In general, I would consider a pandemic to be the kind of situation where you just kind of let things go and adapt, but there are a lot of things that just can’t be solved from home. Take coffee runs, for example. It’s great to be able to jog into a local coffee shop and grab a cup and a scone, but more importantly, it’s a way to just be around people. Ah, there it is: people. I miss people.
Have you heard about this meat shortage? Apparently, meat processing plants are being increasingly hit by COVID-19, limiting supplies. In some cases, restaurants are having their entire supply chain upended by larger grocery retailers, who can accept products at earlier stages of processing. What this means in a practical way is some restaurants, especially chains with a lot of individual franchise owners, are facing a rapid decline in their access to meat. Sure, if you sell tofu curry and salad, this might mean shifting your production toward those offerings, but what happens if you sell hamburgers and haven’t quite moved toward selling meat alternatives? Where’s the beef, indeed.
Hey, you know what would be a fun socially distant activity right now? Stargazing! It’s true that a lot of great spots for it are closed, like the Goldendale Observatory in Goldendale, Washington, but if you can find a spot and an especially dark sky, there are lots of things going on that will dazzle you. Comets could be the hot new thing this spring, with the Comet Atlas—oh wait, it broke up and won’t be visible unless you have a great telescope. Well, Comet Swan is—maybe—perhaps—well, okay, I don’t want to put my faith there, either. A recent outburst put it in naked eye territory, but this could mean it too broke up. Breaking up is hard to view.
Still, there are plenty of stars in the sky to enjoy.
Yo, guess what? As of May 8, parks are slowly opening up in Oregon. It doesn’t mean you can go crowd up with others, so social distance and all that, but the steady return to the outdoors seems to be happening. If you think it’s time to run out and bask in the glorious heat wave we are about to endure while dodging other people like they have the plague, remember to be absolutely certain you are maintaining a 6-foot distance, wear a mask—it can be cute, I promise—and don’t do anything that will cause a bunch of park staff to have to come and take care of you.
Finally, I wanted to make sure you knew with this first wave of COVID-19 winding down in the next 3–6 weeks, it might be a good time to clean your personal protective equipment and maybe your house while you’re at it. Those germs will stick around if you aren’t super careful!