doing yard work: allergies!
April 9. “I keep forgetting to mention what some friends have done during this. Two Brandeis connections decided to begin an evening storybook time for their other friends (specifically friends’ children) to log in real time and listen to a story being read. So cute. Several people have become baking machines. There are people who found patterns for masks, and have been making them and giving them out. Even Tara jumped on that train and says they will have masks to me in the mail soon. One friend got her YouTube channel up and running again. My friend Marcus has been donating live stream concerts in support of good causes. Jamie has been doing ComedySportz via Zoom.”
“Today was the first day it felt like we were turning a corner. It’s strange that I see people on the news getting newly freaked out, when I feel like I’ve been in that mindset for some time. I am hearing people provide new dire warnings and threats. Apparently this week is supposed to be the worst week of all for the US. And it feels to me like we made it. Yay! And that’s nuts because there are still people in rural areas who thought it was all a hoax. And if it’s over already, then they are going to say ‘see? We told you so.’“
Oh dear, dear Crystal-of-2020, you were so naïve then, to imagine you were seeing the end of the pandemic in April.
April 10. “United States stats: 427,460 cases, 14,696 deaths. Oregon 1321 cases, 44 deaths. Benton county 21 cases, 2 deaths. Columbia county 10 cases, 0 deaths. We’re doing pretty well here in Oregon. Globally 1,436,198 cases, 85,522 deaths.”
I’m checking numbers daily and it’s like the Vietnam nightly death count. I am not the only one making this connection, as I found in this article from May 2020. From the article: “The daily summaries helped normalize Vietnam deaths in the minds of Americans. As a consequence, quantitative data replaced the faces and names of the lost, dehumanized the war dead and influenced an obsession with raw data over traditional means of assessing progress, such as gaining or losing territory.” I believe the world’s COVID dead have been dehumanized in nightly news reporting.
“I ran out of paint for my cabinet project and went to Fred Meyer to get three more cans, but they only had one can. So I drove to Jo-Ann, which didn’t carry anything similar. I went to Michael’s which is closed to only online orders. You order what you want, then they call you when they’re ready, then you call them when you’re at the store parking area, then they deliver your stuff to you outside. I went to Home Depot and stood in line, social distancing. It’s a pretty clever system. There is only one entrance and only one exit. You stand in line, six feet apart (unless the dork behind you closes the gap, which several did), waiting to go in. There’s an attendant at the exit door counting those who leave. As they leave, the attendant radios the person at the entrance to say how many can go in. Anyway, after all that, they didn’t have the paint I needed. I hit up the hardware store in Rainier. They did not have the paint I needed. By this time I was freaked out from having been out in the world for so long and at so many stops, so I went home. I had gloves on and unloaded everything, then I took a Clorox wipe and wiped down the Jeep, then everything in the house I had touched, like the refrigerator door while putting things away. I was nervous for the rest of the day. And I still needed paint.”
April 11. “I’m feeling better. Still not sure why my lymph nodes are painful. I got the coolest Easter care package from Tara!! It’s packed with fun stuff, stickers, bubbles, candy. Also homemade masks!! They are wonderfully built. So nice, cute material. I’m going to wear the masks not only when I’m outside, but also when I mow, to try and keep down allergies, just in case that’s my problem. I finally finally caught up all my assignments. I think. Except the second half of chapter 2 of the archaeology textbook. But jeezums crow. So much reading. The hardest thing about online classes so far is that I can’t keep track of everything that is assigned. There are lots of places to put information, and no guaranteed place to link to all of it. So I just have to remember to open every tab and every drop down menu and click everywhere. It’s like a video game: Click On Everything, Find the Assignment! Urg.”