Day {x} of The Weird

Okay… this thing is on. Yeah. Hi. I wish I had some clever musical reference, a quote that every good Gen Xer would get and nod to in understanding. Ain’t got that, so here we go.

We are now in day {x} of #TheWeird, this bizarre period when time is being dilated even more than in months past. What’s time dilation? I accredit Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo with assembling that exact phrase. t’s like what I just said to a friend: “I’d heard planes were empty?… but that was days ago. That could’ve been two weeks ago.” Perhaps it’s like a scene from the end of Disney’s late 1970s sci-fi/horror flick The Black Hole, when the crew of the ill-fated Palomino are falling into the black hole, and time and space are getting warped beyond recognition. Only there are no angelic spirits floating past us as we hurtle toward whatever fate awaits us.

Which reminds me, did you see the hypothesis that black holes are not giant spheres of nothingness, all packed into a tiny little dot, but possibly are totally flat, microscopic points in space? I tried to find the article I’m trying to refer to, but failing that, here are 18 Interesting Facts About Black Holes | 2020 Edition.

Which is not to say that I think we’re being pulled by an immense gravitational force toward a searing, blinding death. No. The radiation from a black hole would kill you long before you got to that point.

Backing away from the black hole non-analogy

Although an observer of someone near a black hole would definitely experience time dilation, let’s look at how this past week — past few days — has been.

It is probably easy to determine when people will say or think The Weird began. I can pin it to Sunday, March 15 at 4:22 PM, when I got this text from Milwaukee Public Schools:

Milwaukee High Sch: All MPS schools are closed March 16 – April 13. 

FREE meals and enrichment materials will be handed out at 20 locations. Learn more at

This was foreseeable, as the Los Angeles and San Diego school districts had already shut down. They were a bellwether, districts that large, with that much chronic poverty, that much need to provide food, if not shelter, for how many thousands of their students? To say nothing of homeless students — homeless children is an atrocity I think we need to eliminate. With the wave of my magic wand and everything, right? Anyway.

We are fortunate to be well-equipped to handle this situation at my house. I say that with a bit of trepidation, as if it’s bad for me to admit it? Either way, we are doing all right so far in day {x} of The Weird. Today, I went for a walk in the woods with my son, and found that a grand old tree which had at least eight concentric stalks has fallen, probably do to the emerald ash borer. That was a sad sight; it was a favorite for me and my older child, Alex. The natural cycle at play, albeit affected by the EAB. Kind of like how our whole society, every part of it, is being warped in real-time by this damn new coronavirus. It’s weird. It’s scary. It seems preventable, yet intractable.

Thankfully, I have full confidence in our impeccable leader’s ability to quickly and concretely make sure it’s not a problem. That’s as simple as saying it’s under control, right?

If only.

Published by Jason Haas

I am a resident of the Bay View neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. That sometimes comes up on here, as it's kind of a small part of my life. No official county business happens here. I'm mostly using this now to give a rough draft account of how we're dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. God help us all.

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