Story 4Aug2002: Thursday

Susie is stable and improving in isolation. Her Covid-19 did not go into her lungs and appears limited to light flu symptoms. I had my second negative test on Thursday, so I seem to have avoided Covid-19 again–even being kissed by someone (I was still masked) did not give me Covid-19. Unfortunately, Oregon is still trying to kill me with pollen, and I often sound like I have Covid-19.

The morning started as most do for a work day but not going into the office–my last 1/2 day of isolation. I performed all the rituals to start a day, including breakfast and creating liberal coffee; I ordered more from Equal Exchange, which unsurprisingly has a Portland warehouse and will soon be delivered. I was quickly in a Zoom meeting (yes, I usually drive into work and am then surrounded by mostly unmasked people who seem to be between isolation episodes, to be on Zoom calls all day).

Once I am through the overlapping Zoom calls (I am late for some when the ones I attend finish early), I continue the morning rituals and am soon showered, shaved, and dressed. I added to the morning festival of work-start the dishwasher and the laundry as I am on paid time off (PTO) on Friday. I remember Thursday’s put-out-the-trash rite and debated that it was lawn-waste day, not recycling day. I was right as I saw the lawn-waste pick-up on Friday morning.

Despite a perfect set of rituals, I was not accepted as a worthy sacrifice to various Cthulian deities; I continued my meetings and made lunch. Lunch was leftover pasta and sliced-up meatballs I made a few days ago. I had put the leftovers in separate zip lock bags, dumped a bag’s content into my glass measuring cup, my only glassware, and microwaved it. As often happens with Italian-style sauce and spices, it was better reheated.

I read a bit as a break and then returned to the crises of the moment and a Zoom meeting with old friends I had not seen for a while at work. I am returning to some of the other work I did before the current project; the project has included me for more than five years now, took over most of my time at work, and consumed some of my holidays and twenty or so weekends.

I finally reached Susie–my first call went unanswered–and her nurse aide, Jennifer. Susie is improving and bored. Susie has a TV in her room that is connected to cable. Susie has an Alexa that is part of the Volvo Cave account, so Susie can play music and all those other cool Alexa things (Alexa is programmed to respond to “echo” for all the obvious reasons). Leta later got a call, and it was Susie. Susie is calling folks now–she is really bored.

Feel free to call or send cards. Susie resides at:

Allegiance Senior Care
Adult Foster Care Home
9925 SW 82nd. Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97223

The house phone number: 503 246-4116

I had a short break and reached the end of my isolation, so I took Air Volvo to Rite Aide. Sadly, our local one has been closed, and thus I have to drive a few miles to another one. The pharmacists knew me and would shout out that they had a new flu vax or other inculcation options for me. I was always first. Flu, shingles, hepatitis, yes, I have done it. I will miss them.

At the newish store (it is rather run-down), I grabbed my bag. The prescriptions are filled at the Rite Aid warehouse. The drugs are stuffed and sealed in a non-recyclable bag (!) and mailed to the Rite Aid store, so I just went there, apparently, to pay the co-pay and pick-up. I will soon move the prescription to mail service, cut out the middleman and spend more (!). Oddly, the Rite Aid is cheaper even when picked up at a store. Likely, Rite Aide costs and infrastructure are sunk costs while cool new Internet companies have to recover their costs and cool website explosive costs plus pay back investors. Yes, the existing brick-and-mortar stores are more expensive but once in place, like many things, the cost is minimal and less than bleeding edge tech. It is an interesting trade-off.

I picked up two more Covid-19 test kits, which are no longer free. After about $50, I am ready to test again. I bought two double test kits.

A farmer’s market was running in Rite Aid’s parking lot. I bought peaches, blueberries, strawberries, and locally made honey. I tried to support local farmers at the market; it just seemed the right thing to do. Plus, the fruit is wonderful.

I stopped at Safeway, a mistake, and picked up a sandwich–a huge sub–for dinner. I had three slices of the sub for dinner. I got the things I forgot last time. I tweeted again about the lack of checkers, only two with three-plus deep waits. Again, Safeway, as a corporate direction, is trying to drive folks to DIY checking. That had a long line too. I am using back my complaining.

I did one more, the final status call of the week. We are reducing the calls to only 5:05 PM PDT Sunday-Thursday. After that, I was free, having done my out-of-office rituals and the required time-sheet rite. I took a four-day weekend and do not return to the office until Tuesday.

I had my sub for dinner–saving most for later. Once the last meeting was over, I headed out to Central Taps in Beaverton. The convenient free parking was full; thus, I went for the parking garage–a buck an hour. I took my laptop and Nemo’s War, a solo board game.

I got a beer and a table and played my game for about two hours. I knew about 1/2 I was being crushed, and it was time to hand in the Nautilus until the next time. I then thought about a Dungeons and Dragon adventure I wanted to write about.

I drove home, finished my brain cookie, The Bridge of Birds, and fell asleep early.

Thanks for reading. Our 32nd Wedding Anniversary is Thursday, and I will try to get some nice ice cream in celebration to share at hummingbird house.





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