Age Appropriate

CVH tells me that today’s coronavirus government briefing will start with some age-appropriate videos.

First they’ll have a video for small children, explaining what’s going on with this virus situation. Then there will be a video for older kids,” she said. “That will be followed by the regular briefing for adults.”

“And what about the video for the over-60 crowd?” I asked. “What will that say? ‘Time for you to move off to the side of the road’?”

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Shoot the dog!

Tonight, CVH wanted to watch The Thing (1982 Carpenter version).

The “dog”

As you may recall, the story is about a group of men essentially on lockdown. They fail to practice appropriate social distancing, and as a consequence, risk spreading a contagion that would kill everyone on the planet.

I don’t know what she was thinking.

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Wagner Week

One bright spot in this dreary lockdown is that the Met is streaming free operas everyday.

They have selected some notable productions from recent live broadcasts. “Notable”, in this context, is not necessarily the same as “finest”.

Nonetheless, this week they are featuring Wagner, composer of my favorite operas.

I mentioned to CVH that today we had Tristan, the next three days are The Ring, followed by Die Meistersinger and Tannhäuser.

“Oh hell no,” she replied.

What’s not to love?
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Are YOU Life-Sustaining?

Like most states, the Kentucky governor has ordered all in-person retail businesses that are not life sustaining to close.  We can still get take out.  For now.  By the way, liquor stores are considered “life-sustaining”; there’s only so much even the governor can do.

You wouldn’t know it by the traffic going by in front of our house.  But then in all the years we’ve lived here, we have never been able to figure out where all these people are headed to.  It’s been like this ever since we moved here.  I think the natives just drive around in their cars, going nowhere in particular.  Unless it’s the liquor store.

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The Last Picture Show

“Out of bay leaves!” CVH exclaimed. “Can we go find some? The Indian grocery, perhaps?”

“I suppose. I’m about out of Horlicks, anyway.”

I love this stuff

The store had bay leaves and Horlicks, all right, but the rest of the strip center was pretty much shut down. It reminded me of those Depression newsreels and The Last Picture Show.

Grim.
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Phone Phreaks

Oddly, one thing that hasn’t slowed down since the beginning of this crisis are the telemarketing scams. Our phone continues to ring all day long.

I mean, are they still trying to give us a free cruise?

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Misery has its advantages

These days, I feel sorry for people in the Sun Belt.

This time of year, they are used to getting out and having fun and doing things and being with people.

But that cannot happen in a Plague Year.

On the other hand, years of experience of Midwestern winters have inured us to months of gloomy isolation. So the current situation really isn’t that difficult for us to accept.

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The Americans

Grocery shopping these days is like it was for Martha in The Americans.

CVH was able to get a chicken, some fish, hot dogs, and ground pork today.

The view at our local Kroger yesterday morning, well before sunrise. So much for “social distancing”.

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Hurricane Corona

Being Houstonians, we are naturally prepared for a temporary interruption in American life: a week’s worth of canned goods, an extra propane tank, a solar powered radio – but this is different.

I don’t know if CVH didn’t accept my eyewitness accounts of grocery shopping or what, but this morning she insisted on visiting the local megamart herself.

We actually did pretty well.  They had just brought out pallets of toilet paper, kleenex, and butter.  The toilet paper evaporated like spit on a hot iron skillet, but we got one for us and one for mama.  We also got bread, eggs, bacon, canned soup, and blueberry pie. There was no chicken, ground meat, or fish (what are people doing with all that meat?).  Plenty of Porterhouse steaks and broccoli, though.

And we got something more important than food or toilet paper – cat litter.  They had a pallet sitting in the aisle.  Not our cats’ preferred brand, but we must all make sacrifices in these troubled times.

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M-m-m-my Corona

I woke up CVH this a.m. with my rendition of the classic The Knack hit.

When you gonna give to me, g-give to me
Is it just a matter of time, corona?

Of course, there were about ten thousand of these already out on youtube.

Also went to the grocery this a.m.  Finally snagged some potatoes and a loaf of bread (carbs will keep you alive).  Milk is still coming in; you can’t hoard that, although I’m sure some people are trying.  If I had been five minutes earlier, I could have gotten a pack of toilet paper; people must have been in line waiting for the doors to open.  Their carts were overflowing, mostly with junk food. I looked at what the couple in front of me was putting on the belt – stacks of frozen pizzas and frozen convenience meals – and thought “That stuff is going to kill you before Wuhan does.”

The breakfast cereals were back, though.  I guess it takes more time to eat through several boxes of those.

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