Pandemic Diary

In response to a Book Riot and Out of the Box essay on documenting the personal experiences of the pandemic, this timeline will also be in correlation to the ongoing authoritarian threat from the Trump-Republican Admin. Any and all essays on the subjects will be posted here as links.

Timeline

  • Thursday, 16-Jul-2020 20:00:00 UTC

    The United States government is trying to kill us. Or at least maim us. If not that then bankrupt us. How else can anyone justify the blatant incompetence in allowing 130k+ people to die, starve, untold businesses to bankrupt, and the country to crash and burn?

    This is a culling and reboot.

    In January 2017, Steve Bannon said they were going to burn it all down. There was uproar and dismissal.

    Yet, here we are.

  • Friday, 17-Jul-20 11:00:00 UTC

    An early morning at 4AM. What is sleep. I haven’t slept well since I spent the wee hours of 9-Nov-2016 dry heaving my terror. Who can sleep when the world burns.

    Updates from Portland: Unmarked federal armed soldiers are disappearing protesters off the streets without the expressed permission of state officials in the guise of what DHS Act-Sec calls protecting property and community.

    Remember how all that turned out for Germany, huh?

    There are some disputing that Portland Mayor Tom Wheeler is feigning anger for political theater and that he’s collaborating with the Feds—aka the Gestapo according to the latest Twitter trend. And here I was calling ICE the new Gestapo years ago. Guess I wasn’t thinking big enough.

    Meanwhile, the White House started removing and transferring data from the CDC to HHS. In other words, they’re trying to hide the dead and hospitalized.

    Can you say transparency, boys and girls?

    According to Robert Reich: “New York’s billionaire class saw their collective net worth grow by $77,300,000,000 since the start of the pandemic. For context, the state’s budget deficit for 2020 and 2021 is $13,300,000,000.” #EatTheRich or at least TAX THEM.

    Protesters still protesting and police still brutalizing. #DefundThePolice

    Personally, I started wearing my mask even when I go for a daily walk now even though I rarely encounter anyone. I haven’t gone out not once this month and only a few times since the lockdown began; that was only to the grocery store and always—ALWAYS with a mask and gloves.

    Stay safe, y’all. ✌️

  • Friday, 17-Jul-20 17:40:04 UTC

    After watching this—’White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on school reopenings: “The science should not stand in the way of this.”’ I recalled this quote from George Orwell’s Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays: “Nazi theory indeed specifically denies that such a thing as “the truth” exists. There is, for instance, no such thing as “science.” There is only “German science,” “Jewish science” etc.”

  • Saturday, 18-Jul-20 14:18:35 UTC

    John Lewis died—a Civil Rights Hero; Rest in Power, Brother; we will continue fighting your fight till death and keep up the good trouble. 139,278 people have died of COVID-19 in the United States; (Should I say murdered? Because that’s what it feels like); there are 3,649,087 people infected in the United States alone; “Every 15 minutes, 1,000 people are infected by Covid in the US and 5 people die from it. We have to get the virus under control—and fast,” according to Dr. Tom Frieden. Nearly half the United States population is without a job. Justice Ginsburg’s cancer has returned; every time her name trends, my heart seizes—EVERY FUCKING TIME. In Portland, Oregon, the Trump-Republican Administration’s Secret Police Force is brutalizing and disappearing people. And this morning, after a very rare really good night of sleep and in the midst of a mediocre dream, I woke and sat straight up in bed to the loud jarring sounds of a bush trimmer as it went full throttle right under my window—early on a Saturday morning.

    Everything is awful.

  • Sunday, 19-Jul-20 14:01:12 UTC

    When the lockdown started, a neighbor brought us handmade masks—fashionable fabric and very nice. We previously had lightweight store-bought masks for dusting (this is a lake town and you wouldn’t believe how dusty it gets here) and that other plague that visits every spring in the south that looks like Japanese Matcha Green Tea coating everything. We have several boxes of plastic gloves because of home hospice and gramma—who has now been gone since that long dreaded year this all began. Another neighbor brought us a gallon of Vitamin D Whole Milk she couldn’t use. Apparently she was one of those that bought too much at the onset (remember the twitter pic of the woman with 10-20 gallons of milk in her buggy that went viral? That wasn’t her but what single person buys more than a gallon of milk thinking they can drink it all before it expires??). I cannot stand the stuff and don’t drink it and haven’t for decades. I gave it to mom who was very appreciative. She’s one of those people that reveres cow’s milk going on and on about it ad nauseam. I’m constantly rolling my eyes on how much she venerates that stuff. It’s bizarre. She drank it till it went bad, which, she says, is usually 3-4 days past the expiry date.

  • Monday, 20-Jul-20 19:23:31 UTC

    My elderly mother has thankfully chosen to err on the side of caution and finds—like me—the hubris in the face of nature and the callous disregard of care for the collective somewhat disturbing. They are tempting fate or god, she would say; me, the universe. Better a mask then a defibrillator, we both agree.

    In response to Gov. Mike Parson saying “These kids have got to get back to school…. And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they’re not going to the hospitals…. They’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it.” My response: I’m not surprised. I wonder though how parents are gonna react to the Republican-Trump administrations’ callous disregard for the welfare of their children. I mean some voters have demonstrated that it’s ok when it’s other people’s kids, but what about their own. Is this like a generational boot-strap ‘I walked 3 miles in 4 ft of snow to school in barefeet’ sort of toughening up attitude that older generations belabor into us young’uns? ‘I survived coronavirus with only 1 lung; now you can too. Toughen up, you snowflake millennials.’

    Given & assuming that they believe anyone under 70 is a snowflake millennial, that is.

    And what about the people the kids go home too? The teachers and staff? The bus drivers?

    STOP VOTING FOR REPUBLICANS; THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU OR YOUR FAMILY & OBVIOUSLY NOT YOUR KIDS.

    Usually there is some political spin in regards to Republicans attempting to deflect from their callous disregard. It has become blatant in the time of Trump—sociopathically blatant.

    This report out of Texas of “…ants crawling over critically ill patients…” is horrifying.

    Please think of others. Be selfless. ✌️

  • Tuesday, 21-Jul-20 19:16:12 UTC

    Even before the pandemic, people wanted to drift into my personal space like I was a magnet—I dunno why. The first two times after lockdown I went to the grocery store appropriately masked and gloved, an older woman charged with helping the self checkout lane, got way too close and I started backpedaling away slowly as not to offend. Well, then the crazy peepo turned into even crazier peepo with cooties spitting and hollering up in folks’ face and I decided not to be polite anymore if and when subject to such actions. Fortunately, I’ve not been reduced to that as people have properly backed off. I haven’t gone out that much though. I’m also fortunate enough to work from home if only part-time and barely above minimum wage w/o benies. Regardless, social distancing and no touching when greeting should be the new normal—along with no small talk but that’s another issue altogether. Stay safe. ✌️

  • Wednesday, 22-Jul-20 18:16:33 UTC

    Oorah 2020. #GloryHoles #Canada That’s it. That’s the post. Have fun diving into that Twitter hashtag.

  • Thursday, 23-Jul-20 19:49:34 UTC

    4 million reported coronavirus cases. One million cases in 16 days.

    This AOC speech is legendary. I hope I live—I hope we ALL live to see her President. Especially Mr. Yoho.

    Big fat military helos flew low overhead today. Being 30 miles out of CLT & under a busy flight path, we get the air traffic pollution but THAT was jarring. Meanwhile, Operation Legend is dropping the Trump-Barr-Republican Admins’ Secret Police in cities around the country. I have zero fucks to give for the people that complain about me saying I fucking told you so. #Fascism is here. And BTW, the first draft of that Operation Legend Wikipedia page is garbage—using a child’s murder as an excuse and propaganda for the fascist takeover of cities is…is…[insert GIF of Munch’s The Scream].

  • Saturday, 25-Jul-20 13:30:46 UTC

    There are some days I cannot drag myself out for a daily walk. I did not yesterday. I will not today. Nor tomorrow. I will do it Monday. Always Monday. Weekdays are mandatory.

    Except for last Friday. 🥴️

    Having had clinical depression and survived—sorta, I know that daily habits restore and form the foundation to alleviate the chaos of entropy; this to bolster ease and peace for a modicum of normalcy.

    Whatever normal is—I’ve really never known it personally. 😳

    In the words of Alica Florrick: “It’s the superficial things that matter most right now.”

    I’m hitting 50 this year. Self-care is a big part of my overall mental health care. I find myself in the unusual position of being vain at the end of the world focusing on my beauty regime. I can’t protest for health reasons and protecting my elderly mother; normally, I’d be marching if I still lived in Raleigh. Alas, I’m stuck here in one of the very white, rich (we are not), ‘somewhat conservative’ suburbs along the I77 corridor to Charlotte, seizing on that modicum of normalcy. Besides discounted Kindle books, I look for big Clinique 30% off sales and lots of free samples mostly for cleaning and moisturizing my face. I’ve rarely worn makeup for the last ten years and my morning habits consisted of splashing cold water on my face, at best. I tried and love the Clinique Vitamin C Fresh Pressed products including the powdery cleanser and serums along with the moisturizing jelly and the Pep-Start Eye Cream. It’s restorative, energizing—I cannot get enough of the stuff. I also love the Clinique Pep-Start™ 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser on the days I don’t use the powder cleanser, which I have to add is not the most environmentally-friendly packaging. I try and stretch the products out because of cost; this is a way of life for us poor lower income folks, like making the last bit of toothpaste in the tube last for four weeks along with eating food way past their expiry dates. This beauty routine has become something that makes me content and brings a fraction of serenity to my existence. That and my new electric toothbrush. More on that later.

    The Trump-Republican secret police are MERCS. The stand against fascism in Portland grows. Apparently martial law is next. Timothy Snyder—whose book On Tyranny is a must read—lists “principles for the preservation of freedom” in a series of tweets.

    Today and tomorrow are rest days. Sit in silence. Listen to the birds. Take deep breaths through the nose and clear those thoughts. 😘✊

  • Sunday, 26-Jul-20 13:22:30 UTC

    At the beginning of the lockdown, I expected certain people, especially extroverts, to wig out due to all of the forced solitude—just not so gravely. I suspect a lot of families living in smaller abodes are craving solitude right about now, especially from kids. Reading Leslie Jamison’s Since I became Symptomatic was painful. I can see where this is clearly gonna do long-term mental harm to lots of folks. To attribute all this bizarre pandemic behavior to only a certain subset of people though excuses all the actual stupid people and psychos that do the most damage to society. I also acknowledge that much of this bizarre behavior reflects an unconscious reactive mental trauma to everything converging on us at once—some sort of cognitive dissonance to the shock and stress of it all. It’s not like we were already not stressed enough as it was. I didn’t think the behavior would be so extreme though. I read historical accounts of the 1918 flu and how something similar happened then, but again, not this extreme. As a society, the pandemic has exposed manifestations of greater endemic problems. I expect the deluge of 24-hour media (specifically Fox News) and the long-term effects of individualism have done lots of damage; whiteness and entitlement seem to be yet more pernicious symptoms; systemic racism, white supremacy, wealth inequality, lack of health care—both mental and physical—poor education, and on and on. This does not bode well for us as a country and our politicians certainly aren’t doing much for us except collecting a paycheck while telling us that giving us too much of our tax money will harm us—the nerve. Defecating and pissing in the floor of a business (I’m not linking to it) when asked to put on a mask so that you’ll not harm others feels more than a tad extreme and unhealthy; that’s not even the first account of this type of behavior when people—the majority white—are asked to wear masks to protect others. Wear a mask is the equivalent to don’t drink and drive—why do people have a problem with it?

  • Wednesday, 29-Jul-20 21:47:24 UTC

    It’s enough to get out of bed lately. I’m behind on writing, trying to catch up. I’m avoiding social media as much as I can and still keep my sanity and be informed. The news is not good. Things are bad and getting worse. Watching excerpts of AG Barr’s testimony was infuriating so I limited that viewing. The corruption pervasive so much so it’s overwhelming. I don’t understand people that witness all that he, Trump-Republicans and pals have done and still wanna vote for them again. It’s ugly. They’re evil and I normally don’t throw around that word lightly. I’m not enthused about Biden. Never have been. I’m tired of old white men especially his blitheness about the past and his moderate to conservative record and wanting to work with Republicans—really? REALLY?!? The 21st century and beyond should belong to women. I’ll vote for Biden though grinding teeth as I do hoping that Trump et al go quietly without further damaging what’s already probably damaged beyond repair. Tillis had the nerve to send someone to my house. I gave him blunt answers without being rude. He was young and white and asked what the greatest threat to our country was? THE PRESIDENT AND REPUBLICANS. Are you interested in distance health-care? NO. I WANT UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE BECAUSE I HAVE NO HEALTH CARE AND HAVEN’T HAD ANY IN YEARS. As he went to leave, he looked like he was gonna hand me a Tillis placard and I gave him my ultimate bitch face. He abruptly left muttering a thank you.

  • Friday, 31-Jul-20 12:12:07 UTC

    “Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.” — John Lewis

    Can nonviolence be enough? It never has in the past. Some say nonviolence protects colonialism, white supremacy, and the ruling class for some neoliberal world order where the have not’s are greater in number than the have’s—purposefully. Everything in this statement fits. I said multiple times that ever since the Panama Papers leaked, the entire world has been upside down like it was a catalyst for rich people to reign in & reduce what little power they’ve allowed us. Include President Obama’s presidency—a Black man in power—to that as well; even if his presidency failed to live up to the many expectations we progressives had for it, he still inspire(d/s) us.

    Reverend James Lawson, at John Lewis’ funeral, called out ‘plantation capitalism’—I stood, clapped, and yelled. President Obama declared the filibuster ‘a Jim Crow relic’ and I hollered a ‘yes, sir!’. Like Elie, I randomly weep when that man speaks. He’s by far the best president I’ve had in my lifetime; still, he had his issues—as imperfect as this union, he probably would say, I’m sure and I respect that. My political philosophy though has always been to consistently and relentlessly question those in power and their decisions. That philosophy will never change, for anyone, especially for those I regard who have the power to persuade—most especially for them. That’s why I’m not a Democrat or a Republican. I don’t trust either party; Republicans less so than Democrats. I’m also pragmatic.

    Well, yesterday, it happened. Trump tweeted about delaying the presidential election. We knew this was coming ever since he came down that elevator. We yelled and screamed and warned y’all repeatedly. I saw many instances and heard bad things about Donald Trump since I was a teenager in the 80’s including his outright racism and horrifying demand that the Black kids in the Central Park jogger case be executed. There has always been rumors he was mixed up with the mob and corrupt as fuck. But still, y’all didn’t vote or had to vote for him cause of the emails lady and misogyny and here we are. Thanks for that. /sarcasm

  • Saturday, 01-Aug-20 16:45:08 UTC

    Masks are like underwear; you need more than one; if not, y’all need to wash the one ya have. All those icky germs and body fluids. I started wearing a mask while walking because it seemed not only statistically and scientifically logical but ethical—plus this article. I don’t, however, wear that mask constantly while walking; I pull it down occasionally to my neck. Why? One, I rarely encounter anyone, and two, it gets all sweaty and smothering under there and I sweat a lot and have a sensitive nose; harsh smells disrupt my equilibrium sometimes making me physically ill—yeah, seriously. This is uncomfortable, and yet, I will not stop wearing my mask, especially around people. Why? Infecting someone is harming them, their family, their friends, and anyone they come in contact with aka society; harming someone is not moral nor ethical and hurts me more. Call it hypersensitivity or being a snowflake—whatever; I ain’t gonna harm someone and not wearing a mask may infect someone thus harming them. Does any of that make sense? Okay, now, we can discuss the gray area of the smells and the smothering and where and when one should wear masks; regardless, while around someone else, I wear a mask or pull it up over my nose and mouth. Period. I dunno if I have the rona; I haven’t been tested. I don’t have health care and I don’t have the $$ to spend for a test. While I’m statistically less likely to get infected because of being a white woman with O+ blood type, I am middle-aged and have some health issues. I also live with my elderly mum and I have a duty of care to her. I’ve had bronchial pneumonia before; it was horrifyingly painful; it took me over a month to recover and that’s being young and healthy without any medical care at all other than Aleve, rest, and lots of water and soup. I don’t want something worse. Wearing a mask is risk reduction, like wearing a seat belt or not driving drunk—better safe than sorry.

  • Sunday, 02-Aug-20 16:53:46 UTC

    Let’s talk about protesting and Black Lives Matter and before you even read further, I wanna educate you on one >very important thing: BLACK LIVES MATTER. Now you may throw around that bullshit ALL word, but I’m just gonna nod you off with a shake and an eye-roll and say no, all lives don’t matter UNTIL BLACK LIVES MATTER; and if you continue to argue with me, I’m gonna do my best to continue to convince you because it is my duty as a white person and awkward ally that I am, I recognize and support that duty 551%; but if I see that you are being willfully obtuse simply for performance or theater, I’m walking away. I’ve dealt most of my life with racist family members who, even now, refuse to progress past that closed-minded biased/racist bullshit. I got tired of it and set up some boundaries finally for sanity and self-preservation reasons; I realized if they were gonna learn, it wasn’t gonna be thru me because I was inept at convincing them or there was the backwash of friction and history that was simply too great to overcome inadequacies; another reason is because I get emotionally reactive and rage about it—whatever, I ain’t perfect.

    Back to protesting—normally, no matter a pandemic, you would find me downtown in Raleigh marching right along side (remember Moral Mondays & Dr. Rev. Barber?) and yup, wearing a mask. On May 25, 2020, Mr. George Floyd had the rona and was murdered by a cop. Our Black brothers and sisters are more likely to be murdered by the police than the freaking ongoing pandemic and if you haven’t done your research, BIPOC are dying at extremely alarming rates in this pandemic. Now if any of that doesn’t frighten you and provoke some compassion and empathy within the four walls of that conscious of yours, YOU ARE A SOCIOPATH. By attending/equating the protest of wearing a mask to the protest of BLACK LIVES MATTER, you’ve shown who and what is more important to you, your glaring entitlement, and how apathetic and cruel you are to the welfare of others. PERIOD. So, BLACK LIVES MATTER and DEFUND THE POLICE. ✊

  • Wednesday, 05-Aug-20 13:05:08 UTC

    The videos pouring out of Beirut are horrific. Peace and love to the people of Beirut.

    On an observational note, I register generational differences when discussing disasters like Beirut with the boomer generation and I’m wondering if this is more prominent in my immediate community or is this universal? The issue? The boomer immediately appropriates the conversation to discuss a local more individualized event or tragedy and centers it around their feelings before I’ve finished the current discussion. Perhaps it’s more of that pernicious whiteness and individualism manifestations? I’m not even sure if they’re aware of this. This has happened repeatedly among boomers—all white.

    Total Confirmed Global COVID-19 Infections: 18,570,858; Global Deaths: 701,316.

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