Wednesday, March 25, 2020

It's weird, man

I haven't found the new normal. This is as in-between as it gets. I'm working full time from home. I've got enough equipment but my desk isn't quite right and my arm hurts. I can see my teammates as online presences, names on the screen. We occasionally meet with video but it's a much more distant experience.

We're making a grand society-wide effort (I know we have a homicidal GOP and there are scoffing idiots but we outnumber them) to protect each other. We're hearing about illness levels but not numbers of deaths in the US. Not yet. Just read that our local city emergency management leader says he expects our local hospitalization to peak around 300 people in around 30 days.

Spring is unfolding in a damp and cloudy way here but with the first flowers and tree buds as well. I want to take photos of the forsythia, daffodils and peonies in the yard. There is enough food and supplies but it's really hard not to want to go to the store every few days. Trying to keep it to once a week. I guess between the four of us we are at least going fewer than four times a week.

I've started The Raven Tower by Leckie and am finding it a good, strange experience so far. Watched Snowpiercer last night. I skipped some of the gory fight scenes and the lengthy baby-eating discussion. I liked the acting, the design and the overall act of imagination. It reminded me of a good picture book - striking images, immediacy and a story that didn't bear much logical inquiry. As an allegory of course it's right on. My daughter started Inception and since I had already sat through a movie I wandered off after 40 minutes. I will probably go back and finish it later but I kept thinking about LDC's track record of dating teenagers and about Ellen Page's me too experience - but maybe that was on another movie.   

The dog's getting walked pretty regularly. I had to ban piano playing during working hours. But otherwise I encourage the girls' musical messing around. Both grandmas and brothers have checked in. We're doing this thing for now.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Rate of change

Is a-bounding along. I'm not adjusted, I don't think it's possible. I hear that the French sobered up quickly after being mostly unconcerned through last weekend. No schadenfreude, there's plenty of sobering left for my compatriots to do.

We may be required to work from home starting tomorrow. I'm reluctant because:

  • I'd prefer to keep my daily routine 
  • I like leaving my house
  • I have my tech set the way I like it at my office

I guess I'll start moving stuff home. Snacks, plant, tech equipment. My disinclination for change isn't any more special then anyone else's at this moment.

Everyone in the family is well. The four of us plus our brothers and their families and our mothers all in different locations. I don't know anyone who's suffering from the virus.

I am wondering what will come back. The disruption will go farther than a few weeks delay on events. I think it's unlikely the kids will go back to school this semester. Maybe in the fall. Local school system is distributing sack breakfasts and lunches "while supplies last". Infinite bless and speed them.

What have I seen the last of? I walked the dog around a park last weekend and noticed that I've outlived another swing set at the playground. I worry that the ones tall and sturdy enough for an adult to use are being phased out entirely. I can think of several that have gone away since I've moved to this town.

Last week I was feeling emotional about individual acts of generosity: Yo Yo Ma's cello pieces shared on twitter, the instructors I've been communicating with who are being kind and asking so politely for our help. I'm starting to have flashes of fear now. Fear of the unknown and fear for my family.

Here's a photo shared by Samantha Biobabbler @biobabbler on twitter:

 I gather she's somewhere up near Yosemite. Worth enlarging to see the crescent moon in the sky. I asked about the little outhouse - it's actually a well house.

HAHA we were asked to work from home unless absolutely necessary the next day. I'm at the home office with my two monitors my computer and dock and office chair. It's weird and I don't like it yet but it's working.

Monday, March 9, 2020


They weren't kidding about Interesting Times
I can't imagine what things will be like locally in ninety days. I am very curious and this is a note to myself to update on June 8.

A friend who started working at a grocery store says that there are people buying large amounts of staples like gtr.ade and wipes. But I haven't heard of shortages except for hand sanitizer. Going shopping tonight and we'll see what things are like at my somewhat grubby neighborhood store. 

Spring Break week here for the univ and school district. Lots of emergency plans in development but not implemented for now. Large flocks of question marks are circling like pigeons in the early evening.

I shared this explainer about flattening the curve with my spouse and it seems like a compelling reason to take precautions, avoid big gatherings, etc. even though only a few cases in Kansas are just now starting to be reported. Avoid exhausting all medical resources, keep infection rates spread out over a longer time to make it possible to respond.

Reading helps
Remote book group went well. We recommend The Underground Girls of Kabul by Nordberg. We give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. I give all 5 to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Skloot. Going with fiction next time - Housekeeping by Robinson. My choice as it was recommended randomly in a tweet this week and I see an old college friend of mine raves about it on gr too. I'm worried it may be heavy on the white lady concerns with some xtianity but am looking forward to the language.