Monday, March 16, 2020


I really don't know what to post for today. I was going to either do a write-up of the latest Tuesday DnD silliness, or maybe get a head start on Dark Armor and Into The Black, or both. Instead I... didn't do much of anything. Well, I mean, I created a Discord server since it would wildly foolish to get together for DnD this week. (We did last week, but in retrospect we probably shouldn't have.) And I played a bit of The Outer Worlds, and did some reading, and Beautiful Wife and I took the dog for a much-needed walk. But adult-responsibilities-things? Not so much. We swung by Target and picked up some groceries.

That was a weird experience. The paper products are just gone. Even the paper towels. Eggs were gone. Bread was not. The wine aisle looked essentially untouched. I don't know. We were able to get everything that we actually needed, except by the time we got finished I was feeling a little woozy so I came home, ate some bread, and napped for a couple of hours. I'm hoping that didn't have anything to do with the bit of leftover omelette I finished for breakfast this morning; maybe I should have thrown it out instead. We'll see, I guess.

The spread of COVID-19 has coincided with the arrival of seasonal allergies, at least in my area, which is giving us a lot of fun guessing games involving sneezing and coughing. The boys are on their second week of Spring Break, and Beautiful Wife is starting on hers amidst instructions to move everything online for the foreseeable future. My own job, on the other hand, announced (as of... last Thursday, I think?) that even those of us with the capacity to work from home were expected to be present and at our desks unless we have a compelling reason not to. I think that's foolish -- we're certainly not set up for everyone to be able to telecommute, but every person who does is one less potential disease vector -- but we're a municipal government and our leadership has always been sensitive about the stereotypes some people hold about government employees. They like to give a very clear impression of a professional, competent staff with a strong work ethic and a commitment to customer service. So here we are, at least until we discover that someone has been coming to work while infected but asymptomatic for a week or so.

My father and his wife cancelled their trip to California to visit her parents, which I think was wise; they seem to be self-isolating, and their church had the good sense to cancel services. My in-laws seem to be taking it fairly seriously, too. So, I'm not all that worried for the immediate family.

Still, overall, I'm deeply worried that an awful lot of people aren't taking this seriously enough, and as a result we're going to end up with medical professionals having to make the kind of triage decisions that Italy is making now -- stuff we haven't seen since World War II. I keep seeing people refer to Y2K like it was hoax or a gross overreaction, and it's starting to make me stabby because it absolutely was not either of those things. It's only possible to see it that way now because people listened to the experts and took steps to head off the crisis before it arrived. It was a genuine catastrophe -- just one that we averted by working together. And I don't see us doing that right now.

I think this thing is going to get far worse and last far longer than most people realize right now.

It's late, and even with the nap I should go to bed. Take care of yourselves, take care of each other. Avoid contact as much as possible, and wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. A lot of what I'm reading indicates that this week (and possibly next) are going to make the big difference in how fast the virus spreads and how many new cases we have all at once, so be as careful as you can.


  1. Here in Philadelphia, the mayor is taking things seriously indeed. As of 1700, all non-essential businesses have been ordered to close and all non-essential city services are being closed. The governor is also taking things seriously, but not quite to that level. He's handed down recommendations rather than orders, but they're in the same vein.

    I'm not sure where Target and Walmart fall relative to the shutdown order. Both sell groceries, but in neither case is that their primary market. I guess I'll be calling at least Walmart, and possibly both to find out.

    An online acquaintance's workplace has what seems to be a workable compromise between everyone working remotely and everyone coming in. The workplace has been split into two teams, with one staying home and one coming in. They'll be switching off every week. The teams were chosen such that the minimum distance between workers' desks is six feet. Maybe your workplace could do something similar if they can't have everyone work remotely. BTW, for all the time I've been reading your blog, I was not aware that you work for the municipal government. Somehow, I'm not surprised that a local government in a Red state isn't taking Covid-19 as seriously as it should.

  2. I'm glad they're being cautious in your area, at least. The good news on my end is that we're apparently at least looking at the idea of working from home and how we'd try to implement it where possible -- but I'm afraid that by the time we do try to implement it, it'll be too late to make much difference.


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