Don’t tell anyone, but I have exactly one quarantine buddy. He comes over twice per week. He spent the weekend here. I love him for a lot of reasons but one is that when I ask him to do things, he does them. What a concept.
So I’ve been on the low-FODMAP diet, right? Well Friday I got a wild hair and Googled whether bone broth was low-FODMAP. And just like that, a week went down the drain. I’d put on a cat eye for our jungle-themed demos Zoom so I was walking around SF with my mask on crying about how I don’t matter and nothing matters. I solved the problem by drinking and doing drugs and eating gluten and unlimited chocolate all weekend. Today I got back on the wagon. Round two, here we go.
Then today on another Zoom call one of my coworkers asked me how long I thought the lockdown would last. It feels weird to be in this limbo in San Francisco. SF is always kind of a bubble. It’s 5-10 years ahead of the rest of the country, in ways both awesome and terrible. Most of the life-changing tech America produces is dreamt up here and we get to use it first. But it’s also terrifying to watch America descend into a cyberpunk dystopia of rampant wealth inequality, woefully mismanaged local government, and tattered social safety nets.
But somehow SF got its shit together and flattened the curve, though maybe not the way the Atlantic is reporting it. (BTW, some claim lockdowns are unnecessary because California has herd immunity, but the evidence doesn’t support that theory.)
With the curve bent here in SF, it kind of feels like we should be looking toward the exits, literally and figuratively. But I told my colleague that until we have widespread test and trace and a good vaccine and/or treatment, there’s really no way to get out of lockdown without cases ramping back up.
Even when I’m not crying over FODMAPs, it’s hard to make myself go for walks just for exercise, with no real destination. Trashy memoirs on Audible help (Idiot by Laura Clery was good). I walk past boarded up bars, restaurants, and retail. I agree with Foreign Policy that retail isn’t coming back. Based on my research for my fuck-you to a retail vacancy tax for SF, I think SF needs to rezone pretty much all retail for housing ASAP as part of the recovery. The one population lockdown didn’t help in SF was our homeless. Now COVID is running rampant through our shelters.
On a walk with Quarantine Buddy, a man who looked homeless asked for help. “You could at least look at me!” the man yelled at him as we walked past. “That usually goes better,” QB said to me when we were out of earshot. And it does. I see on the Citizen app people getting assaulted and weapons being brandished in the Tenderloin every day. Now there’s a campaign to recall Chesa Boudin, our recently elected social-justice District Attorney. But right now I’m most scared of runners who don’t wear masks and get way too close to me on the sidewalk. Wear a fucking mask you sociopaths.
As I read about grocery store workers and public transit workers dying preventable deaths due to greedy, shortsighted bosses, COVID evictions starting, and an unemployment rate that could hit 30%, everything feels unsustainable in a way that I hope leads to radical positive systemic change. I will be following this project closely.