Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Pandemic Diaries IV

12004.28 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

We returned from our patrol of Area DIYDogPark to find that Normal Brother had made potato soup; there was a bag on the floor with what looked like potato peelings, so naturally we asked if that was garbage to be thrown out.

Normal Brother: Yes….but you really should start a compost bin.
Me: …….
Me: I…I’m not really sure I have the time for another project at the moment.

We seriously contemplated putting NB on the Vaporization List, but will hold off. For now.

The Matriarch did enjoy the potato soup, and is slowly gaining strength, but still has no interest in watching her usual shows on tv. However, we’re quite sure that once she starts tuning in to the daily pathos and absurdity of the Days of Our Pandemic briefings, she will be as morbidly fascinated as the rest of us. What insane ramblings will the Dotard come up with today? What juvenile insults will he throw out? What sarcastic and brilliant barbs will Citizen Cuomo respond with?

We can hardly wait.

12004.29 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

Христос Воскрес! On this Easter day, we were sorely disappointed that we were unable to go to the usual midnight service, to then walk around the church 3 times in the freezing cold night, to then listen to a service that would go on for hours and hours. And hours. We soldiered on, however, and decided to make вареники in honor of the holiday.

Very quickly, we discovered how impossible these are to make in a tiny kitchen with no counter space. Nevertheless, we persisted. The Matriarch had one bite, and proclaimed them “good” – which, when compared to our GrandMatriarch’s usual comment of “буває хуже,” is a grand compliment.

Kingsly showed himself to be a true Ukrainian, as he turned up his royal nose at the beautiful lamb chops cooked by Normal Brother, but was most pleased with the sour cream. He is also excelling at keeping this part of CalCascadia free of King Cobras, as we have yet to see a single one. Coincidence? I think not.

12004.30 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

Kingsly was on the hunt today, prowling through the bushgrass fields in search of traitors to the cause. Or maybe it was rabbits he was after. Regardless, he was in brave pursuit of any and all interlopers.
We were especially ragey today, given that the Matriarch still struggles with basic things like, oh, say, BEING AWAKE. Standing up. Moving. Eating. We are very close to the point of calling the so-called doctor and demanding an answer to the question of WHY they felt it was a good idea to starve the Matriarch for 2 weeks, so that she’d be too weak to do absolutely anything regarding the cancer. And then there’s the guilt, as everyone everywhere is on the “all healthcare workers are AMAZING” bandwagon and we keep thinking “well apparently not ALL of them, since they brought the Matriarch to the brink of death under their care, amirite?”

So. Much. Rage.

12004.31 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

It is uncanny – truly so! – how many times now a home care worker has said, with some puzzlement, “I’m surprised they didn’t give that to you when the Matriarch left the hospital.” Sometimes it’s something relatively minor, like Maalox or syringes. And sometimes it’s really fucking important, like the spirometer that she should be using to, you know, strengthen her lungs.

Perhaps these were too expensive to part with, in a health care system that charges $50 for a single aspirin. Mayhap they should have just jacked up the price even more, like, say, CVS has apparently done, as I discovered today when I went online to see if they had said spirometer or a pulse oximeter. By reading the reviews, it was clear that prices had uncannily – there’s that word again – gone up threefold for such items in the last few weeks. Odd! I’m sure it’s mere coincidence.

We did manage to have a very productive discussion today with May; she is the person from the IV nutrition place who’s been coordinating everything, and is by far the most competent and professional medical worker we’ve dealt with. Today she called with the results of the Matriarch’s blood test: electrolytes etc look good, but her hemoglobin is down inexplicably. We asked what we could do about this, and noted how critical it was to get her stronger so that she could resume cancer treatment. May said she’d send the results to the doctor, and then her oncologist, and in the ensuing conversation, we may have said the following things: “they need to get their fucking act together” “it’s their fault she’s in this state” “I don’t care how they do it, but they need to figure this shit out” “they’re responsible for starving her for 2 weeks so that now she’s too weak for her cancer treatment” “they can come to the house to give her her shot” and finally “if they can’t manage that after letting her fester in the hospital for 2 weeks then they can just FUCK RIGHT OFF.”

Sometimes, I have such a hard time making my feelings known. I will work on this. #feelmywrath

12005.01 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

Recently, in a moment of foreshadowing and (quite frankly) brilliance, we purchased Children’s Advil – the only liquid pain relief available OTC, or at least the only one we could find in this time of Hoarding and Irrationality. Last night our efforts were duly rewarded, as the Matriarch had a headache at around 4AM. We administered the standard dosage of this fruity elixir and hoped it would work.

Highly attuned as we are to the Matriarch’s stirrings every several hours, we woke up at 7AM, heard nothing, dozed off. Woke up at 8AM, went to check on her status, and…..she was sleeping soundly. Same at 9AM, at which point we woke her up to give her the medicated mouthwash for her mouth sores.

The Matriarch: “I slept like a log – I feel so rested!”

Hmm. Am I the only one who had no idea that Children’s Advil was really just straight laudanum?

12005.02 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

Normal Brother was almost placed on the Expedited Vaporization List today. We had gotten the Matriarch up and in the wheelchair, and she insisted on seeing the rest of her Kingdom (we have not yet had the heart to tell her that she is now a mere citizen of District 7). She was wheeled to the patio area, to gaze upon the splendor of flowers brought in by Brilliant Child (aka me). After a time of survey, Normal Brother wheeled the Matriarch back to the bedroom to rest, while I stayed on the patio to supervise Kingsly as he eradicated any evidence of King Cobras from the premises.

Brilliant Child then went to the bedroom to check on the Matriarch……to find her completely askew on the bed, feet practically draped over the edge, head wedged awkwardly on the wedge pillow meant to be used for sitting up, not lying down. This was the “assistance” of NB, who then dashed off to yet another critical call about the budget for Baby Shark.

He yet lives, but is on the Vaporization Purgatory List, where it’s not quite clear which way he’ll go.

We are also compiling a list of companies we will not patronize in the post-Dystopian era. 

Today’s addition: Ace Hardware, which apparently had its online ordering system put together by sea monkeys.

We will be adding to this list as needed.

12005.03 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

We are starting to suspect that we do not in fact have Normal Brother and Idiot Brother, but rather Idiot Brother 1.0 and Idiot Brother 2.0. It might have been the “she doesn’t need carbs and proteins, she needs vitamins!” comment that put us over the edge, but suffice it to say, we told Something Brother that hey, he might as well stay home tomorrow. Take a break! The day off!

It may keep him from Vaporization, it may not.

The Matriarch made it to the doctor’s office today, wheeled in. The oncologist didn’t seem to appreciate my many questions, as he made a couple of comments along the lines of “well with your medical background” and “so what else do you want?” etc. But he can just fuck right off because his track record here isn’t very stellar, now is it. Regardless, the Matriarch got her shot and is on a different pill, so the cancer treatment restarts. Finally.

We are tired.

12005.04 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

Useless Normalish Brother was banished from District 7 today, and it was……rather lovely. We did everything ourselves – as usual – but with blissful silence in the background instead of LOUD CALLS about the budget for Baby Shark.

We’ve also realized that it’s not the virus that will kill us. It’s us. We will all kill each other.
We are also a bit tired of the commercials that show people doing cute and quaint things while in quarantine, like painting foraged driftwood with hearts or dancing in harmony with someone in the building across the street, all without a care in the world. Meanwhile, over here in the WasteLands, we’re sitting around seething about all you assholes who’ve never baked in your lives buying out and hoarding all the fucking yeast in every store out there. Really? Yeast? You all know it doesn’t last forever, right? It has an expiration date? So you had better get on with making your twee pearl-sugar-encrusted cardamom brioche buns, bitches. Good luck with that.

Us, we’re going to be over here working on our new Cooking With Viruses show, that will focus on what one can cook or bake with “things still to be found in grocery stores.” First up: fun with monkfruit sugar and barley! Yes, the mind reels.

12005.05 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

Normal Brother received a slight reprieve today, as he came by and made brisket, and it was uneventful. He has moved a step away from the Vaporization List, but of course, tomorrow is another day.

We also went to the store to pick up our canning jars – because just as everyone now has visions of being a creative baker cheerily turning out the most ethereal of buns and bread, they also seem to fancy themselves as canning mavens, not realizing how much effort and experience goes into making a decent jam.

Hahahahahahahaha! Dare I say I look forward to reading about their endeavors?

In the meantime, we are crowdsourcing a supply of yeast BECAUSE THERE IS NONE TO BE FOUND HERE. Really people. Give up the vision. Trust us on this.

Shopping takes so much longer these days. The line to get into the store. The wandering, not sure if something is sold out (HELLO YEAST) or is simply in a different place. Buying unfamiliar things, because our usual brands are sold out. So tiring – of course, not as tiring as having to wait hours upon hours in a line to pick up free food in this, our shithole country that’s rampant with cronyism and inequality and inadequate systems and people bartering for flour and doing shady midnight runs for PPE and the Dotard musing about injecting bleach (YOU FIRST) and omg it’s all so tiring. 

Right now we are glad of two things: that the Matriarch is improving, albeit slowly, and that stores sell single-serving cocktails ready to swig down, not even needing a glass. Cheers.

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