Coronavirus – Day 14: Masks

I’m thinking today about masks. It’s hard to say what to do about masks. Some believe they’re not effective in protecting you from the virus. Personally, I feel like they have to be as they block moisture coming in and out of the mouth. Even if you’re not sick, the more you can block, the better.

Of course, it doesn’t really matter because you can’t buy a mask anywhere. Luckily we have some left over from the forest fires that ravaged our area last year. Whenever we go out (which is close to never), we put on the mask. We used to get looks but now I think people appreciate it.

I read today that the US has only about 1% of the 3.5 billion masks we need to combat coronavirus. In the US, we don’t manufacture them and both Europe and Asia have put a ban on mask exports. Soooo, we won’t be able to get new masks any time soon.

Our Weekend Activity

After maximizing our screen time in the morning, we did manage to do some good activities. We hit an empty parking lot for some exercise.

We ended the night with some ping pong and then made a fort in our living room and had a slumber party on the floor. Fun for everyone – except my back.

The Bad News

New York is totally overwhelmed. The 911 system in New York City typically gets 4,000 calls a day. Now they’re getting 7,000 – all related to coronavirus. Speaking of masks, the 911 responders are doing most cases without appropriate equipment to protect themselves from infection. NYC has become the epicenter of coronavirus, with more than 30,000 cases as of Saturday, and 672 deaths. If the rate of growth continues, NYC will suffer a more severe outbreak than those experienced in Wuhan, China, or the Lombardy region of Italy.

In Good News

James Dyson, the guy who’s made your amazing vacuum cleaner has focused on ventilators and has made an awesome one in 10 days. He’s now generated 15k of them. Love it.

and also, this guy:

Cases

  1. World: Cases: 664,695, deaths: 30,847 (up 2,024 – daily increase down 47%)
  2. USA: Cases: 124,464, deaths: 2,191 (up 482 – daily increase up 18%)
  3. Marin: 74 (up 5), 1 death

Coronavirus Log – Day 11: Triscuits

Family Outings

We’re four people in a 1100 sq. ft house with one bathroom so things are getting tight. But, we’re getting creative. We did a group workout yesterday, and today, we did a team bike ride at a local church parking lot, which was fun for everyone.

Hunter loves riding his bike and Sasha is starting to come around.

Social Distancing

While at the church, we encountered a police officer. Super nice guy. He wanted to hand us some stickers and asked if the kids wanted to join him in the car and play with the dashboard buttons and turn on the lights. Really nice request, but WTF!!!??

Here’s my issue with that: we can get rid of Coronavirus. It’s actually pretty easy to do. All we have to do is, as a nation, take 14 days and not come in contact with anyone. That’s all. If we do that, this virus will disappear. It’ll be gone. Everyone just needs to take 14 days.

But if our police officers, who are on the front lines helping people, think it’s a good idea to invite others into their cars to touch all the knobs they’ve been touching, then this whole little plan just isn’t going to work. Oh man, we’re effed.

New York!
I was reading a lot about the scene in NYC yesterday. The NYTime has a good behind the scenes story and a video with the doctor.

The scene in Queens NY is crazy, an excerpt:

New York has become the epicenter of the entire world of the virus and they need not just thousands of additional beds but tens of thousands.

Finally, a Very Important Thread
In lighter news, this thread on Twitter was one of the best things I’ve read in months. A guy goes DEEP on
Triscuits

Cases

  • Worldwide: Cases 491,623, Deaths: 22,169 (up 2,494 from yesterday – daily increase of -1%)
  • U.S.: Cases: 69,210, Deaths: 1,046 (up 244 from yesterday – daily increase of 17%)
  • Marin CA: 60 cases (up 7 from yesterday)

Coronavirus Log – Day 9: Starting to Get Real

Yesterday was the first day where people in my inner circle – people I talk to every day – started testing postive for COVID. It’s makes the disease much more real and, let me tell you, it’s scary. It’s very contagious and seems to be coming for us.  This recounting of the day-in-the-life from a doctor is very interesting and really shows how this disease is taking over:

On a more positive note, my kids seem to be having fun at home. Sasha did a FaceTime call with another 5 year old. They two of them took the phones into their respective bedrooms and talked like teenagers. Sasha climbed up to her top bunk and turned to me and said, “Dad, can you go away. I’m talking with my friend.” Five going on fifteen.

On the other call, Sasha just set up her piano and played it for her friend. It was loud and annoying for her friend but cute for me.

Cases

  1. 392,780 — Total deaths: 17,159 (up 1,831 from yesterday – daily increase of 5.4%)
  2. USA: 46,481 — Total deaths: 593 (up 122 from yesterday – daily decrease of 7%)
  3. Marin: 47 cases (up 9 from yesterday), 0 deaths

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

Coronavirus Log: Day 6 – Starting to Feel It

What we’re thinking about

We’re worried about Diane’s medicine. She has bad asthma and needs her inhaler. She has only 1-2 weeks left and she’s worried there will be a run on that medicine as people get sick and she’ll be left without. It’s quite stressful. We’re looking to score some more. Stay tuned.

We are finding our groove a bit in home schooling. Hunter is dining great although he’s telling us that school at home is “way harder” than regular school, which I’m excited to hear

The standing “quaran-time” happy hour is pretty great to have every day.  While we don’t talk about much, it’s been great to see old faces and see how everyone is stressed out, the same as me.

Where we’re at:

The main thing on my mind is that this is going to last a LONG time and that it’s really going to impact a lot oF people. This is confluence of 3 things:

(1) The cases are going up. We’re on a higher trajectory than any other country

(2) The reports from hospitals are that they’re running out of supplies already. One hospital has already ordered to stop testing people coming in so they don’t waste the gowns and masks.

(3) There are still many areas that are not taking this seriously and not isolating themselves. This all but ensures this is going to spread and that we’re going to be inside for a lot longer than we thought. We needed to get EVERYONE inside and that is just not happening. Yesterday the California governor predicted that 56% of all Californias will get infected.

Other Items:

Another crazy moment by our president where he lashed out a reporter:

Cases:

  • World: 287,239— Total deaths: 11,921 (up 1883)
  • USA: 19,931 — Total deaths: 275 (up 70)
  • Marin: 37 cases (up 12), 0 deaths

The 2010’s Decade

I’ve seen so many posts looking back at the decade, I thought I’d take a look at the changes I’ve gone through over the past 10 years:

Lots of geography changes. In 2009, I was living in Los Angeles and moved to Denver at the end of 2009. Since LA till now I’ve moved 5 times: to Denver (Cheeseman), within Denver (to Uptown), to Boulder (Quince Ave.), to Strawberry CA, and then to my current home in Mill Valley, CA.   That’s a lot of packing and unpacking.

Lots of personal relationships.  Diane and I had been dating for one year and had just gotten engaged at the end of 2009. Since then we’ve gotten married, had two awesome kids who are now in 1st grade and the last year of pre-school.

Lots of professional changes. In 2009, I had just left BuzzMedia and started up a company, Kapost, with Tony and Nader. At the time it wasn’t even called Kapost, it was called Collective Ink Systems and then Grogger.  Since then, Kapost grew to be an industry leader in B2B Marketing Operations software and was acquired. I also went to work at Airbnb and started their Airbnb for Work initiative as well as their Airbnb Luxe product.  In 2019, I left Airbnb to start Onward with Nader. It’s now almost a year old.

My health has changed quite a bit. From 2010 to 2017, I weighed between 180 and 195 lbs. and worked out at least 3x a week. Since 2017, I’ve reduced my workouts but have dramatically changed by eating and diet. I now weigh between 165 and 175.

MPL Weight

Hunter Enters 1st Grade

I dropped off Hunter yesterday for his new first day of school. He’s in the first grade and his teacher is Ms. Fort. He had a great teacher last year with Mrs. Dale and we’re hoping for another good year this year.

School starts every day 8:15am and I’m pretty happy to get our morning routine back.

Hunter

My Week at the Poconos

I just spent a week at our family cabin in the Poconos and thought i’d write a little recap as it was a great trip all around. Some highlights:

Mckenzie and Tracey
Over the past 10-20 years it’s been tough to see Mckenzie during the summer as he spends a good chunk of it in Europe leading archaeological digs. This year he was able to join us after the dig but before the fall school session begins. It was really great to see him. As we get older it’s good to get a good number of days with someone to get a feel for their daily habits and lifestyle.

The big event that occurred was the proposal between the two. One beautiful Thursday night Mckenzie and Tracey went for a walk after dinner. While the dishes were being washed in the Glass House (thanks mom) Mckenzie presented Tracey with a ring he picked up in Florence and asked her to marry him!

We continue to get to know Tracey and she is really awesome. A highlight for me was arguing with her about the differences between Canada and the US and discussing the problems we have here in the US and what some approaches might be to fix them (not a quick convo, as you could imagine). I liked it because the conversation got heated in a way it can between people who like to argue and are family.

…and Georgia
Of course Georgia was in tow and it was really awesome to see Sasha and her (and sometimes Hunter) play together. Sasha and G are the same age (both 4) so they seemed quite comfortable with each other and their playing was incredibly cute.

Hunter did seem a bit left out sometimes but that’s to be expected when there’s only 3 (ahem, we need Reagan next time). But, the three of them did get some good play time in:

Kids and School
Now that our kids are getting older, we’re experiencing Summer break and the chafe that it is for two working parents. Hunter is between kindergarten and 1st grade and is off for the summer and we have to find things for him to do. We cobbled together a series of camps but this means that getting together as a family in the summer is much more logical than in years past

PLP
I haven’t been to my family’s cabin in the Poconos for almost a decade. It is so beautiful. The lake, the river and nature surrounding it are just awesome.

It’s also nice having my parents there and able to see and catch up with other semi-related folks. The cabins could be nicer (especially our Middle Camp) but it is great to have a place to go and have lots of family around.

Diane especially was a fan of the rustic nature of the cabins. Her childhood was spent traveling to Mexico every weekend and staying in half-built homes while they hung out with family and friends while enjoying the natural beauty of the ocean. She got the same feeling this past week, making the whole experience better for her.

We loved and plan on heading back again next year…

The Lewhouses in 2017

We had a great year. Here are some highlights…

Hunter
He’s really grown a lot of this year. He’s thoughtful and curious. He has a deep love of animals. His favorite animals this year, in order, were his 2016 favorites of the colossal squid, and then spent the bulk of the year idolizing bats (specifically the Somoan Flying Fox bat which has a wingspan of over 7 feet) and recently he’s super into dinosaurs. He continues to be more cerebral than physical. He’s much more content to sit on the couch drawing than kicking a ball or playing on the playground. We did get him riding a bike later this year. This is hard because it’s so hilly where we live that we can’t go out out front door and ride but rather have to drive to a school or area to do it. We had some issues potty-training him this year but he’s now past that and, in almost all ways, a big kid now.

Sasha
Wow, what a year for her. She’s now talking and convening her thoughts and emotions so well. From a personality standpoint, she’s a force. She’s very strong. She wants what she wants and like what she likes. She’s not afraid to speak up and lead. She often loves to step up and start telling Hunter what to do. She’s super active. From the moment she wakes up, she wants to get out the door and go running and play. She likes to try to keep up with Hunter and does so pretty well. She doesn’t like fruit or vegetables at all (sorry about those genes, sasha). She loves the color pink and is very particular of what she wears and picks out her outfit everyday (Hunter, by contrast, does not care at all). She’s still a total daddy’s girl but increasingly is all about mom too.

The Family
With Sasha getting to 3, we are emerging out of infant zone. The four of us can now take a drive and all talk in one conversation. We can sit at a table in a restaurant and get through the meal without disaster striking. Heck, we’re even talking about a road trip and feeling excited about it. We’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and it looks glorious. I think 2018 will be a great family year.

Diane
She had a huge year. She started a new job at a startup (30 people) called Peerspace. Peerspace is a marketplace similar to Airbnb that offers locations for offsite and events. She’s responsible for host expansion and is loving it. She also crushed being a mom this year. Hunter and Diane have a special bond that is truly great to see and Sasha is typically Daddy’s girl, she currently obsessed with her.

My Job
At Airbnb, there’s a new business unit and I’m running the product group for it. The role was quite a change for me as I am being stretched in new ways. It’s exciting but also exhausting. We have a launch coming up in 2018 so stay tuned.

Diet and Exercise
I ended last year strong and running a lot. That ended almost immediately in 2018. I injured my knee again in January/February and decided to take some time off. I also decide to try a new weight loss tactic. Over the past few years i had been steadily gaining weight and found myself at the beginning of the year at over 195 lbs, the heaviest i’d ever been. I have always relied on running and working out as a way to lose weight and with that being removed due to knee problems, i decided to focus on my eating. I knew I could limit my portions as that’s very hard for me to do. But, i knew that i could limit the number of meals I eat. That seemed doable. So, i started skipping breakfast starting in March. Surprisly, it wasn’t hard to do and it was very effective in cutting calories and thus weight. You can see from the graph below that 2017 was by far my most successful year as i dropped 20 lbs this year and ended at 175.

Turning 40
This was the first year i started to feel old. My knee gave out at the beginning of the year and other aches started to manifest as I went on. There’s more grey hair. Heck, there’s more hair everywhere (hello, ear hair). 40 is an interesting number as I now no longer feel i’m on the upward swing of my life. I’m hitting a middle plateau, at least physically. I’ve peaked. I’m sure i could get back to running 7 min miles, but i’m never going to again run 2 miles under 12 minutes again. I also am getting the least amount of sleep ever. With the kids waking up early and the job going late, i’m burning it at both ends. It’s been an exhausting 6-12 months, and i’m finishing the year feeling old.

That said, we had a fantastic outing to Jackson Hole with the extended family.  Check out that video:

The Lewhouses in 2016

Some things I’ll remember about 2016…

Time disappearing
I thought we were time constrained when Hunter came along. Well, with two little ones this year, aged 1 and 3, time really got sucked away from me. Less sleep, fewer workouts, fewer books read. All the things I like to do just for me basically went out the door this year. But, they were replaced with more time with my family, which was just fantastic.

Hunter
He really became a full fledged person this year. He’s now funny and clever. He has a bit of trickery and deviousness in him, but he’s shaping up to be a very kind person. His teachers at school regularly remark about how genuine and kind he is. Also, his super power this year is his drawing. He’s very creative and can draw ridiculously well. Continue reading “The Lewhouses in 2016”