The other day I saw this most excellent tweet:
I blogged a lot when my kids were young because the time was important to me and I wanted to keep track of it all. This is an important time too, and I’m going to try to keep track of it.
I suspect I learned about “the corona virus” about the same time and way as most Americans. It was on the news when Wuhan started getting bad. We watched every morning at it grew and grew. The city shut down, then the province. Then it started getting out of China.
Its first impact on my world was when WordCamp Asia 2020 was canceled in February. I wasn’t planning on going, but many people I know were either going to go or were working on it. Either way, it hit close to home.
Then it started popping up in other places, places I didn’t expect, like Italy. I assumed it would spread on the ground, and take a while.
We started to wonder if perhaps WordCamp Europe in June would be canceled. “Surely not!” we thought. But then it was. Not only that WordCamp Central strongly suggested that ALL WordCamps before 1 June, anywhere in the world, should be canceled. Sure enough, the emails started to roll in.
“It was a tough decision, but WordCamp X has decided to postpone until next year”
The Big Shift
It really started to hit home that things are going to be different now this last week. Here are some things that announced cancellation or long term closure just this week:
- The NBA
- The NFL
- Major League Baseball
- The NHL
- March Madness
And dozens and dozens of other very large things. Google has asked its ENTIRE workforce, globally, to work from home. Shopify has asked its entire workforce to work from home, AND offered $1000 to each employee for home office upgrades. That’s 5 million dollars.
Friday evening we went to the Apple store in the mall. One of the employees was telling he’d heard rumors that the entire mall would be closed.
The next day (yesterday) we went back to return a phone case. The Apple store was closed, but the doors were open. Standing in the doorway were two employees, and there was a taped off area 6 feet around them. They were explaining that the store would be closed for 2 weeks. Return times would be extended to take that into account. As it turns out, Tim Cook decided in the middle of the night Friday night to close all stores, except, ironically, in China, where things are getting better.
The rest of the mall was eerily quiet and nearly empty.
I heard today this could go on for six months. I think a lot of restaurants are going to close permanently. They can’t afford no income for six months.
The Toilet Paper Thing
Someone told me there was a run on toilet paper at a Costco. I laughed. There’s always some region that goes bananas and does something stupid like that. Then another friend said “Yeah, my costco has no toilet paper either!” Then another up north, where people are usually smarter than this said “Yeah, our local target has no toilet paper either!”
I thought “Really? REALLY?”. Then we went to our local Target and I peeked down the toilet paper aisle.
Not only that, we went to our small local grocery store. Same thing.
Yesterday things were better and I saw some on shelves, and my daughter was able to get a pack from the grocery store.
So far I have no fear at all, for a variety of reasons. One is that I have complete faith in God to handle things. Yes, terrible things are going to happen. If you want to know how I can reconcile that, let me know, I’d love to have a long conversation with you about it.
Another is that my own family are all quite healthy and robust. Even my in-laws in their 70’s are vibrant and strong. If we get this thing it’s going to just as miserable as all the other flu’s we’ve had and we’ll move on.
My only real feelings about the whole thing are both excitement and guilt.
Excitement because this is a momentous, historic, global thing that I’m getting to live through and experience. It’s like going through a huge snow storm.
Guilt because I know this time is going to SUCK for so many people. How dare I be excited for all that misery? But there it is. I watch the news in anticipation, like watching a sporting event. What will happen next?
I’d love your comments here, but I really do think we all need to be blogging like crazy right now. Our grand kids will thank us.