Covid Cranks

Barbara Rose Brooker
2 min readAug 3, 2020

“Bugs,” he says, as if to no one. He sprays a can of Lysol into the air, a mist surrounding him like a halo.

I’m on zoom, on a blind date. He wears a plastic visor over his face, rubber gloves, and holds a giant Lysol can. I met him on face book.

“Bugs?” I ask. “Where are the bugs?” He reclines on one of those chairs that go way back.

“Bugs are everywhere,” he continues, his voice rising. “I can’t open the windows, the doors. I have to wear a mask in my own house. ”

“I don’t see bugs,” I say, thinking he’s a major jerk.

“Honey, you can’t see them. They’re in the air. They’re with the virus. They’re all around us.”

“But we’re home. You’re wearing a visor. Outside we wear masks.”

“Honey, the virus are in the visor, and in the masks. They’re in your hair. They’re in that knit hat you’re wearing. You have to keep spraying.” He closes his eyes, his long thin mouth pressed tight. “The virus is everywhere, it’s in the food chain.” He continues to rant about how the food is tainted and that if the virus doesn’t get you, you’ll die from food poisoning.” He continues to talk about his dead wife, about how she died from a tainted radish in a foodie fancy restaurant. “That radish cost me a fortune. Her stupid kids from another marriage sued me and won. It’s all about money. They’re praying I die from the Covid.” He pauses. “Ha! I have a taster. I order my food from the best restaurants. No way am I going to leave my billion dollar fortune to her no good kids.”

“ So whotastes your food and how?” I ask after a silence.

He shrugs. “A dumb broad I met on line. She googled me and knows I’m a billionaire so she’ll do anything.”

He sprays three more puffs from the Lysol can. His thin tan hair sticks up in spikes and a huge jowl sags over the collar of his blue turtle neck sweater. “She comes over and social distances and tastes the cauliflower and vegetable pastas. I give her a hundred bucks, wait an hour to see if she gets sick, and then I send her home. These women will do anything for a fortune.”

As he continues to complain about the food chain and that most of the restaurants serve “poison,” and that his chef from Honduras got the Covid and left and he won’t use the kitchen. “I fired the four Mexican construction workers who were remodeling my bathroom. They carry the Covid.”

“That’s racist. That’s disgusting,” I say.

“It’s a fact.”

“Well, here’s another fact,” I say. “You’re a racist jerk.”

BarbaraRoseBrooker/author/is working on The Corona Diaries and Other Things-a book of essays, snippets, scenes, from the pandemic.
Her latest novel Love, Sometimes, is published by Post Hill Press/Simon Schuster/her TV appearances/podcasts are on, and on you tube.



Barbara Rose Brooker

Barbara Rose Brooker, author/teacher/poet/MFA, published 13 novels. Her latest novel, Feb 2020, Love, Sometimes, published by Post Hill Press/Simon Schuster.