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So, it's been two weeks since my last daily update, and all I can say in my defense is that I'm working constantly from 6:30 AM to 8:00 PM, sometimes two jobs (effectively), and it doesn't leave me a whole lot of energy to do much besides read before I go to sleep.
My wife and I are very lucky to have gotten to keep our jobs, and to be able to work from home. We're in a relatively privileged position of comfort and safety. That said, it is exhausting. No school, no babysitter, public libraries are closed, and the kids are bored and needy. To a certain extent I can compensate by slacking on my work, but only to a certain extent. I don't think my bosses are tracking my idle/away time on the clone of Slack from the aggressively litigious Seattle-based software company – yet – but they certainly have the capacity to do so, and I won't be surprised if they start doing it now that a significant number of people are working from home.
This is a pretty good article I read about the work-from-home experience. The author's a bit more PMC than me, but the same stresses are there.
My state *finally* started taking this pandemic seriously, making the advisory stay at home order mandatory on Monday. I haven't really seen what effect this is having, since I'm not leaving my house, and I don't watch TV. I did make a grocery run on Monday, hoping to make it the only one for two weeks. This was the first time I saw a significant number of shoppers wearing masks and gloves. The shelves are still patchy like they have been; everything where there's slightly higher than normal demand for whatever reason is completely sold out. Not just the panic buys, like toilet paper, canned beans, flour, and bleach wipes, but things you wouldn't expect. Diswashing detergent: people are home more, and washing more dishes. And the just-in-time supply chain can't cope with this moderate increase in demand, so it just fucking shits the bed and leaves a shelf that's empty except for the homeopathic dish soap. I did score a 12-pack of toilet paper for the first time in over a month, just by arriving at the right time.
What we've been dreading happened. After the Wisconsin primary, which in some places saw voter turnout as low as 3%, Bernie Sanders dropped out of the Democratic presidential primary. The official reason is that given the very slim odds that he could catch up and eke out a win, he doesn't want the campaign to take time away from the work he's doing as a Senator and as an activist to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic.
One thing that's been widely speculated: Bernie doesn't have the heart after Wisconsin to send people to the polls to vote for him and risk catching or spreading the rona. In particular, New York, one of the US centers of the epidemic, was refusing to postpone its primary. The death toll of an in-person New York primary would be significant. Hours after Sanders dropped out, New York postponed its primary by a month.
I'm probably repeating myself, but Biden stands no chance of beating Trump in the general election. All of the scandals that the media has been soft-pedaling through the primary, from the little stuff like Hunter Biden's sketchy Burisma job to the elephant in the room – that Joe Biden outright raped a staffer in the 1990s, are going to be on all the news channels 24/7 as the general election draws nearer because Trump will be talking about them. (Yes, Trump doesn't exactly have the moral high ground over Biden when it comes to sexual assault, but the difference is that his supporters don't care; maybe even like him more for it, while Biden's will tend to be discouraged.) And the DNC absolutely does not care: it was always more important to them to beat Bernie than it was for them to beat Trump. With Trump in office, at least they get to fund-raise on whatever his latest outrage is.
So now, my main question is how I'm going to waste my protest vote in the general. Howie Hawkins of the Green party is a good guy and a serious thinker; he'd be a viable candidate in a better timeline. But as a protest vote, he's pretty boring. I don't know if Gloria La Riva and Leonard Peltier will be on the ballot in my state, but you've got to appreciate a party with the stones to run a vice-presidential candidate who is in jail for the absolutely justifiable killing of two FBI agents. And I don't know if Vermin Supreme is going to be able to pull off a win in the Libertarian primary, but if he does, he's another good contender for a "fuck you" vote.
A few days ago, in the Intercept, John Schwarz wrote an article about how either party could harness Americans' legitimate anger for a victory. Well, half of that article is obsolete now. Read the section headed-up "Red 2021" to get an idea of the fresh hell that we're in for.
Is music really a thing anymore? I haven't been able to listen to any, because I have to keep my headphones off while I'm working to hear my kids starting to fight. You know what, fuck it. You're going to have to listen to "Send In The Clowns" because that's all we're getting from here on out.
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