Oh, Corona

This is gonna be one of those stream of consciousness thingy-s… you know, where ya kind of spitball thoughts, and see which take hold, which are the bits that feel like they want to be fleshed out… Hardly any of it it is probably unique, or profound, and I probably absorbed some of it by osmosis from something in the air…
Kind of the way you absorb a virus, if truth be told… you can’t see, hear, smell or taste it… you just kind of touch it there, on the door knob, unaware, or walk around the corner in the grocery store, right into the miasma of someone’s 30 second-ago sneeze…and Bob’s your uncle, tag, you’re it.
So, we as a country, (we will leave the world out of this momentarily, they have enough of their own problems without being saddled by contact with the virtual shthole country we are proving to be)—-we as a country, we move. A lot. Like, we wander (drive) in and out of towns, cities, counties and states without much regard for where we are in space and time. I mean, I live in the county, work in the city, and if I decide I want to go shopping in the metro area today can easily find myself in two other counties and one other city. I didn’t even cross state lines in that example, indeed I didn’t even consciously GO to SOMEWHERE ELSE, I just drove…it takes no more than an hour in the other direction for me to leave the state, though.

And the thing is, I barely know what the city restrictions are for this coronavirus, and those I know only because there is, at work, some information passed along.

Local TV news doesn’t really exist any longer. If I turn on the TV, I get the orange shtgibbon flinging feces for a few hours of free rally time, where he determines by yesterday’s review of his reality TV episode which of the supporting cast gets lines in today’s episode.

(Tell me where I am wrong. The ONLY person who has the sense god gave him, Dr. Fauci, is on and off the show, based almost solely on how much positive news coverage he took AWAY from donnieboy* the day before. If Dr. Fauci gets too much positive press tonight, you can set your clocks on the fact tomorrow he will be unavailable to speak.)

And, just as an aside– NOT that I want to see their smarmy faces, but has he sent his children into hiding? Maybe it isn’t a hoax? I mean, Ivanka—why doesn’t she know HOW to solve all of this with a well-placed shake of her blonde, blonde head? I mean, she hangs out with Jared the Important, doesn’t she?

Yeah, ok, off topic. I warned you it would happen.

Anyhoo… what I was getting to with the county/city thing is this.

THE BEST RUN, MOST RESTRICTIVE town, county, city, state government is going to be USELESS if someone who lives in a state where they believe Jesus has the wheel is in charge, and they are doing nothing to stop the spread pops on over into The HazMat Zone, (THMZ) right?

I mean, they are bringing their grimy, virus-infested car and cash into the well-scrubbed, disinfected hourly CVS’s and Krogers and Stop and Shops and 7-11’s.

And those from The HazMat Zone who feel the gubbermint can’t tell them what to do, no sir, it’s a free country, they take their own, up till now perfectly healthy selves, off into that Jesusy state and buy up all the loo rolls to make a profit on a street corner in Mayberry, THMZ, carrying in the virus on their return.
So, yeah. Our Federal government today believes Federal government is too big and that STATES RIGHTS (Civil War, anyone) should supersede. Ok, fair enough. Whatever.

But, if the GOVERNOR of your state isn’t doing anything either, you are now relying on county and city officials (many county and city officials are PART TIME). Not everywhere is huge, NYC or LA sized, you know. City Council is a part-time gig, one Tuesday night a month, to decide do we or don’t we put a right turn on red signal at at the intersection of Main and Broad.

Now, we are down to brass tacks, aye? So. Your town council believes in the creation of THMZ. And they issue a press release, guidance for the companies of their little fiefdom that they RECOMMEND they follow the protocols. But they are doing it without the full force of LAW. Just a “hey, it’d be nice if… it might be wise to…”

You, citizen of the USA, may get into your car and find a more amenable city or county from which to hoard bread. And you take or bring (your mileage may vary) The VIRUS along with you on your way, potentially poisoning either your here-to-for healthy home OR bring the nasties to a once healthy town or city or county.

And big, corporate-run companies, with outlets in every state, most cities and many counties– –well, the god Profit is a hard god. And capitalism is a state religion. And, so, IF they don’t NEED to make any changes from the TOP DOWN, they will wander in the dark, tweaking this, trying that, seeing what the market may bear.

And, yeah, what is vacation time for, if not for use during self-quarantine? No vacay? Too bad, so sad. Call out if you feel something coming on, IF you have sick time. If not, I guess it’s even odds…

YOU are supposed to sit in your home and assess– Is that just a HUNGER headache or Covid? Is the sudden hotness just menopause or Covid? Could that clogged-nose coughing fit be just seasonal allergies or Covid? And don’t show up at the doctors office if you think you HAVE Covid, please god, don’t do that. Just stay quarantined for 14 days or till you need to be intubated, whichever comes first.

What a way to run a pandemic, am I right??

IF EVER there was a time where ONE government, the FEDERAL government should be running things, it’s a pandemic.

I like patchwork quilts more than the next gal… I am a quilter. I can appreciate how all the little pieces create something of great beauty, when alone they were just scraps.. But this isn’t time for quilting.

Pence, 3/23/20 “The President wanted us to make it clear that the federal government will do whatever it takes to support an effort that is locally executed, state managed, and federally supported.”

In other words, IF IT DOESN’T TURN OUT THE WAY YOU EXPECT, don’t come bitching to me. Blame your county executive, or your mayor, or senator or congressman, or governor. (why do we not ALL have Andrew Cuomo as governor right now???) But NOT the PRESIDENT*

In case you need that translated into something even more understandable—

Ok, yeah, now I’m gonna go quilt. While on my day off. (Not in quarantine, not in forced social isolation, because hey, retail. )

Stormy Weather

Ok. So, The Alabama story is stupid. I mean, world-class, over-the-top. grow up already stupid. You mistyped. Get over it. Own it.
He will start a nuclear war to avoid admitting he misspoke before it’s all over. (H/T Hillary Rodham Clinton)
But wait. “I” am not belaboring this for no reason, ok? Not ME. I am just sitting here, shaking my head, wondering how it is that almost a dozen Dem nominees for president spoke about climate change on national TV yesterday for HOURS–I mean, how long was that town hall–??
And yet. Today, the news cycle is still swallowed up by the #failedFrozenSteakSalesman, #TheOvalOfficeSquatter.
Yesterday, the President of the United States  posts a video with Sharpie graffiti. Obviously doctored. (also, ILLEGAL).
And he doesn’t like that he is now being dragged on Twitter. You know all he cares about are RATINGS!!  TV coverage that pets him and makes all the feels comfy and lovey.
So, he pours fuel on the fire. He finds and tweets out ANOTHER photo, that he swears up down and sideways PROVES beyond a reasonable doubt that HE WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG.
1–That map predates his tweet by DAYS.
2– He is the president and has access to the latest information, from people who know what they are talking about.
3–He obviously mistyped, misspoke, didn’t read his talk-to-text before hitting send (hey, we’ve all been THERE, ok??)
4–That map has, in all caps along the bottom, that it DOES NOT SUPERCEDE other maps, so never mind if there’s other, better info.
5–It appears he (or someone trying to put the pacifier back in his mouth) doctored THAT map, too. ( I mean, I don’t KNOW. OK? I suppose it is possible that things changed a lot in 15 minutes, way back on August 28–But he tweeted about Alabama about 72 hours later)
6–Instead of waking up TODAY, September 5 and moving on, he is BACK on Twitter, continuing trying to prove he was right—-
“I’m right. Fake News. SEE!!!! Look at ME!! Stop showing the people of this country that they could hire someone (ANYONE) more intelligent, more sane than ME!”
So, whatever the news was from that Climate Change town hall yesterday, it all got swept up in the maelstrom of chaos that is #hurricaneDonnieBoy

Good Will (hunting)

Air-conditioned, music piped in. Mall parking lot full of cars. Everybody trying to keep up with the Joneses by buying what the Joneses already bought. There are more clothes in this world than are needed to dress everyone– and the nice easy way to allow yourself a guilt-free romp at the mall is to bag it all up, and drop it off, especially in the time of emergency.

You have dutifully emptied out your closet of last years style, of things that look awful on you, that are too small, that don’t “bring you joy” in the current KonMari vernacular, into plastic bags you drop off at the donation center of your choice, for the “Disaster Du Jour” drive.

It’s all about making YOU feel good. Honorable. Virtuous. What you’ve bagged and dropped off after a disaster shows no bearing on real need and use… (Winter jackets? Sent to South Carolina or South Africa? Almost expired cans and boxes of food that you bought a year ago and NEVER found a day where it seemed like a good addition to your dinner menu?) AND you get to go shopping again for yourself, to replace those goods you dropped off!! Win/win! Capitalism will continue to thrive!

Donating commodities, or hand-made pillowcases; that makes you feel good while you get to do what you want and shop again! Buy more yarn! New jeans for everyone! Why do you do it that way, rather than just ponying up 20 bucks to slip into the Red Cross box? Is it the same superiority of virtue that you feel when you see a beggar on the street? YOU know better than they do about what they require? You know HOW they should live? You take away free agency from them by handing them what you THINK they need/deserve– (a paper bag from McDonalds?) Giving them 10 bucks means in your mind they’re going to drink it away, but you feel so superior giving them a hamburger– that you are more evolved, more correct? How can you make determinations as to what they actually need? They may use the 10 bucks so they could go buy some object or experience they know they need (I don’t want to assume what they want– maybe a toothbrush, maybe a can of cat food for their furry companion, maybe a new shopping bag… Who are you to decide they can’t buy a new pair of socks? How many $1 menu burgers should a homeless person accept a day?)

Paying it forward in a local restaurant near where they hang out would be a better deal. They can come in out of the cold, use the restroom like a paying patron and have a meal they choose, served to them like a human.

“Do-good-ism” and superiority go hand-in-hand. You feel that Red Cross, for example, uses too much of its money in a non-correct (to you)  fashion and so therefore you’re going to send them your old sheets and towels instead of money– or you are going to really show them by sending that all to Salvation Army instead. You don’t want to shop at Goodwill because they don’t pay some staff “properly” . However, you are willing to shop at Walmart for clothing that is made in Bangladesh (by people who are not paid properly either), whose CEO’s make the Goodwill issues look quaint, and whose store employees are paid so little they are a large drain on your own local, state and federal government social programs.  Hey, you gotta save a buck when you can, right?

You won’t eat at X or buy from Y and boycott Z because of this or that and the other, and yet…..You don’t shop at Salvation Army because of their religious bent, but you spend hours roaming Hobby Lobby. You do have to suffer through Christian revival music in ReGenisis thrift stores, but have you LISTENED to some of the lyrics coming out of the speakers at your local XYZ??  We make these decisions of where to shop on determinations of what is “correct” and what should be boycotted based on our own very narrow view of “what is right”.  Pete Buttigieg said of Chik-Fil-A, “I do not approve of their politics, but I kind of approve of their chicken,”  If EVERYONE is boycotting SOMETHING, it’s somewhat a wash, right?

Why are you willing, even EAGER to fork over your old belongings and yet so stingy with cash? Are you intimating that these folks are incapable of making good choices on their own? Do you feel ownership over their behavior because you gave them cash? You can continue to look down on them because of your superior circumstance? You give them your clothes, not your standards of living. You are silently saying you know better than them. Or do you simply want an excuse to go shop? (Hail, Capitalism!)

Quilters or knitters busily make pillowcase and quilts and afghans-NOT because the newly homeless due to disaster or as yet “unsaved” in some foreign country need or don’t need such things, but because it makes them feel good and virtuous. They give away that $30 of fabric (bought it 5 years ago and never could figure out what to make) They spend three to thirty hours of “effort”, doing something they enjoy doing anyway. (please, I don’t mean EVERYONE. I am using the “Royal You”… ) and shop it off overseas….

The other day, when I went past this door in a thrift shop, this stockroom was SO piled high with bags that it inspired this post. It’s pretty empty today

I do enjoy thrifting.. the odd aisles, the lack of rubber-stamp corporate decor and layout, the non-organized hangers, the digging about on shelves, and the excitement of locating something unique, something old–something that is a memory trigger. Ask me and I will most likely inform you that 75% of any outfit (NEVER shoes or undergarments) I am wearing is from a thrift store. I like that I choose what I like, that I am not looking like every other person every day. I don’t aim for far-out or vintage vibes, although I do admire those who pull it off. I just can’t think of anything better than letting someone else take a stiff new pair of jeans and turn them into something relaxed and comfortable. for me to wear. I enjoy the hunt, the search for that elusive something that others set free. It’s not as easy as breezing through Target and finding all my sizes right there. It isn’t the place to go if you KNOW you NEED a purple short sleeve sweater and nothing else will do… (but if purple short sleeve sweaters aren’t the style this year, you may be out of luck at Macy’s, too.)

I read once that every piece of clothing uses on average 7 gallons of water to be made. That is a pretty shocking thought. The clothes I am purchasing second-hand are obviously not stopping that, but it doesn’t hurt to do my small part to save the planet, either. If you shopped even some of the time at a local thrift store, their back rooms wouldn’t look like this… and yet if you stop shopping at your Kohls or Target or or or… then the local economy falters and the person who has a part time job at Walmart loses their precarious foothold in the work world…

We really HAVE jacked things up, haven’t we??

We spend our weekends hunting through yard sales and flea markets and estate sales while our homes are FULL. (and our credit cards fuller) We are looking for what? That item that makes it to Antique Roadshow and brings in the big bucks? That unicorn of an item we didn’t know we couldn’t do without until we saw it sitting there, shoved to the back of the shelf, our hunter-gatherer DNA popping to the surface.

We buy another coffee mug with a cute saying (guilty as charged over here) while we know we have more mugs than ever make it into rotation, and STILL use the big green one every morning.

My pots and pans are copper-bottom Revere Ware from my grandmothers home. over 50 years old. I love them and will never willingly get rid of them. Yet still, Kohls puts up the shiny display that I stop to admire. I know my cabinets can’t accommodate another item, AND yet. (I do resist the temptation here!) If I were to spot a piece at thrift store, it would probably come home with me.

We are not a nation that is willing to do without…But we are also not a nation that feels we should be cognizant of any type of “WHAT ARE WE DOING?” either.

Just some thoughts on a hot summers day.

Two very interesting articles. IN KIND DONATIONS

The Huge Potential of Cash Transfers