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I saw a post on Twitter about starting writing a journal about what we’re seeing in the news, how communities are responding, how you and your friends are dealing with what is becoming a global crisis. The history of the public health emergency will be written but many personal stories will not. It is especially true that women’s letters and journals are sometimes the only way we learn the real information of their lives.

Here is my small effort. I’m starting in February, 2020 and plan to continue monthly as things develop. I will publish the previous months journal during the following month.


Situation Summary: In December 2019, Chinese health authorities identified an outbreak of pneumonia associated with a novel, or new, coronavirus which has resulted in thousands of confirmed cases in China. Additional cases have been identified in a growing number of other international locations, including the United States. CDC’s COVID-19 webpage has the most up to date information.

February 5, 2020 – 11 cases in US, none in Louisiana

Daily data is coming from Ready.NOLA.gov.

On Friday, February 14 (also Valentine’s day), I attended the League of Women Voters luncheon event on Gerrymandering over in Metairie. We heard from Senator JP Morrell on the importance of citizen engagement on all aspects of the redistricting process, starting with the Census2020. I attended with several members of IWO and we gathered for a picture as lunch was being served.

IWO members Clay Latimer, Lisa Manning Ambrose, Anita Zervigon, Leslie Bouie, Rosalind Cook, Julie Schwam Harris and I (peeking over the back)

That evening, I went to two parades mainly because my friend, Charlotte, was riding in Cleopatra. I saw Oshun and Cleopatra from the intersection of St Charles Avenue and Marengo Street, meeting up with Thomas after Cleopatra had begun to roll. I’m attaching a pic of her float.

My sister, Kathy, and her husband, Wayne, arrived later that evening to stay through the weekend and go to parades. Wayne made omelets for Saturday’s breakfast and I grilled ribeye steaks for dinner that night. After a very rainy Sunday morning where we all lazed around the house, I took them downtown for the Krewe of Barkus festivities and we had homemade lentil soup (recipe here) for dinner. They left on Monday morning.

On Mardi Gras Day (February 25), I walked out to the Rex parade along Napoleon Avenue but didn’t go to any other parades that day.

That evening I did my annual tweetstorm about the meeting of the Courts of Rex and Comus. It is a hilarious way to end Carnival Season by roasting the ‘royalty’ and the fawning reporting from the local PBS station that shows the event live while we locals take to the hashtag #RexComus and live tweet our snark. Some people make a drinking game out of it but that could lead to alcohol poisoning. Others play BINGO. I made it to the dancing heads around 10pm and called it a night.

February 27, 2020 – 60 cases in US (most from Diamond Princess cruise ship), none in Louisiana

On February 29th, I attended a legislative event at the Broad Theater with IWO, a Democratic Women’s Organization.

Nakita Shavers, Jacqueline Brubaker and myself

We had over 150 people in attendance, including a busload of young women students from Florida to hear legislators speak about their agenda for the upcoming Louisiana Legislative Session.

Representatives Jason Hughes, Matthew Willard, Mandie Landry, Candace Newell and Senator Joe Bouie

The national numbers of coronavirus cases went from zero to 60 pretty fast and the next month shows no sign of slowing.