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The weekend was a bit of a cliché for these days of pandemic. We checked our stores and hunkered down and watched The Seventh Seal. I drank a Corona. Monday I finished some work from home.

On Tuesday, the province joined those places that have closed non-essential services. "Essential" around here includes liquor stores. The Canadian parliament, meanwhile, will reconvene and decide the next steps on the national level-- the PM has already been consulting with the various parties and factions. While all possible and legal moves will be considered, he has stated that, for now, the COVID-19 pandemic likely won't be declared a national emergency.

Reasonable steps. Sometimes, however, the messages are mixed.

Take gloves, for example. We're being encouraged to wear gloves to the store. Some time ago, we bought a large box of those disposable blue ones. Wearing them makes us look like those assassins from the Blue Sun Corporation in Firefly. So I have started wearing those when I shop.

But I'm afraid that just wearing gloves and keeping a reasonable distance from other customers isn't good enough for all retailers.

I wore mine to the grocery store this morning, and they wouldn't let me in.

Apparently, you have to wear clothes, too.

After six days quarantined at home, I finally went out Sunday to pick up an order from the bottle shop/ cider shop, have brief conversation with the bartender, and to take an hour-long vehicular ramble through the city.

Some folks are still congregating. Others are wandering around in gas masks. Still, much of the city is shut down, or plastered with signs about take-out, or 20% off the local brew, or with inspirational messages. I was less interested in that, and more interested in the ongoing process of spring. Magnolias are bursting into prolific bloom: fruit trees are clouds of ivory, violets are creeping along shaded soil, and the daffodils are well and truly underway.

I'll be at about two weeks of lockup as of this next Monday post a glancing exposure to someone whose household has had a fever + headache, and will be socially distancing out at a friend's pig farm afterwards. I'm lucky during this: I have many friends with existing gardens and restaurant supply house connections, to say nothing of the bottomless pit of pork that is the farm. It seems like many of the farm to table places are also converting over into a CSA model, which is rather ideal right now. I won't short myself on veggies, at any rate.

Like many other people in the world, I am currently, along with the rest of the state of California, under a type of quarantine, because of Covid-19. We can leave our houses, as long as we don't congregate in groups. The only stores that are open are essential services, which for me mostly means grocery stores, but also includes pharmacies and a few other businesses. Including alcohol and cannabis vendors. It is currently Monday, and the last time I went out to buy things was Thursday, when I bought 120 dollars worth of groceries at a Safeway: which to me seemed to be prudential stocking up, but not panic buying. Except for when I bought the last two tubs of Kozy Shack chocolate pudding, but that is not a vital staple. The shelves were still full of most items, but peanut butter, toilet paper and refried beans were mostly gone. Four or five days later, I am still working through the "fun" food from that trip, and still have lots of rice and spaghetti in case I can't shop for a while.

Depending on the day, things get better or worse. I was blindsided by what has been, in effect, the common cold mutating into a lethal form. Like many people, it took me a while to realize this was a real thing that would immediately impact my life. It has been a while since a national crisis has changed from being a news story to being part of every day life. But as things are now, I am not too afraid. The type of orders that we are under now, have been shown to have results, in China, in South Korea, and in Italy. It takes two or three weeks, and things will get worse, but it does work. And the restrictions are not that onerous. In what might be the greatest crisis the world has seen for decades, my duty is to stay inside, play video games, and watch YouTube. It is not that great of a sacrifice. What comes after this? I don't know. All I know is that I am doing my part so that in two or three weeks, the virus is no longer infecting people exponentially. The emotional fallout to me, the economic fallout to the community, will be problems, but for now my path is clear: Stay At Home. And Wash My Hands.

Day 5 of shelter-at-home in California.

Grocery store had plenty of stuff, except paper products. Loner me hadn't bought a full basket of groceries in years!

Reacquainting myself with 'American Tune' by Paul Simon on piano just now. Had it worked out a few years ago. I played the chorus on the piano for the first time since a little guitar effort a couple of days ago and was really struck by the flying imagery, which I never saw as more than a word in this song that I love deeply. Not patriotically or anything. It's not even imagery, just mention of dreams of flight. Even just picking a little bit on the guitar gives me goosebumps. Anyway I had a brief positive-but-tinged tsunami of emotion about how we're all so connected and alone, for a few seconds. Like the other day when I felt the incredible grief that my brother Mike might actually die soon and I hugged the wargame he gave me for Christmas for dear life.

He reports his flu-like thing moved to his chest Monday morning but has been stable since. And he's texting about normal stuff in a normal way so I feel he's doing ok.

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