Why did I end up sticking with this particular naming scheme? No idea. But I guess I’m rolling with it.

Classes started up again this week. It’s nice to have structure, even though I’m a bit overwhelmed by all of the Zoom calls. I’ve stopped going to some of the professional development calls, because it’s just . . .

I’m an extravert. I like working from the office because there are people to chat and I run into people at the Keurig and we can keep up with each other. I live with other people – more people than I ever have before, right now, but I’m deeply uncomfortable living alone. I like being around other people. But wow this is so many Zoom calls, this is kind of too many people. It’s like a high-volume meeting day except every day. The only upside* is that I can do so from the comfort of my own home.

But the sheer volume of contact means that I’m finding it incredibly relaxing that Tristan and Alexis are currently on Flour Quest.

Maybe I should back up. Today Tristan and I needed to go pick up prescriptions at Walgreens.

I wore a scarf over my face for part of it, because that’s following CDC guidelines. Tristan didn’t. The Carrs, when they went to pick up our CSA share, also didn’t. Which makes it feel a little pointless: a household is as susceptible as the least cautious member. But I wasn’t the only person in Walgreens with a mask: they’re apparently becoming more normal. And they had safe distance slots for queueing marked in tape on the floor, as you can see above.

But we still needed to actually go, because controlled substances such as a couple of our prescriptions cannot be sent via mail. This seems generally problematic, because immune compromised people can still need medications that you currently need an ID to pick up. Hopefully we’re not all going to be sheltering in place for much longer, but I do think that it’s something policy would do well to address.

So we went to pick stuff up, and got Subway while we were out: ordered online, then only me going into the store, staying as far as possible from the only other customer there, who was in as representative of his family, with two kids waiting in a truck outside.

When we got home, Alexis and I got talking about bread. Our CSA share, we get bread as an add-on, but I think we’ve also both been seeing everyone making their own bread on social media. Alexis has sourdough starter on the stove: I hadn’t noticed it before. But it should be ready by midweek, which is when we’ll probably be out of our other bread. And I’ve been wanting to make bread, though I’m nervous as I don’t think I’ve made yeasted anything before. So we talked a little about that, and then came to the realization: we’d go through flour really fast if we started making bread, and there have been shortages. King Arthur Flour, which is what Alexis really likes, is several weeks backordered on most of their more popular flours. I went through their website as Alexis went through grocery websites, seeing where we could get flours. But King Arthur is down to just flours that aren’t suitable for most breads, because we are far from original in this idea.

I think it’s really worth noting that a lot of shortages right now aren’t due to panic or mismanagement: they’re because people are at home. There’s a great article on Medium talking about the fact that commercial toilet paper is not what’s selling out now. Likewise, people suddenly eating lunches at home (for themselves or for kids who normally eat at a cafeteria) are using a lot more bread in sandwiches, and people with a lot of free time and energy and boredom are looking at shelves that are light on bread and deciding to make their own. People are, in many cases, more bored than worried. And bread is an ideal antidote for people working from home in that it is a staple that takes a lot of hours where you need to be nearby but not necessarily paying a lot of attention. Also you can Instagram it.

Alexis doesn’t care about Instagram, but she does care about bread. So she and Tristan (because Alexis doesn’t drive) hit on the idea of going to the local Asian grocery, as we’ve both heard about them generally being better stocked right now. The plan was, if flour couldn’t be found in the grocery store a mile away, they’d head across town to the Asian grocery, and pick up flour and maybe more Lysol wipes so we can sanitize stuff that comes into the house more thoroughly.

So it was very quiet for a while.

But now they have returned, triumphant, and later this week we should have sourdough.

*This is a lie: another upside is that no one can see when I’m playing games on my tablet the whole meeting.

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