COVID-19 Journal – 6

Monday April 20 (Day 36): More 3D printing and processing orders for ear savers, at the expense of normal daily work.

Tuesday April 21 (Day 37): Again, ear savers and some normal daily work. After the kids are in bed I process and bag ear savers while watching Tiger King and eating snacks. This is 100% OK.

Wednesday April 22 (Day 38): Normal work stuff and 3D printing, which is settling into a normal routine. Susan’s birthday is tomorrow. The kids and I decorated their room because they are having a slumber party with mom tonight.

Thursday April 23 (Day 39): Susan’s birthday. I cooked tri-tip steak with roasted potatoes. The kids and I made a vegan chocolate cake with too much frosting and too many kinds of sprinkles and it was amazing.

Friday April 24 (Day 40): 3D printing requests have settled down and I have more backstock than requests at this point, so I shut off my printer for now. I will focus on getting the remaining ~300 into the hands of people who need them. This morning, all the teachers from Camille’s school drove the streets within the school boundary, honking and waving, in a parade for the kids. Everyone came outside to wave from their porches. Some had signs or costumes. We were planning for it, then forgot, then remembered when we heard the police sirens. The kids played outside for 2 hours and I worked on the garage interior. I routed a semi-permanent electrical line (extension cord in brackets) to the workbench in the middle of the garage, and also replaced the light fixture above it with an LED strip light.

Saturday April 25 (Day 41): Coordinated re-orders and I assembled some larger Ear Saver batches for health care and law enforcement folks. Reached out to people I know who work with LEO in the region. Spent the rest of the day working in the yard, digging out around the garage foundation. The ground level is well above the foundation and will decay the newly-replaced siding if not addressed. This is part of a larger effort to redirect water away from the garage and into a new rain garden in the yard. We have spent a lot of money and time on this garage, but it is always really satisfying to improve it.

Thursday May 7 (Day 53): Picking up the journal again today, after an extended hiatus. It’s clear I need to rearrange this from weeks to something like chapters… Ok done. I haven’t had much to say lately. There’s a growing public movement to re-open. I’m stressed about work and many things this. Every day is spent rushing from one thing to the next. An hour of work, two hours with the kids, back to work for 45 minutes while they play, getting one set up with an online meeting while simultaneously listening in to a conference call of my own. Not enough time to complete everything, not enough time to properly prepare for anything.

Saturday May 9 (Day 55): Ohio and US re-opening plans are moving forward. Lots of public protests the last couple of weeks, in support of re-opening. People are tired of the danger and becoming complacent because people in their immediate sphere aren’t sick or dying. The protests seem well orchestrated so it’s likely they support certain agendas.

The science says most US areas are still on the upslope, when you exclude NYC from the calculations. From a biology/epidemiology standpoint, there is zero reason to start relaxing precautions. From an economic standpoint, there are many reasons. Public policy and health people are trying to balance this. Sensible people will continue to stay home.

Monday May 11 (Day 57): Best personal guidance I’ve seen lately, which is from an epidemiologist: “Nothing has changed from a vaccine or treatment or herd immunity perspective for COVID 19 in the last 7 weeks. The only thing that we know works are our preventive measures. So why would I stop doing that?”

Monday May 18 (Day 64): Grade schools in Ohio seem to be exploring a model for the fall, where they provide in-person education at the school buildings, with accommodations for families who do not wish to send their kids in. I cannot see any way for schools to provide safe, in-person schooling for elementary school children (and their teachers!) this fall. Ours will be at home.

Friday, May 22nd: Significant uptick in public activity. Ohio government is phasing in openings of various business types, and pretty rapidly. More activity on the street and in restaurants, bars. Hair salons are opening. People are looking for an excuse to return to a normal existence. Out driving around, it’s easy to feel like everything is suddenly OK, and that the storm has passed.

Friday, May 29th: Pandemic news is rapidly being replaced by news of civil unrest related to the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

Saturday, May 30th: Protests and clashes with police in Cleveland and elsewhere turned violent. In downtown CLE, many arrests, much property damage at downtown storefronts, tear gas deployed, two police cars burned. Social media reports a heavy influence of outside agitators in some cities, including mysterious pallets of bricks. Clear footage available online of white protestors in masks damaging property (guy with hammer breaking windows at Autozone) while being confronted or called out by black protestors trying to get them to stop. There are many people with many different agendas at play. Everybody’s on a hair trigger.

Thursday, June 4th: Feeling very frustrated with the world and the layers of awfulness that exist for humans right now. Corrupt and unethical government in power in the US, cultural distrust of science and journalism, global health crisis, racial equality crisis, protests amplifying corrupt interests within both police and protestor groups, and a looming increase in US authoritarianism.

Friday, June 5th: Peaceful and violent protests continue all over the world. Virtually no mention of COVID-19 in the news. Washington DC mayor has BLACK LIVES MATTER painted in huge yellow letters on the street near the White House, and officially renames a nearby block to Black Lives Matter Plaza. Many corporate brands have released public statements in support of BLM. NFL releases public statement expressing solidarity with the BLM cause (I’m not sure of the specific endorsement), and people are asking about Kaepernick re-instatement.

I finally listed the silver Element for sale, and took the day off to clean it up and deal with potential buyers. Sold in a couple of hours. I had planned to sell it all the way back in March but put the effort on hold due to Coronavirus. It’s nice to be down to two vehicles, and close out a project.

Saturday, June 6th: Ohio announced schools will be allowed to open in the fall, but the particulars for our local school are still TBD. The kids’ beloved summer camp announced suddenly that they would be canceled due to economic infeasibility. No impact for us as we had already decided to keep the kids home for the summer, but it’s still sad. Some rumblings predicting a Coronavirus as a result of relaxed legal restrictions, relaxed attitudes about the pandemic, and a high degree of public interaction around the protests. I expect COVID-19 will be back in the news toward the end of the month.