March 17, 2020
First, though, what happened on 3/16 –
Having quit my full-time job a couple weeks ago, my schedule was already in flux. Self-quarantining has, obviously, added another kink into my plans.
I mean, my cultural plans – museums, movies, library, shows, dining out – have all been taken off the table. Sigh.
Anyway, my part time job, TJ Maxx, had agreed to increase my hours previous to the extraordinary efforts now being taken to stem the tide of the virus. TJ Maxx is a great company to work for, but they are always adverse to anything that negatively impacts store hours. To that end, they are open for business and fully staffed. Also, speaking for my store, they are fully stocked and about as tidy as you could ever expect a TJ Maxx to be.
One of our very few customers on Monday described herself as “brave.” I’m not sure I agree.
I’m nowhere near the front lines of exposure like, say a grocery cashier, but I was deeply uncomfortable being around strangers and selling them candles and decorator items.
At home after the Maxx I had a phone interview for a new job, an initial screening, with a company who is still planning on ramping up to a 25% increase in staffing/business, despite the Covid19. Life goes on. Oh, the interview went okay. I would love that job!
From the interview until the time I went to bed (about 11:30), I spent a LOT of time on Facebook. My beautiful mix of friends processing what is happening to us as a nation and as humans has captivated me. I want to be there with them and for them. There is a lot to process. The stories of being sick and of shopping and of the first few days of the Big Q. Plus, the anger, disbelief, love, fear, confusion, and more. What a package of emotions!
I also fretted about my calorie intake vs. calorie expenditure. I expect this will be an ongoing theme. Much of the stock pile of provisions I’ve accumulated is carbs and meat. I could come out of this quarantine looking like an out of shape prize fighter.
And now, March 17th…
Today is St. Patrick’s Day, the quietest, Pandemic-style St. Patrick’s Day that I hope I will ever experience! I did watch the live, audience-free feed of Drop Kick Murphy’s concert out of Boston and felt the love of the on-line community.
But I had to deal with the rest of the day, and figure out a plan for the days to come. I’m way, way, way too social of person to be quarantined, but I can make this work if I give myself some kind of structure. Today I had a to-do list that is one of the least ambition to-do lists I have ever assembled. Here’s the annotated version:
- Sign tax documents (Owing money never stops to take your temperature)
- Clean off dining room table (it’s the catch-all table in my apartment, and it was stacked with all kinds of crap)
- Work Out (But then they closed the apartment gym)
- Finish the vege chili in huevos rancheros for breakfast (list padding at its finest)
- Write a music Postcard (more on this in future posts)
- Read 2-4 Chapters of Joe Pearce’s Book The Art of My Life and
- Read 50 pages of Limits of the World (I usually only read one book at a time, so I’m really throwing literary caution to the wind)
- Write a Blog post (How am doin’?)
- Watch an hour of TV (more on this in future posts)
- Laundry (This isn’t dire, but you know, laundry seems like a good thing to put on the list)
I completed every thing but the laundry and the post card done. I am truly feeling no sense of urgency, for sure. There is a lot of time ahead. One thing I got to add that I didn’t expect was the 3 pm Cincinnati Zoo live broadcast of Ricco the Brazilian Porcupine’s play time. The zoo is doing 15 broadcasts every day at 3 with different animals. So 15 minutes a day is covered from here on out!
At the tax office around 9:30 am on Main Street, just the next block over, me and two workers were the only three people there. When a CPA is your only human contact for the next couple days, it gets your attention. That should not be the social highlight, amirite?!? Main St. was quiet, not eerie quiet, but too quiet for a Tuesday morning. Also, I owed money this year, which seemed appropriate. LOL!
The sun came out big and bright around 5 and I took a walk around the neighborhood. There was a sense of resignation, maybe even a gentleness among the few people I passed. I took pictures of signs many of the establishments put up to announce closings or new business plans. Many of the places didn’t put up signs. Many covered their windows with paper/plastic seemingly to tamp down temptation, a precaution against break-ins in possibly desperate times ahead.
- Total cases: 4,226
- Total deaths: 75
- Jurisdictions reporting cases: 53 (49 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands)
* Data include both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 reported to CDC or tested at CDC since January 21, 2020, with the exception of testing results for persons repatriated to the United States from Wuhan, China and Japan. State and local public health departments are now testing and publicly reporting their cases. In the event of a discrepancy between CDC cases and cases reported by state and local public health officials, data reported by states should be considered the most up to date.