Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Bloggers on the Job: Coronavirus Edition

As noted back in 2014:
We've linked to James Lileks' personal blog, The Bleat, a few times:
Lileks on Money
The Bureau of Corporate Allegory
Scripophily Recapitulates Philately IV
and I end up using pedestrian words such as amazing and incomparable to describe his output.
We've also visited him at his day job where we observe the universal truth:
...HT: The Amazing Lileks who wrote:
If there was some clickbait that said clickbait reduces your IQ by 7 points, I’d click on it....
And now, back to The Bleat, Wednesday March 18:
As part of my Quarantine Entertainment Obligation, there will be a 39 page site announced at the conclusion of today’s edition! It’s all old material, but . . . it’s resized! And there are new pages. I had planned to overhaul the Comic Book section completely, and I’m halfway through the 500 pages. This entry concerns comic book ads that look like comics but are actually ads, and how they manage to fail at both. It’s non-chronological, since I keep adding things as I find them, and the idea of imposing chronology on 39 pages for the sake of some historical is the sort of thing I want to do, but remind myself, firmly, that NO IT DOESN’T MATTER.

Went out to get my oil changed today. This seemed brave. I finally figured it out: it’s as if everything is radioactive.

Everything is not radioactive.

Now, if you’re in a store with other people, there’s a certain crawling sensation that you should not linger, lest you touch something and jam your finger in your mouth. Remember grocery store samples? One of my favorite parts of the Before Times, and we thought nothing of it. Except I did: I always felt a tiny little bell go off when I took the toothpick from the container, but then I realized that everyone was grabbing them from one end and spearing the food with the other, so you wouldn’t get a bug from this.

Anyway. Went to the store for yeast. They didn’t have yeast. I did not buy anything else. It was not proper to do so. Later, though, I was picking up take-out at a Mexican place - support your local struggling restaurants, this is murder - and had the time to breeze through the Dollar Store. Bounteous stocks. No yeast, but tons of vitamins, sundries, foodstuffs -

And lots of unsold St. Patrick’s Day geegaws. I mean, no one bought any. No one noticed the holiday at all. It’s amusing IN A GRIM SORT OF WAY as we’ll continue to note, but in the post-apocalyptic movies (AND THIS IS NOT THE APOCALYPSE) there are often holiday decorations up to make it extra sad and pathetic, but it’s always a big holiday. It’s never St. Patrick’s Day. Oh, they were cut down right as they were about to say Erin Go Bragh for some reason. 

The worst thing for the urban enthusiasts is the idea that people in the suburbs, whose houses literally embody social distancing, might not get sick as much as people in the cities. Citylab: “Are Suburbs Safer From Coronavirus? Probably Not.”
The article discusses at an AirBnB listing for a 14-acre compound in the middle of nowhere. Looks safe, eh? Nope. Quotes from an expert about how our conception of the wilderness is wrong, ending with . . .
Or, in Keil’s words: “The idea that we can go to countryside to protect ourselves is a bit of a myth, because it doesn’t exist like it used to.”
No; no it doesn’t. So what’s the situation now?
. . . rural and exurban areas have their own unique health challenges. For one, new zoonotic pathogens frequently emerge in pastoral places where humans come into contact with animals.
That’s not really a problem in modern suburbs, is it? I'm not skinning raccoons in the kitchen.....

Yes, the Before Times, when one could touch something and stuff your entire fist in your mouth with nary a care.