COVID-19 Journal – 2

Monday March 23 (Day 8): Back on the work/school schedule today. Susan is taking vacation from work this week and doing more activities with the kids – mainly art projects. I felt better about work and being more productive, but still easily distracted by the news. I see lots of political outrage right now as the white house and supporters are starting to change their tune again, from focus on the epidemic to a focus on restoring the economy. Tonight the Ohio stay-at-home order takes effect, but it doesn’t change anything for us. We were already operating that way. Susan and I are both grateful we are weathering this storm in Cleveland, vs 3-4 years ago in Denver. Our finances are stable, we have some financial reserves and runway, monthly expenses are much lower, kids are old enough to entertain themselves for long stretches, no employees depending on us for their livelihood, no need to sell projects or pester clients to pay their bills. So lucky.

Tuesday March 24 (Day 9): Very productive day, focused on the work things that should be priorities, and feeling good about it. Molly had a FaceTime session with the girls this afternoon to teach them a bit about maps and geography, so that’s wonderful. Amelie and I looked for bears and stuffed animals in peoples’ windows today during our lunchtime walk, but there were none. Susan and the girls cut and painted a ton of flowers from colored paper a couple of days ago, and they put them all up in the front window today. It’s beautiful. Maybe we’ll see more sprout on the block.

Wednesday March 25 (Day 10): At the end of the day we took advantage of dry weather for backyard camping. After dinner we had a fire in the fire pit, cooked a menagerie of girl scout cookies together in foil, and took turns reading riddles. We all had a good laugh. The kids and I slept in the tent, but came in during the night because a nearby noise was keeping us awake and we had to pee.

Thursday March 26 (Day 11): Beautiful weather in the low 60s today. I had my first run in several weeks, and boy did I need it. My mood was significantly improved. Today would have been opening day for the Cleveland Indians, and by all accounts the weather is usually pretty crappy. What would have been the nicest opening day in a long time, didn’t happen. Cleveland sports just can’t catch a break. A historic US unemployment claims report was released today. 3.3 million, an all-time record. Also today, the Fed chairman: “We may be in a recession.” Um… yup.

Friday March 27 (Day 12): COVID-19 new cases have been falling in China for a while, and recently also in Italy. Still on the rise in Spain and the US. Largest jump to date, in Ohio. Now officially 1,137 but everybody understands the real number is much higher because all states are severely limited in available testing. Tests are prioritized to medical personnel and some others (not sure how the rest are determined). State governors and health departments continue to lead the actual pandemic response, and the US president has daily press briefings where he avoids responsibility, deflects blame and attacks journalists. It’s emergency management theater. The CDC chief is really trying to make the best of it, but he can only do so much. Today a new “Doctor” appeared in news reports to compliment the president and praise his scientific understanding and business acumen. Barf.

I went to Heinens (grocery), The Breadsmith, Rite Aid, and CVS. Grocery availability is good, TP very limited and sanitary wipes are nowhere to be found. The kids are in good spirits, but their lego game the last couple of days has been an elaborate game that includes elaborate houses, many characters, Elsa and her remote castle, a hospital, coronavirus patients, and a cemetery.

Saturday March 28 (Day 13): Went to Target on 117th for TP and sanitary wipes, based on their online inventory reporting, as well as a few food items for Mom. There was some TP at reasonable prices (limit 1 pack per customer) but not much. Zero sanitary wipes available, so that’s probably an inventory reporting issue. They didn’t have plexiglass shields at the checkout, but they did have an organized dance for cashiers and customers to do, orchestrated by blue tape “X” marks on the floor and instructions from the cashier. Supports 6′ distancing at checkout time. Awkward but worked well. I stopped in to Home Depot right next door in case they had wipes but the lines were ridiculous and I turned right back around. A guy walking out near me sneezed a huge sneeze and it freaked me out a little. People are leaving rubber glove litter everywhere (esp. parking lots). That’s new. I went on another run today.

Sunday March 29 (Day 14): It was very stormy last night, and is much warmer today. I took a long walk with the kids, who were excited to bring their helmets and take turns on the scooter. We walked up to Lake Road, to the Webb Road pocket park, and down Edgewater back to Edwards and home. We saw lots of people on the street. We saw kids from both Grant and Lincoln schools, who recognized the girls and said hi to us. I weeded some in the front yard, and did a lot of work on the backyard in the beds by the driveway. It’s nice to work in the dirt. Trump spent most of today’s press conference bragging about his ratings and TV numbers and berating reporters. For federal aid and supplies, he is threatening to de-prioritize states whose governors aren’t nice to him. It’s disgusting. Many states’ governors are fawning over him publicly now.