Game Night. We had a virtual game night last night. We had a blend of digital and real dice in our exciting game of Yahtzee. We played a bunch of clue games and essentially sat around the kitchen table being a family. We were in two different places. Three of us in San Carlos and one of us under quarantine in SF and connected with a video chat app. Greg and Eve discovered that this app allows you to make goofy "headwear." The parents couldn't stop laughing while the boys looked at us with a "where have you been" expression. Who knew that these phone apps could provide so much primal fun!
Community. Caly and I did a big walk this morning. We walked downtown. It's hard when you see people and are compelled to keep away. We found a series of brightly colored chalk messages on the sidewalk. The messages and art were made specifically for the occupants even though they couldn't experience the art at the same time together. Very sweet and we were compelled to take a picture.
Grocery Store Day. It's been a week since we stocked up on food. The cupboard is not bare, but it's time to restock. There was much discussion about WHO would shop. Some of us argued that this was a time for the shopping experts. This is not a time to send amateurs into the fray. On the other hand some of us are medically more robust and maybe better to risk the infection. Ultimately one of us stepped forward and SHE is currently at the store. She felt like she was going to war as she prepared her list, her wipe strategy and prepped her bags for maximum protection. I offered her my bandana to wear around her face, but she politely declined. She's been gone about an hour now. How long until I start to worry? Update: Eve survived. The store wasn't too crowded. She wore gloves. All the workers were wearing masks. She found most of what she needed with the exception of paper towels, tomato soup, and coffee filters. We will survive for at least another week! Upon return Eve wiped every single purchased item with a mixture of 1 part bleach and 9 parts water before it was allowed to enter the house. Now she is washing the grocery bags.
Carpet Cleaning. The didn't really need it but it felt good to flush that filthy dirty water down the drain. Amazingly it turns out that cleaning is very similar to exercise. Who knew?
Chocolate. I've discovered that it's important when self quarantining.
Virus News. I've been reluctant to write about the "real" news instead covering the story from my own home, but I think that a little virus news adds some context. To be sure, the live news is on more than it's off in this household and staying current on the news is a major activity.
Congress. As congress negotiates the size and breadth of the relief package, the Republicans are dropping faster than the Dems. Today Rand Paul tested positive. Why he even got tested is a mystery to me. Nevertheless, since Congress is required to vote in person, this shifts the numbers in the direction of the Dems. Or at least that's what I imagine.
Italy. There was a regional lockdown in the North beginning on March 8th (exactly two weeks ago) and then to the rest of the country a day later. And the daily numbers have grown every since. While there may have one or two down days, after a stretch of massive daily growth, today's results (new cases and deaths), finally went down. I'm considering that good news.
US. Only a handful of states are now on lockdown after California led the way (CA, IL, NY, NJ, CT, LA, OH). The virus must be spreading faster in other places.
The Jail Cell. Monday mornings are always a mixed blessing. It's back to work for me which has never been something that I dread and often something I look forward to, but today is a little more dreary than usual. The view through my shutters feels a little bit like I'm working in a jail cell. To be clear this jail cell has a comfortable bed, a stocked kitchen and all the comforts of home (it is home). But I can't help shake the thought that I feel a little trapped. After yesterday's venture into the real world (for gas) where I second guessed everything I touched, I have no desire to go outside and yet I'm feeling confined inside. I worked so hard yesterday to touch nothing, only to realize that I accepted change at the gas station and allowed that cash to infect my pockets. I've put the cash on a two day time out in the garage to let any hitch-hiker viruses die an un-hosted death.
Dollars vs. Death. The President is now suggesting that the cost of a nationwide shutdown is costing society more than the value of lost life. I heard NY Governor Cuomo say that if all of this saved just one life it would be worth it. I don't actually agree with either of these statements but I acknowledge that there are some tough choices ahead. Trump seems to be arguing that we can "afford" to lose up to 50,000 people to this virus (what we lose annually to the flu). That seems crazy to me but we have to balance protecting our population today versus protecting it for years to come. In theory, if we find ourselves in a depression you could argue that more people could die and suffer from this. The President made this argument with no delicacy today and while I think it's too soon to be having this conversation, I think there is a point to be made. If I had to decide today based on what I know, I would say that we'll keep American home for 30 days but no longer. The real problem is that if we send people back to work too soon, the fear that could create might be worse than staying home. What will life look like when we return? Clearly things will be different. Or, is this another one of those questions that seems clear today but will seem less clear just a week from now?
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