It’s been a while since I’ve last posted. I wrote some drafts after George Floyd, but realized that I really shouldn’t write about race relations: whatever I might post could be used against me, to no practical gain. The only thing that I think I can safely say is this: When I was a kid growing up in New York City in the 1960s and 1970s, I was sure that sometime in the future, say, 2020, we would be past fussing over race, and look at black and white as no different from blond or brunette, or tall or short.
That clearly hasn’t happened.
* * *
No, we haven’t gotten sick: my wife, my son, and I are still very much alive and well.
A couple of weeks ago, though, I felt icky. I was really achy, and excused myself from work ‘in an abundance of caution,’ although I could have toughed it out. I went back to bed, slept a couple of hours, and felt partway better by lunchtime, and well enough in the afternoon to take my daily walk (2-3 miles, although sometimes longer).
There was no fever, no shortness of breath, no coughing: none of the things we were told to look out for in March. But the symptoms of Covid have broadened to the point where anything beyond a broken bone is suspect.
I was not to go out into the field for work until I was tested. I went for a test the next day.
“Was it as horrible as you imagined?” the doctor asked after sticking the swab up both nostrils.
“It was about 80% as horrible as I imagined.” I think I’d prefer a blood test.
My wife went for the test at the same time. She has been following what’s happened in Korea in response to Covid, and was wondering why there wasn’t a blood test, as is apparently standard there. She was also frustrated that we had to wait a week and a half for the result.
The tests came back negative.
Next time, unless I wake up barfing up a lung, I think I’ll tough it out, even though the rules expressly forbid that.
* * *
We’ve gotten through all four phases of Uncle Andy’s Four-Phase Plan in New York City. Some things, like mass entertainments, were never in the plan, perhaps to be resumed when the public perception of the danger, rather than the danger itself, had passed.
Other things got tossed over the side, including:
- Gyms: I’ve worked around this by ditching the subway and taking a Citi Bike most of the way to and from the office (as far as I can get in 45 minutes) and walking the rest. I’ve managed to resist what in some quarters has been called the ‘quarantine fifteen.’ The gym owners in New York State have filed a class-action lawsuit against the state; we’ll see how they prevail against Uncle Andy.
- Indoor dining: This may seem a bit of an extravagance, but ‘dining’ in this context also refers to places like McDonald’s. You can get a bite there, but sitting in the air-conditioned dining room to eat it is not an option. Restaurants have set up temporary seating areas in the sidewalks and curb lanes, and it’s really nice if the weather holds, but November is coming.
- Movie theaters: Perhaps it’s just as well, as there haven’t been any movies that I’ve really wanted to see in years. (In the 1990s, there were a couple of worthwhile movies every month.) But it’s a downer not to be able to duck out of the heat of the day for a bit.
- Museums: I don’t wake up in the morning thinking, ‘let’s go to the museum today.’ But it’s a pleasant, contemplative alternative for an afternoon’s leisure. I do miss it. The Metropolitan Museum is planning to reopen on 29 August… if Uncle Andy says it’s OK, which seems unlikely.
At least one can escape the heat by going shopping, although my wife has remarked that Macy’s hasn’t updated their stock in the month or so since they’ve reopened. I guess springtime clothing will still work in the late summer and early fall.