Year of the Plague

Everyone’s world is getting just a little bit smaller.

Has everyone settled in to The New Normal yet?

Herself had to make a supply run to Herself the Elder’s assisted-living home yesterday, but since she forgot her biohazard gear and breathing apparatus, she had to leave the goodies on the porch. The joint is on lockdown, with the drawbridge up and the moat full of gators, piranha fish, and plugged-in toasters.

She managed to snap a selfie at mom’s bedroom window, though. And of course, when you can’t get actual facetime, there’s FaceTime.

Elsewhere, the noobs are trying to figure out how to work from home. Lucky for me, I have a black belt in social distancing, which I have been practicing since 1991, when after 15 years in the Petri dish of daily journalism it was suddenly just me, my Mac SE, and a Hayes modem, in a spare bedroom.

Also, as a geezer with a broken ankle and the Socialist Insecurity due to start rolling in next month, I don’t have much to do or a pressing need to go somewhere to do it.

So I got that going for me, which is nice.

The hard part, for me and for thee, is the temptation to go all COVID-19, all the time. Don’t do it. Send a daily hate mail to the White House and then call it a day.

Watching this lame reboot of “A Day at the Races” ain’t doing it for me. There are more horses’ asses than horses in this one, and I don’t think the fat fuck playing Dr. Hackenbush is even a vet, much less an MD.

And now, today’s musical selection:


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34 Responses to “Year of the Plague”

  1. SAO' Says:

    Given the musical leanings of this crowd, I feel confident that if I ask everyone to submit songs for a COVID-19 Blues playlist, I’ll get some real winners.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I’m getting depressed. Here is my SARS CoV-2, aka COVID-19 when it commences to kick you ass, selection.

    On the trainer?

  3. khal spencer Says:

    I’m still trying to decide if the national panic is worse then the pandemic. They shut down the Mary Ellen Gonzales Senior Center on a moment’s notice. Meena managed to let them let her in to rescue her sewing machine, which she shares with some of the other folks who used the center. Another guy was not so lucky: his entire supply of micaceous clay is in the craft room and you can’t easily get that out. I think one has to ask what is worse–social distancing or social isolatinn for the old folks.

    I’m getting fatalistic about this. Just get it over with.

    • SAO’ Says:

      There’s a Y2K parallel here. If we do nothing, we all die. If we work our butts off, we avoid the catastrophe, and everyone says, well, that was no big deal.

      At the upper limit of what We The People are capable of doing, we’re going to implement 1/100th of the measures they have done in China. They built 4 new hospitals in the last two months. So maybe hype is the way we vent when we know actual heavy lifting is out of the question.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The shit will continue to roll downhill.

      A neighbor occasionally minds her three grandkids for her daughter, a single working mom. Well, now that the schools are closed for three weeks, “occasionally” just became “daily.”

      Hal reports from Weirdcliffe that a big track meet scheduled for this weekend in Pee-ebb-blow has been canceled. If the season goes poof, I’m not sure what that does to his gig as a coach. If the school closes, it will certainly affect his gig as a substitute teacher, along with his job as an editor, because he will have his son at home 24/7.

  4. DownhillBill Says:

    And what kind of modem did Jimi Hendrix have? A purple Hayes!
    Sorry, haven’t had a chance to use that one in years.

    I was stuck in a ridiculous grocery store checkout line at 10PM last night. (Normal time for me to be there, not into the morning thing. I’m a musician) People were even panic-buying bottled water. The city water supply here has failed like, never.

    Still waiting for the official call for to run around in circles screaming. Any moment now…

    • Pata O'Brien Says:

      Add stupid, selfish, ignorant, and afraid in equal measures and you get panic buying and hoarding.

      More important though is what instrument do you play?

      • DownhillBill Says:

        Snare drum, mostly in a bagpipe band but also in a brass band (which includes some of the guys I played with 50 years ago). Only the Scots would form bands with the two instruments which have been classified as weapons of war, with nothing else to moderate the racket. Much to my distaste both bands do play in the mornings a lot. It remains to be seen if the annual Easter Sunrise-in-a-cemetery-high-over-the-river bank-with-the-wind-blowing-up-my-kilt gig is allowed to happen.

        I also commit guitar sometimes, but have enough restraint not to inflict this on the public.

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          My smarter half loves the pipes and drums!

          Committing guitar describes my playing as well. I can get to some of the common barre chords, just not very fast. So, I still classify myself as a beginner.

          And Patrick is right. Purple Hayes deserved a rim shot!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      “Purple Hayes.” Hee, and also haw.

      Here’s another musical joke for you*: Have you seen Stevie Wonder’s new piano? Neither has he.

      Badaboom, badabing. I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your servers.

      * Lifted from The National Lampoon, circa 1970-something.

      • DownhillBill Says:

        Q: How to you get 2 pipers to play in tune?
        A: Shoot one.

        Unfortunately this is only a pleasant fantasy, as they are often out of tune with themselves. With one double reed and three single reeds, a passing cloud or most anything else will send them out of tune. Fortunately, most people think that’s how they are _supposed_ to sound. I actually like pipe music, but won’t say that around pipers. Goes to their heads, you know.

    • B Lester Says:

      Capital WTF?!?! Bottled water…. Here in Southern Wisconsin I’ve seen folks filling 10 gal gas cans after they fill the tank. Again, WTF!!!

  5. Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

    The old folks homes have gotta be careful or they’ll lose a whole lot of paying customers fast. A big reason we didn’t go to the USA a couple weeks ago was that we were bunking with the in-laws at their “retirement community.” As soon as word got out about the daughter and son-in-law visiting from Italy the pitchforks would have been out! The panic here in Italy’s probably far less crazy than the USA’s…each night at 6 PM people come out onto their balcony and sing the national anthem while waving a flag!!! Viva Italia!
    And buona fortuna to all of you in the land of Caligula…you’re gonna need it.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeah, the nursing-home industry was quick out of the gate with a plea to limit visitations. Then, boom, the shutdown. Makes sense. There are two centenarians in Herself the Elder’s place. One of them is 105, I shit thee not. And she’s in remarkably fine shape, albeit deef as a post.

    • psobrien Says:

      No worries. President Comacho has everything well in hand.

      • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

        Yep good luck with the guy who famously claimed “I alone can fix it!” but yesterday claims it’s not (nothing ever is) his fault.
        I never thought when I moved to Italy it would end up in a situation where I could say the ITALIAN government works better than the one in the USA.
        MAGA = Morons Are Governing America

  6. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Just watched some of the latest effort by tRump to regain some footing. All I really learned is that Mike Pence is without doubt the greatest nut licker of all time. According to Q-tip his boss has got everything in perfect order. Hard to believe but the TV gods had a stock ticker on screen through the whole debacle. I wonder if tRump made them do so?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      A friend just coined a pretty good band name for the combo of stock ticker and shitkicker: “Dickbreath Trump & The Dow.”

      I’d edit it to “Dickbreath Donny & The Dow,” but that’s just because I’m injured and bored and don’t have enough to do. The worst sort of editor.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      I had to turn it off when the Target guy went to commercial break. What a dog and pony show, complete with the damn mirrors and smoke. Got money? You got luck. The rest of you are probably losers and deserve it. You are out of luck.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      James Fallows has revived his Trump Time Capsule at The Atlantic. He’s already got three entries, and he didn’t crank up the machinery until last night’s Oval Office address.

      Christ, what a douche. Ginger Khan, not Fallows.

      In other news, Chazbo Pierce calls today’s presser “an in-kind contribution to Joe Biden’s eventual general-election campaign.”

  7. JD Dallager Says:

    Coming late to the fight on this. Here’s my hopefully thoughtful and thought-provoking question: Does digital connectivity (internet, email, social media, etc.) help or hinder the local, state, national, and global response to the Coronavirus pandemic? Said another way, does it fuel or fizzle the associated pandemonium?
    I suspect there will be case studies/after-action reports galore on this for at least a decade. Hopefully some lessons learned will be resourced appropriately.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I think it both helps and hinders, JD. Useful information is dispensed more rapidly to the tech-savvy, but fake news/conspiracy theories get wider distribution than they might have in an earlier age. Something going “viral” used to mean “The neighbors have the plague. Bar the door and fetch my crossbow.”

      One thing that concerns me, especially here in New Mexico, is the lack of internet access for the less affluent among us. Lots of folks don’t have any, much less high-speed, and with schools and libraries being closed one wonders how many people are being denied access to the tech that might help them navigate the rough waters ahead.

  8. Hurben Says:

    Trump can now blame the Aussies..

    While this may not be a nice thing to say, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving person, Peter Dutton is an absolute xenophobic thug.

  9. Dave Watts Says:

    I left the bike industry some years back and have since worked at a grocery store. Can’t work from home. Couldn’t tell you which industry is better to be in right now. I could tell you some stories of the last couple of days at work, but I bet you’ve all experienced some of what’s been happening as you’re rushing out to find toilet paper, water, and the most prized frozen pizza. Beer? Yes! That we have! For now. So there’s hope!

    The wife did a 48-piece toilet paper run to her mom’s nursing home 5 days ago while there still was some to be had. Her mom didn’t want that much and told us to only give her some of those. She got all of them anyway because we could see the direction this cluster *** situation was heading. Now, *we* need some TP and can’t find any. Problem is, the nursing home, and the other one that houses her dad, are all on lock down. No one gets in. No one gets out (unless, you know, its their time). So our collective TP is safe. We just can’t get to it. Basics count.

    Hope all of you are safe and stay healthy.

    Bad situation out there. Ain’t gonna get better anytime soon. Time for another day of work at the store. I can’t wait.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Best of luck working the store, Dave. It’s gonna be heavy lifting for a while, innit? Slightly more important than the bike industry, methinks.

      The WaPo has a good read on the food biz and the labor shortages/pipeline disruptions it faces. Kinda makes me wish we kept a few chickens and a sizable truck garden. I dearly love to commit eating.

      • Dave Watts Says:

        Well, shoot. The Washington Post has locked me out because I’ve read too many of their articles lately, but I got their opening photo, and I’ve seen that here also, too many days in a row. That’s very real, but the situation of all this mess is unreal, if you get my drift. Store open hours have been reduced, but morale is strong. We’ve actually had almost no call-outs among the staff over this entire week, which is unprecedented. Everybody is on board to help, even though we are on the front line of vulnerability, just behind health industry workers. People need all the food and supplies they can get right now. Every day is a new adventure!

  10. Shawn in the Gorge Says:

    If I wasn’t caring and living with one of my best chums (Mom) and needed to keep myself safe so that she is safe, I’d probably seek out the virus to get it over with. Odds are I’d be able to survive the melee and then I could make a ton of money selling my “I’ve already seen the Corona” t-shirts that most people will be looking to buy in the future…. and just think of the great cruise ship rates you could get, that is if there are any cruise ships operating this year.

    But with respectful seriousness, there is wisdom in being careful and exercising caution with covid-19.

    Best wishes to all of you schmucks and let’s cross our fingers that we do indeed have enough t-paper in the cabinet.

  11. khal spencer Says:

    Just got an email. Some friends of ours are in self quarantine on the East coast in an area of PA that has been hit.. One with flu like symptoms. Just got tested. Sigh.

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