Thursday, March 19, 2020

Life Under Covid-19

Yesterday was weird.  The optometrist's office called and asked if I could come in that day.  I explained about waiting for contacts and only wanting to go in once.  Then I asked if they were closing the office and she said yes.  So, into the car we ran, and I got an eye exam.  Miracle of miracles, my contacts were there.  The optical department is closed.  One guy is left there handing out boxes of contact lenses.  I think the glasses wearers are out of luck.

Costco is out of dish washing detergent, chicken, rice, potatoes, paper products, canned vegetables, and I don't know what all.  We got one of the last two packs of sliced bread and peanut butter.  I was really surprised that quite a lot of peanut butter was still on the shelves.  It's a long walk to get in the store.  You can't just go in the front door, you walk around the side and then through a gauntlet of shopping carts to reach the entrance.  No one was practicing three foot separation, which is very annoying.   You can't see it in the above photo, but there is a row of carts to the right, fencing off the glasses frames.  I fully understand the decision, Covid-19 is spread by droplets from an infected person's mouth, landing on the other party's face.  It would be terrible to stand behind that counter having people talking at you all day.

There is much in the news today to try one's soul.  The Imperial College of London has put forth the idea that social distancing will have to continue until there is a vaccine.  Constant vigilance will have to be maintained into 2021.  I really hope they're wrong.

Technology Review has a comprehensible article up on the subject.   Their basic thesis is that things will be bad until there is a vaccine.  Without a vaccine we keep having outbreaks.  Either that, or everyone on the planet has to get it and develop immunity.

In other news that's irritating the living snot out of me, other than the administration's complete and total mismanagement of the Covid-19 situation, there is this.

Oil and gas companies want to drill within a half mile of the national parks in Utah.  So much for quiet, dark skies and the beauty of the red rock desert.

The Interior Department has received over 230 nominations for oil and gas leases covering more than 150,000 acres across southern Utah, a push that would bring drilling as close as a half-mile from some of the nation’s most famous protected sites, including Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.
The petitions for the Bureau of Land Management’s September lease sale, some of which come from anonymous potential bidders, could transform a region renowned for its pristine night skies and stunning topography. Some of the parcels are also within 10 miles of Bears Ears National Monument’s current boundaries.

It is beyond me why Utah wants to destroy its cash cow of tourism.  Nobody plans a trip to the Big 5 to see oil derricks and methane gas flares. Article is here.
We can also be annoyed that Senator Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, briefed a bunch of his rich and influential constituents about the coming severity of Covid-19 weeks before the American public was informed.
On Feb. 27, when the United States had 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19, President Trump was tamping down fears and suggesting that the virus could be seasonal.
"It's going to disappear. One day, it's like a miracle. It will disappear," the president said then, before adding, "it could get worse before it gets better. It could maybe go away. We'll see what happens."
On that same day, Burr attended a luncheon held at a social club called the Capitol Hill Club. And he delivered a much more alarming message.
"There's one thing that I can tell you about this: It is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history," he said, according to a secret recording of the remarks obtained by NPR. "It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic."
Article is here.

Update to post:  As if Senator Burr providing information to his wealthy buds wasn't bad enough, he then engaged in insider trading.  The link to that article is here.
Soon after he offered public assurances that the government was ready to battle the coronavirus, the powerful chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, sold off a significant percentage of his stocks, unloading between $582,029 and $1.56 million of his holdings on Feb. 13 in 29 separate transactions.
So, we're continuing to stay home as much as possible.  We've instituted the use of cloth napkins to conserve paper napkins.  I ordered handkerchiefs to substitute for tissues for non-nose blowing Kleenex tasks.  Instead of wrapping frozen rolls in three segments of paper towels, we're using one of my beautiful linen napkins from Ebay to wrap them.  Frozen rolls don't do well if you just pitch them in the microwave.  So those are my home making tips for the time of plague.


  1. Hello. Went to Costco last Saturday and everyone and everything was actually normal. There were still plenty of items then.Most of the carts had regular grocery store stuff and I didn't see anyone that appeared to be hoarding certain items. Got a feeling when I go back this Sat, things will be different. Not much TP to be found in smaller chain stores. Stay safe and well.

  2. I hope drilling in Utah does not gain enough legal momentum to be sustained under a new administration. Vote Blue.
    And, stay safe.

  3. They just said yesterday that the vaccine for malaria seems to be working on this virus. They have LOTS of that vaccine, so hopefully it will get better sooner than later!! I've got my fingers crossed. Glad you got your eyes checked before they shut down completely.

    1. there is some indication but it has not been thoroughly tested to see if it does indeed have a positive effect and the FDA has not endorsed it so far.

  4. life pretty much as usual here in this less than 9,000 people town. no suspected or known cases in out county. I'm waiting for a new crown to come in but my dentist office called Wed to let me know they were closing til April. haven't been to the grocery store since Monday but I imagine all the panic buying has about been done by now. but as usual, I mean that we're homebodies used to staying at home.

  5. Everything I've read says to maintain a 6' social distance, not 3'. It's harder, but safer.