The outer bits of Tropical Storm Arthur move into Virginia this week and the weather forecast looks like soggy garbage. A greater-than-even chance of rain every day for an entire, seven-day week?? How are we supposed to take our daily walks? Will I be able to squeeze in some bike ridin’ between downpours? We’ve got a real delicate balance happening here in the Catrow house, and a tropical storm confining us to the inside of that house will certainly not help anything.
We’re all still in this house. All of us. In this house. Thank God for headphones and multi-story houses.
This line from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, on the day some of the state entered Phase One of recovery, is just too, too good:
As people approached, a few would slide the masks back onto their faces. Others were too busy scarfing down Chick-fil-A’s large waffle fries to notice.
A perfect combination of The Stand, Idiocracy, and WALL-E.
On the eve of the Governor's planned entry into Phase One of recovery, Mayor Stoney made the right—but hard—decision to ask for a delay in the City of Richmond. I've written a lot elsewhere about the weird/strange/incomplete/shady/confusing data the Governor has used to build his timeline for recovery. I'm proud of the Mayor and his team for pushing back on that timeline, asking for Richmond-specific data, and then making the informed, empathetic, and clear-eyed decision to protect the health and safety of Richmonders.
I’m writing this entry from a hammock hung between my back deck and the privacy fence. It stretches through some ornamental shrubs, and lying in it makes me feel like I’m in a forest. I can still hear more cars than, say, a week ago, but the carpenter bees and robins are louder. It’s about time to open up a beer.
Today, I checked off more than two items from my todo list and closed out an entire project. Incredible! Like I said 11 days ago (!), corona-attention is incredibly streaky and unpredictable. I'm grateful to have caught the tail of whatever productivity dragon happened by this morning and held on for most of the workday.
Some coronadays, turns out, are pretty good and Mother's Day was one of them. I'm not sure why—it just hit right.
As Virginia lurches towards Phase One of recovery, Mel Leonor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has a piece that everyone should read. It'll make you mad.
The one chart that the Governor has used to make his case for reopening this coming Friday, May 15th, is a 14-day decline in percent of positivity. However, Leonor reports that the State is far below Northam's own testing goal and has inflated the denominator of the percent-of-positivity calculation by including unreliable antibody tests:
Virginia remains far from Gov. Ralph Northam’s goal of 10,000 tests per day and is not meeting the testing goals laid out by leading health researchers. The state’s already low testing numbers are inflated by unreliable antibody testing. And the state’s contact tracing workforce remains below national standards and the state’s own goal.
Deaths are up, positive cases are up, even hospitalizations are up 12% compared to last week. All this while testing—which is crucial to know the context in which to interpret all of these other numbers—lags in almost every way imaginable.
But tell me again how proceeding with Phase One is driven by data not dates?
Took some time to climb a tree today.
The magical thing about a bike is that it can change your scenery in just a couple of minutes with very little effort. Taking short, unscripted bike rides around this half of Richmond has kept me from getting too stir crazy and too sick of the very limited places to sit in our house. I've also discovered some interesting and beautiful places just minutes from my house that I otherwise never would have stumbled on. The feeling of having gone somewhere has been so important over the last FIFTY FIVE days.
Stress drank a bunch of margarita while hate reading quotes from the Governor's press conference.
The Governor announced that he expects Virginia to enter Phase One of his recovery plan on May 15th. Despite data, despite caution! Return we must so people can order appetizers and bang trims from folks who do not have the privilege of working from home! Anyway, pretty disappointed but morbidly fascinated by what the coronagraphs will look like in about five weeks.
Easily the best night of coronaquarantine so far. The child retreated to his Fortnite and FaceTime cave, Val and I sang and danced in the kitchen while the fresh air and nighttime sounds slipped in through the screen doors. We drank wine.
We’ve gotten to the “experimenting with birding” part of quarantine.
Books I've read recently with parallel world-related themes:
- The Gone World
- The Magicians
- The Long Earth
It all feels a little on the nose.
One of Richmond’s magical places.
My quarantine attention level is streaky like whoa. Some days I can barely stay on top of my ever-dwindling amount of email. Some days I'm checking off things from my todo list that have sat dormant for months. I can't predict when the productivity will hit, and I can't predict what I'll feel like doing. Yesterday, I replaced all of the smoke detectors in our house; today I created an automated way to generate a graph of the mileage I rode my bike over the last month (293 miles).
This article resonates with me. Every day, I hear more and more whispers about the coming parental rebellion when we will rise up against our tiny-human oppressors.