Journal of the Plague Year (#11)

Berkeley, CA June 1, 2020 — Coast to coast, they’re drifting back to campuses, starting this week. From modest institutions like the San Mateo Union School District to medium size campuses like Fresno State to megabucks domains like USC, unused buildings and open spaces will start to look inhabited again. Inhabited not by students and […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#10)

Berkeley, CA May 25, 2020 — Let’s look at history. At 11 a.m. on November 13, 1941, three weeks before the Japanese attack on the U.S. Navy’s ships at Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor, the entire New York City school system, 1.1 million students in 1000 schools, participated simultaneously in a drill. These expanded nationwide during the […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#9)

Berkeley, CA, May 18, 2020 – With the still largely undefined and unvanquished coronavirus continuing to ravage the world to an unknown degree, the spotlight now seems to be shifting to another unknown, undefined, and unvanquished phenomenon. Money. Massive budget deficits are projected for just about every national, state, international and local jurisdiction. Revenues are […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#8)

Berkeley, CA 5/11/2020 – Lacking, as we all are, anything like responsible, responsive, informed sources about the COVID – 19 Pandemic, we cluster, knowingly or not, around a few people who seem worth listening to. The major one in the scientific penumbra is Dr. Anthony Fauci. The major one in the political spectrum is New […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#7)

Berkeley, CA – May 4, 2020 “If it takes a bloodbath, let’s get it over with.” Thus spoke then California Governor Ronald Reagan to a 1970 farm owner’s convention in Yosemite. He was talking about the “mess” caused by protestors against the Vietnam War in Berkeley, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara. And also […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#6)

Berkeley, CA 4/27/2020 — In 1921, at the age of 39, Franklin Delano Roosevelt felt ill one night after dinner. He went to bed, but woke up the next morning drenched in sweat, weak, and feeling dizzy.  His doctor recommended bed rest and aspirin. When there was no improvement, a specialist in viral disease was summoned.  […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#5)

Berkeley, April 20 – All these years, all these crises later, the advice hasn’t changed. “Get down to Disney World in Florida,” said President George W. Bush after the September 11 premeditated murders, planned and perpetrated by our longtime acolytes, the Saudi Arabians. “Take your families and enjoy life the way it’s meant to be […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#4)

Berkeley, 13 April 2020 — It had to happen. And now it has. People, not statistics or anecdotes, have died. They’re people, caught up in the pandemic, who my family knew. One, in his early forties, died on Long Island, NY, just three hours after being tested.  He’d been symptomatic for a few days.  Two […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#3)

Berkeley, CA 4/4 2020 — Headlines: “Undocumented Farmworkers, Still Deportable, Are Essential” “Data From Cellphones Shows Staying at Home is a Luxury” “Outbreak Rages From Nursing Home” “Business Owners Sue to Reopen, Citing Breach of Constitutional Rights” “Governors Resisting Pleas to Lock Down Their States”  “Work Continues on Border Wall Despite Fears Over Spread of […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#2)

Berkeley, CA. Week of 3/23 – There’s something basically distressing about having to gather almost all of one’s knowledge and experience remotely. Not by “being there.” Phone calls and web contact, some of it accompanied by herky-jerk video, are all we have. And we’d be foolish to think we’ll have those consistently, or reliably, given […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#1)

Berkeley, CA; Week of 3/16 — Sunday afternoon. Preternaturally quiet. Church on the corner, with its small, aged, African-American congregation, has suspended services. Nothing in the neighborhood is open but the always busy Berkeley Bowl, where lines controlling entrance have been set up. Once inside, they’ve managed to keep almost everything in stock. And almost […]