Coronavirus is still the leading story in the news and the topic of discussion just about everywhere. Reading various blogs and forums about it has shown everything from people feeling a little overwhelmed to experiencing nothing much different than what they see every day. For me it’s somewhere in between those two extremes, leaning more towards the latter.
I have to admit it’s been eerie being in work and being one of the few in our building. There were just six of us there today, and three of us left before noon to “get a jump on shopping” before the weekend. Everyone else was working from home.
I did get quite a bit of work done in one of our hardware labs, something I needed to do as part of my job. There are some things that can’t be done online, and lab work is one of them. So I and my fellow hardware engineer spent our day toiling away in our respective labs, keeping our development work on a new product rolling forward. (He was working on the second floor and I was working on the first floor.)
My trip home was almost as eerie as the Friday afternoon traffic I usually see just wasn’t there. I’d have to say it was about a quarter of what is typical for this time of year. (It is quite heavy during the summer for obvious reasons.)
I’ve seen a number of seasonal homes that are typically unused this time of year being occupied by their owners, perhaps as a “bug out” destination to ride out the pandemic. (Of course we wish they’d stay where they came from because who knows if they’ve brought the very thing they’re running away from with them.) The folks who bought the home just behind The Gulch last year arrived up hear last Friday, admitting to being one of those “bugging out” from central Massachusetts. They both already work from home and their kids’ schools are closed for the next few weeks and are schooling online. At least they brought a lot of supplies with them rather than stocking up once they got here. Not that they would have had any problems if they had done so.
Other than a few products like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, I haven’t seen any shortages of food items. I guess the first wave of panic buying has pretty much dissipated and folks are being more reasonable, at least around here. I can’t speak about other areas in the country, or even elsewhere here in my home state, but I’d like to think that folks in New Hampshire have regained their sanity and won’t be trying to buy up a year’s worth of items going forward.
It doesn’t help that the media is pumping up fear, stopping just short of yelling at the top of their lungs “We’re all gonna DIE!!!!!!” I’m not sure all of the precautions being taken are either a) effective, or b) necessary. Are some precautions over-the-top? Probably. The problem is that we don’t know one way or the other. This may be one of the few times where the Precautionary Principle applies. Maybe.
And so it is during another day in Coronavirus America.