Working From Home. This is what it looks like. Special day yesterday where we allowed the maids to clean and all three of us got a new work location. Kevin is rocking the family room with his two of this three computers (and the phone close by).
N95. Everyone needs to wear a mask, but I'll do everything I can not to wear one (by staying home). That said, I've acquired quite the collection of cloth, homemade, professional and medical masks. I've gotten to the point where I have a mask in multiple pockets. I even bought an N95 mask (designed to protect me as much as others) despite the requests to leave them for first responders. The version I bought, however, was not a medical N95 mask and in fact it was more like an N95 cartridge that fit into a sleek black mask. I don't think my purchase from China impacted any first responders but these are my "heavy contact" masks to stay safe. And now I have my eye on a sharp looking box of 50 medical masks. Who would have thought this would be the purchase I was eying.
Hair Update. They've lifted the ban on hair salons. Let the rush back begin!
The end is near. I was looking for a milestone event to stop my self-administered requirement of a daily post. Even once I end this commitment to write every day, I fully plan to write periodic updates when I have something to say. Forcing myself to say something everyday is an exercise that forces me to dig deeper and cover topics that I would normally edit out. While some might conclude, "And that's why this shit is so boring" my intent is to force a level of detail that will provide the color and texture that archeologists/historians look for to truly understand what it was like to live through a pandemic. Clearly I believe that while few have read any of this, someday these notes will be important to others. I suspect that reality will be that I will be interested in reading all the minutia that I've written about...at some point in the distant future.
I haven't established the milestone but much is changing. Stores are opening and we're settling in for what is likely to be at least another year of social distancing, isolation and mask wearing. I have no confidence that I'll step foot in a movie theater for the next year. I have no confidence that I'll see a live sporting event or a theater performance. Even as San Mateo County have allowed gatherings of up to 50 people, it just seems like the more we are apart the better we we'll do collectively. I don't have an immediate answer about restaurants but dining in a restaurant is not high on my list of things I'm missing. In most cases the year ahead will likely be managed based on the hassle factor. Will I shop in stores? Yes. Will I go to the mall to just shop? No. The minute I put on a mask the clock starts ticking...sort of like an oxygen tank. I can only stand it for so long. It's clearly influencing what I will and won't do.
There has been some research lately that while we are increasingly confident that this is spread through the air (and thus the need for masks) that it's likely not passed by touching contaminated surfaces. If we firmly reach this conclusion and can focus just on our breath, it will make the next year much more manageable. We can stop washing our groceries and stop leaving our mail in the garage for three days before it comes in the house. I'll take that. But am I ready to get on an airplane? I've been thinking about that and figure I need to investigate more than just a mask and include goggles as well if I'm getting on a plane.
There was a discussion about the impact of "sustained" exposure vs. fleeting exposure. An article suggested that exposures of 15 minutes or more was the risk. I think I can get in and out of any store in 15 minutes, so that would be a relief. It doesn't allow me to return to work where I have no idea where my air comes from and requires more than 15 minutes, but it does allow us to take a step closer to something less draconian than what we're living today.
Yes, the end of a daily blog is near. The end of the virus is not near. The impact on our society, our economy and our lives is still very much unclear. In San Mateo we are allowed to create personal bubbles of people we can see. Does that mean we'll be able to see our children consistently? Or my parents? I think part of the answer will not come from any expert but eventually we'll conclude that it's worth the risk. Of course that's the problem. This whole virus is not about risk to me, my behavior presents a risk to others. In a capitalistic society driven by selfishness and self-interest, that's something we as Americans find difficult to do.
Course Reversal? In what feels like a course correction, California Governor Newsome announced that masks are required in all indoor public spaces and all outdoor spaces where distancing is impossible. Feels like a step backward and yet the right step backward.
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