Peace and Pest

by wjw on February 22, 2021


A photo taken from the front porch of our AirBnB near Lonoke (rhymes with Polk), AK.  It was a two-bedroom farmhouse with a generously-sized living room, a working kitchen, and a round King Arthur-sized dining table.  And we had it all to ourselves!

And there was Internet.  There is nothing better than a farmhouse with Internet set amid the beauties of nature, because that’s the sort of place where we live most of the time. (Not that our farm grows anything but tumbleweeds.)

We drank our coffee on the porch rocker and watched the rising sun burn off the mist and reveal the lovely views beyond.

We are now in Oklahoma, in a small town called Scaryville.  People don’t wear masks here, and march around in packs breathing on each other and on people standing nearby, like me.  I ordered some Chinese takeaway tonight and had to wait ten minutes for the food, and viewed unmasked people wandering up and down the buffet tables spreading contagion on the food and on each other.  As someone from a state where the response to the pandemic has been (mostly) rational, I found this not only scary but insane.  I feel as if I’m stuck in a pest house.

Not that my own state is entirely exempt from the insanity.  I had to take a COVID test to be allowed into New York State, and I had my test a week ago.  The results hadn’t come in when I arrived in New York, but I was able show I’d taken a test and they let me in anyway.

I was in the state for less than 48 hours, but the New York Department of Health remains my most devoted correspondent.  I receive several texts each day inquiring about my health, and reminding me that I’m supposed to get tested about now, and asking me to confirm that whatever I said entering the state was true.  (I didn’t lie, but I also don’t remember all the questions I was asked.)  When will it stop?

But anyway, what happened to my original test in New Mexico?  Today, a week after my test, I got an email saying that they’d lost my sample, and suggesting that I get tested again.

Forgive me for thinking that I am on the Ship of Fools, and that it is sinking.

John Appel February 23, 2021 at 8:08 pm

As I mentioned in my comment on your previous post, a scary amount of the US is like this. It seems only a matter of time before we have a US super-strain that puts the UK and South African variants to shame.

pecooper February 24, 2021 at 4:12 pm

New York state has gone, maybe, a little bit crazy in the opposite direction. I say this, speaking as a resident. I guess it is to be expected, given our death toll and given the fact that some of the people upstate are as crazy as some of the people you are seeing in the south and midwest.

I work for one of the power companies and I have had to fill out a form every time I need to go into the office. Starting Monday, I can’t use the form, I will need to call in on a smart phone and answer the same questions. *sigh*

Don’t know if it helps, but management (who haven’t been in the office for a year, since the lockdown started) can take comfort in the idea that they are doing something.

Shash February 24, 2021 at 5:26 pm

Even though I get frustrated with them, I am very thankful to be in Minnesota. I took the test before Christmas and had an answer back less than 48 hours later.

Most of my over 65 friends have had shots or have a date scheduled for their shot and I am now on a notification list for the rest of us. This will let me know when and how I can sign up for the shot.

Good luck to us all.

Ralf T. Dog February 24, 2021 at 11:54 pm

If I had known you were in my hometown, I would have waved from a socially safe distance as you drove past. People not familiar with the town of Scaryville think I am a bit paranoid about my current lifestyle. If people in the 7-11 actually get mad at you because, you have a mask, then it’s time to lock yourself up and talk to no one. (I do say hi to the food delivery people as they drop my grub off, 10 feet from the front door.)

Yes, people actually think you are a ‘Socialist’ because, you put a mask on your face.

Jane Lindskold February 25, 2021 at 11:06 am

Travel safely.

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