How Will This Story End

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So we took Rocco the vet on Friday and they did a complete exam. According the exam, his heart and lungs sounded just fine. Then, he gets home and starts coughing. Hacked up some phlegm as well. Kind of gross – didn’t know dogs could do that. Started reading all about dog coughs and the various things it could mean but I’m pretty sure it can’t be a serious lung issue because that shouldn’t develop overnight.

His energy is still good for his age and he still wanted to go on his walk this morning. There was some coughing but he hasn’t coughed anything else up after that one time. Probably have to call the vet tomorrow and see if they want to see him again.

I think he’s enjoying having us around the house so much – especially having me home at night since I can’t get to the studio. He’s old and partially deaf and I think he gets a little flustered if he doesn’t know where someone is. He’s stopped going downstairs so when my wife goes to watch something, he kind of sticks close to me.

We did our essential errands this morning. Of course, it included taking Rocco for a walk. The park has added a sign about proper social distancing but it was early and still cool so nobody was out. Then, we stopped at a pharmacy to pick up a few things we forgot to get at the grocery store yesterday. We aren’t the most organized shoppers. Did score a big win as I found one box of the immune boosting supplement we take. The store stocks them in two places but people typically only look in one.

Then we hit the hardware store because I had to buy some furnace filters and a couple of light bulbs. Also bought some bird seed because feeding the birds makes me happy. Would normally go to a different store for that but they are down to curbside delivery only so, rather than make another trip, we just bought some stuff at the hardware store. Then I changed the light bulbs which was the big task for the day.

Both stores now have some kind of barrier between you and the cashier. The hardware store obviously had better material and people who knew what they were doing so the plexiglass shield was a little higher and a little more permanent. The pharmacy kind of cobbled something together and set it on the counter. Both have a space where you can pass items through because the barrier is more for faces – and to eliminate the spread through accidental sneezes or coughs or just conversation because nobody really seems to know all the ways this can spread.

I’ve said this before but try having allergies during all this. Don’t touch your face! But the pollen is making my nose run and eyes itch. Doesn’t matter – don’t touch your face until you get back to the house! Every now and then it does make me sneeze and then people look at you like you’ve just exposed everyone to the plague. Maybe we should go back to something like the Scarlet Letter except the A now stands for Allergies so people don’t freak out so much. Actually wore a face mask in the grocery store on Saturday but I had to take it off to deal with the runny nose.

Called Pop yesterday to see how things are going. It is tough when you rely on senior services and they have to change how they do things because of this stupid virus. Fortunately, he still has someone coming to the house to cook but they no longer have anyone available to take him to doctor’s appointments. But I told him that since these were routine checkups, they’d more than likely reschedule them and he should call on Monday to confirm.

It gets tricky because I wonder if being alone is best for him. But he lives in a less populated county which currently has 12 cases. My county currently has about 1800 reported cases and more in the surrounding metro area. As much social distancing as we try, I’d suspect there is still more risk of exposure here than where he is.

My wife was wondering how much of this would stick once we get out of house arrest. I mean would stores keep up the barriers just because people get used to them. How many habits are people going to stick with? Is everyone going to rush right back out to crowded spaces or ease themselves back into it. I mean we aren’t going to get to zero new cases so there is still going to be some risk when they lift all the orders. How much does this change how we live our lives?

I don’t like ending on a downbeat but I have concerns that this is not going to end well. We have a significant number of people here who have grave concerns about the loss of personal liberty due to the government mandated shut downs. Throw in a lot of health skepticism and/or mistrust of the government. Add in very real concerns about the economic damage that is being done. And there is a human cost to that damage so I’m not just talking about businesses losing money. The question is how much patience are people going to have.

There are days when it feels like some of the various states are fighting over who can institute the stiffest “stay at home” rules. There are places where stores are shutting of certain aisles that they deem “non-essential” to keep people from loitering. We have stores that now limit how many people can be in the store at any one time and with lines outside with big bright red “X’s” so we can all obediently line up the required six feet apart. Not going to lie – I do get worried about how willing certain places are going to be to give up the power they’ve taken during this crisis. So I know others are even more worried.

On the other side, we have a significant number of people who believe that following the rules is important. I had several of these types as part of my team. The problem is that they will sometimes take it on themselves to try and make sure that everyone is following the rules. Already saw one viral thing of a lady screaming at someone who “shouldn’t have been out”.

For the most part, I think most people are just kind of being chill and doing what they can to be responsible in these times. We’d certainly be stronger if everyone really took the “we’re all in this together” to heart. But the longer this goes, the more it starts to fray the edges of society. And, fearful, angry groups of people are capable of doing some really ugly things.

On the other hand, why don’t I just close with this:

Don’t be stupid. Be kind to each other because we are all actually in this together!


  1. I don’t know how this story ends for humanity or the U.S., but I know that for me, I may NEVER be comfortable with the dangers of cooties in public. I’ll go out in public, just very defensively to protect my health

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