arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

My Photo
Name:
Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2, #13) – Ain’t No Sunshine Now


Another week of isolation.  We are fine and keeping to ourselves as per state orders.  Warrior Queen and I only venture out once a week for needed errands and supplies.  


I went grocery shopping yesterday.  Most, but not all, are heeding CDC recommendations for everyone to wear a mask in public.  I was prepared for the trip utilizing a mask that WQ uses when she goes out in cold winter conditions.  I wasn’t prepared for people reacting to each other like we were suddenly living in a medieval village at the height of the Black Plague.  I get the concept of staying six feet away from the next person, but cowering from others as if we were all lepers?   I realize that people are just allowing their subconscious feelings to rise up with knee jerk reactions to a bad situation that no one gave any fore thought, but still it gives off the vibe that it’s every man for themselves.  I really hope this new “normal” will not be permanent.


In the meantime, as national leadership falters, we should remember that we still have each other to help us all through this crisis.  To this end, the words from Bill Withers 1972 hit Lean On Me seems extremely poignant at this moment.  Losing him early last week also seemed poignant at this time.  Withers' passing gives each of us a chance to reflect on his best remembered message, and yes, take it to heart.   I wouldn’t mind if this part of the new normal survived.




(Thank you for reading.  “But if we are wise/We know that there’s always tomorrow.”)

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2; #12): It Sucks to Be US


I have been working from home this past week.  The novelty of this exercise wore off after three days.  I complain even with the knowledge that I am one of the lucky ones: I am still employed.  Over three million Americans applied to unemployment benefits last week, which I think is a record.

The statistics show that the number of cases is rising in this country, as is the ignorance from the far right.  Medical professionals are dealing with not only tracking and, more importantly, treating new cases but also with researching an eventual cure and vaccine. The cure may very well be a full year in the future.  The cries of “hoax” from the far right are also rising and just as dangerous.  I fear that we will not find a cure for their ignorance.  Their condition is incurable.

Governors of various states have demonstrated that they are the adults in the room by adopting a series of precautions to slow the spread.  Under orders business in many states have ceased operations or, as in my case, transitioned to an all at home work force.  We’re still serving our clients even as we hope these current conditions will be temporary.

The notions of quarantining all at home and safe distancing may do the trick at the state’s levels.  I wish I could say we are getting the same level of competent guidance at the federal level, but...  One minute we are told that we should prepare for an extended period of extra precautions; the next minute we are told that the country should be open and fully operational in time for Easter in two weeks.

Unfortunately, bacterial viruses have no concept of a calendar.  They will do what they are biologically capable of doing before they die.  They don’t punch in and out on a time clock.  Their shift is 24/7.

The federal government’s response — depending on if the ideas of the adults in the room prevail — may hinder our capability to overcome the disease.  Governors in some states are not getting the medical equipment they requested because President Petty* doesn’t feel they gave him the correct amount of respect which he feels is his due.  It’s sad to think how many people will die at the cost of his vanity.

On a personal level, working from home hasn’t been so bad.  My commute has been reduced from 4 miles to six feet.  Dress is beyond casual; shirts and pants are now optional.   That’s as far as I’ll go with that description.

There are some hardships not usually experienced by a typical middle class American.   For example, we have been trying to order carry out from our favorite local restaurants.  The fast food franchises and pizzerias have stayed open.   We did have three Chinese carry outs within a two-mile radius for years.  Not now.  All three have closed until further notice.

Now, with cases rising, the closures may very well be extended for a few more weeks or months.  We understand that this sacrifice is necessary to alleviate suffering and avoid death, but for now it does suck to be us in the United States.

*As in petty and vindictive, not Tom.

(Thank you for reading.  Stay well, everyone.)

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2 #11): OMG


This past week was a wild ride, wasn’t it?

I will not even mention the stock market gyrations. I realize that use of the word gyrations is an understatement.

Our governor closed everything in Pennsylvania effective Friday.  Grocery stores, gas stations, and pharmacies are among the few places that can stay open.  Any restaurants that can operate doing only take-out business have remained open, but many have closed.  I fear that a number of them will not re-open once the panic dies down and the rate of viral infection is reduced.

I am now working at home until further notice.  My company had been preparing us to work from home for a week.  Most of my colleagues had already been at home all week.  Needless to say, our physical work place felt like a ghost town since last Monday.

Warrior Queen’s business has also effectively been shut down.  They have figured out a way to do the things they need to do with a rotating schedule of one person in the office/day.  I guess this was a compromise as it will keep contact between employees, and hence the possibility of the virus spreading, to a minimum.

We had planned to do our weekly grocery trip this morning, but WQ decided to postpone her shopping for later in the week since she’ll need something to do to pass the time. I went this morning with my half of the shopping list. The store was more crowded than usual for a Sunday morning, but it wasn’t the frenzy from a week ago.  The store has recovered somewhat from the near sacking of last week.  The bread shelves were stocked again, but the meat department is still vastly empty. 

My main item was cat food.  Unfortunately, these shelves are still largely empty.  I came looking for certain flavors which our oldest cat (Nyla) likes, but I was disappointed again.  As an added complication the queen cat of the house has chosen this time of her life to act all snobbish about what is placed in front of her. I got what I could and hope that WQ will have better luck later this week.

We have also resolved to do as much as we can for local businesses as we can in the meantime.  Our favorite local pizzeria is still operating for take-out and we ordered a delivery from them yesterday.  We’ll get more than a few meals out of the food we ordered.  So, if nothing else we shall use this as our rallying cry: Support your local pizzeria!

Like everyone else, I am hoping that all of this — the closures, the shortages, the quarantines, the financial hardships, and the pandemic — are all short lived.  Over in two weeks?  Doubtful, but we’ll persevere in any case.

(Thank you for reading.  Be safe, be healthy.)