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Pandemic Diary III

I'm at my favorite breakfast place. It has outdoor seating, and the tables are spaced far enough apart that I am keeping my social distance. As soon as I sat down the waiter came over and gave me a squirt of hand sanitizer.

My housekeeper came today as usual. I told her (by note, since she doesn't speak English and my Spanish isn't yet good enough to communicate more than basic concepts) about the upcoming kitchen remodel. I asked her to continue coming if she is not ill to clean the bedrooms and bathrooms. And I paid her for the next four weeks in advance in case she does get sick and can't come. In some pleasant news, she asked me about the existing cabinets and countertops, and she will be delighted to take them and use them in her own kitchen (which I gather has no such amenities as present).

I wasn't sure about whether to continue Spanish lessons. I asked a friend who also takes lessons from my teacher. He is continuing to go, and Nadia told him she is sanitizing surfaces between students. I'm glad, because I want to support her, and I hope she is able to continue without losing too many students.

The bridge club finally agreed to shut down at the end of today. Who knows when we'll be able to open again. ACBL recommends that all clubs shut down until May 11. The good news is they are working with BridgeBase to offer online games.

I think of the economic impact this is going to have. The US and Europe are going to have it bad, but there's no comparison with how bad things could get here in Mexico and in other second- and third-world countries. People here live hand-to-mouth. Small shops and restaurants can't afford to shut down even for a short time. And what's their safety net?

Last night I ordered take-out from one of my favorite restaurants, Casa Domenech, which is just a block from my house. When I went to pick up my food, the restaurant was empty. I mean literally, not a single person was eating there. I wanted to cry. A week ago this place would be packed to the gills.

Here at Scallion, there are a handful of other tables, people eating late breakfast and early lunch. A clarinetist is playing with a digital accompaniment; he's actually pretty good.

It's funny, interesting, strange, and reassuring to see signs of life as usual. But I wonder how long this can--or should--last.

Someone commented on my previous entry:
I hope you are wrong about everyone eventually getting the virus. I really believe that if I get it I will likely die. Being old (75 now) and on blood thinners and a compromised lung, I don't give myself too much of a shot.
Of course, I hope I am wrong too. But this virus won't go away until all humans are immune, and that won't happen until we all either fight it off or are vaccinated against it. Those whose immune systems are capable of fighting it off will still get infected, but they might not get sick, or might have very mild symptoms. The rest of would have to stay quarantined for 12-18 months until a vaccine is developed and ready to be administered. Or if some of the rumors I've heard about drugs that seem to be able to "cure" people who are infected are true, we might get through this. And I've also read stories about 90-somethings who have recovered. So not every elderly person who gets this will die.

But I am also pretty clear that if I get a severe case and am unable to breathe, it's unlikely I will be able to get the necessary medical care to survive. So I am just hoping that I get through this with a mild case.

And I hope that for all my friends and family and anyone reading this.


March 19, 2020, 6:15 pm

My brother-in-law is an evolutionary biologist, and I just got schooled.

Not everyone will get this virus. His exact words: "Nowhere near everyone will get it." Some people will be exposed but won't be susceptible to the infection. Others will never be exposed.

So hunker down, people!

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