A couple of days ago, one of our housemates was in contact with someone that had COVID-19.
Thinking the worst, we all scrambled to get tested as soon as possible. My closest testing facility was rather deserted and we zipped through the process, giving our personal details and what not. It was cold, it was rainy, and I wanted to get out of there fast anyway.
The sample taking process is something straight out of a psychological horror thriller:
First, they scratch the back of your throat, somewhere around where your tonsils sit or, as in my case, used to sit. Open wide… there you go.
Second, they scratch the back of your nose. You wouldn’t know how deep can something go into your nose until you try this one. My main concern at this point was not getting accidentally lobotomized by that long swab.
That was it. All the while sneezing and trying to get myself composed, I was told I would receive the results in a couple of days.
1:00AM Today. The results are in. I am still negative. I intend to keep it that way as long as possible. The battle continues…
ANNA seems to be around 20 years old. That’s not even her name. I just made that up. It is just that she looks like an “Anna”, the way that some people look like a “John” or a “Karen”. Hasn’t it ever happened to you? You meet someone and, almost intuitively, you “know” that person’s name.
Anna has the characteristics of those who have an Asian ethnicity. Those soft traits, those interesting eyes… She wears black rimmed glasses and looks way concentrated on the computer’s big screen. Every now and then she has to cope with what seems to be a runny nose. I thought she was crying but, upon closer inspection, it is more of an allergy or a cold what she is suffering. Her horizontal striped hoodie makes her tiny figure even more… wider.
Anna seems to be listening to some music. Or maybe even trying to muffle the murmur in the coffee shop. She is wearing her black earphones. That kind of wired earphones that are easily damaged, lost, and that most people with some sense of respect carry with them when they intend to listen to some music while on public transport. Whatever. I can only imagine what kind of music she is listening to.
She has switched now her focus to her cell phone. The kind of phone that happens to be as big as a bathroom tile. She has just received a message. She smiles while she reads it, gets up, and walks away, sniffles and all.
Many people equate the word “daemon” with the word “demon”, implying some kind of satanic connection between UNIX and the underworld.
This is an egregious misunderstanding. “Daemon” is actually a much older form of “demon”; daemons have no particular bias towards good or evil, but rather serve to help define a person’s character or personality.
The ancient Greeks’ concept of a “personal daemon” was similar to the modern concept of a “guardian angel”—eudaemonia is the state of being helped or protected by a kindly spirit.
As a rule, UNIX systems seem to be infested with both daemons and demons.
— Unix System Administration Handbook, page 403, by Evi Nemeth.