Another Pandemic Friday the Thirteenth

Karsten Winegeart, Friday the Thirteenth
Pandemic Friday the Thirteenth

So today is another Pandemic Friday the Thirteenth. This has special significance for me as the last Friday the Thirteenth, back in March, was my first day of pandemic staying-safer-at-home. Today, two hundred forty-five days later, I’m still being safer-at-home.

I’m not sure if this is a real-life enactment of “Groundhog Day” or “Nightmare on Elm Street.” Either way, I wish the movie would just end.

Pandemic Thoughts

From my basement den-mancave-office vantage point, the days just seem to slip by. I watched spring change to summer and summer change to autumn. We as a nation have experienced a somewhat surreal national election where at least the good guy won. Meanwhile, the outgoing president finally kept his promise of Making America Great by leading us into the single highest coronavirus infection rate of the entire world.

Other thoughts on these past eight months of safer-at-home are a jumble of mismatched images. I’m grateful that I’m able to work from home with the income to take care of Winnie and I. At the same time, I feel guilty I’m not sharing the struggle like so many other people. I’ll call it survivor’s guilt, but I don’t know what I can do for those people.

I’m also angry at the many millions of fellow Americans who refuse to social distance and wear their fucking masks in public. I simply don’t “get” why the simple act of wearing a mask has become a political issue. Prolonging this pandemic isn’t doing anyone any good, and no super hero is going to sweep in and magically make everything go away.

Other Friday Thoughts

Meanwhile, this enforced shut-in has given me lots of free time to do personal in-the-house things. The most significant is finishing up my graduate degree coursework. I’m on track to complete my program next month and graduate (virtual ceremony) in January. I’m sure I would have been able to finish in two years even without being shut-in, but not spending three to four hours each weekday on commuting gave me that much extra time and energy to focus on schoolwork.

I’ve also had time to spend on in-house hobbies like blogging on this humble website and learning new Internet skills. Shop work hasn’t been possible as I moved my kayak in the garage for safe keeping. Winnie also uses the garage to store groceries and mail for quarantine. In between schoolwork I’ve had a chance to read a couple of good books and watch a lot of movies.

Our House August 2020
Our House with Winnie’s Garden August 2020

Winnie continues to manage quite nicely. She grew a lovely vegetable garden this year, trying her hand at a few new vegetables for the first time. The local deer mostly left us alone, unlike last year where Winnie’s garden seemed to be their number one choice for fine dining. She’s been out of work since March 6, her longest stretch of unemployment since arriving in America. We celebrated our seventeenth wedding anniversary last month, which just amazes me at how fast these years went by.

Future Thoughts

I really don’t now how much longer our stay-at-home is going to last. I see a real conflict between rising infection rates and people’s needs of just getting outside to shop, work, and make some semblance of a normal life for their children. The holidays are coming up and Winnie and I are resigned to spending the holidays together without visiting friends or family. I know the holidays are going to hard for families with young children. Especially for families that are struggling to survive while both parents may be out of work and trying to find grocery money wherever they can.

Meanwhile, our coronavirus infection rates are skyrocketing and there’s no one in charge until January 20, 2021, sixty-seven long days away.

A Christmas Tree of Masks
A Christmas Tree of Masks

Stay safe everyone. Someday this pandemic will have to end.

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