I’ve found myself thinking about stories like Swiss Family Robinson, or Lost in Space, those where a family is trapped or abandoned somewhere and forced to hunker down for a long period of time. I suppose the analogy between those and our current situation during this Great Lockdown isn’t quite apt for a variety of reasons, but I don’t have any personal frame of reference. Hopefully we’re not in the Donner family. All I do know is that this period is likely to have a long-term effect on our culture, one which I imagine will soon be reflected in our art. There’s a scene in Devs where they’re looking back thirty thousand years a family of cave dwellers gathered round a fire an noting that some of the cave paintings were separated by five thousand years. “Imagine staying in one place for that long.”
I don’t feel like I’ve been as productive as I should lately. It’s hard to focus with two small children running around the house constantly, so I can only find small slivers of twenty or thirty minutes here and there with which to try and get into the zone. No more two or three hour blocks, unless it’s after everyone has gone to bed. By that time I’m drained. Perhaps that’s because I fell of the wagon last week and have been drinking in the evenings again. Perhaps it’s just the drain of fighting with Elder about everything, or just the constant cooking and cleaning, or having to manage groceries shopping twice as much. Or maybe it’s just the cumulative stress of worrying about losing my job, finishing my degree, and the numerous unfinished projects around the house that need to be addressed: replacing the dishwasher, the rotting boards on the deck that will need to be replaced soon. Trying to get a goddamn tomato seed to sprout.
I believe I’ve been successful disassociating myself from the action in the equities and crypto markets. I still check the price of bitcoin several times a day, and equities at least once daily when I trigger my value averaging program. I don’t stress about it; I might allow myself to be a bit elated when things skyrocket, but I haven’t freaked out or let it ruin my day when things tank. I guess I’ve been doing this long enough now that I’ve gotten good at compartmentalizing it. That said, I really do need to do some calculations and figure out what my gains have been over the years and compare it to what they would look like had I simply invested in an index fund. Then I’ll know whether I have any business in this game, or whether I’m simply a bad gambler.
Since I’m on the subject of the market, let me just make a note about the significance of yesterday. It was the fortieth celebration of Earth Day, the twelfth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon spill, and oil prices crashed so hard that futures went negative for the first time ever. It really is ironic.
So here we are, finally able to isolate ourselves, and idiots around the country are already trying to reopen the country. Thankfully our Governor isn’t as stupid as those elsewhere. I’ve been seeing charts of the Spanish Flu epidemic; the second wave is the worst one, and I fear that’s what we’re facing. Since the lockdown is working, it makes our efforts seem unnecessary. On top of that you have the portion of the population who’ve been feed the line that COVID is a hoax out there protesting the right to re-open Applebee’s. We’re no where near the end of this thing.
At least we hope that the girls will be able to see their grandparents in a few weeks. Elder has been using the Messenger Kids app to chat with family, so maybe we’re not quite like the Robinson’s yet.