Yeah, another day of gripping excitement. Well, a gentle pinch of excitement. Went for a run, and shortly after returning I got the car out of the garage and went for a drive just for fun. I thought about going down to the Baylands for a walk but instead went up 84 to Skyline and back down Page Mill.
Very few cars on the road, but quite a few cyclists. I remember the pleasures of cycling Skyline and Page Mill. Put the car safely away at 1:30. Maybe Saturday I’ll go to the Baylands.
Worked an hour on the car model. Although this model has better plastic details than the prior one, its instruction sheet is not as good. I’ve found a couple of mistakes in it, and today I had to spend ten minutes trying to make sense of a graphic where the drawing doesn’t match the plastic parts at all.
On my balcony, the dragon-wing begonias are begoing bonkers.
At 5:30 comes an email: a special Zoom meeting is called for 6:45 tonight “for an important COVID update”. Uh-oh. Will it be the first infection among us Independent Livers?
Turns out an employee in food services tested positive, and had been in close contact with others, so 20 food service employees are on furlough pending tests. In the meantime, the remaining food staff are confined to the kitchen where they prepare food and load carts wearing PPE including face shields. And delivery to the rooms is being done by whatever staff are available, primarily housekeeping and office staff. So in-room housekeeping services are again on hold.
Rhonda emphasized we are all to practice safety more than ever, and emphasized specifically that we are not to eat with persons from another household. I had a tentative date to go out for pizza on Saturday with another resident. While the meeting was in progress I sent an email canceling that.
Still reading Journal of the Plague Year and it is interesting how they tried to contain it with some measures that are familiar to us now. Defoe quotes at length from the orders of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London. Among the rules,
…all plays, bear-baitings, games, singing of ballads, or such-like causes of assemblies of people be utterly prohibited … all public feasting,… and dinners at taverns, ale-houses, and other places of common entertainment…
Just the same, like parts of the USA, they couldn’t bring themselves to close the bars, only ruling
no company or person be suffered to remain or come into any tavern, ale-house, or coffee-house to drink after nine of the clock in the evening…
One striking measure of control was locking people into their houses. There was a system of watchmen and inspectors, who could go into any house to examine a sick person, and if the inspector decided this was a case of the plague they would lock up the house with everyone who lived there inside it, and set a 24-hour watch outside to make sure nobody left the place. You got out of such confinement only by dying, or by having an inspector come in and verify there was no remaining sickness. Defoe admits
many people perished in these miserable confinements which, ’tis reasonable to believe, would not have been distempered if they had had liberty, though the plague was in the house.
and says that
it would fill a little volume to set down the arts used by the people of such houses to shut the eyes of the watchmen who were employed, to deceive them, and to escape or break out from them.
Yeah, you think? We are more sensible, we confine the healthy people. Plus, we have internet. In 1650, if you are quarantined, the only “media” is your window to the street.