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Last night the USA passed 90,000 confirmed Covid-19 deaths, and 1,500,000 confirmed cases. New York has been hardest hit among the US states, and may now be peaking; at a glance, this, along with significant social distancing policies, makes it look as thought the US overall may be peaking. Which means a lot of protesters and politicians are trying to get things opened back up all across the country. Meanwhile, my state has not peaked, and while we are opening up businesses and talking about going back to school in the fall, we are still at the point where we do not have enough ICU beds to meet projected demand even if we continued with the current level of closures. This is stressful, but mostly in an abstract sense. I am not one of the workers who will have to decide whether they should go back to work at a minimum wage job and risk getting infected due to social pressure from feebs who can't live without a haircut, weekly trip to the mall, or a sit-down lunch served by a stranger.

That said, I just finished my 9th week of staying at home, with something less than one trip out in public a week. I have been working from home, and am introverted enough (and internet-connected enough) that I am not missing much of anything from the outside world. I have read a number of books that I have had on my to-read pile for years, and have at least 300 more to go before I have to start rereading old favorites. I also have lots of things that need noding, and varies projects that needed and/or still need projecting. While most of the people who want to open up businesses seem crazy to me, I probably seem both crazy and rather privileged to many of them.

The pandemic has some interesting side effects. You still cannot reliably find toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and hand soap in the stores, and eggs and milk are rationed. Everything else has been on the shelves, and some new vegan options are appearing on the shelves in local stores.

Locally, people are donating blood! I am not donating this weekend because ALL appointment slots are full. This is in part because they are reducing the number of people who can be in the donation center at one time, but even so it is a unusual thing -- even more so considering that four out of the last five weeks they have had all slots filled.

I am not a fan of openings in general, but I was happy to hear that the local library is opening up for curbside pickup of books, although they have unfortunately chosen operating hours that almost exactly mirror my work hours.

Other than blood and groceries, the only time I've left my home is to pack up my office at work so that they could paint the walls while everyone is out. In the next few weeks I'll head over there at least once more to do some printing/copying/signing/filing, but the school system is bending over backwards to let us do all we can remotely. On the other hand, remote learning is not really working out here, as a large percentage of the kids at our school are not wealthy enough to have either the devices or internet connections that would allow them to participate, and our school district doesn't have the resources to help them.

A lot of the frustrations of pandemic life are minor edge cases; I have plants that need repotting, but don't have access to my usual sources of dirt. I'm having mild back problems because I don't usually sit down at home, so don't have a good chair for remote teaching. Going out for groceries once every three weeks means that I'm usually short of fresh fruit and vegetables... or I suddenly have so much I can barely eat it before it starts to go bad. On the plus side, my current tank of gas has lasted me 3 months.

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