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Monday, April 20, 2020

Quarantine Update



Things are getting pretty crazy out there and it’s too early for crazy. Quarantines take time to work. When they are broken, they are broken. All those folks who are so anxious to get back to work and resume normal life are only going to make the pandemic worse.

Now I get that people are running out of money and have food insecurity. That just shows how badly the Federal government is handling this crisis. There are third world countries that are taking better care of their people. We should be doing better than places like El Salvador, but we aren’t. Then then are countries like South Africa that have a hard lockdown but not enough provisions made to feed people. They have riots in the streets now because people are running out of food.

Your financial overlords want you to go back to work. They may have to let their seventh vacation home go. Go back to your low wage job so they can continue the lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to.

Guess what? it’s not going to happen. Just accept the planet is going into a deep depression and plan accordingly. That’s already baked into the cake. Financially, a lot of us are going to be in trouble. However, you don’t have to also suffer from this illness too. The fatality rate is bad enough, but survivors also suffer lifelong damage.

Scientists say we won’t really have this beat until there is a vaccine. They also say that vaccines might not even work. The coronavirus might be mutating fast enough to prevent that from happening. It’s also possible that humans don’t develop a strong enough antibody response to keep from being reinfected. This is a new disease and it will take time to figure out.

My thinking is that the longer one can avoid infection the better their odds are. There’s a lot of effort going into the search for treatments and a cure. Those who get infected a year or two from now will have the benefit of all that research and experience. Even better will be those who go the distance and don’t get this at all. The least I can do for my overworked friends in the medical system is to not be part of the freaking problem.


I’m high risk so that’s my goal. Fortunately, my daughters are taking this seriously and doing what they can to help me avoid risky behavior. I am truly blessed.

-Sixbears

Friday, April 10, 2020

Break Time



Hello loyal blog readers. I’ve decided to take a break from blogging. I’m basically hanging around the house. Blogging about that could get boring pretty quickly. There are plenty of other people on many different platforms sharing their stay at home lives. Look at them if you’d like.

I could always do a running commentary on the pandemic, but the 24 hour news cycle has that covered fairly well.

With those things in mind I’ve decided to take a bit of a break.

Be well everyone.

-Sixbears

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Don’t waste it



The past three weeks have felt like three years. We’ve seen long established systems come to a halt, sometimes overnight. Everything from work to school to social life to religion to shopping -everything is different. Pretty amazing.

I always thought it would take something like an alien invasion for that to happen.

So where do we go from here? Maybe that’s too big a question? Perhaps it’s all a matter of billions of people wondering “Where do I go from here?” There’s a lot of individual decisions being made. One can’t but help wonder how many people will come to the same conclusions.

While I can’t speak for anyone else, I’m thinking of a few things.

First of all, I refuse to make decisions out of fear. Prudence and caution are fine. Fear shuts down a person’s logic. With that in mind, my energy is focused on doing positive things. Life is going to be different when this is all over. Every day that passes makes it less likely that we’ll go back to the old ways.

I’m also thinking that my energy is going to be focused much closer to home. Thanks to travel restrictions, the world is a much larger place. Who knows when, or even if, world wide travel becomes common again.

One more thing. Don’t plan on this being over soon. In a way, it will never be over. You can’t unscramble an egg. You can, however, make a pretty decent omelet.

-Six bears

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Improvement


I’m still getting better. The fever hasn’t returned and my guts have settled down. It’s reached that point where I have to be careful not to overdo it.

Like everyone else I’m watching developments in the nation and the world. Perhaps that’s not the best use of my time and energy, but I don’t want to be in the dark either.

Living out in the woods is a good thing these days. Our plans have definitely done a 180 degree turn from what we’d expected to be doing. Instead of putting energy and work into being nomads, we are going to be homebodies.

The weather is still fairly cold and the lake frozen. Can’t wait to get the boats in the water after breakup happens. This is going to one summer when fishing is going to matter. While we don’t have a lot of garden space we are going to make the best use of what we’ve got. Foraging wild edibles is always an option. That activity will be less of a hobby and more of a job.

Be well everyone.

-Sixbears

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Probably not



I ran a fever all night but it broke in the morning. After that my symptoms looked more like a gastro intestinal thing. The good news is that my breathing is fine.

If my condition takes a turn for the worse I will definitely seek medical attention. My kids kinda freaked out. My middle daughter, using personal connections, found out how I could get a test if I needed one. Right now, since this is looking more like something else, it’s best that the test go to people who really need it.

Here’s the thing, a few days ago my lovely wife had similar symptoms. We didn’t think too much of it because she gets the exact same sensations when her fibromyalgia flares up. In retrospect she probably had what I’m dealing with now. She felt pretty close to normal in three days.

Don’t want to freak anybody out, but I don’t want to hide anything either. Thank you all for your concern.

-Sixbears

Monday, April 6, 2020

Could it be?

I'm running a fever right now. Not really happy about it. Also have a small cough. Really could be anything. I've been careful, but you never know.

-Sixbears

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Trip to Town


My lovely wife needed her meds from the pharmacy in town. Unfortunately, her prescription is heavily regulated and she can only have a 30 day supply. That forces us to go to the pharmacy at least once a month.

I grabbed my face mask, a bottle of hand sanitizer, and headed off to run errands. First stop was at a property my daughter owns. It’s currently empty. My friends who have a sugar house dropped off a gallon of maple syrup in the morning. I picked it up in the afternoon. They take payment on-line with PayPal. They’ve worked out ways to sell their product without physically dealing with people.

Then I went into the Pharmacy. Not a single person there, employees or customers, had any sort of protective gear on. It felt a little weird to be the only one taking it seriously.

The grocery store was a little different. About 40% of the customers had masks on. The employees were a mixed bag. Some were fully protected. Others had nothing.

Dairy was pretty sparse. I got some Swiss cheese, fancy butter, and a quart of whole milk. There were no eggs, paper products or sanitizer. Way in the back of the meat cooler was one large package of ground beef, some chicken thighs and a few pork cuts. There was also chicken sausage. Apparently that’s not a popular item as there was a good selection. The only bacon left was no name low salt -which I happen to like anyway.

This is going to go on at least well into summer, no matter what the US government is saying. Don’t be surprised by that. They’ve been changing their story from day to day since this started. Canada is telling its citizens to expect this to go at least until the end of July. Prepare for the long haul. A good part of this is going to be mental. Don’t think of yourself as stuck at home. Think of yourself as being safe at home.

-Sixbears

Friday, April 3, 2020

He’s not hating it



A buddy of mine says he’s not hating this quarantine business.

He’s retired but his wife is still working. Now she works from home. That’s 14 hours a week of commuting she’s no longer doing. Now they have breakfast together and start the day with a quick soak in the hot tub.

She takes a coffee break around 10. If the weather is good they have coffee at the “Borderline Cafe.” They have a table and chairs set near their property line. Their neighbors also have a table and chairs set up on their side. Tables are about 20 feet apart. They each bring their own coffee and snacks and enjoy a visit.

Now that she’s not commuting they have time to practice their martial arts every afternoon. Later in the evening they connect with friends and family using various video platforms.

Before his state was locked down he picked up a lot of gardening supplies. As the weather improves he has major garden projects planned.

He admits, kinda sheepishly, he’s not really suffering during this emergency.

-Sixbears

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Location Matters



In these trying pandemic times it really matters where you live. States that put stay at home orders in place early are doing better than those who resisted doing so. Some state governments are handling the emergency much better than others.

The prepper community has had a long ongoing debate between bugging in or bugging out. Well, in this case, bugging in is the solution. One of the things I always said is that you should live at your bug out location. Since it’s difficult to know what’s going to happen, it’s better to always live in your safe place.

That’s why I felt the need to head back home when I did. Fortunately, the nature of the crisis was such that I had enough lead time to get back to my house in the woods.

People who’ve bugged out are being looked upon with suspicion in the rural communities they’ve fled to. Police go door to door because they see out of state plates on cars parked in front. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. Being an outsider is never easy, but now it might even be considered criminal.

The United States medical system varies hugely by area. Worse, there’s no central system that has control over everything. Normally the system is pretty efficient. However, it’s become pretty obvious that countries with national health care are doing a better job now. That’s just a fact, like it or not.

Maybe we should think of medical care the same way we think of police and fire departments. There used to be private fire departments in this country. It didn’t work very well and put the public in danger. Now it’s inconceivable that fire departments once let houses burn down because the didn’t have the right insurance. Today we have sick people spreading disease because they don’t have health insurance and can’t afford not to work.

Don’t feel superior if you don’t happen to live in a hotspot like New York. At least they have economic and political power. When NY politicians make a fuss the feds have to listen. If you live in a rural area take extra care to stay well. The politicians of Dead Dog County of Backwoods State don’t have much clout in Washington.

Stay well everyone.

-Sixbears

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Sharing Spaces



Many of us are in some sort of quarantine. The exceptions are those who have to work in critical jobs. Even those people end up home after work. Might as well. Everything is closed anyway.

For a lot of people this is the first time they’ve spent so much time with their significant other. I’m reminded of a guy who once worked with me. He decided he was going to retire. His wife of many years realized he was now going to be home a lot more. After that epiphany she filed for divorce.

For those folks who really don’t get along, it’s got to be hell. The dog may even start to wonder why he’s being walked fourteen times a day.

My lovely wife and I just spend many months sharing small spaces together. It started back in October when we took a train from Boston to San Francisco. Those roomettes are pretty darn small. Then we spent two and a half weeks sharing a small apartment in California.

It wasn’t long after getting back that we headed south for the winter. Most of that time was spent sharing a tent. If that wasn’t small enough, we also slept on a 19 foot sailboat. We really could have dealt with having a bit of time away from each other when we got home. Nope, we are in quarantine.

After the kids moved out I used to think the house was too big. I was wrong. The house is big enough that we can actually be on separate floors, doing our own things. It’s more space apart than we’ve had in months.

Good thing she loves me.

-Sixbears