Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Covid Roulette: POV From Lopez

Life goes on pretty much as if Washington State hadn’t become the opening act of the pandemic in the United States.

I have been on the Island for a little over three weeks.

An Island being an Island, there are some things that one needs to go back to the United States to replenish.

I had had a Costco and Skagit Co-op shopping list in effect since about day five of my current sojourn: things like paper towels and toilet paper – stuff that you run out of over time and that your natural response is to replenish in the manner that you replenish it when you are in Seattle.

It was only as the previously calendared day for the Costco trip began to get close that there began to be news stories about fist fights at Costco over toilet paper possession (I don’t think donnie has had anything to do with that – the only current ill besetting us that I can’t find to be his fault).

I swear I had been planning to buy the stuff for weeks; I try at all costs to avoid the lemming syndrome, and always have.

That having been said, I felt like an idiot as I got to Costco an hour before opening yesterday (I had planned to take the 0745 ferry, but the 0630 was late so I just drove on and departed when I got to the dock; that eliminated an hour wait for the 0745; I used that unexpected time boon to be sure I got a parking place at Costco) and watched the crowd gather.

I even shot a video.

But it’s on my iPhone and Apple videos aren’t liked by Windows computers so I can’t figure out how to post it here.

There needs to be one other fact presented.

My real reason for making this trip, planned two weeks in advance was that I was running out of rye and vodka; I can buy toilet paper and paper towels at Lopez Village Market, after all, but only an idiot would pay Island prices for liquor.

Anyway, I bought all the stuff on my list, had lunch at the Mexico Café – two chipotle enchiladas, rice and beans – and caught the 1505 ferry back to the Island.

All of this, and all that I have been doing for for the last several weeks, I realized as I activated the NBC app on my iPhone to see what Super Tuesday was producing, was, and has been, wrapped in some sort of envelope whose exact nature I have been unable to ascertain.

I finally figured it out this morning as I thought about, again, for some amazingly large number of times: “I wonder how long it’s going to take to get the virus? I wonder if it will kill me (I’m really healthy, but I’m really old)? If it doesn’t kill me won’t that be a good thing (after getting through the thing I’d come out the other end with immunity wouldn’t I)? Wouldn’t it be best to just get it all over with”?

Et cetera.

As that passed through my reverie again I suddenly realized what the feeling was, and is.

It’s like playing Russian Roulette with a gun with an infinite number of chambers in its cylinder and an unknown number of chambers populated with bullets.

I went to Japan one April long ago to take over the intelligence operation of a reconnaissance squadron that was on the front line of our reaction to the taking by North Korea of the USS Pueblo.

MLK had been assassinated only days before (RFK was on the schedule for a few weeks yet to pass).

On the plane over I was reading On the Beach.

That whole mélange was dark.

I find Covid Roulette to be darker.

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