COVID-19 Update #3

We mostly stayed home over the past week, going out for a couple of medical appointments (nothing COVID-19 related) and having one medical appointment via video, which I could sure get used to, though I suppose there are limits (“hey, Doc, I’ve got this bump between my butt cheeks, here let me just drop trow and try to get my butt real close to the camera where are you going?”). I mowed the yard. We decided to bring back our garden, which we haven’t had for a couple of years because the last time we grew one, nobody really wanted to weed it, so it became a mess pretty quickly. My inclination right now is to be more resigned to whatever lies ahead than to be alarmist. So I’m not packing a go-bag or unrolling razor wire around my property or planning to feed my family for months from a little 6×8 plot or anything. But having a little garden, as we used to, will be nice, will make me feel like we’re another day or two from starvation if things do wind up going sideways. If only my kids ate vegetables.

Here’s the start of the garden. First I broke up all the earth with a shovel, so I could then till it a bunch to break the big chunks into smaller chunks. I’d like to get some decent soil rather than trying to grow a garden in red clay, but I also don’t want to be one of the yahoos packing the parking lot of the hardware/etc store now that Spring has arrived and spreading whatever I may or may not have around (or picking something up). I’ve grown veggies in this soil before, and I reckon I can manage it again.

I went to the grocery store today too, and it seemed a little farther from post-apocalyptic than it did when I last went. Many staples were either missing or in short supply, but there were paper towels, and there was meat, butter, milk, some bread. There were some canned goods too, and rice, but no flour. The store is imposing limits on how much of some things you can buy, which is a little annoying if you’re trying to just buy regular groceries for the week as I’m used to doing, but of course it makes sense and is why things are available that weren’t available a week ago.

We’ve tried using cloth napkins at times over the years, but it never sticks. I feel a little guilty. We’ve been using paper towels for a while (the narrow sheets, at least), and at some point this week, we started tearing those in half so that we’re not using as many. It makes me think of my grandmother carefully opening gifts and smoothing and saving the paper. Hopefully the world will right itself and we’ll keep some of these slightly less bad habits afterward.

There’s confusion about masks. Medical staffers need masks to protect them. People are sewing cloth masks at home that I suppose somebody is distributing to somebody? I think it’s lovely that people are trying to contribute in this way, though I’m skeptical of the efficacy of the masks and worry indeed that they’ll do more harm than good, being likely ineffective and potentially carrying the virus if handled by unknowing carriers. It’s a grander and more selfless gesture than my little victory garden, and the sap in me who gets a little misty thinking about this sort of outpouring of human kindness and cooperation has to tell the more vocal cynic to pipe down.

Lots of my neighbors seemed to have company this weekend. It’s a little distressing. Do they just not believe in science? I live in a conservative area, so that isn’t a rhetorical question. Well, it is when posed to my reader, but it is also a valid question here. A couple of neighbors have stuck teddybears in a window. My son stuck one in his window for a day but got tired of having his blinds up, and who can blame him, since these days he runs around in his underwear and spends a lot of time doing headstands in his room.

Never have I felt such a virulent disgust for any person than I feel for Donald Trump. This has been the case from day one, but it grows with every new inconceivable thing the bastard does. Today he announced an extension through April of the social distancing guidelines he has questioned to date. I think this is good, and I’m surprised he could be convinced to do it. He also went on Twitter to talk about the ratings of his daily briefings about COVID-19. My hatred for this man is not political. Certainly, my beliefs differ from the ones he claims to hold. But I would take a dignified, responsible adult of any party over this vacuous buffoon. I have felt shame ever since he became president, but his lack of a capacity to operate on any principles more sophisticated than the basest self-regard is especially appalling right now. I’m sure it will be somehow more appalling tomorrow, still more the day after that.

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