I hope you’re in the mood for a Random Thoughts post. Here are some of the things on my mind (lots of it related to Covid-19):

– The Coronavirus-related news can be so overwhelming — I’ve found I cope better if I take it in smaller doses. I try to keep it to a few minutes of Twitter and then a couple of articles from reputable sources, like the New York Times or the BBC. It’s remarkable how fast things are changing, with new cancellations being announced every day.

Ben Blair was supposed to travel to Utah later this month for the Mormon Transhumanism conference, but they just announced it would be virtual instead. (Which of course totally makes sense.) This trip was also going to be an opportunity to spend time with his mother, and take some work-related meetings. So now he’s looking at his options and talking to the airline to find out if postponing/rescheduling makes more sense, or if an outright cancellation would be better.

– Like everyone else, I’m trying to gauge the future. Will we be hunkered down for a month? Several months? I find myself watching Italy. They seem to be 10-14 days ahead of us. And I’m also watching news of Wuhan where the spread of the virus seems to have slowed.

– The newly announced European travel ban — that apparently doesn’t apply to expats like us (because Americans in Europe can’t get the virus? makes no sense!), is also on my mind. I’m thinking about my kids in the U.S. and how far away they feel. I’m thinking about the next school break and wondering what the world will look/feel like five weeks from now.

– I read this tweet about the “pandemic of human disappointment” and I keep thinking about it.

– I’m worried about our parents, and all of the over-60 people in our life. And I’m worried about our peers who are taking care of their own kids, and also taking care of their parents, while trying to stay healthy themselves.

– I appreciate the news that talks about flattening the curve. The idea is that while many people will test positive for Covid-19, if we can spread out the infection rates over a longer period of time, that will make all the difference, and prevent overwhelming the medical system. Stay calm. Wash your hands. Flatten the curve.

Some non-virus thoughts:

– When we moved back here, I had to keep reminding myself to get ready for harsh winters — especially coming from the Bay Area. But weirdly, I end up feeling warmer here than I did in Oakland. Probably because I dress properly for the winter here, and the houses are designed to be well-heated here. Whereas in Oakland, the heating systems seemed like an after-thought because the weather is considered so mild, and I ended up always feeling a bit chilly.

But it’s also been a relatively mild winter here. I remember some intense weeks with frozen pipes when we lived here before, but this winter never got that bad. I assume this is global warming related and not good news.

– Now that Alt Summit is over, I find my mind focusing on our house renovations. I’m especially thinking about our bathrooms and find myself adding pins to my bathroom board on Pinterest. I go back and forth among a French-industrial look, a traditional tiled look, and a fancy European look.

– Speaking of bathrooms, I drew a bunch of floorplans where we took a section of the future ensuite bathroom to create a closet. But talking through it with Ben, I realized I was just creating a mediocre closet, and forcing a less than ideal bathroom. So I decided to create a gorgeous bathroom and solve the closet issue in a totally different way.

– We’re about 50-60% done removing wallpaper! I know it sounds like a pain, but it’s actually quite satisfying work.

– Some things we have to wait for in order continue — like the new electric work needs to be done before we can do some of the plaster work or carpentry. But other things we can move ahead on. Like the windows! We want to keep the current windows — they are gorgeous — but they are old and need repairs and restoration. None of them open and close easily at the moment. All need to be mended, and painted both inside and out. But we have a bid and we’re meeting with our window guy tomorrow. I’m very excited about it and need to decide on paint colors for the interior and exterior.

– I used Alt Summit as an excuse to try some new makeup based on Sarah of Whoorl’s recommendations. We’re the same age, so I appreciate her thoughts on what works for skin like ours. She’s also focused on clean makeup. I’m loving this Olio E Osse cheek balm (I bought #9), Kosas lipstick in Rosewater, and Honest mascara (the most affordable thing I tried at $17). It had been a loooong time since I updated my makeup and I’ve enjoyed having new products to try.

– With all the hand washing talk going around, my thread about protecting your family is making the rounds again. It’s been interesting to see it pop up.

– Gosh darn my jet lag is still intense. I was hoping to be done with it by now, but no luck. They say it’s much easier to get on local time when you’re traveling west versus east, and I find that to be so true. I had almost no issues adjusting in Palm Springs, but I got back to France on Sunday morning and I’m still totally out of whack.

– I started watching the Hillary Clinton documentary on Hulu. Oh my. When they started talking about the nonstop email coverage, I found it so painful I had to pause. I admit, I’m still mad. What an amazing thing it would be to have someone as capable as HRC leading us through the current pandemic.

I think that’s it for now. Please feel free to respond to my random thoughts, or you can leave your own random thoughts in the comments. I always love to hear what’s on your mind.

P.S. — More random thoughts.