rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,
rejectomorph
flying_blind

Day Five, Still Alive

There are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Butte County, but there is a casualty nonetheless. Our local weekly free paper, Chico News & Review, has suspended publication, along with its two sister papers in Sacramento and Reno. It's not dead yet, but it's in a coma, and it would not surprise me if it never recovered. This is happening at free weekly papers all over the country. They all depend on advertising from shops, restaurants, bars, and night spots, and in many places most of those have been shut down, and so the advertising has dried up.

Most of these papers have very slim profit margins, and little capital, and I doubt many, if any, can survive a long hiatus. I expect this social distancing situation will continue for at least twelve weeks, probably longer in some places. We really started it too late, and with too little planning for the economic consequences. I'm not expecting Congress (well, the Senate) to pass any legislation that will provide sufficient, meaningful assistance to such enterprises as small, weekly papers.

Friday I made the mistake of looking at Safeway's weekly ad, seeing quite a few things I'd like to get, and now I really want to go. It's permitted, of course, but I've also gotten very skittish very fast and the thought of going has me worried as hell. In fact I've gotten as jumpy as a June bug over the last few days. I'm finding it very hard to concentrate on quiet activities like reading. It's like I've developed OCD and ADD at the same time, and they are fighting it out inside my head. I still haven't made up my recent lost sleep, which isn't helping, nor is not being able to go out walking, which is the way I usually burn up excess energy. I have no idea how I'll get through months of this.

Lots of little brown birds in the yard again today, but still no mockingbird, and no sign of Taylor, the lizard. I thought they might reappear when it got a bit warmer, as it did today, but they didn't. The traffic on the freeway finally seems to be easing up. I guess more people are cocooning. This is all so freaking weird. I ought to be writing something much better about it than this. It's an historic moment, and all I can put together is this dreck. Anybody still reading must be getting seriously bummed out by this gibbering by now, I certainly am.
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