INXS

There are people in America who fear that a coronavirus vaccine will be spiked with silicon tracking devices that will record every step they take. Yet they already carry objects in their pockets which do exactly that. Technically, they could leave their phones behind when they go out, but do they ever? A few manage […]

Insaneball

If I could hit a 95 mph fastball, I imagine I’d be itching to get back out on a baseball field, too. Lockdowns are hard on everybody, but they’ve got to be particularly difficult for athletes. If you’re born to run around on the grass in the summer, and catch, and throw, and swing as […]

The old folks

A close friend just got the message we’ve long feared he’d get. His father has tested positive for the virus. He hadn’t been sick: he was tested as a precaution, along with the other residents of the nursing home where he lives. Neither my friend nor his siblings have been able to see him. Instead, […]

Time bomb

In my late twenties, I broke a tooth. Second molar from the back on the upper left side— an important one, I’d learn. It’s hard to chew without it. My then-dentist recommended a root canal. About ten years later, my current dentist declared that root canal inexpertly done, and re-did it. By then, I’d sunk […]

A quick story

I dreamed I was at a family gathering. We were indoors, in the New Jersey suburbs, in the den of the house where my cousin lives. This is the cousin who was hospitalized in March, and both of her daughters were there: the one who first contracted the virus at a business conference in Colorado, […]

The doctor’s dilemma

Doctors don’t like to explain things. They know what they’re looking for, and there’s never any time to tarry. They might talk a little, but usually, they’d rather not be distracted from their incipient diagnosis by their patient. At first, I found this off-putting; honestly, I still do, but I think I understand it better […]

Camera shy

I am not a forceful conversationalist. I’ve always preferred it if other people would take the lead. Whenever many other people are talking — especially when they’re talking loudly — I’ll never raise my volume and wedge myself into the discussion. I’ll be quiet, and wait it out, on the assumption that if anybody has […]

Hard numbers

It’s the middle of May. By the weekend, the death toll in Hudson County is likely to break the thousand mark. We count 16,975 cases. That’s a case fatality rate of 5.8%. Put another way: those with confirmed cases of the virus had a little better than a one in twenty chance of dying. If […]

The West Wing and the Devil

Network news producers never learn. Or maybe they do, and the implications of the lessons they’ve learned are just hard for me to stomach. A global pandemic ought to provide editors all the trending topics they could ever ask for. Nevertheless, the story continues to be reported through the frame of the 2020 elections, as […]