Tucson “interesting times” update:
I went to Costco Monday morning to gas up the truck. One of my learned Boomer behaviors comes from the days when AM radio dials had CONELRAD channel marks. Back then good citizens kept their gas tanks at least half full ’cause we never knew when the balloon might go up. The government recommended it, but what sealed the deal for me was a movie called Panic in Year Zero. To this day I get antsy if the tanks run low.
So anyway, I turned onto Grant from Tanque Verde and the right lane was bumper-to-bumper with cars lined up to turn into Costco at the next light, half a mile ahead. To copy a particularly irritating phrase from social media, “never have I ever” seen such a line for Costco, not even for the Thanksgiving pumpkin pie rush. Fortunately there’s a separate entrance for the gas pumps, a little past the stoplight everyone else was lined up for, and I was able to scoot by on the left, then turn in and gas up.
I’ve been housebound for two weeks already, Donna slightly less so (she’s trying to arrange things so that she too can stay home). Still, there are outside things we must do. Donna went to the base commissary yesterday to finish stocking up. I have a haircut appointment tomorrow. We need to visit a bank to get ourselves on the homeowners’ board account so we can pay an insurance bill due the first of April. That errand promises to be a hassle, because other people are involved and will have to come with us, and they’re dragging their feet … probably with good reason.
It looked to me like most of Tucson was out and about yesterday. Not just Costco, but everywhere. Traffic was heavy, parking lots were full … there were even pedestrians in the crosswalks. I’m guessing people are stocking up and filling their tanks, just like us. Tucson stores are still open, restaurants and bars too, but the university and local schools are shut down. There was one known case of COVID-19 two days ago; yesterday it was three, the start of the exponential curve everyone is worried about. I haven’t checked local news today.
Well, enough of that. Hunker down and peace out, dear friends. Look at it this way … by staying and working from home, we’re helping protect our more vulnerable neighbors.
A few posts back, I was struggling with race labels, particularly “black” and “African-American.” Just coincidentally, a black friend started a discussion about those labels on Facebook. Here’s how she kicked it off:
Just completed my household’s Census2020. It was easy! However, the question asking for the household members’ race and origin generated discussion. If your origin is a slave ship to these shores, then are you black, African-American, colored, or negro? We can all certainly agree that the other n word is not an option. My curious mind is interested in hearing others’ thoughts.
A fascinating discussion ensued. Some advocated not indicating race on the census forms, some argued about the black vrs. African-American issue. Some commenters … most of them, I think, were black. A few were white. You don’t see a lot of genuine discussions on social media hell sites. This one was engaging and educational, and I followed it closely. My friend wrapped things up with these final comments:
Well, this has been interesting. (My) original intent was to have a conversation about labels, specifically, black vs African American. I threw colored and negro in there because there are organizations that serve my community that still have those names in their titles … I identify as African-American because I believe black includes a wider group of people who do not share my story. I don’t want to not identify who I am. I am proud of what makes complicated me me. I deserve to tell my story as much as anyone else. I’m American. I’m a member of the human race. But, we all didn’t take the same path to get there. I want to hear what the views were like from all the different possibilities, and I want to make sure we all get to the finish line. Thanks for feeding my curious mind and helping me get through this period of social distancing.
No Year of the Pandemic post can be complete without a bit of critter comfort. Here are Mister B and Maxie, watching me have lunch at my office desk yesterday. I ran their verbalizations through Google Translate, which comes up with “Are you gonna eat all that?”
© 2020, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.