Friday, October 16, 2020

Life in the Time of Virus - Changes

Office in a Small City, 1953

The world is frozen. The world is always in motion.

Month Seven has passed and change is in the offing. Still working from home, but I have changed positions. Crucible has been “sunset” (cancelled) and now I am working on a new project for Amazon, of which I cannot speak.

However, this has resulted in several changes. For the past 6 months I have been camped out in the basement library with two laptops and my personal monitor. My desk has been an old oak table purchased from Milt’s Woodshed in Walworth (Milt’s a character, yaknow), and my chair has been a straight-backed dining room chair. The table is littered with piles of games and vinyl record albums, and my monitor has been perched on a couple boxes of the Dominion game. And that’s OK, because I thought this was a temporary measure and we would be back in the office soon.

But there may no longer be an office for a cancelled project, and when my new team heard about the strength of my computers, the feeling was that I needed some real firepower. So I have a new desk chair, desk, laptop and tower, along with sundry additional things. I took down the drafting table I had in the corner of my personal office (I try to keep church and state separate as much as possible), and installed myself there, which will be warmer during the coming winter months. But it has been a weird feeling, sort of a permanent shift for me.

Oh. Also, got a haircut, finally.

We have recovered from the smoky days of previous month, and slipped effortlessly into fall, which in Seattle terms means rain, windstorms, and the occasional clap of thunder. The birds disappeared during the worst of the smoke, but seem to have returned, though I don’t know if they are the originals or migratory versions that are passing through. In any event, the hummingbirds are now at the feeder, and chickadees battle over the fountain.

The outer world continues. The Lovely Bride is wrapping up tax extensions from last year, already extended by the government once. Spot shortages continue – the latest is caffeine-free diet soda and shower cleaner. Also rubbing alcohol, which people are turning into hand sanitizer and shower cleaner. The Lovely B has gone to vodka for her mix. Which is OK, since I haven’t picked up any ginger beer lately.

I actually got sick the other week. It was probably a reaction to a shingles vaccine (I had gotten a flu shot at the same time - why not go for two?), and it left me achy and congested for a few days. The Lovely Bride had some back spasms and is now doing physical therapy. But I have been stunned to discover that there is more out there than just the virus. But at the same time, this has been the longest time without some cold, flu, or other physical illness. 

Not so for everyone in the outside. And we humans like stories, and stories of hubris are particularly appealing. The guy who swears there in no monster getting eaten by the monster - that's a story that resonates. And those who oppose masks, social distancing, and other measures while trying to live a life from before the coronovirus, who then come down with it in droves is that sort of story. And you know, despite the nature of such stories, I feel empathy for these folk, even though they will likely survive it (through the very actions they despised before) but learn nothing from the experience. Perhaps.

And so we row on.It is grey and cool and fall is starting roll in. But at least the birds are back.

More later.