My Pandemic Year: June 2020

June 1, 2020 – Protests continue

Protests continue, with looting. This isn’t about George Floyd or BLM anymore, it’s been co-opted into something else. Renton and Kirkland are suggesting city-wide closures at 1 PM today. Alderwood and Lynnwood Malls are closed after Southcenter Mall was targeted this morning. Cops are beating protestors and journalists but are leaving the looters to their own devices. This evening, Trump tried to declare martial law by using threatening to send the US military to every city where rioting is out of control, using the Insurrection Act as his legal stance. But according to the Posse Comitatus Act, governors need to invite that level of federal assistance to their state. It cannot be forced upon them.

June 5, 2020 – BLM Plaza in DC

Nightly protests finally turn peaceful in Seattle, after the curfew is lifted and conversations are held between the protestors and the Mayor (Durkin) and the Chief of Police (Carmen Best). Our office downtown is broken into for the second time in as many weeks. Nothing stolen, as we had already secured everything of value after the last break-in.

The Pentagon and the Mayor of DC are bucking Trump to disarm military personnel in DC, many of whom do not have identifying insignia on their uniforms. The Mayor renames a 2 block section of 16th Ave “Black Lives Matters Plaza” and paints huge yellow lettering on the pavement leading up to the White House. The White House and grounds are now surrounded by an 8′ tall metal mesh fence, behind a 3′ tall barricade which is behind a concrete barrier.

I’ve had crying jags several days this week and gained 3 pounds overnight, which I attribute to elevated cortisol levels from near-continuous meltdowns. Insomnia last night means that mental fatigue rules my day today. I hope to finish a project this weekend. Any project will do…

June 7, 2020 – Protests go global

Protests continue and have now gone global, in spite of the pandemic. Local protests continue to be more peaceful as curfews lift and the protesters police their own against looters. Teargas is now banned in Seattle. Elsewhere, officers are now being charged with assault for using excessive force resulting in broken bones and stitched up heads.

Trump withdraws the National Guard from downtown DC, some think he was bullied by the Black Female Mayor, but the official reasoning is based on fewer-than-expected numbers of protesters (one million were expected, about 10,000 showed up). Protests have not diminished but I guess he’s feeling safer behind his wall now. The question about the ‘secret police’ remains unanswered. It is rumored that some of the military units were actually civilian militias (i.e. Proud Boys and their ilk), although we will probably never know.

And now, years after Colin Kaepernick took a knee in 2016, the NFL apologizes to its players and now allows them to kneel during the national anthem. I can only hope that this maelstrom of actions leads to lasting and meaningful change. “The Best Things White People Can Do Is Listen.”

June 8, 2020 – Protests continue

I should be recording more about the most tumultuous times we have had since the 1960’s, but the news cycle is so fast that it’s been difficult and stressful to absorb all of it. We are now into 9 days of daily protests. Demonstrations cover much of the city, stretching even to Northgate. There are growing concerns about COVID-19 spikes (which is one of the reasons that tear gas has been banned here). We’ll see what next week’s numbers reflect.

Trump appears to be losing footing with his generals and at least one former president (Bush). Biden might turn Texas blue during the election, which is said to be one of the political death knells for Trump’s second term. WE SHALL SEE.

Asians are handing out paper cranes of peace. Quakers sit nearby with a sign that says “End White Silence.” The Amish and Wiccan are said to have joined forces earlier in the week. Strange bedfellows heralding the end of things as they currently are…

June 10, 2020 – 2 million cases

  • We reached 2 million COVID-19 cases in the US today, and 112,000+ deaths.
  • Confederate flags are banned at NASCAR
  • Confederate statues are being toppled in both the US and UK
  • White people are trying to do the right thing. I hope it is sustainable.

June 13, 2020

The most descriptive Tweet of the day so far: “I am presently experiencing life at a rate of several WTF’s per hour.”

I am listless today. AGAIN. But at least my house is clean now. I started a new eating plan called “The 8 Hour Window” which restricts your eating to 8 hours a day, and abstaining from the other 16 (fluids OK). It may help me to curb my stress eating and boredom grazing. Current weight is 166.2, affects should kick in in about 2 weeks.

I’m still musing on early retirement, but if this is what retirement is going to look like, it fairly well sucks. I do much better on days when I can submerse myself in a project, elsewise my news-scrolling continues with every breaking alert email that crosses my work desk. I know I should be doing better but I’m having a heck of a time getting myself over this hump.

June 21, 2020 – Tulsa rally and doom-scrolling

Today is Father’s Day, but in the absence of a father, I’m not celebrating. I try to stay off of social media on holidays.

The political pendulum seems to be swinging back to a more reasonable world as BLM protests continue to shed light on police departments, which are now being evaluated, defunded in some cities and re-organized in others.

Trump’s 1st post-COVID-19 rally in Tulsa was a phenomenal flop. Trump was expecting 1 million people, but only 6,200 showed up. Fox News reported that 5.3 million viewers tuned in, but that didn’t seem to lighten Trump’s mood any.

Kpop (a Korean boy band and activist group) was credited with convincing their fans to reserve tickets. Pascale, Trump’s campaign manager, failed to include an “I’m over 18” checkbox on the reservation form, which not only enabled the teens to do this thing, but also resulted in Pascale breaking a law about collecting personal info from minors. The teens said no laws were broken, since “TikTokTeens” and “Kpop-stans” are smart enough to provide burner phones and fake emails on forms. It did make for delicious reading for a couple of hours last night…

Today I’m back to mask making, this batch for Yakima which is now the COVID-19 hotspot in the state. Seattle is opening back up but I’m seeing fewer masks on people, especially outdoors, though perhaps it is because the risk is though to be lower. Most businesses require masks upon entry. Theaters and restaurants will re-open next week, but I’m not game enough to go back to those yet.

My bank account is improving from lack of daily spending. I’m now saving up in hopes of a trip to Africa next year, and also a potential move if my rent here increases.

Doom-scrolling has become a commonly used phrase to describe “checking social media relentlessly for apocalyptic updates”. People are getting swallowed up by the fast-moving news cycle, myself included.

June 23, 2020 – 4000+ daily COVID-19 cases

My sleep was disrupted by muscle cramps and knee pain. Today is off to a groggy start.

All indications in the news point to serious trouble in Trump’s campaign. Every step he takes turns even his supporters away – DACA, Tulsa, COVID-19 and now the firing of the Attorney General for New York. The Voice of America is also being dismantled and re-crafted as another mouthpiece for Trump, with the firing of staff and board members globally on Friday night. The purge continues but maybe momentum is building behind the curtain to stop it. (Friday night firings have become a thing for this administration.)

Coronavirus has hit the largest single day case count on record (4,000+) and is now being described as a forest fire rather than a series of waves. It’s also gaining credence as a main contributor to the Tulsa rally fiasco. From the headlines in the Seattle Times today, people remain hesitant to resume “life as normal,” including me.

Police reform bills continue a fight between House and Senate. Six black men have been found lynched over the past several days. A noose was found in the garage of the only black driver on the NASCAR circuit. At some point, white supremacists need to be tagged as domestic terrorists.

June 24, 2020 – Mask mandate and travel bans

  • US daily cases are now 36,000+
  • US total cases – 2,280,065. Brazil is next highest with 1,188,631. All other countries are below 600,000.
  • US deaths as of today – 121,965
  • Global cases now past 9.4 million, global deaths – 482,105 with a continued upward trajectory.

Governor Inslee mandates mask wearing by Friday in all public spaces, both indoors and out. Non-compliance is a misdemeanor although I hope they hand out masks rather than tickets.

The EU is considering banning travel from the US as we now account for 25% of worldwide COVID-19 cases, and our daily totals are going back up. Cases in some states (TX, AZ, CA) have more than doubled since Memorial Day, which I think might be a harsher uptick than was expected. Yakima has now run out of ICU beds.

Dr. Fauci and followers are growing concerned that the mix of COVID-19 and seasonal flu are going to be lethal this fall.

Dow Jones dropped 709 points today. The global economy is forecast to shrink by 4.9% which is worse than expected.

Stress eating has resumed after 3 days of the 8:16 eating plan made me sick.

Nooses, lynchings and threats towards people of color, continue :(

June 26, 2020 – The Memorial Day surge begins

  • US has 40,000 new COVID-19 cases today. The Memorial Day surge has started.
  • Texas and Florida are panicking and are considering going back into lockdown.
  • US is pretty much out of control regarding COVID-19 mitigation.

There is no good news today on any level. I’ll try to stay off the news this weekend. I need to be at my sewing machine, churning out masks for another shipment to Yakima.

I’m using a folding patio chair at my work desk, which I tried to pad out today after feeling like I’m being electrocuted every time I sit down. My right hip and left knee are problematic and at one point today, every nerve ending felt like it was on fire. My bad for sitting at my computer for 14 hours a day with very few breaks over the last two weeks, but it was the only way I could get about 1,000 pages of grant applications uploaded to a .gov system by deadline. I miss my proper desk and chair at my proper office.

June 27, 2020 – Shopping

  • We set a new daily record of COVID-19 cases today of 45,942. Fingers are now firmly pointing at Memorial Day gatherings.
  • Florida is closing bars ASAP and beaches on July 4.
  • US cases now at 2,507,874. Deaths are 125,504
  • Global cases – 9,949,767. Deaths are 498,100
  • Mortality rate in the US is currently 5.1%, ranked 5th in the world behind the UK (14.9%), Mexico, Ecuador and Indonesia.
  • It is estimated that 1 out of 10 Americans are now infected.
  • Americans are now banned from travel to the UK until further notice.

I don’t think I’m traveling anywhere this year, and 2021 is starting to look doubtful.

Vicki (my upstairs neighbor) and I went to Third Place Books today. We waited in line as the bookstore was limiting the number of customers to about a dozen at a time, with masks required and a 30 minute limit on shopping. It’s not enough time to properly browse at a bookstore, and I was hesitant to even pick volumes up to flip through them. QFC was a similar experience but we were able to stock up on vodka and gin. There was such a long line outside of an Uwajimaya that we didn’t even try. Swanson’s Nursery was shopping by appointment only. Don’t even think about shopping at Home Depot on a Saturday, again, long lines and controlled capacity inside the store. It’s crazy.

June 30, 2020 – Travel bans and bounties

  • The US is now officially banned from travel to Europe (not just the UK).
  • Some US states are now banning travel to selected other states.
  • Openings are now being rolled back.
  • Fall is now expected to bring COVID-19 Round 2, a new seasonal flu, and a new H1N1 swine flu. There is still no national plan.
  • Our office has reopened on a voluntary basis, with a limit of 10 staff per day. We are strongly encouraged to continue to work from home.
  • Following my boss’s suggestion, I ordered an office chair today, as I suspect I may be working from home for a few more months yet.
  • COVID-19 cases are now rising in 36 states. We’re a steaming hot mess due to the inactions of this administration.

Today’s other news trauma is the Russians paying bounties to the Taliban for American soldiers in Afghanistan. The issue apparently dates to February/March 2019 but the White House denies knowledge of it and blames the press. (?)

The Supreme Court rules on Trump’s taxes in the next week or two. There’s special interest in Russian deposits in Trump’s accounts with an implied tie-in to the Taliban bounty issue.

Shipped masks to Yakima today and started embroidery on Kate’s dress (the commission I’ve referenced earlier in this log) which is due in September.

Published by augustphoenixhats

I'm a self taught hat & mask maker, working in rescued textiles and found objects. My hat designs are inspired by my travels and historical studies, my masks from the textiles they are born from.

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