I needed some distractions from the harsh reality of modern-day America. We have always known that there are two Americas: One made up of normal people and another in which a convicted felon and rapist gets a COVID-19 test in prison because he also happens to be rich and famous. I would prefer not to focus on the fact that, instead of saving people, politicians are worried about their own portfolios, the companies that stuff their wallets, and saving the economy.
Common sense seems to elude many of us: dead people don’t buy anything. The longer you remain deliberately ignorant about the virus, the longer it is going to kill people. So to our presidents, governors, state legislators, and other politicians: please stop lying. Stop trying to blame others for our own organizational mess.
Over a century ago the Spanish Flu started in Kansas and killed millions around the world. It didn’t care where you lived. The same goes for the virus that emerged in Wuhan. How stupid must our politicians be if they are focusing their energies on playing the blame game, instead of the save everyone game?
Make sure everyone you know listens to scientists and doctors, and not a reality TV star turned president. 1
Yes, I still can’t sleep. I woke up at 2 am — three hours after trying to go to sleep. I kept worrying about the half-assed measures adopted by the Indian government. My old parents live there, and we can’t travel. Yeah, I am anxious. You probably are, too, though maybe about something else — perhaps your next rent payment, food, or maybe just kids driving you insane.
I went on Twitter, got even more angry and anxious, and turned it off. I started doing some online window shopping, even though I didn’t want anything. I realized that others are passing the time in the same way.
Sitting at home with nowhere to go except to the computer screen can definitely play tricks on your mind. And then you start doing strange things, like buying random stuff. So, America is buying a lot of Yoga Mats and Resistance Mats. They are rising up the best sellers list on Amazon.2
I wonder if Amazon classifies Board Games as essentials? I mean, a lot of people are looking to buy those. It seems Jenga is back in fashion, and so is Clue. Talking about games, I bet the Twitch acquisition is looking pretty good for Amazon right now. Everyone is live streaming, or should we say, Twitching. 3
We all know Zoom is doing really well. There is a new upstart, Around, that is kinda bubbly (pun intended) and it is getting a lot of usage. It is appealing because it makes video meetings less “meeting-like.” I am a little more partial to Jamm, which feels more fun and well, it is cooler to say, “Let’s Jamm.”
Zoom, however, is rock solid and providing a great service. Sadly, I can’t say the same about Microsoft Skype and Google Hangouts. Skype’s quality is worse than the current president’s ability to calm the nation. And after all these years, Google Meeting/Hangouts/WhateverItIsToday is still a turd. They can’t seem to make a product that is solid and humane.
I don’t know why Apple won’t make FaceTime cross-platform. It is working like a champ, and I am calling parents on it all the time. Yesterday, I did a call with Mountain Man aka Naveen on FaceTime, and it was amazing quality. For work, though,it is Zoom. True to its name, the company is zooming, because they are good and deserve it.
By the way, I have been Zooming with a lot of friends and have started taking Zelfies 4 — selfies taken on Zoom in the age of physical distancing. It is a new thing. Let’s get creative with it. I know you old people are trying to do TikTok. Zoom just might be easier.
Of course, that’s assuming you have the Internet and that you have not been redlined out of having access. Indeed, the virus has laid bare to the fact that there is not just one America. Like those who work in the face of the virus, there are many, but to those with money and power, they are invisible.
March 24, 2020, San Francisco.