Monday evening. Another day, another sophisticated Excel tool built from scratch.

My covid escapism continues: my videogame character has just crossed the Mexican border, whereupon he found a casino and lost mucho dinero at a poker game with his new amigos. I’m pretending that their Spanish chatter is my language lesson for the day.

…It’s funny, now that I think of it: French is the sixth language I’ve studied. There’s Russian, obviously, then English since elementary school, German in middle school, a year of Spanish in high school (and now again), two years of Japanese in college before all the kanji finally defeated me, and now French. Mind you, I’m not fluent in four of those, but I like to think I’d be able to survive with a dictionary if I got parachuted abroad. Learning them gets easier after a while: there are common trends and associations, and counterintuitive grammar rules no longer seem quite so alien.

To keep things interesting in my Man-Cave of Solitude, I’ve switched from devouring my new 71 e-books to reading some comic books I’d never caught up on. I remember reading The Walking Dead about 10 years ago, but I stopped along the way. Now I’m reading the whole saga from the start on Comixology: $6 a month is a great deal, considering. (If you liked the TV show, you miiiight like the comic book that inspired it. Or not – but give it a shot anyway.)

In covid news, Atlas shrugged. Or, to be more precise, Dr Scott Atlas has given up on trying to sabotage public health from the inside and resigned from the White House. I’m always curious how objectively incompetent people view themselves. Either Atlas needs a new publicist, or he legitimately believes he hasn’t done anything wrong. In his resignation letter, he wrote “I always relied on the latest science and evidence, without any political consideration or influence.” Considering that he was a radiologist with zero epidemiological experience (he got Trump’s attention from his Fox News appearances where he’d opined on covid), and keeping in mind all of his strange antics, such as promoting herd immunity or posting anti-mask tweets… The word “science” does not mean what he thinks it means. We’ll never be able to calculate exactly how many people died because of each individual misstep or unforced error caused by this administration’s handling of covid. I think it’s safe to say, though, that as a top presidential advisor Atlas was a net negative.

The White House still hasn’t rolled out any new covid initiatives, stimulus packages, or other ways to support the American people. About 50 more days until Biden’s administration takes over. Fifty more days of utter inaction as the virus keeps up its exponential growth.

This is the last day of November. A while back, I mentioned that I had nightmares about November 16th. Might as well tie that loose thread: I’d been having disturbing dreams about xgf catching covid, and visiting her in some strange ICU, in a plastic sarcophagus filled with life-support equipment, on November 16th. That didn’t materialize, fortunately. She’s still at risk, but hiding out in that tiny town away from Toronto with her parents, she’s almost as safe as any of us. Here is to another month of this hell.