Category Archives: CoronaVirus

2021 – Three Months In

So on the one hand in the blink of an eye, on the other hand with the passing of a couple of eons, we’re now three months into 2021, almost 25% of the year gone by.

Okay, it’s definitely better than 2020. We did have that whole little attempted coup on January 6th and we had to put up with “the previous guy” for about three weeks in January. But those are small potatoes compared to the unrelenting disaster that 2020 was.

Since then, the vaccines have started to flow, there were actual plans put forward to get them into arms, the infection rates and ICU usage rates are way down, and if we can avoid being morons (the percentages of folks not wearing masks at all or just not attempting to wear them properly at today’s Opening Day baseball games don’t bode well) then in another three months we might actually be able to see the end of the tunnel instead of just a dim glow off in the distance.

And MLB’s Opening Day is here! There’s still an undiluted joy to seeing and listening to the game, to hearing the crack of the bat, to feeling that pop of the glove into the catcher’s mitt, to smelling the cut grass of the field. Okay, so we weren’t there, and it will probably be late May at the very earliest and probably early June before we can get to a game. It was just the smell of cut grass from our back yard, but any port in a storm!

While most stadiums were at 20% or maybe 50%, at least one stadium will be at 100% capacity when they open at home next week. That’s just stupid, which raises the immediate question – is we talking about a stadium in Texas or Florida? (It’s Texas.)

Welcome to spring. Wear your mask, even if you’ve been vaccinated, especially if you haven’t. Stay safe, stay socially distanced. We want you alive and well to actually hang out at a game in July. Or August. Or better yet, June! But September at the latest…

We don’t have a clue what we’re doing, do we? One foot in front of another.

Masked.

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Filed under CoronaVirus, Sports

The Ides Of March – 2021

Ditto for 2020. Not so much for 2021 – we’ve gone through so much and learned just how stupid and naive we were a year ago. I’m not sure that makes us any wiser, just more tired and battle worn. For example, take a look at the states and cities opening back up from quarantine now that things are “better,” where “better” is defined as “still a hundred times worse than it was when we first locked down and went into quarantine.”

There appears to be some light at the end of the COVID tunnel as we now have three vaccines available, production and distribution are ramping up, and after the nightmare of the spikes following the holidays in November and December in cities like Los Angeles are starting to see the first phases of re-opening. We can debate another time whether or not that’s premature (pro tip – it is, and places like Texas that are totally open are freakin’ insane) but the fact that it’s happening and based now on some science and data rather than cult politics gives some hope that by this summer there might be some semblance of “normal.”

One of the advantages to having a personal website (and the ego to spew drivel out into the universe in the vainglorious belief that anyone cares) is that it gives me an easy way to see what was going on a year ago. Many folks are writing and commenting about the one year anniversary of their COVID experience, especially around March 11th, which is sort of the “official” start of the government response. For me it’s March 19th, as I’ll explain, and this weekend I took a look back. It’s both unintentionally hilarious at times, and gut wrenchingly depressing at others.

We had no idea what was happening. (Which presupposes that we do now any more than we did then – a depressing thought for another day.)


February, 2020 (The Gathering Storm)

02/01/2020 – Our son was in town for the Super Bowl party, on leave from his military post in Japan. In retrospect, he probably just made it here and back before travel restrictions slammed into place around the world. We went out to see the Kings game in downtown LA and the area around Staples was a zoo with the spontaneous memorial to Kobe Bryant that had sprung up outside.

02/02/2020 – The Super Bowl win by our beloved Kansas City Chiefs. That was a good day and a great party.

02/15/2020 – We went downtown again for a show at the Ahmanson Theater, “The Last Ship,” starring Sting. It would turn out to be the only show of the five or six in the series we had purchased that wasn’t cancelled due to COVID.

02/19/2020 – After putting it off for months because I was too freakin’ busy, we got out at the last minute before it left movie theaters and saw “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” It would be the last time we’ve been in a movie theater since.

02/20/2020 – Another Kings game at Staples, this time with truly excellent seats down by the glass that we had purchased at a charity auction. Again, although we didn’t know it then, our last live sporting event for a long, long time.

02/27/2020 – One more trip downtown, this time to the Disney Concert Hall, to see Dvorak’s New World Symphony. My article title, “It’s A New World,” was a not-so-original play on the music’s title, but looking back it said so, so much about what was right around the corner in reality. I guess if we need to have a last, great event before the shit hit the fan, you could do a lot worse than this.


March, 2020 (The Only Way Out Is Through)

03/08/2020 – A short post about Courage, and how we were going to need it. The first week of March was filled with my usual posts – pictures, attempts at humor, lizards, astronomy. But as the “Courage” post indicates, things were anything but normal or calm. I haven’t gone back and looked up dates or emails, but I remember that by this point it was becoming obvious that there were humongous changes coming really, really fast. At work we were trying to figure out how to set up EVERYONE to work remotely, re-inventing our entire company and procedures almost overnight. It’s a good thing we didn’t know how hard it was going to be or how insane it was to be trying to do what we were trying to do. In retrospect, being a part of that team and doing what we did in those circumstances and under that kind of pressure is probably going to be one of the things I’m most proud of in life. It was epic – I’ll be happy not to have to do it again, particularly given the way that so many key facets of the federal government were actively working to make it worse. I have a lot of reasons to want a lot of members of the previous Administration in jail until the heat death of the Universe, but the way they failed in that time of need is #1 on that list.

03/11/2020 – The normal world order was crashing to a halt and it was obvious that this was not a drill. The NBA had shut down and the NHL was right behind it. I was so frazzled that I had written a post on the 10th and then simply forgotten to post it, waking up at 3:00 AM to realize what had happened, but being too exhausted to care. In many parts of our country and all across the world, the first signs of panic over COVID were setting in.

03/13/2020 – The stock market was taking a dive, COVID was completely out of control in Italy, and the first indications of a building disaster in New York City were showing up. The stores were out of toilet paper (boy, did THAT drive home to folks how serious this was!) and even Disneyland was shutting down. It was my first good COVID rant about washing your hands, staying home and away from other people, listening to the doctors instead of the politicians, and not being stupid. Yeah, I’m so glad that so many of YOU listened and agreed, it would have been nice if a couple hundred million other folks had.

03/15/2020 – One year ago today. A theme that I returned to a number of times during this ordeal, particularly in the early stages. Pictures of beauty in the world and a reminder that the flowers, birds, clouds, and moon didn’t care about COVID – they were going to be there and go on, with or without us. So breathe, keep fighting, be smart, but don’t forget to find a bit of beauty and joy in the world, even as it went to Hell in a handbasket.

03/19/2020 – For me, this was the day when quarantine started. For about ten days or so we had been starting to get folks up and running from home, actually shutting down office operations. March 19th was the day I was the last one there before we went into full quarantine lockdown conditions. The City and County of Los Angeles as well as the State of California all issued their “shelter in place” orders on March 19th and we were all going to be in compliance to whatever extent we could be. (For the record, I’ve been back to my office I think four or five times since then to deal with computer issues or to sign paperwork, but I haven’t seen a single one of my officemates in person for a year. That hurts.)

Three phrases from that March 19th post are either hilarious or the ultimate in naivete:

“…everyone should stay home for at least the next couple of weeks.” I remember discussing options and expectations, wondering if we would be on lockdown for just a couple of weeks or if it would stretch on into a second, or God forbid, even a third month. A year later, I’ve not ever gone out unmasked, and my outings have been 100% limited to Sunday grocery shopping, Saturday trips to the CAF hangar every couple of weeks to pick up mail, food pick up runs, and a handful of trips to the store for necessities.

“…we’ve done all we can to prepare, both at home and at work, and now we’ll just do the best we can.” 535,000+ dead in the US so far (plus probably 15% to 20% more uncounted yet for the GOP governors who continue to lie and manipulate the statistics), who knows how many hundreds of thousands of “COVID Long Haulers,” and who knows how much long-term economic damage. And we have so many millions more dead around the world, now with virulent mutations and variants starting to pop up in populations that are hopelessly unprepared to deal with the crisis. We’ll just do the best we can, indeed. Did we have any other choice? It could have been so much better. It’s cold comfort that it could have been so much worse. And still might be.

“…we’ll probably still have thousands or tens of thousands of deaths here, with hundreds of thousands or even millions across the US.” The current death count in Los Angeles County today is 22,476, out of 1.21M cases. For California, it’s 56,606 deaths, out of 3.63M cases. For the United States, it’s 535,000 deaths (officially, YMMV) out of 29.5M cases (officially). I’m so glad that my worst case fears haven’t come to pass. (But I can’t help but add a silent “yet” to the end of that sentence.)

Of course, the reason this date stands out and is so memorable for me is that it’s my birthday. And my second COVID quarantine birthday is right around the corner. Huzzah?

03/20/2020 – Our next concert and play were officially cancelled – the writing was on the wall.

03/21/2020 – The first big US hot spots were starting to heat up, and those of us toughing it out were on pins and needles thinking about every tickle at the back of the throat.

03/22/2020 – The title said it all – “What Will Success Look Like?” I’m still not sure that we know, but we sure know what failure looked like. The other thing I noticed in the posts around this time were that I was swearing A LOT. Not doing that might take some conscious effort when we get back to what is ostensibly a “polite” society on the other side of this life event.

03/24/2020 – This reminds me of how fast things got critical – talking about hospitals putting triage plans in place for when (not if) their ERs and ICUs were completely overrun. And it happened. New York. Seattle. Dallas. Miami. Kansas City. Here in Los Angeles there were times just a couple of months ago when critical patients waited in ambulances outside the hospital for 8+ hours because there was no room inside. And heaven forbid that you had a heart attack or were in a car accident – life-saving treatments that would have been five minutes away two years ago were now out of reach completely in too many places too often. What was the option if you couldn’t breathe from COVID or had multiple fractures and massive bleeding from an accident? Well – you died.

03/30/2020 – They had finally cancelled the entire Ahmanson season, including “1776” which I was so, so, so, so much looking forward to. They tried later in the year to reschedule it for later in 2021, but that’s long ago been cancelled as well. As was “Hamilton,” this year’s entire theater and concert schedule, football, hockey, baseball, basketball, concerts, marathons, the Olympics… (Jeez Louise, they cancelled the freaking Olympics! And it’s still not 100% clear that they’ll be able to hold them this July instead!) Maybe it’s gotten “better” enough (see above – it hasn’t, but we’re gonna do it anyway…) to allow fans into baseball games for opening day in two weeks, and at least the NCAA tournament is being held this year, even if it is in a “bubble.” And if you want to see a live golf tournament or NASCAR race? Go ahead – but don’t even get me started on Florida!

03/31/2020 – I ended March with a plea / suggestion / recommendation that everyone watch “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.” It was the tiniest little bit of joy and excitement and hope in that bleak month. I’ll wrap up here with a repeat of that recommendation. The second season has been a bit different in tone due in part to what’s happened to the characters in Season One, and in part due to what’s happening out in the real world with COVID. It’s a tiny bit less novel and more somber, but still so very, very excellent. It comes back for the second half of Season Two on March 28th on NBC. Sooooooooo tasty!!


And now?

Well, at least we’re not out of toilet paper any more.

But we have half a million families in this country who are missing someone, or have someone hanging on for dear life, or have someone dealing with months and months of daily trauma despite being “healed” – or all of the above.

Personally, we’ve been lucky. We know people who have died from COVID. We know people who have been ill with “the ‘Rona,” some with mild cases, some with more serious cases. But we’ve been spared. So far. Maybe we were right to be paranoid and obsessed with quarantine and hand washing. Maybe it’s just that our number never came up.

We’re still doing the best we can, one day at a time, one foot in front of the other. I hope you’ve been able to do the same.

We seem to be coming out the other side, but I’m for years to come sure we’ll be wearing masks and giving some serious side-eye to anyone coughing or sneezing out in the open around us. By the end of the summer, maybe we’ll even be able to travel or go to a ball game. It’s all predicated on the virus variants not going ballistic and everyone pulling their weight to not let down their guard too soon. A “fourth wave” (which could easily be bad enough to push us over the 1,000,000 death mark) is about 99% preventable, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t happen.

(And as I’m writing this, the SiriusXM Classical Pops channel serves up Dvorak’s New World Symphony, 3rd movement. Thanks, I wasn’t having a tough enough time getting through this…)

Stay calm.

Look for the beauty around us.

Stay vigilant.

Wash your hands.

Stay socially distant for a while longer. And then maybe for just a little bit longer after that…

We’ve gone through Hell and we can’t forget that, nor can we ever forget those that we’ve lost. But Hell seems to have an exit sign up ahead, if we’re patient enough and smart enough to get there.

Be safe.

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Filed under CoronaVirus, Deep Thoughts, Paul

Detritus Art

I got to spend way too much time today in a dentist’s chair (root canal – I’ll live, I might be cranky) and then got to stop by the hospital to pick up a couple of prescriptions.

These days, of course, when you want to get into a hospital you have to pass through a checkpoint, get your temp taken, and get screened (at least verbally, not with an actual lab test) for COVID. With a big hospital with a big organization, they need a way to make sure that everyone has been screened, so at Kaiser Permanente they give you a little colored sticker to put on your shirt. Every day it’s a different color, about all that I noticed when I’ve been there before in the last year.

When you leave, you can take off the sticker. Previously on the main exit from the facility there was a board where everyone stuck them. Simple. Easy. Elegant.

The board is gone.

Out in the parking lot, folks have spontaneously started putting their stickers onto whatever surface will hold them, primarily these bollards that are out at the edges of the parking lots.

Is it found art? It’s colorful! It’s an unexpected little bit of random whimsy and joy in sort of a grim and serious place!

Or is it just litter, junk, detritus, a pain in the ass problem that someone is going to have to clean up? One of those little things that no one quite thought through when the focus was on making sure that everyone could easily be ID’d as having passed the COVID checkpoint? An unintended consequence?

Or maybe it’s both?

I do notice now that it appears that every single day seems to have not just a different color, but also a different message. Heart health! Colon cancer, get tested early and save your life! (Yeah, that one, we can relate on a very personal basis!) Practice social distancing! (Some folks need to practice a lot more, they’re not doing it correctly still.) Mammograms! Prescription refills by mail! Exhibit gratitude to make someone’s day! Phone and video exams!

Keep your eyes open for unexpected beauty and whimsy, even if it is just an unintended consequence.

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Unanchored

Sunday nights seem to be the worst.

The whole world’s going crazy and it’s getting harder to hold on to a sense of balance. So much going on at home, trying to just hold on to a sense of normalcy in our own bubble. So much to do at work, trying to carry my weight and help where I can for those who need it. So much to do at the hangar as we’re shut down but still trying to survive. So much to going on across our country as actual forces of evil are trying to divide and destroy us from within.

Am I doing enough? Or am I doing too much and will I recognize the straw that breaks the camel’s back? Or does that whole “you’re stronger than you know” thing still apply and I need to buck up, get my ass in gear, and do even more?

Overlying all is a growing anxiety and fear over the COVID-19 virus. We’re still healthy, but know folks who aren’t, and have seen just how bad it can be.

Where’s the center in all of this? Where’s the balance point? Or is there one, or is it constantly shifting and moving?

There’s a little bit of relief on the weekend as we can force ourselves to make time to relax, to watch a ballgame or movie. But even there I feel a constant dread, a guilt, a pressure that time is being wasted when I watch that game or show. Which I know is wrong, but which in turn just feeds into the cycle of angst.

Baseball is back, which is good – but I can’t help but feel that the other shoe is going to drop any day, with a whole COVID outbreak that could devastate a team, teams, or the league. Hockey and basketball return this weekend, and pro football is less than six weeks away. Who even knows if we’ll get college sports in the fall.

So much uncertainty, so much stress, so much impending doom. But tomorrow we’ll tackle it all again and do our best. Mainly because we really don’t have any choice. As the saying goes, “The only way out is through.”

But Sunday nights seem to be the worst.

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Mistaken Identity

I was out at the CAF hangar for a few minutes today to pick up the mail and make the bank deposit. We’re still shut down there and while there were a few dozen folks there working on planes and such, for me it’s masked up, in and out.

It’s not rocket science to figure that my political views are not widely shared in that particular segment of the population. So I was surprised when one person asked (jokingly) how I was going to make it to the Trump rally in Tulsa tonight? Was someone saving me a seat?

Huh?

Then a second person said something odd, then a third, then a fourth. A fifth person finally said something about how he thought that I hated Trump, what had changed?

HUH?

He pointed at the sweatshirt I was wearing.

Talk about seeing what you expect to see…

Yes, it’s bright red with white and blue letters, has sort of kind of “that” layout and font (it’s supposed to, it’s a spoof), and the most prominent word is five letters starting with “Tr” and then there’s a “u” in there somewhere.

But! HUH??!!

That first word isn’t “Trump,” it’s “Trout,” as in American League MVP Mike Trout, center fielder for my beloved Angels. And the second word, “Rendon,” is for Anthony Rendon, free agent All-Star 3rd baseman who signed with my beloved Angels over the off-season. (Which sort of assumes the existence of an “on-season,” but don’t get me started. No, really. Don’t.)

This was going to be our year to take the World Series again before the shit hit the fan and the world went into COVID-19 quarantine. My son got me this as a Christmas present when the Angels’ future for ’20 was bright and shiny.

As for Tulsa… 😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣

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Dragon Flies

It was a huge day for the future of our crewed space program. I’m sure you saw the news and probably saw any amount of coverage.

The launch. The landing of the first stage booster on the drone ship. (I know they want to re-use them a dozen times or so to save money, but wouldn’t THAT one look good outside the National Air & Space Museum?) The crew’s short TV event on orbit.

Tomorrow morning we’ll see them dock with the ISS and join the three crew members already on the Station, one American and two Russians. In thirty to ninety days (depending on a lot of things) we’ll see them come back down and splash down in the Atlantic near Florida. By the end of the year we’ll see the first operational flight of Dragon (this is the final test flight) with three American and one Japanese astronauts. And so on.

Tonight there was a marginal, partial pass of the ISS over Los Angeles very late. I’ve never before been lucky enough to see a cargo ship or Space Shuttle following the ISS, let alone a Dragon. It was low to the horizon, looking into the street lights, and it’s hazy out there. I went and looked anyway.

There was the ISS, not a terrible pass after all. Not great, but not terrible. And there, about 10-15 seconds behind it, co-orbital so it’s on the same path, was a much dimmer but still visible Dragon.

That made it a good day for me, personally, one I’ll remember for a long, long time.

Of course, then there’s the news. And the fact that technically I was potentially breaking curfew by going out as Los Angeles has had rioting, looting, and burning all day. As has Atlanta. And Philadelphia. And Pittsburgh. And Kansas City. And Minneapolis. And Chicago. And New York. And Denver, Seattle, Cleveland, Columbus, Portland, Miami, Rochester, and Salt Lake City.

I’m old enough to remember 1968. I think I may have made some comparisons to that year a while back.

This is worse.

So that’s the other thing that I’ll remember about today.

Some problems can’t be solved so easily, even with rocket science.

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Beauty On An Ugly Day

The news is ugly. Our country is being ripped apart. The death toll continues to rise. Too many people continue to be more stupid by the day. Our “leadership” is actively evil and treasonous.

But these orange-ish roses are still beautiful.

I guess no one told them.

I’m not going to be the ones to break the news to them. Besides, there’s a nice new crop of fence lizards living out there.

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Looking Above, Looking Below

Memorial Day weekend, the traditional unofficial kickoff for summer in the United States. What a strange and different weekend this was than what we all would have expected three months ago.

We were supposed to be in Michigan this weekend for a family wedding. That obviously didn’t happen. If we weren’t going to the wedding we could have gone to Baycon in then San Francisco area. That obviously didn’t happen.

We stayed home.

Normally, if we weren’t traveling we would have invited the kids over, and extended family, and maybe some of their friends. The BBQ grill would have been packed. There would have been a dozen or even twenty-plus people here. Lots of food, beer flowing, margaritas being mixed, wonderful conversations, hugs all around.

That obviously didn’t happen.

Down here below there was just us. In our yard. No visitors.

I chatted across the street with the neighbors to make sure their family was all safe. We chatted online with our kids to make sure they were all safe.

But here, it was just us, the birds, the lizards, the flowers.

As I was cooking, above there was a rumble as a 747 passed overhead. Atlas Air flight #715 from LAX to Inchon, climbing through 9,200 feet at 366 mph. Almost certainly a cargo flight.

We used to have a hundred flights a day climbing out of LAX and headed toward the Bay Area, Seattle, Anchorage, Japan, Korea, China. Now it’s a handful. Coming in from the west we used to have fifty or more flights a day heading in to Runway 8 at Burbank. Now it’s maybe a dozen.

The world is so different than it was three short months ago.

In states that have “opened up” there are reports and video of packed beaches, large crowds, and dirt track grandstands packed to the gills. And not a mask in sight. I hope that I’m wrong, but that’s not where the smart money is. I expect outbreaks to spike in two to three weeks all over the country. A lot of those sites (the Ozarks, for example) had cars with license plates from a dozen different states.

The virus doesn’t care. Science doesn’t care. Reality doesn’t care.

Unless we have an order of magnitude more testing, and faster results, and contract tracking, and a plan to isolate those exposed, we’re going to see packed ICUs again. We’re passing 100,000 American fatalities now. (And I will guarantee that figure is low by at least 10% given all of the governors who are being caught deliberately fiddling with the data and not counting nursing home deaths.) I’ve said it before – by election day in November, we’ll be lucky to be under 1,000,000 deaths.

But I can’t change that. Neither can you.

So we stayed home. As I hope you did.

We wore masks if we had to go out. As I hope you did.

We stayed socially distant, with extremely limited contact. As I hope you did.

I continue to do 99% of my work from home. As I hope you are able to.

We wait for someone to make available the weapons we need to fight this disaster. Testing. Medical equipment. Protective gear. A vaccine. Leadership.

In the meantime, we fight with the only weapons we have. Masks. Distance. Hand washing. Isolation. Votes.

As I hope you did.

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Unclear On The Concept

There are a fair number of things that push my buttons these days, and I seem to have a lot of buttons. I’m trying to “maintain an even strain,” particularly here (mainly because I fear that once I let those floodgates crack open there won’t be any way to shut them) but an image today has piqued my interest in a special way.

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

I will attempt to be brief and to the point.

  1. I have nothing charitable or nice to say in any way, shape, or form about those who are ignoring the scientific facts with the current pandemic, particularly those who are actively campaigning to “open up” our cities and states.
  2. I’m a “recovering Catholic” who got a LOT of dogma rammed down my throat as a child. While I find theology a fascinating topic in general…
  3. …questioning Catholic dogma got me in a **LOT** of trouble about the time high school rolled around. (It’s tough having Mom trying to get me to be an altar boy multiple days a week when Father Murray is horrified by the fact that I said something like “What a crock of shit!” when he gave me a stock answer to my wise ass question about something that didn’t make any sense at all.)
  4. Points #2 and #3 being a given, just because I thought it was nonsense didn’t mean I wasn’t paying attention. (You never know, that point of doctrine from St. Bernard of Clairvaux in the 12th Century could show up on Final Jeopardy when you most need it!)

So when I see this particular picture, all of this dogmatic trivia coalesces in my brain (sort of like congealing grease mixed with yesterday’s leftover oatmeal, grey and lumpy) into the following thought:

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Sunsets, Flowers, Critters

In posting the white rose pictures last night it became obvious that there has been a somewhat limited range of context here recently.

Flowers. Critters. Sunsets.

Yep, welcome to Day 55 of the official lockdown. I say “official” since that’s when the LA County order became official and we went to 100% work-from-home at the office, but for at least a couple of weeks before that the bars and restaurants had been closed, we had severely limited our outings, and so on.

Flowers, critters, and sunsets are the dominant themes when I tear myself away from my desk (this WFH thing is like doing brain surgery in boxing gloves, everything takes twice as long as it used to) and go outside for a few. It can only be that much more difficult for people holed up in apartments or living in less confined quarters.

And now the cancellations have begun in earnest. The personal ones, not the national and international ones like MLB, the Stanley Cup playoffs, the NBA, the air shows, the marathons, Wimbledon, the Tour de France, the Masters, ComicCon, WorldCon, and on and on and on.

We were supposed to be going to Detroit for a family wedding over Memorial Day in two weeks – today was the day to cancel those airplane tickets and rental car. We also got told that our “Hamilton” performance for next month has been cancelled. The LA Phil has been cancelling concerts for a while, as has the Schubert. We were supposed to have a play and a concert this last weekend – nope, nope, nope. Our performance of “1776” has been cancelled for this summer. And on and on and on.

Someday this will be behind us and there will be a new normal. I would like to say “I can’t wait,” but of course, I can. And I will. And so will you. And despite that, hundreds of thousands more Americans will die in the next few months.

Don’t be one of them. Wear a freakin’ mask! Wash your hands! Don’t touch your face! Stay home!

And enjoy the pictures of the sunsets, flowers, and critters.

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