Day 9: Seropositive
Today was busy for me. I finished preparing my class for tomorrow. This will be the first workshop I deliver completely online. The University of Saskatchewan suspended all classes between the 16th and the 18th of March to allow lecturers to prepare their materials for online delivery. I hoped to be able to use Zoom but was informed that the university doesn't support it. Instead, I should use the less robust WebEx. I tested it. I seems to work, although it presents a slight delay with the sound. The test was carried out between myself and one other person. I dread to imagine what might happen tomorrow when nine people log in at the same time and want to discuss the finest points of poetry. It's going to be an experience, no doubt.
If it doesn't work, I could use Google Hangouts. That's the worst case scenario.
To be completely honest, a friend offered a room in Zoom. I accepted, but this is the kind of person who needs to be reminded of things because he's so busy. I don't want to become a bother. A cultural thing, I guess. Where I come from, we don't want to bother others. Not without reason.
I grew up in Caracas. It was a beautiful place. I was there when we learned that HIV was serious. That was my first pandemic. We lost at least two good friends to AIDS, but there were countless other losses: writers, painters, journalists, actors, intellectuals. It was as if the artistically inclined were particularly vulnerable to it. The disease was ruthless. The projections were dismal and I became convinced that it would eventually kill me too. Fortunately, with antiretrovirals, it has become a manageable chronic condition.
It was in Venezuela where I internalized the idea that one should not be a bother to others. A friend of the family used to tell the story of her grandmother who, having raised her children, saw no point on being a nuisance, so she decided she would never get up from her bed again. And she didn't. She lived another twenty years, not bothering anyone.
Today, I learned the grant we submitted in November would not be funded. My first thought was that I must have jinxed it. Because we are locked in, there is no much I can do about it. If I were in Caracas, I would go to the city centre, look for a witch, and get myself some "cariaquito morado" (purple lantana water) and a bunch of rue. That might fix this whole thing.
Canada cases 2792
World cases 422,915
World deaths 18,915