Once a week I go into town ("Kailangan kong bumili ng pagkain" gets me past the quarantine police) to buy provisions and to drop in on Larry and Lori. Lori picked up a flu bug a few days back, which must have freaked the family a little; it turned out to be merely flu. Larry is a stoic, confronts the entire quarantine experience with stoicism and dry humor. The household lacks any source of income during these days; I'm helping out in a small way.
During other days of the week, when I feel stir-crazy enough, I hop in the car, blast the a/c and the music, and drive up and down the 2 or 3 kms. between checkpoints on the Maharlika Highway. A small bakery and a sari-sari store are still open on this stretch of road, and sometimes I pull over, don the mask, and pick up a thing or two.
The ritual hand-washing takes place directly after I've been outside or downstairs, and once again I'm alone with my computer and my bunk beds. When I'm not preparing a session or with students, I text with people, play the online word game Lexulous, do research into various aspects of this global dumpster fire.
There is evidence that people with A blood are more likely to get the dangerous version of the disease, people with O blood less likely, and I found that interesting. I'm pretty certain I have O- blood; Jheng tells me that she and her mother have O blood, but the children all have A. I read about the various deficiencies in the U.S. government's response to the pandemic and look over the numbers -- the U.S.'s infection rate today, by the way, is 1,693 per million; that of the Philippines is 42 per million. (Jheng, we really don't have it bad here.)
I'm reading at the Gutenberg site right now Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year, an account of Londoners' last serious encounter with the bubonic plague in 1665. It killed one quarter of the city's population. Prohibitions in the city decreed by authorities at that time bear an eerie resemblance to the shutdowns and quarantines of today. Also, I'm reading a novel, one that was suggested by a teaching colleague at Leominster High: Patron Saints of Nothing. It arrived in the mail just before I left Cabanatuan; threw it in the bag before I left and have just recently started it -- the story of a young Filipino-American who returns to the Philippines to learn the details surrounding the death of his cousin, a casualty in the Duterte-inspired drug war. It's good, Danielle: thanks!
That's it for now, I guess. Sit tight, folks. Reflect. Take care.