Monday, October 5, 2020

For the Record: Mid-Autumn


Mooncakes, pastry stuffed with a sweet filling (these are lotus paste) and an optional salted duck egg yolk representing the full moon of the 8th Month in the east Asian lunar calendar (this year last Thursday), said to be the biggest and brightest of the year; the holiday is ideally spent in a garden, where you eat pastries, drink tea (or something stronger), and contemplate the moon while the youngsters dash around with decorated lanterns, making it the most literati-Chinese thing there is. In the Year of the Virus, cloud cover completely hid the moon and you couldn't find mooncakes downtown at all until two days later, how 2020 is that? Photo via.

Personal note: A week ago, my daughter, who lives in Brooklyn, got a positive Covid test, in advance of coming home to Manhattan for a few days around the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival, and went instead to a city-sponsored quarantine hotel in Queens. We weren't too seriously worried at the brain level—she's healthy, in her twenties, and had no symptoms—but terrified at the gut level, as you can imagine. And enraged at the stupid unfairness, because she's been the most scrupulous hand-washer and mask-wearer I know during the pandemic, wiping things down like a maniac and taking two weeks of self-isolation every time she comes up to visit, and she was suffering more than anything else from the fear she might have infected friends, including her roommate. Who are, as it turns out, all negative, and she's still asymptomatic, so I'm very pleased to report that.

But still angry, in the first place at her (officially highly politically correct nonprofit) employer who decided everybody needed to start showing up at the office for no good reason, which is one way she might have caught it. And at idiots like Laura Ingraham seeing a pretext for attacking Bill de Blasio for exactly following the plan—the shutdown starting Wednesday of schools and businesses in nine Queens and South Brooklyn zip codes where the Covid test positivity rate has climbed over 3% in recent weeks, including some 100 public schools and 200 private ones, mostly ultra-Orthodox yeshivas (the ones that the city has been trying to reform for years because so many of them hardly teach basic English or math).

And at Donald Trump, who sent out a video message yesterday announcing how he'd learned all about Covid from "real school"

"It’s been a very interesting journey. I learned a lot about COVID. I learned it by really going to school. This is the real school. This isn't the 'let's read the books' school," Trump said in a video posted to Twitter. "And I get it, and I understand it, and it's a very interesting thing, and I’m going to be letting you know about it."

and celebrated his graduation by leaving the hospital for a little motorcade parade to greet the Proud Boys and other supporters gathered outside, in a sealed SUV with three Secret Service agents forced to share his air at close quarters, because he doesn't care if they live or die. 

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