MARCH 19, 2020
WHERE WE ARE AT NOW IN THE U.S. (per CDC) AT THE BEGINNING OF THE DAY…..
- Total cases: 7,038
- Total deaths: 97
- Jurisdictions reporting cases: 54 (50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands)
March 19, 2020
Had to come into work early.. to work a second 12 hour shift; worked 12 yesterday. The guards who called out were for other reasons and not the virus. Not bad really… swing shift and graveyard hours require no contact with the public other than an occasional homeless person or dog walker meandering through the area. The morning new is rather bleak for the hospital staffs around the country given they are running out of masks and supplies… and respirators, forget that. Med staffs are getting infected. The notable news is that CDC says med staffs can wear anything across the face… bandanas, scarves, etc. Our “guns or butter” economy will take a while to shift to respirators and face masks. CDC is saying the young are seemingly more vulnerable than originally thought. Apparently 20%-29% of those hospitalized are in the ages of 20 to 54.
I am seriously contemplating driving the 5 minutes to and from home to use the rest room rather than using the lobby rest room. It will mean I have to leave my post. While I have little issue with that as a matter of principle, it does put a quirk in our value as guards when the office is open. We shall see. Maybe as the first reports of local folks getting sick. Until then I can use the walkie to check if the lobby is clear before I go in. I am lucky I live only 5 min away.. so it would be about a 15 min round trip to take care of business. The other guards on other shifts are on their own… which pretty much bottom lines this entire crisis. People are naturally looking to their management for policy guidance but ultimately certain decisions will have to be up to each individual as management is equally as confused and far too slow to respond given they are locked on the mission and not the people. Garbage truck just showed up. Yesterday the paper shredding guy came by.. and the bottle water truck. Building maintenance guys came by to replace some ceiling bulbs. Some things still “look” normal. Our guard company.. our immediate local management… has had no comments or recommendations or general feedback regarding anything relating to this crisis. One would think someone would say something to the troops in the field… but that’s this industry performance record in general… poor communication. The sun is just now coming up. And so a new day begins.
Yesterday we had a sick child in the facility. Scheduled meetings generally take form of the foster parent(s) bringing the child to our facility as a scheduled time to meet with the parent(s) in supervised sessions of 1 to 3 hours, as determined by the court. In this case, the foster parent was unaware of the child’s discomfort.. and the child told their parent during the visit that she was not feeling good. So a staff worker told them all to leave the premises (there’s processes in place for foster care “parents” to get free health checks for children). I walked into the lobby on the way to the rest room and smelled the disinfectant spray staff used around the place.
The local grocery, representing the large California chain, has set aside 15 minutes before store opening for seniors only.. ostensibly to get a head start on the daily hoarding. Arlee called and said given our community has no known people yet affected, that it might be worth the seemingly lesser risk to head over to the store. While we are likely set with stuff we might need for a while.. she felt the need to go shopping for whatever might be needed to supplement what we already have. So she headed over there.. and she got there 5 minutes before that magic 15 minute door opening for seniors.. and she reported back the already long lines and all the shopping carts were taken. So much for social distancing. The presumptive speculation is that the grocery store re-stocked on something during the night. It’s gonna be a crap shoot she will likely bring home anything remotely necessary… and hopefully not the virus. Although, she’s of the ilk that when she gets home she will completely strip down, wash the clothes, take a shower, wash every package and can she purchased, and ask the Almighty for His divine intervention to shelter her from nasty germs… both in this life and the next. Who am I to cast doubt on the power of divine soap. (She is very frustrated the church has stopped services, which also served as her social outlet).
We are going into the afternoon with 11,000 affected now nationwide. I was given a copy of the county’s overall strategy for addressing the advance of the virus. It’s called a Business Continuation Plan…. and it is a fine, concise, and well-prepared report… as business reports go. It explained the priority of work to be performed, the forming of various teams with specific crisis “missions” in the workplace, actions to take given the county courts are closed, how communication was going to be carried out, and the CDC guidelines for personal hygiene and social distancing, A good county-wide plan.. and I know because I did many of these kinds of corporate plans in my past life in corporate management. After I read this.. the conclusion was self-apparent…. this plan has a “shelf life” of maybe till Monday because this disease will advance into staff at some point, the economic ramifications, and the social impacts are all going to change.. daily. But.. all we have right now is today in our current here-and-now unpredictability of our new reality. In a few hours things will change yet again.
Arlee did manage to return from her venture into the grocery store unscathed… physically. The crowds of hording seniors apparently were not unruly masses of humanity… yet. She did report that she managed to get things we didn’t have… although I’m being held in suspension until I get off work until I see for myself what will likely be my semi-apocalyptic meals. I suppose our exposure clock is now reset to two weeks again… or, we are carriers and just passed it on to all of them!
Would you believe it.. I need a rest room run and the lobby has people in it, with kids, doing their scheduled things. So I am forced to make a decision depending on my own level of uncomfortable relief desperation.. wait until the coast is clear, or, prepare to battle a possible unseen enemy swarming the lobby, looking to add my girth to their efforts to preserve their species, on my way to the rest room. I dare not utilize the nearby foliage for fear I would be exposed as an exposing perv and end up on some national watch list.
Ahhhhhh….. there IS a god.