Coronavirus Diary: Lung Scans

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Tax Day…but not. The virus moved it.

“Everybody has it”

Those were the words a New York City radiologist told me based on reading chest scans over the last month. Virtually everyone has the virus. These were chest scans of people who came into the hospital for reasons other than the virus: car accidents, heart attacks, whatever normal non COVID-19 reasons that require a chest scan. In a way, this provides something like a random sample of folks with the very discernible footprint of COVID-19 in their lungs.

Also, the number of people dying at home every day in NYC went from averaging 20/day pre-COVID-19 to 200/day. Officials are not testing the dead for the virus so there is no tracking accountability for cause of death. 

Hospitals have suspended all efforts to establish cause of death because one doctor contracted COVID-19 after conducting an autopsy. We may never know the extent of the deaths caused by novel coronavirus. 

What’s next? Hopefully, nothing.

Back in the early 90s we finally capitulated and bought a phone answering machine after getting ribbed by friends who had called us but couldn’t leave a message. We figured we must be really missing a lot of calls. Then, we installed the machine – I still have the little cassette upon which our kids recorded the, “Hi! You’ve reached the Rileys. We can’t come to the phone right now, but leave a message and we’ll call you back. In the meantime, have a great day.” 

I can’t tell you how empty I felt when, low and behold, we hardly ever had a message waiting for us. Even when we returned home from a week away. Sometimes you’re better off just not knowing.

IMG_3637 I thought about that memory this morning as I looked at my Apple Watch first thing and it said what it has said every day for the last three weeks. “No more events today.” It really drove the emptiness home, especially thinking that this will go on for at least a few more weeks if not months. 

I swiped the watch face to the right until the graphic image of the globe came up. Pure and simple. The world and my time of day. Right now, nothing else matters. 

Tributes to John Prine

Here are some very good  tributes to John Prine

Now this late breaking news

President Trump puts his name on the Stimulus Checks, an unprecedented and unpresidential action. 

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