(This is an article from the latest edition of my ezine Ray X X-Rayer #149. You can find it at https://efanzines.com/RXXR/RXXR-149.pdf . Back issues are listed at https://efanzines.com/RXXR/ . Or you can join my free and private subscription list by contacting me at raypalmx[at]gmail[dot]com, subject line: Subscription.)
The election of Donald Trump to the US presidency marked the onset of the present dark age.
All the ugliness -- greed, racism -- that had been boiling in the background erupted. Anti-science and insane conspiracy theories rule. For some emotion based on a black-and-white worldview pushed by an authoritarian leader is the answer.
And like the Middle Ages this modern dark age has become dominated by a plague, the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far I've dodged the bullet -- actually, the artillery shell. My age and underlying health problems make me a prime target for the coronavirus. Living alone for decades in one way has made it easier; in another way harder.
I can't remain confined to my apartment. I still need some outside contact. Maybe I should get a pet for company, a cat or a dog or a rhinoceros.
TV makes a lousy companion when leaving it on in the background. The same annoying ads every five minutes, every channel, 24/7. Does anyone else want to stomp the fuck out of the Geico gecko?
With a novel virus there are a lot of unknowns about it. Sometimes the story changes on how to protect yourself. I'm waiting for the announcement that you have to wash your hands for 22, not 20, seconds.
Of course my body picked a good time to have a hernia. Despite my doctor's PA pronouncing the bulge around my bellybutton was “just some fluid” I conducted a Google search and figured out that I did have a hernia. For example lying on my back caused the swelling to go down.
In this age of COVID-19 I had a telemedicine interview on my laptop with a surgeon. Apparently my hernia isn't that bad – I've heard some people live their whole life with one like mine – so when the world returns to semi-normal I can go under the knife to get it fixed, no rush.
The surgeon explained most likely my surgery would involve small holes, a lap-something, lapsodaisical, lapdancechoreography, whatever.
One image from this time that will remain with me is walking through a supermarket wearing a mask while a maskless woman smiled at me as if my caution was a joke, I was a jerk. Ironically the mask was more for her protection if I was asymptomatic. While some show altruism others evince selfishness.
All I can do is ride it out. After all I did live through the Cold War dark age, especially the Cuban missile crisis. Well, at least I did in this parallel universe.