Tales From Quarantine: Day 12

Mar 27, 2020 by

And on the Twelfth Day of Quarantine, it came to pass that HumidCity – a dead blog for the past four solid years – drew a shuddering breath and stirred. As I sit here on my couch typing it’s been twelve days since I started self-isolating. As a person who works with tourists in a tipped capacity, I have the potential to be a big vector and there are many in my circles that are in one or more at-risk categories.

It is eerie, and in some ways reminiscent of the Twilight Zone days after Katrina and the levee failures. Adrastos took note of it as well over on BayouBrief:

Those of us who lived through Hurricane Katrina and the Federal Flood are particularly on edge. The pandemic has punched all our buttons and flashbacks to those traumatic days are increasingly common. My mind is bouncing back and forth between then and now. I’m starting to feel like a character in one of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s magical realist novels. A boring character, I’m afraid. Obeying the stay at home order is dull but it’s something we all must do. The life you save may be your own. Repeat after me: Better Bored Than Dead.

It’s the dull part that is s very weird. Unlike a hurricane, there is no fixed end date to look forward to. Looming even larger as it sinks in is the fact that for the first time there is no place to evacuate to. The coronavirus is everywhere. I mean it is called a PANdemic for a reason, isn’t it?

What it feels like is a lot like a disaster movie or the opening montage of any trendy zombie flick. From thriving to shut down (justifiably) within a week-  national supply chains stressing and failing; hospitality-based work basically evaporating as everything closes; and staggering failures in leadership that cost us more lives every day.

What do New Orleanians do under circumstances like these? We gather. The house will be empty except for the kitchen, where everyone will be gathered to eat and talk shit and jolly each other into feeling like we will get through it just fine. In other words, the exact thing that we cannot, cannot do if we are to have any hope of minimizing it. This is an ongoing strain that I admit wears upon my soul.

As I write this Orleans Parish has 14.6 Covid-19 deaths for every 100,000 residents, and the numbers are on a steep rise. The highest rate in the nation. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid. Chronic kidney issues, bad lungs from many years of smoking, and being over fifty all put me higher-risk categories. Nothing has made me want a cigarette like this since I quit.

Via The Atlantic

The numbers already indicate that Louisiana is a global epicenter of the pandemic. Just over 1 percent of the U.S. population lives in Louisiana. But according to the COVID Tracking Project, 7 percent of all COVID-19 deaths, 7 percent of all hospitalizations, and 3 percent of all positive tests have been in the state. New York has suffered about two deaths per 100,000 residents. Louisiana is at 1.8.




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