Saturday, April 4, 2020

Sitting at the plant - in my truck - in the passenger seat. New policy here. But, it allows me to pull out my laptop and get some bill paying done.  They actually built a platform out of scaffolding at the entrance to the plant for a person to stand on with a thermometer to take everyone's temperature.  It's one of those kind you just aim at the person's forehead, the thermometer never touches you.  I had heard about this so I took my temp this morning before I left the house, well within normal parameters. 

Frankly, I'd rather go lay down in the sleeper and take a snooze, but that isn't allowable. They won't let you sit in the driver's seat - I guess so you can't turn the truck on and move it, but they take the key from you anyways.  Just weird.  At least it isn't hot out today, they aren't allowing us to run the trucks for AC or heat, either.   And I won't be able to take a pic of the weekly schedule now since we aren't allowed in the container where we used to wait.

I didn't squawk about any of this, people are contracting the virus here - as is the case pretty much everywhere. I believe the only good isolating ourselves from everyone else is doing is to make it so hospitals aren't all overrun at once everywhere.  Because as I said early on, before it ever left China, this virus is going to spread around the world and everyone is going to get it. Most will live, some will die.  And that's really what is happening.  Lots of conspiracy theories about China inventing this virus to spread it around and cause the US economy to fail. Would I put that past China? Absolutely not.  But I tend to dismiss those types of theories unless there is solid evidence. 

The local news is reporting 26 new confirmed cases in this region - where they're lumping several counties together for the states in the "northeast Texas region". And 3 new deaths.  This area is expansive, with small towns and people living out in the country with a lot of ranches and private properties people use for hunting.  So to say 26 in one day is probably a lot.  But, the last flu that went through here earlier this year?  Our little town was saturated with people acquiring it.  Social distancing probably does work, I've been doing as much as possible, but there are those places you have to go to to get food, gas, etc.  There is no apex yet and there is no sign of the virus abating, not really anyway. Less new cases, they say but no apex yet or flattening the curve they like to call it.

The plant I'm going to doesn't even want you getting out of the truck.   They don't want you signing in as normally the case.  Just pull up to the auto gate, drive to the scale, get weighed, drop the trailer.  Get weighed tractor only again, hook up to an empty and get out.  I won't make it today as far as I normally do because this is a late load.  I'll get back tomorrow afternoon and I'll have Monday off as well unless this manager does things differently, I don't know. Previous manager sent out work on Friday covering Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  I frankly don't mind a full day off.

Well I think I'll try to take a nap. This passenger seat is pretty uncomfortable, was never forced to sit in it before this.....
Everyone at the house in Phoenix are "essential" workers, hence I am not worried about loss of income to pay the bills over there. Well, Lynnette is only working one day a week right now, so I let her off paying rent for this month.  The card reader for electricity is in the $600 range currently, a few months worth.  That's what she pays, the electricity over there.  Not during the summer of course, their rent isn't that much.  The bill during the 3 hottest months is usually over $400.  For right now, I am happy that the house paid for itself this month and no cash outlays.

The other house - over here - different story. That lady is still in the hospital.  She has been removed from ICU but she's still going to be in a rehab or something for 3 or 4 weeks.  She is on disability, this virus does not affect her ability to pay the rent, but I suspect I'll end up eating that money this month.  People get weird ideas in their heads.  Well, I'm not there so I shouldn't have to pay the rent.  No, you rent the room regardless of whether you use it or not, it's occupied, I can't rent it out to anyone else.  I have no idea what's going to happen there, but I'm not prepared to eat two months worth of that nonsense, not when she is perfectly capable of paying up.  In fact, her expenses at the moment are zero since she's on medicaid or medicare, not sure which.

At the house here, Taylor got her Fridays back.  That will be really helpful for them.  James is still at 4 days per week tho and that situation apparently isn't going to change anytime soon. 

My work is fairly constant atm.  I'm going to Oklahoma today, just got back from Amarillo yesterday late morning.  Not the greatest run - Oklahoma - but if I get something better this coming week that will make up for it. That's a big if, I never know what I'm going to get sent.  They brought several drivers into our division - temp or not I'm not sure - but it's too many.  And two of them are complainers.  If they don't get the runs they like, they whine about it to the manager. Clarice, however, said none of that will phase her and she'll dish it right back out to them.  Yes, from historical context, I believe she would. 

I'm going to see if I can find out what that plants makes that gets shipped to hospitals when I'm up there today.  I only know they make wax, anything beyond that? I've never really asked. 

 Speaking of drivers, one of them called me yesterday questioning me about the West Virginia run. "ben, they have me going up here with one of the new trailers, do you know if they're taking those up there now or is that a mistake?" I knew instantly what he was concerned about and told him yes, we have been taking the new ones up there for at least a year now.  The new trailers are 10 feet longer than the old ones, the facility up there is very small and it's a challenge to get a small one in the hole where they go, much more a much longer one. 

He's not a good backer is the point.  Everyone knows it tho we cut him some slack on it. I told him to cut as close to the building as possible and swing it wide after driving over the concrete pad where the trailer goes.  "Well did they expand the facility, move the fencing or anything?". Nope.  They actually could, there is a huge field right next to the facility which belong to them, it's really a giant complex, Union Carbide.  I just assured him he could do it. You might have to do several pull ups but you'll get it in there.  He'll be up there this afternoon, I could tell he was nervous about it.

Are you sitting at home? I've gone out to support local business here for curbside service. The Schlotzsky's - great sandwiches.  No one was there when I went the other day.  Lowe's - it's the only big chain type of home improvement store in town and they are already shutting stores nationwide, they've been doing that before this virus.  So I went in there for a short visit to get some supplies, it would truly suck to have to drive clear to the nearest town that has a Lowe's and Home Depot over 30 miles away. I actually like Home Depot much better than Lowe's - but not enough to drive that far every time I need something from there.  Of course the local Kroger's, that's really unavoidable.  I have home made hand sanitizer, I do not have a face mask - yet.  You can't find those anywhere as it stands. Now they're telling us to use non medical grade masks - such as you can find at Lowe's for contractors - but I suspect they've sold out of those by now. 

James went to Walmart yesterday and said there was actually toilet paper in there.  Did you get any? No.  Why not?!!!  We have some  toilet paper, maybe enough to last all of us a month, we don't have a hoarder's supply.  Another pack of it would have been good.  I don't go to the store looking for it specifically anymore. I look if I happen to be in a store, but it's not my goal anymore.  He just replied that we have enough. Okayyyy lol.  I wasn't suggesting buying 100 rolls but another 6 or 8 pack would have been good.

Well the boys finally woke up. Now I can get my stuff done.  On Saturdays or Sundays, if I'm home, I don't do anything outside of the bedroom until they are awake. Cause' I don't want to be that guy that woke them up, forcing the parents out of bed earlier than necessary.  I'm out of here at 10:15 am, about an hour and a half from now. Plenty of time to make a nice breakfast, finish my laundry - dryer - get the vehicle packed.  There isn't a trip I go on no matter how short of a distance or short duration that I don't take at least 7 days worth of clothing.  I had started to get a bit less on the amount taken with me - until the Oklahoma breakdown - which reinforced the idea of taking for more clothing than necessary for you never know what's going to happen. 

And finally, I'm ready to go back on the diet.  But, I dunno if it's a good time for it.  You eat what you can eat right now, and those choices are greatly limited.  There are several restaurants with drive thru windows that only allow drive thru, you can't go in and you can't walk up to the window, they won't serve you.  I might wait until this virus stuff is over and back to normal - are we ever going to get back to normal? Or will life unalterably change after this thing is done and gone? Oh, I was reading a scientist has developed an antibiotic - yes an antibiotic, not a vaccine - which works on rendering the virus useless.  If you've seen the pics of the virus, it has those spikes on it. The scientist was discussing how the virus uses those spikes to invade cells, the antibiotic he developed rids the virus of those spikes so it can't proliferate. 

He also stated that antibiotics are vastly easier to make and much more quantity can be produced in a much shorter period of time and expense.  His work has been handed over to military medical teams - that specialize in this kind of thing - and hopeful that by summer, human trials can begin.  Regardless of how bad this virus is, you can't just start injecting people with stuff and not having had done scientific, clinical trials first to ensure the public isn't going to die from the cure. 

Well, off to the races. 

Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...