A year ago, we were locked down. Isolated. The only trip we could take was to Kroger to buy toilet paper. If they had some left. What a long, strange trip this last year has been. As I got my COVID-19 vaccination yesterday (thank you PartnerMD), I thought I’d reflect on what it was like during those early days of the pandemic.
In my research, I came across some posts that I made on Facebook to amuse friends and family. For a week, I wrote a brief tongue-in-cheek update called The Captain’s Log. I wrote them in the first person, as Captain James T. Kirk, commander of the Starship Enterprise Stardate. On March 18th, 2020, Kirk and crew entered the COVID-19 Galaxy.
Captain’s Log, Stardate 3.17.2020: Isolation is setting in. Morale is slipping among the crew. No one has the virus, but we’ve run out of frozen pizza and ramen, and now we’ve been reduced to eating an old jar of pickled beets and making onion soup from that powder we bought for dip mix in 2017. Toilet paper supply is ample as we still fight the Klingons.
Captain’s Log, Stardate 3.18.2020: Morale among crew is still high, but Bones and Spock are arguing over the quarantine. Spock simply says “illogical.” Supplies are holding up. Neelix, the cook, turned the pickled beets into homemade Plomeek Soup last night. Spock was the only one who chowed down. Dropped by Lt. Uhura’s room last night. She said she was “social distancing” and slammed the door. This virus must end!!!!
Captain’s Log, Stardate 3.19.2020: The stress of isolation is starting to show. Lieutenant Sulu keeps offering me massages. “Oh my!” President Khan and his Virus Task Force held another daily briefing. He says everything is going “Tremendously well. Really, really, we’re doing a fantastic job.” Meanwhile, Scotty is experimenting with potable water and shelf-stable bread, trying to distill it into cheap scotch. Filtering the final product with surplus Kroger brand coffee filters. Sampling tonight.
Captain’s Log, Stardate 3.20.2020: Low energy and lower morale. Slept late. Walked to the bridge in my PJs. Ran out of razors…hmmm, maybe I’ll start to grow a beard like Spock. High carb, low protein diet is taking its toll on the crew. Zero-gravity vacuum toilets weren’t designed for this kind of abuse. They suck. Thank God we have lots of Charmin to squeeze. Board games have turned into bored games. When I heard the crew calling “Jenga! Jenga! Jenga!” I thought we were under attack.
Captain’s Log 3.22.2020: Passed by Sector 19 of COVID-19 Galaxy today and saw a brilliantly white planet. We named it Clorox. Sent a couple of redshirts down to the planet below to scavenge for more pasta and canned corn. Neither made it back. New guys, I can’t remember their names. I found Bones laid out on the floor of the lab this morning. Sweaty, dehydrated, and had a blue tongue. Turns out he doesn’t have the virus, he’s just hungover. That Romulan ale is powerful stuff.