Backgrounds and Baselines
- I couldn’t start before Friday the 13th because the kids were still in school.
- I’m not a doomsday prepper, but I keep backup 2 weeks of food and water on hand.
- My Lady and I did 3 trips to the store before we began.
- I’m pulling the quarantine trigger at 2:25 when I pick my oldest son up as school.
Saturday the 14th
Fortifying our choice, three social engagements we were involved with fell like dominos in a graveyard. Digging in, the boys and I plant chili peppers, broccoli and tomatoes. They won’t be providing food any time soon, but if this does last longer I’ll have more things to add to my rows of lettuce growing in the front.
Sunday the 15th
Some plans can’t be broken, and my sweet lady heads off to the little artist town of Bisbee with her best friend. This leaves me alone with two boys, I’m sure this will be easy. Oh, did they just take all the blankets, pillows, and sheets off the bed to make a mound of blankets in the middle of the room to jump into?
Monday the 16th
Yep, that was a lot of laundry to wash. Going through our food a little but no issues yet. Hell, I still even have snacks for the boys, but if I run out, will they turn on me?
Saint Patrick’s Day
Can you say stir crazy? Not me, but the boys? I decide a germ free desert hike should help things and I have a full tank of gas. My lady is due back today. She’s a nurse, so I know she takes these things seriously.
Kinda weird to have such a non-social holiday, but I’m happy to see my lady back safe and sound.
Wednesday the 18th
The CDC states the average incubation for the C-Virus is 5.5 days and one can be considered in the clear if they fail to develop systems within 12 days of potential exposure. So with me and the boys having roughly the same level of exposure now, odds are, if none of us show signs by tomorrow, we’ll be clear…just in time for me to go to the grocery store before we take off.
Thursday the 19th
The local Safeway turns out to be a strange and haunted place at 7am. Masked individuals mix with wild eyed shoppers. All of us amazed to see an absence of most of the things we’re accustomed to in this country. No prepared meat, the vegetables were nearly gone. Pasta and cans gone. Although I did get the last four cans of chili the store had to offer. Normal cheese, nope, but fancy cheese yep. I guess we’ll have a little luxury while camping.
5 hours later, I’m pulling up to the site, but after my new ride’s first off-road test, I have to pull the plug 200 yards short of my goal. The road itself has become a wash and a series of boulders leave me thinking perhaps having my little family allowed more privacy is better than bottoming out and cracking my oil pan on a rock. I have better ways to spend my afternoon.
I meet a new friend after lugging my gear uphill and my boys are happy to burn off the energy of six days of isolation.
Friday the 20th
It has been a week since the schools have closed and I have done my best to keep the boys safe. Sure hope the plague doesn’t show up here. Ha ha, just kidding, ah… no I’m not.
A little about this area, the wonder we call 3-Bar. The usual sounds of the waterfall crashing into the wading pool is, this time, a torrent of raging foam as the snow run off mixes with the results of the recent rains.
Another phenomenon I’ve rarely experienced has also occurred. All around us springs of clear water have opened out of the ground. Within just a few feet of our camp, I count five. Every hillside has pools and moving water like the entire mountainside has become huge sponges leaking water. Not the type of thing you see too often in the desert.
Saturday the 21st
It appears reasonable to assume the two older hermits I am sharing this camp out with have avoided the C-Virus as well, so this trip has taken social distancing to the a new extreme. “Don’t let anyone within 6 miles of you.”
Self-isolation is an unusual thing for some, but just a normal day for others. It’s odd to see the stranger as an ‘enemy,’ but this is what they could become if they are the one to spread a virus to you which could damage your lungs or risk your parent’s lives.
In the end, the hoarding and lack of food could become more of a concern than the virus itself, at least for some of us. The virus has in some ways done us a favor by exposing the frail deck of cards our lives we rest atop of. Few of us can live off the land or have the means to support our needs for food. We all depend on a huge web of supply chains to insure we have goods on the shelves. It is the virus threatening us this time, but the next time it could be gasoline, or the power grind. All it takes is one dirty bomb to kill a city for generations.
Things like my garden help, but its not a solution. Hoarding can help, but we’re still playing within the rules of this house of cards. Cans don’t multiply if left alone in the dark. So what is the solution? There are too many of us to all buy 40 acres and become farmers. Things like this virus could lower those numbers, but no one wants to see their loved ones perish before their time.
Back to the moment, we have to get over this C-Virus hurdle first. Part of me wonders how effective I’m being for my family. Sure I’ve keep my boys clear enough to be about 92% certain none of us have the virus, FOR NOW. How much use is this in the long term? Our lying president says this will die in the summer, which probably means it won’t. So am I going to all this trouble for my boys, saying, “Hey we quarantined ourselves long enough to be sure we don’t have it, just to get it later from the ice cream man?” I’m being careful now, but will I get sloppy in May and just have us all get it anyway?
We’ve been told to ‘flatten the curve’ of infection. So I guess we’re doing our part, but again will this matter if the lack of food becomes the real problem? Perhaps I’ll have to head up here again and try to live off the land. It might work as long as I can still get gas. Hopefully the cell towers will work too so I can get these guys out here again as well. I’m probably catastrophizing, but I guess we’ll see. And remember if I’m not, you heard it here first. Be safe out there and kick this Virus in the ass!!
Thanks for Listening
You can check out my own grim vision of a future where we lose control here!