Corona Diary 2 July 2020

I hope y’all had a great Canada Day (July 1st).

We marked the occasion with our 100-day cake. It was actually Day 110 but the kids didn’t seem to mind.

In their excitement, after we sang Happy Birthday Canada, they started chanting U-S-A, U-S-A!

Best lockdown ever.

Magical thinking is a coping mechanism that I have met in different places.

I’ve seen magical thinking by CEOs of bust companies. Athletes with regard to supplements and superstitions. Hospice patients trying to deal with a terminal diagnosis.

I think we might be seeing something similar from the President and his supporters. Some of my friends are echoing a line I heard the President say yesterday, “this is all going to blow over by the fall.”

I sure hope so.


The whole issue about masks is an own-goal by the President. I think it is related to his aversion to using protection. I get it.

Separate from his personal views, it wasn’t necessary for his political goals. His core constituency will follow his lead.

Outside of his core supporters, is a group that doesn’t like him much but supports his agenda. Why place these people in a position where they have to publicly go against him?

Why alienate the supporters of convenience? Each break makes the next one easier.

Anyhow, information on the practical benefits of masks appears to be spreading. Spreading slowly, and in a very American fashion (loud, pissed off, lots of debate, people getting shot).

Repost of me and my 9-year old at 14,000 feet elevation, masks the whole way. 25 pounds on my 51-year old back.

Our President is planning a no-masks no-distancing rally at Mt Rushmore to celebrate July 4th. Their governor told people worried about infection to stay at home.

Unfortunately, we’re in this mess as a result of the next infection, not the first. The National Infection Tour rolls on.

Our governor shut our bars, and clubs, this week. On this first go-round, they had been allowed to reopen for 14 days. At the end of April, he told us we’d be opening/closing/iterating as we navigate through the crisis.

Some red-state governors are starting to converge to the blue-state approach. That said, Cali is trending up again. I wonder if there’s a lot of AC-equipped dormitory housing in SoCal.

Just in case things blow up, rather than blow over, I’m continuing to prepare for another shelter in place order.

Last year one of our Siamese cats died. Ax-man made his younger sister this one from scratch. Old-school lego technique from a pile of loose blocks!

Russia is in the news for doing very Russian things (cash bounties for killing our soldiers). Seems like a stupid thing for Putin to do, and he isn’t stupid. More typical would be to offer cash and weapons for “general purposes.” Here’s a link to what our CIA did when the Russians were fighting in Afghanistan.

You’ll probably see the current situation through whatever lens confirms your views of the administration. Here’s a point to consider about malfeasance…

It’s impossible to know all of the misdeeds of a regime while they remain in power – Mao’s China, Stalin’s Russia, etc…

Even for the good guys, it takes time for facts to come out.

Our oldest claims she taught our cat to take selfies… 😉

I was living in Hong Kong during the Handover from the Brits to the Chinese. Recently, the Handover hasn’t gone well, but it has gone as many expected.

The UK has offered a five-year visa to Hong Kong holders of the BNO document. I think this is a very honorable thing to do. I can remember many people viewed the documents as worthless when they were issued. More on the path to citizenship being offered in this BBC article.

I was cleaning the fridge this week. Afterwards, my wife asked, “How long did that take?”

As far as I know, I am the only first-born male in 125 years to clean a refrigerator in his 50s. I’ll be doing the toilets later, Sweetie.

Freedom turned out different than I expected.

Volcano project rolls on. I’ve told the kids it will blow sky-high on the 4th!

No Fate

Our family party planner is gearing up for the 4th of July

Came across this in my feed via PaulG.

Lots to unpack.

Here’s a partial list of countries where I’ve spent more than ten weeks of my life: Canada (Happy Canada Day, BTW), England, USA, Scotland, France, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, Australia and Bermuda.

The tweet above touches on something I’ve noticed about rich countries – we can get away with a lot of stupid stuff.

Inverting that observation, if you live in Taiwan, Hong Kong or New Zealand then you KNOW you can’t afford to screw up. The “Feds” in these places don’t have the capacity to bail you out. Only a very rich government gives you a tax cut and starts a war of choice.

This knowledge has a profound influence on their cultural outlook, work ethic, community bonds and social cohesion.

In the US, we are seeing the result of a widespread view that competence doesn’t matter. Left and right, we see populism ascendant.

We will pay a price if we rip down what remains.

It’s a big year for peas at Byrn Family Farms. Be careful with the seeds you choose to water.

Next idea for you.

Yes, the next year is going to be awful – people are going to die (many needlessly), businesses will go bust, friends and family will face ruin.

Awful is always there. Terror is always there. You will never not find them.

Whatever emotional pattern you choose to repeat across this crisis is going to be with you for a long time. The stress of your current life situation is going to burn some deep habits.

An attitude that the future is already lost will not serve us well. Mainly because it will distract each of us from the work we need to do. The work required to rebuild the damage which continues to be done to our communities.

What to do?

Well, pay attention when you find yourself drifting into a pity party.

Acknowledge it.

Then set a time limit on it.

An hour each morning, is about the max you should allow yourself.

But consider => if you start each day with a large coffee and a workout then you might be able to avoid it altogether.

Here’s a good read about facing difficulties with grace => Tuesdays With Morrie

Each week I get a choice. I can focus on the 150 hours I spend in my house, or the 18 hours I spend out of the box with my son.

Sometimes I can’t manage a one hour cap on my dissatisfaction and I’m still really upset (at what I don’t really know!) when I go to bed.

On those evenings, I fall asleep with a mantra, “tomorrow will be better.”

Tomorrow will be better.

It works.

My choice => up early, improving myself before my kids are awake.

Taking the two points together.

I will not blame you for sliding into a pity party, or righteous anger.

Every one of us can justify those feelings. I feel them in me – they come and they go.

I choose to let negative feelings go because they will not get me the life I want…

…for myself, for my marriage and for my family.

No fate.