Monday, April 6, 2020

Watching the Curve... What are you doing?

April 6, 2020

Each night I sit in my bed and write down the numbers in my diary.

Last night it was:
World Cases  1,272,860
World Deaths   69,424
US Cases  336,673
US Deaths  9,616
Florida Cases  12,350
Florida Deaths  221
Citrus County Cases  43
Citrus County Deaths 2

I look back and compare from a day or two ago trying to grasp and get my mind around it all and trying to see the bigger picture.

Then I write down the things that I am grateful for that day.  Because it's all kind of scary, isn't it?

I am grateful for blue sky, and butterflies.  I am grateful for conversations with friends.  I saw a humming bird today in the front garden.  I am grateful for the rain.

I am grateful for farmers and grocery store clerks and truck drivers.  They are still working and exposing themselves and when they return home, the expose their families to possible infection.

Since I last wrote the Governor of Florida issued a shutter-in-place order.  We are only to go out for a walk or bike ride, get groceries, go to the pharmacy.  All "non-essential" businesses are closed.  I think bike shops are essential because they are still open.  Some are reporting an increase in bicycle sales.

On April 3rd I received my first home delivery of groceries.  I had ordered the groceries from Publix online on Sunday and the soonest they could be delivered was Wednesday. 

I then set up a table to clean everything before I brought it into the house.

Here is a video of a doctor explaining the cleaning process.

And a nurse explaining how cross-contamination can spread the virus.

The future might look back on these days and wonder why we were such filthy folks.

"Do you mean they brought their groceries into their homes without washing them first?" they might ask, eyes wide in disbelief.

I had the grocery-delivery woman leave the groceries on the porch.  She had to see my license so she stepped back and I laid the license on the porch and stepped back.  She stepped forward and scanned it into her phone.  Then she stepped back and had me flip the license so she could see the back.  Always staying at least 3-6 feet away from each other.  The new COVID dance.





Maybe those in the future will wonder why we walked around with our faces naked to all those germs out there...

Yes, the CDC is now recommending that we all wear face masks when we have to be in the public.  They are finding that the droplets we exhale can stay in the air and able to infect others for up to three hours.

My neighbor, Carol, posted on our neighborhood Facebook page that she had made some masks for folks and I raised my virtual hand, "yes! I want one!  Purple if you got it."

She delivered mine last night and I had to have her leave it in a box by my porch.  No contact, six feet of separation from others and wash it before I use it.



I like the mask.  It's pretty!



Maybe we are on the cusp of a huge cultural shift.  And maybe it won't just be about sanitation or face masks.

I have seen a huge amount of creative videos on YouTube lately.  Singles, Couples, and whole families re-writing songs with lyrics addressing the new situation we find ourselves in.  Just go to Youtube and search for "Covid song" and you will get a long list of suggestions.

A family with four children performed a song from Les Miserables.


And I have read about engineers putting their minds to solving the need for more ventilators for COVID-19 patients.  One team I read about has created a working ventilator out of existing items like a blood-pressure cuff, and things you would find in a hardware store.  The FDA has promised to speed up the approval process for items that could be of help during this crisis.

My old neighborhood, Stoneridge Landing, has gotten creative and twice a week at a designated time they go out with their golf-carts and bicycles, and dog walkers and do a COVID-Cruise around the neighborhood.  Those that want set out their chairs and wave to the passers.  It is a great way to connect while staying safe.  They have decorated their carts for a Christmas theme and this week they are decorating for Easter.

I saw in the news that one neighborhood was all stepping out to music every evening and dancing.  Just one or two songs, just a quick, "here we are and we are OK" fun way to check in with each other.


Weeroll Camper News

Debra emailed me.  She had made reservations for Anastasia State Park (near St. Augustine, FL) for camping four nights in late March 2021.   I followed suit and made a reservation.  Then I wondered if we will be out of this crisis by then.  Will we still be waiting for a vaccine?   The only way I see this ending is we find a vaccine or we all get it and either grow immunity or die. 

The shutter-in-place strategy is trying to buy time so that the hospitals can have enough ventilators and equipment and staff to deal with the number of cases.

I then felt guilty about spending the money to make the reservation.  I vowed to donate an equal amount to help those struggling financially through this.

I spent an hour or two one cooler afternoon fixing the door screen on the Weeroll.  I am gluing steel washers below the door threshold and then sewing magnets into the hem of the screen.   I need about four more small magnets.



I was hoping to use those fridge magnets.  I have several of them, but they are not strong enough to hold the screen to the washers.

Bill, my friend that gave me the 12 volt battery wrote to me after my last post and told me that I should fasten the battery box to the tool box and then put the battery in the box.  He also told me to fasten everything down in the trailer.   Since it doesn't have shocks, like an RV, things will bounce around a lot.  So I have to keep that in mind as I decorate the trailer, I knew I was going to have to put in D hooks to strap down things. I will have to keep that in mind.  Thanks again, Bill!


Writing, Riding, Socializing

Some writers are really getting a lot of writing done during this safer-at-home time.  That is not me.

My books were selling at an OK clip until about a week ago.  Then the sales just stopped.  I know that if I publish another book it will help, but the commitment isn't there.  Just call me "Wishy-washy Suzy".

What are you doing?  

I bet you are doing great things.  I bet you are sewing facemasks or delivering meals or helping elder folks use Zoom or Facetime to visit their family or friends.

 Not me.  I am: calling and Face-timing friends; going to the pool because we can space ourselves out and chat; driving 40 minutes to Brooksville to ride a trail there; washing my hands; cleaning surfaces; and checking the news.  

Speaking of Brooksville.  I rode the streets from there to go feed the goats.  They were anxious for good veggie scraps, I could tell.


 Sometimes I will post on Facebook a bit of news that I think is reliable and good information.  Then I spend time responding to comments.  Sometimes I have to take the post down because it turned out to either be partially false when I checked on Snopes.com or it was causing too much political defense from both sides of the aisle.   We are walking a narrow line on Facebook these days.  No wonder so many people just post puppy videos. 

Glen and Debra and I set out to ride Turner Camp Road to the end the other day.  But the traffic was a bit too much for Debra and she turned around.  Glen and I went to the end and stopped at Potts Preserve.  The ranger was there and he told me I could bike in to use the toilet.  I think it is open for hiking, but I won't do that alone.  Anyone have good GPS and want to go for a hike?  6 feet of separation, of course. 

Potts preserve is where George and I got lost on the trails and ended up spending the night on the trail in February of 2016.   I will remember to take my cell phone this time and to let others know when and where I am going.

 



On my way to Brooksville I stopped at McDonald's and got a sandwich from the drive-up window.  It was my first time doing take-out since the "safer-at-home" efforts.  I learned that McDonald's is now delivering!  Wow.

I tipped the cashier... I have never done that at McDonald's before.  Strange times.

Stay safe... and let me know what you are doing these days.


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