Life as we know it, for now.
It’s funny what gets you excited when you’ve chosen not to instruct and your spouse is laid off. Much of the excitement is financial. Seriously, when do we ever get excited by something coming from a bank – or, especially, from the government. Well, lemme tell ya – as if many of you don’t already know – sometime a communication from a bank, or government, can be pretty damned exhilarating.
As I write, we are a tad more than six weeks into our personal pandemic pandemonium. My wife had her hours cut to 24/week on the 16th of March, then a week and a half later got her layoff notice. I had a chat with Bob on the 17th during which he said, “I fly in one or two airplanes, owned by one or two individuals. I’ve decided not to instruct until this pandemic is over. You instruct in dozens of club airplanes flown by as many as six or eight individuals every single day. I can’t imagine anything more dangerous.”
Hmmm. I’ll grant that Bob is seven years older and is taking, perhaps, a more paranoid approach to pandemic precautions, but our conversation made me stop and think. Club airplanes are, without a doubt, closely confined coronavirus (I nearly wrote “coffins”) petri dishes. I am over 65, making me prime Covid-19 meat.
So, I haven’t instructed since March 15th.
Thus far, I have explained to current and potential students that I’ll get back in an airplane again when the rate of infection and rate of death curves spike, then start heading precipitously downhill. When might that be? Well, if you listen to the Buffoon-in-Chief, that fat-assed, little handed moron who temporarily resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, “Like a miracle, it will disappear.” I prefer to listen to science, which advises that we are probably months away from the scenario that gets me instructing again.
Which brings us to the opening of this tale. What the hell do we do for money? Fortunately, Laurel filed for unemployment early on – enjoying, as some of you know from personal experience, unbelievable delays, computer glitches, program failures and all the other crap that happens when six million other people are trying to get money from the government.
The federal government took action and sent out stimulus checks to those of us making less than $75K per year. It took nearly six weeks for ours to arrive (thankfully, into our bank account electronically and not transmitted by check with that Moron’s signature). The government also decreed an additional $600/week in addition to whatever the state governments determine that one should receive in unemployment compensation. We had already submitted our income tax returns and received a happy refund that hit our accounts a few weeks ago. Allelujah. And, understanding that unemployment compensation was now available to the self-employed, I filed for unemployment just last week. So all we’ve been doing is hopping onto the computers each morning to wait and see when the g’umint windfall starts tumbling our way. What a grand existence.
In California, since most restaurants and all bars are closed, we don’t have anywhere to go in the evenings, so we’re saving our money. My wife’s former employer has generously enabled her to continue to shop in their retail store with her employee discounts – a bountiful benefit indeed.
What do we do for fun? Well the cat, Connor, and the new Golden Retriever, Piper, are delighted to have us both around so much. We walk Piper almost every day, usually achieving the goal of 7500 steps. We’re having fun being together all the time. The extended period at home caused by this dreadful pandemic has actually been a blessing for us.
What about flying? Well, this month, April 2020, I’ve flown four times. Twice I flew a Diamond Star purchased by my buddy, Holt. Shortly after the airplane arrived, Holt suffered a heart attack and needed someone to fly it. Diamond Stars are good airplanes and it’s been fun for me to reacquaint myself. Holt, BTW, has started the process of obtaining his special issuance medical. He was in good physical condition before the episode, and, after jumping through the FAA hoops, he’ll regain his medical.
The other two flights were in the Super Cub. One was a solo flight to remind me how to land a taildragger – with no apparent damage. The other one was with my Schweetie, in which we flew up the San Diego River valley to check out a couple of waterfalls that pop up (or drop down) whenever we get a bunch of rain. We had about 3 ½ inches a couple of weeks ago, and the falls were flowing when we flew past. ‘Twas a fine day.
So we’re six and a half weeks into our new sequestered lifestyle. In all, we’re doing just fine. We flirt with our online bank accounts to learn when our unemployment payments will appear. We read endless articles on the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the world. We sorrow over the unnecessary deaths that have occurred while the Buffoon was telling Americans that a miracle would occur and it would all be gone, tomorrow.
Let’s hope that our first responders and health care workers will remain healthy, and that the rest of us comply with social distancing requirements. Despite what some dimwits believe, this is not a hoax, it is not the invention of the Democrats, and it was not created in a laboratory in China. These are the same people who would have you believe that Americans never walked on the moon. They believe that there are black helicopters flying over this country at night, monitoring our conversations. Some of them walk around with aluminum foil hats upon their heads to prevent radio waves from penetrating their skulls, no matter how thick they are. Those are people who voted for that Buffoon.
We believe that the experts are correct, that this pandemic is relentless and deadly, and that we’re all in this together. We can get through it, but it will require patience and tenacity. Be kind to each other. Smile on your Brother, even if you suspect he’s a trumpkin.