Coronavirus: 5 Months In

I’ve been too busy to blog. We’re in a weird time here in 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic and probably the most important presidential election in my lifetime. That pandemic has caused an economic scare (never mind, you know, death), and things are just weird.

I wrote about it a bit this spring to capture my feelings, and those days feel so long ago. So maybe it’s time to do it again. (This is going to be a bit scattered, so I apologize in advance for that.)

The biggest change since then is that work got really busy, which is good. I’m grateful for that. I also started a personal project and another community project took off, so things are just busy.

It’s a weird shift from having everyone home and nothing to do.

Pandemic restrictions are also easing. We’re able to go out more and even eat in restaurants, though now wearing masks is mandated. It’s a bit weird to go out, though wearing a mask feels like we’re doing our part to stop the spread of the virus.

Restaurants are mostly open, though hours have changed and some have dine-in and some don’t. Book stores are still closed (at least for browsing, they all have curbside pickup options). Church is still meeting virtually (some have started gathering in limited forms, but it doesn’t seem worth putting vulnerable people at risk). City council meetings are in person again, though the audience is limited to 10 people (my city might be weirdly involved, but we mostly fill those seats). One good change is that the city is now broadcasting all meetings, even the work sessions that were previously not recorded. They’re also allowing call-in for public comments. Score one for transparency and accessibility.

The official word on what school is going to look like in the fall is supposed to come out this week. I could care less. I’m so tired of debating all the different options and the ins and outs. That’s probably a callous way to think about it, especially when my wife is a teacher and cares very much, but I’m just exhausted by it all. There are too many variables and not enough good answers to make me care.

Oh, and we got a pandemic pet. We got a dog named Kat (Katarina) for Mother’s Day. I wasn’t not very thrilled about this idea, but Kat has been a wonder dog and I’ve mostly come around.

Our other dog, Mazie, is now 15 years old and showing her age. She mostly refuses to go down the stairs, which is a problem when it’s two full flights of stairs from the corner where she sleeps to the outside. We’ve tried making her a basement dog, which she mostly hates (though some days will tolerate). Otherwise we do our best to coax her down the stairs or just carry her heavy butt. I’m not sure how long that can go on. Her back legs often fail her and splay outward on slick surfaces, her butt sinking to the floor. But she also has plenty of power in her back legs to go up the stairs without a problem. Every time we talk about this maybe being the end, she perks right up as if she knows what we’re talking about and is proving us wrong. So far we don’t think she’s in pain, so we’ll just have to see how this goes.

Other than pets, it’s just a weird time of not knowing what is safe and smart and what is just being dumb in a pandemic. Some big summer plans were canceled entirely. The kids and Abby went to Green Bay for the weekend, but going to Kansas has seemed like a bit too much. I’m desperate to go to the North Shore, but that might have to wait until the fall.

While time has passed incredibly slowly during this pandemic, it’s also hard to believe it’s almost August. The 2020 election is coming faster and faster, after months of seeming like it’d never get here. All the polling points to Trump losing, but after 2016 who wants to trust in polling? Plus anything can change between now and November. I feel like there should be more fire and enthusiasm to turn out and make change, but it feels hard to know what to do in a pandemic. Door knocking doesn’t seem like a good idea.

Biden as the nominee isn’t exactly inspiring either. In a recent show, Stephen Colbert made a joke that we don’t care about Biden’s cognitive function, we’d be happy to Weekend at Bernie’s this thing. That feels a little too true.

It’s still hard to read. I took about a month to finish my last book.

So that’s where we’re at, I guess.

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