So…we never made it to West Virginia. I came home after work on March 8th and decided going back to the office was a bad idea. So, we have been self-isolating here in rural Oklahoma. I don’t teach in the Spring Semester so it hasn’t been too difficult.
Political signaling - the power of elites to dictate public response was on full display in my small rural community. Though me and mine locked ourselves down early, not much changed here for a while. The non-chalance changed when the president held his first Oval Office address. Shelves that were full at our local grocery store were suddently stripped bare. In other words, folks reacted once an elite they trusted told them of the seriousness of the pandemic. Its anecdotal evidence for sure, but we know distancing behaviors altered much sooner in ‘blue’ (if you will) communities. What elites communicate or signal matters immensely.
I grew up on a farm in West Virginia. My brother raises beef cattle there still, so we always bring home coolers of homegrown beef to fill our freezer here in Oklahoma. The result is that we’ve eaten fairly well, especially after making sure to stock up on wine before sequestering ourselves. Living out of the freezer brings home how much cooler geometry dictates our cuisine these days. For instance, pot roast and beef shortribs were packaged in a way that makes them fit well in a cooler. Check out the beef shortribs below.
Speaking of the wine-run we made, liquor stores here are considered essential businesses for the the purposes of the shutdown - absolutely. Good governance need not be a casualty of COVID-19.