The first female recession: Women in Richmond and beyond are leaving the workforce in record numbers during COVID |

Colleen Curran:

Women account for 52.6% of job losses between February and August, or 5.6 million jobs, according to data released this month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Since February, there are 2.6 million fewer women in the labor force. In September, 617,000 women dropped out of the workforce, in comparison to only 78,000 men.

This is depressing and made even worse by Mark Meadows saying yesterday “we are not going to control the pandemic.” As I’ve said before, this is the future Republicans want: women beholden to men. The pandemic provides a path.

COVID-19, Day 222

For the first time in years, my mind is craving a hobby. I haven’t had one in a long time, and the options I’ve come up with over the last week are overwhelming. Here’s a sampling:

  • Learn to play D&D
  • Figure out how to make a rudimentary rogue-like game with procedurally generated maps
  • Read the stack of comics that has accumulated on my night stand over the last year
  • Learn to play guitar
  • Build a gaming PC
  • Set up a Twitch stream so people can see how bad I am at video games

I’d add martial arts classes to that list, but sadly, the pandemic prevents that.

Related to all of this: I installed Windows on my Mac via Boot Camp so I could play Spelunky 2, and it’s super fun. (This inspired the second bullet above.)

The roadblock I keep running up against is my own impatience. I want to do these things, but I know that most of them will require a time investment before I’m even halfway good at them (especially playing guitar), so it’s hard to convince myself to just pick one and go with it.

Reminds me of this scene from True Detective:

COVID-19, Day 215

We put out our fall decorations yesterday. Some Halloween-related stuff, but most of it is generic fall-type stuff that we keep up through Thanksgiving. It felt somewhat normal!

We had planned to try out an apple orchard this weekend, but word is that the place is super crowded on weekends despite the pandemic, so that’s out. It’s a bummer, but with the US reporting nearly 60,000 new cases yesterday, it feels safer to skip this tradition rather than force it to happen. The kids are bummed, but the house we moved into has a tiny fire pit in the back yard and we have the ingredients for s’mores, so that’ll probably help.

Dealing with virtual school continues to be a mess. I spend at least half an hour per day trying to figure out why Google Classroom won’t let one of our kids into their class meeting. We’ve remedied some of the sharper edges, though, and I’d still rather be doing this than sending them back in-person.

Our oldest is using an old 13" MacBook Pro that I had lying around. It needed a new battery, so I sent it in for service, and now it’s her school computer. It’s better for her than the 8" Android tablet the school issued. I feel guilty for giving her such a leg up technology-wise when I know other kids are struggling to even get internet access at home. At the same time, I don’t want her to struggle or her grades to suffer because (and this actually happened) she has trouble finding the punctuation and shift keys on the virtual Android keyboard.

There was an Apple event this week. I want about a dozen HomePod minis. Tiny iPhone 12 looks neat, too.

A shocking number of women dropped out of the workforce last month – CNN

Anneken Tappe:

About 617,000 women left the workforce in September alone, compared with only 78,000 men, according to government data released Friday. Half of the women who dropped out were in the prime working age of 35-44.

Saw this coming. This, combined with the backward-thinking SCOTUS nominee the GOP put forward, is going to set women back by decades, which is exactly what Republicans want. Barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen taking orders from men–that’s the ideal Republican woman. How depressing.

COVID-19, Day 206

On Sunday, I had an in-person beer with a friend in his back yard, socially distanced. It was really, really nice to see a human being who wasn’t my family or a potential plague carrier that I had to dodge.

No-News Break is going poorly thanks to Trump catching COVID. In addition to people sending me news–which is fine!–I’ve checked a couple of times just to see if he or anyone else at the super spreader event has died. Not that it matters greatly, but part of me insists on knowing. I’m not doomscrolling feeds, though, and I haven’t reinstalled Twitter anywhere.

I had a chance to investigate our in-person voting option in our new city, and it’s surprisingly good! No line when I visited in the middle of the afternoon, good foot traffic control, enforced social distancing, everyone wearing masks, plexiglass everywhere, plentiful hand sanitizer. I was planning to do mail-in voting up until I saw how they were running their ship. I think we’ll be voting in-person after all as soon as our registration gets processed.

COVID-19, Day 197

Third day of avoiding the news and I still accidentally caught wind of Trump's taxes. I know there was a blowup. I figure it was meant to freak people out, sway voters. It won't. No one will care. His supporters will say, "Hur hur, he didn't pay taxes, wish I could do that! What a badass!" And the people who despise him will just have one more reason to continue doing the same.

If the things he's done so far haven't turned people off, there's little he can do now that will change that. Roughly 42% of America supports his dumb ass, and that isn't going to change.

We need to have a serious conversation as a nation about that 42%.

COVID-19, Day 195

Day one of not reading any news was hard! I'm not sure what my iPhone is for at the moment besides posting this and sending text messages. I miss the twitchiness of filling every free second with doomscrolling.

A friend and I discussed this today. What we came to is that there's no need to follow the news anymore in the US. We know what's coming. There will be an attempted coup on November 3. The only question now is: what are you going to do about it? No news outlet can help you with that.

COVID-19, Day 194

I have entered into a pact with a close friend. I have sworn off the news until Tuesday, November 3. Not all of it. 99% of it. Especially political news.

Let’s see if I can make it.

What If Trump Refuses to Concede? – The Atlantic

Barton Gellman:

According to sources in the Republican Party at the state and national levels, the Trump campaign is discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority. With a justification based on claims of rampant fraud, Trump would ask state legislators to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly. The longer Trump succeeds in keeping the vote count in doubt, the more pressure legislators will feel to act before the safe-harbor deadline expires.

They have a plan. It’s not hypothetical.

COVID-19, Day 187

Our kids finally start school tomorrow. We moved halfway across the country a week ago, and our previous pediatrician slow-walked some paperwork to the new school, so we’re over a week late with enrollment. But it’s finally done–with almost zero notice for the kids. They’re a bit shell shocked that tomorrow’s the first day.

Our belongings are still on a semi headed for our new city, so we’ll be gathering around a long folding table with the kids for day one. No idea how we’re going to work while sitting next to them, shepherding them through their day while answering phone calls and pings on Slack.

I hate this.

Not the moving part, not the being without furniture part, not even the part where we have to be teacher’s aides. I hate that this was avoidable. Our kids could be in school if our government and a bunch of right-wing idiots had just done the right thing. We could be mostly back to normal if it weren’t for a handful of incredibly selfish cretins.

More than six months in and the CDC says we’ve got almost a year until enough vaccine doses exist to start distributing them to the general population. Ten or more months until things can start to move back toward normal.

Thanks, Trump voters.