The World according to COVID-19

The empty streets of Sunnyside on a Thursday night.

The world is changing, at a pace that most of us can’t handle right now. SARS-nCOV-2 or COVID-19 has uprooted life as we know it. It’s forced billions of people to face the new reality that lies before them. The reality of limited access, the reality of separating ourselves, and a life with minimal interaction. It’s forced businesses to close, and assess how to continue in the now forced “Work from Home” era. It’s likely to continue for weeks, if not months at this point, and it feels insurmountable at times.

For me, I guess the biggest adjustment has been the work from home aspect of life. Part of the reason I like going into an office, aside from the ability to socialize with my peers, is it forces me to stay on task. The home adjustment has been difficult, I have to keep telling myself I need to stay on task. I went from having a desk and a computer so restricted that it’s impossible to be distracted, to a desk and computer loaded with video games, photography, virtual machines and networking projects. It’s very easy for me to think about something with one of these many projects and be like, oh, I can just pop over and do that quick. No, you really can’t, because 5 minutes, becomes 30, which quickly becomes an hour down the rabbit hole. I’ve learned with Work from Home it’s important to stick to routines. Also for the love all that is holy, if you’re working from home order a standing desk converter, it’s $150 (minimum) but if your like me, your body will thank you in the end. I’m actually standing right now while I write this, and have been standing since I got up at 9 am this morning. It really does help with posture, and i’ve had a better night sleep since I got one.

Another big adjustment has been socializing in the era of social distancing. One of the big reasons I dislike the phrase social distancing, is because it’s a misnomer you can still be social without being physically close. It’s why i’ve take to using the term physical distancing. The internet has changed the way that we as a people socialize with one another. Video Chatting, Voice Chatting, have all changed the way we can interact with one another. Right now i’m scheduling game nights, and video chats with friends when I can. We are doing our best to live our lives in our newfound social construct. At the end of the post i’ll list some of the tools i’m using to keep in touch with my friends. Definitely try to find some games that you can play remotely with them too, Jackbox Games has a plethora of good selections for this.

The last major adjustment has been getting used to just how empty the streets of New York have been since this all started. The fact that major restaurants are shuttering their doors across the city. Companies like the one I work for are shuttering their doors for the first time in decades, because they need to. I didn’t live here personally during the events of 9/11 but from people who did this virus has become very similar to the events following 9/11. No stores open, no one using mass transit, no one on the streets. Traffic is minimal, and people aren’t out and about. Standing on the subway platform Thursday night just so I felt a little bit of normalcy I watched four distinct seven line trains go by, completely empty, except for the occasional homeless man sleeping on them. The world is a very different and very strange place now.

I guess my last piece of advice for this new reality is don’t let the constant bombardment of news get you down and out. Earlier this week I had a rough few days because it was just day after day of updates on the new infections in the world, instances where people I work with were diagnosed and fears stemming from that. Find your peace with this new world, the reality of it is, someone you know, and someone you love is going to catch SARS-nCOV-2. Chances are it won’t be a serious case, but if it is do your best to love and support that person no matter what happens. Find your friends, keep in touch, and lean on each other even if its from afar. We need our friends and family, now more than ever. We are in this together, no matter how alone we may all feel. We are only separated by the physical boundaries put between us. Work to socialize, and work to be in contact with those you care about, on the daily if you can.

I have a feeling this will become a weekly thing since i’m home 24/7 until this is all over, and it’s going to be good to document this new reality.

Until next time…

Dave

An Ominous Storm

As a friend of mine put it, “Yeah this looks like a horror film”

Hello All, strangely enough i’m back. I never intend it to be the case but we’ve entered a very dark time. The picture above isn’t from a horror film, no, it’s become part of every day life. Unless you’ve lived under a rock the last six weeks since I wrote the post that was supposed to be my last posting, you know what SARS-nCOV-2 is, or perhaps you know it as COVID-19, or just plainly as Coronavirus. It’s a word that in the 3 months since it appeared in Wuhan Province, China has brought the world to a screeching halt.

Maps looking like this have sadly become all too common place in our daily lives. The media speaks of it on the daily. Our lives have been utterly uprooted by it.

It’s been a hard pill to swallow, constant bombardment by news, and developments. Major institutions shutting down, containment zones popping up around major cities like New Rochelle, and business shuttering their doors indefinitely. Mis-information, and the fear mongering tactics have lead to a panic across the globe, and if you believe some of my friends an unfounded panic. “Oh but it doesn’t kill anywhere near as much as the flu does on a yearly basis”, as of now yes you are correct. The novel coronavirus has killed 4,720 in the past 3 months. Whereas the flu has killed nearly 30,000 people this winter. So yes, as of now the flu is worse, key words as of now. The problem with this argument, that the flu is worse is that normalizes a concept of complacency. It tells you, that oh, its not that bad, we can just live our lives normally.

But, that’s not really true, the biggest enemy we have right now is not only mis-information, but a true lack of information on the virus itself. We do know, that at risk categories like myself, are more likely to develop a serious condition based on the historic track of the disease, but what we don’t know, and arguably the most important aspect of the disease is, transmissiblity. How long does this virus survive on surfaces, how long does it survive in the air? Current accepted information says that it’s much harder to transmit then the Flu. If that’s the case, then great, social distancing and the procedures we’ve begun to implement will have a significant impact on the disease. But, if new studies like the one being peer reviewed in Princeton currently, come to light, and say otherwise, we may be in for a longer haul than anyone expected.

The second problem, we will quickly encounter, especially if the latter outcome of transmission capabilities turns out to be true, we will quickly reach maximum capacity in our hospital system. The inability to treat patients efficiently, and or at all, will lead to major upticks in fatality. Especially among the aging population, and those we pre-existing health issues like my own. It’s all about flattening out the curve and being able to treat patients quickly enough to keep from overloading our healthcare systems.

I could keep going on and on about this topic, with the amount of research and news i’ve ingested at this point, but i’m not going to. I do have a few last points to make. First, if you think the virus isn’t a problem, and that it’s overblown, that’s false. Is the media fear mongering at this point? yes, and because of that people aren’t taking the virus as a serious issue. But, even if it’s not a serious problem for you, there are people who you love, and care about who it may be a problem for. The argument “well its natural selection” is a horrible, and shitty argument. No one wants to die, no one wants to leave family members behind, and just because someone is at risk, doesn’t make their life any less valuable than your own.

Please, please, please, wash your hands, that’s all I ask. 20 seconds, under hot water. Santize your hands, Santize your phones. Cough into the crevasse of your arm. Help protect those around you, who may not be as fortunate as you when it comes to your health. If you’ve made it this far, and you would like to educate yourself i’ll leave a few links below for your consumption.

A storm is coming, and its an ominous and uncertain sky in front of us.

Until next time…

Dave

Links to relevant information: