How is everyone doing? Are you bearing up? Have you gone stir crazy yet? I’m doing fine, but then I have Anne to bolster my spirits. If there was only one person who you could be stranded with on a desert island, it would be her. She is a rock, plus she really rocks! This photo of her was taken on the boat ride back to Cruz Bay, after our four hour ranger led hike. We were both a little tired and sunburned, but we were also both very pleased with ourselves.
She has been keeping herself very busy during this duration. Today, we mailed out some more of her DIY face masks. This allotment was being sent to the nurses who cared for her mother in her final days. In order to minimize our exposure at the post office, we went online and printed out the package’s postage label. That way at the post office, all we had to do was drop it off and then dash. First thing though we had to weigh the package. She has this super accurate digital scale that she uses to weigh her yarn with. Unfortunately, its batteries were dead, but fortunately, I found two CR2032 disk batteries in the basement. Normally, I stock them, because our bikes’ computers uses them. Unfortunately, Anne couldn’t get the old batteries out of the scale. Fortunately, I hit upon the idea of using a knife. Unfortunately, I kind of elbowed Anne out of the way to get them out. Can you see where this is going?
Once weighed, Anne had to create a USPS account and then jump through its hoops to get the shipping label printed. I think that this took two tries. I was on the couch by then, but I could hear the stream of four-letter words emanating from the computer room and every time that I offered to help, their intensity only redoubled. Anyway, she got the job done, without my help or maybe even in spite of it. By then though high noon was drawing nigh and we had to beat feet in order to get to the post office in time before it closed.
Stopping to talk with the neighbors, probably didn’t help, but we made it to the post office in plenty of time. At the post office was a new sign that asked that only one patron at a time enter the lobby. So, we waited outside. When it was our turn, Anne dashed inside, dropped her package off on the counter and then dashed right back out again. I waited outside and applied hand sanitizer on her. It started to rain on the way back and our walk was cut short, but at least we got the face masks mailed and I helped!
We received our first delivery order from the delivery service InstaCart and while it wasn’t a complete success, it got the job done. About a third of the items that I ordered, couldn’t be filled exactly as ordered, but were filled with a close substitute product. As the delivery guy was filling our order and encountering the need to substitute products, I received a steady stream of texts informing me of this process. I subsequently updated Anne of this situation She was upstairs in her sew-a-torium and I was yelling up to her from the base of the stairs. The following conversation ensued:
Anne: Does that mean that they are substituting squid for toilet paper?
Me: No, they would only substitute like Atlantic squid for Pacific squid.
Anne: Why did you order squid?
Me: I didn’t. You’re the one who brought up squid.
In addition to the item substitution, there was also the matter of getting 4 bags of peeled carrots, which is excessive, but this was on me. I had fat fingered the drop down box and ordered them all. Finally, there are the pictured Little Bites. I never ordered anything like them or even remotely close to them. Maybe the delivery guy got them for himself and they just got mixed into our order? Or maybe another InstaCart person had pranked ours by sneaking it into his cart?
Shopping aside, even if it is only internet shopping, the high point of our day are our walks together. Spring is in full flower and the birds are doing what they do at this time of year. So long as it’s not raining, we get out, along with a lot of other people too. On a nice day, maintaining a social distance can require some gymnastics, but with sidewalks on both sides of the street and even the street in-between, there is enough room. These casual encounters allow a modicum of social interaction, in these isolationist times. Yesterday, we augmented the social aspect of our walks, when we swung by Joanie’s place and nudged her out of the house, for a while. Later, our next-door neighbor called upon us. He was being nice and checking on the old people. We enjoyed our socially safe conversation together. It helps to get out of the house and talk to other people.
We got out yesterday, for a walk with a purpose. Anne had produce four of her DIY face masks. She packaged them with some of the newly rediscovered professional masks, dredged up from the depths of our dungeon. We trooped up to the post office, to mail her package. While, I waited outside, Anne ventured into its confines, all the while trying to maintain a safe social distance. Inside, she met an NYC medical school student, now home for the duration. He said that the school had just last night graduated its senior class, throwing those students into this developing firestorm. I hope that her meeting doesn’t come back to bite us?!? The poor postal worker was wearing a face mask and gloves, all the while complaining about her heart condition. Immediately afterwards, I doused Anne with hand sanitizer.
It was such a beautiful day that we decided to extend our walk. A neighbor and former colleague hailed us as he drove by, as he was coming home from work. He turned his truck around so that we could talk. I lamented to him about all of our travel plans that are now kaput, while he filled me in on the goings on at Boeing. Any employee who can work from home is now doing so. The classified nature of his work makes his working from home impossible.
Consequently, he has been dubbed an “essential” employee. A designation, which still allows him to work. There has been some illness about, but so far only in other buildings. There is a lot more tele-conferencing going on and meetings are now limited to ten people. He expects that this will all change, once the first case arrives in his area.
The mail had arrived, by the time that we had returned home. Among the junk, there were two items of note: Yet another glossy cruise catalog (Really?) and a postcard entitled, “President Trump’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America.” This was in all caps and in the largest font printed on the card. It was actually from the CDC, but that fact was relegated to the card’s lower right corner. The message on its back was a laundry list of personal health actions that have been oft repeated throughout this epidemic (You should know them all by now.) and have been contravened by many of Trump’s own public statements.
In this vein, news has come to me that Trump’s reelection committee has issued a cease and desist order, directed at a Democratic PAC’s advertisement (See below). In this ad Trump in his own words voices over a graph that shows the number of Coronavirus cases in America versus time. Including statements like, “This is their new hoax”, “We have it totally under control”, “It’s one person coming in from China”, “One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear” and “When you have 15 people and within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.” It ends with his statement, “No, I don’t take responsibility at all.”
The US will in
two days¹ have more COVID-19 cases than either China or Italy.
- Today—Is this what Trump always meant by “America First?”