On this, day 29 of working from home and hiding from the world, as instructed, I want to reflect on what’s next. That is often a failing in our story-telling. We focus on the story, not the aftermath. Perhaps that explains my liking of role-playing games…I get to write some aftermath. Which will come in a moment. On the personal front, today is just another Wednesday under the stay-home reality. So that means I will probably actually manage to stay home. Probably no unexpected runs to get groceries or stuff today. Probably. The key word there was, of course, unexpected…

Our federal money arrived today as well, which is nice. It helps fill some gaps left by the reality of the past month. So that helps me relax a lot. I have the beginnings of a new catalog for work, which is a nice break from the current, kaiju-scale, catalog I have been working on for the past month or more. I am almost done with…the first section. Only three or four more to go! On the up side, the new catalog should be quick and easy, especially in comparison. Personally, Tammy and I remain as healthy as ever (which isn’t exactly the picture of health, but no new issues), and COVID-19 free.

It snowed last night, so this morning there were a few inches on the ground. Since it’s April, and no one remembers how to drive in snow for more than two days around here, several expressways were closed, and there was something like a 60 car pileup. So that’s today.

What Comes Next?

Reality is the constant living of ‘and then’ moments. Fiction stops with the end of the story, and leaves ‘what then’ to the consumer’s imagination. Or lack thereof. Some of us fill it in on our own, and then only later realize how our endings are not very realistic. Or we ignore it, because the story didn’t need to go further (that’s rare, though). Mostly, however, stories end, with no hint of how the characters and world deal with the ending. And while there is a reason for that – you can’t cover literally every repercussion – it can also be unsatisfying.

This is mostly a failing of the apocalypse genre.

One place where I think the author managed to cover ‘what next’ well, and in a way that is apropos to the times, is The Puppet Masters, by Robert A Heinlein. For those who haven’t read it, the basic plot goes like so. Slugs from Saturn (Titan) land on Earth, attach themselves to the spines of humans, taking control of them. Of course, we humans fight back, and win. Yeah, that is pretty bare-bones. The book also hits all the Heinlein tropes along the way, so for those familiar with the author’s work, you kind of know the characters. Consequently, in the course of driving the slugs off, the US develops an unofficial or semi-official policy of nudity or near-nudity to show you don’t have a slug.

Obviously, the parallel isn’t exact. But we are heading into the second month, for many of us, under the isolation orders, and the reality is that we have to ask what’s next. What will the US look like after the isolation is over? How will our daily lives be altered? Will we decide that a mask is as appropriate as pants? Will that be an order? Honestly, I don’t know. I know that, for a while, we will be very changed by this. I suspect that the changes will be much, much more far-reaching. For that, I do think the media and government carry the responsibility and blame. Remember, we have been alternately told that this was nothing to be concerned about and that this is a plague that we must destroy society to combat.

Despite the way we act (see snow driving above), we do remember things. And we do remember being told this was no big deal, and then that we had to never leave the house a week later. Basically, here in Illinois, we went from ‘keep your distance’ to ‘all bars and restaurants closed’ in three days.

And that memory is still in there, somewhere.

In all the hand-wringing and pearl clutching, it looks like the consideration of what happens to people, and how we move forward isn’t top of mind. I get that, it’s only day 29 of this mess. 29 of an unknown total. We need to get through before we get past.

I would just like to see some consideration about what comes next, and how we will be dealing with it as a nation, a culture.

So, New York Did A Thing

I have commented previously on the inaccuracies of the death numbers. And, while not reflected in the below numbers, it seem that New York is going to start listing everyone that they think died of COVID-19 as actually dying of COVID-19. This is a horrible decision, and I cannot see any non-garbage reason for it. It skews the numbers tremendously, and for what reason? Seems to me that some form of political advantage is the likely candidate. As a result, the death number in New York is projected to hit 17,000 or so, which would be a fatality rate of around 8%. Of course, that’s a fake number, so when they do that, I’ll add an * to the New York listing. After all, when the state reports inaccurate information, knowingly, they earned the *.

Day 29 In Illinois

Per the state website, as of 4/15/2020 2:30 P.M., Illinois has…

  • Tested: 116,929
  • Cases: 24,593
  • Positive Test Percentage: 21.03%
  • Infection Rate: 0.194%
  • Deaths: 948
  • Case Fatality Rate: 3.85%

Infection Rate is arrived at by dividing Cases into the estimated population of IL, as listed by the US Census (12,671,821)

Day 29 In Indiana

Per the state website, as of April 14, 2020, 11:59pm, Indiana has…

  • Tested: 48,396
  • Cases: 8,955
  • Positive Test Percentage: 18.5%
  • Infection Rate: 0.133%
  • Deaths: 436
  • Case Fatality Rate: 4.87%

Infection Rate is arrived at by dividing Cases into the estimated population of IN, as listed by the US Census (6,732,219)

Day 29 In New York

Per the state website, as of April 14, 2020, 11:59pm, New York has…

  • Tested: 526,012
  • Cases: 213,559
  • Positive Test Percentage: 40.60%
  • Infection Rate: 1.098%
  • Deaths: 11,586
  • Case Fatality Rate: 5.43%

Infection Rate is arrived at by dividing Cases into the estimated population of NY, as listed by the US Census (19,453,561)

Just a reminder about the ‘Day xx’ in those section headers. That is day whatever for my experience & blog. Not the actual day for the infection tally in the listed states. Just to clear up any confusion.