January 15, 2023

I’m sick. Now if you’ve been reading my musings for a while, you probably already reached that conclusion some time ago and are wondering why I am just now getting there myself. But I’m talking about the physical stuff. I started to develop cold symptoms on Wednesday which shifted into bronchitis by mid day on Thursday with full fledged laryngitis by Thursday evening. Fortunately, with a long weekend, I was able to spend most of the last couple of days trying to sleep it off, alternately dosing myself with DayQuil and NyQuil, my concoction of choice for such times. I am improving slowly, and should be more or less back in fighting strength by the time I get back to work on Tuesday morning. I had had some plans for the long weekend involving a little time away and a walk in the woods, but those have been dashed. I am here with my Kleenex, a couple of cats curled up beside me, some hot tea with a dollop of rum, and a bunch of films lined up on streaming.

Now that the holidays are over, I have been in touch with my editor regarding the future of the Accidental Plague Diaries. We have come to the decision that there will be one more volume in book form, covering America in the Age of Omicron (which sounds like something out of the Marvel Universe). We’ll launch into the editing process starting in February and should have it in shape by June and it should be out late summer/early fall. It will end with Joe Biden’s Sixty Minutes appearance announcing the end of the pandemic. We all know that wasn’t the end, but it’s a good marker for a change in thinking about the pandemic by society away from the reactive to the more contemplative of how do we live with this as part of our lives going forward. Once the last one is done, I suppose I’ll have to turn my attention to the next writing project. And we’ll have to get a Kindle version and an audiobook out there as well. And perhaps we’ll have to sell them as a boxed set, maybe with a premium? Accidental Plague Diary tea towels? Ginsu Knives?

So where are we with Covid? It felled a couple of celebrities at the Golden Globes award show. The new omicron variant XBB 1.5 is now up to somewhere between 40 and 50% of the infections in the US and remains highly transmissible. Fortunately, it doesn’t appear to be any more virulent than previous strains and vaccines continue to hold it at bay. It would be a really good time to get your bivalent omicron specific booster if you didn’t get it this past fall as it appears to have additional protection against both developing a new infection and lessening the duration and severity of the infection should you happen to get it. The mortality rate has ticked up some from about 350 deaths a day to about 550 deaths a day. As the majority of the deaths are in the elderly with significant chronic disease burden at baseline and not so much among the young and healthy as was happening in the past, society doesn’t seem to be as concerned as they were a year or so ago. Should we be? Covid has been the third leading cause of death in the US since it appeared and doesn’t look like it will be dropping out of the top five anytime soon. The current relatively low levels will have it come out with about double the numbers of breast cancer or prostate cancer in terms of total mortality.

In non-Covid news, I’m through the first week of rehearsals for Dearly Departed and it is coming together quite nicely. We should have no trouble having a show for y’all next month. I am in need of a tech type or two to design/run sound and lights so if anyone is interested or has a friend that might be interested, send them my way. It’s pretty basic. The lights are mainly of the up/down variety with a few isolated areas and the sound cues are mainly offstage noises of various stripes that can be done via a playlist. Most everything else is falling into place.

My headache is coming back so I’m going to end here and go make myself another cuppa and try to sleep again. This isn’t Covid but whatever virus it is, it’s unpleasant and I am decidedly ready for it to depart.

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