Tag Archives: Daily life

Pandemic Diary: 16 Feb 2021

It’s been a while since I felt motivated to write here. Beginning a new year knowing it will be just like last year for several months or all 12, or even worse given the new strains that are appearing. It made me feel totally exhausted emotionally, so I had no energy to engage with it in writing. But it’s time to get back to reflection.

At least we have a mature adult back in the White House. That lifts a huge weight off my feeling life. It was a horrible trip there, but we made it. Now we wait for the next neo-Nazi attack. I’m sure there will be one.

Louie has come up with a game to play during our zoom get-togethers—he calls it “Chaos”. We set up a whiteboard that we can all draw on, then Louie draws a city and has me draw a house. For some reason I haven’t figured out yet, he draws a fried egg in the middle of the city. Then Gwad starts drawing lines and boxes all over the screen, playing the part of chaos, while Louie erases them as fast as he can. He’s been wanting me to be “on his team” lately—I guess maybe being the house and his teammate makes me a safe place amidst the chaos. And he feels totally safe with Gwad, so it’s a way for Louie to deal with the chaos of his world right now in a safe place. We have a great time playing, lots of laughs, destroying the chaos with fun.

His most telling quotes from yesterday’s game:

  • “Chaos levels are high today.”
  • “Fighting chaos has never been easier in my life!”

I’m glad we can make this all a little easier for him. I can’t imagine what his sensitive 7-year-old soul is going to take away from this pandemic time.

An early Chaos adventure.

Pandemic Diary: 21 Jan 2021

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in yesterday as our new president and vice-president. They did a great job with a pandemic-limited ceremony, using videos from all across the country and territories as a virtual parade. Then there was an evening celebration with a few singers and speakers live at the Lincoln Memorial, and others on video, along with segments dedicated to ordinary heroes. And the most incredible fireworks display I’ve ever seen! It took place behind the Washington Monument so it was mirrored in the reflecting pool that stretches from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. It was programmed to Katy Perry singing “Firework”. It was way better than the usual round of inaugural balls! And I bet the Bidens and Emhoff-Harrises were a lot happier, too. Dragging around to all those balls must be absolutely exhausting, at the end of an already exhausting day.

It’s more than a relief to have Trump out of office. I feel like I can be proud to be an American again, instead of sick with shame. I’m hopeful for the changes Biden & Harris will be able to make now that the Democrats have a slight majority in the Senate, putting Mitch McConnell out of the power seat there. Plus, Harris is the deciding vote in the event of a tie, so we should be able to get some things passed. Like more COVID relief money for small businesses and individuals to help both them and the economy. And at least a move towards a better health care system and more equitable distribution of wealth. And, thank God, an improvement in foreign relations.

On a sad note, the COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. is now over 400,000. And infection rates are climbing rapidly again due to a new coronavirus variant that’s more contagious than the first one. It doesn’t seem to be more deadly, as far as they can tell at this point, but it does mean a higher infection rate and more strain on the healthcare system that’s already well beyond overloaded.

Yesterday was a ray of light in the darkness, though. It was just what I needed right now.

(I’ve always thought of Katy Perry as a lightweight pop star, which she was before. But this performance knocked it out of the park. I’ll have to start giving her more credit now.)

Pandemic Diary: 21 Dec 2020

All sorts of tragic and shitty things have been happening lately, but let me just address the most recent which has to do with America’s fucking rip-off health insurance system. Which is compounding the pandemic tragedy with unpayable bills.

My bill is pre-pandemic, for an emergency ambulance trip to the ER almost 2 years ago. Tufts Crappy Health Insurance doesn’t care that I had a explosion of blinding (literally) pain in my head triggered by the unrelenting pressure from a bout of projectile vomiting, couldn’t walk, and couldn’t conceive of making it to our car. So we called for an ambulance. After a bone-jarring ride to the hospital, and about an hour (? I don’t know—I was blinded by pain) in the waiting room, I finally got a CT scan that showed no stroke or aneurysm or any other horrendous thing. As the ER doc said, “It appears to be the mother of all migraines.”

After 2 years of back and forth between the very sympathetic ambulance company and the totally unsympathetic insurance company (although the agents have been kind and as helpful as they can be), the most Tufts will pay of the $3000 (for 6 miles) ambulance transport is $798. The rest goes toward my outrageous deductible.

I currently have two trigger fingers in my left hand, including the index finger, and I’m left-handed. Makes life a bit difficult at times, and always a bit painful. But we can’t afford for me to go get a cortisone shot. And although Tuft’s prescription drug plan is good as long as it’s generic, I’m also “making do” with an asthma inhaler that’s not fully effective because the one that is effective doesn’t yet have a generic and Tufts won’t pay for the name-brand inhaler even though it’s the one I need and it doesn’t have a generic option. Well, they’d cover it after I meet my outrageous deductible. Until then, it’s about $400/month. Yeah, right.

Our nephew and niece-in-law have “insurance” with a $4000 or $5000 deductible. So if one of them ends up in the hospital for awhile, they would eventually see some benefit. Until then, it’s pay through the nose.

The most despicable thing about this system is that we still have to pay a premium every month, to get this nearly worthless insurance. It costs us almost $4000/year in premiums (which is very low compared to most, believe it or not), plus the $2950 in deductible, for my so-called coverage. So if I rack up more than $7000 in medical costs, it will only then start to pay off.

Pandemic Diary: 16 Dec 2020

I haven’t been able to write here for a little while because the tragedy of COVID-19 cases and deaths has just been too overwhelming to talk about. Almost 210,000 cases per day in the U.S., and over 2,500 deaths yesterday alone. The daily death numbers have gone over 3,000 recently. I can’t even get my head around numbers like that. Like I said, too overwhelming.

To stay sane and not horribly depressed and anxious, I focus on the fact that no one in our immediate family has gotten it, and in our extended families there have only been a few cases and none life-threatening.

I found this video today on Facebook. It comes from a family of white privilege, but so do I, so it really speaks to me. I love these guys—they say true things in fun and creative ways. Some of their parodies are priceless! The Holderness family. I recommend them.

Pandemic Diary: 3 Dec 2020

Infections continue to rage here, as do deaths. Even Pittsfield has reinstated stricter lockdown measures. It’s mostly hitting nursing homes again. But I’m staying home with my asthmatic, easily upsettable bronchii.

We just heard today that a loved one’s got it now. Hopefully it will be a mild case, although she’s feeling pretty miserable at the moment.

Any good news? It’s sunny out today. 😎