COVID 19, Days 16 and 17

Whoops. Missed a post yesterday. It’s worth noting that the day was rather uneventful, though, which is good given the circumstances.

Remote school starts for our oldest today. She has a Zoom meeting with her classmates this morning followed by several lessons sent by her teacher. Morning announcements were held via a prerecorded YouTube video.

I had a dream last night that I didn’t get her in front of the computer at the right time, and we missed the class check-in, and her teacher was super mad at me. So if you’re wondering about whether parents are stressing out about their kids’ schooling, well, there ya go.

COVID-19, Day 15

Finished Picard last night. Dang. Very enjoyable. I have many questions, but it's probably better to just let them drop. I've started catching up with The Walking Dead, which might not be the smartest idea given my anxious disposition and the fact that we're living through a pandemic, which is literally the underlying premise of the show, but whatever, zombies are fun.

Also trying to rest today while still doing some stuff around the house. Every part of me wants to sleep for a few days. Caffeine helps, but it can only get you so far.

Gonna go bake brownies. Brownies will help.

NINE INCH NAILS GHOSTS V-VI AVAILABLE NOW – nine inch nails

Trent Reznor:

GHOSTS V: TOGETHER IS FOR WHEN THINGS SEEM LIKE IT MIGHT ALL BE OKAY, AND GHOSTS VI: LOCUSTS… WELL, YOU’LL FIGURE IT OUT.

This music, like the previous Ghosts release, is haunting. Some of it bears a resemblance to work NIN did for the Watchmen soundtrack, which was also moody and, at times, anxiety provoking. I suspect this work was spun out of that soundtrack. There was similar overlap with Ghosts I-IV and the soundtrack to The Social Network.

Enjoying this very much.

COVID-19, Day 14

Friday! I still have a soft spot for Fridays even though they’re kinda meaningless at the moment.

Our kale and radishes have started to sprout. Didn’t even take a week! The kids were very excited. Tomorrow we’re tilling under our raised bed to get ready for planting in a few weeks. I’m also going to prep it with organic pest prevention stuff to avoid the squash bugs and Japanese beetles that wrecked our veggies last year.

We had some crazy-bonkers thunderstorms last night. Tornado sirens went off around 1:30, so we all headed down into the basement. Now everyone is super tired.

Miriam and I caught up with season one of Picard over the last couple of evenings, but we haven’t seen the finale yet. That’s our plan for tonight after the kids are in bed.

This is all to say that things are starting to feel pretty normal now. I think avoiding the news has helped provide an increased sense of normalcy. But when we take our post-lunch walk around the park next door, the yellow caution tape wrapped around the playground equipment serves as a strong reminder that something is still quite wrong.

COVID-19, Day 13

Today involved a lot of not thinking about the virus while also thinking about the virus. We had something personal go completely sideways, and it happened because people where we live are not taking this threat seriously.

We’re fine. Everyone is safe and healthy. Emotionally wrecked, but safe and healthy.

Today marks 14 days since any of us last traveled or interacted with people, and no one is sick. Our house is, as far as we can’t tell, clean. That’s a huge relief. Now we just have to keep it that way.

The longer this goes on, the more I feel like Rick in The Walking Dead, only I haven’t been in a coma for the part where civilization falls to pieces.

COVID-19, Day 12

The kids are developing cabin fever.

So am I.

I didn't know exactly how much I cherished the peace and quiet here during the week when they're at school.

That said, I'm glad to be spending time with them, helping them learn, getting extra hugs, making them good food. It feels good to care for them when the world is upside down.

COVID-19, Day 11

Things we’ve run out of:

  • Lettuce and most fresh veggies
  • Doritos
  • Oreos
  • Chocolate donuts
  • Beer

This is what stress eating looks like, I guess.

On the plus side, I installed iOS/iPadOS 13.4 on my devices and spent some time fiddling with it today. Seems good! Still haven’t tried the mouse cursor functionality on the iPad, though.

On the advice of a friend, I removed Twitteriffic and the Stocks app from my devices again. I signed up for a once-a-day newsletter so I can still pay attention to what’s happening. That’ll have to suffice for now, as I can’t keep my head buried in a stream of awfulness all day long.

Our town finally enacted a stay-at-home order today (punishable by fines and/or imprisonment!) that’s set to run through April 23; however, our schools haven’t sent an update about that order, and they’re set to reopen on April 13. I find it concerning that the city didn’t coordinate with the schools about messaging.

I also think April 23 is a very optimistic deadline.

A friend of mine was laid off from his job yesterday. It sucks, but I’m heartened to see that the possible aid package that’s about to be voted on includes 4 months of salary for people who were fired or laid off during the crisis. I hope it gets passed, but I hope there’s ample oversight of corporate bailouts as well.

COVID-19, Day 10

Things we’ve cooked in large quantities recently:

  • Chicken broth
  • Vegetable broth
  • Pinto beans
  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Cole slaw
  • Pork ribs
  • Chicken breasts

And it’s only been a week. We have a bunch of chicken and vegetable broth in the freezer, which is great for creating flavorful meals. We’ve blown through the rice and pinto beans (we turned some of the beans into refried beans and some of the rice into Spanish rice). The chicken breasts ended up in three meals, including a Greek dish with spinach and orzo.

We’ve been eating really, really well, and there’s no sign of that abating. Which makes me think: why weren’t we being this diligent before? Why weren’t we planning weeks of meals at a time that reused bulk items?

Laziness? Nah. Probably a lack of pressure to do so, if I had to guess.

I woke up today feeling more positive than I have on the previous days of this…event? Occurrence? Got a ton of work done today and focused really hard on that. It helped.

Looking forward to tomorrow. I’m teaching a class to my kids about yeast breads. We’re making dinner rolls that can be frozen and watching an old Good Eats episode so they understand the science behind what we’re doing.

So. Much. Cooking.

COVID-19, Day 9

Today was Sunday, which we billed as Sunday Funday. Kids didn’t have to do school work. We did a few chores, but we kept it to the basics. No massive cooking projects. A movie and popcorn this afternoon. Frito pie for dinner. My wife spent most of the day sewing.

Despite my best efforts to do something different, I spent the day doomscrolling the news on Twitter and elsewhere.

This was a stupid waste of time.

I know this, and yet I keep doing it. Did I learn anything that’s going to meaningfully change the way we do things over the next three weeks? No. Not at all. Did I further instill a feeling of Nameless Dread in myself? Yup. Sure did.

It’s hard to look away. The tick tick tick of the real time stock market numbers. The endless stream of reactions to our federal government’s lack of action. The brainless daily press conferences that continue to prioritize corporations over people. It never changes, but the omnipresent horror of it all fills your vision from top to bottom, left to right. It builds a home in your brain.

I think part of me keeps watching because I’m waiting for the whole thing to hit bottom, but the bottom never comes. It will one day–things can only get so bad. But over the course of my life I’ve never seen a societal decline in America as sharp as this one persist for so long. I suppose that makes me lucky.

Tomorrow we return to our weekday routine of home schooling, food prep, and work. Those things should provide ample distraction (I hope).

COVID-19, Day 8

So. Much. Cooking.

We made pancakes and then used the batter to make waffles that we froze. That’ll make two extra breakfasts of toaster waffles. We made a stir fry for dinner that will double as lunch tomorrow. We prepped these little sausage quinoa egg bites that we’re going to cook tomorrow morning. Those will provide two, maybe three breakfasts loaded with protein and fiber.

I also chopped a bunch of vegetables and put them into containers for freezing. We moved some of our homemade chicken broth to the freezer, too, along with some charro beans.

My youngest daughter and I started a seed garden. Onions, carrots, radishes, broccoli, spinach, and kale.

This is so weird.

We’ve done these things in the past for fun, but we’ve never done it out of necessity. That puts a much different spin on things.

Meanwhile, our neighbors hosted a fancy dress party this afternoon and evening. It looks as though they all came to hang out after a wedding. This is the sort of thing that happens when the state and city you’re living in do virtually nothing to encourage people to stay home. I cannot wait to be living in a blue state again.