Day 3 – Routine

Photo by Andrew Neel on

It is Day 3 and it is time to get used to this new normal. Since this entire thing began, effectively Tuesday, the only two humans I have seen in person are Nicole and Caroline. Of course I love my gals (see yesterday’s post) but our lives thrive on human contact. Shout out to the ZOOM platform. I at least can see other humans albeit on camera. So far working from my office seems to be working. I am completely isolated so I am not worried about coming into contact with COVID-19 but I am also not sure how long they will let me stay here. With New York and California doing their thing my guess is I will be at home 100% very soon.


Serving Sizes – I decided this week to not worry about what I eat insomuch as to how much I eat and commit myself eating a serving size only. Here is what I have learned: I used to eat way too much. This was my lunch today. A small bag of Doritos, a small container of yogurt, and some bean soup. A total of 400 calories. So far this week I have lost 4 pounds and I honestly feel much better physically. I wonder that if and when I come in contact with COVID-19 (and according to reports this is going to happen, although I remain skeptical) I will have a better physical chance of it being the very light kind. There is also another thought on serving size; ensuring you only eat what you need to helps conserve resources. With stores overwhelmed there is a lot of over buying and terms like the Coronavirus 15 going around. I dont think the way we get through this is by being wasteful. So now, we can make that dinner last through lunch.

Day two of the Insanity workout and my calves cannot hurt more. I have done more jumping than I thought was possible. Luckily today is a recovery day.

Album of the Day – Rumors

The album of the day is one of my favorites from my Dad’s record collection. I am a huge fan of this album. The very real tension that you hear in their voices and the notes they play is obvious from the first note. I was reintroduced to this album about a year ago when I went to see it performed by the Classic Albums Live outfit at Universal. And that is one thing that makes me sad. That for a good while we will not see live music.

Topic of the Day – An Experience

I wanted to write about the last time I was this confused and scared. It was in 2005. We were coming off of Hurricane Katrina and I was living in Nacogdoches and working for Stephen F. Austin State University. At that time we had already had a number of evacuees come to Nac to live after escaping that terrible storm. Then came Hurricane Rita. Hurricane Rita formed just off the shore of Venezuela and when it turned to head toward Texas it was considered the strongest hurricane ever measured. And it was coming straight for Houston. If it hit at full strength it would have been the largest metropolitan city ever hit by a major hurricane.

So in no time at all we were ordered by the governor to open our Basketball gym to be a shelter and I was named as one of the directors of the shelter. Now we had no idea how to do this and where to start but we simply set up a few folding tables and some wristbands and few clipboards and went for it. As the gym filled up we got Aramark to provide food, we had a large number of mattresses from a new residence hall building to make sure folks had a place to sleep. We had masking tape so we set up boundaries and offered showers and laundry services. Students lined up to volunteer to help and we had to bring in FEMA information, and translators.

Then the storm hit. And it was fierce. For about 36 hours we battled both the storm and the need to keep people calm and it was scary. At one point most of our staff was stuck at their homes during the teeth of the storm and there were only three or four of us in the building. But the scary part ended and then boredom set in. We had the shelter open for 12 days after the storm hit and each day was a grind. Our work stopped altogether and we focused singularly on taking care of people and rebuilding. There are so many stories of odd residents, nighttime incidents, and the struggle to close the shelter down.

What this moment reminds me of is the task we face right now. We are currently in the prep phase and we are waiting for it to arrive, and then we know there will be a few days where it seems like it is getting worse and worse and worse. And then the new infections will come to a grinding halt. We will see a dip and then we have to wait and allow for care workers to rehab those who got COVID-19 and make sure we dont flare up additional cases. But we know how to do this. Prepare. Endure. Repair. It is a simple proposition that we are just trying to scale like we have never done before. The Rita experience gives me anxiety about what is to come but comfort knowing it will be okay in time.

Gen X Moment of the Day

Likely the second most important moment in Gen X pop culture has to be the debut of M-TV on August 1, 1981. It is well known that Video Killed the Radio Star is the first video but it was also the channel that launched a thousand careers. Of course it is now the resident location of Catfish and Ridiculousness but there was a time that if your video made it on MTV then it made it to youth culture. My favorite show on MTV can 120 Minutes. they played all sorts of cool alternative videos by The Cure, Depeche Mode, and more.

Stat of the Day – 56%

That is the percent of eligible voters voted in the 2016 election. In 1964 that number was 69%. It is 2020 and an election year. If we are really going to usher in change in a time of COVID-19 then we need to vote. 56% does not cut it.

More tomorrow.

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