Dispatches from Lockdown
Michigan is still under stay-at-home orders through May 28, but it also sounds like the Governor is opening up some businesses in the northern part of the state this Friday the 22nd. Restaurants and bars can operate at no more than 50% capacity, with customers 6′ apart and servers wearing masks and taking other precautions, for example.
To be honest, I haven’t been following the data and the news quite as closely. I got tired of protesters at the Capitol saying, “Don’t treat us like children!” while dressed up like Pikachu and carrying an AK-47, or dangling naked Barbie from a noose…
I guess the next protest is “Operation Haircut,” planned for Wednesday. I wonder how many guns and nooses they’ll bring to that one.
In the meantime, we’ve got partial layoffs at the state. I was already a part-time employee. Now I’m working roughly 20% fewer hours starting this week. I have no idea how this is going to play out with unemployment and such. Should be interesting.
Some of the things we’ve been doing to try to maintain sanity:
- Signed up for a virtual 4K run. The kids and I will be running (or walking, mostly) four kilometers, then sending in our times. It’s a Star Wars-themed event, so they’ll mail us Star Wars medals. Yay! And it raises money for cancer research.
- Had a streaming movie night with friends on Saturday, and watched Highlander: The Search for Vengeance. Highlander anime … I was amused. And it was better than Highlander 2, at least!
- Still doing weekly Zoom calls with my parents, and another with my parents-in-law.
- The Friday night readings of Tamora Carter: Goblin Queen have been a nice break. It’s another way for me to connect with folks. And we’re in the last week of the Kickstarter, so I’ll be able to start organizing and planning how to get rewards out to people soon.
- Writing is going very slowly, but it’s progressing. Had to take a break to figure out the history of two alien factions so I could sort out how the middle third of the book should work. As usual, I think I’d made things too complicated in the initial plan — and I’m using the word “plan” loosely.
How are all of you holding up?
May 18, 2020 @ 4:39 pm
I’ve tried not to pay attention to the protests too much. They’re a loud minority with antics designed to attract a headline, but based on the polling data most of us are retaining our sanity regarding reasonable safety measures.
Seeing the popularity of the Tamora Carter Kickstarter has been a bright light 🙂 It’s always thrilling to see something positive getting well-deserved attention.
Reading has always been my safe haven, now more than ever. I’ve been reading a novel a week, most recently Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett, and doing a complete read-through of the Dresden Files in advance of this year’s releases. It’s not quite a re-read, since I’ve never made it more than 5 books into the series.
Jim C. Hines
May 18, 2020 @ 7:04 pm
Will – I know they’re a minority, but I worry about the damage they’re doing, both by spreading the virus and undermining attitudes toward safety and prevention and such.
I’ve had trouble concentrating on novel-length stuff these past months, but I did finish up a Terry Pratchett book the other night, then started in on The Last Unicorn. (Because, much to my shame, I’ve never read it…)
May 19, 2020 @ 6:59 am
I mean, Highlander 2 is about the lowest bar you can set for a movie.
A college friend of mine had a nightmare about that movie. Not the contents– just being forced to watch it again.
Just curious if you were referring to the original release or the slightly less painful director’s cut?
May 19, 2020 @ 10:43 am
Jim – I couldn’t agree more that they are part of a larger erosion of democratic norms that will have ripple effects for years, if not decades, assuming we can stop it in the fall at the ballot box. I guess I still have hope that a majority aren’t buying what they’re selling, but it’s true that the media attention is astro-turfing on a big scale.
Which Terry Pratchett novel did you finish? They never fail to make me laugh.
Jim C. Hines
May 19, 2020 @ 2:15 pm
Morgan – I don’t think I’ve watched the two closely enough to compare. And I have no plans to change that 🙂
Jim C. Hines
May 19, 2020 @ 2:16 pm
Will – Carpe Jugulum. I realized a while back that there were gaps in my Discworld reading, so I’ve been slowly trying to acquire the missing books.
May 19, 2020 @ 7:46 pm
Jim, I don’t know if audiobooks work for you, but the Stephen Briggs narrations of Pratchett’s works are wonderful. In particular, I love his renditions of the Tiffany Aching books & voice for the Nac Mac Feegle. Highly recommended.
Regarding the lockdown, I’m pretty fortunate – in a rural area so plenty of nature around me; my spouse & I both still have our jobs & full salary, and are able to work remotely; I’m an introvert and homebody, so it’s been easier on my psyche than on others; getting a lot of additional hours on Steam than I normally would. It’s hard not to be able to visit my folks, but we talk on the phone regularly. All in all I know we’re lucky, and I’m grateful.