later in the afternoon i toasted a croissant and used it to make a sandwich with some vacuum-sealed salami i had in the fridge. i snapped on pretzel crisps throughout the day, followed by aldi-brand slim jims and diamond smoked almonds.
i asked kevin if he was going to the post office today. he went to star market yesterday to buy a greeting card to send to his girlfriend back in china. now he just needed to go to the post office to get stamps. but he told me he decided he wasn't going to go, but instead just send his girlfriend a photo of the card he'd already written out. "safer not to go outside," he said with a chuckle, like it's some funny joke that he's always in my house driving me crazy with his constant presence. maybe he should be the one sleeping with a knife.
i actually asked him last night when he came into the living room to take a break from his bedroom office: "kevin, are you ever going to go outside?" i half-jokingly asked but was actually pretty full-on serious. he agreed, said he's been cooped up in the house for far too long. he said he was thinking about running. i told him it was a great idea, with the weather now perfect, not too warm, not too cold. "in fact, i've seen plenty of people outside running!" i added. "a lot of people?" he asked. and i knew right then and there i said too much. "no, not that many," i muttered, but i could see the damage had already been done. "why, even i've been thinking about getting back into running again," i added, trying to salvage the situation, but coronavirus kevin has already heard enough.
kevin told me the few chinese coworkers that he knows who are returning to china all have had their original flights cancelled then postponed. some have been postponed multiple times, and may not be able to return home until the end of may. he didn't offer much details, although some of the people on this list include the tenants living at my grand uncle's apartment, and as soon as they leave, kevin moves out of my place and into theirs. kevin also told me there's been scams targeting the rich parents who can afford to send their children to school in the US. one offer was a $30k ticket on a private jet directly back to china, which i didn't was logistically possible, at least not from the northeast. even if they did manage to get back, the chinese government would force them to undergo a 2 week quarantine.
kevin also did another load of laundry, he did one a few days ago. this time he was washing his bed sheets and duvet cover, and did some vacuuming as well. i just pressed the earbuds further into my ears to cancel out the sounds. he asked if i had a wash basin because he wanted to wash his bath towel. "why can't you throw it in with your laundry?" i asked said. he said it was because it was dirty. i thought he meant the towel but he meant his bedsheets, and for some reason he didn't want to cross-contaminate the two items.
this is utter bullshit because it's his towel that's filthy since he never washes it, and it stinks so much of body odor hanging from the bathroom door that sometimes it makes me want to retch. i've actually washed it for him a few times when i've done my own laundry, just because i think he's gone noseblind to his own stench.
then afterwards i heard the dryer running while the washing machine was still going. i popped open the dryer door and saw that he was drying just his towel. i told him to wait until his bedsheets were finished washing and dry them together. he said he was afraid his towel wouldn't get dried, but then later backtracked when he realized how stupid that sounded. i made up some excuse that you can't simply dry a single item in the dryer because the vibration will increase and break the dryer. i did a quick calculation in my head: just 4 more weeks until may, and hopefully he'll move out by then.
despite the rain, i noticed my sister's internet connection didn't go down judging by the stability of her streaming wyze cams. maybe comcast did come by and fix the cables, even though the cameras never picked up anyone going into the backyard. maybe it was a localized comcast issue that was fixed elsewhere which in turn fixed our issue. whatever the case, the internet seems to be working for the time being.
while i was checking the wyze cams, i noticed the dying maple tree outside of my parents' house was now gone. we've been petitioning belmont for years, seems like every other spring i write a letter to them asking to see if they'll at least prune the tree, which has a very large branch (more like a trunk) cantilevered above the driveway. the tree warden has come by a few times to inspect it, and although he agrees the tree is sick and dying, he still thinks the large branch is structurally sound and doesn't need to be removed. then last autumn we got a town letter saying they've finally decided to cut down the tree completely because it was dying.
my mother mentioned something about the town tree crew coming by yesterday and removing some of the smaller branches, but not actually taking down the tree. they weren't very careful and managed to smash the mailbox with a falling tree branch, which they said they'd pay for. anyway, this morning they came back again with the big machine to take down the tree completely. there used to be a lot of trees on our street but since then a lot of them have either died or removed on purpose, like in the case of our across the street neighbors. we're hoping the city will plant a new one (and maybe with some input from us, i'd love to see some kind of flowering cherry), something better than the norwegian maple they took down. while they're at it, hopefully they can also repair some of the sidewalk where it's buckled from the underground roots.
all day long the rain crackled on the windows. it's supposed to continue raining throughout the night, finally stopping by morning, but tomorrow looks to be a cloudy day. production-wise, we've only made enough electricity with the past 3 days that would equal just a single good day of production.
i wasn't in the mood for leftover risotto so instead i just had a bowl of salad (italian dressing) along with another toasted croissant sandwich with salami. that was enough to tide me over the rest of the evening.
in coronavirus news, the CDC finally recommended that american begin wearing face masks when they go outside. not surgical masks or N95 masks, which should only be worn by doctors and nurses (since there's not enough to go around); no, people should make do with cloth masks, or ones they make at home. CDC's half-hearted attempt at saving lives was delivered by trump in his daily briefing (are people even bothering to watch these anymore? i'm so briefing-numbed at this point), who then pretty much any good that news would do when he said it was just voluntary, and people don't have to wear masks, and that he's not going to be wearing them. great leading by example moment (or not leading as the case may be).
i also discovered today that i've been reading the coronavirus cases graphs all wrong. i've been using the 91-divoc.com website, which displayed the data on a log scale. i've never liked log scales, seems like a cheat to fit all the data nicely onto a graph. only today did i notice there was an option for linear scale, which is easier on the brain to visualize. viewed using the linear scale, the graph for the US coronavirus cases is bad-bad-bad, like a rocket ship path going up into the sky instead of flying horizontal, unlike all the other countries. it makes you realize that the US covid-19 response is a joke, one that's going to kill a lot of americans, and keep this epidemic in the US for a very long time with no end in sight. maybe now is a good time to think about voting from home come the general election because there may be a good chance people still won't be able to safely go out by november.