Saturday, March 28, 2020


The worst of the fog that was the meat of my last post is passing, at least for now.

The two main reasons I can give for this are these: the support of The Excellent Wife (TEW), and an email chain, started by Laura OLPH, involving a number of my bike-y friends. Thanks to you all.I can't say how much you mean to me.

I've been spending too much time following the news, reading horror stories about how the COVID-19 virus has afflicted those who are suffering the worst. In my imagination, I'm sure to be a victim, because I catch every respiratory ailment that comes close. I've got a history of strep throat and bronchitis, and missed most of kindergarten battling pneumonia. My parents were afraid I might die at the time. One of the reasons I support science, even when I don't really understand it, is that I'm sure it saved my life then, by means of antibiotics (which had been in general use for only about 20 years at the time).

Too much reading is not helping, so I'm planning to reduce my news dependence. I've downloaded a couple of books, and I'll plan to paraffin my chain today. (Thank might make another blog post. Watch this space.)

Another thing that's not helping is Facebook. I saw postings on Facebook about a "minister" who had been a COVID-denier who had subsequently died from the disease. My initial reaction was to gloat. I don't want to be that person, and I think Facebook promotes that. The Facebook algorithms promote the echo-chamber culture effect, giving me more and more of what I already know and agree with, and less of anything else. It separates me even further from viewpoints with which I might disagree. So it's easier to see people who hold those viewpoints as aliens. I don't think that's useful; I don't think it's going to get us what we want. We are separated enough. I think that's helping to feed my isolation, and I need less isolation right now.

TEW suggested knitting again, and I might see what yarn we've got, to make another of those neck gaiters like the too-colorful one I ride with. I might not; knitting doesn't engage me as much as other activities with tools do.

I also have to point out that the use of ZOOM has been an unexpected blessing. Both my WW group and my work team are using ZOOM for meetings. The WW group has been a great support, and the work one too, although less so. I think part of the reason the work online meeting is less of a support is that almost none of my coworkers turn on their cameras - I suspect they don't want to show off the torn t-shirts and pajama tops they are wearing when working from home. (My director and I turn our cameras on. I may even wear a tie next time, just because why the hell not?)

My hands are a wreck from so much handwashing. They feel sunburned all the time, and the skin and the knuckles (especially) is red and rough. I never use grooming products, but I've tried Vaseline on 'em, which didn't seem effective. This morning, I tried some to TEW's hand cream. I'm not sure htat's better.

I'm keeping up with exercise (I do something every day) and I haven't been eating all the junk in the house (not that we keep much...). Since we're minimizing our store trips in an effort to minimize exposure to infection, I'm always afraid that we're going to run out of stuff, so I may not be eating enough. I've been tired all the time, and cold in the house (at 68F). We've tried online order-and-pickup from the grocery, which was disappointing: not all the items were included, but we didn't know that until I got the bags back in the house (that may be adding to my fear of running out).

Oh, and that beard I started? Because I'm not going to be able to get a haircut, and I want an excuse for looking sloppy and unkempt? It fell victim to the Norelco. TEW said she likes me better clean-shaven. I didn't know!

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