OK, this is my third post on Coronavirus and related topics. The last one was a full week ago though, so I’m not overdoing it. Lots of stuff has been going on this week. Lots of stuff has been canceled, people are hoarding toilet paper, and the stock market has tanked. You don’t need me to tell you any of these things, so feel free to skip this post if you’re tired of reading about Coronavirus. This post is more for my own sake than anyone else’s. I think that, maybe, if I write up my thoughts, it’ll help me process the barrage of news.
So, let’s see, where to start… Maybe with the “barrage of news” issue. Here’s an SMBC comic from today that addresses the issue of driving yourself nuts by spending too much time checking the news on your phone, instead of just getting on with your life. I am very guilty of this. I’ve had trouble concentrating at work the last few days, to be honest. And I’ve been having trouble sleeping this week. The sleep trouble isn’t all Coronavirus. It’s maybe equal parts Coronavirus, the DST change, and the recent change in weather. I’ve taken melatonin a few times this week, in the hopes that it would help with the time shift, and I think it does help me fall asleep, but it doesn’t help me stay asleep. I’m hoping I can get a bit more stable next week.
I’ve been keeping an eye on what’s canceled or closed, and what’s not. At this point, it looks like pretty much everything that involves 200+ people gathering together in the same place is going to be canceled/closed. Classes have been canceled at most NJ colleges, including Rutgers and NJIT. My old college, RPI, has canceled classes. Most stuff in NYC is going to be shut down, since they just banned gatherings of more than 500 people.
Locally, the Somerville St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been canceled. (I’m surprised at how long it took them to decide to cancel it.) Somerset County has a page set up with local information on Coronavirus. NJ.com has had some useful coverage; here’s today’s update. I see that there’s a case in Bridgewater.
For general information, FlattenTheCurve.com is kind of useful, though a little scary. The Ars Technica guide is pretty good. There’s plenty of other good resources out there too. (But it’s easy to fall down a hole reading too many of them…)
A lot of tech companies have pretty much told everyone to work from home, if possible. My company still hasn’t closed any offices or warehouses, though, and they’re generally encouraging people to come into the office as usual. (They did just announce today that, if you have kids and their school is closed, and you need to take care of them, you can work from home.) I have a feeling things may evolve next week, and a large portion of our staff may be working from home. We’ll see.
Meanwhile, people are panic-buying toilet paper and hand sanitizer. I guess I should hold off on any visits to Costco any time soon. I’m actually a little worried about how far the panic buying has gone. I think I have enough of everything to get through a couple of weeks of being holed up in my apartment, but it might be a little rough. I’m in a small apartment, and I don’t generally don’t buy stuff in bulk. I’m hoping I can do my usual shopping this weekend without too much hassle, and maybe pick up a few extra items to help me get through, if I can’t shop next weekend. Just in case. (But I’m not going to buy 100 rolls of toilet paper. Even if I could.)
And, finally, there’s this week’s stock market meltdown. Today was the worst day for the market since 1987. I’ve been keeping an eye on my accounts, and… wow. Things are looking bad. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not retiring any time soon, so there’s plenty of time for the market to bounce back.
Well, I’d hoped that getting all of this stuff out onto the blog might help me clear my head. But nope. I’m still pretty stressed. Maybe I can decompress with some comics or a funny podcast or something.