The Corona Chronicles, Week 4

Week 4. Overall, I feel like I’ve gotten into the rhythm of this new way of life. Friends have been setting up more and more video calls in the evenings, which is nice. I’ve got standing Zoom meetings set up for online board games twice a week, and my coworkers and I have been playing games during lunch.

Got some sweet new masks:

It was a very productive week overall:

  • Continued to build QuarantineBot:

  • Completed the campaign mode in Beat Saber. A very proud achievement.
  • Managed to somehow tweak my wrist playing said Beat Saber game. So I was icing up for a couple days. It’s fine now.
  • Upgraded my house twice in Animal Crossing.
  • Bought a GoPro Hero 8. Want to shoot some timelapses of the city during this time.
  • Bought my parents a Nest Hub Max and helped them set it up so we can video call more easily.
  • Organized several thousand old photos. Uploaded them to Google so they’ll show up on my parents’ new ‘Hub. Started a shared family album on Google Photos for our extended family.
  • I ran 19 miles this week. Which is right around where I want to be. The inertia of being inside so much has made it a struggle to drag myself out to the trails.

Also found some new Zoom backgrounds. My favorites so far are this Windows XP one with a submarine in it:

And anything with a giant cat:

The news

Oregon’s cases ticked up gradually and we currently have almost 1,000 known cases. The latest models actually show some good news for us. They’re not expecting a dramatic surge in cases here. Which is a rare exception. Cases in the U.S. have ballooned to over double the next-highest country, and continue to grow exponentially.

When I’m out on my runs, empty buses continue to roll by. Dozens of operators have called in sick, and there are massive cuts to service starting this month.

Our president announced that Americans should wear face masks…but that he won’t. The handling of this crisis has been such a patchwork shitshow in this country. Places where it hasn’t been a shitshow: Taiwan. Despite being in close proximity to Wuhan, they only have 329 confirmed cases.

It’s difficult to say when we’ll be out of quarantine. My prediction: Assuming a normal distribution, if Oregon cases peak in mid-May, it’ll be about two months to ramp down. Meaning we’ll be out of quarantine in late July or early August. But then there’s still the window between when we’re out of quarantine and when a vaccine is ready where we’re vulnerable as a population to further outbreaks. So it’s not clear what “normal” is even going to look like for the next year until that vaccine is ready.