“Time is free but its priceless. You can’t own it but you can use it. You can’t keep it but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.” – Harvey MacKay
Part 1 of 3
2020 started like any other. I was recovering from another holiday season in the Woodinville Costco Photo Center, since I get no sleep or rest from November 1 – December 24.
I hosted a book signing of The Murder of Crowe: A Steampunk Whodunnit at my favorite comic book store, Woodinville Comic Stop. I anticipated single digit visitors, with only 1 sale of a book. In actuality, I had double-digit visitors, and several books sold that day. It was great!
Mid-January was cold enough for snow.
Also a bone-chilling fact emerges. The first coronavirus case in the United States was confirmed in Washington state. “While originally thought to be spreading from animal-to-person, there are growing indications that limited person-to-person spread is happening,” a news release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. “It’s unclear how easily this virus is spreading between people.”
WHO has official names for the virus responsible for COVID-19 (previously known as “2019 novel coronavirus”) and the disease it causes. The official names are:
severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
Why do the virus and the disease have different names?
Viruses, and the diseases they cause, often have different names. For example, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. People often know the name of a disease, but not the name of the virus that causes it.
Also in January news … a helicopter crash in California kills all 9-passengers including Kobe Bryant. The Iranian Military downed an Ukrainian passenger jet killing all 176 passengers onboard. Trump’s Impeachment in December 2019 is acquitted in January 2020 in the Senate. The Taal Volcano, the second-most active volcano in the Philippines, erupts near the capital of Manila, began erupting on Jan. 12, crushing scores of homes and killing livestock and crops. The explosive eruption forced over 135,000 people into shelters over fears of a massive blast.
More than 100 people were killed on Jan. 14 by the heaviest snowfall to hit the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir in a century, as the devastation wrought by the severe winter weather deepened worries about the impact of global warming.
Bushfires, unprecedented for Australia in terms of duration and intensity, have killed 33 people and an estimated 1 billion native animals, while 2,500 homes and a wilderness area the size of Greece have been destroyed. The crisis engulfing the country was called “an ecological disaster” that threatens several species, including koalas and rock wallabies. Images of burned kangaroos, koalas and possums, along with footage of people risking their lives to save native animals, have gone viral around the world. Continued hot weather, relieved only rarely by periods of light rain in the affected areas, deepened the crisis.
February is my birthday month, therefore a slight expectation to continue my EPIC birthday celebration. I was inspired by a previous experience with the game application, Goose Chase. All participants had a blast! As always, some guests I didn’t think would attend … did. Some guests that I thought were a solid yes, bailed.
I would continue to push to find more geocaches to complete my goal of completing the #JasmerChallenge. I made a Tabula Rasa Day Declaration that I would complete it in 2020.
By the end of the leap year month, I will have unknowingly attended my last in-person Zumba class at the Sky Valley / Monroe YMCA.
On February 8, the first American citizen died of the coronavirus in Wuhan. The death was announced hours after two flights evacuated US citizens from Wuhan. This is the first American to die from the virus that has killed hundreds in China. (CNN)
On February 14, three people were shot outside an Atlanta restaurant owned by Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss. Burruss was there when a gunman shot one person in the restaurant and then two people outside before running away. All injuries are not life-threatening, and no motive or suspect has been revealed by police. (CNN)
On February 18, the Boy Scouts of America filed for Title 11 bankruptcy. The organization faces many liabilities as hundreds of sexual assault cases make their way to court. (CNN)
The inexplicable hoarding of toilet paper begins …
March 2020 … the meme of “whoever started the game of Jumanji, please finish it quickly” is a harbinger of the entire year. The terms of essential worker, essential businesses, panic buying, and hoarding emerge in social media, corporate rhetoric, and news outlets.
I continue to push hard in the Geocaching arena because of the goal, and the Force-like, I have a bad feeling, about the COVID-19 disease that causes SARS-CoV-2. While Geocaching, the Sapphire Sled (my Arctic Blue 2004 Acura RSX Type-S) has a driver-side CV axle collapse. It’s clear to me that after 16 years of service, 265K miles, that it’s reached the end of it’s economic life. I’m unclear on how to proceed.
The Emerald City Hoe Down that was scheduled for mid-March performance of West Coast Country Heat is canceled amongst COVID-19 fears. My book signing and book talk event at the Monroe Public Library is canceled.
My friend / co-worker / team mate, Regina Lee, succumbs to the SARS-CoV-2 virus as well as some of her family members: the first person I knew to directly die from the disease that causes the virus. Some Americans claim this is a hoax.
The acronym, WFH, Work From Home emerges as daily dialogue as soon as “Amazon employees in Seattle and Bellevue whose jobs can be done remotely were advised to work from home. Microsoft, Nordstrom and Starbucks corporate offices and Boeing also gave the same advice to workers”
Emerald City ComicCon is postponed until further notice. For the first time since its start in 1972, the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Seattle and Irish Week events were canceled.
On March 11th, The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Inslee banned gatherings of more than 250 people in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, including weddings.
Seattle Public Schools announced a closure through the end of March. The Shoreline and Lake Washington school districts also closed through the end of March. Everett and Bellevue public schools announced a closure for the month starting March 13. Schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle announced closures from March 16 until the end of the month. The Monroe School District announced all schools would close for six weeks, starting Friday. The Sounders postponed their March 21 match, and the Mariners were working with Major League Baseball on how to handle games. The Woodland Park Zoo closed for the month.
Then Inslee revised his declaration to include all Washington schools closed until April 24th.
The NCAA announced March Madness games would be played without fans.
On March 23 at 5:30 p.m. statewide address, Gov Jay Inslee directed Washington residents to stay home by executive order. Inslee’s executive order had exceptions for essential critical infrastructure workers, including first responders. Grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, liquor stores that sell food, food banks and farmers’ markets were among businesses that could stay open.
Around the world … On March 8, a shooting outside a Baltimore dance studio left one 13-year-old dead and five more teens injured. The group was leaving an event at the studio when a suspect approached them and an altercation ensued. The five injured have already been released from the hospital, and Baltimore Police Department is offering a reward for any information on the suspect. (CNN)
By the end of March, the global focus is on the COVID-19 disease.
- 740,157 confirmed cases
- 35,097 deaths
By April 1st, the world is in survival mode. NO JOKE, no put intended. Hell, I was in survival mode! Spaceship Earth is the stage for a global SHITSHOW. I was challenged the 22-push ups per day for 22 days to honor veterans who succumbed to suicide. I continued to geocache to progress on my Jasmer Challenge.
My dear friend, and co-worker, Sherry, passed away from SARS-CoV-2. This is my 2nd friend to have been killed in 2 months.
Inslee extends his Stay Home, Stay Healthy order through May 4; it’ll be lengthened again on May 1 before officially expiring on June 1.
Though the U.S. Surgeon General railed against wearing masks weeks earlier, the CDC now recommends donning face coverings for protection.
A University of Washington–based model used by the federal government projects Washington’s peak hospitalization load is behind us.
Already yearning for childcare, parents learn school closures will persist until summer break.
More signs emerge that Washington’s begun to flatten the curve: The state orders the teardown of an army field hospital at CenturyLink days after returning ventilators from the national stockpile.
Durkan closes major Seattle parks ahead of a beautiful Easter weekend.
As its testing program continues to falter, the U.S. carries the greatest Covid death toll, surpassing Italy.
Tax Day gets pushed back to July, while some receive $1,200 government relief payments as part of the federal CARES Act.
King County Metro bus driver Samina Hameed dies after contracting the virus, highlighting the risks essential workers face throughout the crisis.
Thousands gather in Olympia to protest Inslee’s stay-home order. To no one’s surprise, few remain six feet apart.
The UW Medicine Virology Lab debuts antibody testing, a vital step toward determining who may already be immune to the virus.
Work-from-home life no longer seems temporary. After Zillow allows employees to remote in through the end of 2020, Amazon announces that its office workers won’t return before October 2.
To be continued in parts 2 and 3 …