The Chieftains
Quarantine Times

No Way to Delay That Trouble Comin' Every Day

I stumbled out to get some breakfast this morning and our favorite area radio station was playing Frank Zappa's 1966 song "Trouble Every Day." The chorus is "And there's no way to delay that trouble comin' every day."

How appropriate.

Tuesday, March 10. I got a phone call and text informing me that the King of Prussia office was closed on the 10th and 11th due to an abundance of caution et cetera et cetera. Mind you, the message did not specify the company. When my phone rang, the caller ID said "Potential spam" so I believed my phone and went to work.

Well. The parking was empty and the Facilities guys were standing outside. After I said, "Well, I guess it wasn't spam, then", I asked if I could go up and get my computer. One of the guys escorted me to my cubicle. I grabbed my computer and headed home. 

Then I read my work email - aha. A visitor to the building had been exposed to the virus, so the company decided to close for two days and deep clean the premises.

Later that day I went to the dentist and had my teeth cleaned. Didn't think anything about it.

Wednesday, March 11. A new email from the company said that the office would remain closed for the rest of the week because the visitor had test positive. Oh, and unless there was a business-critical need to be in the office, we should continue to work at home. Fine with me!

That night Joe and I went to the Kimmel Center in Center City. We had dinner at the fancypants Volver before we saw The Chieftains. It was a delicious dinner and a fabulous concert. As we squeezed into the tiny elevator to the parking garage, I joked, "Everyone has washed their hands, right?" Ha Ha!

Thursday, March 12. The governor of Pennsylvania locked down Montgomery County, where I live. Schools, gyms, community centers, and entertainment venues would close down, effective Friday morning. We went to dinner at a new brewpub called Troubles End (we can only hope). They gave us a menu for takeout ordering, because they were closing down the next day.

The governor also asked all non-essential retail businesses to close down. The King of Prussia Mall - ten minutes from my house - said "Nuh uh - we're not closing. Come on buy (sic)!"

Friday, March 13. The company told us all to work from home until further notice, in line with the governor's order. The Kimmel Center cancelled all upcoming performances through April 11. Dang! There goes David Sedaris and the Rock n' Roll Organ Recital! Then Philly closed down. Then New Jersey closed down. The rest of Pennsylvania closed down - the governor told KOP Mall that they now had no choice - close it up, kids.

And so it goes, like dominoes.

We have been out during the social distancing. I had to get some bloodwork done and have a CT scan ahead of the regular appointment with my oncologist. The lab was taking precautions; I sat on the other side of the room from the only other patient. The CT scan went normally, except that there was a screening table set up in the foyer. They took my temperature and asked several questions. 

Joe's been to the grocery store - yes, there was no toilet paper, but we have enough. And we have gotten carry-out from our local tavern so that we can support the owner and help him pay his staff.

I'm a little scared, frankly. I think I'll be less scared when a couple more weeks go by and I still feel fine. That doesn't mean I'll go out and slow dance with strangers; it means I might go for a walk. I thought the President might have come to his senses, but no. I'm hearing "only 2% will die, so get business going again!" I'm taking a shot in the dark here, but I'm willing to bet that those same people self-identify as "pro-life."

Anyway. As Frank Zappa says, "There's no way to delay that trouble comin' every day." But I'll do my part.