Continued from Corona diary 03.
1. Monday – Day, after day
6th of April 2020: Working Monday after a week off. Still we kept having the morning meeting. Though, at the end of the work day I got a call from Grima, saying that the next day there will be no more morning meeting – just to call and report over the phone. Some shit must have happened for this change to come. One of the colleagues from Belgrade died from Corona on Sunday – maybe that was the reason. The other colleagues discussed it on our Viber chat over the weekend. The consensus is that it is serious and that we should be careful – masks, alcohol, keeping the distance, and all that stuff.
There were very few of us at work, because we got split in 3 groups, each working on a separate week. As I had discussed, Saruman and Grima made the groups with overlapping, so if one man gets sick, they’ve been in contact with practically all the others over the past 10 days. My group is such that I had to do about 90% of the work, but that’s fine, in a situation like this. The overlap is what worries me.
Still, I made the time to patch the tyre on Preacher’s bicycle, and gave him a crash-course on how to patch a bicycle tyre.
The ride home was magical. Nice, sunny day. Strong, relatively cold wind, but at my back. Almost no cars, and almost no people in the streets. The few pedestrians were often using the road as the sidewalk (twats!), and pedestrians are a lot less predictable than the cars. Still, there were only a few people in total, so the ride was still lovely. This song popped to my mind – don’t know why, probably a psychiatrist could explain that. 🙂
Came home feeling exhausted. Laid down and fell asleep. Woke up at about 8 PM. Spent the evening drinking rakija and dancing with SWMBO. She’s getting more and more anxious over this whole infection risk, dangerous disease and the lockdown. Everybody is, for sure.
Went back to sleep still relatively early (considering I had slept for most of the afternoon.
7th of April 2020: Phone meeting in the morning. Relatively quiet day. Had the time to fix some of our own computers, that couldn’t have been fixed in the past weeks. Even took the time to connect an Internet computer to our “chill room” TV – so we can play YouTube music when taking a break. There is a window to be kept open, with enough room so that the few of us can be set at more than 2 m apart. While still being able to chat and play some music is good for lifting the spirits.
Meanwhile, in the media, it’s been published and “officially confirmed” that anyone “infected with the Corona virus” has to be put in an improvised hospital, or a real one for those with more severe symptoms. No staying at home. Probably because the people are not disciplined enough, especially those with mild symptoms. The problem I see with this is there aren’t nearly enough tests – so I would expect even those who manage to catch a common flu to be placed with those Corona virus infected and then catch that as well. I really have no faith in the competence and the ability of our health care system. Most doctors and nurses who are any good have either retired, or went to Germany to work there.
Grima came to our office to ask for some RJ45 connectors, making a show of it, staying very far away from me “because I’m very cautious about the contagion”. I was chill, just gave him the connectors. Then I asked Preacher, who was also present, if he thinks I’m being too cautious and strict. He said that he thinks it’s nothing too much, even though he personally believes we shouldn’t wear masks, ever. I asked why.
He then explained how viruses don’t exist. I’m quoting him from memory: “It’s just when human body can’t detoxicate when people get sick. Viruses don’t exist. No one gets sick from a virus”. He didn’t vaccinate his kids. I asked him whether he thinks AIDS and Malaria don’t exist? He said yes – it’s just some poison injected in people. I asked whether he would go to a hospital where Corona patients are being treated – without protection, give them a kiss, let them sneeze on him etc. He said: “sure, you can’t get a virus, it doesn’t exist.” And he was being really serious. Quoting some videos that I should see, where doctors explain how they couldn’t spread a virus from one person to another when they tried in some experiments, how it is all a big conspiracy, people are in fact being poisoned by vaccines and that’s how many people get sick.
OK, I have no illusions that corporations and governments do all sort of grose stuff, and I’m far from a medical expert, but his theory does sound a bit… too crazy – especially the part about viruses not existing at all.
As I came home from the day-job, I saw Linda at our house, sitting with SWMBO (in separate parts of the living room, with the window open 🙂 ). Linda lives alone and she and SWMBO are quite close. Both are very genuinely good natured, well meaning persons and both like to party like there’s no tomorrow (I can hardly keep up 🙂 ), so they have a lot of in common.
Spent most of the afternoon writing a post about how to monetize a website (make money from your drivel posted on-line). I also updated the Idiot’s Corona virus survival guide – adding a chapter about boredom. 🙂
April the 8th, 2020: No more day-job morning meetings – woohoo! There’s a bit of good with every bad thing. 🙂 Preacher had a lot of private things to finish, before the 5 PM curfew, so he was more out than present. Another colleague (let’s call him Zlatan, for he had scored some of the most spectacular goals I had seen, in his time) had some car problems – he drives a Yugo. 🙂 Covered for him – came in around noon. While the third colleague was given some meaningless administrative field work by the higher ups, so he was out all day. Fortunately, the work load was quite mild, so I managed with no problems.
We are getting into the rhythm and getting used to this “new normal” way of running things.
Back home – helped with making the late lunch/early dinner. SWMBO cooks great! During the morning, she had brought her old Synthesizer from her parents home. Started practicing on that. It’s still not very nice, but will probably be great in a few months time, if she keeps at it. I spent most of the afternoon chilling and reading my favourite magazine, I have been buying for the past 30 years – “Svet Kompjutera” (eng. “The Computer World”). Having done most of the days work on my own, I was feeling a bit exhausted – getting old I suppose. 🙂
One of my favourite authors from the magazine, Miodrag Kuzmanović, described the game “Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance“. Game deals with WW2. In the game description, he mentioned both the Communist ran Yugoslav Partisan resistance, and the proven nazi collaborators JVUO (Chetniks) as – real resistance movements. Nationalist and nazi collaborators white-washing has been very popular here ever since the 90s. It is the new normal. I find it hard to understand how, obviously highly intelligent people can brainwash themselves so much. Of course, it could be that I am brainwashed and that everything my grandparents had sad, along with the both historian writing and what I believe to be authentic German documents on them supplying weapons and ammunition to the collaborators was all false. However, that is not very probable, in my opinion.
Anyway, the game that got me interested was Panzer Corps 2 – successor of the old Panzer General and Panzer General 2. Will most probably wait for about five years for a discounted version with all the DLC-s included.
Government announced a prolonged curfew over the weekend: from Friday 17:00 till Monday 5:00.
Reading the local forums and Facebook groups, I can see most people are “loudly” opposing the quarantine measures. Saying how meaningless and undemocratic they are. Still – knowing how bad our health care system is, how few good doctors and nurses we have left, and how poorly our country is organized in general (ever since the 90s, no one capable of running things was put in place – only the incompetent and obedient – those have been the crucial requirements), I think it is the only way for us to cope with this Corona virus pandemic.
Fortunately, people with integrity and balls have mostly left the country over the past decades, those left just bark, but not bite. If there’s any risk of getting in trouble, they won’t do a thing. So I don’t worry about any civil disobedience. This lack of balls and solidarity means that after the Shitstorm™ is over, working class is probably completely fucked. Along with many civil liberties. But for this situation, it is good. Riots and disobedience is the last thing one would want in a crisis situation.
With barber shops closed due to the epidemics, many friends have shaven their heads. One of them, a professor, with glasses – we joked about Breaking Bad series. Because of the lockdown, and people buying flour like crazy, we could make a parody called: Baking Bread. And making home distilled 70% alcohol in his backyard, to sell on the black market. Dad jokes, yes. 🙂
Almost forgot to note: president’s oldest son was allegedly infected with Corona virus and put into a hospital (the real one, not an improvised one where most “ordinary” citizens are sent to, of course – as in every other democracy, some are more equal than the others 🙂 ).
In the evening, as I was looking through some books on Amazon, I came across some sales that went for 0 $ (free) with some Kindle editions (Amazon affiliate link) – like this The Complete Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft (another, Amazon affiliate link).
9th of April, 2020: Morning meetings go with a 20 second phone call – as they always should have. Now there’s no meaningless waste of at least 30 minutes every morning, listening to what other departments and explaining in great detail what our department did the day before – all of which is of practically no interest to Saruman, Grima, and other department leads. So now there’s time to sit in our “coffee room”, with other colleagues, share jokes, problems, worries and plans for the work-day. In a casual, relaxed manner. When the times are “normal”, occasionally one of us is left “free” for a day to make goulash, and then about 1 PM we stop whatever it is we are doing for the day, drink rakija, beer (and orange juice for the alcoholics) and eat goulash. That’s what I’d call “team building” – not the “forced” company gatherings. When most of the team were younger (and with fewer injuries), we used to play football on some work days. Or volleyball, if any women wanted to join as well. The good old days. 🙂
The work day went without any extraordinary events. Came home, got a call from Gandalf. His friend had some problems with her Linux computer, so I was the first to be called. Talked for about an hour about some websites we’re building, Linux file system and system testing tools, the Corona virus craziness (of course) and how our loved ones are coping with all that.
SWMBO is still up to learning the “piano” and the Russian. Joking with her friend how they’ll make a concert once we all end up at the Fair – where concerts are sometimes held, and now it is an improvised hospital for the “mild Corona cases”. She went with Linda to do grocery shopping during the morning. Got an email from her on-line English classes employer, saying they are cutting all the pays for 10%, because of the pandemic. The number of on-line classes she got assigned with this month has been on a decline. So, with her makeup business being closed, she said we’re fortunate to have my pay, how would we have coped otherwise? I said we would have managed something, if we really had to. She joked about becoming my bicycle repair shop assistant.
Bicycle business is booming these days – with no public transport due to the epidemic, and kids out of schools. The number of calls I get is staggering. However, as I had discussed, for me the best choice was to close the shop. Spending the free time with SWMBO. If she really decides to work on bicycles, that could be a nice way for her as well to occupy the mind and spend some zen time (if she gets to like it). In that case I might re-open.
10th of April 2020: More work than on the previous work-days, but I quite enjoyed it – especially considering I’m going to be off for at least a week, most probably, afterwards. With a quite good atmosphere at work. Carried two bananas, an apple and an orange for food. For a change. It was OK, though I had to put some sugar in my coffee, later in the afternoon, to keep me going until the shift’s end. Might start doing this for one day each week.
On the way home: a lot more cars and people. Probably getting supplies and last sun rays before the full weekend lockdown – starting at 5 PM – till Monday 5 AM.
At home, SWMBO suggested we order a pizza. To make a sort of a “junk-food, Netflix & chill” Friday. I agreed. I even contemplated buying a TV – so we can watch films on a screen larger than 15″ of her laptop. 🙂 The problem with that is the only place suitable for the TV is the bedroom – and I’m not very fond of the idea of having a TV in the bedroom. While placing it in the living room would require lots of furniture re-arranging and then there would be no room to exercise at home.
But that all got me thinking. On all the economy and poverty. In a position of isolation, SWMBO’s risk of loosing the on-line tutoring job – the thing we got to considering is buying a bloody TV. Not investing in learning some other profession, not working on her website, or making a YouTube channel for makeup and cooking tutorials (I “throw” that idea at her every now and then), but on spending money on something bound to make both of us less productive and less in tune with each other.
That’s how poverty works. Society puts people in tough(er) situations and human nature and instincts don’t always push in the right direction – since they had been programmed over millenniums to work under completely different circumstances. The worse one is off, the less likely they are to get better. And vice versa – those in a position of making a lot of money have to be really “actively stupid” and work really hard in order to make a situation go worse for them. It’s far from just and very far from “equal opportunities” as it is often portrayed.
I see some memes these days, concerning the crisis and the lockdowns (less liberty) with Stalin’s picture saying: “how do you enjoy your 30 day trial of communism”. These days, a book I’m reading is by Noam Chomsky, about the propaganda and brain washing in capitalist, democratic societies (mostly related to the US). Trying to “rewind” now and think: did I look for that book after seeing all the communism parallels being (wrongly, “brainwashly”) made, or was it vice-versa – that I started noticing it more after having started to read the book. One not excluding the other. 🙂
I’ll write more when I find the time, perhaps in a separate post, about the amount of brainwashing and why this situation is nothing like communism.
Looking forward to spending more time with SWMBO – she’s been getting more and more anxious. Cried today.
6. Weekend – 100% lockdown
11th and 12th of April, 2020: Curfew was in place, as announced, since the Friday 17:00 until Monday 5:00. However, for me at least, the weekend just flew by. Cleaned the house, worked on a post about cycling sunglasses, and spent some more time with SWMBO. During the whole work week, I was useless upon coming home from work, feeling really “drained”. But the weekend was a lot better.
SWMBO’s colleague talked her into making some kind of video-project/challenge. So helped with recording that. She didn’t have enough will to get it finished over the weekend. Left it for Monday…Tuesday… no deadline set. Either way, I thought using this music for the video would be really cool: 🙂
Got a tremendous amount of cycling (mechanics) related Instagram direct messages, on the BikeGremlin Instagram profile. Wrote auto reply text, directing people to BikeGremlin consulting page (that, in turn, directs people to post questions in website comments, or, better, use bikeforums.net – the best cycling forum in the world, with loads of experts). 99.9% of the people are very polite, the questions are good and genuine, but I can’t spend hours each day answering questions – especially for free – it hurts both the private life and the budget. Plus – answering questions publicly, means that the answers help others with a similar dilemma (with frequently asked questions ending up as new website posts).
On “them Internets”, anti-vaxxers and anti-5G nutters are getting more and more popular, louder… Facebook and even Linkedin feeds were not free of those. Suppose an ounce of fear is heavier than a ton of information. Humans are programmed that way, it takes a conscious effort to avoid it.
Orthodox easter is coming, and Serbia is getting more and more radically religious – church is openly opposing government over keeping the curfew over the oncoming weekend Easter masses. With wide support from the average idiots (a great majority of the people) – who are “sick of the curfews” and think it is all needless anyway. Betting a beer there will be no curfew next Sunday, and church masses, with lots of people, will be allowed. Hoping to be wrong and pessimistic.
Continued at Corona diary 05.