Friday, March 20 2020
At some point today I learned (and told my two colleagues in the skeleton crew) that New York would be shutting down all workplaces deemed "non-essential." At first I took this to mean "immediately," but then I read further and saw that the shutdown would actually be taking place Sunday evening. This meant that we wouldn't even be having our skeleton crew next week; we'd have to do everything remotely. These tax imports are difficult to do with the crappy DSL-based internet I have at home, so I might actually need to come into the office occasionally all by myself just for the bandwidth.
In between imports (a process that is filled with delays as the data is crunched), I continued checking all my usual sources. Things were starting to feel grim, almost funereal. One of the guys I went to high school with posted something on Facebook about how he was bothered seeing all the posts bashing President Trump, so of course I had to chime in and say that we should never forget that Trump had six weeks to do something and instead told us things were "under control" while he did nothing, and now lots of people were going to die. I'd taken another 120 mg dose of pseudoephedrine, and that definitely played a role in my sense of dread. There was even a half-hour long phase this afternoon when I feared I was hitting the edge of what I could handle.
On the ride home, I drank a road beer I'd put in the car this morning. It was a Hazy Little Thing IPA, and, having been in the car in the shade all day, it was at a perfect temperature.
Temperatures were forecasted to reach up into the 70s today, but that didn't happen until this evening, well after I'd gotten home. When I arrived, temperatures were still in the 60s, but it was warmer outside than it was inside. So Gretchen had started a fire in the woodstove and she'd flung open the front door. There aren't many scenarios where this is a good idea, but this might've been one of them.
Later, Gretchen got out of the shower and said she needed her hair cut, the implication being that with all non-essential businesses closed for the pandemic, the only person available to do it was me. No problem, I said, and I matter-of-factly cut her hair in a contour around the back, about a half inch above the lowest point of her hairline in the middle of the back of her neck. She was a little disturbed by how nonchalant I was as I cut it. But, as I explained, this wasn't rocket science. She then wanted me to blend the layers by cutting into the edge of the cut-line at an angle, and I humored her by sort of doing that. It seemed like she was being overly-particular given that almost nobody would be seeing her haircut any time soon. "But I have to work on Sunday," she corrected me. True, she would be working on Sunday. But after that, the bookstore would be closed and she'd have no reason to go out into the world except to get provisions.
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