COVID-19 Update #4

I went to buy our week’s worth of groceries this weekend and found the vibe pretty different. The CDC has recommended wearing some kind of covering over mouth and nose to reduce the spread of your own germs. A fair few people are doing so, more at my local co-op than at the chain grocery store. At the co-op, there was a weird sort of stalemate any time I drew near anyone. I didn’t come very close to anyone, to be clear, but any time it seemed a possibility, there was this furtive eye contact and a tacit agreement to sort of circle one another or hang back until it was my turn to approach whatever we were competing for. I felt a little criminal. At the small co-op, workers collected buggies and sanitized them, and they sanitized the credit card terminal’s stylus between uses and asked that people only use the stylus. By contrast, at the chain store, people wandered down the middles of aisles, shopped in groups, and seemed generally less concerned with keeping their breath to themselves, though many did wear face coverings. Both stores had plastic barriers between customer and cashier. Both were fairly well stocked, with paper products notably absent at the chain store. I did not have a face covering this weekend and regretted it; next weekend I will, if it’s a pair of briefs and some pipe cleaner.

Gas is under two bucks, though I forget exactly how much it is. It’s been a while since I’ve seen that figure start with a one, though.

My neighbors are having work done on their godawful pool, and other neighbors are have had other workers doing yardwork. I saw several neighbors with company visiting this weekend. Nobody comes into our house, and nobody leaves it except to walk the dog cautiously or, a little, to play in the backyard. Even that I feel a little weird about. We’re still having pizza delivered on Fridays as has been our habit for a while, and our pizza place has a hands-free situation that prevents me from having to sign a receipt or get near the delivery person, who puts my pizza boxes on the porch and loiters until I wave them away. It’s nice. I could get used to more hands-free services.

I planted my little garden I had dug last weekend, putting in mostly peas, carrots, and tomatoes, with a few broccoli, brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi plants just to mix it up a little. I don’t know if any of these will grow. The tomato seeds were mostly ones we saved from some tomatoes we ate a few years ago. The others were seeds we had purchased some years back. I did find some potting soil around the house that I used to enrich some of the soil, but the ground I’m planting in is not the most hospitable, so we’ll see how it goes.

Mostly, life remains near-normal for my family. We’re home-bodies in general anyway.

I’ve heard of lots of people having trouble with their internet, but mine has been stable so far.

The Prime Minister of England is in intensive care, having contracted the virus. Nearly 11,000 people have died of the virus in the U.S. so far, and we have I think 300,000-plus confirmed cases. A few famous people have died.

The president of the U.S. continues to lie and suppress opinions contrary to his own, and the sycophants he has surrounded himself with continue to drive the country into the ground. It’s hard to imagine a government more tainted by corruption and bumbling idiocy than this one. Wisconsin today opted to hold their presidential primary tomorrow instead of delaying, and the implication is that conservative politicians are doing so because they know it will suppress the democratic vote. This seems on brand, and it is unconscionable.

My friend and colleague wrote this post relating sheltering at home to caring for a bunny, and though that sounds a little weird on the surface, her post is well worth a read, for it is both wise and hilarious. You should give it a read.

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