The end to one of the craziest weeks I have had in quite a while…
Friday, March 20, 2020
A crazy thunderstorm woke me up at 4:00 a.m. There are flash flood watches all over the area today.
Both still working from home. Jack likes to spend time in the basement with Daddy (where Matt’s office is), so we trade off work times and Jack/break times to get our hours in, stretching the “work day” out as needed.
Wright State’s HR sent out an email yesterday that (basically) until they know the financial fallout of COVID-19 to the university, all job postings/searches are postponed indefinitely. The precise wording of the start of the email is:
Due to the significant budgetary implications caused by the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Wright State University is implementing a partial freeze on all external hiring.
*Any offers that were fully executed by March 18, 2020, will be honored.
*All other requested offers in progress, searches in progress, and requested positions are postponed.
Wellllllp, so much for getting adding a new archivist anytime soon. And, probably more importantly, the process of getting “a new Dawne” (remember my retiring supervisor in the archives?) has now been postponed indefinitely. Sigh.
On the plus side, we also got an email from the daycare stating that nobody will have any additional charges accrued to their account for as long as the temporary closure goes on. I was worried about that- whether we would still have to pay, whether it be full price, or even a reduced fee, just to hold his spot. I mean, they’ve got bills to pay, too, you know? But I’m so glad they’ve chosen this route! That’s a big relief.
“Emails flying around today that university may go to Essential Personnel Only being allowed on campus (too many people still using their offices I guess), so was recommended we go today to get our office computers if we want them! So I went. I borrowed a laptop indefinitely on Monday, but… Bill (fellow archivist) and Dawne (my supervisor) there too. Library eerily quiet & empty. 😦 took some pics…
Deserted Dunbar Library, Wright State University, March 20, 2020
“I asked if I could take my office rolly chair too & Dawne said sure – this has me really concerned how long we may be ‘out of the office’!! 😦
Desk chair and wagon, headed for the elevator in Dunbar Library, March 20, 2020
Yes, I brought my son’s collapsible wagon with me to collect my computer and whatever else (the box contains random bits of administrative paperwork that I had “in progress” at the time and still needed to finish working on, as well as my desk photos and my name badge – I don’t know why, I just felt better about having those at home with me. I did not take any archival collections home with me to work on. I kind of regret not asking if I could take a couple boxes of electronic media home to work on. (I have all the drives at home already – optical, zip, 3.5″ floppy – yep I’m a nerd like that.) But the idea of having actual archival materials at home (that don’t belong to me) makes me nervous; what if my house burns down? (Yeah okay, bigger problems, but I’d still feel bad.) Or, more likely: what if my cat barfs on them? (Entirely plausible.) What if my toddler breaks into my office? (This has already happened at least once.)
She says almost immediately after taking other university property home with her (with the blessing and encouragement of library administration, though, mind you!). Yeah, but that’s not the same thing at all. If my cat dumps over an entire glass of water on my work computer (again, entirely plausible), yeah that sucks, but I can pay to replace it. It’s the priceless, irreplaceable things that make me nervous. Anyway…
“I went to Meijer in Beavercreek on my way home – they were out of all toilet paper, flour, most soup & pasta & fresh meat & salad & butter – plenty of fruit, milk, cheese, sugar, lunch meat.” Also, there were a lot of people there. I think we were trying to remain “socially distant” from each other, but…it’s hard with that many people, you know? I did see a few people wearing colorful cloth masks. I tried extra hard to stay away from them, not knowing who was actually a danger to whom!
Toilet paper and other paper goods aisle, Meijer, Beavercreek, Ohio, March 20, 2020, about 5:45 pm
“THIS IS ALL SO WEIRD.
“I haven’t been this constantly…scared?…since 9/11 (September 2001).”
At least during 9/11, most things stayed normal, you know? I mean, they cancelled classes for one day. (It was my first week as a freshman at Wright State University. So that was fun.) But other than that, the show went on as planned, pretty much. This is actually worse, in a way, because you’ve got NOT GOING ANYWHERE FOREVER (ok-not-forever-but-it-feels-like-forever) staring you in the face every day.
In lighter, happier news… I live in pajamas now. But I change my pajamas at least once a day – like, I sleep in some pajamas and then put on different pajamas for the day, sometimes change again in the evening, then change to go to sleep. Anyone else? Just me?
Facebook post from March 20th: “So, does everybody have work pajamas, after-work pajamas, and actual-sleep pajamas now? Because I do.”
Saturday, March 21, 2020
“Fell asleep on the couch around 12:30 last night (Friday night/ Saturday 12:30 a.m.) & slept all night until about 9:30 – woke up with (my cat) Will snuggled in the crook of my arm – best sleep in days…
When the best part of waking up on the couch is a cat snuggled up next to you, March 21, 2020
“Realized I forgot the power cord for my work computer – I was pretty frazzled yesterday – felt all shaky going to get it – so I went back to the library again & got it.
More Deserted Dunbar Library pictures, March 21, 2020
“Stopped by JoAnn Fabrics to look for 1/8″ elastic in case I need to help make surgical masks due to shortage (it’s all over the web today to do that) – of course 1/8″ elastic is to crafters now as toilet paper is to everyone else – like trying to find a purple unicorn – even Amazon said delivery dates in May (I ordered some anyway) – later found a big roll on Ebay that claims to be here March 30th – we’ll see – I expect them to suddenly realize they’re out of stock.”
This is what 288 yards of 1/8″ elastic looks like, March 29, 2020
Spoiler alert, the roll of elastic from Ebay did actually come and on March 29th (1 day earlier than estimated) no less. I paid like $25 for 288 yards. I have no idea if that’s a good price or if I got gouged, because I’ve never bought this type of elastic before. Oh well, now I have some. I confess I have not made any masks yet; I’ve been busy with trying to work from home in the presence of a two-year-old and all the other usual household things. (Working from home has been amazing for my laundry game, though – wow – so nice to just throw a load in or switch from washer to dryer with just a 1-2 minute break and then get back to work. Can’t do that most of the time! Ah, silver linings.)
“Good news is my work computer works great at home & all my network drives just magically appeared when I connected VPN… I got some work done during Jack’s nap and even after because he wanted Matt today not me.” (I even managed to get the computer to talk to our printer as well – it probably helps that the printer is already networked, so TBH it was probably one of the easiest things I’ve done all week, haha.)
Work computer successfully set up at home! March 21, 2020
“Made fish, tater tots, mac & cheese for dinner.
“Jack very whiny today, driving us bonkers, hope he’s not getting sick – too cold to play outside.” (Looking back on this from a greater distance, he’s probably just as upset by all of this upheaval as we are, but he doesn’t understand WHY. His routine is all messed up, and he probably misses his friends and his teachers and all the activities.)
“We decided to solicit COVID-19 diaries for the archives! Gotta write my ‘clean’ copy (type it up) – wish we’d done this (or something like it) for the tornado and shootings last year.” (Dayton had a pretty shitty year in 2019: tornadoes on Memorial Day and then a mass shooting in the Oregon District on August 4.)
“I’m all out of sorts – need a new book – but can’t decide – just wander around tinkering.” It’s ridiculous, I’d like pick up something and half think about maybe using it, reading it, doing it, (insert whatever appropriate verb here) with it, and then give up and roam around the house some more. Everything’s all messed up.
I will say, a lot of things got better for me personally after I knew the library was closing and that we were going to work from home. It took a lot of the stress out of some things, just knowing THIS IS WHAT WE’RE GOING TO DO. Waking up every day and not knowing what the hell would be expected of us at work that day (or if we were even GOING to work the next day) was killer.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still wake up every day, like Captain Picard requesting a damage report, but…
Every Day in 2020 Now: Capt. Picard “Damage Report.”
Matt had longer to wait before things were more settled with him; it was later in the week….and I could really tell. Where my edginess had finally calmed down a bit, his was still happening…that nervous energy of “what’s next? what’s my work going to do? how long do I have to keep going out into danger or what…?” And it was a lot more noticeable in him after mine finally took a little chill, after the library closed.
Sunday, March 22, 2020
“Last night started a new ebook (from public library Overdrive) called Nyxia & fell asleep in bed cuddling my red panda – I know I’m getting weird about that panda but…shit is really weird right now.” (I’ve decided that it’s sort of like how they say that petting an animal is a stress reliever? But when your live kitties don’t want to cuddle up on your lap, this super-soft stuffed animal is…a nice alternative. Like how we had stuffed animals as allergen-free alternatives to puppies at our library “fuzz therapy” event in the Fall! Exactly like that…see? I’m not losing it. Much. Haha.)
“Jack woke up about 9:00 or 9:30. We all have cabin fever.
“Governor announced a formal ‘shelter in place’ or ‘stay at home’ order (exceptions for essential activities like grocery shopping). Over 300 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ohio as of today (100+ more than yesterday). Matt has made a predictive equation on a graph – he predicts over 500 tomorrow. Gov. has also ordered daycares closed through April 30th!
“My brother-in-law Chase’s grandma had a stroke. She’s in hospital but they can’t go visit her because of the pandemic 😦
“I got a bit of work done during Jack’s nap (sacrificing my viewing of Gov. DeWine press conference, but Matt watched and filled me in.)
“Jack and I played Play-Doh and fingerpaints today.
“Still no word on Matt’s former co-worker’s COVID test results, but WPAFB did announce a positive case (first one on Base) for someone in Building 262, Area A (AFMC Headquarters) – Matt is all jittery not knowing what’s next…”
Let’s end on another funny note. Here’s a hilarious post I saw around that time:
“Millennials are not partying. We and our anxiety issues are holed up working from home, watching Hulu, and yelling at our parents not to go outside. It’s Gen Z you want…” Blame Gen Z for everything now. It’s their turn! We’re tired.
It’s about how everyone’s always blaming “those damn millennials,” and in this case, the young whipper-snappers you want to shake your fist at these days — for bucking the shelter in place order, for instance, and still insisting on going out to the bars the previous weekend for their St. Patrick’s Day fun — that’s not us Millennials; that’s Gen Z. Millennials are getting old, tired, and cranky. Some of us are shaking our fists right there with ya.