What do you think is a better Zoom story? A fire during a work meeting, or losing a window during one? One of my coworkers had that happen today during high winds in the area, and it was, well, the biggest change of pace I’d had in many, many Zoom meetings since that time my own building caught fire. (Or maybe that time about a week later when a fan being used to dry out the walls in our hallway after the sprinklers/firehoses had thoroughly soaked them snapped a cord while I was speaking and I visibly startled on screen.)
I will admit I talked about the weather already way too much even before social distancing. This is why I even have the Meteorological Misanthropy tag in the first place! But, to my credit, I used to be clever enough to use the series as a “creative” framing device for whatever more serious topic I also planned to address related to it afterward.
Lately, if I tried to use today’s high winds as a “creative framing device” for a full post, I’d almost inevitably instead still find myself reduced to spewing 500 words commenting upon how there is a decent amount of published evidence that some types of viruses, including Kawasaki Disease, can “hitch hike” on air currents high in the atmosphere. Or that my initial hunch that today’s high winds would actually be more likely to disperse viruses than to “spin the ‘rona right round” (as several so-called Facebook experts** suggested via meme today) actually does have a bit of modest support from the literature, but most papers I read seem to find no major effects of wind speed on the transmission of common virus families either way.
Or maybe I’d even sink so low as to talk about how I searched for over an hour for some decent, not-behind-pay-wall, peer-reviewed papers about the effects of wind speed on coronavirus transmission to default link to those experts on Facebook just to be a rabble-rouser, but I was ultimately only able to find two papers about the impact of wind speed on covid-19 transmission specifically. Both used data from Wuhan; one included parts of Italy. One found no effects of wind speed, while the other found modestly higher infection rates two weeks later after sustained periods of lower wind speed. Both were also in “pre-peer-review pre-print,” so I didn’t ultimately think they were worth even the digital bits to link them on Facebook as evidence and everyone should take their conclusions with an extreme grain of salt. (I might also note that don’t have the mental bandwidth to discuss the drifting away from scientific rigor that “pre-peer-review pre-prints” might represent in the current Age of Misinformation, but I can still waste hours on a ridiculous research sidequest. Because hyperfocus is a thing.)
As I wouldn’t dare subject my readers to such mundanities just because I’ve been inside a month and my creative juices are slowly leaking, I’ll resort instead to a Brevity is the Soul of Apathetically. Have some more snippets from life in quarantine!
A commercial for the new TV show Eating History comes on
Lavender: “I’ll probably end up watching that. ‘It’s like eating the past’ sounds like something I’d say.”
Partner: “Yeah, I can see you eating all of the weird old foods just for the novelty of it.”
Lavender and Partner in unison: “Except when they do the Donner Party episode because you’ve got to have some standards.”
Partner holds up an issue-based sign we would have taken to a protest that arrived weeks after the protest was canceled anyway from the group supposedly organizing it
Lavender: “Didn’t we order that weeks ago? Oh, well, maybe we can save it for when we finally re-open this country enough we can resume our regularly scheduled protests over what the country has become again. You know, return to that real sense of normalcy in America.”
Partner: “Or it’ll make a great collectible in a future real-life Fallout game.”
Discussing how my Partner made a throwaway Twitter account that gets decent attention (defined here as roughly 30+ likes/shares per tweet) on recent tweets
Lavender: “Wait, that random account you made to mock the presidential primary debates gets more likes now on posts than the blog I’ve had for years? I’m designating you my social media taste maker. Say something witty. Lure in all of the followers with your brilliance!”
Partner: “Oh, you have actual followers? Yeah, I can’t help you with that. My account has two followers total. People don’t follow me on Twitter. I get a lot of likes and retweets, but nobody actually follows me because I’m just a political shit poster. I rant. You write about real stuff.”
Lavender (with eye rolls): “Like your family in the Apocalypse? Because that rant about Psalm 91:10 was so much more legit than your average Twitter post…”
Partner: “Hey, you don’t know for sure that Psalm 91:10 doesn’t actually work. Have you even tried putting lamb’s blood over your door? I mean, have you? If you haven’t, then can you really prove it doesn’t work? Hmm?”
Lavender: “Easter with you is going to be full of predictably unpredictable surprises, isn’t it?”
Lavender fills out her daily reality journal
Lavender (theatrically): “Did I know when I started it two years ago that my humble reality journal would someday become one of the only surviving non-digital records of humanity’s last hubris? No. I didn’t. But history has deemed me its record keeper, and I shall endeavor to be worthy of that faith. I shall do what I can to record my original sources for all of the corona entries in this record. For posterity. For now that history itself has chosen me, I can only hope that someday whichever sentient cockroach uses my reality journal as a primary record for its Anthropology PhD will appreciate the effort I went to in documenting my own media biases, so that it wouldn’t have to!”
Partner: “You know you won’t ever actually get that honor because even the sentient cockroaches won’t be able to decode your handwriting, right?”
Re-watching Wonder Woman
Diana’s Mom Onscreen: “Long ago when all of history was a dream, the Gods ruled”
Lavender: “So the Gods kept no history? Well, I guess that’s why they fell!”
Lavender and Partner in unison: “Those who don’t know history are doomed not to be re-priested!”
Lavender: “The weather forecast says we might have actually severe storms tomorrow warranting an actual severe thunderstorm warning…”
Partner: “There’s not going to be any funnel clouds. That’s a once yearly special event out here.”
Lavender: “But the forecast suggests it isn’t theoretically impossible. So, in the remote chance…”
Partner: “Yes, I will make sure we have masks ready so we can go chase a tornado on foot from a socially acceptable six feet from both all other humans and all active meteorological events.”
Lavender: “I love you, and you know you would even without me.”
Partner: “I never said I wouldn’t…”
**Who are probably still more qualified than the task force members of Trump’s committee to determine when to re-open America!
Need a recap of anything I’m talking about in any post? Check out my Glossary of Terms.