Monday, July 13, 2020

Comet, It Makes You Vomit

If life ever does return to something resembling normality, it is going to take quite the effort convincing my body to keep regular sleeping and waking hours. Most nights I attempt going to sleep by 11PM, but somehow that seems to be the only time my teenager wants to have anything to do with me. He only rolls out of bed by 3 PM at the earliest, more often only in time for the evening meal. I understand. Perhaps he's found the best approach to the pandemic is sleeping through as much of it as possible. School will resume soon enough (Though we still don't know if that will be physically or virtually) and he'll adjust, but for the moment there seems only benefit from extra sleep. Most teenagers are on the deprived end of the sleep scale. 

So we'll talk, or Dan will. I don't have anything encouraging to offer, but sometimes just getting it verbalised is helpful. These generation Z kids take no prisoners though, I'll tell you that much. That's good-someone should be holding those in power to account. 

The past few days we've been getting up at 4 AM to try and catch a glimpse of the comet Neowise. Our skies in Omaha are fairly dark and we have good views, but we've been thwarted by clouds. This morning I thought we might do better driving out to the country and getting to a higher, more open space above the tree lines. It was a better view, generally but still obscured by clouds. We'll keep trying as long as it is there-we need something to do. We've had clear views of Venus, and several constellations so perhaps the clouds will shift enough on the horizon to give us a chance. 

He went straight to bed when we got home at sunrise. I made tea, and decided to just get on with the day.  Whatever optimism I might have started the day with at 4 AM was quickly diminished by a quick glance at the morning news. It feels foolish to even bother looking, but there's always a chance that a  useful cure will be found, only to have that hope dashed quickly by reports that whatever immunity is derived from antibodies lasts a far shorter time than suspected. How do you keep boosting a vaccine that only lasts but a few months? I'm an anthropologist, how the fuck should I know? I took biology at school like everyone else, but I wouldn't claim expertise. That hasn't stopped politicians and pundits with even less science background offering their thoughts on the subject as facts. It is all so terribly depressing. 

I showered and got dressed. Made the bed because for the time being it is my office as Mr. Eat The Blog is working downstairs. It is a king sized bed with plenty of room to spread out, and my night table is an antique child's desk with room for a lamp, a mug of tea, and other items. There's a north-east facing window that gets the morning sun without heating up the room too much, so that's pleasant enough. Sometimes I take outfit photos for Instagram, but with such an early start this morning I don't much feel like putting on makeup. I'll work until three or so, then start thinking about making dinner. By then, Dan will be starting to wake up, and the local Covid numbers will be getting posted by the health department for the day. They're not really going up, but they're not decreasing either. We've plateaued more or less in Omaha, but that's poor consolation to the families of those two or three people that seem to die daily. We're doing better than the rest of the country though, so it feels rude to complain. 

Tomorrow I have a visit to the dentist-it could only be delayed so long. I'm hoping that the lull we seem to be in will last long enough for me to deal with what needs attention before the next, almost certainly inevitable lockdown comes.  They're taking precautions, and I have the first appointment of the day in an office that hasn't yet been breathed on! In a strange way, I'm looking forward to it. Getting out is getting out at this point. I'll take whatever distraction I can get.

I wonder how we'll fill our time once the comet is gone? Chasing after something elusive is about all there is to sustain us, be it cures for the seemingly incurable, or snowballs of ice and ammonia, their tails reflected in the sun. 

That last paragraph is a horribly over-written attempt at being thoughtful. Maybe I should get some sleep. 


Mim said...

I hope all goes well with the dentist, and it's good to know that Omaha's relatively low for Covid. Our government's stopped announcing the numbers each day, presumably in the hope that if they ignore it it'll go away... I'm expecting a second wave anyhow, to the point we've got things like a sack of pasta and a mega box of catfood in permanent storage so we'll never get caught out.

Now get some sleep!

Vix said...

Comet looks like something Orange Boy might enjoy injecting into himself.
Aren't you the best mother, driving to the countryside to go comet spotting? I heard about it on the news this morning but our skies have been so cloudy of late I doubt if we'll ever see it.
We don't get our daily figures any more, it's something I actively have to hunt out if I've got the will to look.
You write beautifully. xxx

Polyester Princess said...

We haven't been comet watching as I'm unable to stay awake for long or get up early enough. Sleeping seems to be the thing I can do best lately, so I'm totally with Dan, even though I'm not a late sleeper at all. We have plateaud here as well, but now it seems we are going up slightly, which is very worrying and depressing. I'm trying to avoid the news as much as I can, especially that of the scaremongering kind, to stop myself from panicking. My dentist checkup which was supposed to be in March was postponed indefinitely. Not sure if it would be something I'd be looking forward to. Wishing you good luck for tomorrow! xxx

Emily said...

Au contraire, that last paragraph was beautifully written and so poignant!

Though it feels weird now, perhaps we'll all look back at the pandemic ten years from now and fondly remember some of the nice things we did for friends and family, or some of the creative ways we passed the time when our normal activities were no longer feasible and safe. Things like the comet hunt.

Hope you have a safe and pleasant appointment at the dentist tomorrow. My local acupuncture clinic reopened last week, and I booked several appointments for the month of July, all of them bright and early in the morning, because I figured it would be safest at that time. I've had insomnia for months, and acupuncture works like a charm.

It's such a treat to see three blog posts from you in one week!

Bibi Maizoon said...

My life seems as eventful as yours. No hope of comet watching whilst the Monsoon is monsooning. The boys sleep til lunch at 2 pm, then go back to sleep til dinner. Nepal is holding steady with only 38 deaths due to C-19. The mysterious "powers that be" surreptitiously banned all Indian news media here in Nepal last week. This is thought to be in retaliation for India's attempted ouster of the current Nepali Prime Minister Sharma-Oli, India thinks PM Oli is getting too close to China. After failing to get PM Oli to resign, India is now trying to split the ruling Nepal Communist Party. China is now miffed at Nepal too for accepting $500 million in grants from the US government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). I hope India and/or China don't blockade the border again so we can't get gas cylinders & medicines. And on top of all that the rains have been so excessive that flash floods & landslides killed 12 people in our district in the last 5 days. WTF next!
Hope all goes well on your dental visit. Love reading more blog posts from you!

Señora Allnut said...

As Vix said, You Write Beatifully!.
Totally understand Dan's approach to these times, sleeping through some months looks like a wise idea. I'd do it if possible!.
And I admire your determination to wake up at 4Am. totally amazing!.

bahnwärterin said...

hope the appointment at the dentist was not to bad.....
sleeping thru bad times is a very good way - i did this in the most harsh times of my life. it helped to survive. and i want to do it again - but there is a husband, a cat and a garden....
i wish you strength and patience (esp. with yourself!) to go thru this stange times! xxxx

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

Good luck at the dentist...

Comet watching sounds like a fab way to pass the time especially if you don't sleep well. Maybe you could become serious twitchers; I bet you have fabulous bird life in Omaha. Most teenagers could earn in a degree in sleeping.

Yes, the news is awful and yes it's a shame about the shortened immunity period; but I assume we will have to have boosters? I can cope with that - especially if it's on a sugarcube...I don't know jacksh*t about vaccines but I have to say I don't have huge amounts of confidence in our government to organise it all. We'll see.

Take care

Beth Waltz said...

I did keep my semi-annual dental appointment and I was reassured by their new normal protocols. Good for you, getting that prized first slot of the day! Here's hoping you'll soon be eating more than tea and toast.
We're holding steady on the Covid-19 numbers. The virus is behaving fairly predictably: hold a large gathering, wait three weeks, count casualties. This is encouraging more prudent behavior among our citizens than one might otherwise anticipate. The noisiest debate is about how to re-open the schools. One of the largest districts in the capital county has opted for 100% online instruction, while it appears this will be the choice of one-third of the remaining student population. Child-care options for the littles remains a nightmare for working parents: no happy choices here.
Meanwhile, I appreciate the mindset of those pith-helmeted explorers in ancient National Geographic magazines, the ones who wore suits and ties in the desert, drank tea from china cups, and dressed for dinner served in a tent. Teens excepted, it's self-imposed domestic order that holds one together in the face of a chaotic outer reality. (And THAT is an over-written attempt at being thoughtful!)

Goody said...

Building up supplies is always a good idea. Make sure you use them though-things expire before you realise it. I've had to re-train myself to constantly check dates and then add things to the list as I use them. It feels like a full time job keeping track.

Thank you.
They're now blatantly hiding the numbers from the public ordering hospital tallies reported to the White House rather than the CDC! It is so dishonest, and everyone knows it. It doesn't appear to be illegal but I suppose you can forgive congress for not anticipating that we'd need a law about hiding facts during a pandemic. It all feels so unreal.

If you can sleep, do it! There's only good to be gained from it. The dentist went well-it was just checking some previous work and I was out of there in under 10 minutes. They checked my temperature upon arrival and I was the only patient in the office. I wish everyone took as much care protecting the public.

Thank you. I hope your acupuncture goes well and you're able to get some sleep. I know some people are using this time to bond with their children that they don't typically get to spend much time with, which is good. Having home-schooled Danny, I don't have that same experience but it is nice being able to spend time with him when he's not sleeping.

It is so difficult for kids, I can't really blame them for sleeping as much of it away as possible. I hope they don't close off your border again-last time that happened it was horrible. Hoping Nepal continues to stay safe. That's really great to have such a low case count.

@Senora Allnut
Thank you.
4 AM is much harder at my age than I expected! I used to be able to keep late/early hours but now I feel it after.

The dentist went well. I was pleased that something was easy. I've wondered how I would be managing if I didn't have to do everything for my family? I'd probably be unconscious and drunk!

I've tried getting Danny to spend more time birding-he used to be so involved with it, but he's completely lost interest. A shame really as we've had an abundance of fledgling birds coming to our feeders this year.
I keep thinking about times in my life when I was in jobs that were over my head or that I found myself seriously unqualified for. I didn't just go along and fake it-I found other jobs! Part of being an adult is knowing when to hand things off to people more qualified, but our leaders have no such honest assessment of their abilities. Experts are not there to make people look bad-they're there to share their expertise.*Slaps forehead*

Glad your appointment went well. Early does seem better all around-less people on the streets driving wild. I don't know if it is just emptier streets or driving less often, but when I do venture out I'm seeing some of the craziest driving ever. I used to be able to sort of anticipate what other drivers were going to do-but not anymore!

Our school gave us the option of virtual or in building and we opted for virtual. Dan is OK with it, though he's a little sad about not being able to be in woodshop. He's going to see if he can switch it with another elective and take it when the pandemic is over (eventually). Our district isn't part of Omaha Public Schools as our part of town was annexed into the city later on, and as a result the school board is able to be flexible in ways that OPS can't be. Their buildings are old and overcrowded so they have had to go to 50% occupancy on alternating days which is really hard on working parents.

There's a Facebook live meeting with our school tonight which I hope goes better than the one OPS had with people screaming about masks and throwing Nazi salutes.