Yeah, I know.

I haven’t been writing. Sometimes I wonder why I have this blog if I am not going to write in it. I thought that in 2009, too, but then in 2010 I began writing again.

The state of the world doesn’t help. The failure of democracy is watching a trainwreck in slow motion.

I once described a personal event to friends of mine as a trainwreck: “I am not driving the train, I’m not even a passenger, I’m just a farmer watching the destruction of his back forty.”

This time I’m a passenger. I may be a higher class passenger, who is more likely to survive what’s about to happen, but a lot of people around me will get hurt — some will die. I feel completely helpless against the terrorists who are overtaking the engineers.

And then there is the pandemic. Omicron’s transmissibility approaches that of measles, one of the most contagious diseases in the world. In spite of all our precautions, we’ve had a case of COVID in the household: Railfan came down with the virus around New Year’s. It was mild — more like a cold than anything else — but it still poses a threat. I have lung issues that make possible infection potentially quite serious.

I was in Georgia when Railfan got sick. I was helping the Rocket Scientist with his late mother’s house. It turned out she had a latent flea problem that came out when Atlanta experienced a freak winter warm spell. I’m allergic to fleas — and at one point had close to a hundred itchy flea bites. I was popping Benadryl and Xyzal to try and keep the horrible itchiness bearable. Foggers only did so much to control the problem — we had to call a professional to come out. We called a different professional out to deal with the rat problem, which was the reason there was a flea problem, to begin with. What can I say? The house had been closed up since April 2020.

When I heard Railfan was (mildly) ill with COVID, I started crying. I’m ashamed to say it was not about him (remember, he had mild symptoms), but that I would be forced to spend another week in Georgia. Thankfully, after ten days, his rapid antigen test came back negative and I could go home.

So I am home. I need to go to medical appointments I canceled, but the professionals want me to wait until next week and take a PCR test. I already took one, but it may have been too soon; tomorrow will be five days since I flew home. Flying home was an experience: on one of my flights the plane was crammed full; the guy right next to me wore a mask, but still. And I was in a United lounge, where probably a third of the people were maskless. And I had to eat, which means for a short time I was maskless myself. (I had no choice — I had take meds that had to be taken with food.)

So tomorrow I will take a rapid antigen test, which hopefully will come back negative.

It’s enough that I am considering lockdown again. We have restarted ordering at least some groceries online, although the Not-So-Little-Drummer Boy is going to the store occasionally. And as concerned as I am about us, I worry more about the Red-Headed Menace and his Very Smart Partner. RHM and VSP live in the wilds of central Pennsylvania, which has even higher rates of infection. Is this the new normal? It’s a scary thought, one which invades my brain from time to time.

It’s a shame, really. It is a beautiful day here in Northern California, with blue skies and just enough wind to blow away pollution and keep our air quality at moderate. Tonight we will belatedly take down the Christmas tree (postponed since both I and the Rocket Scientist were in Georgia, where he still is), thus ending my favorite time of year. I am determined this year to find joy in spring, which once again seems to be coming early to us unless we get more rain soon.

And there are small discoveries and joys to write about: Amy Schneider’s run on Jeopardy!, Coke with coffee (not my idea, it’s actually a new product), a new way to mainline caffeine.

So, I will try to write more. I can’t say it’s one of my New Year’s resolutions since I do not make them anymore, but it may just be a goal. We’ll see.

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