Coronavirus Log: Day 7 – The Weekend

Happy Sunday from our house to yours –

Quick note for the Weekend post: The new album from The Weeknd is good. I particularly like this song:

Our first weekend while under quarantine. It was pretty fun. We went bike riding with the kids, and I went for a run. Upon my return Sasha helped me stretch out and then both H & S did a little workout with me.

I’ve been worried about eating foods at restaurants and ordering food for takeout or delivery. This read about Food Safety  gave me some much-needed facts and is making me less worried. A good read.

In the “I’m not at all surprised department,” the kids in Florida partying are coming down with cases of COVID

I get a weekly newsletter from Eugene Wei and I liked this metaphor he wrote about:

The Never-ending Bottle Episode
In the TV business, a bottle episode is the industry term for an episode that is severely constrained in order to be produced as cheaply as possible; usually, it refers to an episode shot entirely in one location, primarily with cast regulars. Without having to move the crew around and relight multiple locations, and without having to pay non-regular cast members, you can shoot the episode on the cheap.

Some shows have organic bottle episodes (for example, some serial killer show may plan for an episode where our lead profiler interviews the serial killer in his maximum-security prison), but more often it’s because a show has gone off-pattern (TV lingo for off-budget). When that happens, the showrunner announces that episode so-and-so will be a bottle episode, and the writer of said episode nods and then wanders to the bathroom to sob in a stall.

Writers usually hate to be assigned to a bottle episode; it’s like having your birthday on Christmas. You just feel swindled compared to other writers who have the budget to use multiple locations and high-profile guest stars. However, as in many creative endeavors, the constraints can summon untapped reserves of creativity. Such episodes often consist of a lot of people just sitting around and talking to each other. The one I remember most, because of what prompted it, was the “Isaac and Ishmael” episode of West Wing, its season three premiere. It was written and shot quickly and aired several weeks after 9/11, a stand-alone episode outside show continuity, consisting of a series of Socratic dialogues on terrorism and how to deal with it.

We’re living through a version of a real-life bottle episode now, many of us isolated at home because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is that emergency episode that falls outside the overarching narrative continuity of our lives. I find it challenging to process how life might be forever changed, that while we were going about our daily lives, we missed the transition to a new season, the dark turn in the plot. Even as I bunkered down and haven’t left my condo for 11 days now, I’m not sure I’ve fully accepted that life might be changed quite drastically for the foreseeable future, if not forever. This isn’t a stand-alone episode, from which we’ll return to the core plot branch next week. This novel coronavirus is woven into the ongoing narrative now, forever.

Cases:

  • World: 316,187 — Total deaths: 13,592 (up 1,671 – daily increase is down 12% from yesterday)
  • USA: 26,747 Total deaths: 340 (up 65 – daily increase is down 7% from yesterday)
  • Marin: 37 cases (up 0 from yesterday), 0 deaths

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