Monday, April 20, 2020

The More Things Change

Photo of happy beagle named Myrtle to lighten the mood
2.4 million cases worldwide, 166, 278 deaths.  767,379 cases in the United States.  40,750 deaths.

Three people in my little town have had COVID-19 or have it currently.  The first one went to the hospital but came home and is recovering.  The other two have it now and hopefully will recover as well.

Small groups of people are protesting to "re-open" the economy. Most people I know personally are saying they'll stay home no matter what until there's clear medical guidance.  The ones who can't stay home because of their jobs are worried.

My son and I have been watching a Great Courses lecture series on the Black Death in Europe.  What I've learned so far is that people believed that it was the wrath of God and went on pilgrimages and crowded into churches in response, some people thought that public self-flagellation would atone for everyone's sins, others thought that you might as well have good time while you could and threw big parties, some blamed foreigners and/or Jews and believed they were conspiring with each other to poison the water in all of the towns where the plague had appeared, and they thought that good smells would drive away the miasma that caused the plague.  Also that governing bodies mostly failed to adapt to the changed circumstances quickly enough, leading to things like families who were already suffering paying a death tax every time the head of their family died, in the form of livestock that quickly became devalued because the lord of the manor had too much livestock and no one to care for it, meanwhile the family starved.

In other words, people really don't change that much.

I've planted some things in my garden and plan to do more.  A neighbor brought by a pork belly she cooked and I made cole slaw to go with it.  We are thinking about having some discreetly distant front yard social time with her and maybe another neighbor.  They both live alone and are suffering from isolation more than we are.  My husband and I are mainly suffering from being in each other's faces a little too much, but we are figuring it out.  Most of the time it's nice having him home all of the time, and our house is cleaner than usual though not perfectly in order.  I guess if enough time passes we really will clean out the basement. 

Neither of us have been anywhere except the grocery store, walks or bicycle rides, and the post office. We wash our hands and wipe everything down, wear masks though not as much as we probably should (we only have two of them).  Given that there's political pressure to lift the stay-home orders, and it won't be safe to actually do that, I guess this is how we live now, indefinitely.

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