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Let Inga Tell You: Postcards from the plague, er, coronavirus

Repurposing desperately-in-need-of-a-cut hair into an all-natural face mask. — Inga
(Photo from Inga)

A journal of the COVID month:

March 15:

Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, all the public libraries are shutting down tomorrow until further notice. Fortunately, the La Jolla public library is open for four hours on Sundays. It was like the Luddite Fall of Saigon. My 25-book library queue is in limbo. And seven were already “in transit!” Fortunately, they were letting people take out up to 40 books each. I grabbed 20. I’ve already determined that 10 of them stink. Going to start reading very very slowly.

March 22:

The new “dealers” are Walmart or Costco connections. A friend’s daughter who works at Walmart scored me a 24-roll package of toilet paper. It’s Cottonelle and waaaay better than the prison-quality stuff my market was rationing.

March 23:

My hairstylist texted that she’s been shut down. In two weeks, she notes, we’ll know what everyone’s real hair color is. My husband shrugged, “What does it matter, if we have to stay home?” I said: “I want to look nice for the ventilator guy.”

March 24:

As I was filling out the census form that came in the mail, my husband suggested that given current COVID predictions we should maybe hold off a bit. #superstitious

March 26:

As hard as it is to get right now, I’m predicting that toilet paper is going to be the new zucchini. People will be leaving it on their neighbors’ doorsteps in the dark of night just to get rid of it.

March 27:

Read a recommendation that even family members in the same household should maintain distance. If my husband and I have to stay six feet apart, one of us will have to sleep on the floor. #wontbeme

March 30:

Shelter in place has just been extended to April 30. This is why we needed a woman as president. Hillary would never let the nation’s roots grow out.

March 31:

My bread-baking husband assures me that as long as we have bread, we won’t have to eat the dog. (Lily does not like this joke.)

April 1

All this flip-flopping is making me crazy. Don’t wear masks! Wear masks! Wear gloves in stores! Don’t wear gloves in stores! Bring your own recyclable bags when you shop! You will not be allowed in a store with your own bags! Get food delivered! Delivery just puts other people at risk in your stead! It mostly attacks old people! The highest group of patients is middle-aged! Don’t hoard! There will be shortages down the road so stock up! Gaaaah.

April 5:

I ordered a digital thermometer three weeks ago from Amazon but was just notified they will not be able to provide it to me in this lifetime. Such is people’s desperation that they tend to click on anything that says “In stock — available now!” That’s how my neighbor accidentally ended up with a meat thermometer and I barely avoided ordering one for ovulation.

April 11:

I’m genuinely annoyed that Gov. Newsom seems to be getting professional haircuts. If the rest of us have to look like Muppets, why not him?

April 14:

I want to get one of those tests to see if you’ve already had coronavirus so I could wave that piece of paper at the self-appointed COVID police and say, “Get outta my face! I’ve got antibodies!” #coronafantasies

April 16:

The news is so relentlessly awful. People are starting to get mean. Some days I’m ready to tape a DNR to my back and go lick shopping carts.

April 17:

You’ve heard of the “freshman 15?” I’ve gained the coronavirus 6. But that was just in the first month of “sheltering in place.” I wish my refrigerator could shelter in a different place from me.

April 18:

News flash of the day: Air conditioning can spread coronavirus. Wow, just what everyone in the world wants to hear with summer approaching. Experts suggest “opening windows.” Won’t that let coronavirus in? 100-degree heat = sweltering in place. #covidhumor

April 19:

I’ve cut down my news watching to five depressing minutes a day, all of it a soul-crushing variation of (1) more people died (2) more people are going to die (3) 75% of the population has applied for unemployment benefits (4) we are headed for a worldwide depression that will ruin life for even our grandchildren’s kids (5) your retirement funds are history (6) your best hope if you’re old is to die soon of something else so you aren’t hogging the respirators and (7) the coup de grace: It’s an election year.

April 20:

As I walk around my neighbor in the late afternoon, I pass moms with their kids trying to have them burn off some energy before bed. They’re often carrying covered coffee cups and stage-whisper through their masks, “It’s not coffee.”

April 22:

I think my hair outweighs me.

— Inga’s lighthearted looks at life appear regularly in La Jolla Light. Reach her at inga47@san.rr.com.