COVID-19 Chronicles: A Year In Review (Part 2 of 3)

I grumbled to my sister, who is my tenant, room mate, best friend, and all-around gal pal, “The world is circling the drain, Charrina. All that’s left is for someone to flush.”

At the beginning of May, the words / phrases of dumpster fire of a year, shitshow, and clusterfuck were added to my daily vernacular.

By the end May 2020, it seemed like someone did flush the toilet

Part 2 of 3 (May to August)

I was hella invested in the 22 push-ups for 22 days challenge in honor of all the fallen American veterans. I had noticed my biceps were larger – you’re welcome, ladies.

The home improvement outside the house, aptly named Bastion of Bayne, and inside were also in full-activate mode.

I launched in earnest my final battle to end the War on Weeds in my backyard since I was armed better equipment, protective gear, a plan and time. I also knew I wouldn’t see the extent of my success until next growing season.

Since I was outside, I started repairing the falling down fence sections.

Also had the opportunity to “steal” or rather, not pay Walmart for my new lawn mower. This was my post from May 7, 2020:

“So … I did a thing today. And it actually started on Cinco de Mayo. I brought home unpaid merchandise from a store. Technically speaking, that’s stealing.

Lemme explain now that I have your attention. I bought from OfferUp a used Briggs & Stratton 21″ Murray 4.5 hp lawn mower, but after installing a new blade and air filter it doesn’t run anymore. Then I was gifted a Cub Cadet SR621 lawn mower to replace it.

After a couple of uses, even *THAT* went toe up on me. GGGRRRR. With my stimulus check, I shopped for a brand, new lawn mower. I found a candidate for buy online – free pick up at the store. A SNAPPER at Walmart. Perfect! No one location(s) had it, it was great price, and it was the last one at the Everett location. Serendipity at play.

With WCP, we drove to Wally World. Online Pick Up was a cluster. So like a boss, I fulfilled my own damn order by literally dragging the heavy damn box from corner to corner of the store (no flat bed to be found)I requested again for an attendant to mark this order as complete. Nope. So after finding an empty flat bed I left with my precious lawn mower albeit impatiently waiting for it.

Lo and behold, by the time I arrived home with my prize, the online order was canceled because it couldn’t be fulfilled therefore the credit card on the order wasn’t charged. No shit … I’m the one who took it to fulfill my own damn order – is there an echo in here? [fast forward 2 days of unsuccessfully to connect with anyone at customer service]

I approached the Customer Service Counter. I explained the situation, which the employee thanked me for being honest, and escalated to a manager immediately. After some more fussing because we didn’t have the UPC handy, I was able to pay for my unopened box, brand new lawn mower. John thanked me profusely for being honest. With receipt of purchased stapled to the invoice, we departed. They don’t know Baynes. With our luck, I would need to return it, of which I didn’t have proof of purchase and be stuck with a broken lawn mower … AGAIN. Now that it’s paid for, it’ll probably run forever which is my intention in the first place!”

Around the World though, Asian “murder hornets” were discovered in Washington State (my state) At this point, the Cabin In The Woods memes joked: Who had xyz e.g. Murder Hornets for May? It would continue through the year.

In Washington State, the SARS-CoV-2 virus had killed 1,070 alone by May 31. Speaking of Washington State, Governor Jay Inslee issued a 4-phase approach to ‘re-open’ Washington.

For the most part, and most counties, that were approved to be in Phase 2 never really progressed to Phase 3. In fact, I’m thinking they languished in Phase 2 forneverness.

Since all but ‘essential workers’ for ‘essential businesses’ were quarantined, they watched the heart-breaking video coverage of George Floyd’s demise at the hands of Minnesota white police officers, which ignited the #BlackLivesMatter protests in response!

After 5 months of studying the COVID-19 disease which causes the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we’ve isolated the method transmission from human-to-human.

The virus that causes COVID-19 most commonly spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet, or 2 arm lengths).

It spreads through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes.

~ Center of Disease Control

Wear a mask is the ‘new’ normal as the global population grumbles. I fire back, “The only thing normal on this planet is a setting on a washing machine!”

At my Clark Kent Job, corporate opened up the photo centers, and reinstated my position as the supervisor. Riots are reported in several American cities due to the Floyd death, and to some extent infringement on civil liberties with the mandatory mask wearing.

In June 2020, on a global scale 10.1M cases of COVID-19, with 500K deaths. There is no COVID-19 Playbook – so all of us are just winging it. I still don’t understand the toilet paper hoarding since all indications that violent bouts of diarrhea are not a side effect of the disease.

My progress on my Geocaching Jasmer Challenge has reached the final 3 geocaches to be found. NONE are in Washington State. Even though, Washington State was ground zero for COVID-19, several others cities turned into hot beds of disease and their case count quickly surpassed ours.

California, and Nevada.

Wanna guess where I needed to find those final 3 that just about EVERYONE needs to find? You guessed it … California, Nevada and Utah. FUN! I’m a tactician by nature so meticulous planning is my forté.

Our base of operations for the first few days was Reno, Nevada which was driving distance to the two Californian marquee geocaches needed to be found: Yuba City, and Vitreous.

Then we moved on to Salt Lake City, Utah for the final geocache: Potter’s Pond. All of the gory details of the trip can be read in a separately maintained blog of my small burgeoning business of Caching With Carlos.

Once I returned from the blitzkrieg of a trip, I had started a process that would eventually be a soul-crushing exercise of bureaucratic paperwork, depressing unrelenting tasks, and an all-consuming mindset.

Lemme explain …

House mortgage interest rates were announced at an historic, all-time low of 3.5% for 30-year fixed loans. Well at the time I had a 30-year fixed loan on my house for 4.5%. If I was able to obtain 3.5% over 30-years that would be a substantial amount of savings in interest (60-70K)

The initial steps of a refinance is an appraisal, which makes sense, how much is the house worth at this time? The appraiser’s report had 3 major concerns, a dozen or so items to address, and notes.

  1. No carbon monoxide detectors
  2. Dry rot around the base of the columns of the house entrance
  3. The 30-year roof had reached “the end of it’s economic life” (A term I would use frequently once I learned it)

Well, that’s a bummer because I didn’t have $10,000 to replace to the roof as suggested. I installed carbon monoxide detectors, and replaced the wood around the columns, but found myself in a loop of fuck with the roof.

It was recommended that I change my refinance loan to a rehabilitation loan so the funds would be available TO replace the roof. Since I’ll be financing this project over 30-years, I might as well add other big ticket items to my punch-list.

If I was advised of the scope, and totality of this I would have much rather masturbated with a cheese grater in the middle of Redmond Town Center than endure the next 7-months.

By the end of June, the weather of the Pacific Northwest was sunny, warm, and bright, signaling the start of Washingtonians cramming 9-months worth of outdoor activities into the PERCEIVED 3-month great weather window.

To me that was after-work landscaping, fence repair on my days off, and Geocaching for self-care.

In July 2020, the COVID-19 statistics for Washington alone were these …

Key facts:

  • Businesses will be required to turn away customers if they’re not wearing masks starting July 7.
  • 5 new deaths and 651 new cases reported Sunday in Washington.
  • TOTAL: 1,359 deaths among 35,898 overall cases in Washington state.
  • 612,706 people in Washington have taken a test for coronavirus and 5.9% of those tests have been positive, according to the state Department of Health.

On America’s independence of July 4, 2020, I pariticpated in the one parade that was hosted in Western Washington … Carnation, Washington. You see, I successfully auditioned to be on the West Coast Country Heat Dance Team! Therefore this is my rookie year, with my inaugural parade.

I joked that I’m the reason why we can’t have nice things. By the way, my captain remarked my performance was great!

I continued to grind on the house improvements that I didn’t want to finance: fence repair, garage door fixed, a clutter around the outside of the house.

Meanwhile in Seattle, and around the world, the Autonomous Zone was dismantled by Seattle Police Department by direction of the Mayor. Several hundred COVID-19 vaccines are in development, with only a couple dozen reaching the human use trial stage.

All gatherings of any sort are banned, and/or canceled. Work From Home is taking it’s toll on those individuals that need, crave, social interaction with other human beings. It’s in our DNA so I’m not surprised. Mask wearing is a standard locally, and worldwide.

I was labeled as an essential worker at an essential business so my work life remains unchanged.

I foolishly attempt to re-establish connections with ex-girl friends, and past relationships. I quickly realize WHY they are ex-girlfriends, and past hook-ups. I remain single to this day.

I return my concentration on improving my home to provide a fantastic environment for Mrs. Right if ever found.

Example of what I accomplished over the summer

Depression for myself, and many others grips every other thought of mine as COVID-19 really has crushed the general populace of Spaceship Earth.

According to WHO July reporting, the number of cases jumped to 12.8M, but the death rate flattens to 561K. While deadly to some, it seems the recovery rate of SARS-CoV-2 is high.

August 2020 was a routine in and of itself. I was either working, at my job or at home. If it was home it was fence repair, erraticating a half-acre of blackberry vines, or other tasks needed to prepare for the ‘upcoming’ new roof, new exterior house paint, hardwood flooring, etc.

That was so much stress that I needed some self-care provided by hiking, biking, Geocaching and private dance lessons.

Giant Explosion in Beirut

Lebanon Explosion
Beirut, Lebanon

On August 4, a giant explosion in Beirut, Lebanon killed 135 people and injured another 5000. Many people are still missing after the explosion, and over 300,000 people have been displaced from their homes. On August 5, it was revealed that the blast may have been caused by stored ammonium nitrate. Many have blamed a fire at the firecracker warehouse. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Felipe Dana

An overriding thought loomed in my conscious: am I stuck in this loop of fuck forever?

To be continued in part 3 …

Published by losisthemost

"You only live once, but ... if you do it right, once is all you need" ~ I'm an active American-Filipino that has many skills I use to their best advantage.

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