Taco Tuesday evening.

Boredom level: I’ve started practicing “Twinkle twinkle little star” with the harmonica I got as a joke on my birthday years ago. This harmonica thing seems remarkably simple, if only because there’s no fancy finger placement (which was my main issue with my ocarina) and you don’t have to tune it. It’s perfect. It’s the Vietnamese of instruments. I might actually learn how to play it, seeing as there are months to go yet.

A few days ago, I used Reddit’s hive-mind to help me find a really old comedy show I watched when I was a kid in Russia. It was made in the 90s, before 9/11, and featured a crashing plane (Broiler-747) with a wacky crew. The show was made in Ukraine: it was a parody of American disaster movies, it had a monotone Russian voiceover (like all the pirated Western movies in the 90s), and it was filled with lots of black humour. (As well as a catchy music score!) Alas, the Nose Dive (aka Крутое Пике) is not available in English but you can get the gist of it by watching some of it on YouTube.

In covid news, the US has recently crossed 300,000 covid deaths. The official count currently stands at 311,025. The excess death count crossed that point months ago… It’ll take a while to get the full picture of how many died, but if you add up all the tangential deaths (suicides, people who were sidelined by the overwhelmed healthcare system, etc), the US is far higher than 300,000. At some point before this all ends, the excess deaths will probably exceed 500,000. At some point, all these numbers become so much noise. Human brain can’t adequately compare giant numbers after a certain point. Some infinities are larger than other infinities, but to us they’re equally infinite and incomprehensible. So it is with the covid death toll.

The big number was mentioned in multiple articles, but it’s not featured at the top of each news site. That news cycle has come and gone: the fatigue has set in. Back when the US covid death toll hit 1,000, that was a huge and symbolic number, with names printed on the front pages, etc, etc. Now a thousand deaths is a surprisingly lucky day, with the baseline being around 3,000, give or take.

What other numbers will we learn to live with?..