That time of year where I renew the site and wonder what I’m doing with it. Nothing really, it just sits with no updates. There’s quite a lot to get into since it’s been so long I guess I could start at the current pandemic.

So the current situation is very unique.  Everyone is told to be inside since Covid 19 is running rampant.  Social distancing is a thing, it means to keep at least 3 to 6 feet away from people when out and about.  The particles of cough or spit can travel a great distance and it’s thought to minimize the potential for transmission.  Otherwise everyone is told to shelter in place which means not going out unless it’s urgent or necessary (food shopping).  There are “essential” employees now, think minimum wage earners like clerks and stock people and of course doctors and nurses.  NY is the epicenter of the world at this point with the most cases of Covid 19.

It’s a pretty nasty virus, mostly because it stays dormant and asymptomatic for 12 days, plenty of time to infect others before symptoms show and it gives you the nasty cough and breathing issues.  Because of that it’s prone to causing death in those with weak immune systems.  That’s about as much as I really know about it, there’s still active research being performed all over the world with there even being talk of a potential vaccine but that’s far far out still.

Everyone is laid off, except for those who can still work from home.  Many are filing for unemployment since they’re all out of work.  Everyone from restaurant servers to factory workers not deemed essential.   People are wondering how they’re going to pay their bills. There are calls for rent strikes, an attempted strike at Amazon citing bad working conditions.  Essentially they’re demanding the entire warehouse gets shut down and disinfected anytime anyone comes down with the sickness.  It seems like a lot, but it wasn’t a very effective strike, very disorganized and askew.

The kids are out of school indefinitely.  They gave a date of May but that most likely is not going to happen given the current situation.  We’re too far away from the spike in cases they’re expecting before things start to dissipate but even then there’s a risk that once we resume normal life it could spike again.  Currently everyone is spending every waking hour alone in their house with whatever family they have.  I’m currently apart from my kids and waiting for a week or two more before resuming visitation. Their other mom is very concerned about crossing state lines but it’s not like it’s Marshal Law at this point.  That’s when the guys with guns come out and question why you’re out and about.

It’s an emotional time, a time of great collective grief for a life lost for the time being, apart from friends, extended family.  I’m sad but I’m safe.  I wish the kids were here with me but I’d need more food for them.  I’m subsisting on noodles and cans of soup at this point, I have nothing left besides some sliced turkey I picked up from our work cafeteria.  They were laying everyone off when they had the idea to sell their stocks, everything from deli meat and cheese to gloves and tp.  Everything they’d normally consume went up for sale at very reasonable prices.

Oooh, almost forgot about the toilet paper shortage.  If you want it you need to get to the store early, when it opens, otherwise the whole paper aisle is completely bare. Everyone is stock-piling and hoarding. Apparently this occurred before back in the 70s with the fuel shortage, everyone panicked and bought all the toilet paper after a monologue joke from Johnny Carson misquoted a senator and changed a ‘might be a shortage’ in the future to ‘there’s a shortage’.  The next day they went in droves and bought up all the tp.  This time it occurred slowly, when they first mentioned quarantine everyone went crazy for non-perishables and toilet paper, it was going faster than it could be replenished and it hasn’t let up since.

You can still go to the store, you can still buy what you need… if it’s there.  To give you an idea the entire frozen food aisle was completely bare except for some plant-based bubba burgers, bread and eggs were sparse at one point and meat is rationed out to 2 per person.  They keep restocking though, which is why you have better luck in the mornings if you really need something.  That was the scariest part for me, walking into a cleared out Aldi and then facing a similar situation when I went down the street to Stop N Shop.

It’s all very surreal, from the empty streets to the cleaned out stores.  You really get a feel for what it’s like during a real emergency.  They say a previous generation was called to war, this generation is being called to stay at home and sit on our asses, we can do this.  There’s a lot of “we’re in this together” and classy ads on TV showing how much the corporations care for us and want our families to be safe.  It’s going to push the automation into full gear, watch the everyday robots start popping up any day now.  It’s changed the world already and things are only going to change further.

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