From the other side of the world.
I’m currently living in Taiwan teaching online. Some would like to say it’s part of China but many people from Taiwan think differently. Anyway, without getting into the politics, being situated so close to China I was at first quite worried. But the government and Taiwanese people have handled things very well. From when rumours started they implemented protocols. Not long after the virus broke out they suspended flights to and from Wuhan and enforced quarantine procedures for anyone coming from China.
Everybody, and I mean everyone, started to wear face masks, so they soon sold out, now the government rations them. People of all ages, form orderly queues on the times and dates their local pharmacy arranges face mask distribution. You go to shopping malls and restaurants and a member of staff greets you with a temperature scanner and hand spray. If you have a fever you can’t go in. From the outset, they have been very proactive and Taiwanese people say it’s because they learnt lessons from SARS twenty years ago. There have been no lockdowns or states of emergency.
Now the virus and panic has spread around the world but here people are going about their everyday lives, restaurants and coffee shops still open, transport is normal, supermarkets are stocked, schools are open.
Large events have been cancelled though and so far, at the time of writing this 53 people have been infected, with the death of 1 poor soul.
On the whole, I’m grateful the government took preventive measures immediately and the Taiwanese people followed.
We have to wait and see how it develops however, especially since I don’t think they could have anticipated the spread to Europe and US etc....the ferocity of the virus has taken many by surprise, so only time will tell.
Anyway just giving another perspective from the other side of the world.
Stay safe ya’ll.
For a virus that might get 2 sentences in a history book 200 years from now, it sure has changed the course of my year. 2020 was always supposed to be a big year for me. Senior year: many lasts, parties, events, graduation, prom. In a matter of a few hours, those were no longer certainties.
It’s not like I was unfamiliar with the virus, it was something I was aware of for the past few months, but it was something distant. It was something happening somewhere else in the world and it’s looming threat felt akin to the threat of cholera or rabies. Possible, but unlikely. Life carried on as normal as Wuhan and Italy slowly started to shut down. I did homework, chatted with friends, went to a conference. Everything was fine and normal until it wasn’t.
I came back from that conference to hear murmurs of the coronavirus reaching Michigan. It instilled a fake panic in my classmates, more of a joke than anything else. I would hear things like ‘We’re all gonna die bro’ or ‘Corona’s bout to get us’. There was humor to all of it. That humor began to disappear as the day went on. Suddenly colleges began to switch to remote classrooms, events got canceled and teachers whispered when they spoke in classrooms. There was a sense of uncertainty in the air. I grew uneasy myself after the MUN conference I had that weekend got canceled. All conversations seemed to be about the coronavirus at this point. It was at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
I went to the bookstore after school that day, just like I did a few times a week. There weren’t many people there, and I got a feeling that I might not be able to go back for a while. I wandered around the store touching the books and tables, trying my best to commit them to memory. It didn’t help that we were reading ‘Station Eleven’ in English class. A book about how society crumbled due to a mysterious disease. I haven’t been back to that store since that day.
When I went home that Wednesday, I could hardly focus on work. Perhaps it had something to do with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. How was I supposed to focus on Self-actualization when I didn’t have the Security of knowing what was going to happen the next day. Everything was up in the air and I didn’t like it. That was on Wednesday, that same night we got an email saying school would be closed that Friday to discuss online learning methods. That’s when I knew that this wouldn’t end quickly.
The next day, the school reeked of impending doom. Teachers started their classes talking about the virus and ended them with a goodbye. The assistant principal even came on the loudspeaker and advised students to take anything they might need home. It felt like the begging of the end. After school, the art room was raided for supplies and lockers were all emptied. I even went to the library to check out the book I’d been eyeing for the last few weeks.
The next morning I found that school would be online for the next three weeks. Most kids would be happy, ecstatic even, but for me, this was the worst thing that could happen. As a senior, it’s not like I had much time with my friends to begin with, now that time was cut short by this microscopic virus. I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry.
That same day my mother and I went to the grocery store to get supplies and while there I felt like I was dreaming. It was pure chaos, people were running everywhere and making multiple trips. Extra employees were hired to make the lines go faster. The wheels of the shopping carts squeaked because they couldn’t handle the weight of what was in them. The mass panic added to the apocalyptic feel more than anything else. It’s not like we were immune. I had to talk my mom out of making many purchases, but ultimately we added to the problem. We bought what we thought we needed and stocked up.
Now, I’m sitting here at home hoping that this entire thing will pass and I will be able to get back to real life as soon as possible. Panic has been replaced with boredom and I want to get back into the grind. No more virus, no more panic, and no more quarantine. I’m ready to wake up from this nightmare.
Coronavirus/Movie Reviews Update
With all this business with the coronavirus COVID-19 going on a lot of movies that were scheduled for release have been postponed or pushed back. A Quiet Place Part 2, postponed. Fast 9, pushed to next year. The new James Bond film, pushed back to this November. Live-action Mulan, postponed. The New Mutants, postponed again (man do I feel bad for that film) Even Antlers, a horror film that I was really looking forward to was postponed.
There's a reason why I've been avoiding trying talk about this pandemic is because we all need some kind of escapism. For me, going to the movies and writing my reviews is my form of escape from reality. We all need some form of escapism. It's perfectly naturally. But of course with the coronavirus pandemic happening, going out to public theaters may be a risk factor, especially since there was already a reported case of someone with the coronavirus inside my home county. Not only that but there may come a time where I will have to work from home due for whatever reason, whether it be illness related or as a precaution. So I guess that leads to a big question I'm sure a lot of you are wondering: Is the Harry Situation Reviews still happening? Am I still going to write reviews?
Well that's what I'm here to talk about. I have decided that yes, I will still write my reviews. In fact, my 300th review is still happening, and still in works. Obviously I won't be able to talk about any new movie releases for some time until we feel that this pandemic is under control. However this does give me some leeway to write and post reviews for stuff that I’ve been meaning to do for a while now but haven’t had the time due to other obligations or I just didn’t have right words to say. I mean Fallen Order. I played and beat that game and I definitely want to talk about it. Netflix's The Witcher, I definitely have some things to say about that. There's also some video games that I can talk about. Doom Eternal, that shit's hitting stores this Friday. I'm super pumped for that. Cannot wait to play it. So I'm definitely gonna write a review about that. I also downloaded a couple games for my Nintendo Switch, so maybe I'll write a review about those.
This also gives you guys an opportunity to give me some suggestions about what you want me to review, as long as I got some easy access to it, like Netflix, Amazon Prime, even Disney+. If you got something that you want me to check out fill free to comment here, comment in any of my reviews or posts, or shoot me a message anytime. Now I cannot guarantee that I'll answer everyone's suggestions but we'll see how this goes. This will probably go on at least until May 1st, when Black Widow hits theaters (if that hasn't been postponed yet). I hoping by then the pandemic craze will have decreased but you can never know.
Until then, please practice good health techniques. Wash your hands thoroughly. Stay home if you're sick. Listen to the doctors and scientists and not the media or politicians. I understand that a lot of you are pretty scared by this. I'd be lying if I said I'm not scared too. The fact that there is a pandemic happening right now and at any moment we could get infected, it is scary. But we cannot let this pandemic get to us. We cannot act ignorant and savagely when it comes to survival. Humanity has survived pandemic after pandemic before and chances are good that we'll survive the next one. Most importantly we cannot let this pandemic stop us from living our lives and having a good time. We just need to be smart. And if you need some sort of escapism, I can help you.
Be smart. Be healthy. Stay informed. Best of luck.
#harrysituationreviews #update #coronavirus
For now, it’s just waiting. All we can do is wait. Honestly, it’s been kind of normal. It’s almost relieving to not have to interact with people, if I’m being honest. I find online schooling easier than face-to-face, but at the same time I feel bad for those who don’t have internet access. But in the midst of a crisis, you hear about the best in people. Companies are providing free internet to those who need it. All kinds of people are responding to this crisis with kindness and positivity, and it’s great to see that kindness isn’t gone, it’s just been in hiding.
It's kind of crazy. I struggle with depression and ADHD and anxiety, so you'd think that right now, I'd be going crazy. But I'm not. It's like the calm before the storm. I'm just wondering when my peace period will end and reality will really kick in.
The COVID-19 Effects In New Jersey (Where I live at least)
Let’s talk about the effects of this virus now, shall we?
So first off, the stores. Every single store I have gone into, has been picked bare. I can’t find anything at all. It’s a mob house. The lines reach to the back of the store! I just want some orange juice for god’s sake!!!! Needless to say, there is no toilet paper, Clorox, detergent, disinfectant, bleach, (Air freshener for some reason?) fresh produce, and bread. Not fun.
My school has been shut down till April, and we are currently participating in online classes. However it’s not a good solution, as I have serious sleep issues. Without the immediate panic of YOU’RE GONNA BE LATE GET YOUR ASS OUT OF BED YOU LAZY POTATO to wake me up in the mornings, I have not been awake to participate in said classes.
My Algebra teacher just tells us “Do pages 578-583 in your textbook” and that’s it. And the textbook is just full of gibberish words I do not understand, so that’s great.
We have been told to not go anywhere unless absolutely necessary, and to stay in our houses. Places are closing left and right, and just eerily quiet outside. No cars, no people, nothing. Just silence. Just blinking traffic lights, and the occasional car or biker. It’s like a ghost town.
My family loves to cook, so we have just spent this whole time cooking random stuff, then freezing it or eating it. I think my dad is currently smoking some ribs right now. My mom make some “Quarantine Cupcakes” aka the best chocolate cupcakes I have ever eaten, and my younger sister has been working on her origami. And my dog has just been vibing with this whole thing. I mean, who would refuse cuddles?
All in all, I’m just bored. There is nothing to do except scroll through social media, and work on 6 page papers. Not to mention the weather outside looks like it’s gonna rain buckets on us any second. We had a Student vs. Faculty volleyball game scheduled, any my year was split up into four teams, and I got put with all my friends so I was looking forward to it, but it’s been postponed. My friends and I were planning to go do something after, but now that’s been shot to pieces.
So in the end, we are alive. And that’s about it. We are just all waiting for this to be over, so we can go back to our normal lives.
Ps: This is an awesome website that shows a real-time map and updates on COVID-19. I use it all the time to check on the growth, and it keeps you more up to date than the news will.
As of 3/17/2020, 5:33:02 PM, it says there are 5,894 confirmed cases in the U.S, with 97 deaths.
Stay Safe everyone!!!!!
COVID Alberta & Japan
Alberta, Canada- March 22, 2020
also some (probably outdated) news from Japan
Canada is currently at 1,436 cases, and of those, 226 are in Alberta.
There were about 15-20 cases when schools closed, I don’t really remember the exact number.
Schools in Alberta have been closed since Monday (March 16), and this entire week is just teachers planning out how online classes will look. I’ve heard of a lot of different schools are closing for around 2 weeks, but Alberta decided that schools will not reopen until September. We were given appointments to go and get our things from our lockers, but I already had everything since my parents pulled me last Friday, March 13. All provincial exams have been cancelled, including diploma exams.
Like every pretty much every other theatre production, we won’t be able to perform the play we’ve been working on all year. But, instead of cancelling it, it will just be postponed until the next school year. I know everybody else is really upset about their shows being cancelled, but honestly I’m really happy about it. I go to a small school with a small budget, and the drama teacher thought that we could handle a massive production without any help from the community, which was a very stupid idea, but that’s a whole other rant.
Shelves are empty, but I don’t think that’s surprising news anymore.
I’ve been in quarantine with my family for about a week now, I’ll probably go insane any day now. I don’t have school this week but I still have assignments that were due last week, which I will keep procrastinating. I really wanted to make the most of my time and write more, but guess who’s lazy and spends a lot of time watching netflix and reading online.
My friend in Japan has also been keeping me updated on the situation in Japan, so even though I do know a few things going on there. Schools in Japan were closed at the end of February and his school hasn’t reopened yet. He has been under quarantine since the schools closed, but both of his parents have still had to work. There are shortages of masks, rubbing alcohol, and toilet paper (of course). Everybody has been recommended to self-quarantine, but of course this is difficult for workers, and the people who just don’t take it as a serious threat. Malls are still open, weddings are still happening etc. He told me all of this about a week ago, so I’m not sure how much has changed since then.
News about this changes every hour so, if there’s any interest, maybe I’ll update this if something major happens idk. Either way, I hope that everybody stays safe and healthy and that we’re done with this virus soon.
Beer and COVID
This morning I woke up with the intention of going to the super-market early to avoid the rush. All I really needed was beer, hoping I could get in and out through the express lane if it were busy. Last night, my wife and I reasoned that the deliveries would be fresh off the trucks, and the items would all be waiting like gifts. This was not the case.
Let me take you back to a month before this outbreak started. I had quit working to focus on school, leaving a fucked-off job for a bright future as I am almost finished with my bachelor’s program. By May I will be graduated and on to better prospects. But before leaving my job at a bar in downtown I noticed the tapering of people. LA relies on visitors and events and good times. As early as January I can remember slower-than-usual nights; winter is busy at the bars of DTLA because of tourists and depression. This winter has been quite slow. It seemed like a good time to quit, so I left and fully focused on my studies.
Leading up to March I felt great. I was stress free and progressing properly at school. This changed gradually, as the fear spread further than COVID ever could. It infected the consciousness of everyone through our social networks and streaming services. It made us afraid again, a comfortable place for Americans (apparently the world as well). We all needed something to cling to for safety in the face of finality.
How does a materialistic society prepare for the Apocalypse? The answer: shopping.
We have plenty of food at home. We normally have a good amount of food; a lot of it is dry food and RO water that we have stored, as we live in earthquake country. I drank my last beer two days ago, and while I’m not an alcoholic, there’s nothing better for me to do (unemployed and forced online for my studies). I figured the best thing to do would be to go to the market as early as possible to get some beer, but everyone else had the same idea.
I walked to get some exercise, and my wife left for work. It was early on a Saturday; the streets were pretty much dead. There were cars here and there, but not many. Then I got to the market. It was busy, with cars rushing in and out of the parking lot. I approached with the caution displayed by the soldiers and zombie-slayers in my favorite movies.
Sensing I needed to relax, I took a hit from my vaporizer, deeply inhaling the shatter and coughing a little. Three people walking in front of me quickly turned with a deer-in-the-headlights look. I stopped and let them get clear of me.
The market itself was pandemonium. It was the busiest I had ever seen it. Not just because of the customers and the situation but because of the deliveries and lack of employees. I noticed the security guard with a look of discomfort on his face; I’ve been there brother. My wife always wants me to go to Black Friday sales with her, but I hate shopping. It was my worst nightmare coming true. And all I wanted was some beer.
Everything was picked over already. The shelves weren’t empty, but I surmised they would be that way before long. The stockers were in a state of shock, used to having an empty store to work in. One muttered under his breath “ridiculous”. He saw that I heard, I smiled, letting him know how much I appreciate his effort. I noticed some people in groups, going over lists with each other. Were they coordinating? The end is nigh, and we shop.
I decided to walk around the entire market to take it all in. By the time I got around to far side I noticed one aisle had a lot of people in it. I wondered what was so popular, then I realized this was where the line started. I walked to the front and saw two cashiers with probably twenty to thirty shoppers in each line. There were no cashiers in the ten-items-or-less lines, which killed my strategy of just buying a couple beers and leaving quickly. I made the decision to walk to the liquor store instead, bought two 40’s and walked home in the stinging rain.
To whom it may concern,
This is my first significant post to Prose in a long time. I have missed contributing something more than a smart-ass remark here and there. The reason I have been persona non grata is mentioned in the piece above. I truly am almost done with my degree and have been writing nothing but boring history papers for such a long time now. I guess COVID allowed me to break that cycle and step back into creative writing.
Thank you all for reading and see you this Summer,
I just wanna say off the bat that I am happy to have an online space for everyone to talk about this, and I would love to chat through these comments. My school is closed for right now, but I don't know till when. I am currently so nervous because they are holding a meeting in a few days regarding spring sports and I hope they are still on because it will be my last season with the teammates i've worked hard with, and were going far with this season. I run track btw. Everything happened so fast it's like it's not even real. I remember on Tuesday my school canceled the rest of our winter sports, with basketball on their way to our state championship. We all thought they were completely overreacting until yesterday when it got REAL REAL. When the ivy leage spring sports got canceled, and NBA MLB and March Madness things happened too. It feels like i'm living in a part of history and it's weird beacause I didn't think people who lived through historical events like WWI knew they were living through history, but that it was just the present for them. I feel weird, like the world is going crazy, and I hate not knowing how long this is going to last for, or how bad it's really gonna get. So everyone stay safe!
I go to Encore high school for the arts & yes the school that might be shut down by the board; that is us. But besides that, I did not go to school on thursday or friday because I was sick & no I do NOT have the coronavirus. But because I stayed home, I did not get to see my friends or my boyfriend. Then I wake up friday morning to find out my school is closing due to the coronavirus. I am lowkey sad & angry because I have not seen my friends or my boyfriend in a while & especially since we are on lockdown, I do not get to see anyone & I am stuck with my family. Plus, I can not go anywhere or do anything due to the virus. So I am just upset & I hope this goes away soon.