Self Quarantine. Day One.
At some point I figured that it couldn't hurt to self-quarantine. This is when I started to understand the real threat: overwhelming our hospitals. This is not a time to get sick! Staying away from people is the new normal. I did my own version of hoarding by filling up the gas tanks in the cars. I took a wipes with me. I didn't feel very manly with my wipes, but I felt a little safer. I paid in cash and was worried that my change might be contaminated.
I watched CNN while I worked. Mostly I paid attention to work, but I found myself distracted.
Eve asked me to "pick up a few things at the market" before something kicked in and she concluded that today's grocery shopping was NOT appropriate for the B-Team (me). She spent an hour filling her cart. We have a full refrigerator. Our cupboards are full. I think it's fair to describe our cupboards as carb-loaded.
Scott told us that he would not be coming home this weekend. His lab is in a hospital and he didn't want to risk infecting us old people.
First thought = Disappointment.
Second thought = I'm not old.
Third thought = Good, keep your germs away!
Kevin's company changed its policy from "no international travel" to "high priority travel" (which included him) to "grounded." He'll be coming home (with all his airplane germs) this weekend.
We ordered take out Chinese food. We fought about whether it was safe to eat the lettuce.
Pi Day. And no one cares.
Eve is wondering if we are better off cancelling the maid next week (they will bring germs into the house) versus having the maid next week (they clean and get rid of the germs).
It's raining. I thought of this as a Hermit Vacation until now. This was something that felt refreshing. Lots of sleep. No excess activities or chores, but it's raining. We need the rain...we need it desperately, but somehow the rain makes it feels a little less grand.
Eve and I feel fine. Every sniffle. Every sneeze. Every everything is carefully evaluated. What happens if one of us feels sick? Do we try to divide the house?
I saw pictures of people in Italy waiting in line to go into the grocery store. The line required a personal space bubble of 3 feet, which was a funny looking line. Meanwhile the White House just had a press conference where too many people are packed on one stage standing shoulder to shoulder.
News bulletin: The TSA will allow travelers to fly with more than just 3 ounces of liquid if the liquid is hand sanitizer.
First thought: That's good.
Second thought: Who's flying?
Third thought: Who has large bottles of hand sanitizer since all the stores are sold out?!
Creative writing exercise. The following is fiction although it feels true in my brain...
Trump started a trade war with China determined extract a better deal. He wanted to Make American Great Again. Trump wasn't able to get a deal but he was able to inflict a lot of hurt on China. China was pissed. At the same time Russia was quite happy with Trump. They put him in office and they clearly plan to keep him there. Russia's manipulation of the American public and the Republican Party was masterful. China was determined to beat Russia. Forget playing the social media card like Russia did, China decides to play the virus card! They are inspired by the "Dems in Panic" so they created a panDEMic (see what I did there). They created a virus unlike the 1918 pandemic that disproportionately killed the youth, and instead created a virus that disproportionately kills old people. See Republicans skew old. Sure enough, the first virus spotting in political circles was with Republican players. Talk about a deep state plan!
I miss sports. It's only been three days but the quarantine would be better with sports on TV.
Maximum Inconvenience. Two days ago I thought about this as a two week inconvenience. That seems overly optimistic today. This is going to have a massive economic impact. We are moving into a new era where other people are to be avoided. I heard California Governor Gavin Newsom say that we are striving for "maximum inconvenience" in order to "minimize the impact."
I shouted at my mother for not taking this seriously. While she is limiting her exposure to others she is shopping in a supermarket every day. I told her that she can only go to one store for everything (even if more expensive) and she has to limit journeys to once a week at most. She wasn't happy with me. "Why wasn't I being sweet?" I replied that this IS sweet.
Facebook seems more important than it did just a week ago. Facebook has been boring for a while now and the reason is that no one posts anything interesting. I couldn't be more bored of all the shares I see. Well, all of a sudden there are lots of original posting (including mine). If we can't gather, it seems reasonable that we need to gather virtually.
I heard NYC's mayor talk about his decision NOT to close the schools. His rationale was largely based on the impact to first responders and the infrastructure we need to survive. That seems like a misguided rationale. This is the kind of thing people are supposed to think about in advance and have a plan for this! This feels bigger today than yesterday. Increasingly we are hearing the truth but the messengers are too careful. They say things like, "I don't know what will happen because I don't know how well we will mitigate the risk." Instead they should be saying, "If you don't stay away from all other people you are contributing to the risk that our healthcare system will be totally overwhelmed."
I read the Wikipedia entry for the Spanish Flu and pandemic from 1918. One of the things that was missing was complete transparency. In fact it was called the Spanish Flu because people though it was isolated to Spain only because that was the only government NOT to censor the press. Now is the time to scare people even at the risk of inflicting stress. It takes a little bit of fear and stress to get EVERYONE to change their behavior.
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