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Day 28: COVID-19

Easter was yesterday… was it yesterday? Yes, yes it was. I think.

The morning had an inside egg hunt for the girls and small Easter baskets. There was an online video church service that they were in briefly. It was only a 17 minute video. The quickest Easter Sunday ever. In the afternoon I went out to the West Side to pick up a family pack of hand-made cotton face masks. That, in itself, is strange. That our four-year-old and eight-year-old need to have uni-kitten fabric face masks to play outside and visit with people.

Saturday morning I went early to Stop-n-Shop for supplies, complete with a construction mask. Traffic through the aisles is supposed to be one way. Keep your distance. Don’t touch things you will not buy. Don’t touch your face. Don’t be too surprised if they are out of things — flour, ramen still, peanut butter, toilet paper or tissues or paper towels, most cleaning supplies. Don’t be surprised if there are limits on meats — 2 per household, 2 dozen eggs per household, 2 milk or orange juice items. Don’t crowd the check out lines. Don’t assume the baggers can use the bags you brought from home — they can’t.

Later that day I saw on the ABC channel 6 website that workers at that store had recently tested positive.

Back at work today, trying to be normal. Seth got back to me. He works at Stackbin now, and seems to be the only one there. They had to lay off their factory staff. Orders dried up as the businesses that would be ordering from them are also closed.

Delivery and “essential” workers are in a tough spot. Like grocery store workers… they don’t get paid enough as it is, their benefits therefore would be low, they work as long as they are healthy, and then what? People call them heroes, but really, they are hostages — trapped in a dangerous job they can not afford to walk away from. Nurses and doctors are burning out. Some are running out of safety equipment. Amazon warehouse workers are complaining of the same hostage mentality. People need stuff but the workers getting it to them are putting themselves in harm’s way.

And today, more than other days, I have this feeling that the work I do really does not matter. On an order of magnitude basis, it was never really that high up. It matters to some people — clients, mostly, our company, our client’s customers (though business have been known to create demand where there was none all the time). Very few of the clients we serve are doing something that matters. Some are — certainly the United Way and folks in the healthcare space, but they are only a handful.

It just feels more stark now. Does that mean I am ready to become a nurse and go to the front line? No… I’m not trained, equipped, or built for that kind of work. But the work I am good at, the work that is paying the bills, the work that I enjoy, feels very hollow right now. I could stay in bed all day and make the same impact on the world.

In larger political and world news:

The strange times continue.