Pandemic Day Three Hundred Twenty-Five and Counting

Illustration of the Coronavirus Created by the CDC

Today is pandemic day three hundred twenty-five, 325 days of staying safer at home. These past 325 days seem almost like a dream – so much has happened and so much else hasn’t. These days and months seem like a slow-motion disaster in progress with no end in sight.

Life goes on as it always does, but this life seems almost as if it’s been lifted from some fantasy novel and made real.

Pandemics and Vaccination Blues

It seems modern medicine has come up with several options for vaccinations against the current scourge of humanity. Now, the trick is to get the vaccines to where humans actually live. In viral epidemic disaster movies the hero always seems to be able to create a vaccine just in the nick of time to save whatever portion of humanity hasn’t irrevocably turned into zombies or otherwise perished. It’s at that point the music rises, screen credits roll, and Earth is saved. These movies always seem to leave out the part about actually producing and distributing the six billion-odd doses needed to get into arms.

Here in Real LifeĀ® we don’t seem to have the luxury of ignoring basic logistics. As a career logistician I can attest that distribution on a global level is hard but not impossible. It takes planning, carefully thinking through all possible options, looking for bottlenecks, designing workarounds, and putting people and money where they’re needed. Our military does this as a matter of everyday work for bombing far-off countries into the stone age. However, no bombs are injured as a result of vaccinations so our logistics seems to have fallen flat.

I’ve met some people who actually received a vaccine, so I know it’s real. When the distribution chain gets to Winnie and me nobody knows. I’m six months short of being on the over 65 “critical needs” list, which means I shouldn’t expect to see my name on a list before this summer. Which happens to be when I turn 65. Winnie is in a different category. She’s become highly suspicious of how the vaccines were developed and hesitant to get her shot when available. I’m hoping by the time she has her turn, she’ll change her mind and take the shot.

Working From Home

I’m still working from home everyday, with no end point in sight. There was talk back before the election that we might expect to return to a normal schedule after the holidays. But the totally-not-stolen elections have come and gone, and we have a new President. I’m not sure whether those long-ago work routine predictions were based on the last guy remaining in charge, but now there’s no current talk about a “normal” work routine anytime soon.

I continue to believe this pandemic will have long-lasting effects on how people work. There’s no doubt many people need to be out and about to earn their daily bread. For us office workers however, this extended staying-safer-at-home has proven people can telecommute without the world ending. Meetings can be held via video, people can connect to office servers and correspond with colleagues. Once business leaders see how much money can be saved by not renting office space, they’ll be all for working remote. There will always be a need for face to face dealings, but I expect those will become the exception vice the before-times normal.

Winter Continues

In other news, we had our first real snow of the season yesterday. This was part of the winter storm blast predicted and actually occurred. I woke up yesterday morning to a decent amount of snow cover and a light snow still falling. The lite snowfall continued until early afternoon and ended with about three inches on the ground. Over-night sleet put a nice ice crust over everything by this morning, making me happy I didn’t need to drive anywhere today.

First Snow of Winter 2020-2021
First Snow of Winter 2020-2021

I take this as proof nature’s seasons continue regardless of what happens to humanity. I also note that this has been a very mild winter until now. Temperatures hovering in the low thirty’s at night and often climbing into the high fifty’s by day. This is typically the point in my writing when I moan about how I’m ready for summer. This time, given I’m not going outside for many reasons anyway, the winter weather hardly seems to matter.

I’m just ready for this pandemic to be over so we all can go back to a semblance of normal life. Whatever a normal life even means anymore.

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