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It All Seems So Unreal… And Dad’s Still Awfully Infuriating

The situation feels simply unreal. That’s also because a full quarantine was declared here as well, starting yesterday, but mainly because of the world’s response in general, because all of this is being done for this reason when hardly anything seemed possible for the much bigger problems, and because even those actively campaigning so far seem to be forgetting about anything else, nearly everyone seeming so surprised and shocked by something that wasn’t just predictable, but actually predicted, and which is far, far less dangerous than it could have been. And, more importantly, something that’s far, far less dangerous than those other problems that we hardly reacted to before and that we’re at best ignoring pretty much completely now, in some cases even rapidly undoing even the few steps in a right direction which had been taken.

That’s not why I’ve been sleeping so poorly these days though, waking up after a couple of hours and having a hard time getting back to sleep and staying asleep after that, usually just managing a few more brief naps before finally deciding to get up at some point. Was expecting this, but it actually took one more such situation with dad to get to this point, and that was the talk we had Friday evening, after he had left me a note when he left that day, to tell me that if I don’t want those things, referring to what he bought from that other pharmacy at a much higher price after I told him to only get them if he happens to go to a particular one for another reason and they’re at the specific prices I had seen on-line, he’ll throw them away, and that he doesn’t want to see me buying them from there on my own as well, as that’d be a waste.
Well, I did buy them as well, after running that day, but I wanted more than I had asked him to get anyway, either in case he’ll also want to start taking them after all or to have for a longer time for myself, since the price is likely to only keep going up. But the discussion started from the note I left him in reply, in case he’ll get back before me, where I said I was going to assume that he said what he did by mistake, because he couldn’t possibly intend to harm me explicitly, knowing how I react to something like this and forcing me to accept a bad situation to avoid an even worse one he’ll create otherwise, so maybe he purchased those things either for my mother or for himself but then changed his mind and would rather give them to me while also indicating that, if he could pour that amount into the profits of a pharmacy chain that’s swimming in money these days, he obviously has a lot to spare, in which case it shouldn’t be a problem for him to donate a small amount to some of those fighting to support hospitals and obtain the necessary equipment these days.
I still found that note on the table when I got back, as he hadn’t returned yet, but he arrived while I was still putting away the purchases, so I left some things where they were and quickly went to my room, leaving him to read. Then, after changing and showering, I asked him his choice, if we’re to assume he didn’t intend to harm, and he said that the last thing, donating after having spent more, was absurd, there’s no way he’ll do that, and then kept saying that it’s everyone for themselves, he won’t help anyone while those who decide where the budget goes steal instead of directing all of it where it’s actually needed, only the very rich and the large corporations should donate, and again that it’s everyone for themselves and he just does what makes him feel good. I was saying I’m feeling bad for not doing more to help and he of course got back to saying that he learned from me that nothing must be done. That comes from back in the ’90s, when I had found something along those lines said by a psychologist or something of that sort while they were forcing me to keep going to school, and he’s been using it against any ethical or moral stance I take ever since, but when I pointed out how long it’s been and that I got wiser since then and in recent years I’ve been trying to teach him the “I do my part” thing, which he doesn’t seem to learn at all, he readily admitted that he just takes what he likes out of what I say, and said that’s how it should be for everyone, just doing what makes you feel good, no matter what, and also that doing your part and helping when others won’t will harm you, which can’t be accepted.
The only thing I could think of doing under those circumstances, after saying that I’ll consider those things I also purchased as having been purchased out of what I had set aside until I’ll finish those he purchased, was to make up for it myself, deciding to donate 20 out of the 26.70 RON I had left out of what I meant to allow myself to spend until the end of the month, which meant even reducing the amount of bread I’ll eat and making do with what I already had otherwise. He wouldn’t understand that, at first seemed to take it as a joke or idle threat, then seemed genuinely confused when he realized I was serious and I was telling him how bad the whole thing makes me feel, that he made me responsible for it and I doubt I’ll sleep much over the coming days, which definitely proved true. He was just saying that he has no such qualms, and again repeating that it’s everyone for themselves and all that matters is that he did what felt good for him.

Then again, I had slept poorly that morning as well, seeing as the problem already existed, and eventually got up at 11:58 AM, turning off the alarm, which was set to ring at noon. Meant to run a bit earlier, to be able to buy some things after that, getting it all done in a single trip, so I had the usual stuff, with the yogurt being another one of those with 10% fat and the cereals another one of those free servings that came with them, and the sweet thing being honeycomb, then took bags and money with me, plus the mask from that march for clean air, which I had washed the night before, and went out at 2:15 PM. There was some wind and the dark clouds worried me, but the forecast proved accurate and there was no rain, and in fact it ended up being mostly sunny during a good part of my run.
The time was 46:28.80, with sector times of 4:12.12, 4:56.30, 5:42.36, 4:25 (4:24.31), 4:57.12, 5:45.22, 4:17 (4:16.61), 4:54.42, 5:36 (5:35.88) and 1:44.46, making for lap times of 14:50.78, 15:07 (15:06.65) and 14:47 (14:46.91). That means I have a new fastest lap three, which included a sector three that was incredibly fast at that point, and the overall time was the third fastest. I just felt good from the start, so pushed all the way, maybe with the exception of sector two of lap one, the fact that I had such a good time there in spite of that making me realize I could do really well and not sparing myself at all after that. Still, was only really aiming to stay under 47 minutes, and when a guy asked about my time per lap, on sector one of lap three, I said about 15 and a half, since I was only aiming for 15:20 on that lap, after all, and I preferred to round that way.
There were some people, but they mainly just caused me to weave and go the long way around, and there actually was less of that as well, at least some seeming to be more careful, probably trying to avoid contact. There was direct contact, however, on sector three of lap three, when I thought I had room to pass on the inside and found myself hitting a guy’s elbow with my upper arm. I don’t know whether I misjudged the space or he moved his arm towards me just then, unaware that I was coming from behind, but it was quite painful. Otherwise, it was quite windy in some places, and a few gusts made me feel like I was hardly moving. It was better while it was sunny, but dark clouds came again as I started lap three and the wind also changed and got stronger once again at that point, though it fortunately didn’t last long. As for the warnings given by my body, on sector two of lap two the back of my right knee started hurting, soon followed by the back of that hip as well, both getting better after a while but then that knee, as in no longer something behind it, hurt a bit for a while as well. The bag with the stuff I had with me, which I had tried to fold as best as possible to make it easier to hold in hand, bothered me a bit, and after that sector two of lap two I switched hands a few times, also thinking that holding it just in my right hand until then might have had something to do with the issues with my right leg.

Went straight to that pharmacy after the run, putting the mask on as I was waiting in line outside. The line seemed quite long, but after taking some time to listen to others in order to make sure that I was standing in the right one, I took out the piece of paper I had my shopping lists on and the pencil and started writing down the sector times… Only for all of those who were in line at that point to be allowed inside seconds later, after I had only managed to write the first sector’s time. So I went right in and rushed, announcements telling people to spend no more than 15 minutes inside, in order to allow others to come in. I had a pretty good idea where most things were, and I found one of the two things I didn’t know the location of on the way to something else, so I only had to ask an employee about the nose spray. It probably took longer to check the prices, to make sure they were the listed ones, only one price checker seeming to still be available and working as slowly and oddly as the checkers always did at that pharmacy. And then I also spotted the essential oils on the way to the checkout, and that the lemon one of the kind dad had just finished, after apparently starting to use something like that, was actually the cheapest, so I grabbed one of those too, and then waited a while to be able to check its price. But I was still done quickly, and also got the free products I should have gotten, which I later gave to dad to take to my mother, though it was odd when I asked whether the bonus was only for on-line orders and the cashier said it was for any purchase, but asked me whether the site said it was one for each product from that brand or one for two, since she didn’t know… Had to dig through my bag after throwing all the purchases in there for 1 RON more, as I had miscalculated the total despite having checked each price.

Went to the farmers’ market after that, getting green onions and apples, and had a woman ask where I had purchased that mask from, telling her that I already had it, since last year. Then I decided to also have a look through that Supeco, getting cornmeal and heading straight for checkout after a woman told me the price wasn’t the listed one, since the bar code wasn’t the one on the price label. That meant I first wanted to ask what the real price was and, since I didn’t get there from the area where the line had formed and people kept a distance, the line being behind the shelves, I never noticed that said line existed, just stepping in after the person getting checked out then, having the cashier scan the two items and tell me the price, which was in fact the listed one, and only then having the woman whose turn was supposed to be ask out loud why did she bother to stand in line, and what about all those behind her. I turned in surprise, paused for a moment when I saw the line, apologized and didn’t know what to do, but the cashier told me to just go ahead and pay, since she had scanned the items already, so I did that and told the others that I really hadn’t noticed, prompting disbelieving reactions. A man who was farther back also told me to take that mask off, since it’s probably why I can’t see, and I honestly said that was one possible reason as I hurried away.
Did push the mask down on the street, on the way to that mall, putting it back after getting there and going to the toilets to wash my hands and wipe my nose. Then I went to that Carrefour and got some of the things I wanted, and a couple of other things I noticed had good prices, but again didn’t get any bread. Did find some of that kind that wasn’t sliced, but there was no price, and when I scanned it I saw 3.99 RON, when it used to be 2.99 RON, and 2.49 RON about half the time, supposedly on sale, so I said I’ll pass, feeling tricked, not just by such a price increase, but also the fact that they weren’t even listing the price after increasing it. Then, at checkout, I made sure I gave the exact change to get just a 0.10 RON coin back, but the cashier entered that I had given only 0.01 RON more and gave me nothing back, which made me start looking around, which led to spotting a 0.50 RON coin under one of the machines next to the cabinets. So I edged towards it as I arranged my stuff in my bags, grabbing it when I was done… Only to realize after going up the escalators that I was missing the bag with all the stuff from the pharmacy! I had apparently taken the other things out of the cabinet, but not that one, so I rushed back there, breathing a sigh of relief when I saw it still in that cabinet. In the end, was back here at 5:55 PM.

Ran twice last week because the wind alone was enough to prevent me from running this week, and Monday and Tuesday it was cold as well, and at times rained and even snowed a bit. For that reason, and also because the new regulations, forbidding people from being outside unless necessary at night and “recommending” the same thing during the day, came into force Monday evening, at 10 PM, I went out Tuesday, hoping it’ll be quite clear. However, as I was getting ready to leave, at 1:15 PM, the President made a speech, announcing that the “recommendations” will become regulations starting the next day, so it was clear that everybody was going to rush out as well.
I still had a chance to get there before others, but seeing as I wanted to check out both Carrefour and Kaufland, it wasn’t going to matter in the end, so I also took the plastic, on top of the things I drop off at Kaufland, got out a bit after 1:40 PM and also took my card and walked on this side of the road in order to check the machine at the bank. There doesn’t seem to be a way to put money in another account though, so I couldn’t make that donation that way and didn’t actually go in, just losing a little bit of time, and then a little more when I meant to put the money on the card using a machine in this mall that Carrefour’s in, to follow the recommendation to not use cash during this period, even if I’m so against using cards, only to have it say that the operation couldn’t be performed, the tray where I was supposed to put the money not even opening. The thing is that I had forgotten some of the money I wanted to take with me and dad had given me quite a list of things to look for, but I fortunately couldn’t find one kind of cat food and another kind wasn’t cheaper than at a nearby store he was going to go to after I got back anyway, so I ignored that and could make do with what I had.
Did first go to Kaufland, which was quite clear at that time, but only to drop those things off and check prices. Then I went to Carrefour and got a few things, again not getting 0.10 RON as change, though I then saw just such a coin right at my feet as I turned to walk away, so I grabbed that… And when I got back to Kaufland, I saw the front doors closed and a long line of people waiting to get in, having to wait for three or four groups to be allowed inside until my turn came, one of those groups ending with the person who was just ahead of me. So I spent quite some time in that line, and a part of it just in front of the guards, getting increasingly annoyed at the one who seemed to be in charge, who was the only one without a mask and who kept making fun of one who had what looked like a gas mask on, though it just had the filters, not protection for the eyes as well. It also seems that I unintentionally organized things a little, as some bollards are there and it made perfect sense to me that people should wait to go in on one side, which already happened, and those going out should do so on the other, so when I ended up waiting right in front of the door and somebody tried to get out through the line, I just told him that he should exit on the other side of the bollards without even looking, making him look around in confusion since a line of carts blocked that way. But I guess the guards realized that this was how it should work, immediately cleared those carts away and started instructing people to go out on that side.
The fact that they were limiting the number of people coming in meant it was quite clear inside, however, so I had no problems getting everything. Well, everything except onions, which were supposed to be on sale these days but which they were out of. And there was also a single bread left of the one kind I’d get from there, but at least there was that one bread, after I couldn’t find a single one of that kind left at Carrefour, despite the higher price, nor any others that I’d find acceptable. So I have bread for the rest of the week, even if getting that far with what I had before required two “let them eat cake” moments, Saturday and Sunday night, when I replaced bread with what was left of that panettone received back in December and a pretzel, after dad bought two and forgot them in his backpack for a day. But, to return to Kaufland, it was really nice that I was the only one using the self-checkout, since the announcements kept inviting people to use them but said that they were for those with 15 items or less and I just had 13 while everybody was filling carts.
I also got myself a cake from the confectionery that’s there, since dad had told me that my mother wanted some, asked what he should get me as well and I said I didn’t want anything from the one he’ll go to but, if he wants to spend the money anyway, I’ll get myself something out of what he gave me for what he asked me to get. The problem with the cake was that the girl put it in the box upright and it didn’t fit, so she was struggling to close the lid and I didn’t react in time to tell her to tip it over, ending up with a box that didn’t stay closed and a cake I didn’t want to touch and which wouldn’t tip over on its own, so I kept struggling with it and ended up squashing it quite badly before finally giving up and just hoping it’ll stay closed as it was. I kept worrying about it, kept checking that bag, but it was fine in the end, and I was back a bit after 5 PM.

Otherwise, on March 19 I finished ShadowGuard, giving up on trying to get all the kills after it became quite clear that it was impossible and pretty much letting NPCs take care of things in the last two areas, only casting a few spells from a safe distance. On the other hand, Monday I finally started The Way of Kings, so now I’m trying to stick to a schedule in order to finish it in three weeks as well. Should be easy though, seeing as I’ll probably only go out once per week and may not even be allowed to go to the park to run, I’ll need to see about that… And also because dad will be working from home for the next two weeks, which means no chance to make mamaliga or be on-line at night during this time. At least he disconnected his computer this afternoon, so I’m taking the opportunity to post this now as well.

Written by Cavalary on March 26, 2020 at 5:40 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

We Need Widespread Testing and a Cure… And Support for the Helpers!

I keep wondering why did the new coronavirus take anyone by surprise. Or, if anything, why aren’t people surprised that it took so long for this to happen and that it’s so mild. Yes, it’s not a common cold, which is what its “cousins” that we’re used to cause, or even “just a flu”, but it’s also much less deadly than its “siblings” SARS and MERS, not to mention the avian influenza, which is the big one that’s been, and likely still is, expected, with nearly all those infected by the worst strand requiring hospitalization and most dying. In addition, pretty accurate predictions can be made regarding who’ll likely require hospitalization and risk death or at least not make a complete recovery, which makes it more predictable than even the previous pandemic.
Admittedly, I otherwise have a rather hard time justifying using the term for what happened then, since that virus proved less dangerous than even the regular seasonal flu, so while SARS and MERS, and in a way perhaps even Ebola, were bullets that we somehow dodged and the avian influenza a shot that’s probably yet to be fired, that was more like a blank that hit us. It still should have been more than enough of a warning, however, if the actual warnings given by scientists over the years wouldn’t have been enough on their own. Viruses may not even be our biggest concern, but even so, it was only through an incredible run of good luck that we’ve made it this far without something much worse happening, especially considering that the removal of any element of natural selection in the modern world makes each generation less naturally resistant and more reliant on modern medicine than the one before and that the risks are increased even further because of our own behavior. In other words, it may not be the common cold we’re used to, but we should expect, and should have already expected, it to end up being seen as just a cold compared to what’s likely to come, and we’re to blame for it.
Despite all that, the initial reaction was slow and dismissive, even disbelieving, and then, while some remain dismissive and disbelieving, the masses have largely switched straight to panic, while the measures enacted by authorities are starting to become excessive in some ways while remaining completely inadequate in many others. Perhaps worse, the response remains fragmented, states, regions and institutions still acting separately, or at least in a far less coordinated manner than they should. There’s also the fact that nearly everyone seems to forget about just about everything else, not only completely missing this extraordinary opportunity to overhaul this society and its systems, changing them for the better, but halting or even rapidly reversing even the faint traces of progress made in the right direction when it comes to other, bigger issues. But I mentioned other issues in a previous post and mean to focus on the topic in a future one, so I’ll leave it at that for the moment, as this post should just be about the response to the current crisis.

A virus as contagious as this one should definitely be expected to keep infecting people until the large majority of the population will develop a resistance, be it as a result of being infected and having recovered or vaccination. A major problem with this type of viruses is that developing long-term immunity may well be unlikely, so even otherwise healthy people with unimpaired immune systems may get sick again and again, just like they can get colds, caused by viruses from the same family, even several times per year. That means it’s likely here to stay and we should prepare ourselves to get used to having it around, just like we’re used to the seasonal flu, and not delude ourselves into thinking that we’ll eradicate it now that it made the jump to humans. If we’ll somehow manage that at some point, great, but at the moment it’d be wise to focus far less on a potential vaccine or any other hopes of eradication and far more on a cure and, at least for the short term, widespread testing.
Yes, at the moment our health systems can’t cope and the only sensible course of action is limiting the number of infections as much as possible. However, that also increases the probable duration of this pandemic, which as I already pointed out may later be remembered as only the initial outbreak, when it’d normally be expected to last about two years even without this happening. Considering the draconian measures required, at least if we actually mean to be effective, it should be obvious that we shouldn’t even think of continuing in this manner for that entire period even if we would somehow stick to the, probably misguided, belief that there will be an end, that this virus isn’t here to stay. Instead, we should look at this as something to do only until we’ll have a cure, and direct resources and efforts primarily towards finding that cure, one that will be properly tested and approved and proven to be effective and without significant negative side-effects, especially on a longer term. Once that happens, the efforts will need to be directed towards producing and distributing that cure, making it readily available for all who need it, allowing all but the particularly severe cases to be treated at home and greatly hastening the recovery of most of those severe cases, reducing the burden on hospitals.

This virus is fortunately predictable when it comes to those likely to require intensive care and possibly die, and the measures intended to limit its impact until we’ll have a cure should make use of that. In addition, the fact that those most at risk are the elderly and those with certain serious or chronic preexisting conditions means that a good part may already be somewhat less active, or at least somewhat less required to remain active on a regular basis, and more used to limitations and to needing to be careful and watchful. Perhaps more importantly, it means that some support systems are more likely to already exist for them, and that at least some may already have some experience in making use of such systems, and be willing to do so. Yes, those systems are usually completely inadequate even now and would have no chance to cope with a dramatically increased demand, but some foundations are there and they can and must be built upon… Which needed to be done anyway…
For those reasons, my stance is that, until a proper cure will be readily available, all those with preexisting conditions that put them at high risk, all those over 50 who are retired, regardless of the type of retirement or their health, and all those over 70, without exception, must be isolated for their own protection. They should be able to choose where they’ll be isolated, in case they’ll prefer to spend this period at a location that they can live at but which isn’t their legal domicile, and authorities should also identify locations that can host those who’d prefer to live with others in a similar situation, any new arrivals in such a location obviously being quarantined until tested and thoroughly proven to not be infected. Leaving isolation should automatically make them lose the right to medical attention if they’ll get infected at a time when the system would be stressed.
Of course, proper systems must be put in place in order to ensure that those who are isolated, whether for their own protection or because they’re infected without actually requiring hospitalization, won’t need to go out, and the conditions must not be detrimental to either their physical or mental health, which also means that they must have ways to stay in touch with their friends, loved ones and perhaps other like-minded individuals, follow current events, pursue at least some of their hobbies and interests, have access to at least some of their preferred forms of entertainment, and also maintain a fair level of physical activity. Many of those support systems are likely to rely on volunteers, which must therefore be trained and protected, perhaps more for the safety of those they’ll care for than for their own.

For the rest, on the other hand, the short-term priority should be widespread testing. Until we’ll have a cure and be able to relax these measures, we need to find ways to test pretty much everyone, repeatedly, and those who are neither infected nor at risk should be able to live with far less restrictions. Yes, at this point, it is wise to ban gathering in groups of people who don’t live together and aren’t romantically and/or sexually involved, and obviously any events and locations where people would gather, to require various measures to be taken to reduce the risk of infection in places that any significant number of people visit or pass through, which should be happening more often anyway, and to at least strongly recommend drastically reducing any nonessential trips outside. However, many of those who are neither infected nor at risk should be able to maintain a higher level of activity, in part even because they’ll be needed to maintain those systems required to support those who are at risk or infected, while on the other hand those who are infected but exhibit no or only mild symptoms should also be able to remain active, under strict quarantine, if this will aid those whose condition is more severe. But, in order to determine which is which, we must find ways to test, test, test, and do so relentlessly!
It’s utterly insane to see that in many places only those with obvious symptoms are tested, when we know that most show no symptoms at all and most of the rest exhibit only cold-like symptoms, or perhaps just a loss of smell or taste. On top of skewing the numbers, adding to the panic by making the virus appear more threatening and deadly than it actually is, all those infected but untested people will spread it far and wide without being aware of it unless draconian restrictions are enacted and followed to the letter, while on the other hand fully applying such restrictions to all for any significant length of time when only a small part are likely to be infected at any one point will have severe detrimental effects on the physical and mental health of people, prevent the proper functioning of the very systems required to support those who actually need to remain in isolation, and may well cause society as a whole to crumble. And here I’m referring to the good parts of it, not to those that need to be dismantled and rebuilt in a completely different manner. This approach may work for a few weeks, but when a readily available cure is at least a few months away, the situation is unsustainable.

I didn’t mention the necessity of properly protecting health workers and first responders and providing them with everything they need to do their jobs safely and efficiently so far because that should go without saying. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case, but common sense never was that common, and most people are hardly rational, not to mention wise. However, when the need arises, there are also some who can and do rise to the occasion, and this is definitely such a moment. Again, this applies to so many things right now, this crisis is such an immense opportunity to overhaul our society and its systems and finally steer things in the right direction, but I said I’ll just focus on the matter at hand in this post, so let’s start with that.
Those who can’t or won’t do what’s right, and what’s necessary, need to be kept out of the way, by force if needed. Those who endanger others intentionally or through gross negligence must be punished in an exemplary manner. Those who recklessly endanger themselves should only receive assistance if the systems aren’t already stressed. And those willing and able to help must be allowed and encouraged to do so, receiving all possible support, without the restrictions hindering them or threatening to destroy what’s still good and worthwhile. As always, in any crisis, look for the helpers. Join them if you can, support them if you can’t join but can at least do that, otherwise just stay out of their way!

Written by Cavalary on March 22, 2020 at 10:41 PM in Health | 0 Comments

Another Half Marathon Distance, Dad Again Being Infuriating, Finding Elena P.

I’ll take things nearly chronologically, starting with March 9, when I saw 10:53 AM when I got up and thought I might as well go out early, managing to do so just before noon, taking the recyclables as well. Since dad wanted cabbage, I first checked the price at this nearby store, but had seen that there was a 30% discount on all fresh fruits and vegetables at Kaufland and the main reason I went out that day was to get a certain kind of bread from there, so I then walked there. First checked prices at Carrefour, then went to the toilet at Kaufland just to blow my nose and wash my hands, then went in and tried to work my way through the crowd gathered around the fruits and vegetables. Trying to keep away from those who were coughing, one old woman in particular standing out because of her bad cough, made things even harder, and after getting cabbage and a bag of oranges and probably giving a wrong price to a man I saw looking for one, not realizing he was looking at the 1 kg bags when I had gotten a 2 kg one, I walked away for a while, to look for the other things and calculate how much I could afford to get. But then I got back and got some other stuff as well, except more onions, deciding that it was unwise to keep staying there as much as I’d have had to for that as well. It was the cabbages that caused problems at the self-checkout, however, the machine telling me to scan the product before placing it on the scales after I had scanned and placed it. But the employee came quickly and sorted things out with both of them when I asked for help, so I then got back to Carrefour to get a couple of things I had seen there, then walked back.

The plan for March 12 was to cover a half marathon distance again, and I meant to only get up at 2 PM. However, the noise dad made while getting ready to leave woke me up at 10 AM and I had a hard time getting back to sleep after that, also because some loud alarm went off several times, stopping almost immediately but being more than enough to prevent me from sleeping. Still, after two brief naps, I slept for about one more hour, then got up just before the alarm rang. Had the usual stuff, the yogurt being one of those with 10% fat and the cereals one of those free servings that came with them, but also had almonds and the sweet thing was a protein bar. Went out at 3:55 PM, when the reported temperature was 20°C and it was sunny, though there was some wind.
Knowing that it tends to take me a month to completely regain my speed after recovering from a flu, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I tried to push for a new record from the start. Failed completely, the first two laps being on that pace but requiring too much effort, so I kept getting slower after that, ending up with a worse time than I managed on any of the three such runs through the park done last year. Did hope to avoid that at first, aiming for 1:44 after lap three, but after lap four I was doubting that, and after sector two of lap five it was clear that the only thing I could realistically aim for was to stay under 1:45, and at least I managed that, just barely, the time being 1:44:51, with sector times of 4:23, 5:02, 5:53, 4:30, 4:59, 5:51, 4:34, 5:02, 5:53, 4:30, 5:12, 6:06, 4:42, 5:19, 6:07, 4:48, 5:31, 6:18, 1:54, 6:17 and 2:00, making for lap times of 15:18, 15:20, 15:29, 15:48, 16:08 and 16:37, plus 10:11 for the final portion.
My right knee started hurting at the start of lap three, and from lap four that ankle also hurt, followed some time later by the other one as well, and I can’t say that they got better after that. In addition, you can see that my pace suddenly got noticeably slower as of sector two of lap four, and it was towards its end that something got in my nose, which I’m quite sure caused me to lose a few seconds right away, blowing it out and trying to regain my breath after doing so, and then I almost rubbed my nose and remembered at the last moment that I meant to avoid touching my face, and stopping myself likely messed up my posture and pace, which was harder to correct when I was already tiring.
On the other hand, it was windy in some places, and on most laps it was really bad on the first part of that long left turn and on the sector two straight. But the worse problem were the people, as there were plenty of them despite the fact that calls to stay home had started to appear here as well. By the time I finished I couldn’t even remember all the times I had to pick my way through or slow a little in order to wait for an opening, not to mention weaving or going the long way around. There was a moment, towards the end of a lap, though I’m unsure whether it was the second or third, when a dog with a long leash cut across, the guy holding the leash couldn’t seem to decide whether to follow or pull back and the girl who was with him couldn’t decide whether to go after him or stay where she was, causing me to change direction multiple times to avoid them. But at least she apologized and seemed to mean it, which I couldn’t say about the older woman who completely blocked the path with her dog’s leash as I was on sector one of lap four, which was clearly the worst from the point of view of problems caused by other people. She was coming from the bridge and allowed the leash to get long enough for the dog to get all the way to the other side of the path, blocking it completely, so it’s a good thing I noticed it in time and didn’t trip, but had to go on the grass and around the light pole the dog was aiming for, and when I gestured in annoyance she apologized in such an ironic tone that it seemed she had expected me to apologize instead. Then, on that same sector, there was a roadblock caused by groups coming from opposite directions passing each other right in front of me, and also a kid on a scooter who came right at me after passing someone else, forcing me to just about jump aside in order to barely avoid him.

Ran back too, wanting to catch the ski jumping from the start, only to find that it was canceled. But I stuck to my schedule, taking the time I’d have spent watching to recover and going back out at 7:55 PM, since I meant to get that week’s shopping done on the same day, so I won’t go out again on another, considering the recommendations. Also in order to be careful, I didn’t use the free bus and walked to the Auchan from Vitan, getting the cat food and liquid soap we needed and walking back, getting back here at 10 PM.

This week’s run was Monday, when dad again woke me up when he left, just before 11 AM, and I again had a hard time getting back to sleep, only napping a little more until the alarm rang, at 1 PM. It had already been announced that the state of emergency was going to be declared that day and I expected that to happen in the morning, so I’ll be able to find out the details right away and know whether I’ll be able to go at all, and what else I’ll need to keep in mind if so. However, the President was scheduled to make the statement at 3 PM, and I wanted to get things done in one day again and try to go to a pharmacy right after the run, so my only chance was to go earlier and hope the lines won’t be that long if I’ll get there before 5 PM, meaning that I couldn’t wait for the announcement. So I had the usual stuff, the yogurt and cereals being the same kind I had before the previous week’s run, again had almonds as well, and the sweet thing was a large piece of pumpkin pie, and I left just after 2:45 PM. The reported temperature was around 9°C and it was sunny, but I definitely felt more wind than what the reports indicated, so I had the undershirt under the t-shirt and wore the jacket on the way as well, also using it to hold bags, that small notebook, a pencil and a pen, since I thought I’ll need to write the times.
Went for 16 kilometers again, knowing I won’t manage to stay under 48 minutes for ten, and even so I only barely avoided a rather embarrassing time by pushing like crazy on the last sector. The goal was only to stay under 1:18 from the beginning, but I couldn’t possibly allow myself to fail that, seeing as I had covered this distance, the first five laps, in 1:18:03 the week before, so it was a relief to see that, after being off the pace from the very beginning, I did manage a time of 1:17:58 in the end. Sector times were 4:25, 5:07, 5:56, 4:32, 5:03, 5:55, 4:33, 5:06, 5:57, 4:34, 5:10, 6:00, 4:36, 5:13 and 5:51, making for lap times of 15:28, 15:30, 15:36, 15:44 and 15:40.
As I already mentioned, there was some wind, and on the first two laps there were places where I felt like it was taking my breath away, and it occasionally bothered me a little at later points as well. Another problem that affected me much more early on was caused by the jacket and the stuff I had in its inside pocket, since the weight made it slip and try to unwrap itself, worrying about that and checking several times causing me to lose a bit of time until I realized that the little notebook ensured that it couldn’t actually do that, so nothing could actually fall out. There were also a fair number of people again, despite the recommendations, though not as many as the week before and some were following the news on their phones or even listening to portable radios, so I had to weave and go the long way around, and had a few small misunderstandings or situations where I had to pick my way through or take a couple of steps off the path, but I wouldn’t say there were serious roadblocks. As for my body, there were no specific issues, I just felt I couldn’t be faster than I was, and I just barely managed to stick to the planned times for the first four laps, needing to go a little faster on the fifth but seeing that I was even slower on its first two sectors, so I gave it absolutely everything on the last one, feeling that I was running out of energy and my nostrils threatening to close as my nose was getting a bit stuffy, but somehow just managing it in the end.

My hands were quite frozen at that point, and as I was trying to untie my jacket, I scratched my right thumb with a nail, ending up bleeding a fair bit, and instead of just going back to the other end of the path I was on, where there was a drinking fountain I could use to wash, I went to that mall from that area, getting a bit lost on the way as I was searching for another fountain and likely worrying quite a few people who saw me bleeding like that, especially considering the current circumstances, until I finally made my way to the toilets inside that mall and could wash properly.
Went to that Carrefour after that, getting a little lost on the way once again as I ended up in the parking lot and had to go back, not finding another exit. Didn’t find what I was looking for, however, which was unsurprising under the current circumstances for some of the things, but quite annoying when the reason I couldn’t even get bread was that all of those of the kind I wanted were sliced. So I then walked to that pharmacy, but when I saw the long line of people waiting outside, as only a few were allowed inside at a time, I just kept going, and also walked past the other cheap one from that area, even though only three people were outside that one, so I could have waited and purchased the things that were also available there… And should have done so, considering what happened today… Should have also gone back out later, to check out other Carrefour locations, as I initially meant, but decided against it, which again proved to be a bad decision.

The reason why those were bad decisions has to do with dad. On the one hand, I wanted some disinfectant for clothes, since the kind we’ve been using for a while, since I decided to start buying it, was discounted these days, and dad told me last night that my mother wanted some as well, but it’s obviously difficult to find now, even more so when it’s discounted, as it was supposed to be at Carrefour until today. It’d have also been possible to order it from them on-line, but shipping isn’t free anymore these days, so a bigger order would have been required in order to at least reduce the impact of the shipping fee, and I had things to add to one, but he said he didn’t want to make orders during this period either, so I really should have looked through multiple locations.
But the bigger problem has to do with the stuff from the pharmacy, as he also told me last night that today he was going to fill my mother’s prescriptions, and I knew that he tended to go to that cheap one for that, so before going to bed, after checking what was still listed as being available there as well, I left him a note saying that, if he does indeed go to that particular pharmacy for those prescriptions, I wanted a couple of things from there as well, and that he could also get some for himself, since I found them quite good in previous years. Stated clearly that I was just asking that if he’ll go there, and specified the prices for each, underlining these things… Only to have him hand me the things today, purchased from somewhere else, at a price that was about 18% higher, despite a supposed 11% discount listed and calculated for each product on the receipt. So I told him I won’t be touching those, or anything, I won’t be responsible for that, then left all the stuff in the kitchen, though I’m usually the one putting things in their proper place, rushed to my room and have been feeling like shit ever since, for again being stupid enough to tell him anything, and even expect him to give a shit…
Now I have to go and buy those things for myself as well, maybe later this week, since I definitely won’t be touching the ones he bought, as the only way to try to persuade myself that I’m not responsible for that expense and he only bought them for himself, regardless of what he’ll actually end up doing with them… Not that it’ll work, and I’ve been having a hard time thinking of anything else long enough to write this post now, and I’m even feeling nauseous, so I don’t know how I’ll eat, and I’m sure that sleeping is going to be quite a problem for days… Didn’t even take a shit, though I was about to when he came, but my muscles just locked up and I couldn’t even pee when I tried, before going to my room, so that was out of the question, and I wonder what effects that will have, considering the problems I have in that area… I guess it’s a good thing I hadn’t drank any tea today before he came, so I could stay here and not have to pee, at least… Feel like crying and can’t, obviously.

Still on the topic of dad being infuriating, had a talk with him Sunday, after waking up, that I’d need some stronger words to describe, since infuriating is too weak of a term. He told me he was going to meet with some people in the park and therefore won’t need the metro card, and I again said that I won’t be needing it at all from now on, as I won’t be taking the metro, which is a place where such a virus is very likely to spread, again not because I’m concerned about myself if I’ll get it, but because his age and existing health problems put him at risk in case I’ll pass it on to him. Then, after he agreed that it would indeed be a bad thing if he’d get it, I added that it seemed he didn’t care, still going out and meeting people, at which point he produced this “gem” that I’d need stronger terms than even “shocking” or “sickening” to describe: He said he actually wants to meet people now, because that’s a test for himself, since if they keep being fine after spending time around him, it means he’s fine as well! I was baffled, only being able to say that it’s exactly the sort of thing one shouldn’t do now, to which he replied that he does it for himself, and when, still shocked, I started to say that he’s using others as testing kits, he didn’t even let me finish, saying that he’s more important than any “others”!
How the fuck does one react to something like that, to that kind of mindset? I mean, even if I think that some of the strict measures taken now will only make the pandemic last longer and use massive amounts of resources that should be directed towards solving bigger problems, and that the focus should be on protecting those at risk, finding a treatment and, perhaps first of all, figuring out how to test pretty much everyone else and only isolate those who are infected, I still feel guilty even for going to run, since it’s not absolutely necessary, and for not doing something to help in a more direct manner, and I’d really want to volunteer to help in ways that may even put me at some risk, feeling even worse because I’m not even trying to do that, but knowing that I shouldn’t in order to avoid putting him at risk… And then I get… How do you even call that? What do you do with such a person?

I actually have one more thing to add, and that happened Saturday evening, when he got back and immediately turned on his computer, not disconnecting mine from the router or even saying anything first. I was reading a few posts and eating in my room, so it took me a couple of minutes to get out, no more than that, but he said that if I supposedly gave no sign, he assumed I was asleep and didn’t check. Not that it’d have mattered even if I would have been asleep, since there may also be a chance that I’ll forget to unplug that cable at some point, and actually did so when I ran that half marathon distance, though fortunately he got back after me that evening. I reminded him that he even has a note on his computer’s power button telling him to check for this reason, and he said it doesn’t matter, it shouldn’t be his problem, I should make sure we can’t both be connected if I want to avoid it from happening. He even said something about it being like the people who complain about having their parked cars hit, who should make sure to park them in spots where they’d be protected, which was another baffling thing and part of that same mindset proven so sickeningly the next day, but I was too furious to pick up on it at the time.

The reason why I said at the beginning of this post that I’ll take things nearly chronologically is that, on the evening of March 8, I found Elena P.! After 18 years of being left just with questions and nagging suspicions, and after searching as thoroughly as I could so many times before, for more than ten of those years, I now just sort of typed the name, not expecting anything, and one glance was enough to make me realize that I had found a profile that actually was hers. And then, that night, I found another, which definitely confirmed that it was her.
Unfortunately, the first one also seems to confirm my suspicions, since it states that during that time she was working at the radio station dad works at… And now she’s a psychologist, and it seems that she initially specialized in depression and suicide attempts in children and teenagers… Even if it seems that she switched from journalism to psychology several years after that period, this still paints an awful picture… Not that the very fact that she worked there at that time wouldn’t be enough for that on its own, when she only told me that she got a job months after we stopped seeing each other, in part as an excuse for supposedly not having time anymore, and even then only told me that she was a secretary somewhere.
Of course, I was suspecting all of that after I heard her say what sounded like dad’s work phone number while she was on the phone with me at one point, when she was supposedly working somewhere for a week in order to cover for a friend, making me think that he might have somehow gotten her to talk to me, possibly paying her for it, but I wanted to believe her when she said she might have given out numbers to someone interested in contacting the media, but only following the instructions left by her friend, not even really knowing whose they were. Ran that by dad as well at the time, and his denial sounded too emphatic to not be suspicious at first, but he recovered quickly enough to make me doubt my doubts, asking for a picture of her, supposedly to check whether he might have seen her even if the name supposedly didn’t tell him anything. Of course, a picture was also something I couldn’t provide, but the request also made me wonder whether she was perhaps someone he cheated on my mother with and who was using me to get to him in some way, and in the end I again ended up dismissing the whole thing pretty much just because I didn’t want to believe that, because she was someone I seemed to get along with so well, having that unbelievable mental connection, being the best friend I ever had… And unfortunately remaining even now the only person who ever seemed to understand me like that… Which should have been suspicious enough in itself, since it’s been proven time and time again that it’s impossible for me to get along that well with someone, to have such a mental connection.
Either way, sent her a message, a rather cryptic and harsh one, Saturday night. I’d have wanted to have a calm talk about the whole thing now that I found her, and while confirming those suspicious would have been awful, I really think I’d have been able to put the betrayal behind me and, while it’d have been terribly difficult for her to gain my trust, I’d have likely wanted to keep talking to her now, if she’d have wanted it as well, to see whether we can get along without acting and where things might go. But it seems I found her some nine years too late for that to be an option, since she has children, or at least a daughter, at least since 2012. If not for that, I’d have considered waiting for her birthday, which is towards the end of the year, since several months isn’t that long after 18 years, but that made it impossible for me to come up with anything to say that’d suit such an occasion; can’t honestly wish something good for someone guilty of the worst single crime anyone may commit, at the moment and for the foreseeable future, and directly worsening the world’s worst problem, after all. But, assuming that this part of what she told me back then was true, March 15 would also be an important date for her, though whether a happy or sad one depends entirely on what happened since then, so I took the opportunity to send that first message then, in the first minutes of March 15, pointing out why and using that, and her birthday, to lead into asking whether anything she told me back then was in fact true. Calmed down a little and sent a second, nicer message Monday night, but received no reply so far. I’m not blocked either, at least for the moment, so that’s something, but it’s also entirely possible that the messages were filtered and she didn’t even see them.

Before ending this, I’ll add that on March 9 I also decided to get back to ShadowGuard, and that night I noticed that I could access the blog in Internet Explorer again. Have no idea what changed, I definitely don’t think I did anything and the site’s security certificate didn’t change either, but I guess something did… On the other hand, on March 12 my phone proved that it didn’t change, giving that error again, and now I’m not sure what to do about it, since I’m uneasy about sending it to be fixed again during this period, even if, or perhaps especially because, requiring repairs three times in less than six months should entitle me to a replacement, since I have purchased the extended warranty. Still at odds and ends, Saturday evening I cleaned my room a bit and changed the sheets… And last night my desktop froze, possibly because of the number of open browser tabs kicking everything else out of memory, and killing explorer.exe and restarting it caused the usual loss of some notification area icons, so I rebooted, which means I’ll be able to see whether that issue with Vivaldi and ESET Antivirus will happen again.

Written by Cavalary on March 18, 2020 at 10:29 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

The New Virus Shows What Can Be Done… And What Isn’t

There are some good things generated by the crisis caused by the spread of the new coronavirus, proving that some things can be done after all. We’re seeing that working and studying can be done from home in a lot of cases. We’re seeing that traveling, and perhaps flying in particular, can be severely restricted, and that many can choose to avoid it even without being forced. We’re seeing that some goods can be rationed to ensure that the needs of as many people as possible can be met. We’re seeing that people can grasp and respect the concept of personal space even in public places. We’re seeing that wild animal markets can be closed and banned. We’re seeing that we can do without many existing businesses, in particular those having to do with tourism, restaurants, clubs and so on, and much of the service industry in general. We’re seeing that even production can be restricted or even stopped, because many branches aren’t actually necessary. We’re seeing that a state of emergency can be declared and strict regulations can be enforced when people recognize that a crisis exists. We’re seeing that money, personnel and other resources can be found, redirected or, if necessary, even created, in order to be used to solve a crisis. We’re seeing that health care must be a right, provided and guaranteed by the state. We’re seeing that the state can take back the power from the private sector, even requisitioning what’s needed. We’re seeing that continuing the current economic model can stop being the top priority and measures that harm it can be taken when something more important is at stake.
There are problems, of course, a huge one being the fact that measures to support the economy, or more specifically the current economic model, are nevertheless also taken, taking away massive amounts of resources that would be needed elsewhere and wasting this extraordinary opportunity to dismantle this system and replace it with one that would no longer destroy the planet and the people. And the masses do more than their share in that direction as well, with all the panic buying. That’s entirely expected, of course, seeing as the vast majority of people aren’t actually rational even at the best of times, and a crisis makes it much worse, since the herd mentality is at work and people panic easily, and the vast majority simply can’t think anymore in such a situation. But the specific problem here is that people have reduced themselves to mere consumers, and have been encouraged and pressured to do so, no longer thinking about what they can actually do, nor about what they should have the right to receive, and feeling most threatened when they perceive a risk of losing some of the freedom to buy whatever, whenever and as much as they want… Or at least can afford, because arbitrary restrictions imposed by individual wealth still seem to be seen as normal, while the common reaction to actual restrictions and guidelines that make sense, that are necessary and justified, is rejection.
Nevertheless, we’re seeing that some people can rise to such a challenge, and do what’s right. Of course, we’re also seeing that many won’t unless forced, and that they’ll try to avoid, hide or directly refuse to follow necessary rules, not to mention recommendations. But we’re also seeing that they can be forced, albeit with various degrees of success, depending on how harsh the authorities are willing to be. And I’d say that’s the main thing to take away, the fact that, if we are to get something done, we must do whatever it takes for it, use whatever methods work, focusing solely on the goal. Italy is in the situation it’s in because they were reluctant to take the necessary measures right away, and because Italians are used to find their way around restrictions and the authorities are used to turn a blind eye plenty of times, while China, once they realized that the problem was serious enough and stopped trying to sweep it under the rug, actually obtained excellent results by enforcing the measures by any means necessary, cutting through any bureaucracy and the squeamishness that prevents the Western world from doing something similar. There is also South Korea, of course, and that may be the best example, the excellent results being produced by a mix of advanced technology, enforced regulations and citizens that are used to follow rules and take responsibility for their actions and their effects on others. But the bottom line is that, when something needs to be done right away, you get it done right away, whatever it takes.
If only we’d also do this for the bigger, long-term crises. After all, the new coronavirus may be with us for a few years, and even if it’ll end up infecting the majority of the population, completely overwhelm the medical systems and cause hundreds of millions of deaths, it’s a short-term problem that will go away on its own relatively quickly, as most people will become immune to it, one way or another. That’s nothing compared to the environmental crisis we’re in, of which the climate crisis is but a small part, and it’s also nothing compared to some of the major social problems, including poverty, corporate power or marginalization. Those are problems that we ourselves create, maintain and worsen, continuing to do so despite knowing that we’re doing it and also knowing how to stop, and having the means to do so. We didn’t know about this new virus before it appeared, we didn’t create it, and at the moment we don’t have the means to stop it, there’s no cure and no vaccine, but we’ve known about the environmental damage we’re causing for at least several decades, and about the social problems pretty much since the advent of civilization, and we now have the means to solve them. We have the knowledge, the level of development, the technology, the communications, we have everything we need except the will… And perhaps the belief that it can be done, that those drastic but absolutely necessary measures can actually be enforced, in practice.
The current situation should show us that, with sufficient determination and lack of squeamishness, what needs to be done can be done… Unfortunately, I fear it will have the opposite effect. I fear that all resources will be directed towards solving this short-term crisis and maintaining the current social, economic and even political systems, so they’ll survive it without drastic changes. I fear that this will slow or even halt the progress towards something new, better and necessary. I fear that people will emerge from this crisis with a renewed aversion towards restrictions and regulations, however justified they may be, and adamantly demand to maintain their unfettered freedom to act and consume according to their own free will in the future. Regardless of how this particular crisis will, in itself, play out, I fear that humans will do what humans have always done, focus on the short term and the small scale, regardless of the long-term, large-scale consequences… But, of course: “There’s always hope. At least that’s what I tell myself when I awaken in the middle of the night and the only sound I can hear is the beating of my own desperate heart.”

Written by Cavalary on March 15, 2020 at 4:48 PM in Society | 0 Comments

Climate, Air Pollution and Cancellations – March 3 to 12 in Bucharest

Not much will be happening here, or anywhere for that matter, over the coming weeks, and likely the coming months as well, but before the measures taken to slow the spread of the new coronavirus caused the events already planned to be canceled and made any new plans pretty much impossible, there were two more events that did take place and I wanted to mention. Since I hadn’t quite recovered from the flu yet, I didn’t attend either, but I do have some information about the protest that took place on March 4, at least. About the debate about pollution and the climate crisis that took place the previous evening, I can’t say I know much of anything, but it was supposed to be between 8 PM and 10 PM, in a bar that the regulars from this leftist group seem to gather in, so I guess I’ll just mention that and move on.

The protest was again organized by Declic, this time at the Ministry of Environment, starting at 1 PM. The reason was once again the level of air pollution in Bucharest, after the limits were exceeded even more than ten times in the early hours of March 2 and the application that’s supposed to alert subscribers about emergencies didn’t even send any messages. This means it wasn’t just another protest taking place during the day, but also one on very short notice, so the organizers were understandably concerned that hardly anyone will show up and the gas masks and signs they brought will remain unused. However, this time around there were dozens of participants, so they quickly ran out of gas masks, the message sent after the event stating that they had 17 of them, and none of the cloud-shaped signs were left unused either.
The media was definitely interested in the event, television stations reporting live and quite a number of articles being published. That would have made it even worse if only a few people would have showed up, as it tends to happen when protests take place at such hours, during a weekday, but this time there were enough participants for the reporters to work with, the resulting impact being much greater than the turnout itself would have generated, seeing as dozens of people doesn’t actually mean much on its own.
Either way, the representatives of Declic met with the Minister, delivering the signatures gathered on their petition demanding the rapid modernization of the air quality monitoring system all over the country and real-time reports sent to citizens as well as to the European Environment Agency. According to the report sent by Declic, there was a “tense moment” when they pointed out that the institutions responsible should have sent notifications, including to the Minister, about the conditions that existed Sunday night, but otherwise the activists stated that they were pleased with the proposed plans, which include modifying the air quality monitoring application in order to notify citizens when the pollution exceeds the limits, adding 15 more monitoring stations by the end of September and an additional 16 until next year, and setting up a center tasked with creating three-day air quality forecasts, similar to weather forecasts. Mere promises don’t count though, so activists said that they’ll keep an eye on the actual actions that will be taken and further meetings were scheduled, starting with one on March 10, about the air quality monitoring sensors. I’m not seeing anything about how that went though.

Other than that, after a first tree planting event that took place on March 7 and was mostly a publicity stunt, politicians, including the President, taking part, the campaign should have started on March 14. Actually, since the massive campaign announced by the Ministry of Environment should have started on March 21, I guess that’s only the campaign once again sponsored by OMV, which is unfortunate to say the least, but nevertheless no reason to refuse to do a good thing. However, after the volunteers had all signed up for those March 14 events, the NGOs organizing them made changes to their plans and took measures to increase the safety of the participants and follow the regulations and recommendations enacted as a result of the new coronavirus starting to spread in Romania as well, and people were even asked to sign up for the March 21 events, announcements came that all such events were canceled. These announcements only came from the NGOs participating in OMV’s campaign, and I for one received nothing from the Ministry of Environment, be it information about any event set to take place or a cancellation announcement, after having also signed up for their campaign, but I can only assume that the part of the Ministry’s campaign involving volunteers was canceled as well.
This seems to have been a decision made pretty much on the spot, since I first saw messages asking people to sign up for the March 21 events, which were supposed to be the main ones taking place this spring, on March 9, then the messages were repeated the next day, only for the cancellations to be announced on March 11. It was said that the campaign was delayed until autumn, but since such campaigns take place each spring and autumn, it only means that the spring campaign was canceled, at least as far as volunteers are concerned, since I saw that another participating NGO, not the one organizing the event I had signed up for, stated that they’ll work with foresters to plant as many trees as possible without the use of volunteers. That’s something, at least, but it still strikes me as once again sacrificing long-term projects for a short-term crisis, and I was hoping that they’ll at the very least organize some urban tree planting events, with few volunteers in each location and no need for this kind of transportation, involving some 50 people being stuck in each bus for hours. But I guess there will be no such thing either…

While this isn’t something that actually belongs in such reports, I’ll also mention here that part of the Botanical Garden’s Spring Cleaning was canceled as well. It was supposed to take place on March 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22, but things changed after the first weekend. Unfortunately, I decided that it was too soon after recovering from the flu, so I didn’t go then, and on March 12 there was an announcement stating that the events scheduled for March 14 and 15 are canceled and volunteers can no longer sign up for those scheduled for March 21 and 22. The announcement also stated that a final decision about these last two days will be taken later, and I guess some may be thinking that a small event, with only the few who had signed up in advance, might be possible, but the situation is only getting worse, so the chances of that happening seem pretty much zero to me, as do those of the activities being rescheduled, even in April. So it seems that I won’t be attending any such events this spring…

Written by Cavalary on March 14, 2020 at 4:03 AM in United We Save | 0 Comments