Thurs. Dec. 3, 2020 – whoooooshhhhh. <--sound of this week flying by

Cool and wet, but hopefully not raining all day.  Like yesterday.

When I got nothing done.  Well, did get the daughter safely to school and back for her class picture, and annual hearing and vision checkup.  Talked to a couple of the moms while there.  One was the volunteer coordinator for the science program I led.  She’s working on getting something we can do remotely with the kids.  I miss seeing the kids and doing the experiments.

I miss doing all of my volunteer stuff.  I miss my ham radio lunches, and my non-prepping hobby meetings.  (Both of those are primarily composed of guys with a couple of decades on me and a laundry list of co-morbidities.    Wouldn’t be prudent.)  I wonder where we’ll be in three weeks.

It occurs to me I’ve been saying that for 9 months.  We’ll see in a few weeks…  and for the most part, what we saw was not as bad as we feared (but we did see the increases, and the deaths).   And we’ve gradually gotten used to it, and the overton window has moved dramatically.    March – “FREAKING FOUR PEOPLE HAVE DIED IN WASHINGTON!!11!!  December – “It’s barely 2000 dead a week, and most of them were ready to die anyway, I need a beer.”

We got used to it.

I don’t know where we’ll be in three weeks.  I don’t know where we’ll be in three months.  I don’t know where we’ll be in three years.  I do know that what has been set in motion will continue in motion.

In a state that was isolated from the worst of the .gov excesses, where we were never really locked in our homes, where businesses continued as much as possible to keep going, with the strongest economy in the country, I see the signs of the downward spiral.  I was driving in different areas Wednesday, near to home but toward the kid’s school.  Areas that I really haven’t been in much in the last few months.  LOTS more bums.  Lots more immigrants on the street in the rain.  More vacant storefronts.   More ‘For Lease’ signs.   Projects that got started, but now haven’t progressed are everywhere.  They cleared the lot and put up the fence, but no further work has been done, and the weeds are 4 foot high.  They remodeled the restaurant or store but never opened.  There is a LOT of newly vacant commercial property around me.

There are some signs of life.  Several big housing developments are still building houses- a block from one that is built out, but has a 20 foot sign “HUGE incentives to buyers” in front.  The Aldi store a couple of blocks from my house is going to open this week.  I can’t help but wonder though if that is just momentum.   Once the money is in motion, it sometimes costs more to stop than to continue, even if the deal no longer makes sense.

We seem to be in the stage where things gradually get shirtier.  More bums on the street.   More trash and litter.  More illegal dumping.   More graffiti and tags, and they stay up longer.   McDonalds took 20 minutes to get me two large fries, and they both tasted like they’d been held too long, even though the drive thru girl said we were waiting while they cooked them.  Limited menu and few customers too.  AND over $5.

Smaller sizes, and higher prices.  Limited selections and more frequent shortages.  Increasing frequency and duration of outages of basic services.  We are ALREADY in this stage of collapse.  Inertia will carry us further into it no matter what happens in the next two months.

In the past we dealt with adversity.  We rolled up our sleeves and we tightened our belts.  We sacrificed because ‘we were all in it together’.   We’re not anymore.  We can see the ‘elite’ and connected getting a better deal than us.  They say ‘stay home’ while they fly on a private jet to a vacation resort.  A jet they don’t own or pay for, that someone else in their network ‘shares’ with them.   They’re already laying out the new Soviet Union and Nazi Germany in their tweets.  Oppose the party and be crushed.   Express any idea or hold a belief that isn’t approved, and the might of “the people” will be focused against you.

It’s all going to get worse for at least a while too.  There is still hope, but not for long.  We’ll know in a few weeks….

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And then it might get a lot worse.  Possibly very quickly.  And…….

We’ll get used to it.

Hard times are coming.  Hell, for many they are already here, and just getting started.  Use the time wisely.  Keep stacking whatever you think you’ll need.  Moxie and pretzels, if that’s your thing.  But stack it high.

nick