Monday, March 30 I began volunteering with the Serve our Seniors meal delivery program, a partnership between the City of New Orleans (via the volunteer organization HandsOn New Orleans) and World Central Kitchen, with the kitchen facilities of the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) as its home base. The number of households (comprised of homebound, at-risk seniors who can’t or shouldn’t leave home for food) enrolled in the program had jumped to 600 from 200 in the week since the program’s rollout. I snapped a few photos around the Seventh Ward, where I did my deliveries that day. My car battery died while parked in front of an apartment complex with my hazards on and my friend (who happens to drive a gold hearse) gave me a jump. I spotted gas at 99 cents per gallon at the intersection of Broad and Orleans, and wrote my second ‘quarantune’ (“Quarantine Dream”).
Tuesday, March 31 The home-sewn face masks my aunt in Minnesota sent me arrived. I attempted to get gas for 99 cents but there was a crazy queue of cars. Deaths in Louisiana surpassed 200, jumping to 239 from the reported 185 the day before.
Wednesday, April 1 I took another dog walk up the bayou then down Orleans Ave, snapping shots of some of the shuttered, historic restaurants along the way. I spotted gas for 98 cents a gallon. We learned that local legend Ellis Marsalis had died of the virus.
Thursday, April 2 I had my second shift with Serve Our Seniors, this time making deliveries (and taking photos) in Central City. The households registered for delivery had doubled to 1200. I joined my first Zoom meeting of quarantine, to watch my brother’s band Disco Risqué perform for a friend’s company’s #TogetherAtHome concert series/initiative. Deaths in Louisiana surpassed 300, jumping to 310 from the reported 273 the day before.
Friday, April 3 I tried unsuccessfully to donate blood at Children’s Hospital, then used the opportunity to amble around and get photos of the Audubon area. I succeeded in gassing up for an outrageous 87 cents a gallon (at the Ideal station on Orleans and Moss), then had a taco night with my quarantine crew.
Saturday, April 4 I walked along the Greenway to Whole Foods to pick up a package from an Amazon Prime locker: my first experience with lines outside grocery stores due to newly enacted policies on limited entry. Went ‘round the bayou again and noticed more clusters and gatherings of people than seemed advisable. Made my first crossover Arrested Development/Ozark meme because I jumped on the quarantine Ozark bandwagon and have a fan fiction theory that Marty Byrde is Michael Bluth’s imagined alter ego (I mean… same initials and everything…). Deaths in Louisiana surpassed 400, jumping to 409 from the reported 370 the day before.
Sunday, April 5 I went along Basin, cut slightly through the CBD to circumvent the still-closed intersection of Canal and Rampart (yeah… the partially-collapsed Hard Rock still looms ominously over that juncture), then continued down Canal to the Quarter with my ‘real camera’ for the first time.