Tues. March 24, 2020: Stay in Motion At Home

Tuesday, March 24, 2020
New Moon

Things are changing, moment to moment.

Last Wednesday was a roller coaster, work-wise. I broke up with one client, who refused to let me write a newsletter remotely. She wants all her people on site so she “knows they’re working.” She doesn’t believe this virus is serious; thinks it’s a “liberal hoax.”

I told her I wasn’t coming in. She told me she wouldn’t pay me if I wouldn’t come in. I said I wasn’t going to put my life and my family’s lives in danger to write her newsletter, and it was best she hire someone else. She told me that I would come crawling back to her when this was all over. I told her that no, I wouldn’t. I’m done with her.

Yesterday, she got in touch to tell me she would “let” me write the newsletter from home — but she wasn’t going to pay me. Her policy is that she only pays people who work on site. Let me point out that her business falls into the “non-essential” category and ALL her employees could work from home if she’d let them. I told her I wasn’t going to work for free. On top of the fact that I no longer worked for her AT ALL. When I told her I was done last week, I meant it.

The client who was away last week is going to self-quarantine for two weeks upon her return, so at least we got that sorted out. Not that I think there should be any sort of contact, even beyond that. We’ll take it from there, but I have a feeling that relationship is close to ending, too.

Also found out that someone who was an important part of my life during a turbulent period (but with whom I lost touch the past few years), died at the end of February (not from the virus; he’d been ill for a long time). On Thursday, I found out an acquaintance in CT shot himself in January.

Kind of a lot of emotional stuff going on the past few days.

Thursday was cold and rainy. I worked remotely, finished one of the books for review, worked on contest entries, had a decent writing day.

So GOP Senators hid the information about the pandemic so they could profit by selling stocks. Gee, what a surprise. There need to be serious, serious, and long-range consequences for that.

A local paper ran an irresponsible article on how grocery stores can’t keep their shelves stocked — way to incite more panic-buying, guys. No reason the headline and the story couldn’t have been framed to show how those workers are busting their asses to keep us all supplied. But no– go for the panic headline.

Friday morning, I had to swing by the post office to mail some bills because the mail truck drove right past the last few days. Then, it was off to put gas in the car, and head to Trader Joe’s.

They were only letting in a few people at a time. Most of us formed a line and kept a safe distance. One woman behind me kept getting to close and trying to cut in front of me until I told her to back off.

Inside, everyone was keeping a safe distance. The staff was lovely. Things were stocked, and they’re limiting shoppers to 2 of each item, or 1 full cart total. I didn’t need all that much — although I realized I’d forgotten flour, once I was through the checkout. Too bad for me. I’m on my last 5 pounds of it, but that should get me through the week. No chicken, either — bags of pieces, but not whole chickens.

Target was next — garbage bags, Murphy’s oil soap, looking for liquid Tylenol (they were out). Again, people keeping a safe distance, plenty of cleaning wipes.

Shaw’s last. No flour to be found in the whole store, and barely any other baking supplies. Good that people are baking. No powdered milk left, and the condensed was very expensive. But I got the real thing at Trader Joe’s, so we’re okay this week. But I managed to get a whole chicken (they just put them out) and a bag of popcorn (kernels – I cook it in a pot on the stove). Again, people were considerate and distanced in the store — for the most part. Except in line, where people kept trying to cut the line because of that distance, and think it was funny. Also, people were panic buying in Shaw’s — twelve multi-packs of toilet paper and the like. People are still panic buying TP for some reason.

It was so foggy I could barely find my car in the parking lot.

Came home, scrubbed down, scrubbed the items, scrubbed the bags, scrubbed the car. Was a complete wreck.

I made a spinach-bacon-tomato-egg salad for lunch, based on something I had a few years ago at Kripalu.

I settled in to work on contest entries, which was fun. And did a good immune system strengthening yoga sequence in the afternoon. Spent quality time with Tessa, did some work with Charlotte. Charlotte’s shown improvement this week. She and Tessa still have issues, but overall, Charlotte is improving. Willa just copes.

Cooked dinner (salmon patties, rice, spinach). Watched a video, read.

Good evening meditation. I’m leaning on my yoga and meditation practices a lot.

Trying to make some decisions about a couple of work issues moving forward. Trying to move a few things around, to make it easier and more productive to keep working from home, and to shed the clients who demand I put my life in danger to work for them.

Up early Saturday. Good morning yoga and first writing sessions. Got the next book to review. Worked on entering data from the contest entries I’ve read.

Broadway is stepping up. The wardrobe union is in touch with Cuomo’s office to make masks for the healthcare workers. Since Trump won’t help with the supply chain, Broadway stitchers are stepping up. The union is coordinating — not yet sure if it’s just NY or on a national level. Because it’s not just finding a pattern on the Internet and using scraps you find around the house. There are specific specs, and one has to figure out how to get them to the coordinators and when and where the masks will be sterilized. Jo-Ann Fabrics is also supposedly supplying fabric and coordinating efforts nationwide.

Got some writing done over the weekend, read and reviewed another book, worked on contest entries. I’m almost done with one category, and then can focus on the rest of the other.

I should have done yard work on Sunday, but I didn’t.

Monday, one of my remaining clients and I strategized on how we will keep her business afloat. I was worried about stress from her, but it was a good conversation.

Came home and my mother and I had to go in-person to the bank to handle some signatures they needed to notarize in case something happens to one or the other of us. That doesn’t help our stress levels, either. It’s terrifying and necessary. And heart-breaking.

Andrew Cuomo’s briefings are what’s the most helpful right now. While he gives specifics to New York, he sets out plans that can be adapted across the country. He also deals with the emotional fallout of all of this. He is calm, direct, fact-based, states when something is an opinion, and reassuring.

I’m imagining the Javits Center set up as a field hospital. Mind-blowing.

Then, you have the Narcissistic Sociopath, who is withholding supplies from blue states and refusing to put the DPA into effect. He’s using his daily press conferences (for which he’s ALWAYS late) as his substitute rallies. He needs to STF up and get out of the way, so professionals can save lives. Then there’s Rand Paul, running around infecting people until he tested positive (he gets a test, asymptomatic, while people near death can’t)? Rand Paul claims to be a doctor, but this behavior makes me suspect his degree is off the back of a matchbook. Either that, or he didn’t take his medical Oath seriously. We already know he doesn’t take his Constitutional one seriously.

McConnell’s Slush Fund Bill, that failed in the house on Saturday night, was a travesty. Does nothing for workers, especially those at the bottom of the wage-earning scale (most of whom are the ones keeping us functioning). Allows Mnunchin to give Trump and other cronies billions of dollars without transparency. It needed to fail.

We need Basic Universal Income — the same for EVERYBODY, not tied to two year old tax returns. We need it THIS WEEK, before the bills are due. We need rents, evictions, mortgages, telecommunications, and utility bills suspended until it’s safe to go back to work out and about.

All of these corporations screaming for bailouts — they got an enormous tax break a few years ago. They could have put it back into their business, investing in workforce and building up a reserve against future downturns. They CHOSE not to. They CHOSE to line executive and shareholder pockets and ignore the workforce.

The pandemic is not a surprise. For my entire adult life, scientists have warned us something like this would happen. I had hoped it wouldn’t in my lifetime, but it has. Even if corporations had put a single-digit percentage of their overblown profits into a disaster fund, they would have billions in reserve by now to get through this and get their workers through this. They CHOSE not to.

Don’t reward them by giving them blank checks. They keep proving they can’t manage money or their workforce. Stop rewarding them for being lousy executives and managers.

We need to remember the companies, on large and small scales, who are treating their people like crap during this. And hold them accountable.

I’m plugging along on various writing projects. It’s difficult to know what or where to pitch articles right now. Things are changing quickly. My versatility is a plus in all this change, but I also want to make sure nothing comes across as tone-deaf.

Speaking of tone-deaf, my mother got a harassing mailing from a company selling hearing aids. It started with, “You want us to send out a search party?” because she hasn’t responded to any of their previous harassing mailings. Then, it DEMANDS she attend a sales presentation this week. In person.

They can take that mailing and shove it. How dare they? How DARE they send out something like that to elderly people at a time like this?

Their defense will be that it went out before all this happened. No, hon, it didn’t. Your address is up the street. I was in contact with them to rip them a new one, and filed a grievance against them with the state AG. This is unacceptable.

On a happier note, I have the #31Prompts going up every morning at 11 AM. If anyone wants to use them as a jumping off point for creative work, please do.

We are taking it day by day, hoping for the best. I wish every trip outside wasn’t so fraught, because there are still people running around acting like it’s a hoax. They’re killing people.

And the Narcissistic Sociopath is killing people — and ENJOYING IT, along with his grifting family and white supremacist staff. They must be held accountable for every single death.

The staying home, working from home, not interacting — that part is all fine. I’m a skilled, reliable, experienced remote worker. I can keep a somewhat normal schedule and just not run out to the store “for just one thing.” I’m trying to go out only once or twice a week. I can set a schedule for writing work and freelance work and meet that schedule. I can work on purging the basement as soon as I can lift things again, and get ahead on that. I am happy at home. I like cozy. I can work in the yard once it gets a little warmer. Staying on my own patch, working, and keeping myself on an even physical and emotional keel is fine. I’m an introvert.

But it’s the demands that I keep putting my life on the line for other people’s convenience, when they don’t want to do their part, that’s so infuriating.

Fingers crossed we make it through another day.


Published in: on March 24, 2020 at 6:01 am  Comments (1)  

One Comment

  1. Hope you and your mum stay well.
    I found an old pair of nylon gloves that I wear when I have to hit the grocery store. It helps remind me to be cautious about my hands. When I get home I wash the gloved hands, hang the gloves up to dry, and then wash my hands. We’re all going to get a bit ocd before this is over,

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