A Public Diary During the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic ~ Day 20

4 ~ 4 ~ 2020. It’s Saturday, April 4th, here in the year 2020. I find myself on day 20 of daily writing during this pandemic. It’s 9:20am. My wife and son just woke up. I have been waking up around 7:30 most days this past week or two, later by a couple hours than has been my typical morning routine, pre pandemic. I was thinking I’d be sleeping in today, the reason being we stayed up a bit later than usual last night and also because we indulged in some alcoholic beverages which is far from a regular occurrence.

It was our third week of a Zoom party with friends down in LA and one other fam here in Portland. We were celebrating two 50th birthdays in the group which are happening in the next couple days, there was actually another Birthday within days of yesterday and an Anniversary as well. Interestingly, we had all said we’d each crack a bottle of bubbly open for this call, it just so happened that we had a rather nice bottle that has been down in the cold pantry from our wedding, five years ago. So that is what we treated ourselves to last night. It was delicious. I believe it was a gift from someone though I do not recall who at the moment, whoever it was, I give thanks and praise!

We ended up staying on that call for around two and a half hours. There were seven parties involved in the call, including us, all the people on the call were at our wedding as well which is neat to think back upon. The somber and subdued energy of last week wasn’t really a part of this weeks party, we did get into some conversations wondering what on god’s green earth was going to happen down the road here as this continues to unfold. Several different Ideas were thrown out, I am not sure if any of them seemed likely but I can imagine that a bit from each of them could happen on some level. It’s so hard to say though. We’re still so smack dab in the middle of this mess and it is unclear how our globally connected civilization is going to look after the pandemonium of the pandemic is in the past. It is very much in the present right now and presently, we don’t have much context, or enough information coming in, to really understand how this is going to play out.

I was reading this article from Arundhati Roy, called The Pandemic is a Portal. Oh, me oh my oh me oh my was it well written. So heartbreaking, her perspective of what is going on here in this nation was poignant and then her understanding and views of what is happening in India where she is from, that is unsettling to say the very least. India still has yet to even see this outbreaks spread in earnest. But it is there and they seem to be maybe a week or two from the exponential spread and ensuing tragedies that will come with it. And how their leader, Modi, not unlike Trump in many ways though WAY more egotistical in his leadership style, is revealing how corrupt and how huge the gulf of inequality is there in that humungous country of nearly 1.4 billion people. I highly encourage folks to read her piece, it brought tears to my eyes but feels like an important thing to read. It is one of those pieces that will be reflected back on as this story is told and looked back upon in the future.

And to reflect more on that thought, of what this pandemic and how it is being handled, that is fascinating to contemplate. It is clear that places like here in the US are going to be deeply criticized in many ways, and I thought we might, as a nation be handling it worse than any large nation in the world but now that I just read what Arundhati Roy wrote, I’m thinking India might have the US beat. And that is so sad, isn’t it? There are millions upon millions of poor and malnourished people in India that are so vulnerable to this pandemic and there does not seem to be any way for it to be managed in any significant way. I won’t go down this wondering road any further, please do read that article if you’ like to get a better idea of how awful the scenario is there.

I mentioned earlier I awoke around 7:30, I was imagining I’d be sleeping in later and perhaps even have something of a hangover. I didn’t drink egregiously last night but we did finish that bottle of bubbly and had one more cocktail over the course of that two and a half hours. Thankfully, I woke up feeling pretty good, a little groggy but not so bad overall. I did my morning routine of making the coffee and going outside for a cold shower. Then I proceeded to empty the dishwasher (what a luxury item that is!), fill it back up with the things from the sink, swept the floors, tidied the living and dining room and then sat down to enjoy my coffee and do my morning scrolling. I typically end up thumb swinging through Facebook land until I come upon a good article and proceed to read it, and then do that maybe two or three more times before I call it good. I peruse the pics and memes from friends for a bit but I’m mostly looking for articles to read.

Then I pop on the computer and do a scroll through the pandemic ticker on CNN, that was a practice started around the time I began these daily writings. I also pop onto the worldometers.com sight just to see what the numbers look like across the globe, 1,169,323 known cases and counting as of this moment. And that is of course just the known cases. Anyways, those are the elements of my morning routine that I have maintained these 20 days now.

From that pretty steady morning routine, the days get much more loose in what they look like. There is some routine to them, but not really anything I would call strict or consistent necessarily. Go shake the calendula oil that will be done in a little under a week, water houseplants when needed, now there is the daily watering of our seedlings that are starting to sprout which is super exciting! The first one to poke its head out was a Cosmos flower, which is pretty amazing. Bread gets made nearly every day, we made pretzels yesterday and they were so damn good. I also made croutons from a loaf that was getting a bit stale. They turned out tasty and were enjoyed on our salad last night. Yesterday I also made a pear and apple vinegar concoction that will not be something that we can enjoy in about a months time as well. Next Saturday the sauerkraut will be ready to enjoy. Yes, we’re a bunch of Suzy homemakers around these parts.

In an hour I’m going to go for a big bike ride and pull my boy behind in the trailer. It’ll be the first time riding with my buddy one block away who has a kid the same age. We’re going to ride up to Rocky Butte and back. That’s about a 9 or 10 mile round trip with a decent bit of elevation at the butte. I’m stoked for that exercise. While there has been some fairly regular stretching, there has not been steady physical exercise really. I have done those silly bench presses of my boy this whole time, I’m now 6 days in to doing 100 of them which is pretty wild. So at least my arms have been getting a good work out…

Okay, time to fuel up a bit before the bike ride. It looks like the window of partial sun is only going to last a bit here, then the clouds and rain come in later today. It does look like we’ll be seeing high 60’s and even 70’s in about four or five days which I’m looking forward to. But a dry bike ride in partial sun seems good enough for me right now. We’ll see how this social distancing bike ride goes. I think it will be alright. We shall see. I’ll wear a bandana over my face probably and the kiddos will each be in there own trailer pretty well protected from the elements, and have a snack and book for the ride as well.

I send love out to all of you. This crisis is gnarly and can be quite scary. For now, I just look to stay sane and as calm as I can through this. Finding ways to help make our home comfortable and peaceful and overtime here, be more and more of service in the greater world as well. That is the goal, that is the plan, and that is a process that will unfold however it will unfold, we don’t have control over any of it, but we can put our mindful intentions towards making this reality be less of a nightmare and more of a good dream in our waking lives.



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