Saturday, March 21, 2020

Coronavirus and Columbus

Children's Medicine
I reckon a post about what's going on in and around Columbus, Ohio during the Coronavirus pandemic is something I might regret not posting down the road.

CLOSED (and Open)

Restaurants, bars, sporting events, K-12 schools, universities, standing within 6 feet of each other, etc are all closed or canceled. Citizens have been ordered by the governor to stay home. But that's a nice to have. Amazon, Walmart, Target, grocery stores, coffee shops (take out only) are still operational. With the big box stores, their distribution networks are still functional. As a matter of fact, they are growing. That means employees at those cavernous warehouses, delivery drivers, truck drivers, EVERYTHING is still going.

If you travel on the roads you might not notice any difference in traffic at first. It kinda looks like it does when school lets out for the summer. But if look at IT a little closer, especially at peak rush hour times, you can tell it's less. My estimate is about 30-50% fewer cars and trucks on the road.


This probably deserves its own post, but I'll never get to it (if I'm being honest with myself). COLUMBUS IS A SUV CITY. Meaning, huge growth in this town has run alongside the modern sport utility vehicle. What this means is that new roads, city and town planning, EVERYTHING is built around large cars.

Walmart - TP and Paper Towels
Delivering for Amazon really opened my eyes to this. If you haven't been here, Columbus is not so much a "city" as it is a massive collection of suburbs. The go on for seemingly ever. In older suburbs, you see the classic layout with smaller roads and culdesacs. Outside of the smaller houses, one way to tell it's an older community is the number of cars. They are everywhere. Why? The kids you had when you moved in 20 years ago are now teens and you gave them cars.

Newer communities are enormously wide streets that wind safely around. Included are even spots for the giant SUV's that resemble yachts to turn around. I favored these as a delivery driver, but it is incredibly wasteful.

Regardless, Car City Columbus roads are now only about half full and I've noticed a slight change in the weather towards the cooler side.

Weatherman and women are almost always correct these days. They might miss on how long it will rain or the temp by a degree or two, but that's about it. But when I was working a job in 2018 that required me to travel out to Perry County, Ohio a lot I noticed that without fail, it was about 5-8 degrees cooler. This area is only about 30 miles away. That shift in temp might not seem like much but it is. 82 degrees in Columbus was 75 degrees in towns a little East. Or 36 degrees and rain in Columbus was 28 and snowy in New Lexington. It made a difference, and I saw it.

With the weather in Columbus this last week, it was about 5 degrees cooler than the weather people forecasted each day. What that meant is that last Sunday they were saying the week was going to be in the 50's and then by Friday get to 70. Instead, it was 40's Monday to Wednesday with frosty mornings and 50's Thursday. Yesterday (Friday) was correct, but we got a hellish storm that nobody saw coming.

I believe this is because there are fewer cars on the roads. I've always believed that car traffic and impact local weather a great deal and Columbus is a perfect example. Not just the pollution, but the heat coming off the asphalt. Like firing up an oven to heat the house.


As for our little family of my wife and our 3-year-old, we are doing well. A long-planned trip back (for me) to Virginia is about to happen this coming week. Yesterday was our daughter's last day in daycare (still open) as we start to prep our move.

We spend most of our time in the house "social distancing" with occasional trips to the store. I'll post some pictures of grocery shelves so we don't forget the panic buying that's going on.

Video games, a few movies, writing, soccer analysis, taxes (yay!), and watching government officials on TV is the daily routine.

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