COVID-19, Day 23

I destroyed my right ankle this afternoon. A word of advice: don’t destroy any part of your body during a pandemic.

Ow.

However! Before that incident, I made fridge pickles. Carrots, celery, onions, a clove of garlic, and a mixture of white and balsamic vinegar with sugar. Can’t wait to try them tomorrow.

I also dug out my pickling equipment. If all goes well, I’ll have some sauerkraut fermenting by tomorrow evening (provided I can walk).

Next up: home made yeast cinnamon rolls.

Our veggie garden continues to develop. Onions, broccoli, kale, radishes, and carrots all doing well, plus some re-sprouted heads of romaine.

It feels good–appropriate?–to be growing a garden and pickling things during a time of uncertainty. It’s a slow process that requires a bit of attention and a lot of care, and it ultimately sustains us. Seems like a good combination of factors right now.

COVID-19, Day 22

We’ve been avoiding ordering take-out since day one of quarantine. Even though we were exhausted today, I still advocated against it.

Sure, everything shows that this virus isn’t food-borne. You still have to wipe down containers, etc., to make sure you’re safe, which is burdensome. But it sounds pretty safe?

Honestly, it seems overly risky just to get an easy meal. I’d rather raid the freezer, which is what we did tonight.

GodDAMN I want some barbecue, though.

The flipside is considering what the workers have to go through. They show up, they prep food, they work in close quarters with other people, and they have no choice about working because CAPITALISM.

I don’t want to order food prepped by someone who’s working just to avoid missing rent–no one should be in that position. Our government should be covering the payrolls of businesses that are struggling because of the virus. That’s what some other countries are doing. Why can’t we do that, too?

At the same time, should I leave those people stranded? They need hours and tips, too.

I’m extremely conflicted about this.

COVID-19, Day 21

A lot of people have been referencing the song Life During Wartime by The Talking Heads with regard to the current crisis. I suspect this has something to do with the idiot in the White House referring to himself as a “wartime president.” Whatever.

That song is not the right song from their oeuvre. The song you’re looking for is Nothing But Flowers.

It was a response to Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi, where she famously complained: “they paved paradise, put up a parking lot.” While I don’t care for the overt stance against a return to nature, the song definitely strikes a lot of chords given the current situation.

Once there were parking lots
Now it’s a peaceful oasis

This was a Pizza Hut
Now it’s all covered with daisies

I miss the honky tonks,
Dairy Queens, and 7-Elevens

And as things fell apart
Nobody paid much attention

I dream of cherry pies,
Candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies

We used to microwave
Now we just eat nuts and berries

This was a discount store,
Now it’s turned into a cornfield

Don’t leave me stranded here
I can’t get used to this lifestyle

COVID-19, Day 20

I've been designated our family's errand runner. That means tomorrow I get to go get our groceries that we ordered a week ago. Curbside pickup. I'll bring them home, disinfect them. It's the first grocery run we've done in three weeks.

Three weeks.

We used to go to the grocery store almost daily, not to mention trips to restaurants and coffee shops. I guess we're saving some money!

I can't remember when we last put gas in our car.

Even more troubling is that our car desperately needs an oil change. I don't have the equipment to do it myself, and I don't know how to safely do it at a retail shop, so I feel stuck.

Every day is more challenging than the last. Trying hard not to feel defeated.

A No-Nonsense COVID-19 Explanation

My friend Sam shared this video with me, and I found it incredibly helpful. It’s a recorded Zoom call with Dr. David Price, a NYC doctor working almost exclusively with people who have COVID-19.

TL;DW:

  • Wash your damn hands.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask if it helps you remember not to touch your face.
  • Stay a safe distance from others and avoid prolonged close-proximity exposure.

COVID-19, Day 18

Masks. Should we wear them? Dunno!

CNN says:

World Health Organization officials Monday said they still recommend people not wear face masks unless they are sick with Covid-19 or caring for someone who is sick.

But then I see things like this:

When historians tally up the many missteps policymakers have made in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the senseless and unscientific push for the general public to avoid wearing masks should be near the top.

That link is loaded with links to other articles and research showing that masks help.

And yet! Folks I’ve spoken to who have consulted with doctors have been told to skip the masks, that they’re good to keep you from touching your face, but their efficacy in preventing spread or infection is negligible.

Then again, there’s a graph floating around showing the infection rate curve for a bunch of nations. Those that turned the corner fastest are circled with the word MASKS scrawled in the bubble. The implication is that masks helped slow the spread in those countries.

I still don’t know what to make of this. It’s confusing because knowledgeable people are refuting each other’s claims over and over, and I’m unsure who to trust.

I’ve also read conflicting information about whether the virus is primarily spread via droplets in the air or from people touching infected surfaces and then touching their faces.

Trying to get a handle on the truth about these things is proving to be exhausting.

Zoom’s misleading encryption claims are just the latest problem for the popular service – Six Colors

Dan Moren:

You can’t just make words mean whatever you want. “End-to-end encryption” has a specific definition, and trying to massage it simply because it’s inconvenient is a real problem.

No one should use Zoom anymore. The company is profoundly dishonest. Apparently there’s at least one full-featured open source alternative. Hoping to give it a try soon.