Note: The title is a little language joke to help me feel a little better about the somber mood that’s hovering over all of humanity recently. “Virii” is an incorrect plural of “virus” and despite its wrongness, I prefer it over “viruses” which, really, is just totes boring. Aren’t we glad we just have a single virus to deal with instead of virii?

In case someone is (hopefully) reading this decades from now and has no idea, the planet is currently in for a bit of a viral pandemic hysteria. SARS-COV-2, The Novel Coronavirus (I imagine an English virologist holding a monocle up and exclaiming “how novel!” as he looks through a quaint microscopic), and the resulting illness, COVID-19, is currently playing the bongos on people’s lungs and, kind of like HIV leads to AIDS, causing thousands of deaths every day due to complications like pneumonia.

As we all sit on our butts and read social media and news reports and, in my case, refreshing the USA pandemic Washington Post article every day at 6pm while nervously picking at my fingernails, I’ve seen brave-faced posts reminding us all that we’re part of a historical event now, and we should write about it for posterity. If all goes well and this pandemic burns itself out in a few months (or six months… or a year… etc) then our descendants might be curious about how we early 21st century internet-addicted dummies handled this mess.

Christine and I have both been working from home for over two weeks now. I last was in the office on Friday, March 13th. I can’t believe it, but I miss going into the office. I always wanted to work from home more, but 100% is just too much. At least I brought my 10 year old, coworker hand-me-down spider plant home to hang in my guest bedroom (i.e. “makeshift office”).

I feel really bad for Christine. She was supposed to go to Mexico with her mother from the 16th through 20th, but as the rumblings of upcoming doom got worse in late February, her mother decided not to go (she offered to transfer her plane ticket to me, which was very sweet of her). Christine and I initially thought about taking the trip (“how bad can this thing be? SARS and H1N1 weren’t nothing!”) but the rumblings turned into outright proclamations in early March. By the time the 16th arrived, my first working-from-home day, Christine admitted that it was probably a good thing that we cancelled – and it seems like most airlines are doing fairly okay by people in terms of cancellations and credits.

The folks in our cooperative condo we bought last year are sending out positive emails at a record pace. Plenty of folks here are older – unfortunately, the highest mortality rate for COVID-19 is in older people. This community normally has at least 2-3 dozen meetings and gatherings a week. Now, everyone is hunkered down in their individual units (glad we each have our own air circulation systems!) to wait this thing out, so some make up for it by amping up the email-sending. Yesterday, a some residents went out into our back yard to sing simple little songs together, like “You are my Sunshine” and “This Land is Your Land” among others.

Look at them keeping at least six feet distant! There are more on the balconies around us, too

Some of my friends in other states are dutifully and diligently wiping down their groceries and every other visible speck of matter that enters their home, but Christine and I have not been that proactive. The first couple weeks were filled with anecdotes about stores with barren shelves as deranged Americans rushed in and bought up random stuff (toilet paper? really? Why didn’t everyone just buy bidets?), but now as businesses and people alike realize that this is unlikely to end anytime soon, stores have imposed restrictions on maximum daily purchases of the most sought-after items. So far, we’ve only been to the grocery store once since all this started – I was pretty disappointed to learn that the State of Wisconsin is banning all bulk item food sales right now – if I run out of coffee, my cheery disposition might become far more dire.

I was only half-joking about everyone buying bidets/washlets. I got ours right before all this started. You should get one too – they’re starting to go out of stock!

Instead, Christine and I have been trying to bike around (stretching our atrophying muscles) and buy gift cards from local restaurants, and doing carryout from the ones that are still open. Gatherings of more than 10 people in a public space have been banned by the government, so dine-in is not an option – but I hope our tasty local dining places are hanging in there with gift cards and carryout/delivery orders.

I miss my weekly gathering with my buddies, where they all come over to my place and we drink nice cocktails, chat, and watch TV. I’m lucky to have Christine with me to talk to in person. A lot of people are sheltering in place alone, and I don’t think I could get through this self-imposed physical isolation without her – I’d probably go crazy! Our two cats seem overjoyed to have us around 24/7. They’re both old fatties, and love curling up in our laps at all hours of the day, falling asleep, and then snoring breathy old cat snores.

Well, that’s enough ‘time capsuling’ for today. I’m definitely ready to not be sitting in front of this computer anymore! Time to go give Christine a hug and help her make dinner. Vir-us, not Vir-I.