As I am sure my many tens of loyal readers will recall, I had to leave my apartment for the first time in months for a doctor’s appointment. This was a perilous endeavor, for two reasons I mentioned:

The virus appears far deadlier for cancer patients, according to a study by the Lancet“Researchers found that 13 percent of the current and former cancer patients died within 30 days of testing positive for coronavirus, a far higher mortality rate than has been observed in the general population.”


(HealthDay News) — Ten percent of COVID-19 patients with diabetes die within a week of entering the hospital and 20% need a ventilator to breathe by that point, a new French study found.

And there’s a third: I am a goddamn New Yorker. Virus or no virus there are RULES here, people – and one breaks them at one’s peril. I speak of fashion, of course. If I die of shame, the consequences of a misstep here are worse than contracting COVID-19!

So what’s a New York City diabetic cancer patient to do wear?

I had already decided that I was gonna rock this shit like the motherfucking Queen of England.

Her Majesty Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of her other realms and territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

And so I did.

Her Majesty Iris Vander Pluym, in a tasteful, head-to-toe black, gold and white ensemble except for the dark blue gloves because they made me change out of my pale ones at the entrance, Defender of the Non-Faith.

I am not so worried about contracting the virus via surface contact; as soon as I got inside my front door I stripped my clothes off, laundered them and showered immediately. I also wiped down my tote with anti-viral wipes and decontaminated the umbrella. My fear is droplets. So in addition to the bubble umbrella to help keep indoor air currents away from my head, I am also wearing glasses I don’t need to help further shield my eyes, as well as an N99 mask I was fortunate to receive as a gift from a severely immunocompromised friend who stockpiled them long before COVID.



  1. Acolyte of Sagan says

    I hate to break it to you like this but that is not Her Maj Betty II but a professional lookalike/impersonator who has appeared on many British tv comedy shows and in a couple of movies. Your fashion choice was therefore copied from a copy of Queenie.
    You rocked it, though.

  2. says

    chigau had helpfully suggested I duct tape BBQ skewers to the umbrella ribs pointing outward, but I was afraid PZ would mistake me for an exotic spider and capture me.

    chigau also suggested attaching squirrels to the skewers, teeth facing out. Alas, Squirrels ‘R Us was sold out of them. Plus PZ might mistake me for an even more exotic spider.

  3. kestrel says

    I LOVE that look. This is sure to make fashion news and really rock the fashion world. The shoes! The bag! The matching face mask! Perfect. Just perfect.

  4. Badland says

    Very happy you’re safe and uninfected Iris.

    I had an attack of the lockdown boredoms and, as one does, fell into Google Earth and somehow ended up spending hours lurking through New York, starting with Hart Island. Perry Street is a lovely part of the city and I hope you can walk the streets again soon

  5. avalus says

    Très chic, madame!

    You should go for MadMaxian Spikes! With social distancing, I think you are very much safe from PZ, even if he confuses you for a spider :D

    Stay safe!