Chickens, Cats, and Bureaucratic Snafus
Journal days 24 and 25: Life in my little corner of NYC in the age of the Coronavirus, Tuesday, April 14, and Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Thank you to everyone who sent me an email or left a note on Facebook asking about whether I was still keeping up this journal. I appreciate that very much!
Yesterday, there were more people out in the Gardens than I had ever seen. I had to be more alert than usual. Where before I would simply step into the street if someone was coming my way on the sidewalk, when I did that yesterday, there was often someone coming towards me in the street as well. I ended up making a U-turn on some blocks when there were too many people ahead.
Today, the weather was cooler, and I took my walk later, so there weren’t as many people as yesterday — but there were still more than I was used to seeing. I felt like I no longer had my own private hideaway:
Are more people coming out because they are being less cautious now that the infection-rate curve has flattened? Or has word gotten out that the Gardens is a great place to take a walk?
Meanwhile, I’m still trying to get a good picture of the chickens. I had a lightbulb moment and put my phone almost right up against the wire of the coop. I got a picture that came out better than the ones I took before, though this one is still out of focus because the chicken was running around.
Speaking of animals in the Gardens, I saw these three feral (?) cats behind the fence surrounding the Stadium:
Two of the cats ran away as I approached the fence. The dark gray one in the middle remained, though. He’s the only one I had seen there before.
I passed the street that used to be lined with cherry blossoms. Today the blossoms were gone, and green leaves had taken their place:
Before my walk, I had phone calls to make to deal with some frustrating bureaucratic problems. I decided to take my own advice and use the Pomodoro method of time management to help focus on getting it done.
I set up the timer system so that I would devote four hours to the project. I figured that way, if I got put on hold for an hour, it wouldn’t make me as crazy as that kind of thing usually does, because I would know that whether someone picked up or not, I still had another few hours to go.
It worked like a charm! I finished faster than planned, in 2.5 hours. In that time, I was able to straighten out several Social Security and Medicare snafus and confirm that, yes, I will have health insurance next month. Whew!
The one problem I couldn’t solve today was my missing stimulus check. The IRS set up a site called Get My Payment, but when I went there and put in my information, it said “Payment Status Not Available. According to information that we have on file, we cannot determine your eligibility for a payment at this time.” That was not reassuring!
I also remembered that I still wanted to see if I could get unemployment and/or small-business loans. Both seem like long shots but I think are worth a try. So maybe I’ll look into that tomorrow.
Today was April 15, and I was glad that I didn’t have to do my taxes.