I left my apartment tonight. I again had feelings of guilt and danger run through my head. I waited until 1:30am to leave. I had to take out my garbage and I wanted to get my mail because I knew my mortgage renewal was in my mailbox.
Normally, I would have taken out my garbage out more than a week ago but I decided to play it safe. Unfortunately, my garbage had some plastic wrap that been used in packaging raw beef and fish. That stuff always smells really quickly. My temporary solution was to take the full garbage bag and then place it inside another garbage bag. It was doubly-sealed at this point, so it stopped smelling. I then placed it in an empty corner of my kitchen, where it wouldn’t get in my way.
The primary goal of leaving my apartment tonight, however, was to get my mail, so I took advantage of that and just brought my garbage with me. I waited until almost 2am because there would less people around, lowering my chances of running into another person. To even further decrease my chances of being close to another human being, I took the stairs down.
Both the garbage room and mail room were empty. I tossed my garbage and threw out over a week’s worth of flyers and junk mail. There were two actual pieces of mail in my box: my latest paystub and my mortgage renewal letter. At this point, I had two choices of how to get back upstairs, the elevator and the stairs. The stairs would have been slightly safer but I was already dead tired and the prospect of going up 28 flights of stairs this late filled me with sadness. At this hour, the elevators would probably be empty. I took my chances with the elevator. As I expected, no one got on with me and I took it straight up to my floor.
I’ll spend a bit of tomorrow going over the mortgage renewal terms and I’ll begin contacting mortgage brokers. If there is the slightest silver lining in all of this craziness, it’s that my next mortgage should have very favourable terms for me.
April was going to be the month where I had to go into the dentist for my regular cleaning. That obviously is not going to happen. Dentist offices are closed across the country. Only under extreme dental emergencies can one see a dentist. Even then, a person must go to a dental clinic that has full personal protective equipment for the dentist and any hygienists. Most clinics do not have that. A cleaning is not a dental emergency, so my appointment will be postponed.
I suppose I am not alone. The world is essentially on-hold for countless events and appointments. Weddings, vacations, graduations, minor medical procedures, romantic dates, sports, etc. and the list goes on.
This usually isn’t the case but I look forward to the next time I can be in the dentist chair because that must mean the world would have returned some semblance of normalcy.
It rained, at times heavily, for most of the day today. I was thankful for it. The rain probably kept more people inside than if it were sunny. For the people that were out, an umbrella automatically enforces social distancing, so that’s good too. If I could have it my way, it’d be rainy every day until all of this is over.
Tomorrow is Friday, which means another work week is over. I will have worked from home for two and a half weeks now. I think a lot of work from home records will have been broken before we see the end of this.
Starting this weekend, I need to figure out how to get some more exercise. I’ve been pretty stationary now for almost three weeks. I have some weights here in my apartment I feel like cardio would be better. The other option is to walk down the stairs in my building and then walk back up. That’s great cardio but I’d have to go outside my apartment. I could minimize the risk but going late at night, there would be little chance of seeing anyone else in the stairwells with me. How big of a risk would that be? The fact that I’m not sure how dangerous it would be to walk down and back up some stairs really highlights what a difficult world we live in currently.
Exercise or not, I am looking forward to the weekend.
I went outside today and I hadn’t even planned on it. I had a package from Amazon arriving today and I was sure it would go to the post office and not directly to my building. What a surprise it was when the intercom went off on my phone this morning and there was a postal worker on the other end. They were downstairs with my package. Without thinking, I said I’d be downstairs right away. Downstairs!?!?! That meant going outside. I hadn’t left my apartment in about five days.
I quickly got dressed. I should have washed my hands before leaving my apartment but I forgot. My apartment building is now limiting a maximum of two people in the elevator at one time. Luckily, no one else was with me on the way down. It felt almost surreal to be in the elevator, to be outside. I got down to the lobby and saw a postal van parked right outside. The postal worker was waiting for me. I stepped outside in to the fresh air for the first time in what seemed forever. It felt odd and it almost felt wrong to be there. I quickly grabbed my package and went right back upstairs. Again, I was lucky to not have to share the elevator with anyone.
Once I return to the safety of my apartment, I quickly washed my hands thoroughly, even though I had used my hoodie sleeve as a barrier for any handle, switch, and button I had to touch. It felt risky to even just step outside my building for less than a minute. Life is so different now.
I will need to go outside again fairly soon as I need to get some groceries. I hope it goes smoothly and without incident.
I’m hanging in there but I am definitely hankering for some fresh air at this point. I’ll probably go out on my balcony tomorrow but what I’d really like is a walk outside. I feel, however, a twang of guilt every time I go outside now. I came up with the idea of going for a walk between midnight and 4am. To be safe as possible, I’d avoid the elevator and take the stairs down. I’d avoid touching any door handles and use my sleeves to manipulate them. Once outside, I’d be alone on the street, free to get some fresh air.
It’s after midnight as I write this and from my window, I can’t see a single person on any of the streets visible. Hell, I’d be hard pressed to even find a car right now. Well, it’s something I’ll consider some more in the next few days.
I didn’t leave my apartment all weekend. I’m probably one of many people who did the same as well. Some people don’t seem to have adhered to the program though. On Saturday afternoon, a beautiful and sunny one, I saw a group of young people, sitting on the grass just off the sidewalk. There were about four of them, sitting right next to each other, as if on a picnic. What were they doing? Do they all live together or did they eventually leave and then go back to their respective homes? The mind boggles.
Maybe it should come as no surprise, but my weekend wasn’t that exciting. I spent it cleaning, cooking, playing video games, listening to podcasts, and watching YouTube. On the topic of podcasts, there are some that I’ve just started to listen to and there’s more than a year’s worth of weekly episodes to catch up on. In the “before times”, I’d maybe listen to four episodes on a weekend at best. In the last week, I was able to listen to nearly 30 episodes of one podcast and now I’m all caught up. Just started another one this weekend as well.
I cannot imagine how this would have played out had this pandemic happened in the pre-Internet days. People would be on the phone a lot more. Information would come from the TV and radio mainly. Part of me thinks that might have been better. There wouldn’t be idiots spreading misinformation or stupid conspiracy theories. The advent of the Internet means that morons have an incredible ability to contact other morons, whereby they all furiously masturbate over their wild stories and twisting of the real truth. How did we get here?
Well, Monday is the start of another week. Another weird week, where I pessimistically think there might not be a whole lot of good news. Good luck to everyone out there, stay safe, stay inside, and wash your damn hands.
I’ve now worked from home for over a week. This is the longest I’ve worked from home continuously by a wide margin. I didn’t need anything from the outside world today, so I stayed inside all day and night. Out of all the days I’ve been working at home, today I was probably the most productive. That’s not really saying much though, all things considered.
During these last few days of surreal isolation I’ve noticed some interesting habits that I’ve developed. The first is that I’ve stopped letting my dirty dishes pile up in the sink. I’m not sure if it’s been a by-product of the necessity of being super hygienic and clean in these times but as soon as a plate and maybe three utensils make it into the sink, I’ve got the gloves on and I’m washing them. In the “before times”, I’d stack four or five plates on top of each other plus a bouquet of utensils in the sink before I’d even consider doing dishes. I might have also developed this habit because I just have a lot more time on my hands now. I’m home all day and I just have so many more opportunities to wash my dishes.
Since I basically see no one now, I will sheepishly admit that I might go a day or two before showering. It’s not like I’m getting sweaty and working out in my apartment (maybe I should), so going a day without showering isn’t that big of a sin. Also, this way I’m saving on soap, which might be a critical resource in the near future.
Well, it is time for bed. I wonder if this is anything like minimum-security prison.
Life has gotten tougher for most people now and I’m sorry we’re all going through this. I have tried to put myself in other people’s shoes and walked a mile in them. Other people are facing more challenges than I. I still have a job and my company has been wonderful in trying support its employees while we all try to work at home. In the last few days, they announced that most employees who are working at home are eligible to spend up to $265 CAD on office equipment or supplies to help them improve their work environment. We’re free to buy a new desk, chair, monitor, or even noise-cancelling headphones. That’s a lot of money to spend on us and I know many companies are going to take a massive hit on their bottom line next but they gave us the money anyways.
We’re schedule to work at home for about another two weeks and if I were optimistic, I would love to think we’ll be returning to work after that. There’s a part of me that thinks that’s not going to be realistic. We might be doing this for quite a while.
I wish I could do more for the people who are holding society together right now. That includes public health officials, governments workers from all levels, medical workers, people working grocery stores and supermarkets, delivery drivers, and basically anyone who is involved in keeping our supply chains running smoothly.
One day in the near future, I hope they’ll all get the recognition they deserve.
So, I discovered my recent computer problems have nothing to do with failing components on my end. A Windows 10 update that was pushed by Microsoft onto users is causing lots of trouble for a significant amount of people. I Google’d my problem today and found that many others were having the exact same issue. The issue even popped up on my laptop today. It was then I realized there’s no way both my desktop and laptop would have the exact same type of component failure. It had to be a software update.
I managed to uninstall the faulty update on my laptop but the issue is a bit more complicated on my desktop. I can start the process but removing the update requires me to reboot my desktop, which currently is very unstable at this point. Technically, if the update is remove, rebooting shouldn’t be a problem but I don’t trust Microsoft at this point. As my desktop is a mission critical piece of equipment since I’m working from home for the next several weeks, I can’t risk the procedure until probably the weekend. Even it succeeds, there one last step I need to do. I’m actually running Windows on a spare mechanical drive instead of my SSD, so if this works, I still have to clone the drive back onto my SSD, and put my SSD back into my desktop.
Then the longer term issue is how long before Windows fixes that update with a real fix. Or do they even bother doing that? Is my desktop going to work just until I’m forced to update again? I don’t really need these computer headaches, especially when a computer is vital link to the world during this global pandemic.