So today is day one hundred-eleven (111) for staying safer-at-home against the novel coronavirus that’s taking over the world. Or more properly, the novel coronavirus that has taken over the world. I can’t help noticing that 111 plus 888 equals 999, which is supposed to be the symbol of the beast. There might be something numerologist about this, but I really don’t want to spend too much thinking about it.
I really just want this zombie apocalypse pandemic to end.
Winnie and I continue to shelter at home and minimize our outdoor excursions. I’m still able to work from home although I did go up to Washington, D.C. a couple of weeks ago to deal with some administrative issues. The company Winnie was working for before the “pause” is still shut down. She received an email from them last week optimistically announcing they planned on re-starting business sometime this month. Honestly, I don’t see it.
The biggest issue with staying at home is grocery shopping. In the before time, Winnie would go shopping every several days. Her shopping runs were to different stores around the area depending upon what she needed. Now, we’ve cut down to a shopping run about every two weeks, and settled on one of two stores. We’ve started to use Walmart’s grocery app to pre-order groceries on-line, for curbside pickup. This works out OK, despite my general animosity towards anything Walmart.
Our other shopping source is Costco. They offer an old people’s priority shopping early weekday mornings and I qualify as an old person. So about once each month I’ll go to Costco using a shopping list Winnie prepares in advance. This ends up being a big shopping run, much bigger than from Walmart.
Staying Busy At Home
I haven’t been out on the water at all this season. First, the parks where I normally launch from were all closed. Now, I believe they’re somewhat re-opening but I really don’t want to deal with being around people at the launches. So our big issue is staying busy inside the house.
My office work keeps me busy enough and I’ve gotten used to not commuting. Besides office work, I’m taking two summer college courses towards my degree program. For exercise, now that the weather is nice Winnie and I get outside for walks. Our house backs up to a county park and conservation area, so we can access a walking trail right from our backyard. It’s been very convenient these past several weeks in getting us outside but still mostly secluded.
Tech Talk Ahead
Besides my office work and school, I’m staying busy working on websites. My big project is a COVID-19 timeline that is rapidly becoming a massive project. I’m attempting to capture key events and organize them in chronological order in a way that ultimately tells a story. As of now, this timeline is running 57,000 words. It’s also becoming a bit of an obsession with me, something I’m working hard to avoid.
I’m also going back, again, to upgrade my older posts. I did this once before when I migrated from PHPNuke to WordPress, but I didn’t have nearly as much content then. Now I’m going back and upgrading for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), meaning I’m trying to improve the ability of people to actually find my humble blog.
I switched to a powerful SEO plugin (Yoast SEO) a couple of years ago, and around Christmas time actually paid for the premium version. In order to use this plugin effectively, I have to add search terms and key words to all my posts which now number about 325. I also have a number of pages I’ve built with photo galleries and other material.
So this upgrade is turning into another massive project. The payoff is I might see more viewers finding my humble blog and getting me discovered as the next Great American Writer. OK, so not likely. But it keeps me busy.
Through the Looking Glass
All of this work is set against the background of daily bad news about the COVID-19 pandemic. My COVID-19 timeline project keeps me tuned into current events and I stay concerned. Too many Americans refuse to take this serious. Honest-to-God, I do not understand how people can be so short-sided to refuse to take basic precautions like wearing a God Damn face mask. I do not get how people can think they’re making a political statement by endangering their health, and the health of people around them. I’ve seen videos like this below, and can’t help feeling I’ve fallen down that rabbit hole alongside Alice.
So this is where we are. I end with this great quote by journalist H.L. Mencken:
No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby. The mistake that is made always runs the other way. Because the plain people are able to speak and understand, and even, in many cases, to read and write, it is assumed that they have ideas in their heads, and an appetite for more. This assumption is a folly.H.L. Mencken
Stay safe, folks. And wear a God Damn face mask.
Adventures in Home-Owning; Falling Ceilings Edition : After a ceiling falls on you, the rest of the week is just a whole lot better.
The Smell of a Submarine : Answers the question: What is something nobody knows about submarines?
A Bang-Up Kind Of Day : It was just one of those days we should have stayed home.