Wednesday, April 22, 2020

More Covid Content

Seeing as the best thing any of us have for content right now is Covid-19, it's tempting to not put anything up in regards to that. However, I think we do all have unique and valuable thoughts, insights, and experiences during this unique and uncharted time in history, so there's some value.

The original intent of this blog when I started it back in 2011, before a LOOOO-OOOONG hiatus, was to update my lire for those back in Colorado who I might not always get a chance to talk to. Now with the explosion of social media, it's hard to keep your day-to-day life out of people's eyes. However, I don't put a lot of my daily stuff up on social media, so let's revert a little to its original intent.

Pat of the Pat and JT Podcast (which you should definitely listen to) called this somewhat of an online diary. I guess that's true, except I'm not locking it and not hiding it. So it's not real secret. However, part of this will also be thoughts and insights. So now that you're prepared, let's go for a ride.

March 4-8 of this year, I was in Colorado snowmobiling. It was really a pretty normal time. The news was starting to tell of cases in both Colorado and Nebraska, there was no way for us know the impact the virus was about to have. In fact, I'll admit I was at best flippant in my response to it, cracking jokes about it with my friends.

We honestly had no idea how virulent it was going to be. We all said, and I believe felt at the time, that it wasn't going to be a big deal. I mean, heck, basically if you were old or sick, problematic. Otherwise, meh.

There'd been some loose discussion at work about preparing for distance learning at school, but there wasn't any particular urgency to it. We were all 95% confident we'd be returning to the building on Monday. We were wrong.

In fact, the weekend of the 13th-15th, we had people over. I bought Corona as a joke. I still wasn't taking this as seriously as I should have been. I'm not sure any of us were. I am not ashamed of my response at the time, but it does seem foolish for sure.

So, from that weekend on, obviously things got shut down. People were encouraged or required to social distance. I didn't get in to get my hair cut in time. Things changed. I won't go in to a long soliloquy about how it's affected my teaching because I think there's been plenty of that.

What has happened? Well, Everett got a playset for the backyard, so when he's home, we have something else we can do with him. He really freakin' loves it. We sold old and bought new patio furniture. Errands have been run, though less often. I've gotten a much better chance to workout than I have in awhile, so I'm definitely taking advantage of that.

Thoughts, feelings, insights? Yeah, I've a few. Let's start with the fact that of COURSE I want everything to reopen yesterday. No sense in being coy about that. However, we can't start doing that before we know we're getting out ahead of this thing, and it doesn't feel like we're getting there yet. I mean, we don't have treatment or a vaccine, so how can we even start to believe we're winning this battle? Sorry Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, there aren't more important things than living.

This has been a particularly tough time for me. I'm an extrovert. In fact, I'm probably on the extreme end of extroversion. Not leaving the house to see people and not having people over is very hard. It takes a psychological toll on me. I'll be fine. I'm actually mostly okay, really, but there have been times I've been down. Getting outside in the suddenly spectacular weather has helped. Video calls have helped.

I am also one that hopes that things change when this is all said and done. I would probably be just fine if I never shook another hand again. High fives? Sure. Knuckles? Absolutely. Hugs? Gimme. I do enjoy the significance of shaking hands, but I don't know that I need to do it again.

There isn't a perfect response to this. Different places, states, and countries have had different responses. There are some that have shown to be really good like South Korea. Some have been far from that, like the overall national response here. However, a lot of state leaders are doing things well. I've heard it bemoaned that Governor Ricketts' "Directed Health Measures" aren't a stay-at-home order. However, in some cases they're more restrictive, and they're guided by advice from the Unversity of Nebraska Medical Center, which is one of the best epidemiology hospitals in the country.

I do hope we learn lessons from this, and that those lessons carry through. It's been compared to the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918, but obviously the lessons learned from that didn't stick. We need to do better.

Enough with the reopen protesters. You know what else is bad for the economy? Lots of people dying. I know this sucks. Keya and I are blessed to still have our income. Everett's daycare is still open because each room is down to fewer than 10 people in it. They've changed their procedures, but for an only child, the socialization is wonderful.

I want to close with something that's a little bit nitpicky, and might be kind of controversial, but I like language, and I LOVE precision in my language. I've seen a lot of people call the front-line health care workers heroes. They aren't. They're heroic as hell, but they aren't heroes. Heroes are expendable. Heroes are people who put their lives on the line. Most doctors and nurses didn't sign up for that, I don't think. They are doing heroic things, but I don't want to call them heroes. I want them all to survive. Thank you for being so heroic.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate each and every one of you. Share if you think it's worthy. Feedback always encouraged.