Pandemic Diary: Evil thoughts on Day 40+ of the Cuarentana


It’s been more than 40 days in cuarentana—which means, by the way, 40 days, remember your high school French, Spanish, Latin? And I’m lying in the sun on my balcony listening to the cacophony of birds singing, dogs fighting, kids gaming and I’m thinking I’ll probably skip the Zoom seminar on Instagram Ads for authors I’ have scheduled for today and just sit in the sun and drink coffee and then smoke a cigar and maybe write in the afternoon but maybe not and maybe go for a walk in the sun, with or without dogs, with or without children, and maybe stand on a bridge over our swelling river and play Pooh sticks with Ender or maybe, not leave the balcony at all today—tell the kids to walk the dogs and just chill in the stillness.

Today, I exist and the stillness is welcome.


My back has throbbed with the pain of a decade ago for about a week now. Why? Well, plague and locusts, really—I’m not seeing the motherfucking sadist who saved my life back then and who keeps me walking now, and also, I’m drinking too much and the sugars in the alcohol feed the inflammation of the root disease, also, first bike ride of the season with Ender on a bike too big for me, and also, frankly, stress, low-grade level buzzing anxiety, everything is inter-related.

The pain, while not awesome in and of itself, is worst because of the memories it brings, feelings forgotten but not expunged.

I suffer, I medicate, I push through—I get help.

And I think about all the different definitions of essential.

My daughter’s medical and psychiatric care is not considered essential. Neither is alleviating the pain that prevents me from being able to stand in the kitchen long enough to prepare supper: I peel potatoes supine on the floor.

But I suppose if one of us broke a leg…

Quarantine thoughts, first world whines.


Alberta’s rural un-elite decide to join their American half-wit brethren in protesting “lockdowns” as an infringement of their civil liberties Never mind that we’re not in lockdown here, never mind that they live in the middle of butt-fuck nowhere, where physical distancing is just the way life is anyway.

It would be funny it if weren’t so sad, and I’d mock them if I didn’t actually understand their frustrations. There wasn’t that much going in Little Town on the Prairie anyway, and now the government has ordered the closure of their one bar and playground and told people not to visit their neighbours? And why? Because a thousand people in Calgary have a cold?

I get the thinking. Totally. Still. An evil part of me wants to expose myself to the coronavrius and, coughing and snotty, attend their lockdown protests and sneeze and cough on everyone. Then, I think we should up the ante—proactively organize, say, some white supremacist rallies, and then release the infected among them….

Quarantine thoughts. Shut up. I won’t do it. The virus ain’t lethal enough, for one, for two, I just think evil things a lot. I do them only rarely.


I don’t think I will do much today. Walk the dogs, feed the kids, read a book. Coffee, cigar. Bath? Right now, in the sun, on the balcony, that seems like too much effort, involves climbing of stairs, running of water. Today is a don’t do very much day, move slowly—or not at all—day. Listen to the pain day. Think the thoughts—but don’t act on them—day.

Sit in the sun day.

Be still in the Quarantine day.