Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Life in the Time of the Virus, Still Continued

I close out our third month of seclusion, and we are fine. A little tired of it all. A little worn out. A little grumpy. But fine.

In this period I helped ship a computer game. Call it my COVID project. Our entire team was working from home, and that in itself is amazing. But with shipping, even though there are about a bajillion things that still need to be done to support/evolve/fix the game, I feel that one of the great pressures on me has passed, and feel a little exhausted as a result.

Part of the recent tasks as we moved to release involved recording voices for future content. So I and my writers were all in our homes, my producer in HIS home in Southern California, our actors in THEIR homes, and our poor audio engineer in the studio in Burbank by himself pulling it all together. My audio guy says the result sounds pretty good. Yeah, I remain amazed that we managed it all.

In the larger medical world the curve is flattening, but our part of the state is not at Phase 2 yet (we are at a modified Phase 1.5, which is what happens when nerds do planning - we break things down into smaller and smaller components). We are getting there - new cases have dropped, death toll is down (but still with us). The whole point of flattening the curve has been not to avoid all risk of infection, but to not overload the medical system with everyone getting sick at once. We have succeeded, yet there remains more to do.

I hear reports that there is herd immunity. I'm not sure about that. COVID-19 is a corona virus, like the common cold. I haven't seen much in the way of herd immunity to that over the years. I am dubious.

I hear reports that the there are mutations that are making the disease weaker, primarily reports from Italy. While that appeals to me in a conclusion to The Andromeda Strain sort of way, I don't see enough movement to support the concept. I remain dubious.

And I have a nervousness that stems from the tendency to admit COVID-19 deaths only when they are absolutely sure that it was COVID-19. So a lot of deaths are now recorded as from pneumonia, with the result that we now have a PNEUMONIA epidemic as the yearly totals are now 3 and 4 times what they normally are. This echoes the AIDS epidemic of my youth, where a lot of deaths of young men were hidden under the guise of "pneumonia".

But we are finally getting the point of wide-spread testing, which is a good thing. We've been guessing for a while now, but of this I am not dubious about.

My plague beard has graduated from "scraggly" to "grizzled".

The robocalls are returning to their natural habitat. One woman keeps calling to tell me there is nothing wrong with my credit. That's nice.

The Lovely Bride and I have succumbed to baking. She has been trying to refine a Kaiser roll recipe that has been kinda of weird on her.  We are making pizza dough, the type that rises overnight, using a recipe from the newspaper. This recipe is clearly meant to just be read, but not implemented. The LB disagrees with about every step of the recipe, so discussion result. Fortunately, after it is all said and done, we get to eat the evidence (and, after all the prep, it really wasn't bad at all).

But people are tired of all this. I get it. I'm not particularly happy myself, and I've got it really easy. I still have my work and talk to my co-workers continually over the 'net. Shortages have been spotty (the latest - shower cleaner and mushroom soup). People have been distancing. Masks are more common than not, particularly at the farmers' markets that are slowly coming back. Less so at the Fred Meyers.

And yet I feel this low-level irritation and agitation. I have less patience on the road, going out for sundries, even though there is less traffic. I have less patience behind the inevitable person at the grocery store paying in loose change. And while I am sure no one has turned the traffic lights to red longer just to peeve me off, but peeve me off they do.

I feel a little bad feeling this way - as I say, I got it easy. No, I've got it REALLY easy. While I was in the basement recording voices long distance, workmen peeled off my back balcony and replaced it with a larger, wider, sturdier, non-rotting version (our other COVID project). Two weeks to get it to the present state, where a base coat is drying. We are delayed because the flooring guy disagrees with what the engineer had put down on his drawing for flashing, while the local municipality agrees but will only authorize doing it the contractor's way if the engineer buys off on it. So we are stalled for the moment. But seriously, this is the worst thing happening? We have it as dead easy.

We endure and we continue and we thrive.We row on.

More later,