Friday, March 13, 2020

wild west

Where to begin.

Has there been a stranger week than this one?

I get up early this morning to go to the grocery.  I am in the store at 7.  It is packed. Mobbed. I get my items and stand in line for 20 minutes. I look behind me and see the slackers who arrived at 730. They will wait til the cows come home to check out.  I leave the grocery and roll my cart to the car.

Two women follow me. It is not because I look hot in my sweatshirt.  They want my cart.  It is 735. In this grocery the size of Kansas, with carts enough for all the people in Lichtenstein, there are no carts. I could sell mine and buy a Buick.

On Monday I taught a regular class.  On Tuesday the university issues a statement indicating that we would continue to teach classes on ground. However, faculty in high risk categories are urged to stay home. They list what is high risk. I am high risk in two categories. How did that happen?  I am not the nervous type when it comes to health scares. I read that I am high risk, however, I get antsy. I go in anyway on Wednesday, but at noon am intercepted by a student who tells me the school has gone on-line.

I go home to find out that the NCAA has cancelled March Madness.  And then the NBA has suspended its season as has Major League Baseball. Now I am genuinely nervous.  I figure with all the shekels that are at stake with the NCAA tournament, the NBA, NHL, and major league baseball--someone has got to know something that is not minor to stop the flow of dough.  Businesses like professional sports teams are not wholly altruistic, they must know something.  And, ho hum, the stock market drops 3000 points in two days. What to worry? I have some quarters in my car. I think.

I turn on the set at 3 pm today, and am comforted by our president. Not.  If I had to teach an advanced course in Physics, I would have had it more together, and Physics and I, in high school, were not on the best of terms. This guy is a caricature.  I've heard detractors call him Pinocchio. I think Clarabell is more apt. If Pinocchio and Clarabell did the slow dance, maybe this would be the offspring. (Pinocchio promised to pull out).

You can fly to Florida now for 59 dollars. And, no doubt, have the whole plane to yourself.  Just last Saturday, six days ago, I sat on a packed plane and paid more than twice as much to return from Florida. And I got a good deal with that price.

At the grocery store today, one which is typically packed with foodstuffs, people were yanking food off the shelves like the next time they intended to shop would be for Thanksgiving.  The woman in front of me at the check out spent 250 dollars.

Everything is dark in town. The theaters, the universities. Today I received a mailing that the local library will be closed after today.  I checked for the libraries in the area. They are all shutting down.  Boston Public Schools are closing on Tuesday and are opening, wait for it, April 27th.

Now we are just stunned. Wait until people stop getting paid because the theater has shut down, nobody is going to restaurants, people are afraid to go get a haircut, the actors in the plays are unemployed,  the people who work in the cafeteria are told to go on furlough.  Pilots, stewardesses.  You feel sad because your trip to aruba is cancelled. how do you think the poor shlamazel who busts his ass for 9 months out of the year to get his resort ready for three months in the winter feels.  Major league baseball cancels. We are sad. You know who is really sad. The guy who sells the peanuts outside and who counts on selling peanuts to pay the rent.

Hold onto your hats.

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