Special Pandemic Edition
As you are probably aware, there is a pandemic going on. It is on every channel on TV and every station on the radio, in all the newspapers, and all over the internet. Information is coming at me from everywhere. It can be a little hard to keep up with it all. What do you recommend?
Sheltering in Palacios
I recommend buying at least 4 or 5 gross of high quality foam or silicone earplugs. They should be rated for no less than 31 decibels, and preferably higher. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for reducing noise pollution as much as possible without actually pushing them in your ears so far that you embed them in your brain (no matter how much you may be tempted to).
I recommend the brightly colored DayGlo® orange ones to let the world know that you are tuning out the real plague in our society, which is the one we invite into our lives every time we turn on the TV, radio, or internet.
I have been working from home for the last two weeks because my company said that only essential personnel can go into the building to work and that everyone else should work from home.
However, after two solid weeks of streaming movies, watching music videos, playing on-line games, and building a virtual zoo online it suddenly struck me: Does my company think I am non-essential? Even though I only log online to work once a day to put in my time-card, I am tempted to send a strongly worded email to the HR department about their insensitive use of the word “non-essential”.
What do you think?
Odie in Boise
The fact that it took you two weeks to even ask that question actually answers the question.
On the other hand, if they keep sending you a paycheck, then obviously they are satisfied with your performance.
Among biological organisms (even those in virtual on-online zoos), this is known as a symbiotic relationship.
In the corporate world, this is known as “employees with benefits”.
As long as you both understand your respective roles, no one’s feelings has to get hurt.
When news of the pandemic broke, I ran out to several local stores and bought a lifetime supply of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and bottled water. Maybe even two lifetimes. Anyway, I plan to keep these in my attic until they have exceeded their shelf life, after which I will throw them away.
I’m worried about my taxes, though. Is there some sort of deduction I could take?
Stockpiling in Steamboat
Dear Steaming Pile
There is one deduction you could make that would benefit all of humanity. However, Biff is not mean-spirited, and so I will keep that one to myself.
Nor will I wish that a bad burrito will require you to use up all of the toilet paper you just bought within the span of a week.
No, I will just say this.
As you are sitting within your fluffy, two-ply fortress, fashioned in your basement from the packages of toilet paper you have bought, try to reflect on your role (or roll, as the case may be) within our family of humanity, and ask yourself, might your time and money have been spent on more worthwhile endeavors, such as making sure the elderly person who lives next door has enough “pandemic supplies” to get them through this rough patch. Or that everyone in your community is getting enough to eat.
Just something to think about.
Need dubious advice from a non-licensed, unqualified, non-certified smart-Alec? Send your questions to “Ask Biff” and he’ll get around to your question eventually when the mood strikes.