Well, that was unexpected.

But what wasn’t this year.

I started back at the winery early this summer. I wasn’t sure at first if there would be a season to hire folks for, but sure enough here we are. Then, ‘SURPRISE’ I was offered a year round position at work.

It feels super weird. Lots of folks are struggling, while I got my summer job back, and it became a year round gig.

The government shut down last spring was hard on us, Pak didn’t get paid or compensated in this primary job for a month. He worked his @$$ off in secondary jobs to pay for our mortgauge, and we went to the food bank they set up at his work place.

I had never needed to use a food bank before. We qualified for reduced price lunches in school when I was a kid, but I was a picky eater, and rarely ate school lunch. I’ve generally supported those kinds of programs, but last spring was the first time I was truely thankful for them.

Comparatively this year hasn’t been as bad for us personally. He’s essential and the enlisted version of salaried, so we didn’t have to worry about money. We’re much closer to both sides of our family @ this station, then we were last spring.

Not that that helps the political, cultural, or larger economic situation.

Its was just strange to feel so prepared for all this. As a kid from an island in Alaska, I know how to make long ditance communication work, how to stock up moderately, and what to stock up with. I only ever bought I package of TP at a time, and we never ran out. We have done plenty of fishing to fill our freezer and their a several hunting trips being planned specifically for the meat. Plus I’ve got kale and tomato plants growing inside as the temperatures start to fall.

I’m worried about my folks, my community, my country, and its status as a democracy. I’m doing my best to help when and where I can. But its nice to not have to worry as much about my own personal well being, and I am well aware of that privledge.

Surviving the Pandemic Part 1

Today I am starting the “Hero’s Journey” program from Darebee. Day one is “Press Start” has 3 different levels depending on your abilities, and is composed of Side Leg Raises, Squats, Toe Tap Hops (which were new to me), and Climbers. Check out the free program HERE. They’ve also got a workout specifically for the Lock-downs, and advice for working out at home during all of this. Like always this content is, and always has been FREE. They also have a YouTube channel. So if your looking for fitness routines, and programs, Darebee has you covered. They do take donations if you can support them.

Their are still less than 10 cases in the state. All of them travel related, no community spread. Yet. The state has still closed restaurants and local stores have set aside special hours for the older or immuno-compromised customers. Their are a very limited number of tests available anywhere.

Medical care in the state of Alaska can be tricky. We have very small very tight knit communities spread out, far beyond modern medical access. If CoVid-19 makes it out to a village? Disaster. Like when governments let that happen to ethnic groups its called genocide. That’s not what Alaska is doing. I am proud that we are so much more prepared then the federal government or much of the lower 48. We have stricter rules than many states, and one of the lowest case count in the nation.

I mean, it’s winter in Alaska. We, as a state, kinda self-isolate for most of this half of the year. The scary part is spring break, everyone traveling, and everyone whose going to be returning, and how little regard many have for their communities.

Providence is the only civilian hospital in the Kodiak Archipelago. The workers of the Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center had been fighting to keep their sick leave for an extended period of time. This was nothing fancy, just basic sick leave, that EVERYWHERE ELSE Providence gave it’s employees. They thought they could intimidate their Kodiak employees. They thought they could intimidate Kodiak. They were wrong. That small town stuck together, planned their strike months in advance, and were prepared to follow through if providence was going to screw them over.

Because Kodiak was only the start. Once they’d pulled it off in Kodiak, it would have been the example. No one other Providence facility in Alaska would have retained their established sick leave. Because even as the Federal Government was creating legislation to support and require sick leave, (at least for this crisis) Providence tried to blame it’s own employees in Kodiak. But Kodiak is a small town, and people talk to each other, and called those corporate jerks on their nonsense, and they did not flinch.

It was announced last night, that Providence through a “mediator” finally yielded. A tentative agreement has been reached, and the strike will be avoided. Go Kodiak.

I just wanted to share a little bit of good news in the middle of all this.

Welcome to the apocalypse!

March 16, 2020. Only one confirmed case in the whole state so far. The two biggest cities in the state are restricting social gatherings. I haven’t seen toilet paper in local stores in a week. I bought an extra pack a week and a half ago, but seriously. What the h#ll is stockpiling TP going to do to protect you against CV-19?

We have extra gloves, and a couple of masks from various crafting projects. We know how to wash our hands, and do so. If I was honestly concerned I might start wearing my buff out in public. Mostly just to be careful? It probably wouldn’t do much?

My steps are up to 15,000 and I am making good progress, but we have to be careful now, walking the dogs in less socially accessible places. I’ve started doing workout at home again, not a habit yet, but trying to build one. Darebee’s fitness program is great for working out during social distancing and all of this. No weight systems or gym required. Their bodyweight workouts you can do in a hallway.

Supply lines have not been damaged. They are bringing more toilet paper to your grocery stores. Their making that stuff out of bamboo these days. Their is no actual shortage. Stockpiling hurts literally everyone.

Like a month or two from now TP prices will crash, because the stock pilers will STILL have excess, and this stupid ‘shock’ bubble will have passed.

Currently social gathering of more than 10 are discouraged. Social media is teaming up an encouraging people to be informed, practice social distancing, AND WASH YOUR FREAKING HANDS.

We will get through this, and someday it might even be funny. Until then, we’ll be hanging out in our house, reading books, playing games, watching netflix, and maybe learning something new.