Plague Days: When Shit Got Weird

Of course.

Of course it would take a worldwide pandemic to get my ass back on this blog.

It’s funny (and gross now) to think that, just a month-ish ago, it was Mardi Gras day.  The whole city, for a few weeks running, was united side by side (or on top of each other) carousing in these huge crowds.  That coronavirus thing that was sporadically mentioned on the news was elsewhere, a dull murmur in the background behind all of our annual mayhem.  And then that holiday wrapped up and we were all taking a breath before gearing ourselves into the right mindset for St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick’s Day didn’t come this year.  Not really.  (Except for the morons at Tracey’s, anyway.)

Weirdly enough, J and I, on our own volition, chose to have a mellower Carnival season this year.  Not due to any virus threat, though.  We were simply burned out on keeping a major see-every-damn-parade schedule.  It was nice: we only went to two different float parades…then marched on Mardi Gras day, then went to the Rex Ball (YEAH we did!), and that was that.

I’m glad now that our time spent among the huddled-masses-yearning-to-be-beaded was relatively minimal.

New Orleans is in some pretty deep shit now.  We’re a teeming hotbed of corona-bugs.  We’ve got medical tents up at the Convention Center and a portable freezer truck morgue outside the downtown Tulane Campus.  Texas has armed guards at the border to ensure no entry from Louisiana.  Usually one of those insomniac cities that never sleeps, our events are now all cancelled or postponed; our restaurants either closed down or delivering only; and the doors have slammed shut on all our bars.  Did you know our bars had doors?  Neither did I.  And they all shut down just after I was joking with a Colorado friend that we had no idea what the meaning of “Last Call” was.  Funny, haha.

Praise showers and pass the hand sanitizer.

Anyway, I’ve got my first week of Working From Home (TM) under my belt and am just starting Week 2.  I figure I have a little leeway here to get back into this blogspace and write about some stuff, share these photos of the COVID-pocalypse I’ve been taking, think out loud, swear a lot, that kind of thing.

I’ll just start with two.  These are both from Monday, March 16.  All this virus stuff was officially in front of our collective lens, in full focus, and this was the first day of the very very beginning of the Shift.  The first day that folks were starting to slowly pack up, close up, and hunker down.  For me, Monday, March 16, is the Day Shit Got Weird.

P&G Restaurant, on Monday, March 16.  I had to run over there to grab something for the boss.  This place is usually packed.  I stood there waiting for my order, realizing this was the last time I would step foot in a restaurant for the foreseeable future.  It was a very strange feeling.
5:30 p.m. on Baronne St., Monday, March 16.  “Rush Hour.”

More coming.

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