Thursday 3: April 16, 2020
Hi, friends! It’s Thursday, in case you didn’t know what day it is. In my parallel life, our family would be cruising around the Kona side of the Big Island today. Instead we’re at home, having another shampoo day (wash, rinse, repeat). I saw that description on Instagram somewhere and thought it was the best way to describe these quarantine days. Shoots, brah.
I was really getting frustrated with staying home, but I’m moving forward with a more positive attitude this week and have been on the lookout for the good these days, which include the Thursday 3 below.
No. 1: Covid-19, Meet the Seattle Freeze
Have you ever heard of the Seattle Freeze? If you’re not from the Pacific Northwest, I’ll explain. The Seattle Freeze is the phenomenon people experience when they move to the area from different parts of the country. People in the PNW tend to be polite, but distant, and newcomers find it difficult to make friends with locals, as the locals tend to stick to socializing with long-time friends and are reticent to add anyone new to the mix.
The standoffish, distant culture of the Pacific Northwest is one I have a difficult time understanding (and I grew up in it), but boy, it sure works during a pandemic. I saw this on a friend’s Facebook feed at the beginning of the month, and it made me laugh out loud.
It’s hard to read, but the dark green line extending to the right shows the mortality rate for Covid-19 in King County (Seattle and surrounding area). In comparison to other parts of the country, it certainly is flattening out.
And then my husband showed me this tweet from epidemiologist Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding:
Here’s a close-up of the graph titled “Summary of latest reproduction number and confirmed case count estimates by date of infection” from the website Dr. Feigl-Ding linked:
The graph is different now than when Dr. Feigl-Ding tweeted it and it appears that both Louisiana and Washington’s R(e) numbers are possibly less than 1. That means that people infected with Covid-19 in Washington and Louisiana are possibly transmitting the disease to less than one person each! What happens over time when a disease is transmitted to less than one person per infected person? It stops being transmitted! Whoo hoo! Covid-19, meet the Seattle Freeze, indeed! There’s hope for us yet!
No. 2: Yeast is On the Way!
Like everyone else staying home in America, I have decided to try my hand at baking bread. I don’t know about where you live, but yeast has been impossible to find around our area. My husband called our local grocery store yesterday and asked if they had yeast. The lady on the other end laughed and said she hadn’t seen any yeast in the store for four weeks.
My cousin said the other grocery store in town had some, so when a different cousin went to that store, my aunt had him look for it in the baking aisle. This is what he sent my aunt:
We tried three different grocery stores in two towns, and there was no yeast to be found in any of them. So I turned to Amazon, where the only size I could find available was a one pound bag. One whole pound of yeast! I gritted my teeth, decided I was all in on this baking scheme, and added the yeast to my cart. Then I searched for toilet paper (which my cousin also could not find at the grocery store), found one brand that looked like its rolls did not belong in a gas station bathroom, and put that in my cart.
The toilet paper was on the expensive side, so I waited for Kevin to finish a phone call to ask if he thought we should buy it despite its high price tag. When I opened my cart after he told me not to second guess buying any toilet paper we can find, both the yeast and the toilet paper were no longer there!
This is where I would like to tell you I took this turn of events in stride, calmly looking for more yeast and toilet paper with the measured typing of an unhurried but incredibly efficient 1950s secretary. I would be lying. I freaked out. How could they take my yeast and toilet paper? Oh, the humanity!
Luckily, my husband told me to chill the $%#@ out, and that’s when I was able to focus my frenetic energy and begin searching for more yeast and toilet paper with the crazed intensity of every hero or heroine in every apocalypse/dystopian movie ever. And I found yeast! But not toilet paper. But the yeast is on its way! Amazon says so. And we found toilet paper at a different grocery store. So all is right with the world. I mean, not really, there’s a global pandemic happening, but you know what I mean.
No. 3: Pride & Prejudice Counting Book
My cousin, Laura, in South Dakota sent us a little package for the girls and in it was this adorable Pride & Prejudice counting book. Number highlights include 2 rich gentlemen, 4 marriage proposals, and 5 sisters, but my favorite number in the book is 10, which is depicted as 10,000 pounds a year! I see this book as a stepping stone in their complete Jane Austen indoctrination. Is it too soon to start watching the 6 hour long BBC version of P&P?
I hope you are all staying safe out there. Try not to go crazy. Try not to look for toilet paper and yeast, because that will make you go crazy. Keep on being your distant, standoffish selves, Washingtonians! If we continue the Seattle Freeze, maybe soon we can transition to ignoring each other in public and not just at home 😉