Probably scattershot, I’m not drafting this.
Over 10,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York City now, 100 deaths. I had to consult Alexa to do the math, but that’s very approximately a tenth of a percent of the population diagnosed, with one percent of that killed. We are now the hotspot for the disease in the US.
C hasn’t been going out much at all. I’ve been going out about once a day to powerwalk and/or pick up takeout. I’m doing the rounds of the local restaurants I normally go to for lunch – they are all still open at the moment. Today is the day that everything else shuts down – barbershops and stuff (and my dry cleaner). A quick check with my spies at my old jobs yields that everyone is working from home, makes sense. I’m sure it’s making some people itch that they can’t get up in other peoples faces all day long. Oh, BTW, spies have also reported that Tough Cookie, the woman who hired me for that job and then made my life a living hell for the bulk of 2019, is out the door. I wish the best for her, *koffkoff*.
Dad has also cancelled his trip up to visit for Easter. Makes complete sense. He’s been taking advantage of the ‘early hours are reserved for seniors only’ thing at the grocery stores that they’re doing now. He and my brother are getting out for walks most days. Brother is working from home. I haven’t heard of how much sick is going on where the are but I’ll bet it’s nothing like here.
For the record, C and I are fine for now, except hay fever is running rampant, so as per tradition he is super-tired all the time and I am sneezing my head off.
Two months today since Mom died. I still haven’t been bowled over by the event in a way I suspect some people think I should be/want me to be/am puzzled that I’m not. I am not discounting the possibility that at some point, it’s going to hit me like a ton of bricks that my mom is dead and I’ll collapse into a ball of grief. But right now it seems like just one part of the giant shitshow that includes our country’s political situation, my jobs situation, my own physical and mental health and so on.
But, despite cultural forces that steer you to mindsets of ‘all deaths are surprises’ and ‘all deaths are tragedies’, Mom’s death was neither. It certainly wasn’t a surprise. She’d been fading out for years, and had spent the last two months of her life with a fatal diagnosis that just clarified the timeline. And her mental and physical frailty indicated that, had she lived longer, her life would have been more and more miserable as she lost the ability to enjoy not only the things she loved (i.e., reading),, but much of anything. She was eighty-three years old, she had a long life of terrific accomplishments, she was (is) much-loved by a husband of sixty years (!!!) and two kids who, for better or worse, carry on her strongest qualities. That’s not a tragedy, that’s the way we all want it to work.
Now, if my Dad suddenly got taken by the coronavirus or whatever, that would be a tragedy, as he is still hale and hearty and has quite a bit of living to do yet. Don’t get sick, Dad!
Do I miss her? Yes, of course I do. But I have been missing her now for a while. We weren’t the sort of close where we talked on the phone all the time anyway (ever). She was always a very guarded person, did not open up to us (although she did to C, which is interesting) and so there was a shell of formality with her that you had to navigate. And towards the end, there wasn’t even conversation – she’d listen and follow along to the rest of us, but she couldn’t contribute. So I miss the funny and articulate and world-shaking Yvonne that I grew up with, who had a fantastic career and a productive retirement. But she spent the last few years in a ‘here, but not here’ state, and so I’ve been missing her a lot longer than two months.
What else? Job search continues apace, but I suspect that no one is going to be hiring for a while. I’ve signed up with New York Cares so I can do some volunteer work. I suspect there will be a lot of opportunities re COVID 19, but they haven’t formalized that yet. Assuming they don’t get cancelled, I’ve signed up for a couple of things like sorting and cleaning computers donated for classrooms, and putting together boxes in food pantries for distribution. Things that utilize my abilities to sort and categorize and haul things around, and don’t require social interaction (like tutoring or visiting with the elderly). That’s not a virus thing, that’s an ‘Eric is socially awkward’ thing.’
Trying to exercise. No skating, unfortunately. Got nice there for a hot minute, but now it’s too cold again for biking. Powerwalks are fine. I’m reacquainting myself with my favorite Jane Fonda video, which I know so well I can listen to podcasts while I do it. (My friend Mare, “I used to do Jane in the ’80’s. Now she’s in her 80’s.”) I heard our mayor on the TV today getting irritated at NYers hanging out in parks and such. “You can go out to exercise, but don’t spend the whole day out. Do minimal exercise.” and I was like, “minimal exercise, I’ve been doing that for years, no problem, Mayor DiBlasio”.
Media consumption: we finished The Handmaid’s Tale season 3, fantastic. We need a new hour-long drama – might try Locke & Key next. We saw two odd movies this weekend. The Laundromat, a Stephen Soderberg movie with Meryl Streep about money laundering. It’s amusing, but it’s a mess of a movie. Great cast throughout. And a Michael Bay movie called 6 Underground with Ryan Reynolds that was the worst piece of crap I’ve seen in a long time. Seemingly written by a 15-year-old on Red Bull, it’s all car chases and explosions and lots and lots of blood and people getting hurt or killed and no one caring. It’s hypermasculine teenage bullshit. It does have one redeeming trait – there’s a lot of really great architecture porn, including a fantastic sequence in a Hong Kong penthouse with an infinity pool. There are much better movies available for streaming, but I’m waiting for them to drop from the $20 purchase price to the $6 rental price.
I’m rereading the Last Herald Mage books now. It’s been a long time since the last read and they feel somewhat different now. Jury’s still out on whether Vanyel really is tortured and miserable or just an emo drama queen.
Enjoy the week!