Although I said I wouldn’t post much on the pandemic, I just received two items (and have an extra) which are worth some attention. The first comes from my friend Winnie, who just flew back to her home in Hong Kong after a few weeks in England. She sent two pictures and a caption, and I post all of this with her permission.
London to Hong Kong yesterday on Cathay Pacific Business and Economy. See the bag on head and kitchen gloves.
I asked for clarification. The response:
We got back on Saturday and all hell broke loose on Sunday when Hong Kong announced that all UK arrivals would be quarantined starting this Thursday. A lot of Hongkies, including students studying in the UK, are stranded and unable to get home; direct flights are sold out for the foreseeable future and the usual European and Asian transit countries have imposed flight bans so the only way is to fly private. My brother sent me these pics of a flight yesterday from London to Hong Kong. People wore plastic bags over their heads for the entire 11-hour flight!
Item #2. My only thought on how to weather this isolation is to load up with books I want to read. I went to the library yesterday and took out three, but they were out of two I wanted, which had been loaned. (The policy at the U of C is that if faculty take out a book, it can’t be recalled: you have to request it by interlibrary loan.) So that’s what I did, and I got this notice a short time ago (my emphasis):
Dear Jerry Coyne:
A request you have placed:
Title: Bloodlands Europe between Hitler and Stalin
Author: Snyder, Timothy.
has been cancelled for the following reason:
Unable to borrow item
Due to library closures related to COVID-19, no library is able to supply this material. Please resubmit your requests when normal operations resume.
If you have a question about this cancelled item, please contact Interlibrary Loan Services NUMBERS REDACTED
If this material is not available via Interlibrary Loan, purchase requests can be placed at WEBSITE REDACTED
If the cancellation reason listed above is that the title is available in the University Library, and you are unable to locate the material in the bookstacks, please request a search before re-submitting an interlibrary loan request.
Interlibrary Loan Services
The local bookstore is closed, too, so I better haul my tuchas across the street and get some more books. If you can’t get books during the pandemic, and all the restaurants are closed, is life worth living?
Readers’ wildlife follows, after I go grocery shopping at 6:30 a.m. to avoid the crowds.
Addendum: I just returned from shopping, and they were out of pork chops, so I bought beans and peanut butter. (Several people were buying big packs of bottled water.) Walking by the toilet paper aisle, I couldn’t help but notice this:
Nothing to buy here—move along.