Dear Virus, Dear Global Pandemic Diary




Apr 2, 2020


Dear Virus,


Today I felt the sun on my face, stretched my body tall and felt warm rays kiss my skin. I can't remember, aside from today, when I was last outside.


I think it's a punk ass move, Virus, you attacking the lungs. And yeah, yeah... I get that you aren't really alive, you and your viral kin being infectious agents that replicate only once inside the cells of a living organism. I learned recently that unlike bacteria, a virus is not living, a non-living entity, really just a mess of molecules and proteins and fats and even carbs. Virus, that's one thing we have in common these days. I seem to be made of carbs too. But as I was telling my mother this morning, I can still wear my jeans. Granted, they're the largest size I own, but they're still mine... and I'm wearing them, damn it.


So ironic that you aren't living, Virus. Instead, you resort to stealing life from others--vim, vigor, and vitality. We see strong people brought low, not just the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Are you jealous, Virus? Is that it?


I'm writing a Global Pandemic Diary. The other day, I recorded the following:


Quarantine Day # Square Root of an Angry Platypus. My sister, the mathematician, informs me that the solution to this equation is "echidna," the spiny anteater. Obviously. And this, a Global Pandemic Diary, which I realize now is redundant--Global and Pandemic--redundantly redundant, which is redundant squared. This numbers-based meditation and the expression of "redundant squared," which of course is not a thing, speaks more to my cabin-fevered mindset than anything else.


Dear Virus,

Dear Global Pandemic Diary,

Dear Anyone Who Is Slowly and Surely Cracking Under Pressure,

I see you.


Today I watched school videos about distance learning, flirted with clouds to no avail (I'm such a weather hussy when it's nice out!), and tried my hand at arts and crafts. Kidding, of course. If we lived in an opposite multiverse of crafting, one in which poorly constructed DIY projects reigned supreme with "nailed it" awards for excellence, my name would be Martha Stewart. But it's not, and I'm not crafty. Not at all.


I found an odd photograph of a woman wearing a bra of sorts made of quarter orange slices and twigs or vines as straps. It's a demi-cup bra, and I know this because I am a bra enthusiast. This style, the demi-cup, has half-size cups that support the breasts and lift them, helping to accentuate cleavage or create the illusion of cleavage. Demi-cup bras are usually designed with a bit of a tilt that pushes the sisters toward center to present and highlight the fullness of breast, which has nothing much to do with the picture of a citrus bra I found online. When I posted it to social media, I referred to the bra as a "Double Vitamin C." I also noted that if I were to create such a bra for myself, I would need to upgrade the size to double pomelos.


I think of you, Virus, and the worldwide havoc you are creating. People sick, people dying, people self-quarantined to avoid becoming the sick and dying. People losing their jobs. People shut in their homes. People who should be and aren't shut in their homes because they think they know better. You're going to keep flaring up, aren't you, Virus? You'll keep at this until people get it. I know that we in America, some of us are slow learners. We're social distancing, but not all of us. We've been sent to our rooms to learn a lesson. We're being punished, missing out on dessert because some of us can't follow directions. And some of us are getting a lil stir crazy. Posts about orange bras and my strong opinions on the Tiger King miniseries are proof enough to show my decent into self-quarantined madness. But it's the fear I'm thinking about right now. The fear.


Dear Virus,

Dear Global Pandemic Diary,

Dear Anyone (and All of Us) Living in Fear and Limbo,

I see you.


I could feel you coming, Virus, your deadly presence. Early on, I warned people at my school. I did practical hand-washing exercises with my students and was mocked by both students and staff. To the students, I told them to be quiet and listen. Such an easy 10 point assignment. I dragged their butts, three students at a time, down to the sink area and demonstrated "best practice" form for washing hands. I used the protocol that was demonstrated to us by an oncology nurse in Seattle, back when I thought I knew how to wash my hands and was given improvements. It's amazing how carefully you pay attention when the life of someone you care about is on the line. And would it surprise you, Virus, that very few students knew how to correctly wash? They do now, and if that's a weird kind of legacy I leave at that school, so be it.


To the faculty, I said nothing. Most on staff know that I almost lost my daughter to cancer when she was 11-years old. We lived in constant fear of bacteria and virus alike. Flu, chickenpox, MRSA. My girl almost died of that last one. So, Virus? I got nothing. Your apparent weakness in not being a living thing is terrifying. How do you kill an already lifeless thing? You're like a ghost that can pierce the veil, a kind of demonic possession of the living, a plague in need of a good old fashioned exorcism.


There's something about looking through a situation and trying to envision an afterwards that is humbling here. We're so much in the now that I wonder what tomorrow will bring.


Dear Virus,

Dear Global Pandemic Diary,

Dear Anyone Reading This Today,

I see you.


Today, I felt the sun on my face. Today and tomorrow's yesterday's today. And I wonder, Virus, how many days like these there will be.

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