Day 17 and forward

Day 17: (Monday March 30): Nothing much going on today. We were advised our investments are fine for the moment but to expect a 20 – 30% reduction in income for the next few months – as a hold back – and it’s prudent. It is held in trust, and gets returned if we see no drop in final ROI as a result of SARS-CoV-2. We have a pretty diversified portfolio – and as each sector comes free (they are usually 1-3 year commitments), I am thinking we maybe need to be holding more cash, just in case. At least we haven’t lost principal yet and that’s something to be thankful for.

Scary times. And we need a mortgage on that damn condo late this summer. Which means we need to get there to sign. Holy moly, one step at a time, don’t get ahead of yourself.

Day 18: I’m really thinking hard about this pandemic. So far, with the first case identified in late January, the US has had about 3,300 deaths (Italy and Spain many more) at the end of March. China has started to settle down. I’m trying to understand what is wrong with this picture.  There are, however, 165,000 confirmed cases in the US (as of Tues, March 31 at 8:24am). We won’t know what that denominator really is (165K) until bloodtests have identified (or not) antibodies in most people. 

The first confirmed case in the US was January 20, just over two months ago. The flu season is highest in winter – a six month period – and in 2017 killed 61,000 in the US with 45 million infected and 810,000 hospitalized. 

The best I can get on Covid (sorry, easier than SARS-CoV-2) is 12% hosptialized. I need to crunch some more numbers and get back to you. That’s about 20,000 today. But even stretching the 2017 flu over 12 months, that’s 67,500 per month (and it would have been higher in the winter). We are going to get to more sick people needing hospitalization pretty quickly. Other statistics I read say that 20% of people with Covid-19 require hospitalization (compared to 2% of those with the flu).

If they can get hospitalization, the majority of them won’t die. This is the problem. Not that the disease is so deadly, given proper care. But that the system is so broken and the disease is contagious before it’s symptomatic so will be even more wide-spread. What can I say? #StaytheFuckHome. The virus does not move. People move. If people stop moving, it dies. 

GREAT story by Andrew Nikiforuk for The Tyee:  I’m the Virus You Named Covid-19. Glad to Meet You.  This is a must read. We are the hosts. We carry it everywhere. It is our travel that is a big problem. And our systems.  We need better (global) healthcare. And we need to start giving people travel rations. X miles a year – use them or sell them. But no more. This is for the environment as much as anything but also for the spread of disease. And we need to stop homogonizing the environment and extincting species FFS.

And stop travelling so much. Even 9/11 would have been much more difficult for the Taliban without such constant and casual commercial travel. Would it have even happened? Have you seen those maps of how many scheduled flights are going around the world at any given time (in normal times)? They were scary all by themselves, without even thinking fossil fuel. Maybe this pandemic will help us change our ways. My consumerism has certainly plummeted with no ill effects. And consumerism is what is killilng the planet. And travel. Knock it off people. 

So, one dog walk and then the dog trainer took PJ out again with his buddies. I think I used this photo last week but just in case I didn’t:

That’s PJ in the middle (white)

And so starts another day – news all done – it’s 10am and time to type in at least half an hour of DogStar. I’m going to set my alarm. I tried dictating. By the time I correct it, I’m much better off typing. I didn’t think I would be, but I am. I would get a good dictation program if I did this more than once. I’m farming the other two books out. If I have multiple copies, I may not. Ahhhha, cart before the horse anyway. This one’s not even done. And if it doesn’t sell, damned if I’ll do this again 🙂

Ok, so I did a half-hour (plan to do them in half-hour spurts) and it really wasn’t bad. I can manage an hour at a time I think. But then, the power went off, just as I was trying to broker a deal for face masks from China to Mexico. I know. And it’s evolved from there. I’ll tell you about it if turns into anything. Power was off for almost three hours and I got no more book typed in. Never a dull moment. And day 18 draws to a close. Hasta manana.

Day 19: Now 9am, got up around 5am, had more news than I need. Defended the WaPo and to a lesser extent, the NYT. Walked the dog twice, trainer doing his walk at in an hour. That will have him pretty quiet until later this afternoon. It’s a lot of work managing a 2.5-year-old bull terrier who has to be kept separated from the other dog in the house. But I digress.

Here we all are. Watching and waiting. It’s a funny place to be. I was asking CW’s opinion on something the other day but you all know how empirical he is. So I’ll run it past you 🙂

Our Jacarandas this season are much more vibrant, we think. I wish I’d taken a video and I did actually think about it … but didn’t. There is a tree around the corner within the first block of our morning walk – high canopy of purple Jacaranda. When we walk under that tree, there is an incredible buzzing noise. There must be thousands of bees up in the jacaranda flowers. I hear it to a lesser extent under Jacaranda trees on another block. That’s new this season.

I think it’s mother nature making the Jacarandas more vibrant and more … giving I guess is a good word. Because we need those damn bees. Or maybe the ozone is disappearing again and we’re getting a lot stronger sun that will be so strong next year … (you see why I don’t like to play ‘What If?’ anymore?) Anyway, that’s my theory. We are sure seeing cases of wildlife venturing into human territory now that we aren’t there. In the most unexpected places. For example – wild goats take over a Welsh town. We have to change our ways. We have to.

Day 20: George Monbiot is hopeful. Talk about snowballs in hell. But you need to read his story here: The horror films got it wrong. We just have to get through the next … months. If we can stay safe, stay informed and stay kind – the world could be a better place when all is said and done. Clearly, I’ve been up and done my news. Done the first long PJ walk, and Rosie, poor thing is off to the vet for tests (vet picked her up). We found some spattered blood in the TV room, but couldn’t see anything in a) her ear or b) her mouth as far as we could see. But she’s had tooth problems for a long time. So they are going to give her a full checkup and see where it came from.

Other than that, the trainer will come and take PJ away for maybe a few hours today which will be a good break. I’m going to try to blitz typing that effing book in for two hours and see how far that takes me. It will encourage me if it’s at least a chapter. But time will tell. PJ is having a nap so it may be a good time now. Ugh.

Rosie came back and except for old age, is okay really. But she is getting old – 13 in September and things aren’t as functional as they once were. Couldn’t find the source of blood – it may have been her nose.

And on another front, there we go. Two hours – one chapter finished. This is going to take a long time. A friend suggested getting Siri to send myself an email with passages inside that I read out loud. I tested it. By the time I do the corrections it takes way longer. I type fast. But I think two hours a day is my limit. But I’ll stick to it.

I saw these on our dogwalk.

The next thing I need to do is figure out how to really make the next 10 years count. I’m 65. By the time I’m 75, I’m sure I’ll need to slow down. So, I need to fill up the next 10 as much as I can, including the next year or so when things will not be back up to speed. I hold to one chapter a day, I’m done on April 14. I might sneak in more than that. But then, I’m going to say two weeks to edit. And CW agrees. First edit deadline: May 1. Okay, that’s settled.

Day 21 (Friday, April 3): Ok, farmed out the back end of the book typing job to an excellent friend (chapters 20 – 32 inclusive) but had to ship the book – they should have it soon. In the meantime, CW and I have six chapters between us to add – three each, piece of cake. Then we have 1-19 that we can start editing while the rest is getting typed in. I think that’s a good compromise.

It’s 8:30am, I’m done with news and Facebook for a bit, have had two substantial dog walks. I’m tired. PJ threw up last night (normal dog throwing up, nothing scary) and then didn’t take his last pills so I left them (in their decoy cream cheese and ham slices) in the hall. I woke up at 2:47 wondering if he ate them yet. Then woke up a lot of times, wondering the same thing. I convinced myself it would be fine, even if he missed two pills out of 10 in one day. Woke up at 5:00am and went to the kitchen to get coffee and every crumb was gone. So I worried all night (or what my friend calls “monkey chatter” ) for nothing. I must remind myself of that for next time.

So, the day goes on just like yesterday and probably just like tomorrow. I actually did wash the floor. The first time I’ve ever done that (it’s usually washed every Friday by Genaro). We’re having fake poutine for dinner. Well, it’s all real except I am using real mozzarella cheese, not fresh cheese curds, which I cannot get. Ergo, fake poutine. But not fake like packages. Homemade fries in coconut oil. Nice beef gravy, hot, over shredded moz. Best I can do. It won’t look anything like this (maybe I’ll be able to show you in the next post but for now, signing off).

Stay safe, stay informed, stay kind. And write to me.



  1. Mary Janowiak Reply

    Hi….been following your blog since your time in SMA. We did three years there, 6/15-6/18. Glad to be back in the states.

    Best of luck you you during this time of such sadness. Stay safe and well.

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