Situation summary: July deaths in the United States reached 150,000 with more than 1.9 million new cases reported. The month’s infection total reported by states was more than double that of June.

I started keeping this journal in March as a record of how one person was making it through the pandemic. I’ve now lost five friends/acquaintances/coworkers to coronavirus so the impact of these staggering numbers holds great personal significance.

If people won’t make changes to save lives, maybe they will to get back to their lives. So there is this poster, for all who love Mardi Gras:

July 1 – 2,641,121 cases in US with 125,211 deaths. Louisiana 60,178 cases with total deaths now at 3,130

Went to Walgreens to pick up a pain medication prescription for dad. The doctor had specified capsules not tablets and they don’t carry them so the pharmacist sent it back to the doctor for the change. The doctor was in surgery and no-one else could authorize the change. I did all my other grocery runs and then came back to Walgreens still not having it so I came home.

Enjoyed a tomato sandwich for lunch. Went back out to Walgreens and finally got his pain pills.

July 2 – Louisiana had 61,561 cases with 3147 deaths

The news today was the surging cases in Florida – the Florida state Department of Heath reported Florida set another daily record, with 10,109 new cases, surpassing Saturday’s record of 9,585 cases. That brings Florida’s total confirmed coronavirus cases to nearly 170,000 and a death toll of 3,617 (with 67 new deaths reported Thursday).

July 3 – Louisiana has 63,289 cases with 3,170 deaths

Took dad to PT and then ran errands at the farm stand for peaches and corn, then to Family Dollar for Diet Cokes on sale and Publix for croissants.

Finished a puzzle. We bought it because we had a basset hound named Ginger when I was in high school. She never would have sat in one of those chairs, though.

Used some of the peaches I bought to make a cool tequila and peach schnapps cocktail. Recipe here.

Donald Trump gave a speech at Mt. Rushmore, where the faces of American presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are carved into rocks sacred to the Lakota people. With no recognition of the irony, he said, “Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children,” Trump said. “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”

July 4 – no data to report because of the holiday

For Independence Day I’m celebrating AntiFa by grilling German sausage.

July 5 – 2,878,956 US cases with 127,417 deaths

Got up at 4:30am to start the grill for a Boston Butt. My fire was a little hot so it reached 200 degrees F and I pulled it off the grill before 11:00. It was so good.

I used up the butter milk and powdered sugar in making a chocolate sheet cake. Recipe here

July 6 – 44375 cases in Alabama with 984 deaths. In Louisiana 66,327 cases with 3,188 deaths

Driving out of my parent’s neighborhood and Dad waves at a car going by. I asked if he knew who that was (as he doesn’t usually do more than lift a finger off the steering wheel and not even that since he busted his shoulder) and he says “that coast guard captain who married Roddy Dowel’s mother.” Well, of course it was!

Took dad to PT on the north side of town. There was a massive thunder storm on that side of the city. Drove back to barely a sprinkle at their house.

July 7 – US cases 2,977,251 with 128,541 deaths

Went to the grocery store for supplies and to take advantage of the weekly sales.

Had an IWO board meeting in the evening. My first as president of the organization. I think it went pretty well – we only went over time by 7 minutes!

July 8 – Louisiana has 70,151 cases with 3231 deaths.

Drove back to New Orleans. The drive was pretty easy. While there were a lot of cars and 18 wheelers on the road, there were no delays, except when I drove through a rain squall in Mississippi.

Man, the grass in the backyard was over waist high! I know what I’m doing tomorrow.

July 9 – US has 3,075,733 cases with 129,968 dead

Did the grass and cleaned the house. Had to take a long soak as I was sore.

July 10 – 74,636 cases with 3,272 deaths in Louisiana

Tried to mail a care package to Michelle. Seems the USPS won’t let you mail peroxide. Who knew? However, I did take a cool picture of a cat on a porch (#CatsOfNewOrleans) on my walk home from the post office:

Today the U.S. had more than 68,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day, the seventh single-day record in the last 11 days. Yesterday’s number—also a reco rd—was 59,886. Our death toll has topped 136,000, but Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says he hasn’t briefed the president in two months.

July 11 – 3,185,043 cases in the US with 131,412 deaths

Voted this morning. Things were a bit disorganized as the poll workers struggled to get all their protection gear on – gloves, masks, gowns, face shields and put out pens, sanitizer, etc. I was in line at 7am and voted at 7:23 (first person in my precinct). It is going to be a stressful day for them – pretty tightly packed in that lunchroom with at least 6 precincts there.

I did rock my Vote mask, though.

Enjoyed the Golden Crown Literary Society’s virtual Goldie Awards. I posted about the winners here.

Lost power for a few hours, along with 20K other New Orleanians. With the a/c off, it got hot fast in the house.

July 12 – Louisiana 76,803 with 3,295 deaths

Did some more yard work and organized the shed. Super sweaty and tired after trimming, weeding, sweeping, sawing and cleaning. Took a shower and ate soft boiled eggs before crashing for several hours. I’m allergic to something out there so I’m going to wear long sleeve shirts and long pants next time I go to work in the yard.

July 13 – Louisiana has 79,827 cases with 3,315 deaths. Alabama has 54,768 cases with 1,096 deaths.

Governor John Bel Edwards updated the Covid-19 guidelines:

  • Masks are required for everyone ages 8 and older.
  • All bars are closed to on-premises consumption.
  • Indoor social gatherings are now limited to 50 people.

Found out my niece got married last week. I could say something about love in the time of corona but, I haven’t met the guy and don’t know if he’d get the literary reference.

July 15 – Alabama 58,225 cases with 1,183 deaths. Louisiana has 84,131 cases with 3,351 deaths

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. approach 3.5 million and deaths have topped 136,000. Cases of infection are surging across the country. An Axios-Ipsos poll released today revealed that 71% of Americans—including 53% of Republicans—think it is risky to send their children back to school.

Went to the gastroenterologist only to find they no longer take Medicaid insurance. I received a referral to another doctor but I may just head back to Foley and just try a wait and see approach.

I got Popeyes on the way home – must be a big day for it as I had to wait 6 whole minutes (!) for a new batch of spicy to come off the cooker.

July 16 – US 3,547,465 with 135,268 deaths

The United States shattered its daily record for coronavirus infections on Thursday, reporting more than 77,000 new cases as the number of deaths in a 24-hour period rose by nearly 1,000, according to a Reuters tally.

The loss of 969 lives was the biggest increase since June 10, with Florida, South Carolina and Texas all reporting their biggest one-day spikes on Thursday.


Tipitinas, an Uptown music venue, has a very timely message in their window. I saw it as I was driving home and had to stop and get a picture. “If you want live music to come back wear a mask please”

Made sausage corn muffins and they are a meal in themselves. Recipe here.

July 17 – There are 88,590 confirmed cases and 3,399 deaths in Louisiana. In Alabama there were 62,111 confirmed cases with 1,232 deaths.

I went to the Lakeside store for the first time since mid-March. The book displays were in bad shape and the inventory surprisingly low. It looks like I may be returning to work regularly in August.

I made a sourdough pizza crust and had my friends Charlotte and Thomas over for a socially distant dinner. I put an extra leaf in the table and had them sit at one end with me at the other. Thomas made Mai Tais that were very, very good.

Today, more than 70,000 new infections were reported in the U.S., and 18 states have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 people. More than 10,100 new cases were reported in California; more than 11,400 in Florida. We are nearly at 140,000 deaths.

July 18 –  US 3,638,596 with 136,367 deaths

I learned the news that Representative John Lewis died of cancer last night. He was a giant of the Civil Rights era. I reposted his tweet from 2018 – https://twitter.com/repjohnlewis/status/1011991303599607808

Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. #goodtrouble

I cleaned up the house in preparation of going back to Foley for two weeks.

While in the bath, I read a tweet from the Sewerage and Water Board that a loss of pressure has them calling for a boil water advisory. As it usually isn’t wise to soak in e.coli contaminated water, I got out only to find that the neighborhood affected was the Bywater.

July 19 – 3,722,737 cases in US with 137,353 deaths

Left in the morning for Foley. I’m taking Dad to the physical therapist on Monday, so I needed to get there so I could get a good night’s sleep.

Checking my feed and I saw an open letter to President Trump from 150 public health officials. It voices support for Dr. Anthony Fauci and calls for science-based policies and the involvement of government scientists as the nation develops its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In italics they wrote: Now is not the time to turn our backs on science.

July 20 – 3,809,858 cases in US with 138,016 deaths

Took dad to PT, took a puzzle to mail off to Brandon and ran to the bank for mom. This was one of the almost impossible puzzles that I had bought for my mom and she actually gave up trying to finish it. She wanted the darn thing out of her house and I hope Brandon doesn’t hate me before he finishes it!

Went to Old Time Pottery for plastic/silk flowers for the antler wreath I’m doing for dad. It took me a while to figure out if less was more, but here is the end result:

Had a Forum PAC board meeting where we discussed endorsements for the upcoming runoff election.

July 21 – Louisiana had 96,583 cases with 3,498 deaths – this is the largest single day death rate increase since May 22. Alabama has 6,9075 cases with 1,268 deaths.

The unemployment rate in cities is close to 20% as the coronavirus has shut down restaurants, theaters, gyms, and so on. At the same time, almost 4 million Americans have been infected with coronavirus, and more than 140,000 have died of it.

It is Tuesday, so it is taco night. I brought back some La Tiara thin, crispy corn taco shells from New Orleans so we all pigged out. My taco seasoning recipe is here.

July 22 – Louisiana has 99,354 cases with 3,558 deaths.

Took dad to get his hair cut – his barber wasn’t wearing a mask, so he took his off as soon as I drove away. I went to Walmart and was pleased to see the number of folks wearing masks.

July 23– US cases 3,943,915 with 140,204 deaths

Went to grocery stores. Woke up from a nap to see 5 deer in the yard. It isn’t the clearest picture as I took it with my phone but wow!

July 24 – Louisiana has 103,734 cases with 3,604 deaths. Alabama has 74,365 cases with 1,395 deaths.

Kathy and Wayne came over for pizza and beer.

July 25 – 4,158,052 US cases with 143,431 death

Went to walk on Romar Beach at sunrise with my sister, her husband and my eldest niece, Kim. Pretty red sky for sailors to take warning.

But also a rainbow, to give us all hope!
Went back to their house for breakfast and got my sister to cut my hair. Not a bad job at all!

On my way home, I stopped by the farmers market for cherry tomatoes. Made tomato tarts. Super tasty and pretty easy, too. Recipe here.

July 26 – Louisiana reports 107,574 cases and 3,651 deaths.

Did rotisserie chickens on the grill with sweet potatoes. So very good!

Watched the Houston Dash win the NWSL champions cup. Because the NWSL maintained the bubble throughout the tournament, they ended with no new positives (they did have a bit of a rocky start). The women proved can be done – sports can come back if the leagues, management and players stay in isolation during the season. Unfortunately, the other leagues (MLB and NFL) and college sports don’t seem to be paying attention.

July 27 – Alabama had 79,129 cases with 1,446 deaths. Louisiana had 109,917 cases with 3,674 deaths.

Took dad for a follow up appointment with his surgeon. He is healing well and can now work on strength training to get that arm and shoulder back into shape. He hasn’t been cleared yet to drive, so I’m here for another week.

Made chicken salad with some of the grilled chicken from yesterday. Super good.

July 28 – US has 4,331,089 cases and 146,185 deaths.

Mom and I finished a really beautiful puzzle. Robert Burns’ Diana and her Nymphs.

Made a meatloaf and mashed potatoes for lunch. And a Meyer lemon pie in the evening. Recipe here for the pie.

July 29 – Louisiana had 112,773 cases with 3,769 deaths.

Had a morning Zoom call with a cyber security expert. Fascinating stuff and I hope to have him give a presentation to the IWO board about protecting ourselves and our data.

July 30 – Alabama had 83,494 cases with 1,516 deaths. Louisiana had 114,481 cases and 3,811 deaths.

Herman Cain, a prominent Trump supporter and former candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, has died of Covid-19. Cain was co-chair of “Black Voices for Trump,” the Trump campaign’s outreach to Black voters, and attended Trump’s June 20 indoor rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma without a mask. The 74-year-old was hospitalized with Covid-19 in early July.

Did a grocery run in the morning – Walmart, Rouses, Publix. The mandate from the Alabama governor seems to be working as almost everyone had on a mask. It felt much safer to shop.

Made a frittata for lunch using some of the leftover smokey potatoes from the rotisserie chicken, some sautéed mushrooms and onions. Very tasty.

Had a virtual cocktail hour with IWO members and several elected officials. We also had a number of candidates on the call who introduced their campaigns.

July 31 – Alabama had 85,278 cases with 1,531 deaths. Louisiana had 116,280 cases and 3,835 deaths.

Took dad to PT in the morning and ran by the farm stand. Got some sweet corn that we’ll eat boiled on Sunday with hamburgers.

Made a pepperoni and mushroom pizza for lunch. Kathy and Wayne did not come over as Kathy has a coworker who is positive for COVID-19 and she has been exposed. She will not come by my parents for the next 14 days.

My niece, Kate, came over for cocktails and to visit with Mom and Dad. Made 2 sets of pina coladas – one with spiced rum and the other with light rum. Both pretty tasty. Recipe here.

COVID-19 Quicklinks:
Washington Post Coronavirus World Map: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/mapping-spread-new-coronavirus/
John Hopkins COVID-19 Global Map: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
CDC Coronavirus Cases in US: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html
Louisiana Department of Health Website: http://ldh.la.gov/coronavirus/
NOLA Ready: https://ready.nola.gov/incident/coronavirus/ 
Alabama Public Health Website: https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/
Alabama Table: https://dph1.adph.state.al.us/covid-19/