Forty-ninth Entry


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Monday, May 4th, 2020

Last night was the third night in a row that the mobile morgue chiller was off. As I continued south I also realized I had not seen the usual small clan of rats in a few nights. They were born early in the pandemic’s grasp on this city. At first, the little creatures did not venture off the iron sewer grate on the east side of 7th Ave just north of West 10th Street. Each time I approached they vanished as though sucked out of sight by a subterranean vacuum cleaner.

Each night they ventured a few inches farther away from the grate but always sped to safety before I got close. I don’t know if they smelled, saw, or heard me. Every night without fail I saw them, as the weeks passed the nightly encounters made them seem like family, or that we were part of the same tribe; creatures of the empty streets. As they grew larger, they explored farther from the safety of the underworld, always toward the north. The last time I saw them, they were nearly three times larger than in mid-March. When I showed up, they still sprinted to the grate, which was now more than twenty feet away from them. The last time I saw them there were only two, maybe the other one had perished or was no longer concerned about my presence, or had found greener pastures.

The Supreme Court will humble themselves with their first remote court session. For some reason it will not be visual, just a conference call. Half-hour sessions of questioning after the normal two minutes of opening arguments. Sounds like they picked a dull trademark topic and a lawyer who has appeared at the courts dozens of times to get this two-week virtual session going.

Italy is opening after an eight-week shutdown; they were the first democratic country since World War II to impose a lockdown on the entire country. In the US we are in our eighth-week of “shut down,” although there is no comparison between the two. Theirs was far stricter. However, there seem to be some universals, apparently wine shops did not close down in Italy, just as the liquor stores did not close here. I heard that people lined up for their turn to buy wine—another lesson in what is essential. Marijuana remained available in the Netherlands throughout their lockdown.

The infection and death rate in the US continues to increase as more states open.
The president increased his projections of Covid-related deaths in America from last week’s 60-70K to 80-100K this week. This week the president increased his projections of Covid-related deaths in America from last week’s 60-70K to 80-100K. His forum was a Fox News Town Hall.

Use of the term “second wave” increases daily. One person on the street commented, “If everyone is going to get it, I would rather not be bankrupt when that happens.” The range of ways people view and respond to the crisis is expanding as fast as the virus is spreading. At first people turn to experts – people experienced with infectious disease, lung issues and ventilators. But before long, there were endless experts.

Covid has already killed more Americans than the Vietnam War.