Monday night.

If not for all the doomscrolling of different news feeds, I wouldn’t have been able to tell this day apart from any other. There are some superficial differences such as weather or various cooking experiments, but really, today was just another drop in ye olde routine bucket. Not better, not worse, just exactly the same. (I can really relate to Nine Inch Nails’s “Every Day is Exactly the Same” song.)

Speaking of kitchen experiments: I’ve made two more attempts to cook with the instapot earlier today. Upside: the boneless chicken breast is amazing, and definitely faster than boiling. Downside: I keep making rice soup instead of, you know, rice. There’s some magic ratio of water and time – just gotta find it first. Once I do, though, I’ll end up with delicious and healthy lunches done in just five minutes. Huzzay!

In local news, there’s a disturbing shortage of flu shots… There’s a drug store just a block away from me: I call them up every few days, and yet there’s nothing. Those who need it the most should get it first, but I’d be a lot more comfortable if I knew when my turn is going to be. (Even if it’s sometime in mid-November.)

In covid news, hospitals around the world are getting into grim overflow situations. A hospital in Poland had to start staging its covid patients in a covered outdoor structure used for parking ambulances. The city of El Paso, Texas, has declared two-week curfew from 10pm-5am. Since October 1, they’ve seen a 160% increase in positivity rate, as well as a 300% increase in hospitalizations. There are emergency isolation tents being set up in parking lots… Elsewhere in the US, there’s talk of resorting to triage to ration medical care when hospitals get completely overwhelmed. That will be ugly, and the halfhearted measures some of the states may enact won’t benefit them until weeks later. Systems have momentum, and if you’re trying to hit the brakes only when your local ICU gets 100% full… You might reduce the impact somewhat, but you’ll still end up in a horrific crash.

Winter won’t officially start until December 21, but for all intents and purposes, dark winter is already here.