My Pandemic Year II: April 2021

April 1, 2021

  • US cases 30,538,427 (78,944 new) / deaths 553,120 (1,087 died today)
  • 99.6 million Americans are now vaccinated, about 30% of the total population.
  • The US is averaging 2.83 million “jabs in arms” per day.
  • WA State cases 365,762 (1,369 new) / deaths 5,262 (15 new)
  • COVID-19 rates have increased in WA State by 13%, 16.9% are fully vaccinated.
  • France goes into its 3rd lockdown.

The firm I work for as an office manager, is successfully pranked by senior management. Well played gentlemen, well played : )

April 2, 2022

  • Global cases 130,108,655 / deaths 2,836,446
  • US cases 30,606,378 (67,951 new) deaths 554,069 (949 died today).
  • WA State 367,115 cases (1,420 new) / 5,278 deaths (16 new)
  • 17.85% of Washingtonians are fully immunized. Vaccine supply still trails demand in WA and CA. As forecast, the variants have become the chief concern.
  • Michigan is recording 5,600 new cases daily
  • Domestic travel is lifted for vaccinated people. I think it’s still too soon.

DeSantis bans ‘vaccine passports’ in Florida as an infringement on personal freedoms, and a barrier to commerce. Businesses who want to require them, now cannot. I make a mental note to never visit Florida…

The US added 916,000 new jobs last month, our unemployment rate is down to 6%. But we’re still 8 million jobs short of pre-pandemic levels. Sacramento pulled 33,000 homeless people off the streets for 1 year and put them into temporary housing at a cost of $4,000 per person, per month – about the same amount of money a person would pay for a low end nursing home.

A car rammed into the barricade at a security checkpoint at the US Capitol today, at a spot where the fencing had recently been removed. The driver exited his car with a knife and was shot to death by one of the two officers. Both officers went to the hospital with injuries, one died a short time later. Congress is in recess and President Biden is at Camp David. Motive was never discovered.

The All Stars Baseball game moves out of Georgia in response to their new voter suppression laws. Coke, Pepsi and Delta are now under pressure to follow suit.

Two Stellar Jays have been at my bird feeders for the past 3 days and the Hairy Woodpecker returned today as well. I watch crows breaking twigs off of the ornamental cherry tree and flying off with them for their nests.

There’s a new deadly viral disease in wild rabbits here. Just in time for Easter!

April 3, 2021

In King County, it is thought that a combination of school team sports and the new variants are driving a state-wide surge in COVID-19 cases. Dr. Duchin, King County Health Officer, says “the virus is spreading faster than we can vaccinate.”

I’ve lost 3 pounds since my second vaccination and my appetite is still depressed. If that’s the only side effect I have, I’ll be pretty happy.

The Suez Canal clears 424 ships, well ahead of the weeks they thought it would take to clear the backlog.

April 5, 2021

  • US cases 30,777,337 ( 170,959 over the last 3 days) / deaths 555,403 (1,334 new)
  • 107.5 million are now vaccinated in the US, 32.4% of the total population.

The India variant is a mutation of a mutation, and has arrived in San Francisco. We now have several variants, with increased travel and churches and schools reopening at a time when kids are most likely to become the newly infected.

It’s my second week back to work. The bus is more crowded now, with maskless people, some of them eating, in spite of a federal order for people to remain masked on public transit.

Walking around downtown feels weird. It’s jarring to walk by a boarded up building and not being able to remember what used to be there. It’s not just a physical disassociation – it feels like the city has a wounded psyche.

There are fewer tents across the street from my office now, but more further north on 3rd and at Greenlake Park. In spite of conditions downtown, I’m glad to be back in the office for part of my week. It breaks up the monotony, increased my daily walking and has reduced my news consumption.

Corporations are banding together to protest the Georgia voter suppression legislation as “The New Jim Crow.” McConnell refers to them as a “woke parallel government” and threatens unspecified consequences for corporations who meddle in government affairs. McConnell later amends that comment with “I’m not talking about political donations,” which seems to make pretty clear that the GOP wants your money but not your opinion.

April 6, 2021

  • Global cases 132,302,451 / deaths 2,871,786
  • US cases 30,846,396 (69,059 new) / deaths 556,509 (1,106 died today)
  • 108.3 million are vaccinated, 32.6% of the total US population.

The White House launches a funeral aid program for families of COVID-19 victims, $9,000 per person, regardless of income.

Major League Baseball, Coke and Delta are now boycotting Georgia. The All Stars Game has moved to Denver. The NRA wants to declare bankruptcy; the NY AG wants the NRA to dissolve.

April 7, 2021

  • US cases 30,920,837 (74,441 new) / deaths 559,086 (2,577 died today)
  • 110 million are vaccinated, 33.1% of the total US population
  • WA State cases 372,170 (1,582 new) / deaths 5,306 (7 new)
  • Almost 20% of Washingtonians are now vaccinated.
  • California plans to lift all restrictions by June.
  • In other viral news, the 1st case of H5N8 Avian Flu transmission to humans was discovered in Russia in February.

It’s my 3rd day in a row in the office. I’m over-reactive to everything, including a two alarm fire response across the street that turns out to be nothing. It’s unexpectedly hard to stay focused. Lunch with a coworker at the Market was a nice break, and he tells me about a company on Lake Union where you can pay to fly a small plane for about an hour. I think I’ll look into doing that sometime this summer.

The Washington Post reports that members of Trump’s cabinet are having trouble finding jobs. Half of the S&P 500 firms have filed their investor reports for 2021, and not a single recent Trump appointee is named on any of those boards. “Careful where you place your loyalties…”

The Senate Parliamentarian confirms that the Democrats can pass two more funding bills using reconciliation (a simple majority vote and bypassing the filibuster) which maddens the GOP and increases their efforts to retake the House at mid-terms. Biden will need to work really fast over the next 18 months to establish his New Deal programs.

April 8, 2021

  • Global cases 133,796,725 / deaths 2,900,922
  • US cases 31,000,053 (79,216 new) / deaths 560,084 (998 died today)
  • 112 million vaccinated, 33.7% of the total US population

Anyone over the age of 16 is now eligible for a vaccine, but the wait-list is 100,000 names. (I never did receive notification from 4 of the 5 lists I was on.) We’re expecting fewer doses in our next shipment. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has failed with 15 million doses being unusable, and millions of other doses being stalled by other issues.

Three days in a row of commuting has tested my stamina after 13 months of being mostly sequestered at home. It may have cured my insomnia though – I sleep like the dead now.

The Chauvin case regarding the death of Floyd continues, with defense arguing that it was Floyd’s fault rather than the officers. If Chauvin is acquitted, “No Justice No Peace” will again become a rallying cry across the country.

This week’s shortages include cargo containers (affecting food and other import/export), and semi-conductors, affecting car manufacturing outputs at Ford & GM, who plan to lay off 10,000 over the next 1-2 weeks.

Washington DC cancels their Fourth of July parade, while most cities are trying to fully open by June. SeaTac Airport sees a 200+% increase in air traffic over this time last year.

April 9, 2021 – Prince Phillip

  • US cases 31,084,065 (84,012 new) / deaths 561,058 (974 new)

Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinborough, husband of Queen Elizabeth, died today at age 99. Scotland and Ireland paused their political events and protests out of respect for the prince. The bells at St. Paul’s Cathedral tolled 99 times. His funeral will be a private rather than state affair, in keeping with his wishes, and COVID-19 restrictions. Eyes are on Her Majesty, who has lost her husband of 60+ years. A fashion historian that I follow on Twitter, runs her Friday Night Frills as mourning wear.

Biden signs an Executive Order for a commission to look into SCOTUS reform.

NPR reports that WFH burnout has become so severe that LinkedIn is giving all staff globally, a week of paid vacation, all at the same time. 80% of companies plan to keep WFH as an option. It’s a mixed bag though – the trend in increased productivity from home was short-lived as new issues arose, including child and elder care, interruptions by children and pets, a lack of private work space, faulty internet connections, and not enough demarcation between work and home life.

A lack of stimulation is costing us our energy. It has killed most of my creativity and is impacting my problem solving skills. I tried to set up rituals to end my work day (a walk) and my work week (dinner from a local food truck) but even those things fell by the wayside as lethargy took over. I’m trying to memorize things but lack the capacity. I still haven’t managed to pick up a book, I can barely make it through a magazine. Attention span of a knat…

Snow flurries are forecast for 500 foot elevations in Seattle. It’s April and still freezing in Seattle.

April 12, 2021

  • US cases 31,267,311 (183,246 new since April 9) / deaths 562,521 (1,463 died today)
  • Three counties in WA State have rolled back to Phase 2. King County is not one of them but is at risk for rolling back to Phase 2 because of elevated case counts.
  • WA State hospitalizations are now double what they were a month ago, with most patients in their 40s.
  • The CDC has told Michigan to lock down, in the absence of vaccines, in spite of other states having more vaccines than they can use.
  • Vaccine appointments are still hard to find in WA State.
  • Major COVID-19 surges are occurring in India and Ontario.
  • The SA variant has broken through our current vaccines.

Regeneron is seeking FDA approval for use as a viral preventative. It’s currently used as an antibody therapy and is said to be 80% effective in preventing COVID-19 and other viruses, which might make it an option to the vaccines if the cost is comparable. Imagine a winter with no flu!

The salmonella outbreak among wild birds is now sending humans to the hospital. Symptoms are diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps for 4-7 days. None of the 3 cases were from King County. But I take precautions when cleaning feeders. I take precautions everywhere now.

University Village shut down early this afternoon for planned demonstrations. The march started at 9 PM, with vandalism on 5th Avenue downtown, and Pioneer Square.

Ramadan begins.

April 13, 2021 – J&J Vaccine and blood clots

  • US cases 31,345,312 (78,001 new) / deaths 563,440 (919 died today)
  • WA State cases 377,952 (791 new) / deaths 5,329 (7 new)
  • 122.3 million vaccinated, 36.8% of the total US population

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is paused in the US after 6 women developed blood clots (CVST) 2 weeks after receiving their second shot. The were 18-48 years old, one was hospitalized, and another one died. It is a very rare condition but the cluster caused some concern. There’s talk of delaying the 2nd shot, but Fauci recommends against that as more people are being exposed to the variants and aren’t fully protected by the single shot. Symptoms of CVST include severe headache and leg or abdominal pain within 3 weeks of the second J&J dose.

Egypt seizes the Ever Given for failure to pay $900 million in compensation for blocking the Suez Canal for 6 days, which includes damage to the canal itself and lost revenue from ships that were re-routed around the Horn of Africa. The ship is docked in the holding lake, with 25 Indian crew members not allowed to debark.

Mom would have turned 91 today. I was going to mark the day with a new family history blog but just wasn’t up to it. I finished my extended “Director’s Cuts” travel journals for most of Italy. I feel like I am aging all of a sudden, and my hair seems to be turning grey literally by the hour. Insomnia returns.

April 14, 2021

  • US cases 31,421,325 (76,013 new) / deaths 564,402 (962 died today)
  • WA State cases 380,339 (1,371 new) / deaths 5,357 (17 new)
  • 123.9 million vaccinated, 37.3% of the total US population

Conditions downtown worsen. Belligerent anti-maskers on the bus are not facing any consequences (like being asked to get off the bus). There’s trash across the street every single day, grafitti that gets painted out every morning but retagged hours later. I watched 5 drug deals go down yesterday. The street sanitation workers and bus drivers are not getting paid enough to do the work they do.

The list of corporations boycotting Georgia continues to grow, and now includes Netflix, Bank of America, Target, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon, and both United and American Airlines, 200 in all. Georgia so far, has not backed down.

Biden announces complete US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by September 11. He made the announcement, symbolically, from the Treaty Room, where President Bush announced the first airstrike against Afghanistan in 2001.

Bernie Madoff died today, age 82, while serving his 150 year sentence for a Ponzi scheme that defrauded 1,000’s of investors.

April 15, 2021

  • US cases 31,495,164 (73,839 new) / deaths 565,283 (881 died today)
  • 125.8 million vaccinated, 37.9 of the total US population
  • Inslee announces that a 3rd dose of Pfizer vaccine will likely be needed to protect against the variants

Vaccine shortages remain, and states ask the Feds for vaccines which the Feds decline to send, while some states have more than they can use. They’re not manufacturing as fast as expected, and problems persist in distributing the supplies we do have. WA State expects 300,000 doses by July.

Economic indicators are moving up as people start returning to work and buying things like clothes and shoes. Governor Inslee announces that the laws allowing bars to sell ‘cocktails to go’ will stay on the books, post pandemic. Good news for bar patrons.

Biden puts sanctions on Russia today, including the expulsion of some Russian personnel and a ban on US citizens buying Russian bonds. In the EU, the search is on for 1,000 year old oak trees to saw down for replacing the beams at Notre Dame Cathedral (that suffered a catastrophic fire in 2019).

Splitting my week between home and office feels stranger than I expected it to. It’s like being in a foreign country, but instead of happily discovering new things, I’m reacting to the loss of businesses and landmarks that are no longer here. I should be happy getting back to a more normal routine, except it’s not normal at all. Getting vaccinated hasn’t changed my circumstances much. I can walk around without fear of contracting a fatal disease, but still can’t do most of the things I’ve been looking forward to. I don’t know why this is hitting me so hard today.

Then articles start popping up on my computer screen. From ‘The Packer,’ an article on burnout, with the list of symptoms including mental exhaustion, being cynical and short tempered, expectations not being met. A tool called the Kubler-Ross Change Curve cites the following steps:

  • shock at the event and denial of circumstances
  • frustration with and recognition that things are different, and some anger about that
  • depression
  • experimentation and initial engagement with new situations
  • decisions, learning work-arounds to new situations and environments
  • integration and renewal

I have a ways to go before I reach the renewal phase. I remain disappointed and angry much of the day, after expecting the ‘sameness’ to dissipate when it doesn’t. I need to figure out a work-around.

April 16, 2021

  • US cases 31,575,182 (80,018 new) / deaths 566,212 (929 died today)

There was another break in attempt at our office last night, which resulted in our call box being destroyed. Our office remained untouched, but now we have to go downstairs to let delivery drivers in. I’m surprised that we still have windows, we are one of only 5 business on the street that doesn’t have our glass boarded up.

Axios reports that the pandemic will last longer than expected, with kids and those under the age of 60 the new target group. Surges continue as lockdowns and other precautions start to loosen. Red and Southern states are refusing vaccines but are not sending their excess supplies to states who want them.

We’ve had 45 mass shootings in the last 30 days in the US, including 8 people at a FedEx facility who were killed in about 2 minutes. It is unfortunate, the things that are returning to normal…

April 17, 2021

  • Global deaths top 3 million today
  • India goes into lockdown. Brazil and Ontario are also the new hot spots
  • WA State receives 40,000 fewer doses this week than expected, as demand surges and supply continues to fall short. Lumen Field, our mass vaccination site that expected to deliver 22,000 shots per day, is delivering between 2,400-8,000 for lack of vaccines.

Prince Phillip is laid to rest today in one of the most somber settings I have ever seen.

Men of color continue to get shot, one at a traffic stop, and one who was 13 years old.

An evening of plant shopping with Vicki results in me building a vertical garden in front of my WFH window. It’s just tall enough to block the view of the street and a neighbor’s satellite dish, while still letting some light through. The fountain that I try to construct fails when the electrical outlet goes dead, so the fountain moves inside to become the cat’s water bowl and amusement.

April 19, 2021

  • Global cases 141,813,257 / deaths 3,027,182
  • US cases 31,737,347 (162,165 new since Friday) / deaths 567,690 (1,478 since Friday)
  • The State Department “strongly recommends that US citizens reconsider travel abroad” to 80% of the globe due to uncontrolled COVID-19 surges. Given that the US remains Number 1 in both case and death counts, the announcement feels pretty ironic.
  • King County starts a program to vaccinate adults who are home-bound.

I start my day with a 100.3 fever, which lasts much of the day. I spend the evening working on travel blogs instead of hats for my upcoming show, on the premise that my travel blogs tie in to my work. “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.” Pandemic burnout is real, and revisiting other countries virtually is almost helping to relieve that. With an emphasis on ‘almost.’

Walter Mondale dies, age 93

April 20, 2011

  • US cases 31,792,110 (54,763 new) / deaths 568,461 (771 died today)

NYT reports that our symptoms might not be burnout or depression, but rather ‘languishing’ – a sense of stagnation and emptiness, like looking at life through a foggy windshield. Flourishing is the top of the emotional health mountain, depression is the valley, languishing is the mid point between the two:

  • It dulls your motivation and disrupts your ability to focus
  • It triples the chance that you will cut back on your work
  • It increases the chances of developing major depression, PTSD and anxiety disorders further down the road.
  • You don’t seek help because you have have become indifferent to your indifference.

Immersive projects are a good antidote, which is what I have already discovered. I call those “mental vacations” and find them very therapeutic, once I can find the motivation to actually get started.

National Guard are deployed in DC ahead of the verdict in the Chauvin/Floyd trial. Derek Chauvin is found guilty on all counts at 1:45 PM. Bail is revoked and Chauvin remains mostly expressionless as the verdict is read, as though it was the outcome he was expecting. Seattle City opens the parks for public mourning and we brace for violence that turns instead, to celebration.

One black man has been avenged. Countless others await. And another black teenager is shot to death in Ohio just before this verdict is read. The cycle continues.

April 21, 2021

  • US cases 31,861,202 (69,092 new) / deaths 569,385 (924 died today)
  • India has had 200,000 new cases every day for the past 7 days. About 2% of their population is vaccinated. Cremation sites are running 24/7 like they were here.
  • India still has half as many cases as the US, at 15,616,130
  • Brazil is behind India at 14,122,795 cases, but second behind us at 381,475 deaths

Seven staff are in the office today. We break at 4 PM for drinks at a rooftop bar at a nearby hotel. It’s my first social hour with my coworkers in 13 months.

April 22, 2021

  • US cases 31,928,408 (67,206 new) / deaths 570,320 (935 died today)
  • 135 million vaccinated / 40.9% of total US population
  • WA State cases 398,509 (1626 new) / deaths 5,462 (6 new) / 28.34% vaccinated
  • WA State increase in case % threatens to roll us back to Phase 2 lockdown

April 23, 2021

  • Global cases 145,293,628 / deaths 3,083,527
  • US cases 31,991,750 (63,342) / deaths 571,197 (877 died today)
  • WA State cases have doubled in the last 30 days, 50-60% are the UK variant
  • India cases 16,263,695 / Brazil cases 14,237,078

Feds say that vaccine supply is higher than demand. In WA State, COVID-19 is outpacing vaccinations; with about 50% of our population having received their 1st dose, immunity is still at only 27% out of the 73% necessary to establish herd immunity. People in the 20-50 age group now comprise the highest number of hospitalizations and deaths.

COVID-19 long haulers are now found to be developing fatal illnesses, months after contracting the original virus. IMHO we have a looming health crisis exacerbated by the inactions of the previous administration.

California opens sections of sports stadiums to fully vaccinated fans. Seattle cancels Bumbershoot again this year and opts for a virtual version.

This week’s commodity shortage is tapioca balls, used for bubble tea. The shortage has impacted the pho restaurant I eat lunch at, and has forced shops in Sacramento to close early when they run out.

April 24, 2021

  • India runs short on hospital beds and oxygen. Flights out of India are now banned in several countries.
  • Germany institutes a curfew starting at midnight, and limits non-essential businesses in regions with high infection rates.
  • J&J vaccine resumes usage after the pause regarding blood clotting
  • France eases restrictions in spite of only 1/4 of Europeans being fully vaccinated.
  • NYC opens walk-in vaccination sites, no appointments required.

Biden is the first US president to recognize the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. It’s the right thing to do but will further strain our relationship with Turkey.

I have finished a hat every day this week, ahead of the weekend show. Yay me!

April 26, 2021

  • US cases 32,124,369 / deaths 572,666
  • India records 320,000 new cases, with 115 deaths per hour. They are now second to the US with 17.1 million cases. We are unfortunately, still Number One.

Mixed messaging continues as some sources say infection rates in WA State have gone down by 18%, while other sources talk about a ‘worrisome spike” which is hitting younger people (40-50 age range) with more severe illness than during the previous surge. The UK variant is 50% more transmissible and people are not being as cautious now that COVID-19 fatigue setting in. Globally, only 3% of the population is vaccinated. There are new concerns about the rise of tuberculosis.

At 4 PM today, five police cars pull up as a man paces back and forth in front of our building, taunting police officers and walking out into the street repeatedly in front of oncoming city buses. I’m not leaving the building, in case this escalates. The man is black, the police officers are white, and none of the officers (as yet) are leaving their cruisers. I walk away from my window after 20 minutes, and return a few minutes later to find everyone gone. I have no idea what the outcome was, and I waited another hour before leaving to catch my bus.

April 27, 2021

  • Global cases 148,353,905 / deaths 3,131,636
  • US cases 32,175,049 (50,680 new) / deaths 573,378 (712 died today)
  • WA State cases 397,417 (1,078 new) / deaths 5450 (16 new)
  • King County is still on the edge of reverting back to Phase 2 lockdowns (with indoor spaces cut from 50% capacity to 25%)
  • 42% of the US population is now fully vaccinated
  • The US sends 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to India
  • Turkey initiates a 3 week lockdown, extending beyond Ramadan
  • Burning Man is cancelled

It’s a mostly pleasant walk from Lenora to the office this morning, aside from a few tents camped on Fifth Avenue near the monorail. A street cleaner drops his mask to smile and tell me how Tibetan I look today. The marque on the old ICON restaurant (long ago shuttered) reads: “I CANT GET NO…”. The signage in the windows of the Indochine suit shop read: “Love will find a way, even if plans change (twice)”. There are birds singing and the sun is shining and the streets are mostly clean and vacant, although I’m still struggling to remember what businesses were behind the now boarded up facades.

I turn onto Union and then Third Avenue. It’s like night and day.

Biden announces that fully vaccinated people can go outdoors without masks as long as we avoid crowds and stay socially distanced. COVID-19 is airborne and in spite of being fully vaccinated, I will keep my mask on. It feels weird to be told its ok to remove a mask when we’re in a 4th wave and variants are getting a toe-hold. But ‘going maskless’ is thought to be a reward for getting vaccinated, and perhaps it’s meant as an incentive.

April 28, 2021

  • US cases 32,229,327 (54,278 new) / deaths 574,326 (948 died today)
  • WA State hits 400,149 cases (1,641 new) / 5,474 deaths (12 new)

I get off the bus on Third Avenue, just as another rider spills an entire latte at my feet. I step onto the sidewalk to witness some aggression between the sanitation workers and the tent people, including a pair of men who climb onto the “street zamboni” in order to stop it from sweeping. I should write a thank you note to the sanitation department whose workers face a more challenging work environment than they should. It takes a crew of 3 with trash cans about an hour to clean half the block, with another coming behind them to paint out the graffiti, and yet another on a bike to hose down the sidewalks.

There’s another altercation between the tent people and the sanitation workers this afternoon, with one of the tent people chasing the worker away from his trash can. Two other homeless men run out into the street, one pepper spraying the other. It’s not that the street feels dangerous as much as it is highly unpredictable and it would be easy to get caught in cross-hairs. I never leave the building without telling someone where I’m going and when I expect to be back. Later in the afternoon I write an email to the city. A symptom of the pandemic is the increase in homeless camps they on our sidewalks, in front of buildings that have been mostly abandoned. It’s going to take a long time for us to recover from this.

In national news, the three white supremacists who gunned down Ahmaud Arbery while he was jogging, have been charged with federal hate crimes. Employees at Simon & Schuster Publishing petition their management to cancel a 2 book deal with Pence, and ask them to refuse to sign deals with other members of the Trump administration on the grounds that they promote white supremacy. NY police serve a search warrant on Giuliani and remove electronic devices from his office and apartment, as part of the ongoing Ukraine investigation.

Michael Collins dies, age 90. He was the astronaut who stayed in orbit while Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. He later became a general, and joined the State Department after leaving NASA, and would become the director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. He led a storied life that few of us knew before today. He described his view of the earth from the moon mission as: “Tiny. Very Shiny. Blue and White. Bright. Beautiful. Serene and Fragile.”

Biden gives his first address to the Joint Session of Congress. He has a pretty aggressive agenda for rebuilding the country, I hope he can achieve even 1/4 of it. The most notable visual was the podium behind him, where two women – Pelosi and Harris – were seated. It’s the first time in US history that two women have occupied those chairs.

April 29, 2021

  • Global cases 150,102,206 / deaths 3,161,637
  • US cases 32,283,801 (54,474 new) / deaths 575,070 (744 died today)
  • WA State cases 401,718 (1,720 new) / deaths 5487 (13 new)
  • 28.86% of Washingtonians are fully vaccinated.
  • WA State has seen a 20% decline in vaccination rates.

Washington colleges plan to require vaccine cards before a return to in-person learning. Cruise ships plan to resume operations by mid-July. Pelosi estimates that 75% of Congress is now vaccinated.

April 30, 2021 – May Day Flowers and a virtual show

I have taken the day off from my WFH job to do technical checks for the virtual art show tomorrow. I’m trying to help other artists who are finding some challenges with the platform, while trying to keep cats off of my two laptops, and submit my work hours and monitor my work email. I’ve got like 10 tabs open on two machines.

Marie drops by and delivers a May Day paper cone full of flowers. She tells me Payne is performing tomorrow for the first time since the pandemic began. We sit and chat a bit about how hard the year has been in spite of having a better situation than many others (we both still have income, and health insurance, and a place to live and food to eat). But hardship is hardship, and it’s hard to play it even if others are worse off.

I return to my WFH office / studio / virtual art show booth, where I have spent the majority of my days and more than a few nights for the past 14 months. I pick up where I left off. My brain is fried by mid-afternoon and by the time I leave my computer, I feel like I’ve burned 1,000 calories. I get to bed around 1 AM for a show that starts at 7 AM Pacific Time tomorrow.

Final – – – –

It had not been my intention to continue this blog past December 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, but I think this journal is, at least for now. I have shortened some of my earlier entries, and those after January 20 are excerpts from the more complete accounting that I continue to keep off-line. It is time to move on.

Thank you for following me here. I hope to resume my family histories soon. To read about my other immersive projects, please visit my other websites at Daveno Travels and August Phoenix Hats.

Stay safe stay well!

Published by augustphoenixhats

I'm a self taught hat maker, working in rescued textiles and found objects. My designs are inspired by my travels and historical studies. Learn more about me and my hats at

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