Every Day Above Ground (mallorys_camera) wrote,
Every Day Above Ground

Contact Tracing


A very grey and dreary day. I stayed inside and made money throughout most of it and then in the late afternoon, crept out for a walk.

The walk wasn’t much fun.

After a mile, I thought, I am the Boss of Me!, turned around and went home.

Walks aren’t really fun in the same way that, say, eating six of those little, tricolored sweet, sweet, sweet marzipan cakes in a row when I’m not hungry is fun.

This is why I’ve gained seven pounds since lockdown has begun!

Seven pounds may not sound like much, but I can actually feel it in my joints, which is another reason why the walk wasn’t much fun.


In the evening, Max called. “How are you?”

“I shouldn’t complain,” I said. “I have it so much easier than many other people. But, of course, that’s not gonna stop me from complaining.”

Max is going off with Aaron this weekend to visit Fletcher who has just purchased a 300-acre compound in the Sierra foothills.

(The Fletcher Redemption Saga is an interesting tale with twists and turns innumerable. His best friend was murdered last year in what reads like an execution-style homicide, and because all loose ends intertwine eventually, I am absolutely certain that the offspring of an LJ friend—you know who you are!—is gonna be the murder suspect’s pubic defender. Anyway, it’s clear to me that it’s so much easier to pull of a Redemption Saga if your parents are rich far beyond the wildest dreams of avarice.)

“I’m jealous,” I told Max. “Or should I say envious.

“Well, if it makes you feel any better, I’m jealous of you. Because you live in a house with other people! I think you’re the first person I’ve actually had a conversation with all day!”

Yes, I live in a house with other people, and I also have a door I can shut when those other people become too annoying!

Many of my friends who live with other people are going quietly or not-so-quietly nuts because they don’t have doors and those other people are becoming intensely irritating!


I’m helping Max with copy-editing and general amanuensis tasks on his master’s thesis, which explores the impact of proposed record clearance legislation on racial disparities within the criminal justice system.

It’s one of those topics that sounds dry but actually has a clear and quantifiable impact on prison populations: Nearly 30% of California’s male prison population is black despite the fact that under 6% of California’s male population is black. I don’t think the reason for that is because black males commit more crimes!

I’ve helped Max with final papers before, and I would say at least 50% of the task consists of him saying, This is shit and me saying, It doesn’t matter if it’s shit (although, of course, it’s not shit); it only matters that it gets done.


I also signed up to take Johns Hopkins free-eee-eeee! online contact tracing class.

I don’t actually need a job, but they are saying that one of the reasons why the Hudson Valley can’t begin reopening is because we don’t have enough qualified contact tracers.

I have a public health master’s degree—my graduate work at UC Berkeley actually involved concurrent master’s degrees in public policy and public health since at that time they did not have a separate degree in healthcare economics—and I used to be a nurse, so I’d say I’m perfectly qualified to become a contact tracer.
Tags: covid-19, max
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