Symptoms. The first symptom that was the telltale sign of the virus was a fever. Add a dry cough and difficulty taking a deep breath and you are presenting classic Covid-19 symptoms. Don't think that with every cough I"ve had over the last two weeks, that I didn't think about whether it was a dry cough. Instead, my nose has been running for the last few weeks but nothing I would classify as a dry cough let alone any of the other symptoms. I am fine. Then the symptoms started to expand, some of the Covid-19 first noticed runny noses before that evolved into a dry cough. Oh no! Some felt run down and come to think of it, I was feeling a little run down. Then I heard about aches and pains in the joints and believe me I always have a few aches and pains. Last night we learned that some would lose of their sense of "taste and smell." Oh my god do I have these issues? Or do I just imagine that I have them once I hear the ever-expanding list? It's not just a breeding ground for hypochondriac thoughts, we also saw interviews with people who say that this was the worst "flu" that they've ever had by far. And these are the people who don't go to the hospital. I honestly have no symptoms but I honestly less exposure to these symptoms.
Beard Update. Last night I took a stand. "In my 57 years I've never had facial hair and this is something on my bucket list" I declared to my fellow quarantinians. Eve renewed her protest because she is the one forced to look at me while I try to grow a beard. I agree that it's not much right now, but we have weeks ahead of us. And in theory, I'm going to have look at her hair as it evolves into a unknown territory so fair is fair. And yet I found myself negotiating a deal where I agree to wear a mask around the house in order to keep the beard. I think I could have done better in that negotiation.
But this thing on my face is friggen annoying! I'm at the itchy stage right now, which has me rethinking this whole "lockdown beard" thing because I'm not supposed to touch my face. Frankly I can't keep my hands off my face! So while the death toll spikes around the world, while the TV is filled with pleas to find medical supplies, hospital beds and ventilators for what is likely just two weeks ahead of us as our healthcare system is completely overwhelmed, I'm worried about the amount of gray hear that didn't quite match my image of what I might look like with a beard.
Update to the Beard Update. Apparently the offer to wear a mask was not enough to satisfy Eve. She claimed that seeing the facial hair added to the dismay that she is feeling about being trapped in the house. I tried a number of counters but it wasn't until Kevin walked into the room and asked "what are we fighting about?" that I got some support. Kevin is a few days behind me but also agrees that we should grow a lockdown beard. We noted that both of us are at the itchy stage and we both started scratching our faces and Eve went running from the room in disgust. Not sure how long I can hold out, but this two against one strategy looks like my best option. I'm thinking about ordering a beard trimmer as a form of positive thinking that I can BOTH grow a beard have it long enough to maintain it.
Company Charity. Our health club, which close 9 days ago, wrote an email explaining that they had closed and that they would reopen when it was safe, but that wasn't the purpose of the email. They wrote to say that they wanted to offer us three options. 1) Do nothing and they will automatically bill us our full amount to help keep all of their employees employed. 2) Or, send them a note and they will reduce the fee to 50% of our normal dues. Finally they offered 3) No charges if we are really that cold-hearted. We are really that cold-hearted. And yet we've been mailing a check to our maid service every week. Of course there is a personal relationship of a maid that has been coming into our home for decades which made this a no brainer even as we clean our own house. But that's not how we feel about the big corporation that runs our gym. The SF Zoo sent a note asking for donations during this time. We donate regularly and just made another donation in February (long before any trouble), but we didn't delete the email. Is this a time for charity? Are businesses worthy of our charity?
World View. Today India locked down all 1.3 billion people in the country. Yesterday it was the UK. Michigan was the latest state to grow the minority of states on shut down and the President has said they are going to wait to see how many people die before he decides.
Michigan. I heard from a friend that while his high school kids are up and running with online learning, that none of this is counting toward their graduation requirement. At least not yet.
Pro life vs. Pro Business. The Republican party has long been positioned as "pro-life" when it comes to the topic of abortion, but today they are being asked to balance their "pro-business" beliefs with their "pro-life" beliefs as they judge how long before travel, gathering and movement restrictions are lifted. It seems obvious that if push comes to shove, "pro-business" will outweigh "pro-life."
Supply Chain. Every client call starts with a "how's this thing impacting you" discussion that can last between 5 and 15 minutes before getting down to business. I think it's fair to say that this has forced EVERY business to scramble, throw out their plan, and reinvent that plan given the new reality. In a call today with an online furniture supplier, I heard that their existing orders (placed before the crisis accelerated) have been slowed down. He quoted orders from Malaysia, Philippines, China and India that have all delayed existing orders for between one and two months. While we may be trying to keep our domestic supply chain operational even during a virtual lockdown, the rest of the world is under quarantine and that no matter what we do our business will be largely shut down for a couple of months. Clearly this is an unanticipated weakness to the Just-In-Time supply chain methodology that most companies try to practice.
Lysistrata. In high school we did a production of Lysistrata which is the story of ancient Greek women who were so sick of the war their husbands were waging, that the women on both sides agreed to withhold sex with their husbands until the war ended. No surprise...it ended pretty quickly.
I suspect that the US is only capable of sheltering in place for a maximum of four weeks and I think it's the women who will ultimately push for the return to normal. I acknowledge that this is a sexist statement but hear me out. I think men are fine, as long as the refrigerator is well stocked, but the women who look at themselves in the mirror every day will quickly reach a breaking point if they can't get hair care. I like to take care of my modest hair covering too but at the end of the day, I don't much care how I look. Few of the female persuasion, I think, have a similar perspective.
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