Some days are OK. Other days, not so much.
That seems to be the experience most of us are going through as we approach the three-week mark of California’s stay-at-home order. (Yeah, the statewide order hasn’t even been in place for three weeks yet; it came down Thursday, March 19.)
Yesterday was an OK day for me. I got up and did some work. I took a nap. I did a little more work. I made a delicious dinner—shrimp-and-scallop ceviche, and London broil—and then the hubby and I watched Last Week Tonight With John Oliver and various cooking/food videos on YouTube. My mood throughout the day was, while not exactly exuberant, OK.
Today, not so much.
My funk started off with what should have been fantastic news: My orthopedic doctor cleared me to resume playing softball. I dislocated my right elbow almost nine weeks ago, and while my arm is not yet 100 percent, it’s stable and healthy enough to play, albeit with some restrictions and cautions.
Logically, this is wonderful. It means all the physical therapy and the at-home exercises and hard work I’ve put into my right arm has paid off. But emotionally, it was a stark reminder that there’s no softball anymore—or, well, anything else outside of the house anymore—at least not for the foreseeable future.
Then the news about Boris Johnson hit me. Now, I am not a fan of Boris Johnson. In fact, I think he’s kind of a putz. But the fact that a prominent world leader—the prime minister of Great Britain!—is fighting for his life in an ICU because of COVID-19, for some reason, smacked me upside the head. Again, I don’t know why it did. It just did.
Then I read this. In yesterday’s Daily Digest, I referred to a story about a tiger in a New York zoo that apparently got this damn virus from a zoo employee. Well, yesterday, the American Veterinary Medical Association—while making it clear there’s very little evidence pets can be threatened by, transmit or get ill from SARS-CoV-2—said this: “Out of an abundance of caution and until more is known about this virus, if you are ill with COVID-19 you should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just as you would restrict your contact with other people.”
Dammit. That was it for me. The funk was solidified. F— this damn virus.
I debated just saying screw it and going to bed. But I didn’t. Instead, I listened to more silly ’80s music, and then I watched a couple of videos that, while making me weepy, managed to make me feel a little better.
As for the first video, you may have seen it already, given it’s already gotten nearly 4.2 million YouTube videos in less than 24 hours: the second episode of John Krasinski’s Some Good News. It’s worth the not-quite 17 minutes of your time it’ll take to watch it, I promise.
The second is more personal. Here’s a 90-second video from a TV news station in Reno, Nevada. It’s about a family that gets dressed up in unicorn costumes and wanders around nearby neighborhoods every night—just to bring good cheer. The matriarch of the family, Jaunice, has been a friend of mine since middle school; her husband, Matt, has been a friend since we were in high school. I may have been the best man at their wedding. Anyway, at the -54 second mark, they visit a woman in a little maroon-colored house. That woman is my mom, and that visit came at the tail end of a scary illness, involving a lot of coughing, that my mom picked up a couple of weeks ago. (What was that illness? Dunno. She was never tested. I just know it scared the hell out of my family.) I requested that the Unicorn Squad make her a visit a while back, and they obliged. That visit made my mom’s month.
I hope these videos make your day—or at least make it a little better, as they did for my day.
And now, today’s links:
• Our beer columnist points out that there’s never been a better time to make your own beer at home. If you’re interested in homebrewing, here’s how to start.
• Want to know why it’s good to wear a mask, and why it may or may not be good to wear gloves, when you go to a store? A UC Riverside epidemiologist explains it all.
• Seen ads or news about an at-home COVID-19 test? They’re not really a thing, at least not yet, according to the Los Angeles Times.
• The Desert AIDS Project continues to help lead the way in the local battle against the effects of COVID-19. The latest move: DAP has started a support group for people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
• In related news, our friends at Wabi Sabi Japan Living have started a virtual food drive on the Desert AIDS Project’s behalf.
• Some good news: Gov. Newsom says the state has enough ventilators for now, so he’s loaning some to states, including New York, that currently don’t have enough.
• While we humans stay inside, animals keep on keepin’ on—including the mountain goats at The Living Desert. Meet one of the baby mountain goats that was just born.
• Here are more specifics on Palm Springs’ eviction moratorium. And this literally came in just as we were about to hit send: The state Judicial Council has halted evictions statewide.
• The California Desert Arts Council and the La Quinta Arts Foundation have created a $50,000 fund to help artists. It’s called Keep Art Alive.
• Because so few people are driving these days, Allstate insurance is giving $600 million back to its auto-insurance customers.
• First, Dr. Drew Pinsky made the TV rounds, dismissing COVID-19 as a threat. Now he’s trying to use copyright laws to erase videos of him making these dangerous and irresponsible comments from the internet.
• A lot of people won’t get stimulus checks because of their tax status. NBC News explains.
• Rep. Raul Ruiz gets some love from The New York Times, in this piece about doctors and medical experts in Congress—and how some of them, if not all of them, have been speaking out.
• More video cheer: Randy Rainbow is back with another delightful song parody. Ladies and gentlemen, here’s Andy!
That’s enough for today. Wash your hands. If you’re an artist, send us art for our coloring book by Friday. If you can spare a buck or two, help us continue to do quality local journalism that’s free to all. Be safe. Reach out to an old friend and see how they’re doing. More tomorrow.