Coronavirus quarantine

Day 18

I wasted 30 minutes of my life listening to Senator Thom Tillis say nothing meaningful on his morning COVID19 phone call. He took a bunch of softball questions from people, imparted no specific knowledge of value, and otherwise blew smoke to cover the criminal incompetence of the Orange Menace. Almost every sentence he spoke began with the words "we're trying." Too bad Tillis doesn't remember the lesson from Yoda in Star Wars. "No! Try not. Do or do not. There is no try."

Meanwhile, this blockbuster report from the New York Times:

The Trump administration ignored a pandemic warning from White House economists who published a study estimating possible effects of a pandemic in September. The White House study reportedly cautioned that a pandemic, like the coronavirus outbreak the world is now facing, could cause the deaths of a half-million Americans and cost the economy as much as $3.8 trillion. The study contradicts what administration officials have repeatedly said about the coronavirus coming out of nowhere and causing unforeseen devastation to the U.S. economy.

Day 16

One measure of decency I most admire is a person's willingness to apologize. Not with excuses or finger-pointing, but with a sincere desire to seek forgiveness. I apologize often for my transgressions and resolve to do better. That resolve doesn't always pan out, but I know I'll have more chances to improve. Rinse and repeat.

Day 15

I got an email from an Annapolis classmate who's living in France. It was sobering.

Just to reinforce how serious this pandemic is (as if anyone really needs it), I just received an update from a friend in Germany. He is healthy, walks every day but is over 80. He just told me: "There are other problems, people over 80 will not be treated for the virus, and it seems that quite some people are dying,” I hear on the US news that there are shortages of equipment and that doctors may be faced with decisions on who to save and who not. Looks like the German authorities are taking some of those decisions on themselves.

Day 14

This morning brought with it a fresh realization about Trump Republicans. They're not just petulant assholes, they're dangerous. And they don't mind taking the rest of us down with them.

Day 13

We're in the midst of a Lie Pandemic that is hitting Trump Republicans hard. Growing exponentially and mutating, it'll bring certain death to many of Trump's most loyal supporters. It seems they're ready to die for him.

Every day Trump makes stuff up, things that could literally end the lives of a million people. The shortage of tests, masks, and ventilators isn't some imagined Democratic hoax, it's a real and fatal failure of leadership at every level. But hey. There's nothing to worry about. God will protect and defend, screw you and your la-tee-dah social distancing.

Day 12

For a thing that human beings invented, time sure seems to have a life of its own. One day we're rushing to get it all done, the next day the bottom falls out. Urgency dissipates, and things that once seemed critically important aren't even on our lists anymore.

I'm a naturally anxious person for whom time has always been troublesome. For most of life, I've been in an irrational hurry, eager to finish one thing so I can move on to the next. Out on a hike? Get me back so I can sweep the porch. Reading a book? Wrap it up so I can start the next one. Out to dinner? No dessert, it takes too long.

As I read what I just wrote, I know it sounds kind of sick. But it's hard to fight. Anxiety for me is hard-wired, beyond any sense of control.

Day 11

Today marked a turning point of sorts for Jane and me, a simple acceptance that we're in this for the long haul ... and that there's nothing we can do to change things.

For me, life looks a lot like it usually does. I am an extreme introvert and am accustomed to spending weeks at home without going anywhere in a car. I've learned over many years how to be with myself comfortably and quietly. I don't get bored, I clean house instead. I don't get lonely, I make art instead. I don't need to see people in real life, I meet them online, just like I have for the past 15 or so years.

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