Coronavirus March 23

Posted on 03/23/2020 in misc

It's apparently National Puppy Day and we could all use more puppies now

Like everybody else, the pandemic is "top of mind" 24 x 7 for me. I'm writing to help myself not internalize all of it. You can find other posts in the series at

Virginia announced that gatherings of 10 people are not allowed and all non-essential businesses must close. I’m being told on the Internet that this is not shelter in place but whatever. It’s close enough. They probably should have done it last week, but according to various numbers I’ve seen online, we are still in the window where we can significantly flatten the curve. It’s a good thing the governors across the country are stepping up as there is absolutely no leadership on the National level.

Speaking of leadership. With Trump apparently dying (if only!) to start telling us all to return to normal we are going to need the nation’s governors, both Republican and Democratic, to step up and tell their citizens what most of us already know. The President is a dangerous, lying demagogue who is only interested in himself. Don’t listen to him. Come on, you don’t really think the unaccountable $500 million slush fund in the relief bill was for corporations, do you? It was for Trump, Inc. It all would have ended up in Trump’s bank account.

We got a lesson in the reliability of old tech last night when Hulu’s ABC feed was down at American Idol time. (Shut up. It’s a guilty pleasure). We watched via a $10 old school rabbit ears antenna. I’m only about 15 miles (ca. 24 km) from the broadcast towers, you’d think I’d get perfect reception but it’s still a little glitchy. I used to pick up TV from 40-50 miles (ca. 80 km) away back when we had no other option. Maybe the digital signals aren’t as powerful as the old analog transmissions? So in the last week, I’ve watched DVDs and now TV via rabbit ears. Now I kind of wish I had a Laser Disc player to pull out of storage.

For the last few years, I’ve been a disciple of Elizabeth Warren’s 50/20/30 personal budgeting methodology. If you aren’t familiar, it basically states that no more than 50% of your income after-tax income should go to needs, 20% should go to savings, and 30% to wants. I run the number every month and as long as we are in the guidelines I don’t stress over the details. Then your short term savings should be tied to your needs. So if you need $4000 a month to pay the rent, buy food, minimum payments on student loans, etc, then your short term emergency savings should be $12,000 - $24,000 (3-6 months). One thing I’ve always wondered though is, can we really get by on just the needs number? I guess I’m about to find out, or at least get a good gauge as it’s not like I’m canceling Hulu or Netflix. I’d argue those are needs right now anyway!

Effective tonight, Michelle and I have decided no news after 8 PM. We need to take a break from the doom and gloom and relax a bit before bedtime. Y’all might want to try it too. Then I go to bed, where I’m currently reading a history of the Irish Republican Army and The Troubles. Somehow, that is relaxing compared to real life.

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