My COVID19 Test Came Back Positive

Do you guys keep up with your own local news? I try to. I’m not the best at it. I’m better at it when the local news directly affects me. But, I still try. Andy Beshear has made keeping up with local politics very easy because he’s been talking to us Monday through Thursday about the coronavirus.

There are RUMORS that he might shut Kentucky down again. To that I say, of course he would do that only AFTER I get the coronavirus. We needed a mandate again weeks ago. Our cases have tripled in a very short amount of time and not enough businesses are going to voluntarily allow their employees to work from home. The governor gave out new “recommendations” for red zone counties in Kentucky a few weeks ago. And, yes, I know that the world doesn’t revolve around me. I’m working on it.

In other local happenings, I usually make it a point to attend Writer’s Block Festival here in Louisville every year. I wasn’t sure what they were doing this year, if anything at all. I don’t think anything this year? It’s usually spread out in a few places downtown, or held on one of the local college campuses, or in an art gallery, or something like that. Usually over a weekend. Last year, it was held November 16th which was a Saturday, so it’s on my mind. But, even if they were having it this year around this time, I have to quarantine because I officially got my COVID19 test results back today and they were positive. It wasn’t surprising. My roommate tested positive and we had pretty much the same symptoms, just a few days apart. Even if my results hadn’t been positive, I still have the aches and the fatigue, so I wouldn’t feel like going anyway.

So, I’m mad I got coronavirus, mad no one is trying to get a handle on this virus here, and mad that I will probably have to miss Writer’s Block Festival, if there even is one this year. I’m also still very single and have no boyfriend to drop off surprise feel-better-soup outside my door.

How is your all’s Monday going?

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Recommendations Vs Mandates

Let’s talk about these new guidelines that Andy Beshear spoke about on 10/26:

First of all, these are recommendations, not mandates. So, no company in Jefferson county is going to allow their employees to work remotely voluntarily. Why would they? Everyone is trying to get people to come back into work spaces, attempting to return to normalcy as much as they can, even if all they can have is 50% capacity.

If these remain “recommendations” and not mandates, many people in these red-zone counties will be going into 2021 with potential performance-review issues for simply trying to do the right thing by either trying to get approval to work remotely or calling in too frequently at the last minute, because you can’t schedule being sick, or schedule having symptoms that most people would’ve come to work with anyway before 2020. Many companies still have a “if you’re not at the office, you’re not really working” mindset, which is severely incorrect and outdated. Some people have HR sending them daily reminders about not working in the office if they have symptoms, managers who prefer they’d come into the office, and friends telling them their fears and beliefs are stupid. Someone needs to clarify something, somewhere.

I think these new guidelines should be mandates, not “recommendations”. We’ll see what happens Monday, but I’m not holding my breath.

Some of my friends say maybe they’re waiting until after the election to switch them to mandates. That seems like a possibility, but I just don’t think that’s even on the agenda, either. I think it’s going to be up to individuals to do the right thing. I think people are going to lose jobs over it. I think 2021 is going to be an even more complicated year than 2020.

That’s all.

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It Was Cold And Rainy So I Didn’t Go To The Gym

One thing I didn’t think about when I said I’d go to the gym every day for 30 days was the weather. Yesterday it was cold and rainy so I couldn’t really walk to the gym and didn’t have a ride, so OOOPS. I didn’t go to the gym yesterday. I can deal with cold most of the time and I can deal with snow. Rain messes me up. To make matters a little worse, it looks like it’s going to rain again today and there’s a chance of rain the rest of the week until the weekend. So, I picked the worst time to commit to the gym for 30 days straight. I’ll try to go to the gym today, if it’s not raining on my way home. I might wait up tonight a little while and see if things clear up. There’s also the possibility that someone will give me a ride, but that is never a guarantee.

Louisville Is A Coronavirus Red Zone

AND, to make things just even that much more complicated, the governor recommended counties that are in the red-zone in Kentucky go back to working from home and limiting activity out of the house. They are only “recommendations”, and not mandates, which means no one will follow them. But, we SHOULD follow them, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do about that. It makes sense to me: everyone shut down and follow the guidelines for a week or two, and then red counties won’t be red anymore. Jefferson county and the city of Louisville is currently a red zone with coronavirus infections. But, the gym is a matter of my personal health. One big thing I need to do is lower my blood pressure, which is one of the motivations for figuring out the gym.

My Arms Still Hurt From The Gym

Also, my arms are still super sore anyways from when I went to the gym Sunday. Maybe I shouldn’t go to the gym anyways. Or at least maybe I shouldn’t work out my arms. I don’t know how to use any of the leg equipment yet, but maybe I could figure that out. Maybe. Most of the equipment had instructions on it, and I could always look stuff up on YouTube or an app, but that is a little tricky because every piece of equipment and every brand is a little different.

So, I clearly have some thinking and planning to do. My day job hasn’t mentioned anything about the governor’s recommendations.

Another busy day. I’ll let you know if I figure anything out about the gym tomorrow.

Eric Shay Howard at gym
Me at the gym
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The Gym For 30 Days

I finally went out and got a new gym membership yesterday. I had a gym membership at this great gym in Downtown Louisville, but it’s still closed due to the pandemic. My membership was only for a short time before the shutdown in March and I’d barely figured out any sort of routine before. I maybe went a total of four times so I still don’t know that much about the gym. Now that I have a new membership, I’m going to go to the gym every day for 30 days.

I tried Krav Maga a few weeks back, but it doesn’t seem like something I’d be too interested in continuing if I had other options, like a gym. This downtown gym isn’t charging me anymore until they reopen, though I still have the membership. They have not indicated when they’re going to reopen. I have a sneaky suspicion that they won’t reopen. I know the coronavirus is a real thing and I’m not criticizing them. If they can’t open safely, they shouldn’t.

Anyway, I need a new gym. Yesterday I did some googling and found another gym that has 24/7 access and is within walking distance, sorta. It’s a 20 minute walk according to Google, maybe a 10 minute bike ride. So now, for whatever reason, I’m ready to try the gym for real.

Why I’m Going To The Gym For 30 Days Straight

Is starting my gym experience out by going to the gym every day for 30 days extreme? Probably. However, it’s the only way I know of to get myself into the habit of going to the gym on a regular basis. 30 days is a good habit-forming period of time for me. I got a month-to-month membership so that if my preferred gym does reopen, I can go back to it, maybe. Who knows, I might like this gym more. It’s not as big, but it’s accessible 24/7. My previous gym wasn’t. With all the stuff I’m doing, having a gym that is 24/7 seems like a great idea to me.

There is the issue of me not knowing much about the gym at all, even though I had a gym membership for a few months before everything shutdown because of the coronavirus. I can’t bring a guest to the gym with me, so I’ll have to either go it alone, or make a friend, or hire a personal trainer. For 30 days, I’m going to try going it alone to see what I can accomplish.

My Gym Fears

I do have a few fears. Well, it’s a lot of fears, but they mostly stem from two categories. The first set of fears are based on me being gay and being in the gym. The gym is in The Highlands in Louisville, which is a very gay-friendly area of Louisville. However, I still worry about homophobia in the gym. What if it’s the one business in the area that is super homophobic or something? Then there’s the shower room fears. Different from straight guy shower room fears only in the sense that, once or twice, something might actually pop up awkwardly. There may be a distracting cute guy every so often. I don’t plan to use the gym for dating or anything, and would never act on anything. At least not at the gym.

Then, there are the high-school-like fears. Friend-clicks, acceptance, the possibility of making a friend or two, or the possibility of no one liking me at all. All of that stuff. None of it is the end of the world or anything. But, I’m human and those fears are there. Another big one is the fear that maybe the gym just won’t work for me at all. Like, what if, you know, it just doesn’t work? My body doesn’t change? I don’t get any healthier? Stupid fear, but it’s there.

How Will I Measure My Progress?

I suppose it would make a lot of sense to take a photo of my body so that I can look back on it. Of course, I’m not going to show that on here. Subjective physical attractiveness isn’t the ultimate way to track gym progress, but maybe it’s a place to start.

I suppose I’m not the worst looking guy I’ve ever met or anything. However, there is a lot of room for improvement. My belly is a little bigger that it should be. I don’t have abs. My arms are small. My chest is, um, not right. I don’t think it’s realistic to tackle everything all at once, so I’m starting small. For now, I’ll settle for a bigger chest and arms. Chest mostly, for now. I’d like it to be more proportional to my gut. Again, I don’t have abs, but if I can make my chest a little bigger, I’ll feel better about my belly.

So, for 30 days, I’m going to focus on building a habit of going to the gym. My target area is my chest, though I know I need to do other things besides chest stuff. I’d also like to do some cardio to help lose a little weight, but I’m not stressing about that right now. Honestly, if I actually make the trip to the gym every day for 30 days, I’ll put it in the win column.

Let Me Know If You Have Any Gym Tips

Hopefully, after 30 days, I’ll keep going frequently. 30 days worked well for my blog. I blogged for 30 days and I’m still blogging every day. While I may stop blogging on the weekends at some point, 30 days helped me form a habit that I’m super into now.

I’ll tweet some about the gym and probably blog about it, too. Comment below and let me know if you have any gym tips for newbies.

You can follow me on Twitter and like my page on Facebook.

Eric Shay Howard 30 Days Gym
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There’s a Lot of Anticipation for a Breonna Taylor Announcement

There’s a lot of anticipation for a Breonna Taylor announcement in Louisville this week. Yesterday, the LMPD issued a state of emergency, preventing officers from using any off days for the foreseeable future. Later yesterday afternoon, Mayor Fisher declared a State of Emergency for Louisville. Concrete barriers are now along Market, Broadway, and 9th streets and some buildings are closing in anticipation of a decision. Many people are working from home this week, and not just because of coronavirus. The opinions on the anticipated Breonna Taylor announcement have been pretty divided.

I live downtown, but outside of what is being blocked off. My office is in the red box. I am bracing for impact.

No One Really Knows When There Will Be An Announcement of the Breonna Taylor Decision

The anticipation of any announcement being made is what is getting to me the most. Yes I’m inconvenienced in the sense that I can’t go to Sunergos to get a coffee on my lunch break. Instead I have to go to Please and Thank You. Both are fine. I’m a white cis male so I have the luxury of this only being an inconvenience.

I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be at least a little bad downtown for a while. I don’t anticipate a fair decision from the grand jury. As a result, I believe that people are going to be very upset about the announcement.

I hope that things remain peaceful. However, I’m also bracing myself. If there are no charges, I anticipate disruptions in the entire central business district that may possibly even spill into the Nulu area. However, if there are charges, I worry that the far-right will bring their guns out and do possibly even more damage and cause more disruptions than would otherwise be caused. I base this fear on the visible threats that I’ve seen posted online on Facebook in LMPD, Mayor Greg Fisher, and Governor Andy Beshear’s live feeds over the last few months.

My Expectations of the Media

I keep my expectations of the media fairly high. I expect the media to do a good and fair job of reporting on the events as they unfold. Unfortunately, I also expect people with certain agendas to promote the worst possible images of the events in attempts to make protestors appear to be violent when they aren’t.

Normally, and probably against advisement, I would venture out and up the street a ways to get some sort of photograph to show the barricades, but I’m working from home for the rest of the week and I can’t be gone from my computer for that long this morning. If I have time I will venture out farther later this evening. I went out and I got my coffee today early. Note that the BS stands for butterscotch and not, for instance, something like bull shit.

This blog post is very anticlimactic. I don’t have much for you today, it seems. I’m busy and downtown Louisville is closing for a bit. I hope that at the very least, decisions are made to prevent what happened to Breonna Taylor from happening again in the future. I also wish that the police did their job appropriately. I think enough news has leaked to prove, or at least highly suggest otherwise, but there’s still a lot we don’t know.

Leave me a comment below and let me know how you’re feeling about all of this. You can contact me via my contact page, follow me on Twitter, and like my page on Facebook.

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