Home > Archive: March, 2020

Archive for March, 2020

And the Beat Goes On

March 30th, 2020 at 12:58 am

I came down with a head cold for a few days, but fortunately it was short and did not have the same symptoms as Covid19, so I wasn't spending the whole time freaked out. I had a very wet cough, though, that precipitated a couple asthma attacks. I used my nebulizer twice to open up my lungs. But I actually feel a lot more human than I have in months.

I've got a couple ladies who want to buy rabbits off me. I think the plan will be to meet in the feed store parking lot and have the rabbit in a box, place it down on the ground and back away. She can place the money in the back of the van and then pick up the rabbit. I will wear gloves and a face mask. I have a mask from the summers where the smoke from the wildfires was overwhelming us. It is washable and I have several filters for it. I will put the money in an envelope and then remove my gloves. I will leave the money in the envelope for a couple days.

If I manage to sell the three rabbits Cyrus, Zara, and Zane that will just leave me with three left, Ruby, Vincent, and Zander. We may also sell Zander. Ruby will never be for sale and Vincent is to keep her company. He's the sweetest male. We aren't breeding anymore at all. Ruby is old and a pet and Vincent is young, but also more of a pet than a working rabbit. We really are just done with the whole farm thing at this point except for the garden, though the rabbits contribute their manure. But it will cut the rabbit chores in half, so that will be wonderful.

Not too much going on here. DH continues to work from home. We are slowly working on the garden. I've started watching The Last Ship on Hulu. It is about a virus that wipes out 80% of humanity and the Navy Ship that holds the only possibility for a cure. It's got five seasons so I should be good with that for awhile. I do like movies and shows like this, although it might be hitting a little close to home at the moment. The virus on the show also started in China, but it has a 100% mortality rate if you get infected. Thank goodness Covid19 isn't as bad as that.

We are still doing fine on food for now and toilet paper. DH found a store brand 4 pk, limit of 1, and the rolls are so tiny in comparison to the big ones in the Charmin case from Costco. DH has not seen any nice brand of toilet paper or tissues for sale in two weeks, just store brands and rarely those. We picked this one up for his mom, but won't take it out until she needs it. We are fine still on what we picked up right before this started.

It's a little weird right now not knowing what is going to happen to the world, but I feel an almost eerie sense of peace. So long as things stay calm around me and no one gets sick in this house, I'll probably continue to feel this way. We planned and prepared and now we just have to sit it out.

This Household is on Lockdown

March 25th, 2020 at 06:51 pm

There are now 64 cases of Covid19 in my county and 2 deaths. There are 2469 cases statewide and 123 deaths. 1277 of those cases are in King County (the county with Seattle in it) and 94 of those deaths belong to them. It is the most populous county in the state.

We found flour and bleach yesterday and those were the last holes in my pantry/cleaning cupboard so we are good for a 14 day stay at home order now. It was official at midnight. We have enough for a month without having to shop at all and it may come to that.

It is sunny today so we will be able to work on the garden. I am going to try to stay away from the news today unless DH tells me something big happens. It is making me angry.

I've started watching Legacies on Netflix. It is a spin off from The Originals, which was a spin off from The Vampire Diaries. It's a little more hokey, but I am liking it so far. I am trying to get into Parks and Recreation, but I really don't like the lead actress and my opinion of her hasn't changed with this. I also don't like the documentary format. Does that continue for the whole series, does anyone know? I like the rest of the cast. It's definitely not a show I will be able to binge watch unless it gets a whole lot better. Everyone says it is supposed to be so good, but it might turn out like Seinfeld and I just hate it.

I might bake bread today. I haven't decided if I want to do that or make pizza dough. It will be my first time making gluten free pizza dough. I hope it goes well.

Hitting Home

March 24th, 2020 at 11:44 pm

My husband's cousin has a confirmed case of Covid19. She is a receptionist at a doctor's office. She's in her late 50's. She has two daughters and 3 grandchildren.

We are under a stay at home order here in Washington. We can go to the doctor, the pharmacy, and the grocery store, but that is all. We have enough food in to not have to go to the grocery store for two months if it comes down to that.

They are going to close down the airports and ground flights.

So far DH's job is secure since he can work from home and his work's clients are continuing with everything.

Pelosi is evil. That is all.

Ready for Lockdown and Prayer Needed for my Sister

March 21st, 2020 at 06:18 am

The last couple of days have been really crazy, but we are as prepared as we can be to a hunker down in place order, which could come down at any moment. Inslee seems a little hesitant to shoot that arrow, but I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't happen by the end of the weekend.

The banks are closed now except for drive-thru. Toilet paper is selling for $1 a roll. I am glad we got it before this mess started. I usually stock up quite a bit every couple of months or so, as I hate going to Costco. We also have our emergency squeeze water bottles and 48 brown wash cloths, with 2 buckets with lids to fall back on if what we have is not enough. And enough laundry soap to handle doing a load of those daily.

We have locked up all our outbuildings. One of them has a big chest freezer full of food and we decided not to leave that unlocked anymore. People on our neighborhood forum are already trying to suss out who has food and toilet paper. Yeah, it might be all innocent, but it might not be, either. There's a lot of "I'll come to your house if I run out," going around that forum for the people that do say something. That's not the sort of information you give out unless you are completely anonymous and there is no way to track you. Not in a situation like this where you might be targeted for what you have. They are also asking about whether or not people are armed, so it is not just me being paranoid.

I was able to get an at home nebulizer and medicine for it for my asthma and I did my first treatment and man, it feels great to take full breaths again. My bronchials haven't been like this in months. I was even able to go outside and do a little work in the garden with my son. I mostly supervised and kept him company, but I did shovel some compost for about 20 minutes. It was light-weight stuff. I saved the heavy stuff for DS. We didn't get it done, because the timer went off for dinner to come out of the oven, but we will work some more on it tomorrow.

As for the raised beds we got one of them weeded and we will weed the long bed tomorrow and maybe get some of the soil transferred to the one we did today and then transplant all of the strawberries into it and repeat with the other green bed. It has sunk so much over the winter, it really needs to be filled up. And since we are taking out the other beds the soil has to be moved.

I was not going to do a big garden this year, but as I look at what is going around in the world with this virus, I have changed my mind. There may be shortages. DS promises he will help with the upkeep. I went through all of my seeds to see what I have and there is plenty there so I don't have to order any seeds.

We can start planting parsnips, carrots, and radishes as soon as we get the beds ready and I can start cabbage, kohlrabi, and broccoli in the house under the grow light. We need to order seed potatoes and I need to get some bunching onions started as well. We do need to build some kind of thing to keep the deer out. I don't want them eating any of our food this year. I think I want individual cages on each garden bed. I also worry about keeping out people if things get really bad, but what are you going to do? It's all in the back yard, it's not really easy to see from the road, especially with all the cars in the driveway.

My order of seed pods for my Aerogarden finally processed today, so hopefully that means they will actually be shipped soon. The have completely sold out of the farm units. I wish I'd jumped the gun on that like I wanted to, but I still have the Bounty and will grow my lettuce there to save bed space. It takes 9 seed pots, so we shouldn't have to buy greens at all during the late spring and summer once it gets going. I bought a total of 27 pods so I can keep it going, into the fall and winter as well.

In more personal news with my eldest sister, it turns out that while the mass was benign, the uterus itself had stage 3 cancer. Makes me really glad I had a complete hysterectomy when I was 33. So now she has to deal with going down and getting further tests to make sure it hasn't spread anywhere else in her body. I thought this was all over with and she was free and clear, but she is not. She has moved in with us for the duration. It's a full house, but it is nice to have someone else around to keep Mom distracted. She behaves herself better when my sister is here, although that may change with it becoming more permanent. Pray for my sister if you would.

25th Wedding Anniversary

March 18th, 2020 at 11:05 pm

Well, DH and I made it to 25 years of marriage. You know all those couples that people say it will never last about? That was never us. We were the couple people said were going to make it and I am happy that we have proved them all right. We were a good match from day one. We are best friends and the loves of each others lives. We may not be able to control what the world is currently throwing at us, but we will get through it together like we always do everything.

I still wish we hadn't had to cancel our vacation, though. Still, it wasn't worth the risk.

I called the doctor today to see about getting a home nebulizer for my asthma. I had a really bad attack the other day after walking into the grocery store and getting hit by the fumes of a leaf blower. It felt like my lungs got burned. I had to use a ton of my inhalers. And it's not like I can just go to the hospital and get one, not with the risks involved. I don't know if I will have to go the the doctor or if they will just call it in, since they really don't want people coming in unless they absolutely have to. I am waiting to hear back from them. I also called about getting new c-pap supplies.

I am glad they are finally closing the Canadian border. It should have been done 5 or 6 day ago, really. I haven't heard yet whether or not they have closed the Mexican one, but I think that they should if they haven't. No one should be coming into or out of this country right now other then truckers.

I read that they are sending out Navy hospital ships. Trump invoked a war time power of being able to tell businesses what to manufacture so hopefully we can get these medical things sorted. I always felt it was a horrible idea to manufacture most of our drugs in China. Or to make most of our medical supplies there. And now with them talking about they can just shut it down to us whenever they want to it is more evident than ever how rotten an idea it is.

I still think China is lying about how bad it is in China. And I'm pretty ticked off that China is spreading propaganda that we actually developed this virus and released it in China. No, if we had developed it, we'd have a vaccine in waiting for our own people and to come to the rescue of the rest of the world. Plus we don't do that sort of thing. Considering how many viruses come out of China over and over again, they have a lot of gall trying to blame it on us.

I don't think it is ever a good idea to rely on other countries for basic needs. The U.S. has done it for too long and know we are paying for it.

Sensible Decision

March 17th, 2020 at 06:17 am

I think I will be holding on to the extra cash for now that was going to go to extra debt payment. Hopefully I won't need it for anything, but considering the crisis, I'd rather have it in the emergency fund since it is pretty low. If this passes in the next couple of weeks then it will go to debt. I will still make at least $1000 a month payment, though.

I mean, it seems like DH will just be able to work from home and we won't have any income disruption, but I just want to have that little extra bit of security right now. I'd like to keep our little section of this world from burning down around us as long as possible. We don't have to worry about it for now, though as he is on vacation pay this week even though we cancelled our trip.

The Worm Turns (Now edited at End)

March 16th, 2020 at 02:07 am

Welp, it isn't just WA state military and their families, it is all military and their families who have been advised not to travel anywhere for 60 days. It's coming. I don't want to be an alarmist, but I would highly recommend if you don't have enough food in your house for 60 days, you better get on it. IT is past time. From what I have seen, the Asian markets still have lots of food because people are treating them like they are the cause of the virus. Also, I'd look at any other specialty markets like Mexican and Russian or food co-ops (the hippy dippy granola places you might not shop normally, but I do) if you can't find items in mainstream stores.

Also, realize that regular stores are changing their hours to shut down and clean and fully restock what they can and some are closing down in some places period. Stores that are changing their hours that I know of are Safeway, Fred Meyer, Kroeger, Trader Joe's, and Walmart. There are more, those are the ones I remember off the top of my head. I forgot to save the link or I'd put it here.

Deaths are at 42 in Washington state and cases are at 772. 3 of the cases are in my county. No deaths so far in my county. I really hope the mockers and the scoffers start taking this more seriously. It's going to get so much worse before it gets better.

Elective surgeries are being cancelled in Seattle area hospitals, including early stage cancer surgeries. How is that elective? Anyway, they are also saying that if you have a doctor's appointment you can only bring in one person to help you if you are weak or disabled, that if you are at the hospital you can have no visitors, unless you are a child and then one parent can stay.

I am not sure when it will hit us, but my sister has surgery scheduled to have a mass removed and a hysterectomy on the 17th, so I guess we'll see. I hope she can have it done because she has been in a lot of pain. Then again, I don't want her to catch anything there. She is eleven years older than me and is considered higher risk since she is above 60. Otherwise she has been in good health, though. Of the three of us girls she was always the healthiest. If we go into quarantine here, she's moving in.

People need to stop saying this is just another version of the flu. It bloody well isn't. People need to wake up or they are going to starve to death when this hits quarantine if the supply line shuts down. And if you think it can't, there is a city in New Jersey that has been quarantined. Others have invoked curfews. Bars are being shut down until this is over in one state. It is happening.

I wish the news media would just shut up with all their posturing, though. I am so sick unto death of them making this political. A virus is not political. The media is almost a worse plague upon us with their partisan behavior. It is not helpful, particularly now, to try to spread propaganda and fear. Stop trying to score points. They need to report the facts and keep their opinions, which generally have no basis in fact, in the toilet where they belong. On both sides. Same with the politicians who are trying to jockey for position and benefit from a crisis. Just put your heads down and do the work that the American people voted you in for. Stop trying to score points. It is loathsome. /Rant

It's getting crazy out there. Stay safe, my SA brothers and sisters. And prepare if you have not. If it all comes to nothing you won't have to shop for a long time and if it doesn't, you won't have to worry about not having food.

Edited to add: Governor Inslee is signing an executive order to close down all bars and restaurants and to limit any gatherings to 50 people or less. Frankly, they need to stop all gatherings. And close the Canadian border now. They've called out the National Guard. I saw trucks that I thought might be army earlier today. We are ready to bunker down.

Standing at the Edge

March 15th, 2020 at 05:15 am

We rescheduled our vacation for mid-May with the idea that it might have to be moved again, but hopefully not. DH is still taking the week off, though. We decided not to go to the library. We can still check out digital books while it is shut down. And I do have a few unread free books on my Kindle app as well as a couple books I have not read yet.

My MIL gave her granddaughter half her toilet paper, not realizing she would not be able to get more and so she was left with only 6 rolls. DH kept an eye out as he was doing several small errands today. Most places were empty, but Walgreens had 12 9 packs of Charmin, so he picked up 2 for his mother. There was a limit of 4.

While I have two and a half cases of TP for 4 people (Mom has her own), I went ahead and ordered 48 brown wash cloths and 4 squeeze bottles for my family. While I hope it doesn't come to it, we can fill the squeeze bottles with warm water and use that to wash off and the wash cloths to dry off with. We also have a case of paper towels and a couple boxes of baby wipes. We'll see how things progress. I also have two buckets with lids, one for each bathroom, that used washcloths can be stored in until we have enough to wash or run out. If it doesn't come down to that we'll have lots of brown wash cloths we can use for something else, like garage rags or if never used at all, kitchen use.

There are murmurings that we may not be allowed to travel domestically in Washington state. I saw one source saying that the DoD has started recommending no domestic travel for the military and their families here. I think civilians will be next. I have not found a second source to confirm it, though. I don't know if travel restrictions will mean staying in your house or just not leaving your city. I'm looking to see if I can find more out on it, but there might not be until tomorrow.

Last night I thawed out two packages of beef soup bones and made bone broth in the Instant Pot and today I am making a beef soup with the meat that fell off the bones, 4 stalks of celery, 1 yellow onion, 1 head of minced garlic, 4 red potatoes and 3 Russet potatoes that were starting to sprout a bit and needed using up. I dug out the sprouts and they were perfectly edible.

I seasoned it with ginger (for the health benefits), onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and threw a couple sprigs of thyme on top (also for the health benefits) that I fished out before serving. The flavor was fantastic. Best beef soup I've ever made. I would have used carrots, but my daughter doesn't like them cooked. I am freezing the extra, which was 3 quarts of soup, in some old soup takeout containers from the Polynesian restaurant.

Tomorrow I will make turkey soup, but will start the broth off tonight like I did with the beef. It will be the same but with a couple of white carrots, which tend to be the least sweet, and I'll add some poultry seasoning and sage (for the health benefits and the flavor), too, but leave out the ginger. DD doesn't always get her way about the carrots, because the rest of us like them. Turkey isn't as sweet as beef though and can use it.

We have a lot more beef soup bones and some lamb soup bones in the freezer in the garage. I think we will likely be on a soup kick for a while. Just because it is the most soothing food when you don't feel well and it seems to open up the sinuses to hover over a bowl of steaming brothy goodness.

Soup will definitely make the food we have stretch as it is quite filling and a big pot feeds us one night and the rest goes into the freezer to feed us for two more meals. Although DH will supplement with more protein. The rest of us don't tend to need to. We had leftover pot roast so that worked out.

I have gotten a request for ham and pinto bean soup which I have never made before, I really don't like beans, but both kids like it as their grandmother used to make it before she went off pork. I'll have to ask her if she does anything special. DD hasn't eaten beans in a couple of years and decided she wanted to test them again. They bothered her badly after her gall bladder came out. I'm not sure if there are any dry beans left in the stores, though, and maybe not even any canned, so it may be a moot point until after all this is over.

Not really much else going on. Just standing at the edge and waiting to see who falls off.

The Rising Tide

March 14th, 2020 at 04:53 am

The governor finally decided to close all of the schools in Washington state. I don't think our district would have if it hadn't been taken out of their hands. I am glad it was done. If states who didn't even have any deaths were closing them, why my state, with the highest death toll in the country, took so long is beyond me.

We now have 2 cases in my county and 568 cases in the state. There have been 37 deaths. There has been a homeless man who left quarantine before he got his test results, robbed a store, and got on a bus. Apparently the security guard couldn't stop him. There was only one. Not enough resources were given to that quarantine site.

The library closes on Monday until the end of April, so DH is going to try to get over there tomorrow, turn in the books that we are done with, and check out some more. I'll give him a list of the author's I am interested in. I think they closed the library because they figured that was where parents would dump their kids all day if the schools were closed, which is not okay in regular circumstances, but especially now.

The YMCA is closing down its care program for a month. So far our gym hasn't closed, but they are wiping down machines every hour with bleach as well as shower handles, faucet handles, locker handles, and blow dryers. They have also quit selling snacks and water bottles out of their little fridge because they can't stop people from touching more than they are buying.

We are going to postpone our vacation until September. I am worried about if we go into quarantine and we are away from home and they introduce check points and won't let us travel back and we'd have no place to stay and not a lot of extra money to pay for a hotel. That is kind of the paranoid part of my brain, but guess, what? The paranoid part of my brain has been right so far on everything, so it isn't helping very much to try to call it out.

I think I've read too many books of apocalyptic fiction. Because my mind jumps to people without a place to go being put into FEMA camps and martial law as a possible future scenario. But New York has called out the National Guard and that is one step below martial law, so maybe it isn't paranoid at all.

It really depends on how fast it goes from social distancing, to soft quarantine, to hard quarantine. Look how fast it went in Italy. Look at what China did. Look at Iran. I am trying really hard to not let my mind run away with me, but you don't see what it is like here. You don't feel the tension.

For instance, yesterday there were only two checkers at the store who were for over 15 items and one lane was studiously being ignored. I looked into the short lane and saw it was the lady who likes to lick her fingers and touch her face while she checks your groceries and also licks her fingers to count out any cash change. And I was like, "Nope."

A manager came out and tried to direct people into her lane and we all were refusing to go, with variations of I'll wait. And there was a lot of tension. He was getting a little frustrated that no one wanted to move and finally someone said, "That woman is constantly licking her fingers and handling the food, the money, her face, her hair, and rubbing her eyes. It's gross and it is dangerous right now." And everyone nodded and agreed.

We were talking in line afterwards but apparently no one has reported this, but we all avoid her because of it. Plus she is really slow to check as well, but it is mostly the grossness. The manager quit bugging us then, but he didn't look happy. He also didn't go and talk to the cashier. Hopefully, he actually does.

If you sneeze or cough in the store everyone gives you worried looks and moves quite a ways away. You hear, "It's just allergies," a lot. People are pulling up their shirts over their faces to cough and sneeze so it doesn't have room to go anywhere. I haven't seen masks yet, but I expect to any day now. I am seeing a lot of people who normally are out and about with their kids not taking them places and the park parking lots are deserted when you drive by them.

People seem to have such a wariness about them, like we are all living just waiting for the hammer to drop. And maybe we are. Every day just brings more and more stress as this thing progresses. There is not a lot of chit chat going on between strangers like there used to be, unless something happens (like that manager trying to get us to go into the licky lady's lane). It's changing. It's not oppressive yet, but it is so far from the same that it is like we moved to a place where people aren't automatically pretty friendly. So far there is no open hostility.

I hope this is over soon. I just want it to be the end of April now and hopefully see the back end of this.

I'm coughing again, started last night. Headache. Chest tightness. And my temperature is starting to go up. Yeah, there's that, too.

I'll Probably Continue to Write About this a Lot

March 13th, 2020 at 03:09 am

My doctor is worried. He says one confirmed case of Covid-19 means 100's of unconfirmed cases and is frustrated by the lack of tests available. They are saying that if you have a cough or respiratory symptoms you need to triage in the parking lot by calling from your phone. They will send a nurse in proper gear out to assess you.

They prefer you go to the after hours clinic if you suspect it, though, so less people will be put at risk. Blood tests are being done with gloves, face masks, and eye protection in their attached lab for non-Covid-19 work ups. Usually it is done with just gloves. 19 people with a high probability of the disease are waiting on test results in my county, but still only 1 confirmed case in my county. 4 more died in King County.

My county is still not closing the schools even though the colleges have shut down to online classes only. They have closed all of the senior centers, though. I really just don't think people understand at the public school level how bad this is likely about to get. They have not taken the time to educate themselves. They always whine think of the children, but right now it is more like think of the inconvenience if everyone loses their babysitters. I mean they are quite literally treating the teachers like that is all they are, babysitters.

We are looking at probably a hard quarantine in some of the counties within a week according to some sources. I am reading a lot of local articles and city, county, and the state website to keep track of everything as well as listening to local radio. TV reporting is full of propaganda and agendas. Flights in and out of Washington and California may be suspended soon.

DH's work is making sure that everyone is set up to work from home, not just the main engineers and designers. They have not gone to that yet, but may have to at any time. And of course if you get sick you need to stay home.

I went to pick up milk, eggs, ice cream, carrots, and green onions today and took a stroll down the paper products aisle. It wasn't as bad as the store I was in last week, but it was pretty bad. Almost all of the name brand stuff was gone and there was a huge dent in the store brand tissues. TP only had about six packages. I then decided to look at everything else.

Eggs and butter were almost gone, except for the organic butter and pasture raised (expensive) eggs, but there was still a bit. Sour cream had a big dent in it. There was milk, but it was about 1/3 what is normally there, and most of that was organic. Still plenty of cheese and yogurt and lots of fruits and vegetables, but the convenience packs (like precut broccoli, snow peas, and cauliflower) were mostly gone. There was a full meat counter and bakery and bread aisle, and most of the frozen stuff was there except there was almost no ice cream. I ended up buying the ingredients to make ice cream instead.

There were no bags of white or brown rice but Minute rice and boxed mixes and bags of lentils were there. There were only 2 bags of mixed beans, no single variety bags of beans, a massive dent in tortillas, but still about half, half the pasta as normal, about half the canned goods as usual with empty spots in the canned beans, canned pasta sauces (though the glass jarred sauces were at about 2/3), and canned tomatoes (except the ones imported from Italy) and corn were either gone or only six or so cans of them on the shelf. There was tomato paste and canned fruit was plentiful. Bottled water was about 1/3 of normal and that was mostly the cheap brands, but it was there. It had limits on how much you could buy, though. The medicines are pretty low but nothing appeared to be out.

I think this is my last visit to a store for about 3 weeks. I got enough milk and eggs to last that and powdered of both if we run out. We are going to hunker down for the most part. DH can work from home if it comes to that.

Nationally, it's in Kansas now. The new James Bond and the live action Mulan movies have postponed their openings. Disneyland and Disney World are being shuttered for 30 days, but will continue to pay their employees. Broadway has been shut down. The NBA is on a 30 day hiatus. Did you read about that stupid basketball player deliberately touching a bunch of microphones and recorders at a press conference because he didn't believe stuff was serious and then touched everyone's lockers and bags in a locker room, coming down with the virus a few days later and infecting one (so far) of his teammates? Idiot. He should be suspended from the league or given a massive fine. He apologized today, but his career is probably in the toilet. Maybe Nike will hire him.

Mountain Rose Herbs sent out an email today. Apparently a lot of people have been ordering extra medicinal herbs. Not only are they being overwhelmed with orders, but their supply chain has been slowed and disrupted so orders will take longer to fill. Glad I got my elderberries weeks ago.

Capitol One sent out an email today urging everyone to use their online and phone options for banking.

People are whining about not allowing flight in and out of the EU, saying it won't help because the disease is already here. Yeah, it's here, but this isn't about keeping it out, it is about slowing it down so it doesn't get worse by spreading it around more and everyone getting sick all at once.

Even Obama is coming out to support the reason why. We need to slow it down enough that it doesn't overtax our medical system to the breaking point like in Italy. Italy is discussing leaving the elderly to die and using their hospital beds for younger people who have more time left to live, because their government healthcare system is overtaxed by the cases they have.

I feel like I am living in the start of a dystopian novel. Well, maybe I'll write one some day and have my feelings recorded here to look back on. It is scary. I am not panicking, but the feeling of unease in my stomach is not going away anymore. It is what it is. All we can do is do our best to protect ourselves and our loves ones, hope for the best, and prepare for the worst. And district ourselves with YouTube and Netflix.

As an aside I have done a book inventory to make sure there is enough reading material in the house (there is) in case we lose the internet. Now I don't think that will happen, but better entertained than bored. We also have quite a few board games and decks of cards, so I think we are good.

Life goes on.

Life is Getting Complicated

March 12th, 2020 at 05:04 am

Well, today the hospital, which is part of the network of all of our specialty doctors, sent out warning emails and so did our primary doctor's network. They are working to identify those who may have been exposed to the woman at the hospital who has Covid-19. No saying yet if my daughter and husband were, but they were there during that time period. They were in the ER and I don't know if this woman was, but I'm not sure where else she would be unless she came in via a different area or was already in the hospital.

There are so many different areas of our ER department. Illness goes one way, stitches and broken bodies go another way, psychotics and drug reactions go another. Illness is subdivided so they aren't putting people who are vomiting near people who have respiratory symptoms, that sort of thing.

King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties are all on soft quarantine and gatherings of 250 people or more have been banned for the state. King County bought a hotel as a recovery center for those who don't need to be in the hospital anymore but can't go into general population. The city it was in threw a NIMBY fit, but was overruled by a judge. And likely would have been overruled by the governor or the President if not. Small people in power don't seem to get that they will not have the authority they once did in a state of emergency. They haven't called out the national guard yet, but if soft quarantines go hard, that is very likely the next step. Other sites are being readied as well.

We still only have one confirmed case as of today in my county, but that is how it starts and I have no illusions that we won't. We are a county with an international, if small, airport. We are a county with a sea port and an oil refinery that ships everywhere. We are a county on the border of Canada. It is coming.

Universities here are switching to online only classes. Many public schools are being shut down for two weeks, some for six. Other schools are shutting down all after school activities. They are starting a vaccine study in Seattle. Our county is not closing schools, although the native school is shutting down for a day to sanitize the school. The reason the school district is giving is it would be an undue burden on parents who would have to find alternative care. They may change their tune in a week or two, though.

I'm not sure about our vacation next week. We won't be leaving the cottage and will be cooking all our meals so as to limit exposure. We may just buy some trip insurance, it's only $45, but DH sent an email to the lady who owns the place we will be staying to see what happens with a refund if full quarantine occurs. Still waiting to hear back.

We might just be able to bump the dates a month or two or something. I am sure movement between counties will be shut down if we get hard quarantines. I don't want to get stuck in the wrong county and not able to get home if stuff gets weird. But if this is all overblown, I'd still like to go. Only I'm not sure that is smart.

Life is getting complicated.

Observations and Gentle Encouragement to Be Prepared in the Face of Covid-19

March 11th, 2020 at 01:47 am

Being in the state with the highest death rate to Covid-19 has been interesting and to be truthful, worrisome. We had a diagnosis in my county today. It was someone who had gone to the hospital. My daughter went to the hospital within that period of time, with my husband. Closer every day.

There's a lot of little things that have been going on since people started dying, but those things are now becoming bigger and I think we might be looking at a hard quarantine soon in King county (they've been under a soft one). And maybe a soft one where I live soon. Fortunately DH can work from home if it comes to it.

My credit union emailed a list of assurances and rules today. They are providing hand sanitizer at every ATM and teller window. That their tellers are going to be wearing gloves (that's going to be fun to watch them try to count money with gloves on), telling sick employees to stay home, performing environmental cleaning and sanitizing high-touch locations including counter tops, ATMs and door handles, asking patrons to use pens or gloves at ATM's and to use hand sanitizer before and after using the credit union. They have never issued any such notice before, but things are getting a little scary in parts of Washington and we have community spread.

Most of the grocery stores have always had hand sanitizer wipes by the entry doors and the meat counter, but now they have it by the deli, the bakery, the pharmacy, and the freezer area. The two stores that never had hand sanitizer at least now have it by the doors.

We vote by mail in my state and for the last week they have been telling us not to lick our envelopes. Actually, they are telling us not to lick any envelopes, but to use a damp sponge to moisten it. They are telling us not to shake hands with anyone and to wash our hands after handling money or at least use sanitizer and when we can to use debit and credit cards so that you aren't having to hand something to a clerk and get back what they touched.

The CDC told our state specifically to be ready for quarantine and to prepare by stocking up on food, water, and medicine a week ago, although those that waited this long are probably out of luck on a lot of items. Our county has also encouraged stocking up. The paper aisles are empty of many supplies. The CDC has told us to get extra prescriptions right now if we can. We are also being told to avoid large gatherings of people.

I know that a lot of people are not worried about this and are brushing it off, maybe because their state has not been hit very hard or they just don't believe it. I have always believed in being prepared and this is something that saved us when DH was out of work for 10 months a couple years back. We barely had to buy food at all and it helped so much. I don't have that level of preps anymore, but we can easily get through 3 months if this turns out to be worse than currently thought.

I would encourage everyone to have at least two weeks' worth of food in the house right now beyond what you normally have. What's the worst that can happen if this doesn't hit you hard? You'll have food that you can eat and not have to go shopping as soon. And if it does hit hard, you won't have to go out during the worst of it so you can feed yourself.

The trick is to try to be prepared, but not panicked and alert, but not alarmed. Just food for thought.