Monday, March 23, 2020

Q-Life: Day 13

We are nearing the end of the second week of what I have taken to calling "The Q-Life", or quarantining at home, and thus far, the program is proceeding swimmingly. Our provisions are holding up well, and our equanimity toward each other remains high. I have in my ManCave, various implements of torture, including a treadmill and numerous dumbbells, in addition to a bit of space in front of my bookshelves. Having now to share the exercise area with the Kittens means working out schedules and the like, not only because of the use of the equipment, but also because of the horrific noise that passes for music they enjoy listening to and its impact on my ability to work in the same space. They have not generally been active in the mornings, and I am all too happy to vacate around 3PM, so we've entered into a reasonable accommodation.

The news greets us today with reports of Senator Rand Paul having contracted the virus, and therefore several other Senators with whom he had been in contact recently going into voluntary quarantine. This news came quick on the heels of reports of several recently frolicking "Spring Breakers" having contracted the virus. You may consider the irresponsibility of both by your own standards.

Talk in the (socially distanced) kitchen last night was that the Kittens' spring semesters are underway in earnest today via the interwebs. With all the classroom instruction and streaming of all kinds going on, this time is providing a solid stress test of  "the internet", to the extent that it can be considered a thing at all.

As I walk about, I see various "Spring Cleaning" kinds of jobs that need doing. I reported to the Obergruppenfuhrer yesterday that I would -- on nice days -- be available for such labors from 3 to 5PM, and she is dutifully working up an OPORDER for my execution.

I had hoped to use this time to pick up my new banjo and get more acquainted with it, but in tuning it, I managed to break two strings. It don't have a feeling that for $179.00, I bought the greatest banjo in the world, but now I need to restring it before I can begin lessons.

As expected, the numbers of reported cases and deaths from the virus are increasing as the testing regime begins to kick in. We need to get more tests out into the public faster, but we cannot look at testing as a silver bullet for combating this thing. It seems common sense to assume that "social distancing" will be at least as influential as testing, if not more influential, in slowing the spread of the virus and allowing for proper treatment of those already sick. As we got into this fight late, the numbers will continue to grow for some time, before they begin to flatten. Things are going to LOOK horrific in the next ten days or so, but as long as we all hunker down, continue to remain distanced, and give the healthcare system the tools it needs, we should begin to see favorable trends in the not too distant future.  But for God's sake....stay home.

There is news of great chicanery going on in Congress as our two dysfunctional parties attempt to figure out how to respond to this crisis. You see, that's the first thing. What they should be thinking right now is that they are passing a "disaster relief" measure-- not a fiscal stimulus or economic recovery measure. Yes, those things are part of the total, but what we are trying to do (or should be trying to do) is to use the vast resources of the nation to buy time and space for the medical effort to succeed. The immense social pressures that will accrue if a fifth of our workforce lose their jobs and great calamities continue in businesses small and large, will have devastating impact on the disaster relief effort. A friend of mine Tweeted the following yesterday:

I snarkily (but honestly) responded "All evidence to the contrary". What I meant by that remark was that if Americans truly valued bi-partisan teamwork in times of crisis, they would elect men and women who practice it in times of calm. Compromise and bipartisan problem solving is not valued by our hyper partisan electorate who would rather watch split screen show-ponies on mindless "news" programs from their easy chairs. We get--and have--exactly what we deserve.

No comments:

Newer Post Older Post Home