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  • Writer's pictureerikaraskin

More Dispatches

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

In the Apocalypse everything is crazy.


My (much) younger sister, Eden, who has been hunkered down with her in-laws out in the rolling hills of the Virginia countryside, just had a very scary encounter with a virus.

But not Covid.

One afternoon, a cute kitten appeared on their property like a furry proselytizer carrying good news. They invited it in. It scratched Eden's father-in-law and bit her sister-in-law. Eden thought maybe it was just hungry and tried her hand at feeding it with a dropper. The effort wasn't appreciated. The next morning they decided the cat needed more experienced help and arranged for an animal rescue operation to collect it.

The kitten attacked the volunteer transporter on the way to the vet, who said that most likely what the kitten was carrying was rabies -- and everyone whose skin was broken by it would need shots.

Here's a word problem:

The cat's test results might take three days to come in, human symptoms can start in 5, it was the second day after the stray showed up, and the disease has a nearly a 100% fatality rate in people. Though her husband's family was advised to begin the shots immediately, the E.R. doc said my sister's course was more nebulous since she wasn't actually bitten. She called her toddler's pediatrician and explained that she'd hand-fed the animal and then, you know, may have touched her child at some point. The doctor said,


Which was good since the test came back positive.


Another bizarre happening occurred.

Out of the blue we got an unsolicited package of seeds from China. But it turns out that they may be a widespread form of agricultural terrorism to wipe out native plants. The funny thing is that choosing me was a wasted effort. I have gardening issues.

We also received a cornucopia of miniature toilet paper rolls from China. I'm not sure why.


And then, I started to notice that the middle finger of my right hand was sticking down while its associates were up straight. (You may have seen a commercial starring an old football player pitching a non-surgical intervention for the condition.) While the issue isn't painful, it leaves me at a disadvantage. Like just yesterday a fascist drove past me with a huge Trump flag fluttering off the back of his Jeep. My middle finger struggled to stand

(yeah, yeah, I know)

but couldn't.

Fortunately, the one on my left hand still works.


For now.

Hey, 2020


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