Life in quaranTina-land. It’s the Jeremavirus!


Tina-beans and I are doing our best to stay quarantined-ish. We drove down to North Carolina a week ago last Thursday and we’re hunkered down here until this whole Covid-19 thing blows over … if it ever does.

Our current goal is to paint the house. When we bought it a year ago, we concentrated our renovation efforts on the interior. We redid the kitchen, the bathrooms, painted throughout, ripped up the carpet and opened up the dining room into the living room.

Just before all of the shit hit the fan, we reached out to a painter for an estimate to paint the entire house. He was going to charge us $4500 minus materials. Continue reading “Life in quaranTina-land. It’s the Jeremavirus!”

How to Shop Safely in a Pandemic. Please share

PSA Safe Grocery Shopping in COVID-19 Pandemic – UPDATED!!! IMPORTANT EDIT FROM NIH DATA: COVID-19 LIVES ON CARDBOARD FOR 1 DAY. SEE SOURCES BELOW. This is the most current video for New CDC data, safe takeout food practices, and an updated practice for safe grocery shopping/handling.

When the discussion arises that “this is just the flu,” I recommend this chart


Case fatality rates: Covid-19 vs US Seasonal Flu.

Also, this thread is worth sharing:


et-tu, corona?!?

Screen Shot 2020-03-16 at 10.51.35 AM.png

I decided that I’m going to document my experiences with this Covid-19 pandemic here on the blog.

I’ve started screen capping the John’s Hopkins page so I can compare numbers from day to day. It’s quite informative.

As I think back, I’ve been following Coronavirus/Covid-19 since December at least, because my brother works for a Chinese furniture company and travels to Asia six to eight times a year. He’s based in North Carolina. “Is coronavirus affecting your travel schedule?” I asked him a few times over the holidays. “No. Not right now.”

Chinese Tariffs forced his company to pull a lot of their production out of China into Vietnam over the past year. So he wasn’t scheduled to fly anywhere near ground zero.

On Friday, his Chinese leadership forced strict standards on their NC and Canadian offices. Stricter than anything I’d heard of so far at the time. His leadership is using the internal information from Wuhan’s containment procedures to inform their business practices here.

Meanwhile, I’ve been watching our business dates drop off our schedule. We are primarily interiors and architecture photographers. We just saw a big job on Tuesday postpone indefinitely. Another job is still on for the time being. As soon as we finish what’s on our docket we will be driving down to North Carolina hoping the weather and less density of population might be advantageous.

We live in Chicago, but own a house in NC that we Airbnb. Every booking we had has cancelled because the events the guests were planning have been cancelled. We’re small business owners with no major income scheduled in any foreseeable future. I can’t imagine what so many others are going through. Fortunately, we have a bit of a buffer that we can live on. So many do not.

My brother-in-law is a 50 year old, house music DJ. For as long as I’ve known him, his main source of income is a Sunday night show at one of Chicago’s largest house music venues. On Sunday, our governor and mayor shut down bars and restaurant gatherings for the next two weeks. So if he can’t work to pay rent … he’s screwed. His business is a record store that he takes no income from.

Like all of you, we’re reading and hearing rumors. Palmer House Chicago is operating at a measly 5% capacity. We just heard a rumor that Illinois might close schools for the remainder of the school year.

Apart from my brother and his family, our NC friends and family are much more skeptical than in Chicago. My brother reported that some church parking lots were packed yesterday (Sunday, March 15) as well as a fun house, trampoline place for kids. He was shocked.

The Ides of March never had such a dismal meaning since Mr. Ceasar was attacked.

Et-tu, Corona?

I’m having trouble concentrating on the work we do have. We watched movies and read all weekend. Maybe had a few too many beers!

I have a ton of library books on my iPad. If you don’t borrow books digitally, this might be a GREAT time to start. I hear that some states are experiencing their local libraries are closing.

I also wanted to keep in mind that it wasjust two weeks ago (!!!) that Trump was calling this a “hoax”.

Now he’s on board, daily briefings, and in charge of shutting the whole country down.

I spoke with one person who claimed Trump jumped on this so fast. That’s not what the facts show.



Presentation on the Latest COVID-19 Research, Hygiene Tips, and Treatment Options


From Kottke:

From Stanford professor of neurobiology and bioengineering Michael Lin, this is an excellent 31-page PDF presentation (Slideshare) on what we know about COVID-19 so far and how to deal with it, with extensive references to the latest research (as of 3/15). I’m going to include a few of the most interesting and important slides right here, but do read the whole thing — it is very informative.michael-lin-covid-01.jpg

Italian Newspaper Obits: Feb 9 vs March 13. Holy shit

This particular Italian newspaper saw a mere 1 page and a half in February go to 10 pages of obituaries …

I have people in my life who think the Covid-19 emergency is a conspiratorially political measure weighing against our president.

Last night I talked to a Trump supporting friend of mine who almost shouted that this whole thing is bullshit. People are overreacting. He claimed the economy isn’t going to recess and that the rebound of the stock market will shoot back up well over 30,000.

This morning, I was prompted to review my 401k investments, and we have lost $32K since January 1. I sent my friend a text and he wrote:

Our chances are good with the best scientists and health professionals on earth backed by the strongest economic wealth creator or earth we should be fine.

“Wealth creator”? An umpteen-times, bankrupted business man is a “wealth creator”? What?

I’m not sure how the world got together to conspire against the president. But I’d be willing to listen to your hypothesis.

I believe the “hype” in terms of being diligent to try and protect yourselves from this virus and to help not spread it to others.

I don’t believe we should be freaking out. But in the spirit of The Grapes of Wrath, we should all be working together for the greater good.

We’ve seen a downward tick in our business and our investments. No one is going to pay my mortgage … my bills, but me. And I imagine so many Americans are in the same boat.

I read about cases in Holland and in Italy in which so many of the infected folks are under 50, and many are in ICU and in critical condition.

We all need to bind together and get past political differences. This thing is bigger.

“The people I love the best”

  1. The people I love the best
    jump into work head first
    without dallying in the shallows
    and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
    They seem to become natives of that element,
    the black sleek heads of seals
    bouncing like half-submerged balls.
    I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
    who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
    who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
    who do what has to be done, again and again.

    I want to be with people who submerge
    in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
    and work in a row and pass the bags along,
    who are not parlor generals and field deserters
    but move in a common rhythm
    when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

    The work of the world is common as mud.
    Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
    But the thing worth doing well done
    has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
    Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
    Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
    but you know they were made to be used.
    The pitcher cries for water to carry
    and a person for work that is real.

    Marge Piercy, To Be Of Use

Thanks, Laura!