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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Headed up the river with a boat and no paddle...

...and they got me on lock dowwwwwwn!

I have a theory that for every situation in life, classic Hip-Hop music has a reference. Today's proof comes courtesy of Cypress Hill. I'm in one of six contiguous counties in the state of California, USA, covering approximately 7 million inhabitants, now operating under "shelter in place orders" from local governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Technically we're not on full "lockdown" like some parts of the world. We're still legally allowed to exit our homes without explicit permission, but we're not allowed to gather in groups larger than 10 or with people from outside our own households, and we're not supposed to travel by foot, scooter, bicycle, or car to any place we don't absolutely need to. All "non-essential" establishments have been ordered closed including some municipal offices and all schools.

You may have seen news reports about people stockpiling toilet paper in recent weeks. These reports are accurate. Panic buying has occurred en masse, and in my region in particular there was a tremendous surge in this behavior just yesterday when our own change of status was widely announced and broadcast as an emergency alert notification on all of our phones. I topped up my own household's non- and slowly-perishable food supplies late last week, and already then there were about a half-dozen aisles completely stripped of all products. I got the last three packets of instant rice off one lonely shelf. Days later, some entire stores are all but empty. Amazon will be out of some commodities for weeks.

Everyone among my close & extended family & friends appears safe & healthy for the moment, but tensions are high and uncertainty & unease are palpable in the air. Nobody has any idea how long this will last or how bad it will get. While South Korea has given the world a clinic on pandemic response & "flattening the curve," many other places, including the mighty US, have been slow on the draw & prioritized minimizing public panic & bad early PR over taking care of serious business.

For me this is a first-in-a-lifetime experience. I remember the days of peak Ebola and got inoculated for H1N1, but coronavirus is hitting harder and closer to home & heart than either. With so many people stuck at home and looking for some good news or a positive escape, I should ideally be making more content than ever. Unfortunately there's not enough of me available to oblige. I've done my share of news reading, stock-taking, protocol-generating, and social circle debating, all of which takes time as well as mental energy. I also suffered a couple bouts of insomnia over the past week that knocked me down a notch. Boo.

I'll certainly do as much as I can to be normal for all of you, though, while maintaining proper care for myself and loved ones. I hope you all will do your parts as well to comply with common sense precautions, to avoid picking up or spreading this nasty little bug. There's plenty of unbiased, fact-based info out there about how respiratory tract viruses spread and how to minimize exposure through basic & easy hygienic practices & courtesies. Don't be patient 31.


  1. Stay safe Jang. Although we're being told about social distancing these days, hopefully technology can help us all still feel connected to one another. It's times like we're currently living in that remind me to call my Mom! So, pick up that phone, call someone, Skype or Facetime your lived ones- stay connected! But remember, if you're in close proximity to someone, keep at least 6 feet away! Stay safe Jang and keep those Youtube videos coming as long as you're able.

  2. Mike Rytter | The Cool FactorMarch 18, 2020 at 1:23 AM

    Stay safe Jang. San Diego is slowly taking a hit too. Schools closed, I started working from home today. I feel you. One may think that this should lead to more content from the likes of you or me, but the truth is that this little demon does put a strain on the mental capacity and overall mood which makes making positive even that much harder. I wish you and your family the power to get through all this and wish myself the same. Stay safe out there.

  3. Hi Si O Connor from Ireland here, it's scary times and we can all get through this! I hope you and your family stay safe :)

  4. Australian's have gone mad over this, just after showing the world how we come together to get through the worst bush fire season in a decade and help our fellow neighbours, everybody has gone mental! I live with my aged mum who has lung issues and I'm disabled with immuno issues, so my sister that lives with us does the shopping, but she hasn't been able to get even basic stuff like bread and milk.

    The supermarkets started a new protocol on Tuesday that from 7-8am the elderly and disabled could come in when they are the cleanest, least busy and best stocked. Unfortunately they only put pensioners and disabled on the notice, so I rock up this morning just before 7am to shop for the first time in about 8yrs to find around 250 people, mostly single parent pensioners trying to get in with their children. It was madness! They let the elderly and disabled pension card holders in first, then the young people. I didn't get to the toilet paper before it was all gone though, but I got milk and sugar, so I can have a cup of tea now, just not have it come back out lol!!

    Please help the elderly and disabled where possible. The shopping experience this morning was so overwhelming I was near tears, the staff at Coles supermarket Corio where so good though, loading my trolly and one even took it out to my car and put the stuff in the boot for me, asking to make sure I had someone to help when I got home. All the older people shopping where so nice and helpful too.

    Be good to your fellow countryman, we're all in this together and calm, level headed behaviour towards all this and each other will keep you safer in the long run. Best wishes and good health to you all. Thank-you Jang for keeping on with things, it may not seem like much, but your video's do lift the spirits, I hope you have people around you to return the favour. Bless you.

  5. "Patient 31" -- yay! Daegu! I've been living here for nine years, and FINALLY when I say where I live, my family "knows" where that is. Anyway, I'm getting along, Jang, so I know you can too. Good luck -- IN LOCKDOOOOOOOOWN...!

  6. This is why I'm glad that most churches in the U.S are live streaming their services now. People sitting closely to each other, shaking hands, and coming in various other forms of contact is a great way for mass infection. Things will get back to normal eventually but in the meantime we must take precaution no matter how difficult it is. Happy to hear that your family is doing well! Stay safe in the upcoming months.

  7. I hope you are still safe and healthy Jang. I don't see no videos from you and that got me a bit worried.

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