25 March 2020
Pandemic, COVID-19, and corona virus seem to be the conversational trigger words these days. It's all anyone seems to want to talk about. Local and national media runs for hours and hours about it, and local and national government have issued directives about how we are supposed to live and conduct ourselves. To quote Amarante: "I'm not saying it's good, I'm not saying it's bad ... "
But you have to admit that we're living in very different times these days, right? BB and I are very fortunate (depending on how you look at things) that our employer has sent us home. In BB's case to telecommute, in my case to stay put and do ... nothing. So every day it's the four of us: BB, me, Ma Coyote, and Ma's caregiver.
With that in mind, I posted this on my FaceBook page a couple of days ago. I was responding to a message from DF Thompson, who was expressing concern for the well-being of me and mine. (My Facebook page, if you're interested. You must be already logged into Facebook to get to it.)
We're good so far. Ma Coyote and BB and I are in our second week of seclusion. The only bump in the road is our supply chain. We have a long history of buying dry goods in bulk (remember, one of us is 94, with all the limitations and daily chores that implies), and that supply chain broke about two weeks ago when the uninformed thought that the best way to combat a virus was to build a fort in your front room out of rolls of toilet paper. Some aspects of that issue are resolving slowly.
We live in earthquake country, and BB and I both work in emergency management. Between the two of us we've probably got near 60 years of experience with that. So experience has taught us that it's good to keep a stock of stuff close to paw for situations just such as this. And we do. So we're safe and healthy, and can take care of ourselves for a while.
I'm sure you guys are similarly prepared. Whether it's tornados, hurricanes, fires, riots, arctic winters, boiling summers, bad politicians, or just life ... we all have things we need to prepare for so those we care about won't suffer. It's part of who we are, right?
Obviously our biggest concern is Ma. If COVID19 somehow manages to invade our home and her lungs, it could get very bad for her, very quickly. So we take the self-quarantine stuff pretty seriously. Sure, BB and I get out for walks now and then, and we did manage to get the LRB out of the garage last Saturday morning for a short but necessary trip, but we are staying home to make sure nothing gets in to end Ma's days.
And yeah ... it's kind of a nose rub to think that I'm part of the "OK, boomer" demographic that everyone seems to be worried about. Not sure how I feel about that, but it wouldn't bug me so much if they didn't make it sound like 60 is the new 90. So yeah, #notfeelingit. I can't be elderly if Ma is still around to dispense daily doses of guidance ... I apparently still have a lot of work to do and a lot left to learn! I'm still somebody's pup!
So ... guys ... enough about that. Stay safe, protect your family, help your community. Some day, when we really are old, we'll tell stories around the campfire about the days when everyone went nuts for toilet paper and the world slowed down for a few weeks. Then we'll get some sleep, and go find something new to explore the next morning.
It'll be fun!
I'm trying not to take the "pandemic" too seriously. Yes, the stuff is dangerous. Yes, "social distancing" and "self-quarantine" are good ways to minimize the impact of any virus. But it's not the end of the world. This is not 1918. We aren't facing Armageddon. Conversely, yes, more folks are going to die. They do every year from some form of the flu. It's normal. But despite the attention, COVID-19 really isn't ringing the bell so far. Expressed as a percentage of the total population, the number of folks afflicted or killed by it is very small. Little consolation if it's someone you know or are related to, I know, but from the "global perspective" the numbers are quite small.
The county I live in reported it's first COVID-19 fatality yesterday. My county is the third most populous county in the state, the sixth most populous in the country, and is more populous than 21 of the United States (Wikipedia - Orange County, California). My county has an estimated population of approximately 3.185 million (US Census projection) squeezed into an area of just under 950 square miles, about 790 of which are populated (urban / suburban areas). The numbers work out to about 4,030 people per square mile. As of today there have been 152 cases reported (.0047% of the population). My state has a population of 39.56 million (2018). As of yesterday there were 2,102 cases confirmed ( .0053% of the population).
Expressed as a percentage of the whole, those are pretty small numbers.
Our supply chain took a hit, probably yours did too. Panic, which some might say was fueled by overzealous media and social networks, caused a considerable portion of the population to to run out and buy up whatever they could find, clearing stores and warehouses of virtually everything in just a few days. This in a state where preparedness has been preached to the citizenry all of my sixty years, in fact since the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. Amazing.
This is starting to look and sound like a rant in my own ears, and I don't want to go down that path. My sincere hope is that the lot of us will keep cool heads, protect ourselves and our families, do what we can to help our neighbors, and help us get through this ... whatever it is. Focus on the horizon. As a species we have the technology, the resources, and the will to minimize the impact or COVID-19. We can do it. We just need to want to, to make it a priority.
In my earlier post I paid homage to The Beast. For those of you who don't know, this is that machine, in its native habitat (the top of Corkscrew Pass in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado). Someone asked me about what I had been referring to ... this is it.
So I have a lot of free time on my paws. Guess I'll be spending some bucks on parts and spending part of the spring wrenching on the LRB. Sure wish my muse was around ... this would be a fabulous time to get back to working on one of my stories. Perhaps fate will be kind and she'll show up one day. In the meantime,
3 March 2020
Time to catch up, I think.
I guess a coyote can bottom out more than once, and still rise from the ashes and the shit, bind up the wounds, dust himself off, and make something of what he's got left. Or so it seems. It takes a lot of help from some good folks. A tip of my hat to you, you know who you are ...
Yeah, that's a smile. And she's a bunny of the first order. Brigid. I am very thankful for her patient love.
19 October 2019, Yosemite Valley.
So off we go, into a future of promise. Don't wish us luck. Be part of it.
And then there's the Little Red Beast ...
'Cause even an old mech-tech gun-dog of sixty needs something to move he and his missus safely from "A" to "B" in the most adventurous and enjoyable ways possible, right? It's not The Beast (all hail The Beast!), but in some ways it is better. Big enough for a conejita and a coyote and a couple of friends, plus gear. For those of you who like the scenery, we are in northeastern Arizona, looking southwest roughly up the Gypsum Wash at Monument Valley.
I'm less than three months away from retirement as I type this, and BB has a little over eight months to go herself. By the spring of '21 there'll be some big changes going on around The Range. Like a lot of those haven't already happened ... but we've got a bucket list of things to do that I'd need at least two paws to carry, so we'll be making some noise, burning lots of fuel, and racking up the miles for some time to come.
Join us if you like!
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