Saturday, March 28, 2020

Coronavrius In California: What's Normal Anyway and Update On Life

Bike ride through the city.  We did that today.  The ride was just like any I've had as far back as I can remember.  The only difference is that there are way less cars than before.  And the remaining cars on the streets are driving so fast I'm considering getting a camera mount for my helmet so I can record and report them.

It's been almost two weeks since the state and large cities like Los Angeles declare self-lock down and ordered temporary closures of nonessential businesses and activities and, on Friday, closed beaches, parks, and trials after thousands did not take the order and social distancing seriously and took to public places in large numbers.

It's a little different this Saturday compared to last weekend.  People are still going out but there is a feeling in the air that more people are taking the coronavirus pandemic, which started in Wuhan, Chia in early December (possibly late November) but was not reported by Beijing until January.  After all, it's been a week and the number of cases reported in the United States continue to increase out of control as more people are tested and hospitals become overwhelmed with patients suffer from more serious ailments.

This week, I started working from home.  In terms of productivity, I have to say that it's gone up, much to my surprise.  And without having to commute, I have time "after work" for a walk with my wife.  And as with the bike ride, social distancing is observed by everyone as far as I can tell.  What I found particularly was how neighbors who normally would be driving or going somewhere else are also walking and share friendly acknowledgements via a wave, a nod, or a "hello".

We still go out to get food.  Even before the order to stay at home, my wife and I cooked and ate mostly at home.  We go out on an average of one and a half times.  And if you made any trips to the market in the last few weeks, you'll noticed taped markings that are six feet apart on the ground with a friendly market employee or two keeping people reminding customers to practice social distancing.

And here are a few new normals during an pandemic:

  • Less driving means I'm saving on gas.  And gas has been dropping even before the number of cases exploded in the US due to Russia's attempt to crush the US oil industry and breaking from OPEC.
  • Less driving also means the air is nice throughout most of the day.  I mean, wow, I can see the mountains clearly for days now.  And it helped that we have been getting rain.
  • I had started stocking up months ago because we live in earthquake country.  So I got lucky.  I think people will continue to stock up even after the pandemic is over.  I've learned and I believe millions of other families have as well.
  • Walking.  I've always enjoy it.  Jogging as well.  And I think more people have rediscovered the joy of walking.  And perhaps once restaurants and malls reopen and public areas become more assessable, walking could remain more common.
One last thing.  Sure, some stuff are still unavailable at the supermarkets.  But I would say 90% of what need for day to day survival as available.  You might not be able to find your favorite brand of glass bottled organic 2% milk but if you are willing to walk to another store a mile away, you'll find organic milk available, in a carton.  And while cheap store branded beans are no longer available, more expensive brands are available.  It all depends on what you're looking for and if you are willing to pay an extra buck for it. 

Okay, really one more thing.  I promise.  The local news are good source to get information.  But some of the anchors and reporters are not helping with comments like "it's going to be a beautiful day tomorrow. Just look at the gorgeous view of the beach you are not allowed to go to behind me".  Seriously, right?

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