Thoughts & Essays

Quarantine Notes: 5/4/20

Sunday, May 3rd, is the day I began to seriously consider trying out the Quarantine Buzz Cut, just for future reference.

I kept my hair long and bang-free for like 20 years, but when my thyroid crapped out a few years ago my hair turned brittle and nasty, so I cut it all off. I’ve kept it in a short pixie cut since then. That pixie cut is thoroughly grown out, as it’s been about six months since my last haircut.

Maybe only four months? I can’t remember if I got my hair cut in February or not. By early-to-mid-February I was staying the hell away from everyone as much as I could, so I’m guessing I skipped that.

At any rate, my hair is a mop. And not a nice-looking one, either. It’s a shaggy frickin’ mess. This shaggy frickin’ mess right here is the exact reason I haven’t bothered trying to grow my hair out to see if ever got healthy again after my thyroid uncrapped itself. It’s driving me bananas.

The only thing stopping me is my lack of trust in the trimmers we have on hand. Okay, not the only thing. My luck, the second I buzzed my head two things would happen. First, I would realize I had made a terrible mistake. And second? My boss would call us back into the office.

Notes below. Updates through the day.

⚖️ You may remember that on Friday I told you about how we’d abandoned everyone in prison to suffer through and maybe die of COVID-19. You might have thought that was hyperbole. It was not. Over 70% of tested inmates in federal prisons have COVID-19.

🌼 Folks with asthma and allergies may not be in as much danger from COVID-19 as we thought. It seems like people with allergies and asthma aren’t getting as sick from COVID-19 as we thought they would. Excuse me while I run outside and drag my face through all the pollen I can find.

🍖 Workers at a meat plant in Crete, Nebraska, protested the re-opening of their plant this weekend.

🇺🇸 Tom Perez, chair of the DNC, thinks he’s gonna hold an in-person Democratic Convention this year. I don’t know much about Tom Perez, but apparently he’s an idiot who’s trying to get people killed.

🤬 Over the weekend armed “protesters” – IE, right wing terrorists – “protested,” well, basically all over the damn place. Screaming at people, forcing their way into government buildings where they could, showing off their guns. It was a complete shitshow. Please remember two things: 1. These asshats are in the extreme minority, and 2. What they’re doing should be recognized as terrorism and treated as such. Look, I’m all for a protest. It’s your right to peaceably assemble and kick up a fuss over things you don’t agree with. But I’m pretty sure doing it during a pandemic is a bad idea so maybe don’t, and also, if you’re showing up with machine guns and Nazi flags, I’m not sure that counts as a peaceful protest.

🍊 If you only read one thing on this list today, make it this: 34 days of pandemic: Inside Trump’s desperate attempts to reopen America. That’s the Washington Post’s rundown of the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19, and it’s damning.

🧵 Andy Slavitt’s May 2 COVID-19 thread is a stark reminder that ignorance is bliss. Many states are trying to “re-open” this month, and that is such a bad idea. And in about three weeks, we’ll have the numbers to show it.

🦠 If you want to “re-open” your damn state safely, here’s how.

🇨🇳 Everybody hates the Chinese government for hiding the coronavirus for too long, apparently. The US is, of course, leading the charge on the anti-China sentiment. Here’s a bit about the DHS report that says China hid the severity of their outbreak in order to hoard supplies, but with this government, maybe take it with a grain of salt.

📦 An Amazon VP quit Amazon over the way the company is treating their workers during the pandemic.

⚕️ Here’s another hacked-together cheap ventilator, this one created by Israelis. I don’t know how useful any of these ventilator hacks will ever end up being, as you kind of have to be pretty careful with equipment that forces air into people’s lungs, but it’s inspiring to see people working so hard to address the shortages and needs generated by COVID-19.

💸 The US’s stunningly abysmal response to the pandemic is killing off small businesses.

☠️ The CDC is privately predicting up to 3,000 deaths a day from COVID-19 by June.

😷 Mike Pence now says he probably should have worn a mask to the Mayo Clinic. Ya think?

All right, folks, that’s it for today. We’ll save anything else that pops up for tomorrow.

Image credit: Johns Hopkins COVID-19 dashboard for May 4, 2020, around 11am.