Friday, March 13, 2020

STILL LIFE WITH PORK CHOP

Here, hidden among all the people panicking, or rushing about looting toilet paper suppliers, or self-isolating because someone at CostCo sneezed two aisles over, or hordes of denialists heading out for an all-day three-Saint Patrick's weekend drinking binge, are the vast majority; calmly going about their lives fully aware that at some point in the next few months they'll have an illness they've never had before, which will take two or so weeks out of their lives, and may leave them somewhat, erm, dead.
As it seems to do with roughly one percent of the people who catch it.
Or at least with severely chapped hands from all the soap.
And a toxic case of gallows humour.

[Somewhat, erm, dead: passed on and alive no more. Ceased to be. Expired and gone to meet your maker. Stiff. Bereft of life, and resting in peace. Pushing up the daisies, all metabolic processes having become history, off your twig, kicked the bucket, you've shuffled off the mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible.]


It might not do any harm to stock up a bit, seeing as hiking over that hill to the provisioners in Chinatown is hard on my legs, and local bus services might be impacted in the future if any Muni drivers are diagnosed (and everyone who came in contact with him or her is required to self-isolate).
A slight circulatory issue in my lower body, coupled with stiff joints, makes the four block uphill trek an issue. Extra packages of rice stick noodles and regular wheat noodles, a couple of bottles of Sriracha, and some laahp yiuk (cured meat), along with a large packet of dried black mushrooms.
Plus batteries and extra soap.
Freeze-dried coffee.
Candles.

Yeah, I do indeed have some underlying health issues.

But other than having fun spoofing toilet-paper hoarders and end-of-times doomsdayers, there's not much I can do in the meantime. Just hoping society continues functioning as normally as it can, while enjoying the moment. Schools are out till the end of the month, and probably longer.
Hordes of riotous little "petri dishes" roaming the public street.
Many (most) celebratory events have been cancelled.
Theatre and musical performances stopped.
Sporting events put on hold.

When this is all over, approximately three years or more from now, many of the businesses we liked to patronize will no longer exist. Social distancing and fear will have diminished their customer count during these months to such an extent that they won't have been able to pay their rent, their staff salaries, or their suppliers.

[Three or more years from now: reallistically, one to two years for a vaccine. Then months before everybody gets it. Slow restoration of any works that have lapsed or been put on hold, restoration of non-essential services and supply lines. Tallying up of the cost and damage, re-thinking of the social paradigm.]


And with that in mind, I shall have another cup of coffee, head to the bathroom for morning ablutions, do my laundry, and plan on having a porkchop over rice at a place in Chinatown for lunch.
Followed by smoking a pipe or two.
Keep calm and carry on.




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