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Staying Occupied


Since the world has in many ways ground to a halt, I’ve been looking for things to do to keep busy.

What passes for post retirement work has pretty much stopped as the doctors are to busy to read and respond to reports, the fire stations are all locked down, and the fire fighters whose cases I review are all too busy responding to calls.

I can still do audits, but the slow down has actually allowed us to catch up on outstanding audits, so there isn’t as much of that.

Speaking of reports, the ones from this month have shown an interesting progression. Starting about the second week of the month reports have mentioned “Covid-19” more and more. The downside is that some medics are so obsessed with Covid-19 that they don’t look for other causes for patient’s illnesses.

I’ve caught about half a dozen out of the 200 or so reports I’ve done, where tunnel vision has lead to missing CHF, Sepsis, and in one case a Stroke.

A sort of upside to this is that I have more time to do “retired guy” stuff. Which translates to doing a lot of minor projects, or at least looking for minor projects.

So far I’ve replaced the shower doors on the bath tub. Which not only made Mrs. EMS Artifact happy, she’s been looking to replace them for a couple of years now, but also saved several hundred dollars. She had contacted a company that installs replacements and had received an estimate. The guy who runs the company was supposed to come out and look at the job to finalize the details. He never showed up and never called. That was before all of this started, so he’s just a crappy businessman.

I replaced a front light that went all wonky. It’s supposed to come on automatically after dark when it detects movement. It detects movement, but comes on even during the day. That took about an hour or so.

Painted a closet. This is actually a project I’ve been pecking at here and there for a few years. I decided to paint all of the closets as part of my on going process of getting the house ready against the day we put it on the market and move. I don’t know when that will be, but it will happen.

As with all projects, prep is the key and the hardest part. I spackled all of the cracks and dings in the walls. Then I taped. Then I waited for the spackle to dry. That was day one.

Day two (you don’t want to rush these things), was the painting. Which took about 20 minutes. A couple of hours to wait for the paint to be well dried and I took the tape off, cleaned up and vacuumed.

Bought five bags of top soil, dumped them out, raked it the pile flat, and threw down some grass seed. I might take up watching grass grow if this lock down goes  on for much longer.

Bought two end tables with lamps and assembled them. The first was for the Living Room to replace a torch lamp that the Mrs. didn’t like. She wasn’t sure that she was going to like the new one either, but while I was putting it together down in my den I noticed that it would fit in and replace a lamp and small table I had down there.

As it turned out, she liked the lamp/table combination, so I went out and bought a second one. I managed to stretch that out over two days.

Friday the weather was great, so I went to the range to do some shooting. Amazingly, I was the only person there for much of the time. I figured it might be busy with bored people looking for something to do.

I’ll post a bit about that tomorrow. Or maybe Tuesday.

Saturday was another beautiful day, so I went out in the yard and worked on that all day. Brush clearing, some small tree felling, and burning brush in my burn barrel.

Even though I’m not a huge fan of yard work, there is enough of it to keep me busy in the nice weather. While it’s physically strenuous, it’s mentally relaxing. Once I get out and start, I find that I just keep working at it. I ended up cutting down about a half dozen small trees and then cutting them into sections. One of my neighbors has a wood burning stove and I’ll offer the wood to him.

There are still a few more small trees I want to trim back, but that will have to wait until the weather is clear again. Which, according to the weather guessers could be about a week.

Today will be gun cleaning day. That will include the two I shot the other day and maybe one or two others. Those probably don’t need cleaning, but taking them apart and putting them back together will be fun. I like mechanical things and I like taking them apart and putting them back together.

That’s what I’m doing to keep business while waiting for the world to start again. I do have to wonder what kind of world we’ll return to when this has passed. Will things return to the old normal or will there be a new normal of not getting to close to one another?

I also wonder what the rest of the world is going to do about the Chinese Communist Government’s lying to the rest of the world about this disease?


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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.