Monday, April 20, 2020

Admitting I Might Be incredibly Foolish---The Realities Of Driving Cab Amidst the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic & Taxi Doggerel: "58 Coffins"

I admit, when belled into a hospital ER during these "COVID-19" days, it's with a severe apprehension and shudder, finally understanding full well that the next passenger could be contagious, and "why-the-hell-am-I-doing-this?" comes to mind.  Yes, it's a good question, and in part it's due to a slow comprehension of how dangerous this virus is, and that it kills, having killed over 170 thousand worldwide per this morning's current figures.

What bothers me personally is my slower than normal reaction to real danger because usually I'm quick in ascertaining when something is wrong.  That I have been dumb is disappointing, and even worse, my stupidity potentially fatal, because at this moment I have no idea whether I am contagion free or not.

Yes, I am now wearing my mask, and yes, disinfecting parts of the cab but truly how effective these preventatives are is complete guesswork, a kind of gamble with my life and the life of others.  To say this is disconcerting is a great understatement not fully expressing a dilemma I have inserted myself, a diorama not located in a museum but one in constant motion around me.   But be it as it may, I am here until I leave for New Mexico on the afternoon of April 29th, visiting my adobe house on the high desert prairie.   Perhaps by the time I return on May 13th, the situation will be clearer but do I believe that?  I don't.

More or Less Current Worldwide COVID-19 Death Tolls

Underlining my concerns are the grim statistics stating just how many people are dying from the virus.  The following is a selective sampling illustrating how wide spread the pandemic is, affecting all countries and all corners of our planet.  Most of these figures date from today but a few are from yesterday, Sunday 04/19/20

USA---41,155    Belgium---5,453    Spain---20,852     Italy---23,660     UK---16,060

France---19,728      Iran---5,209    Turkey---2,017   Egypt---239      Algeria---375

Holland---3,100      Costa Rica---5      Saint Maarten---10    China----4,632      Brazil---2,372

Switzerland---1,368   Mexico---686    Canada---1,587   Moldava---67   Bukina Faso---36

Washington State deaths total 620.  Two local bus drivers have succumbed to the virus.  And very shocking, I have just found out that my friend, longtime cabbie Dennis Roberts, is dead, his cab still sitting in front of his home. RIP Dennis.  More on his passing when I have the details.

Taxi Coronavirus Doggerel 

As I have been pointing out, clearly the situation is dire, but I was inspired to write this nonsense piece with the Saturday news that Jacksonville, Florida opened its beaches to the public, defying commonsense.  The person responsible, Mayor Curry, GOP., this on the day 58 Floridians died from COVID-19.

                                                              58 Coffins

                              Hey Mommy, look! 58 coffins are floating out to sea

                              in celebration of Florida's state-rights Democracy,

                             Yes, the very same day Jacksonville's  Mayor Curry

                             announced the city's beaches were free to roam,

                             tragedy overtook Florida's local cemeteries and funeral


                             58 more Floridians declared COVID-19 dead,

                             and given that sad reality,

                             there is truly nothing more necessary to be


Special Postscript 04/21/2020----The passing of Dennis Eugene Roberts YC 464

It is with great sadness that I have to announce that longtime Seattle cabbie died April 9th from COVID-19.  Dennis might be the first such taxi fatality in the country.  Next week I plan a more extensive obituary once I know more details. 


  1. Joey ,
    With great sadness , I just read
    your above posting about Mr. Roberts
    as I always referred to him in person. My first meeting with Mr.
    Roberts was roughly in '92 or '93
    maybe at the old Warwick Hotel.
    Dennis was also an ' extra ' in
    at least one episode of ' Northern
    Exposure ' in a bar scene which
    was filmed in Rosyn , Wash. in
    the century old Brick Saloon.
    Mr. Roberts was always upbeat
    no matter the circumstances and
    with his long white side burns,
    clearly stood - out in a crowd.
    Rest in peace , Mr. Roberts.
    Bill ...

    1. And who could ever forget that
      Mr. Roberts was the sole energy
      and driving force , ( pun intended ), of the yearly
      ' taxi ride for children '.
      This charity which Mr. Roberts
      started on his own , raised
      money every year for maybe
      twenty years , mostly small
      sums , ( $ 3 - 4 hundred dollars ), raising a dollar at a time ,
      then taking this collection
      of dollars and driving it to
      a Children's hospital in
      Vancouver , B.C.!! No one
      asked him to do this and
      knowingly , several Co - op
      ' leaders ', ( Sadik and
      Dogwila comes to mind ),
      tried in vain to stop him.
      But Mr. Roberts was determined
      enough to continue onward.
      I would estimate Mr. Roberts
      raised and donated upwards
      of six thousand dollars to
      children's charity efforts.
      Rest in Peace , Dennis !!
      Bill ...

  2. When I started At Yellow 20 years ago Dennis was one of the 1st drivers i meet he always brought Food into our call center and was always so upbeat it was always a pleasure to see him He will be missed by so many people may he be at rest