Bits from my COVID journal.
March 25: “My belly has been upset off and on for two days and I keep asking myself if it’s a symptom of COVID-19 and trying to calculate how long it’s been since I interacted with the greater world. It’s silly. I think it must be something I ate. Several people I know have announced that due to all the negativity and fighting over COVID-19 on facebook, they are leaving it. Several other people who have not been on facebook for a year or two, have come back in order to connect.”
Did you guys do that too? Start thinking you had COVID every time you had any symptoms?
March 26: “Got some emails from my professor for one archaeology class today. I’m still not comfortable with the online format and not sure how it will work, but it will be fine. Seems like some people are starting to figure out that this pandemic is a real thing. I’ve specifically noticed that a couple of people have changed their tunes from thinking this is all overreaction and hype, to taking it seriously. Trump has publicly announced that we are not a nation of people who like staying at home (unlike all the other people in the world?) therefore we should relax all our stay at home rules so that we can pack churches by Easter. The man is a moron. Feeling slightly better, not sure if the salad had anything to do with it.”
I completed exactly one term (3 months) on campus at Portland State University. Ever since, PSU has been on my laptop at home. It is weird, to say the least. I yearn for class in person, despite the hour commute and the exorbitant parking charges. I’m tired of hardly ever having a live, real-time lecture from a professor so I can interrupt and say, “wait, explain that again?” Although I do love having lectures recorded, so I can listen to them again whenever I want to. And when I do get a real-time lecture, I’m so sick of 85% of my classmates leaving their cameras off and never speaking a word during the entire term. I’m tired of going whole terms without meeting my professor. I mean, that’s on me. I could schedule a Zoom meeting just to say Hi, but we’re all busy and that seems silly. I’m tired of being at the mercy of our online system that not every professor has mastered, so that I need to click every link and drop-down menu in every place on the website I can think of, just to make sure I’m not missing an assignment or an updated due date. When we had class in person, the professor would say to the class, “Hey, don’t forget your assignment is due Tuesday,” and I could take a note. And someone would ask, “Is it due midnight like everything else?” and the Professor could say, “No, it’s due right before class, because I need to you have it done so we can discuss it in class.” These subtleties become big hurdles in online class.
On March 27 I discovered that I can find statistics about COVID-19. I began checking the numbers daily, to see how much I should worry about Tara, or about the world, or to help decide how confident I felt crossing the river to go grocery shopping. I literally would decide whether or not to go, based on how rapidly the new case count was rising. I live in Columbia County, groceries are across the river in Cowlitz County. The stay at home orders specifically stated not to cross state borders, but I checked, and there was an exception for people like me, who live on the border and cross the border regularly for typical daily activities or for work.
March 27: “11 dead in Oregon, none in Columbia County so far. 147 deaths in Washington, none in Cowlitz County. There are advantages to being so rural. This is also shown by reports in the nation. Montana, N. Dakota, S. Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and West Virginia all have reported less than 100 cases of COVID-19. But this remains highly skewed due to unavailability of testing. Still, in the US, a person has to BOTH have symptoms, AND prove exposure somehow, to be allowed to take the test. There just aren’t enough available, and there isn’t the capacity to process them. Improvements are being made daily, but thousands of people are going to be well from COVID-19 before a test is ever available.”
About this time, I began looking for things to do, since I couldn’t leave my house. I already make my own bread, so I didn’t join the sourdough bandwagon. I did start some deep cleaning. It was a good time of year for it anyway, and unlike 2021, Spring 2020 was unusually warm and dry and motivating me to get ready for summer. I cleaned things like windows of the entire house, inside and out, I used rust stain remover inside the porcelain toilet tanks, I removed the glass globe pendants in the kitchen and washed them all. You know, the stuff that never gets done.
March 28: “Total U.S. cases: 85,356. Total deaths: 1,246. Jurisdictions reporting cases: 54 (50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands). 12 deaths in Oregon. Ten cases in Cowlitz County. First case in Columbia County reported yesterday. I have been isolating since March 13. I have left in the Jeep three times since then, to get groceries, or gas. I left twice to go see the sea lions at the Rainier Marina. Today when I went out I wore gloves the entire time and did not touch my face the entire time. I put away all the groceries with gloves still on, then threw away my gloves, then washed my hands, then itched my face.”
I have a whole year of this stuff, my friends! So strap in! Or quick, unsubscribe before it’s too late. ❤