COVID-19: Part 44

September 9, 2020 8:55 pm
  • Quarantine Day 177
  • Livermore cases: 822
  • Alameda County cases: 19,004; deaths: 297
  • U.S. cases: 6,310,000+; deaths: 189,000+

The fires immediately near Livermore are all out at this point. But many are burning throughout California, Oregon, and Washington. A massive amount of smoke is suspended in the atmosphere over the entire West Coast. Today, our light levels didn't exceed twilight except briefly around 4PM we peaked at ~160 watts/m2 solar irradiance (a normal day at this time of year would be ~775 w/m2). It was incredibly dim and the light was very orange. I tried to get some pictures with my phone, but it didn't capture the color and I was too busy working to spend more time with the real camera.

The air is also full of ash. So much so that you could actually see in the air while standing outside. Also the world had the quiet of a light snowfall when the particles in the air dampen sound. It was all around a very weird day. Here's the ash on my car this morning:

Oddly, the air quality at ground level actually was pretty good. And since the sky was blotted out it was also quite cool. So today we had the windows open for the first time in 2 months.

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Over the weekend it was really hot, about 110F on Sat, Sun, and Mon. Megan wanted us to try to fry an egg outside. So I put my baking steel out in the sun and after an hour it was up to 154F. I cracked on egg on it around 3pm and let it "cook" for about 2 hours. It never really cooked so much as dried up enough to hold its shape.

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I still haven't finished preparing the final Dragon Strike adventure, so that hasn't occurred yet. I'm getting there, but there's still more to do.

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School's been going pretty well. Heather has been doing a great job of being responsible for her class time. She gets logged in for all of her meetings throughout the day without any muss or fuss which has been incredibly helpful. Corinne hasn't been super excited about her class meetings, but luckily the school schedule recognizes that kindergartners will struggle with online classes so her morning meeting is 20 minutes and each day she has a small-group meeting of 35 minutes. She works on individual work throughout the remaining time. So Jess has gotten to step into the role of teacher, especially for Corinne, but for Heather as well.

It's not ideal, but it's working, and it's a better solution than having a bunch of people get ill and either end up in the hospital or die just for the convenience of doing schooling in person.

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I don't see how trick-or-treating will be a good idea for Halloween this year. It may be time for the Halloween Witch to join the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. She'll travel the country "trick-or-treating" by leaving a bag of treats for kids who wear costumes and tricks for those who don't. I guess we'll see. Maybe we'll miraculously get the infection rate down and it won't be an issue, but the latest modeling suggests things will only continue to get worse for the length of the modeling window (out to Jan 1st at this point).