Something a little bit different today. I had planned to have the next bit of the Persona 3 retrospective out a week ago, but, much as I hate to be propagating the “All Coronavirus, All the Time!” of the rest of the internet, I work in a human services organization, my region’s the first and hardest hit of my state by viral stuff and lockdowns, and I haven’t had the capacity to be putting the usual post together.
Still haven’t yet, although things seem to be settling into more of a routine. In the meantime, I’ve been blowing off steam about the situation by posting about this stuff on Facebook, and figured that might entertain you folks as well. So, to follow, as I work on getting back to our usual personal entertainment-based content, enjoy my screeds on the Coronavirus social distancing measures we’ve been facing.
Apocalypse Log: Day 3
It’s been 3 days since our local government imposed martial law in response to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak, and the first working day we’ve had. I think we’ve adjusted rather well. Not that it’s been easy. There’s been a lot of changes. Never knowing who is a potential ally and who might be one of The Infected. The cabal-imposed shutdown of all services and businesses in the community. Our right to free assembly negated. But I’m a survivor, we adjusted, and our stronghold is relatively well-equipped.
Not perfectly, however. On paper, all seems well. We’ve managed to secure a comfortable stockpile of toilet paper from the horde. Our escape routes and contingency plans are starting to take shape. And, on paper, we have enough food to last an extended siege. But there are small flaws we’re still working on at every stage. The food issue is currently the biggest one. As I said, on paper, we have enough. We could withstand an 8 month siege just on our stockpile of girl scout cookies alone. But if we’re seeking to thrive under these conditions, we need to do better. We’re running dangerously low on key nutritional groups. We only have eight half-full bottles of wine and spirits, for example. And we’re almost out of both Frosted Mini-wheats and milk, and I fear for the state of the house once that occurs. Seeking to forestall that, my partner had gone out salvaging yesterday. She returned after several hours in the infected wastes with bagfulls of provisions and tales of store shelves nearly picked clean by the mutants. Most of this food was contaminated by the insidious poison, ‘sodium’, but I suppose that was to be expected in this environment. She did not return bearing the familiar shape of a precious gallon of milk, but she did return with a carton of a familiar shape. Wasn’t quite the quantity I hoped for, but my excitement grew, and I could already taste the white ambrosia in my mouth. That crashed to the floor as I turned the carton over, and read the word ‘oatmilk’. This is a cold hell this world has turned into.
To do: Talk with the kids about which pet to eat first once we run out of food.
Apocalypse Log: Day 4
There’s a strange dichotomy to survival situations. Twin impulses that work against each other, yet both must be considered. The one, the impulse to act, and act now, that something must be done and it doesn’t matter what it is. The other, that it’s safest to wait, to watch, to stay where you are like a turtle in its shell. People who aren’t survivors listen to one or the other without consideration. That’s not a strategy that will serve well in these dying times.
It’s a natural course of events that public utilities don’t last long in the apocalypse. And so it wasn’t unexpected that our stronghold lost electricity in the wee hours of this morning. A lesser person might have left the stronghold immediately to try and rectify the situation. However, this carries the risk of running into whatever mutants, Infected, or TP Hoarders caused the outage in the first place. Of course, the threat of whatever vile presence ended the electricity in the first place may have prompted a lesser person to remain in the relative, if dark, safety of the stronghold. That, likewise, would have been a mistake. After all, without electricity to power our devices and beam wifi into our stronghold, it was only a matter of time before members of our party turned against each other.
With calm calculation, I determined we could ration the remaining power retained in our devices for approximately 10 hours. Perhaps more than that if we used our wine and spirits to supplement that time. That gave me a framework to work within. This time was a resource to me. I made my plans, gathered my resources, girded my loins, and waited for the opportune moment. Too soon, and one would have to fend off whatever fiends still remained in the power plant. Too late, and one would had to waste energy on one’s own family. No, I armed myself, I planned, and I waited. There is a time to be a hero, and a time to be a survivor, and this was not the former.
As was demonstrated when power returned 40 minutes later. Undoubtedly, someone had entered the power plant before the time, and sacrificed themselves in returning electricity to all us stronghold hoarders. Although their impatience cost them much, I do have to respect, and honor, their sacrifice.
But still, I am a survivor.
Apocalypse Log: Day 5
I am given to wonder about the wisdom of splitting up our workers into their own independent strongholds. It seems a rather calculated risk. On the one hand, sure, you never know who is in the process of becoming one of the Infected and might soon unwillingly turn on you. On the other, it seems like at least my place of employment would be a lot more defensible than most people’s strongholds, and that’d we’d be a lot better poised to defend our collective bounties of toilet paper from the hoarders as a group.
My work is one I am technically able to conduct remotely, but doing it solely from the stronghold has been a strange experience. For one, the local economy getting screwed harder than a shop class 2’x4′ means I’m largely stuck with addressing my customer’s symptoms, not their cause. Sorry, we’re saving our beds for those most at risk, so stay at home, no testing for you, take these food assistances and unemployment insurances to make sure your condition is manageable, and wait for your symptoms to decrease. That’s not enough for everybody. Many of my clients are still reaching out to me. “Save us,” they plead. “Sure,” I respond. “I can’t meet in person, but let’s set up a phone call or google hangout.” Then, their fear shows. They react as if the phone lines are part of the Infected, that by calling, they will be exposed to the virus as well. They let this fear rule them. They are not survivors.
Luckily, I am.
Apocalypse Log: Day 6
Our complex dumpster has become a microcosm of the state of our fallen civilization. Somebody, who perhaps was attempting to ensure that they would eternally burn in Hell for their sins, threw away a dying smoke alarm that still had enough juice in it to beep incessantly over the course of the day. Anyone who thought they might have a relaxing post-apocalyptic afternoon had those plans crashed as an endless alarm bored into their safe strongholds. Somebody else had placed some small furniture in front of the dumpster, and the rest of our fellows, who apparently didn’t have the survival instincts required to sidestep a chair, started dumping their trash in front of the nearly empty dumpster instead of actually in it.
It is disgusting what our civilization has come to. I thought long and hard about correcting it, throwing the trash away or digging through the dumpster to find the fire alarm. However, with the threat of Infection omnipresent, it was too much of a risk. There are times to be a hero. And there are times to be a survivor.
And I’m a survivor.
In other news, my partner has scavenged both milk and Frosted Mini-wheats. In light of this, I have decided to forgive her for the oatmilk debacle. Supplies of wine and spirits are somewhat reduced, although we still have enough to last some time. Port has become the official drink of the apocalypse.