Notes From the Pandemic, Day 31

For Sally and me, our world literally started to change exactly one month ago today. At around 5:00 AM in the morning, she got a text from the Loudoun County Public School system stating that schools were closing immediately. Unlike other school systems – such as Brandon’s, the Montgomery County Public School system – there was no notice a day or two in advance of the shutdown. Usually, when schools close for days at a time, it’s somehow weather related, and we parents can anticipate and prepare in advance. Although the news about the spread of COVID-19 was already becoming a little alarming, the suddenness felt like something of an overreaction.

In retrospect, it absolutely wasn’t. If anything, more schools across the country should have been making similar decisions with the same kind of speed.

For the most part, my life hasn’t changed appreciably. I’ve been working from home for over 10 years, most of my socialization has been online for much longer than that, and I’m an extreme introvert with a number of hobbies I can easily lose myself in for days. The biggest, most notable change is that Brandon has been with me for all but one week since the morning of March 14, and that he will be for the foreseeable future. As Cheryl, his mother, is a nurse, we all decided that he was better off staying with me until the time comes in which the chances of her bringing the virus home are much lower.

There’s much more I can write about, and I have every intention of doing so over the coming days and weeks. Given my track record of actually following through with other writing projects over the past decade, take that intention with the appropriate large grains of salt.

According to The Washington Post, as of 7:09 PM EDT this evening, at least 21,994 people in the United States have died since Feb. 29, when a 58-year-old man near Seattle became the first announced U.S. death.

I’m in a really foul mood at this moment.

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