This isn’t the best way I thought I’d post to this blog again, after so long without sharing any content or updates. But, here we are.
For anybody that doesn’t know me, let me first say… thanks for coming by, real nice of you. My name is Kevin, I’m newly married as of February, and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Thankfully my wife and I don’t live where COVID-19 has hit our area the hardest, but we do have our fair share of cases, which led to the “shelter in place” order from our county; meaning, don’t go out unless you absolutely have to. Necessities like food from the grocery store, ordering takeout, going to work (if your job hasn’t stopped entirely), or… I dunno, probably going to the hospital to get checked or helped for medical conditions, including the coronavirus.
This situation does remind me that I’m incredibly lucky to be where I am, even living where I am; I have a pretty good job, I can work from home, and the only thing that’s basically changed in the day-to-day is the view. And as much as I like my co-workers, being able to see my wife and my cat throughout the day is kind of wonderful. Top that off that I have experience working from home (which I did for over 3 years at my previous job), and I’m sitting in about as good a middle-class spot as I can in a crisis like this. Things aren’t “good”, but they’re workable.
That doesn’t mean the situation is passing us by from out the window. Paper towels are in short supply, and toilet paper is… well, that’s just not available in any store we’ve checked. Canned goods were mostly gone the last time we hit a grocery store. Frozen foods were mostly gone (with the exception of ice cream, which surprises me). We looked in every reasonable place we could think of, even buying up lots of paper towels at the Daiso Japan store. I love that place, and it may have been only the second or third time in my life I went there intending to buy something other than notebooks and bottled coffee. (But hey, it’s there, so I still bought bottled coffee.)
We have friends and family in the area that we know are hit harder than we are; friends with disabilities, difficult working conditions, jobs that need to be done in-person that can’t be done now, and that won’t be done for some indeterminate time. All they, and we, can really do right now is sit and wait, hoping for some help from a government that clearly doesn’t have its shit together, headed by a man that tried to calm a nation about a highly-contagious virus while explicitly touching people, his microphone that others came up to, his own face, and shaking hands with CEOs.
I don’t mean this to be a political post, but no matter your political leanings, it was about the most ignorant thing a person in his position could’ve done right then. Yeesh.
Life goes on though, I guess. Still have to make ends meet, still need to pay the bills and work my workday and feed the cat and wash my hands (which I was already doing, and now I’m doing more). What I learned while working from home before my current job, and what’s been solidified in my mind since this started, is very simple: life goes on. Life finds a way. And whether it’s a few weeks, or a few months, or over a year from now, when this has calmed down enough for the conspiracy theorists to come up with further bullshit about what happened, hopefully everyone else will have learned a few lessons on how to handle themselves in a crisis like this.
For the sake of saying it, this isn’t a “China” problem, even if it started there. This is a world problem. Few people, and fewer countries, were prepared for a situation like this. South Korea learned a lot from their experience with SARS in the early-2000s, and have done incredibly well making sure people are tested, their symptoms addressed, and reduced the spread of the disease. Yet they’re still suffering from its effects on its people, its economy, and infrastructure. Compare their response to that of Italy, which so far of my writing has suffered more than 2,500 deaths and over 31,000 confirmed cases so far. In my home of the United States, the economy is tanking harder than a Trump-owned casino.
I know it won’t be over soon. Those kinds of numbers, having only had the disease in their borders and in my area’s borders for weeks and not months. Healthy as I am at 35 I don’t want to catch it, it sounds pretty awful if any symptoms show up in even the healthiest of people. While I do have exertion-induced asthma, it’s basically “don’t go to the gym and run 10 miles non-stop right now at sprinting speed”-induced asthma, and isn’t as dangerous as anyone with a more immunodeficient system. Again, I’m lucky.
I suppose I should end by reiterating what helps stop this spread, just like every other post on the internet: wash your hands, don’t go out unless you have to, disinfect commonly-touched surfaces, and don’t touch your face (with washed or unwashed hands, if you can). Also, don’t touch somebody like Donald Trump, who seems to think touching everything and everyone is still OK, even after potential exposure to this disease himself and being in a more dangerous demographic than the average American.
So just… be safe. Think before you act. Be the person you know you should be in a situation like this. And if you’re one of those hoarders that’s bought up as much TP and Purell as humanly possible:
Yes, ALL of us think you’re an asshole.
Stand Tall, friends. This won’t be over soon, but it will one day before. Until then, we’re going to have to be the best we can be, and sacrifice where we can. More posts should be written up in the coming weeks, just for further thoughts and ways we’ve found to pass the time. For now, I hope you’re as healthy as you can be.
(And… remember to season your food. If it’s something similar every day, a little spice certainly helps.)
One reply on “Greetings From Quarantine”
Well said Kevin and congratulations on your recent marriage. I am only one of two people that work in my office anymore and it is very strange. I have the option to work from home but I really don’t have the room to do so at my apartment with a kid, a cat, a wife and a baby that we watch during the week. Like you said, this will be over soon. How soon, no one knows? But it will be over one day and life will go on back to normal. I am looking forward to that. It is weird working in the office and being the only one here. But it’s kind of nice too.