OK, I know I’ve been posting too much about this lately. I promise that this post will only be Coronavirus-adjacent, and not Coronavirus-centered.
First: one silver lining in this grey cloud is that I probably don’t have to worry about Real ID this year, since it’s now highly unlikely I’ll be traveling by plane any time soon. The Somerville DMV has been clogged lately, presumably due to demand for Real ID licenses, and they’ve been thinking about shutting it down on Saturdays, just because the parking situation has gotten so bad. (It seems to me like maybe having it open more often would be a better solution, but what do I know…) Also, NJMVC is granting automatic two-month extensions on all driver’s licenses expiring over the next few months, so if you’re worried about going to the DMV right now, you can put it off for a month or two, at least. (I’m only really posting about this to have an excuse to point out that someone either at Patch or NJMVC has created a dummy NJ license for “Renee Montoya,” living at “321 Gotham Avenue” in Trenton. As a big Renee Montoya fan [preferably, the original B:TAS version], I approve.)
Second item: I’ve been wondering what’s appropriate to do to help other people through this. Is it better to patronize small (or large) businesses right now, or should I just stay home? I got an eggplant parm from my local pizzeria last night, and it was pretty empty in there when I went to pick it up. I usually just buy two slices when I go in there, and I’ve definitely decided to put a moratorium on buying slices for now. Those things can sit out there on the counter for hours, and god only knows what gets on them. Right now, I’m trying to decide if I should go out and get a sub for lunch, or just stay in and make myself a sandwich. I like the guy who runs the local sub shop that I go to, and I don’t want him to suffer, but I also don’t know how clean he’s keeping things in there. I know that the cancellation of the St. Patrick’s parade is going to hurt some downtown bars and restaurants. And I see that they’re allowing free parking in the town lots for the next month, so maybe that’ll help.
And I worry about how much this thing is going to hurt independent musicians, artists, and cultural institutions. I’m not worried about the “big boys.” Apple and Disney will be fine. But I am a little worried about small-time musicians who make most of their money touring (since they get so little from streaming music), and maybe some independent comics creators who rely on convention sales to make some money and find new fans. So maybe I should pick up a couple of things from Bandcamp this weekend (maybe this, for instance), and maybe look into the #ECCCOnline thing (see here and here) and buy some comics.
Third item: I swear I’m not panic-buying anything, but I did pick up an eight-pack of bamboo toilet paper today, since it was the only kind of toilet paper they had left, and, OK, I guess maybe I panicked a little about the possibility that the whole “paper products situation” might not return to normal until after I’d exhausted the eight rolls I have in my pantry. So now I get to find out what bamboo toilet paper feels like.