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Louis Fowler’s Pandemic Journal: Relief Payment

4:07 AM EDT on April 3, 2020

I’m standing six-feet above ground today, so I like to think I’m still ahead of this virus. When I was walking, I saw a message in the dirt: We Are in This T…something. Seemed apropos.

Rent was due this week and I was able to send off a check, but I know a lot of people around here weren’t so lucky, their overstuffed cars, loaded-down pick-ups and numerous U-Hauls getting the Hell out of Dodge; I wonder where they’re going…I wonder how bad it’s going to be when they get there.

In, I guess, positive news, people seem to be very excited about the thousand-dollar relief payments coming soon, some who need it desperately and others that can’t wait to blow it. I guess, if I’m being honest, I’m somewhere between the two. I should save it, but I really need a new laptop for writing—this one’s about to go.

A recent news piece said many people in this country will have to wait up to five months to receive their check, if they even get one at all.

Given the way that this administration has handled the pandemic so far, I have a feeling that I’m not getting a check—I bet thousands, if not millions, won’t either. As I told my mother the other day, until I have that cash in my hand, I don’t believe anything this Goddamn government tells me.

She’s already spending her cut.

_

Instead of waiting for help, I’ve made friends with a few of my older neighbors and started to help, the best I can. Yesterday, a couple of houses down from me, I fixed an old Choctaw woman’s porch light. I didn’t know what I was doing, but somehow I managed to get in there and move a few things around and, thank God, it worked.

As I started to walk back home, she called out to me and then gave me a medium-sized bottle of Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap in gratitude. She told me that didn’t like the rosemary scent, but that her grand-daughter bought it; I don’t either like it either, but I didn’t want to hurt her pride so I thanked her and told her if she needs anything to holler and I’ll come running.

I hope she gets a relief check soon.

Meanwhile, in the Philippines, the police and military have been ordered to shoot on sight the hungry citizens defying the lockdown in search of food and other necessities. We’re not going to come back from this, and sure as Hell not by the end of April.

_

Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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