My Pandemic Year: October 2020

October 1, 2020 – Trump tests positive for COVID-19

  • Global cases 1,022,957
  • US cases 7,278,285 / deaths 207,808 (949 Americans died today)

Trump tests positive for COVID-19 and is spending the day golfing at Bedminister. Dr. Gupta wonders why Trump went anywhere today if he was positive. I wonder how Trump’s base will react, now that he has contracted a virus that he said was a hoax.

NYT reports COVID-19 cases have increased by 25% since September. COVID-19 has eliminated snow days in NYC, now that students attend class from home.

October 2, 2020 – Trump is hospitalized

  • Global deaths 1,026,717
  • US cases 7,331,784 / deaths 208,693 (885 Americans died today)

Today Trump was airlifted to Walter Reed Hospital after he started to exhibit classic symptoms. He’s being treated with an experimental antibody cocktail. I hope he survives but I also hope that he is sick enough that he takes this pandemic more seriously.

Later in the day, reports hint that his condition is worse than originally announced, and there is some speculation that he may need to transfer his power to VP Pence in the short term. Trump is in the high risk morbidity group due to his age and weight. His chief of staff convinced him to be airlifted to Walter Reed while he was still able to walk to the chopper without assistance. Near midnight, he starts taking Remdesivir for ‘sudden onset’ symptoms. Hypoxia is a term making the rounds on Twitter. Dr. Gupta says Remdesivir is usually given to people who are already on supplemental oxygen.

The Rose Garden event (where Amy Barrett was introduced as the SCOTUS nominee) was apparently a super-spreader event. Two senators and three journalists are among the newly infected. The Secret Service are not amused.

In other news, I prep for my 1st virtual art show October 10-11. I’m turning my sewing room into a mini show boot after working out the kinks on the online platform. Vicki is coming over tomorrow to spend time with the cats so I can build out the rest of my ‘booth’ and get a few more hats thrown together, especially the Kraken.

October 4, 2020

Today the doctors gave a more detailed account of Trumps condition, which is substantially worse than we were first told. He’s now on 3 heavy-duty medications – antibody, antiviral and a steroid to improve his lung function. He wants to be released tomorrow because he’s bored, but the treatment will take another 2-3 days and he needs to be in quarantine for an additional 8-14 days beyond that. He says the White House doctors can take care of him. Doctors at Water Reed oppose this plan.

Vicki ended up spending much of the day here yesterday, and returns today. Her keeping the cats busy is really helping me get ready for my show. We also took 3 laps around The Rez today which is about 1.5 miles. I end my day with a dinner of salmon and chermoula stuffed delicata squash.

October 5, 2020

As of 9:30 AM: US cases 7,423,328 /deaths 209,857. (1.161 have died since October 2)

Fall has arrived – the trees on the street have turned gold virtually overnight. I had serious insomnia last night which will hamper my day today. I get dressed for a staff meeting and a mid-day walk, and try to build some planking and stretching in to the end of my day as a transition from desk to sewing machine.

Trump returns to the White House tonight. “Don’t be afraid of COVID. Don’t let it control your life” is his most damaging Tweet thus far. He has received thousands of dollars in treatments that regular Americans will probably never have access to, especially if Congress and SCOTUS succeed in cutting the ACA. Doctors also warn that the steroids he is on make him feel invincible (Day 1), followed by agitation (Day 3+) and anger (Day 5+), followed by severe depression. Stuff to watch for in the coming days…

October 6, 2020

  • Trump’s “no fear” statement is being widely criticized.
  • New COVID-19 cases are up 25% per day since September. NYT estimates that today’s cited 210,000 deaths from COVID-19 is probably closer to 275,000, which would include deaths outside of hospitals that have now reached capacity.
  • UW Medical Center is studying long term and rebound effects, some of which are occurring months later in seemingly healthy people (fatigue, anxiety, depression).
  • There are now 30 new cases in the White House, but the White House refuses to do contact tracing from the Rose Garden event.
  • Trump’s doctor, Conley, plans to confine Trump to the residence and a temporary office which has been set up for him in the basement near the medical suite and away from the West Wing. Dr. Conley wants Trump quarantined there unto October 12.
  • White House says all precautions are being taken to protect the 100 staff that serve the residence, many of whom are in high risk groups (age, Latino, Black). I wonder how it will compare to the 1918 flu epidemic when Woodrow Wilson was in the WH.

” He hosted a super-spreader event to honor a justice who would have the government control your body but refuse the duty to care for it – and when the virus he helped to go around came around, availed himself of the healthcare he would deny others, financed by the taxes he refused to pay.” 

Anand Giridharadas, Editor of The Ink

In the category of “Unintended Consequences,” Dune and Batman releases are now postponed until October 2021, resulting in Regal Cinemas closing all locations in the US and Great Britain until further notice.

October 7, 2020 – COVID-19 at Pentagon, Trump returns to the Oval Office

  • US cases 7,506,743 / deaths 211,108
  • We have lost 1,251 Americans since October 5 and now account for 25% of the global death count.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff are now in quarantine, and COVID-19 is now in the Pentagon. White House staff are fearful as Trump breaks his quarantine and returns to the Oval Office today. He insists on flying to the debate next week, and tells Congress today to stop stimulus talks and focus on Barrett’s confirmation. NBC suggests that the heavy steroid treatment Trump received at Walter Reed might be skewing his judgement. He should be reaching the Day 3 Agitation / Anger phase of his steroid use.

I finished the Kraken last night and am much happier with the redo. I still need to wrangle up some charisma and dust off my elevator speech. I’m as ready for this show as I’m going to be.

October 8, 2020

The Pink Elephant Car Wash is being demolished today, and its iconic sign taken down. It was my landmark for locating the bus stop after a day at the Seattle Center. I’m sad.

The first presidential debate was a train wreck, and Trump has bowed out of the next one because the format is virtual and there’s discussion about muting the mikes when it’s the other candidate’s turn to speak. He acts as though he isn’t contagious (and says he is now immune). The VP debates were mostly civil. I didn’t watch any of them, will read the analyses and fact-checks today. Also saw that Seattle is at risk of losing federal funding after being designated an “anarchist jurisdiction.” We still don’t know what that means aside from a potential loss of funding…

Ran out of cat food (where did the week go?) so Vicki and I go shopping and then for a walk at the Rez. The skyline was once again hazy from the ‘giga-fire’ on the CA/OR border that has so far consumed 1.4 million acres.

October 9, 2020

Trump is still on steroids and off his rocker. He’s called for the arrest of Biden and others. Pelosi is assembling a 25th Amendment Commission, “not to target Trump specifically but to have a system in place for future issues” (i.e. Trump specifically). There’s some speculation that he’s really angry today at not being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize that he was certain he deserved.

October 11, 2020

Woke up at 4 AM for the second day in a row. Up at 5:30 for the second day of my art show. My stock from Tubac arrived just in time so I had a full booth for the weekend. I sold 2 hats yesterday and had almost 300 visitors to my website.

Next week I’ll ship hats to Yreka and Peters Valley. I need to check in with my doctor to let her know I have survived COVID-19 thus far. My tight chest has now mostly dissipated. Staying off the news cycle definitely helps with that. But like a lemming to the sea, once the show ended, I was back to scanning the news.

Trump continues to call for Biden, Hillary and Obama to be arrested. The transfer of power in January is going to be a bloodbath. His own party doesn’t seem to fully support him but is not reining him in either. I wonder if Pelosi’s 25th Amendment Commission will be on standby to remove him after the election in November. Pence would need to be on board with that as well as Trump’s doctors, who we now suspect were forced to sign NDAs at Walter Reed, like they did during the mystery hospitalization in November 2019.

You’d think a virtual art show wouldn’t be much different from a regular WFH day, but I’m almost as exhausted as I would be had it been a physical show. Which at this point, I don’t think I am physically capable of doing. I’ve been up since 4 AM. I’m asleep by 8:30 PM but awake again at midnight. Damn sleep cycle is all messed up. I answer emails and Facebook hat order queries until 2 AM. My first custom Kraken order comes through, with a 30% tip!

October 13, 2020

COVID-19 deaths today are 1,082,928 globally, and 215,439 in the US.

Barrett confirmation hearings continue. Hope springs eternal that a handful of GOP will cross the aisle and vote against confirmation, though that is pretty unlikely. Most of them are so intent to ram this through that they are putting off getting tested for COVID-19 so they don’t test positive, which would prevent them from attending the vote.

A third wave of COVID-19 is now active in 13 states. We’re back to square one on hospital beds. A second governor was reportedly the subject of a kidnapping plot by a far right militia group who were unhappy over the lockdown in their state. Fifteen people were arrested.

October 14, 2020

COVID-19 deaths today are 216,734. We’ve lost 1,295 people since yesterday.

Every little thing stresses me out now. Boredom is as bad as burnout. A suddenly sunny afternoon spurs me to take a walk to mail a hat order.

Trump continues his rallies, continues to say he’s immune, and now says a cure is on its way, which is a fallacy. Herd immunity (rather than vaccines) is the WH plan. COVID-19 cases are increasing in several states. I wonder how many people will die before the election, and if that is part of the master plan.

The next presidential debate has been replaced by separate town halls, which ABC and NBC will broadcast simultaneously. I won’t watch or listen to either of them.

October 16, 2020 – 390,000 deaths forecast by February 1…

COVID-19 deaths in the US today total 218,556, with 652 deaths in just the last 12 hours. We are nearing 8 million cases, with most states now recording new cases in double digits. Contrary to Trumps claims of immunity, second infections are now being reported (1 global case last week, 20 this week), with the second round being much worse than the first. A variant emerges. Models predict 390,000 total deaths by February 1 in the absence of a national mask mandate.

Biden’s town hall last night had 1 million more viewers on his single network, than Trump had on 3 networks. Trump now has 3 rallies scheduled every day until the election.

October 18, 2020 – Pumpkin shopping

I wake up tired. I shouldn’t be this tired, and can barely abide the thought of climbing into real clothes for our field trip today. I pack some things to work on while Vicki drives us to Snohomish.

The town of Snohomish is lined with clear tents outside of restaurants, all the same style – clear sides, white roofs, about 10′ x 20′. I’m not sure how enclosed outdoor seating is safer than indoor seating, maybe it just increases their total seating capacity. We’re looking for Vicki’s favorite pumpkin field which we never find, but we stop by the Yakima Fruit Stand in Bothel on our way home. It was pretty crowded so I mostly stay outside and admire the shapes, color and varieties of pumpkins, especially the celadon ones.

October 20, 2020

Insomnia hits again last night. That probably explains my frequent fatigue. I introduce Vicki to Goodies, my favorite Turkish grocer. I had forgotten how much I miss that place.

I get 3 months of expenses done at my work desk, and devise a plan to make staff birthday cards from old travel maps, and purchase bookstore gift cards since the Starbucks near our office are now closed. I end the day with a dozen hat orders and a feeling of being productive at long last.

October 21, 2020 – China and Trump

NYT breaks a story about Trump having a bank account in China and has paid $200,000+ in taxes, vs the $700 or so that he paid in US taxes last year. China paid him $17 million on his inauguration, from which he withdrew $15 million in cash for his personal account. Iran and China have information from voters in Florida and are reportedly sending threatening emails to Democrats in the guise of Proud Boys. It’s a wacky and yet somehow predictable episode in the continuing election saga.

Also today, Netflix sends me an episode of Mr. Robot (Season 3, disc 1) which talks about China backing Trump for president. The episode was produced in 2017. Which leaves me pretty well freaked out for the next several days…

October 22, 2020 – Appliance shortage

COVID-19 deaths in the US are now 223,032, with 1100 new cases. A “dark winter’ is forecast. The EU has also had a dramatic increase. Deaths are still low but long term health care is an issue that no one seems to be talking about.

The unintended consequences of COVID-19 now include a shortage of appliances (dishwashers, refrigerators and ovens) as well as a shortage of people to repair them. Stay-at-home orders mean appliances are getting heavier usage. Repair people are now booked a month out. There’s a shortage of parts. We’re expanding the definition of “essential worker.” Families are reporting ‘being broken by having to wash dishes by hand” and are now buying more disposables. God forbid they ever have to hand wash their laundry…

October 25, 2020

COVID-19 total deaths today: 225,001. New forecasts predict 500,000 deaths by February 2021. The WH officially gives up on containment and focuses on vaccines and therapeutics. Dr. Fauci says a vaccine might be approved as early as December but will not be widely available for six months after that. Pence’s chief of staff tests positive but Pence continues to campaign because Trump considers him an essential worker.

October 26, 2020

Amy Barrett is confirmed by the Senate and is sworn in almost immediately. The hypocrisy is astounding. MSNBC publishes a list of people Trump intends to fire during his second term, which includes the heads of the FBI and the CIA. An interesting move for a “Law and Order President.”

Hat orders are progressing and my achievement today aside from abstaining from most of the news cycle, is ‘perfect pancakes’, fluffy with a crunch from the cornmeal. Ayran (from my Turkish grocer) might be my new secret ingredient, and my never before used cast iron skillet, my new favorite cookware.

October 28, 2020

There are 73,200 new COVID-19 cases in the US today.

My fuschia is blooming. I set up an ofrendas on my desk today, with pan du muerto and paper banners I picked up on a shopping trip with Vicki yesterday. The paper banners make me very happy.

Stock markets drop again today for the third time, after the Senate goes on recess, having confirmed the new SCOTUS pick but ignoring the next COVID-19 relief package. Eviction moratoriums have now expired in several states. Happy Holidays! Never have I seen a Congress who holds in such low regard the very people they are elected to serve.

October 29, 2020

  • Global cases 44,684,011 / deaths 1,176,726
  • US cases 8,881,087 / deaths 227,986
  • US cases and deaths have nearly doubled in the past 3 months
  • A case has been confirmed in our office building downtown on Floor 2 (we are 1 of 2 tenants in our building)

There are still concerns about long-term effects and health coverage should the ACA fail.

My election anxiety is getting bad and I’m back to stress eating, I must have had 6 meals yesterday, and slept badly as a result. A treat bag arrives and I try to eat half of it over the course of this ridiculous day. Too stressed out to touch hats, a stack of Vanity Fair magazines takes up my evening.

October 30, 2020

  • US cases 9,036,678 (155,591 new cases since yesterday)
  • US deaths 229,585 (1,599 new since yesterday)
  • The spread is significant along the US/Canada border and along the entire West Coast and Alaska. Canada is doing a much better job at containment.

I garbed up as a modern day Catrina for a ZOOM happy hour at work. Vicki showed up at lunchtime with long stemmed marigolds, and off we went to the graveyard across the street for a quick photo shoot. In the absence of having a family grave, I decorated the mausoleum of a local founder with bird-friendly offerings for Dia de los Muertos. It was a fun and needed break to the week.

October 31, 2020

  • US cases 9,122,144 (85,466 new) / deaths 230,502 (917 died today)

Germany shut down their bars earlier this week. The UK shuts down today for a month. Mexico is shutting their graveyards November 1-2 so families are trying to visit graves today to honor their dead. November is anticipated to be awful on nearly every level. Trump is back to calling COVID-19 a hoax which will vanish on November 4.

Sean Connery died today.

Published by August-Phoenix-Mercantile

I'm a self taught textile artisan, working in rescued materials and found objects. My designs are often inspired by my travels and historical studies. Learn more about me at

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