Coronavirus Chronicles

Day 36: 17 April 2020, 9:12 A.M. EST

How weird has life become in this unprecedented pandemic crisis? How about the fact that it’s a joyous occasion to score anti-bacterial liquid hand soap, toilet paper, and paper towels given their abject scarcity these days. Yes, I was elated to find these items for sale online, both on Amazon and GoPuff, moreover their arrival was cause to celebrate. Big score!

I order groceries that my Instacart shopper gets for me at the local Acme Supermarket on Front and Girard streets in Philadelphia, then delivers to my door. Once I week I renew my supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat products, coffee and tea, and various dry goods. My freezer and pantry are well stocked and I could last forever even if the food shipments stopped, mainly because I have been a “prepper” for years so I have a large supply of emergency food rations like MREs, Mountain House freeze-dried meals, and other long-lasting emergency foodstuff.

Luckily I can work from home and my company is open and paying me, which keeps me sane and financially solvent, although, luckily, I have always been good with my money and I could survive even if I get furloughed at some point. I could live on credit cards for three years or borrow from my 401k if I truly get strapped for cash. I’m cool right now and into the foreseeable future. Lucky me.

I have regimented my days with strict guidelines where I exercise, work, and rest with very disciplined rules so I don’t end up wallowing in depression and misery, or worse, lose my mind with cabin fever. I’ve been eating much less than normal to get used to the idea I may have to ration food if the future gets bleak and restocking food is difficult. I have found I can fast for long stretches, eat very little, and yet I feel fine. I have lost an incredible 18 pounds since my journey began on March 12.

I rejoined Facebook briefly to check up on my friends and family, then deleted my account about ten days later. Only one close friend has caught COVID-19, and she’s doing well after a brief, tense hospitalization. Fortunately she’s recovering well. Facebook is still poisoned by phony news memes that seem to have gotten even more partisan and batshit crazy than when I quit a few years ago. It’s like wading through a sewer that is chest-deep with shit. I can’t believe how unenlightened, gullible. and angry so many people are out there. They cling to the stupidest and most divisive fake news imaginable. The batshit crazy conspiracy theorists are poisoning the well with great gusto, plus it looks like Facebook is largely allowing this madness to fester like a puss-filled ass abscess.

I look and feel healthy and content, although the first two weeks were rough as my anxiety level was high due to the uncertainty of whether I caught the bug or not on my March 12 flight from Madrid to Philly. The weight loss has been a blessing and I am hoping to lose much more until it’s safe to emerge. The biggest challenge so far is to stay mentally acute and avoid any kind of depressive or morose thinking, but that’s tough when I am isolated and haven’t left my building since mid March. My lack of human contact over these past 36 days is the toughest aspect by far. Online chatting and video conferencing is no substitute.

When this is over I will try to make sense of it all, but while living it I am content to keep a distance from the bad news and depressing mortality and infection statistics that are published every day. Part of my mental survival is tantamount on not worrying too much about that which I cannot control. And all I can really control is staying home and away from other people, eating right, and exercising to keep relatively fit.  I have no idea how much longer I will remain in the suspended state, but honestly I doubt I’ll be outside again until June.

Welcome to the new world in which we live. Adapt and survive, that is the human way to fight natural selection, which is running rampant across the globe and killing hundreds of thousands of souls. I am thriving so far after 36 days. The uncertainty is difficult, but I am strong and tough and built for survival mode. I will see you all on the other side of this pandemic. When that will be is a big mystery.

My 57th birthday is in 13 days. Sadly I will be locked away in my fortress of solitude for that occasion. Such is life in this pandemic.

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