MARCH 12, 2020



First Pesach, then Easter came and went. With all the social distancing, the usual traditions just did not happen. There was no Seder meal and no egg hunt. At the Household, which is located in a bigger building than the old one bedroom cottage on the Island, it still was difficult to maintain social distances and sure enough, Martini developed a fever and a cough.

So Pahrump and Denby and Tipitina scrounged up some lumber from an empty construction site and built a small shed in the back. They ran a power cord out the window and setup a cot and a powerstrip and a camping stove and a heater and so Martini moved in to his new digs. Once a day Marlene came out with a plate of something for Martini to eat and would wait a ways from the door until he came out, hacking violently.

And so members of the household would pass by or look out the window to see the shed where Martin spent his days and his nights drowning all alone.

The inevitable happened and Marsha got the disease. Then Xavier. Then Piedro, followed by Denby and Suan. Each one got a little convalescent shack one by one, and Marlene and Andre kept busy supplying meals and dealing with chamber pots and toilet paper so that Pahrump had to dig a lime pit for the chamber pot contents.

Some, like Xavier, got only a little sick. Others, like Martini, were wracked with terrible symptoms of sore throat, chills and sweats, swollen eyes, and always that terrible cough.

Denby, lying on his sleeping bag in the dark cabin enjoyed the runs so his chamber pot was always full.

Of course no one got tested because this Country's set of medical arrangements is just that, a sad arrangement, and not a logical System. We do not have healthcare, we have a series of crap shoot gambles called Healthcare insurance, which is the same as playing dice at Las Vegas with your health instead of getting treatment for what ails you.

So none of the Household was counting in the daily stats of infection. Nor were the cases on the Island when Latreena Brown, Malice Green, Angus McMayhem, Kid Viper, Mr. Terse, Pandora Thighripple, Marvin of Marvin's Merkins, Maeve of Jacqueline's salon, all got sick and Sgt. Rumbo died. Yes you heard right; the scourge of the Sanitorium of St. Charles for over 40 years and the curse of the basement lady's lingerie department of Macy's Union Square did not survive this pandemic.

All down Church row the houses of worship stood empty this Easter with no services save for ones that were live streamed via Zoom.

Father Rich Danyluk continued to take his pensive daily walk clockwise around the block. Pastor Nyquist continued to take his masked walk as was his wont counter-clockwise around the block, each nodding to each in passing.

Reverend Rectumrod, Baptist minister, blasted out sermons via a foghorn until the police told him to stop disturbing the peace.

Pastor Bland, Presbyterian, and Pastor Nance Haughtboy, Methodist, sat in their salons composing missives to the Faithful, distributed by eNewsletter.

The Church of Sanctified Elvis and the Church of the Truffle Delight remained dark to save electrical bills.

Rev. Howler and Rev. Shouter of the Adelphian Iglesia del Luz de los Cajóns de Estacionamiento del Mundo held loud, broadcasts of their missions with the windows wide open.

Rebbi Mendelnusse heard that the wife of Mustapha Omer Kemal, the head of the Islamic mosque had fallen ill and he strode back and forth all night until a day later he brought that magical Jewish formula for sickness, a pot of chicken soup and left it at the door. Kemal saw him through the window and the Rebbi noticed this and going up to the window touched his fingers to the glass. Kemal did the same and the Rebbi mouthed the words, "IS HALAL!"

And the prophet of Islam mouthed back the words, "THANK YOU!"

The Editor mulls all these things while sitting in his isolated glass cube and all the desks dark, some of them for weeks. There has been no European report and no Asian report desk due to the shutdown. How are we going to behave when life resumes "as normal"? How shall we treat ourselves? Shall we continue to be selfish in buying up all the toilet paper in a store for our own families, or shall we learn that we really, truely are all in it together. Save for old Sgt Rumsbo, may he rest in uneasy peace, the old, authoritarian sod.

For face this incontrovertable fact: we shall face another pandemic and it may occur again next year or sooner so as to test our resolve. Viruses evolve all the time, just as this one that had been out there in the winds for years, and they will come back. Yes they will.