Michael Knowles on COVID-19

Shrewd Rahm Emmanuel said “Never let a crisis go to waste.” The WuFlu won’t be an exception.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely  catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, we’d be breaking the Stay Home WuFlu rules unless we were doing so virtually like Scott Adams does daily.

Last week because I work for the Census and was an Election Judge, I was out more than most. We used lots of disinfectant and kept our distance, but I did Census recruiting at a nearby Early Voting site.

I worked with such a wagamama person on Election Day. Since we just had 3 judges rather than the planned 5 it was a test of patience. This woman was convinced the moving of the polling place from her usual spot at a retirement community (for the very wealthy where she admits she was spoiled with three free meals she could order from the menu) would be a disaster. She didn’t come to set up the night before as required, but spent two and a half hours calling county employees and the warehouse just to calm her own nerves and wasn’t needed. The woman wore headphones the entire day, complained to voters about how she was put out and made herself a general nuisance to the management of the Park District where we wound up and to the fellow judges in our precinct and the two other precincts that she made the management move into a different room because there’d be a disaster if we were all together. It’s a shame some people can’t be cooperative and pleasant during an emergency. I was stunned when she made voters wait while she talked with her refrigerator repairman. They seemed to be as well. It was a long day as we started at 5 am and finished around 9 pm. But I’m still glad I pitched in as judges are really needed.

After Tuesday, I just recruited by putting yard signs out along public areas where we need applicants. I was in my car and hopped out to put up signs. It was nice to be able to move around and get work done.

Friday afternoon we were still to work, but that afternoon we got an email saying recruitment efforts were to be suspended. Then Saturday I received a call saying we could work from home planning and researching. I’ve got a few ideas, but I’m not sure how many hours I can do meaningful work. I believe some people are going into the office but I’m happy to get the work.

During the quarantine, I’ve been scrubbing and organizing. I did finish watching Death on the Nile, which I listened to as an audio book. The book was okay, as was the movie, though I’d say there was a lot of over-acting in the film. While Agatha Christie set the standard for mystery writing in many ways, even she got tired of Hercule Poirot, whom she grew to find pompous. Also, this was at least her second book where a group of people all with a motive find themselves on a vehicle.

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I’m now listening to David Mamet’s Chicago as an audio book. Since Mamet is known for the cadence of dialogue in his plays and films, and that dialogue in this novel has his style, I highly recommend listening rather than reading this book. The narrator has the right cadence and tone to capture Mamet’s style.

I think Adam Corolla had offered some wisdom on approaching the quarantine, which can get on our nerves. He says that prisoners often say, “If you don’t do the time, the time will do you.” In other words, use your time wisely. In addition to working half days, I’ll be  cleaning and organizing my kitchen and basement a bit each day and starting a new writing project. Well, resuming one. I have a historical drama in mind and I’m delighted that I just found my primary resource, which I’ve been hunting for for the last 2 days.

I’m also watching Hillsdale College’s online course on the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. What I really like is how the professor shares earlier documents that influenced the creation of these documents.


Wagamama = Japanese for difficult, irritating

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely  catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I went to the funeral of one of my parents’ good friends. This woman was a true leader in the community who connected with people, young and old, and was very involved in charitable work. While it was a sad occasion, it was a beautiful tribute to a fine lady.

I believe I’ve drawn the short straw when it comes to my election judge team. What complainers! We were scheduled to work at a poll located in a senior living community. Given the WuFlu, it’s been moved to the Park District and we’ll share a room with two other precincts. Two of these people are pitching a fit. They’ve called me numerous times to complain, They’ve hassled the County Clerk workers and the Park District folks. Evidently, at the senior living community they were given breakfast, lunch and dinner. Obviously, a park district doesn’t serve meals. What’s more they want a window that opens. Well, this building doesn’t have that. One woman says it’ll be a disaster and she insisted we get a different room. So we were offered a room on the second floor, which does have an elevator. Well, “SC” asserts that this elevator is too far from the room. There’s no satisfying her. She insisted we meet on Friday night (rather than the usual Monday night) to check that all our supplies have been delivered. I thought she meant we’d do some preliminary set up too. No. So I spent an hour with “SC,” hearing her kvetch as she noted what we were missing. She couldn’t believe that the County workers weren’t picking up the phone at 6pm on Friday. I didn’t think they’d be in. I pray my other team members are more sensible.

I believe that it’s best to just do what needs to be done and not ask too much from people who’re doing their best under the circumstances.

I’ve been recruiting at an Early Voting site and getting good results. There are lots of civically minded people at this village hall and many parents are with their kids who are back home due to the WuFlu.

On Thursday I recruited with a colleague at Willow Creek Church’s Care Center. Wow! The church sits on about 300 acres. They had a job fair with 30 employers and beforehand they offered resume reviews, coaching on how to get the most out of a job fair, a work wardrobe closet where you could get professional clothing, a photographer taking headshots for people’s LinkedIn profiles. They thought of everything.

While I believe in caution, I think we’ve gone to far in canceling mass. Let people decide for themselves. Sadly, few Catholic churches are packed on Sunday anyway. It’s easy to sit a distance away from people where I go. I pray the WuFlu soon is under control so that life can return to normal. I refuse to live in fear, but with so many placed shuttered it’s a hard to live a normal life.

What was COVID-18 or COVID-17 like?