I Didn’t Mean It!

I am not a panicker, and I did my best not to run to the store after the shelter in place was announced. But you can’t live in the society, and be independent of the society, as the Marxist theory says. And that’s how it happens.

When everybody started to stock up the toilet paper, I didn’t care. I buy all my supplies using Amazon subscriptions, and my toilet paper was not due until June. However, my other subscriptions were due on March 29, and most of the time, Amazon delivers them ahead of the actual date. 

One of the items was a pack of dishwasher tablets. Technically speaking, I still had thirty of them, but each of the bags lasts from three to four months, so I was not going to skip this delivery. But all of a sudden, when looked at my list, it said: “item is not available, we will make every effort…” Well, then I started to worry! Because what is it won’t be available in a month?! 

I started to search, and lots of other dishwasher tablets were “unavailable.” Then I became concerned and picked up the first brand I, which was in stock (which turned out to be something “eco”). It arrived in two days, but three days later, Amazon sent me a message that they will ship my “subscribe and save” item in two weeks! Now I will have two months extra supply :). 

The irony is that since I am at home every day, I indeed use more paper towels, more dishwasher tablets, more soap… And I will buy all I need when I need it, if only… people would stop hoarding!

When I examined my supply of napkins, I thought that I might want to order a next two-pack. But when I checked on Amazon, they were also “not available.” And the story was repeated: I looked for other brands and once again ordered the first, which was in stock. Four packs instead of two, just in case :). That’s how I joined the crowd with no intention to do so!

My Personal Donation List

No pressure:). Just wanted to share the list of fundraising efforts/organizations which I support during these difficult times.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, Chicago’s bars were hit hard from day one, because they can’t even switch to the carry-out/delivery. I’ve already posted this fundraiser:

US Beverage Group : https://www.usbgfoundation.org/covid-19-response

And here are two more, for those people who’ve been in Chicago, been there with me, and might remember the people behind the names of the places.

Elixer/Replay Andersonville: https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-the-replay-andersonville?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=m_pd+share-sheet

The Gage: https://www.gofundme.com/f/gage-hospitality-group-emloyee-relief-fund?utm_medium=email&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_email%2B5102-48hr-donor-share

Both of those are relief funds, not to support the business itself, but to give directly to all these people who greeted you with a smile and sent to your tables “desserts on the house.”

And now about most vulnerable people.

I made an additional donation to the Night Ministry. Volunteers can’t help anymore, and you can (or can’t!) imagine what Chicago’s homeless population is experiencing these days.

And also to the Greater Chicago Food depository: https://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/

Their situation was far from perfect even before the current events, and now it is worse than ever.

Also, all of the museums where I am a member promise to extend the membership to the duration of time they are going to stay close. I am planning to renew at my regular time and donate the unused money. And I think I will do the same with my CSO subscription and with Whenever Goodman.

That might be a very egotistical list, but I wanted to share.

Other Things, Big and Small Happening Now

Let’s start with the big things. Our company had to cut business significantly. It’s all due to the nature of our business. It is quite understandable that none of our predictive models can work in the current economic situation, and we can’t operate. A significant percentage of our employees are sent home for two months. The rest got the pay cuts, with our CEO taking the biggest one. I understand all of these; those were survival measures. If they weren’t taken, we would lose our business entirely. That way, we should be able to survive. 

At the same time, all of us have to do more work because we need to rebuild our whole system, and this had to be done very fast. I work almost as I worked four years ago (and for almost the same pay :)), and this will last for a while. 

Another piece of news is that my eye doctor had to close her office. She arranged so that I could be seen for my last post-surgical appointment by my surgeon, but they do not do glasses or contacts. It is going to be interesting; I already called the Lenzcrafters, and they said they might be able to cut new lenses for me without me – if this doctor will fax them the new prescription. Hopefully, if not immediately, but within a week or two, this will be resolved. I am not sure when I will be able to get the contacts, because all the eye doctors strongly advise against wearing contacts during the pandemic. I know that that particular doctor was against me wearing contacts anyway, but if not, I will have to wear two pairs of glasses when I drive, and I do not like this idea. We will see on Tuesday. 

Continue reading “Other Things, Big and Small Happening Now”

And Another Positive Thing

I frequently visit Vanille Chicago French Market location (its under the tracks of Ogilvie transportation center). I also ordered from them several times, including my Mom’s 85th birthday cake. So there is no surprise I receive lots of promotional offers from them.

Last week, they sent an email: Monday is going to be a National Macaroon Day. Since we can’t celebrate it in the store, we offer a special – two dozen macaroons for a price of one, plus free delivery.

I ordered two sets: one went to Wisconsin, to Anna and family, and another – to my address. I sent one of my boxes to Vlad and Dylon, and the last one is mine :). I liked how they packaged the macaroons:

Continue reading “And Another Positive Thing”

About Better Things

I didn’t open this email from the Chicago History Museum at first, because I thought it would be another invite for a virtual tour – I want to cry each time I see these invites. But when I opened it a couple of days later, it turned out it was something different:

PPE Donation Chicago History Museum

To the Chicago History Museum community,

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, supporting our community in the fight to contain the virus is more important than ever. As the local medical community let it be known that PPE (personal protective equipment) was in short supply, we realized that getting the PPE that we use at the museum everyday was needed at area hospitals.

At the Chicago History Museum, we use nitrile gloves every day to protect museum artifacts from oils and other contaminates on hands – not to mention to protect our Collections and Exhibitions staff from any potential hazardous substances that may sit on the artifacts upon acquisition (think: lead, radium, asbestos)! N95 face masks, eye protection, and polyethylene aprons are also used to protect staff during conservation treatment of artifacts.

Museums around the globe purchase PPE for these very reasons. While we are closed to the public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, our supplies are best utilized by the healthcare workers on the frontlines at the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

Continuing to fight the spread of COVID-19 is a responsibility we all share. Yesterday, at 11:00 am, Britta Arendt Collection Manager at the Chicago History Museum, met with Daniel J. Ruiz, Senior Manager of Supply Chain Operations at the hospital to drop off a donation of the following supplies:

  • 63 boxes of nitrile gloves in all sizes, 6,300 pairs total
  • 9 boxes of N95 masks, 90 masks total
  • 100 polyethylene aprons
  • 20 pairs of shoe covers
  • 16 tyvek hoodies
  • 4 tyvek coverall suits 
  • 8 pairs protective eye wear 

On the same note: earlier this week, Metra sent an email informing that ” Medical personnel on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic can ride free.” Having that those individuals are probably the only ones who are taking Metra these days, it’s very generous.

Just as I Finished Writing

Just after I published the previous post I saw a massage from our Park District:

In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order to Shelter in Place and recommendations made by the CDC regarding large gatherings, the Palatine Park District has announced that all playgrounds, hard surface courts, and facilities are closed.
While parks and trails remain open, it is still not acceptable to be in large groups. Many people chose to disregard the Governor’s order and in return, the Park District has received an extraordinary amount of messages from concerned patrons about the volume of gatherings.
As a result, the Park District is taking further action to highly discourage those people who are ignoring the order by the Governor. Closed signs have been posted near all playgrounds. Playgrounds will be roped off with caution tape. Basketball rims have been covered, tennis and pickleball courts have been locked as well as the skate park. Soccer and lacrosse goals have been disassembled and our drinking fountains have been shut off and will remain off until further notice.
In order to complete these efforts and regulations, we must ask staff to leave the safety of their homes and expose themselves to surfaces that have been touched by thousands of people. Any of whom could be infected.
We are also working cooperatively with the Village and Police Department, and they are ready to assist with enforcement by dispersing people who do not follow the Governor’s order.
All that being said, we implore any of you who took part in the discouraged activity to seriously reconsider your actions. Please do not make us take the next step of closing down the community parks entirely. We want people to be able to get outside to get fresh air and go for a walk, but if this type of blatant disregard for the safety of others continues, we will be forced to do so.
On behalf of the Board of Park Commissioners, the Park District Staff, and all of our loved ones, please take this seriously! Do your part to flatten the curve and save lives!

What can I say? Just one thing – I am glad that I was not the only person who was concerned! I hope that people will behave responsibly!

Spring Weather

Leap year is for no good; that’s what everybody says. What a weird winter we had! “We” – meaning the whole world. There was no snow in most of the territories, and the weather was alarmingly mild. I was telling everybody – wait, winter is not over! We live in Illinois; we can have snow in April! How right and how wrong I was! It feels now that there will be winter for the whole year.
Spring never started. It tried to start a couple of times, but then winter would return. On Monday, we woke up to see everything outside covered with snow. Not just with some, but with really heavy snow.

Continue reading “Spring Weather”

The Weekend Worries

On Friday, after I called my eye doctor, then next thought which occurred to me was thought about Igor’s moving to the new place. At the end of February, Igor received a note that the lease on his apartment id not going to be renewed. For historical accuracy, I have to mention that the level of hoarding was unacceptable by his landlord standards. We all had a couple of weeks of worries, mostly because we were wondering whether his current landlord will give him a bad reference. I offered to co-sign, and he secured one place in Rogers Park. A couple of days later, it turned out that another place approved him as well, but he already signed with this Rogers Park place.

I gave him a hard time about signing the new lease starting from March 15, because it meant paying for an extra two weeks. He was not ready to move on the 15th anyway, and Vlad told him he would help him to move on the 22nd.

Continue reading “The Weekend Worries”