Girl with magnifier

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Notes on the current time

I woke up to this this morning.

My LA times arrived on time and my usual morning coffee place was open for to go orders only, again. So I read and sipped at home where I have been for 42 years. 

A brief respite from canceled shows and the madness of toilet paper hoarding.

Roger G. - Santa Monica

Hey from 5280. 1st thing. I am grateful for my dog. She will keep me grounded and when I get too far in the future and anxiety washes over me like a cold numbing wave, I focus on her snoring.
I have plenty of art materials, books, magic chocolate and food for now.
I am grateful that my parents and brother are deceased. So I am almost worry free.
I am concerned for the elderly and their increased isolation. 

I have a park across the street that Lily and I walk daily. I miss my metalworks class and my local watering hole that I go 2 twice a week. 

I am intensely aware that our reality will now be viewed as before the pandemic and then the aftermath. Lily and I are keeping each other company. 

That's all for now.

Renee  O - Colorado

Personally, I’ve been stressed and worried but, as of yesterday I’ve had a modest breakthrough. I don’t care. It’s on our collective doorstep. Anxiety has always been a constant companion. And while I’ve had genuine problems, everything gets resolved. As profound as this moment is, it’ll be sorted out in time. I drove to work this morning and the streets were empty. Surreally empty. Beautifully empty. We’re all in this together. Everyone, wherever they are, are walking around with a head full of concern. And I don’t belittle it. And I’m lucky. I’ve got a pantry full of toilet paper. By the way, why does toilet paper get such high priority? It assumes there’s going to be plenty to eat, right? So, with that privilege, I’m bothering my quarantined children with texts, writing to friends, commiserating and comparing experiences with friends by phone. Writing to you. If I die from this, it won’t be the valiant, heroic death I’d forecasted. No one will attend. I’d envisioned attendants restraining old girlfriends from throwing themselves into the grave with me. It was fun to think about. Reality can be a disappointment.

anonymous - southwest

Oh no!  My life is normal! Unaffected by all of this fabricated Corona Beer nonsense! I come and go as I please, all is well!   PR
(editor's note - Bullshit.)

Hi Bob, my wife thinks it’s a great opportunity to rent an RV and travel the states. So many places are closed that I’m not so sure. I’m still going to my gallery and plan on playing golf. My junior in HS thinks it’s party time and my freshman is non stop video games. I’m old and a little worried. J Newport Beach

Hey Robert, alls well here in “Jesus loves you”country!  Steve and I are staying away from stores and dining places , but other then that all is well.  Will let you know if any major change.  Hope you and Les doing great too! Please say hello. For me to her, she doesn’t pick-up her emails.
Steve & Mel - Carolinas

The whole world is experiencing a paradigm shift. Exponentially worse then 9/11. There's a lot of anger, frustration and blame. Although some of us have been more vocal than others, we got in this mess together. The whole Rat Race (Bob Marley ) is on time out. There will be hardship, pain and suffering. 

Once again, we're in an extremely challenging time. We all know what we need to do. A time for self reflection and taking personal inventory of one's life. I hope and pray that in this imposed break that we as human beings emerge with a revamped set of values. That we become more compassionate. That smelling the roses and interacting with each other as human beings becomes the norm.  Cheers Bill. Burlingame

Being old I am self isolated. My business is still open and being run by managers and younger people. We are 100% paper takeout and always have been so all we had to do is close our dining room and leave everything else is just as it was. Still have plenty of imported meats and cheeses, desserts and freezer goodies, Italian groceries pastas etc. So we’re hanging in there desperate times call for desperate measures. Of course it would be nice if customers continue to come in, but that is not guaranteed in anyway. My survival of course, and the welfare of my employees many of whom have worked for me for a lot of years is my main concern. After all death it’s just nature's way of telling us to slow down.
When the dust settles and we see who remains on the planet. Linda  and I were hoping to have you and Leslie over for dinner sometime.
Peace Brotherman✌️❤️ fallbrook

Interesting being here in Maui/Kauai the past 2 weeks. We have sent more time in our suite cooked in. Went on 1 sail in Maui
1 in Kauai everyone did the best they could distancing. 
We are supposed to fly home midnight Friday and on to Puerto Vallarta for my Concierge’s wedding. Also have a ticket to go home to NM where I have closed the store for a week or two or??? Trying to pay associate workers 75% to stay home. 
Mac & Steph want me in LA, Buddy my 5 yr old grandson has mild asthma but home from school for 3 weeks at least, Janine will be heading back from the Baja next week. Perhaps she and I will take a road trip to get Janine to Michigan and get Buddy out of LA and a potential epicenter. Ayayay- what to do 🙄 but wash your hands, keep your distance and hunker down. 😘love to you and Leslie- Robert, stay away from people, you can’t afford to get this. TS- New Mexico


Thanks for asking.

I’m taking this time to cook yummy food. If this era is going to be a major memory in my lifetime, I want to also remember some positive aspects, so I’m pulling out some favorite recipes and thinking we will at least eat well. So far, so delicious.

We are attempting to exercise on the same schedule as if we were still going to the gym, but may be losing that battle. Cooking is fun and exercising at home is BORING.

Also I’ve always wondered if I could survive in a place that is quiet and remote, out in the country. This is a good test. It is definitely quiet in my neighborhood with no traffic, only birds. Don’t have a stream or ocean but do have a nice fountain in our yard. There is something very serene about it. Let’s see how long the serenity lasts with no movie theaters or restaurants or friends around. Having internet is imperative.

Meanwhile we had dinner with another couple at their home this weekend and I brought a hostess gift package comprised of two bottles of wine, a roll of toilet paper, a can of beans and a bottle of water. I should have checked my t p stockpile before doing so.

Stay safe down there. It's a good time to commune with nature, holding that heavy camera of yours.

Linda and Joseph - Los Angeles

Both those photos are from rush hour this morning. One is the subway the other my LIRR car.  Eerie is not descriptive enough. It’s like a Sunday morning everyday in NYC
Doug - New York

"Working" from home means working in between nap times and after bedtime. I am worried and feel for the people who are not fortunate to be able to continue working or are working in a reduced capacity and pay. It is never a good situation to be in to stress about paying for your basic needs. 

I went to Los Jilgueros this morning to empty the trashcans. The Preserve wasn't empty but was by no means as busy as it normally is around 8am. By the time I left, there were a few large groups of families, teens and younger kids. Almost all in each group were glued to their electronics. I thought that it was a shame:  to be out on the trail physically but your mind be somewhere else completely. 

 I was surprised how busy Main Ave appeared to be. There were people sitting outside the coffee shop and appeared to be enjoying conversation and breakfast. While I applaud their ability to find a good time in the midst of all that is going on, I wish folks would take it more seriously. I read something that went like this:  If we all stay home in an effort to flatten the curve, when this is all said and done everyone will say we overacted which is exactly what we need to do in order to flatten the curve. In this case, overreaction is needed. 
Karla - Fallbrook

Hi Robert,

I have 3 in-person social circles outside of my family: our coffee klatch in the morning at CC&C, my bar trivia team at Tap That Taproom in Oceanside, and my church family at New Life PCA in Escondido. As of today, I am cut off from all 3. 

My son is living with us since his college closed the campus and dorms. He needs a job but is unlikely to find one in this situation. He is a college athlete who cannot work out because the gyms are closed. 

We don't know when basic food staples and other supplies will be available again but have everything we need for now. 

My mother and sister live in another country that is taking similar steps as the US. My mother (in her late 80s) just fell over the weekend in her home and was admitted to the hospital with 3 broken ribs. While she is unable to care for herself right now, she will be discharged anyway as the hospital needs empty beds for the corona crisis. There are no recuperative care beds available because no facility wants to risk an unknown new patient. So we will transport her by ambulance across 3 states to my sister's house. She will reconfigure her apartment, dividing it into two living spaces. My sister will no longer be able to care for her own grandson a couple of days a week. The risk of exposing themselves or my mother to Corona is too great. 

We praise God, trust in His sovereign goodness, pray for His provision in our lives, and endeavor to reflect His love to our neighbors.

Hoping that things will return to normal soon for all of us,

Alex Ferda fallbrook

“I see great similarities in our current anti-virus societal  behaviors as those that existed in the Rice Fire 13 years ago. The very best and the very worst of humanity once again  present themselves in our village habitat. 
The very best include those who have kept their upbeat attitudes, sense of humor, and concern for their fellow citizen in place. The very worst are showing their ugly attitudes in many places - at the grocery stores, pharmacies, and more. 
I have never, ever been known as a Pollyanna. I lean more towards being an exaggerated eye roller. With that explained, I say people need to suck up their bad, whiny, miserable attitudes. Give the rest of us a break. No one enjoys having limitations on their lifestyle, but a lot of people are trying very hard to keep things pleasant. Give them credit. 
If you can afford to purchase a meal or special beverage from a local restaurant, coffee house, etc. now and then, please do so.  Take it home and enjoy it. These business folks are trying to keep making a living and retain their employees, not to mention provide a break from cooking for folks that need it. It’s not easy on them either.
 If we don’t continue to support local businesses during this time, you can kiss them goodbye.”

Thanks for the opportunity, Rob.

Debbie - Fallbrook

Nothing prophetic here. The schools are closed, the streets are empty and people are scared. I am at home with
Allergies galore. I’m not working, just waiting to regain some energy in this body. Because of my heart, I’m quarantined. Tomorrow I start a super cleaning of my home. We’ve lived here 24 years, so much accumulated. Things other people may need. Donating! My gut tells me we all need to be kinder, more loving, and genuine. Help each other in every way possible. Give back. I need to be proactive. Scary times. I am so grateful for my life... so lucky! Positive energy all around! Love and health sent to you always. Please heed the warnings and be extra careful! We all have to fly right in these unpredictable times. Smell that wonderful air and take in the sunshine! With abundant love, always, Abby - New Jersey

My friends in Rome and Alicante are not having fun. In Alicante you can take the dog for a walk but you have to have the dog license to prove it’s yours otherwise you get fined.
My work has all evaporated of course as every event has been cancelled.
But I’m lucky as have a few quid stashed and a nice big garden to hang out in.
And, Yay, I managed to buy some loo roll this morning.... who’d have thought..
Px - East Sussex

The outlook for the US is rather bleak, mostly due to the lack of widespread testing. It’s a federal leadership failure of the first order. You had one job, Federal Gov, just one job – keep your citizens safe. And you blew it. When all this is over, I trust there will be hell to pay.

My wife and I have been self-quarantined for ten days now. We started sooner than most, because (a) I decided early on that this was likely to be bad, plus (b) we’re in a bad age bracket for this risk, and (c) we pretty much stay home anyway other than travel and special events. So social distancing isn’t a big lifestyle change for us. We live in a rural area, we’re very self-sufficient (in the short term), we have plenty of food and water. So this is just a more extreme/extended version of what we call normal life.

However, I am crushed by the fact that several of our family and loved ones have to go out every day to work right now and face the virus head-on. They work in health care. My brother Mark, daughter Emily, cousin Donnie, sister-in-law Jill, our great friend Tania – they all have to go out into the world and risk their health to help others. I get it and I admire them, but I’m worried sick for them.

I’ll have to say, if I did believe in god I’d be praying hard. But I believe that there’s no hand of any supreme being in this, just like there’s no intervention in a million other small and large evils every day. I’ll admit that my parietal cortex is lighting up hard right now – that part of the brain that wants to believe in religion grabs onto something like this and says “See! This is what happens when you <choose one or all of the following> ignore god’s law, destroy the environment, overpopulate, etc.

On a less bleak and existential plain, this shelter-in-place existence is giving me the perfect opportunity to do something I’ve wanted to for decades – write a complete novel. I have nothing but time, and I’m using a lot of that to drive forward and finish one. I’m doing pretty well, and should be finished with a first good draft by mid-May. So there’s that.

Final thought is that this event will likely define us as a nation and perhaps a world for decades to come. 9/11 was a small wave compared to this tsunami. So assuming I’m around to see the world on the other side of this, it will be interesting. JN, Fallbrook

Well, if I go, I buried a cache of tp in the back yard. Will send you a map.SS New Mexico

Had a bittersweet thought that no longer having my elderly parents to worry about places me in a good generational moment in time (for myself). I would be worried sick about them otherwise, and too far away to help, now involuntarily too far away.

Strange to watch the peculiarly local style of government dysfunction. Hard to integrate that I’ve now cast my lot in with such an undisciplined, comically reactive, and unappealing crew. Oh, you thought I was talking about the USA?

No really, it’s rather surreal, as I’m sure is true for most people around the world. In fact, I keep having the book, Love in the Time of Cholera, by the great surrealist, Marquez, come into my mind. That I read, feverish in a rainy Guatemala, after checking myself into a tiled sanatorium of a hotel room. This time, I haven’t been untethered by events, somehow my brain has processed the situation without flailing around. Maybe because of dystopian scifi runthroughs, maybe some public health classes and trainings. Brain just clickin’ away, but never close to enough data to focus closely on strategies. Getting away  from the bad air up North and back to the island shores seemed a good idea, even if the isolation part suffered some. More hospitals but less supply channels and less agreeable locals. I’ve got my amulets of hand gel, wipes, face masks of every level. P--has herbal concoctions from Thailand and India, especially healthy fruit teas, and non industrial cleaning and personal care products. Yet without the kind of focused measures I hope you are taking, the virus will continue to be out there, encounterable. So keeping up immunity, and a chill attitude to support that immunity, seems more than merely propitious.

A lot has happened since you made this request, hope you enjoy my ramblings...

Be Well - Southeast Asia

please keep them coming, friends...


Blue Heron said...

Thanks for all of your great comments. Debbie, I totally agree. I feel for the restaurant workers in our town. I went to Main St.Cafe today and they are barely hanging on.Chris is trying to give them all hours. Fallbrookians support your peeps while they are still here in these trying times. I had a rich land rover lady try to cut in front of a poor elderly Mexican couple in line at the Bank of America this morning. I asked her where her incredible sense of entitlement came from and the war was on.

Ken Seals said...

Love your analysis Debbie!

Blue Heron said...

Thank you anonymous one for the picture of past girlfriends launching themselves at your coffin. I like it.