Sunday, March 29, 2020

today's mood

as the body count grows higher
and you start to lose your nerve
don't listen to the Liar
and just flatten out the curve

you're looking at your larder
as you're counting up the dead
your life is getting harder
but you've got to stop the spread.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

retreat, tattoo, and taps

today the governor closed all vermont schools for the remainder of the year.

today the new known cases in the US rose over 13,000.

today, as i have come to do every day since we were asked to stay home, i played retreat at five, tattoo at 8:45, and taps at nine.

i don't know how all my neighbors feel about it, but last summer when you could stop and talk to people, my neighbors said they liked my bugling, which was just for practice then, because summer camps.

now, i feel it's all i can do to say i know it's different now, you trying to work at home, but the workday is over. put your things down and breathe.

i can say the evening is winding down. breathe.

i can say night is begun. rest if you can. breathe.

it's a small thing, a routine, a thing that can tie us all together in a moment, al of us apart and in our houses.

"all is well" may be a stretch of truth, but i can still wish it.

safely rest.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

morals and compassion in a time of COVID

i hear a lot of things these days that bother me.

"it's only the old and the vulnerable who are going to die"

what? it's almost as if you think we can't hear you. can you say that to your grandma and not feel like an asshat?

but also it's factually wrong. young and healthy people are also dying. every person has a life with as much dignity and value as yours. let me amend that: if you are actively putting other people at risk because you think their lives have less value, then i'm afraid it is you who are of lesser value. go ahead. try to change my mind.

"don't wear surgical masks. they won't protect you against the virus."

ok, i get the reason behind this one: we don't want joe schmoe on the street to buy up all the surgical masks and keep them out of the hands of healthcare workers, who get infected and die at a higher rate than the rest of us. that's all fine and dandy UNTIL HEALTHCARE WORKERS WHO FACE SHORTAGES ARE BEING TOLD TO WEAR A COUPLE OF BANDANAS AND THEY OUGHT TO BE JUST FINE.

also, we're getting some information that suggests that the virus may actually survive aerosolized for a couple of hours. we have partial information on how long it lives on surfaces. the bottom line is we haven't lived with it long enough to know what it really does. we are learning all the time, but while we are learning, the clock is ticking.

the choices we make now will determine the death count.

stay the hell home. wash your hands. don't hoard supplies. if you're handy, get hooked up with people who can get you set up to DIY some masks or gowns.

the thing that made me angriest yesterday was the thing the president said a few days ago about how awesome antimalarials are going to be as a cure for COVID.

yes, there is some anecdotal evidence that they may help in treatment of it, but the moment he announced it to his followers as a cure, we all knew there were going to be instant shortages. people with lupus need that stuff. and here's a thing the president didn't mention: those drugs aren't super-safe. you need a full set of lab panels before you can start taking it, because it can kill you. also it can make you go blind.

but the president's followers don't question anything he says and in fact a whole bunch of asshats have gone out and stockpiled a medication i need because it MAY help them against a virus they don't yet have so now there's a very real shortage and yes, in yesterday's news there was already a case where some idiots decided to start self-medicating.

Man dies after self-medicating with chloroquine

a friend of mine lives in a country where they've decided that the only people who need to stay home are the elderly and people with symptoms. my friend's husband works at a place where his boss's daughter has COVID, but the boss did not have symptoms, and everybody was still required to go into work. my friend's husband is coughing now, and my friend is sick too. the husband's company still wants him to come in to work.

the choices we make now will determine the death count.

Monday, March 16, 2020


girl scout councils that timed their cookie sales late are in financial trouble now because they can't pay the baker.

my pharmacist is living in her basement now so she doesn't risk carrying the virus to her husband and children.

at the town office they ask you to transact your business by email, phone, or if absolutely necessary to come in person, to call first and take precaustions.

the property on which i do my sugaring has closed. today i had to pull all my taps and haul out my buckets even though the buckets were full and frozen and sugar season isn't half over.

i feel bad about that last one because when i drilled holes in living things to take sap, i sort of promised to take care and use it well. pulling the taps halfway through the season feels like wastage, but maybe it's the same as just tapping now, which wouldn't feel like a waste.

i don't know. i just feel tired and sad and it's only just started.

Friday, March 13, 2020

math in the time of pandemics

as you catalogue the places
where unfortunates are dying
count the countries with no cases
and know that they are lying.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

super sled

yesterday afternoon after being wicked cold all morning, it got nice and sunny, so i called up barb to ask her if she wanted to go for a walk.

i recommended either something flat, or something suitable for sledding down.

we walked three quarters of a mile up honey hollow road and sledded down.



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