Mar 212020

downtown Seattle yesterday


Like hundreds of millions of people around the world, I have a lot more time on my hands than I did even a week ago. I spend a lot of that new-found time reading the news every day. This hasn’t been good for my mental health, but I haven’t stopped. I began today by reading this global survey by the Associated Press of what”s happening with Covid-19 around the globe. It reports that, as of now, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University in the U.S., more than 275,000 cases have been confirmed globally, including over 11,000 deaths — but at least 88,000 people have recovered. In Italy, the country now being hit the hardest, 5,986 new cases and 627 new deaths were reported on Friday alone, bringing their total to at least 47,021 cases and 4,032 dead.

To varying degrees, people in the U.S. (where I live) are staying at home more than they used to. Governors in California, New York, and Illinois — home to 70 million people — have ordered their citizens to stay at home unless they have vital reasons to go out. Other state governors will surely follow suit within days. In my state (Washington), it hasn’t come to that yet, but the governor has ordered the closure of schools and most businesses and restricted gatherings of people to relatively small numbers, and has pleaded with everyone to stay home even without being ordered to do so. That may change. As of yesterday, there were 1,524 confirmed cases of the virus in Washington and 83 deaths, most of all those in the Seattle area where I live.

The economic toll of all these preventive measures has already been extraordinary, and will get much worse (on that subject, this Washington Post article today is sobering, to put it very mildly). The unemployment rate in the U.S. is spiking, soaring toward levels not seen since the Great Depression. Tons of small businesses have closed, and many will probably never reopen. Giant corporations are begging the government for stupendous sums of money. Vital medical supplies, hospital beds, and trained health-care workers are running short in most metropolitan areas, and the expected tsunami of Covid-19 hospitalizations hasn’t even hit yet. It’s all very depressing, and worrying.

I do intend to pull together a round-up of new metal later today, but since a large percentage of us are basically shut in now, with only limited face-to-face contact with other people (or no contact), I thought I’d start this Saturday by giving our visitors, both old-timers and newcomers, a chance to talk with us and each other here. This is what I suggest:


another Seattle street scene


If you feel like it, tell us what has happened to you in this time of the virus. What’s happening in the community where you live? Are you shut in or still moving around? Are you out of work or still working, at home or in a business location that’s still open? Are you taking precautions even if not ordered to do so?

And how do you feel about the current situation? Are you in trouble or adjusting? How’s your toilet paper supply holding out? And how are you spending new-found free time? If you’ve found any new metal that’s helping you get by, feel free to share that too.


I’ll start things off. Those photos up above obviously aren’t downtown Seattle. Seattle is where I work (the job that pays me, not NCS, which doesn’t pay any of us anything), but I haven’t been there for 10 days. I work in an office environment, but my employer began allowing people to work from home about two weeks ago, and more recently told people not to come in to the workplace at all, but to work from home, which is what I’ve been doing. Those photos are of the road where my home is located, on an island near Seattle. That road isn’t usually very busy, but now it’s deserted. Things are usually pretty quiet here, but now they are silent.

My wife and I still take turns going to the local grocery store or pet store when we need to, or to put gas in the cars (but the gas in them now is gong to last a LONG time). Some days we go for walks (because we can do that here without encountering a soul), we watch a lot more TV (mainly movies), and read more. I’m not a musician, or maybe I’d be making music. Sadly, the small amounts of physical exercise I used to do have vanished. I haven’t gotten myself to the point of doing exercise at home, and I’m eating shit I should not be eating (probably a depressive reaction). It will be ironic if what we’re doing now to improve public health creates different kinds of health problems.

I spend a lot more time interacting with people by phone and social media than I used to. A lot of those interactions are with family members and friends who need to be talked down from various ledges, in the midst of panic attacks and other episodes of fear and anxiety. A lot of those people are out of work or fear they soon will be, and have no savings or health insurance.

Some people have always been reclusive, and so being “shut in” really isn’t all that new for them. Oddly, introverted and reclusive people are probably doing better than others in this new world. I’m not like that, and I’m already going stir crazy. Oddly, although I have a lot more time to listen to music and blog, I’m not taking full advantage of that, because there’s an uneasiness I can’t quite define. I catch myself feeling like I ought to be doing something more, going outside the home on the usual routines… something… and that jitteriness makes it hard to concentrate, as does the worry I feel for friends and loved ones who are in a bad way.

And that’s without having the stress of being out of work or broke myself. I’m one of the lucky ones in that regard. I can listen to other people’s problems and try to help, because I don’t need any help myself — or at least the little bit of help I need I can find in a bottle sometime close to sundown. I know I’m also damned lucky to be living in the midst of tall trees and ferns, surrounded by natural beauty instead of gazing out while I drink at barren streets, shuttered businesses, and empty buildings.

My health is good, and I fervently hope yours is too.

I’ll close with this evocative excerpt from another article I read today that takes stock of all the jarring changes brought by the last week:

“It was like 52 pickup, that sort-of-kind-of card game where someone throws up the deck and it lands all over the place, and when the cards are retrieved from the floor they are the same cards but in an entirely different order. Some are upside down. Some are facing backwards. Some are bent at the edges.”

And with that, if you feel like opening up yourself, please leave a Comment. And stay safe.


  1. Hey thanks for sharing what’s going on. I currently live in Laramie, Wyoming. I’ve been out of work for four years (life has a wicked sense of humor) and have been back at school at U Wyo for three getting a second bachelors. I hope things are on an upswing when I graduate Summer 2021 and am looking for a job. Really glad I’m not looking for this summer, though I had been hoping for an internship.

    Corona wise Wyoming is relatively quiet, about 20 cases so far, mostly in an old folks home in the middle of the state. No cases so far in Laramie. UWyo pushed out our spring break by a week, will be closing dorms by April and have moved classes for the rest of the semester online. Wyoming is slowly shutting down. They closed restaurants to dine-in service on Thursday but you can still pick up curb side. The rec center is closed. Our grocery stores are emptying, though if you don’t care about particular brand or flavor you can still find most everything. It’s incredibly unnerving to see so much empty space on the shelves at the stores.

    I read The Little Prince, read it if you haven’t, it’s wonderful! I would suggest a paper version for the full color drawings also by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I struggled through it in French class in high school but remembered exactly squat of it, if I understood anything at all. I understood much more in English!

    Bought a few albums on Bandcamp yesterday, the new Intronaut, pre-ordered the Irist album and finally got around to the latest Torche. I’ve also been refreshing my high-school French thanks to UTexas: . And just found out that Paris Saint-Germain has made all their videos free. If you like football or soccer all of PSG’s matches from this season are free during this mess: .

    Luckily I’m an introvert so don’t mind being a little shut in, and Laramie is small enough the missus and I can go for walks a few times a day for fresh air and sunshine.

    Hang in there. Hopefully the world comes out of this a little brighter. Maybe more people will finally realize that we are all in this together. It’s not me versus you, its me and you and life is difficult enough, even without corona, that we should always be helping each other out. OK enough hippy talk, back to some skull crushing metal \m/

  2. Hey Islander, glad to hear you’re doing okay.

    Here in Montreal, Canada there aren’t a lot of cases but then again our local (Quebec) government was really quick to react and close down public spaces and urge people to stay home as much as possible. On a personal level, my wife and I are lucky enough to be working remote – teleworking – so as far as funds go, nothing as changed. (Though I haven’t taken public transit since Friday 13 March.)

    The company for which I work allowed – even encouraged – teleworking for quite a while – 2, 3 years – before the pandemic so all remote systems are in place and colleagues are used to working from home and interacting with each other with Skype for Business, phone conferencing and the like – but not 5 days a week, mind you…

    We’re living in the northern part of town, only a few blocks walking distance from the Saint Lawrence River (Rivière-des-Prairies), so my wife and I can take walks along the shore. We’re really lucky in that sense and hope there won’t be any restrictions regarding going out and taking a breath of fresh air as there are in other parts of the world, or if restrictions like this are put in place, that it will be in a while…

    People here are respectful so that when we cross paths with each other, we switch from walking on the sidewalk to the middle of the street, to avoid transmission…

    Music-wise, currently listening to Cell – Ancient Incantations of Xarbos (2019). Also of note recently: Mimorium (2018, 2020 albums), Asagraum’s 2017 release, Voorhees – Chapter 2 (2020). Haven’t gotten to listen to Dark Fortress’s new release in its entirety yet. Myronath’s 2019 release made quite an impact. Must also give more time for Avslut – Tyranni, Bodyfarm, Fulci, Ectoplasma, Unbounded Terror… yeah, Coffin Rot, Graveyard, also…. 2019 was quite a year for Metal! Should listen more often to Skeletal Remains….

    Like I was saying, at work, we’re used to working remote so that I didn’t work any less hours than normal – yesterday was hectic… which accounts for not having more time for new Metal releases… I’m not complaining in the least and feel really grateful to have work as I’m fully aware that not everybody has this chance… There’s whole sectors of industry for which it will be hard to recover.

    So, yeah, like we’re getting used to say: Stay safe, people!

    • This is a really great post, comments and all. Lucky to be a part of this great place. Islanders nailed it with another quality addition.

      Now that that’s out the way, here near San Antonio, TX, it’s pretty much the same. People weirded out more than anything. I’m the introvert in my marriage so I’m definitely doing better than my wife.

      Read Islanders rundown to her and she connects with how he feels. She’s quite anxious so I’m just keeping her adequately dosed on some green meds.

      Life is good which is so sad to say since so many others are displaced and or grieving for one reason or another. I truly wish the best for everyone, but aside of treating a grocery trip as a visit to some contaminated theme park with tiered hours, not much has changed for me. I’m a student, unemployed, but very employable and am taking a different approach to my life at this point. Even before this virus. Our household is good albeit not financially secure for now. But I’m not overly worried, perhaps to a fault. More time for “new” metal discoveries!

      RealityFade had a great sale yesterday on Bandcamp. My taste in metal is similar to Vonluglio but I discovered an old 2018 album by Ineffable Demise that shreds who he made me very happy. Also picked up that Heteradelphy killer album. Most the other stuff on that label is too core for my enjoyment.

      Wishing all the socialites, elderly, and extroverts the strength and health they need to make it through these challenges. Hope all stay safe and continue working together.

      • You sound like your head is in a good place despite all the worries, which is encouraging to see. I’ve been increasing my own dosage of “green meds” and am finding it therapeutic. 🙂 Unfortunately, I can’t write worth a shit when medicated, so I have to ration it for the “do-nothing” parts of the day. I’ve been checking in with Vonlughlio via FB and he seems to be doing okay, and hopefully will pick something good and brutal to recommend soon. Since I spent nearly half my life in Austin, I spent plenty of time in San Antonio. Haven’t visited in about 15 years, but in olden times it was always one of my favorite places to be.

    • Sounds like you’re in a situation as fortunate as my own, and living in an area that’s taking its precautions seriously, and I’m glad for that. All those releases you mentioned are great — and you’ve mentioned one I haven’t explored (Voorhees-Chapter 2), so I will have to follow through on that. I have no doubt I’ll like it, given the matching up in your tastes with mine based on those other names. Be well!

  3. My wife and are more fortunate than most. Chrissy has been at home on disability for several years. I began working from home full time two years ago. I work for a hospital, so I have job security. The only reason I need to leave home is for groceries and prescriptions.
    That said, going out is very stressful. My wife has a highly compromised immune system, so I have to be extremely cautious. I over prepare when I go out, armed with a mask (one of the two cloth masks that Chrissy has owned for years), latex gloves, paper towels, and sanitizer. On more than one occasion I’ve found myself getting panicky when I’ve realized I’m surrounded by people, even though they’ve never been nearer than six feet.
    We both spend too much time watching and reading about coronavirus. We’ve been trying to escape a bit by catching up on all the movies we’ve missed over the past couple years. I’ve been writing/recording a lot of new music, checking out new artists, and watching concerts (mostly 80s metal) on YouTube.
    A couple days ago we learned that my stepdaughter and her fiance have both been laid off from their service industry jobs. They’re both in their mid twenties, and they have three children, a new mortgage, and car payments. They’ve filed for unemployment, but desperately need additional help to keep their heads above water. Our other daughter and her partner are still working, but their jobs put them at risk of exposure.
    We haven’t seen our kids or our granddaughter in person for a couple weeks. Because my wife is high risk, we’re very paranoid about any means of exposure. Everyone stays in touch via phone/text and social media. We don’t know when we’ll actually get together again. We just go day by day.
    I’m generally very calm and level headed during emergencies, but this pandemic has me pretty concerned and unsure of my next move. I’m worried, and I’m angry. Now more than ever I need a leader who I have confidence in, who I can look to for reassurance, who I can trust to be making well informed decisions. Our current leader is none of those things, and saying I told you so feels like a hollow victory, now.
    I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, next week, or next month. I’m trying to remain optimistic, but I’m failing. I’m extremely thankful for what we have, but I constantly wonder if it’s enough. I’ve never seen anything like this in my 50 years.
    Please stay safe, follow every precaution, heed every warning, and take this very seriously. What we all do now is of the utmost importance.

    • Man, I’m so sorry all this is happening to your family members and to you. I’m also fucking outraged at the crap job our national “leadership” has been doing, though I decided to keep that out of what I wrote in the post, since that really wasn’t the point. But it’s always in my head. Though I have little faith in the ability of the current federal government to be genuinely helpful, I’m keeping fingers crossed that the $1 trillion+ aid package that’s grinding through the Senate right now will succeed to making money available to people like your daughters and their families before things get truly desperate.

      • For the time being, my stepdaughter is planning on not seeking employment. Daycare for their three kids, whose schools are closed, would be too costly. They’re going to try to get by on unemployment assistance and the promised financial aid (if that ever comes).

  4. I’m in the UK and still go to work (we’ve been given the heroic tag of ‘key worker’ to make us feel better) while others begin self-isolating and will probably do so for the duration. It’s good to feel like my job might just survive this crisis but continued exposure to so many indifferent individuals is negating any feeling of security I may have had. I watch the TV religeously each day and witness the promises of assistance made by our government, wondering what the long-term cost to our country will be if the needy are truly bailed-out so generously and I wonder when this sickness will begin in earnest, let alone what will be left of us when it ends!

    • I hadn’t seen much news about what’s happening in the UK in more normal news organs, but did just read this piece by one of the The New Yorker magazine’s film critics (and probably the best and most entertaining writer of all the regulars there) about the UK situation. I didn’t even know he lived there! I don’t know if you can access this without being a subscriber, but here it is (not that you don’t already have a bird’s eye view of what’s happening):

      • Hi Islander,
        Thanks for the link – a synical take on our society and politicians but our stoic British attitude took thousands to beaches and National Parks yesterday.. their incredulous ignorance may soon cost the rest of us even sensible liberties.
        To get through this, I’m listening to our greatest British institution.. Motorhead! mixed with a little of the new Zifir album to add that apocalyptic element!
        Stay safe and well..

  5. I am in Milwaukee where like most places, there is a ban on any gatherings of 10 or more. Bars/restaurants/music venues/etc were all shut down this week. Although we do not have as many confirmed cases as other states (at least not reported) the state government is not taking any chances with this. Things have moved very fast though, and many people do not seem to be on board with a lot of the new measures. I have been to the grocery store and get outside every day to walk/run and people do not seem to be too concerned with social distancing.

    Like most of you I am currently staying at home, doing as much work as I can online. There is the possibility that I will lose my job but we are doing everything we can right now to stay afloat.

    One of my bandmates is currently sick (and has been since we played a show last week) but was unable to get a corona virus test due to a shortage in Wisconsin. He was told that unless you have traveled overseas or have a fever over 103 you are just sent home and told to quarantine yourself for 14 days. I still feel fine but it is a little scary that people are unable to find out if they actually have the virus.

    During this quarantine time I am definitely thankful for sites like NCS, and the last few days I have been catching up on all the things I missed during some very hectic weeks leading up to now. I am still in shock at how much the world has changed in a short period of time, but am thankful I have music to keep myself calm and sane. I have also had some fun watching old metal music videos from the 80s/90s that I never knew existed before this week. Most are pretty cheesy but it has been very entertaining so far.

    Stay safe everybody!

    • The lack of testing around the country is frustrating as hell. Along with shortages of personal protective equipment for healtcare workers, the lack of tests has been the biggest gripe in the local news here in Seattle, and the biggest source of apoplectic outrage. Allegedly, this is going to improve, hopefully not too late. People in this area seem to be doing a conscientious job of adhering to the social distancing mandates, but I just talked to a friend who lives and works in Clallam County, a mainly rural area a couple of peninsulas to the west of the island where I live, and he said people don’t seem to be paying attention to those recommendations at all. He also said the local Walmart sells out of guns and ammo as fast as they can re-stock. So that’s a different kind of craziness to go along with the first kind.

  6. Usually I’m a positive hippy type of metal liking guy (I feel you MuddyRavine) but when I come to write here all that comes out is complaining. And that bums me out.

    I’m glad I’m not sick, and no one I know is sick. My brother is a teacher, so he’s still getting paid and my parents are retired, but there are so many people with no money coming in and it makes me really frustrated. It’s hard not to get super butthurt at companies and leaders who get more well off and the rest of us keep struggling. And some things have stopped. But it feels like a light version of normal (with news of other places harder hit) here in central Texas. Maybe my scope is limited.

    I used to work on ambulances, and while it sucks to not to be out doing real work with people, it’s nice to not have the worry of exposing the kid or myself. Not that that’s a concern right now, since the wife and her moved up to Colorado last month. And my government job has kept me in damn Texas. Instead of moving to my house in the mountains, I’m stuck here with a job that has carried on like barely anything had changed. Everyone is in everyone’s space, ignoring other government department’s advice that caution against our behavior. That gets me riled up.

    Melodic mid paced stuff is getting me through it, keeping me relaxed and on an even keel. I listen to Asarhaddon’s “reysa” three or four times a day. I’ll probably stop, sometime. ” The Funeral pyre” by kvaen, and the last two albums from Sarastus enter the rotation consistently.
    It sucks to feel so useless and confined, (even though I have food, shelter, etc. I feel for the people with real struggles) when I need a cathartic ear blast I’ve even broken out Misericordiam’s “Unanimity and the cessation of Hostility” and “Mafia” by Fleshgod Apocalypse when I need my brain split by a chugfest of ridiculously fast drums.

    I thought I would play my guitar more, and finish the half done projects. But I don’t. The motivation is low!

    I eagerly await finding solace in my future mountain views with only an occasional bottle. But, to much “solace” not had given me the impetus to write so much here. Maybe that’s good, maybe its not.

    I love this site, I’ve gotten so much music from you guys. I appreciate all the work and personal touches, like today, that get put out. The idea of an internet community is tenuous, it’s hard for me to form electronic connections, but I appreciate you and everyone sharing their experiences. I’m going to go watch that Wolfheart video again. Bye.

    • I’m glad you felt like writing so much. My brother lives in Austin, where he and I grew up, and we talk every day. What you’re saying is in line with what he has been telling me. He is damned riled up too, but has a confidence I don’t have that American ingenuity is going to rally and whip this thing. I hope he’s right. Great playlist of music you’ve been listening to, and I’m grateful for the discovery of Asarhaddon. Hope you can re-unite with your family soon.

  7. Since there’s a couple folks checking out the ol 1980s metal, may I point you towards the Metallica Toronto 1986 show. This is from Dec, they were working through their grief of loosing Cliff and taking it out on Canadian stages. I saw them about a week later in Edmonton, they leveled the place. This video is a great document of a band out to destroy the world, just on fire.

    • Wow, never saw that video, and it’s fantastic. A great way to use up some of this new-found free time. Thank you. In their prime that band really was amazing.

      • Yeah, they really changed everything, sure there were louder and perhaps faster but the songwriting the ferocious attack, there wasn’t anyone that could touch them in 1986. I don’t bash them for changing, but they really aren’t the same anymore. But I think this vid catches them near their peak, just a monstrous destructive force!

  8. Glad to know you’re still healthy and able to isolate, Islander. I’m feeling better and recovering from an outpatient procedure. Sore but well.

    Here in Chattanooga, Tennessee we only have 8 known cases so far. No open dining rooms or bars in the city and most people avoiding those in the county. Stores are pretty wiped out on toilet paper, sanitizer products and a variety of food products. Lots of businesses are closed.

    I am a residential electrical contractor with one employee and we are still working on new construction sites. We haven’t had to share a site with more than two other people at a time for about a week now and are being cautious and conscious of each other. We are keeping water and soap supply on the van due to no availability of hand sanitizer.

    This is a most worrisome time for us all. I sincerely wish all you guys and your loved ones good health.

    P.S. Use your extra time to listen to more GOATWHORE!!!

    • GOATWHORE!!! Your battle anthem now and always. 🙂 But hell, a damned good way to go to battle. I’m glad you’re able to work while taking precautions, and wishing you and your loved ones continued good health too.

  9. Hi all, and thanks Islander. Glad you’re doing well!
    I’m South African, also a permanent resident of the US although I haven’t been stateside for half a decade, and I live in Hanoi, Vietnam.

    Last I checked we still have less than a hundred cases, zero deaths. 17 have recovered.
    The government having some more authoritarian swag than most has been able to lock down risk areas efficiently.
    I’m a teacher and haven’t been able to work for a month and a half (not salary, ikr), but started online classes this week which is great.

    Even though masks aren’t necessary unless u have symptoms, we’re not taking chances here. Luckily pharmacies have always been stocked with masks of varying degrees of efficacy because of construction dust and pollution that there isn’t a shortage. If you don’t wear one going to the store, you are ostracized.

    Misinformation spreads as quick here as anywhere else and so the govt has been using its propaganda machine effectively in battling it…yeah, who woulda thought it can be a good thing?

    The US administration can learn a few things from here, I think it was the first country to contain the last big virus outbreak and it produced WHO approved test kits in record time for this one.

    I feel safe, getting a bad case of cabin fever but I was forced to clean my room and surroundings because of a mold outbreak. We call it Moldy March for the change of season. Winters are cold wet and humid in the North, so the hot humidity of Spring brings all kinds of nasties. Urgh.

    Music-wise? I’ve literally just been listening to last year’s and older infectious lists. Kinda fitting.
    Otherwise I’ve not been reading as much as I should, mostly because the surfing game on my phone is more addictive than old Rotting Christ as well as watching too much Netflix. Season 1 of Punisher and both seasons of Happy are wonderfully dark.
    Book recs: Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen.
    Michael Lewis: The fifth risk
    Music recs: anything on I,Voidhanger. Especially the new Spectral Lore/Mare Cognitum split. Hours of escape.

    Peace, temet nosce and keep safe!

  10. Hi everyone,
    Here in Belgium, we’ve got 2500 infected & 60 deaths wich is way less than Italy & Spain.
    Everything is closed at least untill 05 april (but I think it will be longer) except food stores & pharmacy.
    Working at home for those who can is obligatory. In my case I’m on economic unemployment and my pregnant wife is not working (she’s still getting paid because she works for the city and it was their decision to send her home!). I will loose only 30% of my gross salary which is not that bad, thanx to our social services & governement.
    It’s only a week in isolation but I’m not a people person in general so I’m OK with it, only sad not to see my mother & grand-mother but hey, it’s for the best (I hope).
    Have plenty of PS4 games to finish and series to watch 🙂
    As for the music: thanks once again NCS, I’ve discovered Stoned God recently and it’s on repeat since I got the album. I bought the last Cremations too, a scorcher!
    Also: did you check the last Paradise Lost song? Wow. How can they manage to be still that good 30 years on?!?
    I hope everyone of you will be fine & sorry if my English is not good, I’m french speaking 😉
    Be safe!

    • Glad you’re weathering the storm — and damn, you’ve reminded me that I mean to include Paradise Lost in one of the weekend round-ups, but with luck I’ll get another one done for Monday.

  11. Glad to hear you’re well; I’ve found myself thinking of you and yours more and more as the news continues to come out of Seattle.

    My family is hunkered down, and we have enough space to get to spend nice days outside, which is helpful to avoid cabin fever. I still have to go to work, because apparently construction is “essential,” but I anticipate that changing in the coming weeks. My son’s daycare is still open for the moment, but I anticipate that changing as well.

    Thanks for this post; it was a really nice way to start the day.

  12. Losing most of my upcoming work. Likely have to take something low paying as most businesses are not hiring currently for most sectors. Besides that, pretty worried about my parents.

    Making as much art as I can. I’m very introverted but even knowing I shouldn’t be going out and the few things I would venture out for (gym, 1-2 weekly trips to friends, concerts, etc.) that I can’t now are also making me feel oddly uneasy and cooped up.

    *While I think this is a time where any higher degree of “coming together” is best, I’m with you in regards to already being pissed at the piss poor response U.S wise from the top down. I’ll save most of my venom for later but it’ll be hard for me to forget the trajectory of things when it did not have to be this bad. Nor did a lot of misinformation need to be spewed. Especially living in a red state where people love to ignore reality and the nature of how shit went down how it did…. (yet they’re the ones who argue the loudest and are the least informed regarding the shit they’re arguing about)

    I hope you and yours keep on the best that’s possible.


  13. I have been setting up online heavy metal happy hours to share in our misfortune. Had both coasts and the Midwest involved on Friday and it was a lot of fun.

  14. Lost work as I work at schools. Avoiding social media because its just making everything worse. Listening to Marlebog, Samayoi, and Ildra on tape, Wolvserpent and Merkstave on vinyl, and Jannerwein and Nilellerade fallilisthorstar on cd. Also been listening to a lot of Etta James online.

    I’m just north of you, I assume you live on Mercer? I heard West Seattle closed the bridge! Crazy. We are about to see a few wild weeks…

    My number one concern right now is the crazies thinking they are fighting for “freedom” and are going to over react to what is happening. After that its rent but I am good for maybe three months? See what happens.

    I hope 12 rolls is enough. I’m about a one roll a week guy, guess I’ll find out. After that got napkins. After some some paper towels. After that, I got a bathtub…gross haha.

    Been reading a lot of Sapolsky-Behavior and Camus- Essays on rebellion and death, which is brilliant.

    Also trying to figure out if my two bottles or so of liquor will hold me for at least these few weeks, and I just got a bunch of joints but they smoke more like an indica hybrid than a sativa.

    • I actually live out to the west of the Seattle metro area across the Sound. I hadn’t heard about a closing of the West Seattle bridge, but that would be a royal clusterfuck if it has happened — or at least it would if people had anyplace to go. The ferries are still running to and from where I live, though staying on the winter sailing schedule, with traffic down by 40%.

      What you’re reading sounds cool, and it seems like you’re probably okay on wiping materials, but if I had to look to the future with only two bottles of hooch I’d be having panic attacks. I guess the indica hybrids may help, but Im a sativa fan myself too, though not enough that I could walk away from the hard spirits.

      We are definitely in for some wild weeks, and I hope you keep your head above water.

  15. I’m located in northern Sweden. Things here are kind of ok with 2000 infected and 13 dead, but I have a feeling we haven’t hit our peak yet. There’s likley a huge numbed of infected that are not diagnosed since only those hospitalized are tested (wtf?). The government seem very reluctant to shut down all schools and quarantine the whole country. Which is understandable but from what I’ve read it seems like this thing won’t go away unless you viciously track and test all suspected of infection, something we aren’t doing for some reason. As of now only those admitted to the hospital (i.e. those worst affected) are tested.

    That said, me and the wife has been working from home the past two weeks due to both of us having various pre-existing conditions (asthma, heart disease) as well as our daughter being very susceptible to respiratory inflammations due to her asthma. She’s been allowed to be homeschooled for the foresable future so we’re all three couped up at home, trying to adapt to this new reality. Currently I’m the only one going out for groceries or medicine. We take walks and try to be outside as much as possible, while avoiding others. It’s a strange new world. I bought some dumbbells, a barbell and plates and we try to stay fit, both for our physical and mental health. We’re still cautiously optimistic about this personally, but I think it’s safe to say that we’re both extremly worried for our daughter, and the world.

    On friday Bandcamp had a 24 hr drive where all revenue of sales went straight to the musicians, so I bought a bunch of stuff I’ve been eyeing, mostly things I have on vinyl but not digital.

    Pakt, by Taake/Whoredom Rife
    Vinternatt, by Whoredom Rife Emissary
    Yellowing of the Lunar Conciousness, by Umbra Conscientia
    Kosmocide, by Deus Mortem
    Relics Of Inner War, by Cornigr
    Misotheist, by Misotheist
    1881, by GHERZEN
    The White Goddess, by ATLANTEAN KODEX

    What really gets me about this pandemic is how very self centered some people are. The odds that the majoirty of people will be ok is quite high, maybe a rough case of the flu-symptoms, but most will live. But some won’t. And it’s not restricted to old people, even people below 50 have been hospitalized or diedm and that seems to be the new trend if we don’t get our shit together. Add to that those who are immuno compromised like Godless angels wife or my mother in law. You are staying home or avoiding physical contact not just for yourself but for EVERYONE! You might not get sick, but those around you might and they might die. Or they need to go to the hospital, meaning there’s no doctor available when you come in after having a car accident or you slip in the bathtub. Have some empathy, we’re all in this together.

    And if you don’t have to go out, stay the fuck home and headbang!

  16. The virus is spreading slowly where i am. But everything is shutting down. People staying in for the most part. I am drinking more than usual. And exercising less than usual. I look for any excuse. Being isolated at home has opened up the door to this. It is not a good thing. But fuck feeling guilty. Here’s to good IPA. While listening to metal of course. A lot of ugly bestial war metal like Rites of Thy Degringolade. I just now looked up the word “degringolade” (an ugly fucking word if i ever heard one) as i write this, and it means: “a rapid decline or deterioration (as in strength, position, or condition)”. Ha! perfect.

  17. I am lucky in that the selective isolation really doesn’t bother my wife or myself. We’re homebodies to begin with, so staying in and lounging around the house is fairly common for us. I do understand that feeling of restlessness though, but I personally suspect that may have more to do with low level anxiety than anything else. We’re dealing with a lot of unknowns right now, while constantly being warned of worst case scenarios, so there’s a lot of waiting around wondering when that other shoe is going to drop. Anyone who lives with anxiety will tell you how common those feelings of restless energy and the inability to focus on things are when you’re in the middle of an attack. The trick is to keep yourself from getting caught in your head too much…easier said than done right now, I know..but if you can find something that distracts you it does help….especially if it’s physical. The more physically active you are, the better.

    For myself, I’ve been keeping busy getting caught up on the huge backlog of music, both new and old, that I’ve had sitting around. I hope to actually have that article we talked about up and running sometime in the not too distant future, but a few of the albums I’ve been spinning are:

    Helstar – Nosferatu (perfect time to get over your clean vocal aversion. Perfect album to do it with)
    Coffins – Beyond the Circular Demise
    Demoncy – Faustian Dawn
    Bastard Priest – Under the Hammer of Destruction
    Ritual King – S/T
    Hellvetron – Trident of Tartarean Gateways
    Moon Labyrinth – Lair of the Witch
    Obsidian Grave – Obsidian Visage of Everlasting Hate

    My reading choices tends to be on the lighter, more entertainment side of things. Right now I’m going through The Cthulhu Casebooks – Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows by James Lovegrove, which is basically Sherlock Holmes vs Cthulhu.

    Now that school has started again, I’ll be busy with projects, homework, and exams as well. Switching to a fully online curriculum is going to take some getting used to, but at least it’s something else to keep my attention until this thing passes

    Work is my big concern right now. MD hasn’t gone into full lockdown, but we’re closing in on it, and even though carpet cleaning would be filed under an essential job because it’s cleaning, there aren’t a lot of people knocking down doors to get it done. They’ve got bigger concerns like staying healthy and keeping food in the house. The good news is, I’m still early into my season, and things don’t typically get going for at least another month, so we’re used to/prepared for things to be slow right now. I’m just hoping they’ll have a better handle on this thing by the time May roles around and my season really gets started. Until then I’m just going to hunker down and try to enjoy the slower pace of life right now.

    • I think you’re right about what explains my own restlessness — low-level anxiety about the virus coupled with an absolute lack of any physical activity, which I really need to do something about. I didn’t know about that Sherlock Holmes book but am going to look for it. Sounds right up my alley. I’m on a sci-fi binge, but that’s really not a new phenomenon. I also hope things will settle down by May. Seems like we should at least be on the downhill slope of the curve by then.

      • (It’s not metal, but….) If I may ask, what Sci-Fi captures your interest? I really enjoyed the Expanse series by James S A Corey, The Culture series by Iain M Banks, and pretty much anything by Stephen Baxter.

        • Iain Banks might be my favorite sci-fi author, and I’m also a big fan of The Expanse series and of Stephen Baxter. Just off the top of my head, among living authors whose every book I will read, I would also name Kim Stanley Robinson, Neal Asher, Neal Stephenson, and Alasdair Reynolds. Recent things I’ve really enjoyed include the “Machineries of Empire” trilogy by Yoon Ha Lee, the duo of “Children of Time” and its sequel “Children of Ruin” by Adrian Tchaikovsky, and “Peripheral” and its sequel “Agency” by William Gibson.

          • I tend to stay on the horror/fantasy/urban fantasy side of things. Mostly lighter, quick and easy reads that just let you kind of sit back and relax. Authors like Jim Butcher, Benedict Jacka, Craig Schaefer and Richard Kadrey for urban fantasy or stuff by authors like Joe Abercrombie or Ari Marmell for fantasy…

            …and I really love the old pulp sword and sorcery authors like R.E Howard and Fritz Lieber. I’m always looking for more stuff like that

  18. Damn I only just got around to this post. Despite (or maybe because of) the lockdown I seem to have far less spare time than I used to, but try to keep up with NCS with a weekend binge.

    As I mentioned in an earlier comment, my wife and I (still sounds strange to me to say ‘wife’!) just moved from NZ to Shanghai shortly before Xmas, with her two children who I’m now effectively a father to. They had about 2 weeks of school in January then it was Chinese New Year holidays. That was when things started picking up in Wuhan and school effectively never went back and we’ve been in various states of lock down ever since (since late Jan).

    We’ve been lucky in that we moved over for my wife’s work, her job’s stable for now and we only moved as we knew her package will cover us all anyway. I had planned to finish writing a book I’ve been working on and then find work – but that’s all been put on hold now too.

    With the lock down all schooling has now moved online, and I’ve effectively found myself acting as a full time teacher/teacher assistant helping a 7 year old with multiple Zoom classes per day as well as homework and playing educational catch up as the schooling level in NZ is waaay behind what’s being taught here. The other kid, a teenager, hasn’t adjusted that well to online schooling either so also needs some help at the end of the day. Between doing that, popping out for supplies, keeping sane by going for a run every now and then, and trying to write as much as I can on the side I’ve ended up crazy busy despite officially being unemployed. I preferred working!

    Obviously there were initial missteps and mistakes by authorities in Wuhan trying to suppress news of the virus. Who knows what they were thinking, and I’m certainly not going to defend them. It seems like this has already become way too political so I don’t want to head down that route. But certainly outside of those initial mistakes the response here really has been impressive (for me as a foreigner) and thorough. Everyone wears masks, everywhere, and various things from the big picture, like building extra hospital facilities, making sure testing and treatment was accessible to anyone, to the small has been thought of. For example even in the immediate surroundings the apartment complex I’m in has limited entry to one gate (out of four) to control who comes in and out. All deliveries are dropped at the gate, which has resulted in massive piles of boxes to sort through. It’s the same in all complexes, which are the main kind of housing here. Luckily online food ordering and delivery was already the norm here so the infrastructure and market already existed to allow people to stay at home. We’ve been issued cards to show at the gate to get in, everyone has their temperature measured at the gate, and the same with anywhere you go – supermarket, temperature check – entrance to a mall, temperature check – back in the apartment, temperature check. Everything has been closed, even the park over the road (the Shanghai equivalent of Central Park in NYC).

    Things have progressively been reopened over the last few weeks but it’s a case of a slow return to normality rather than a flick of the switch and I imagine that will be how it goes everywhere else now. Businesses have more or less returned to normal but schools are still closed with no word on reopening.

    I’ve spent the last few months watching the news and hoping that the isolated cases outside of China wouldn’t escalate. I was never worried about the management here as it’s been so extreme it would be difficult for any virus to continue to spread in these conditions. But day after day watching the news that hope slowly faded and just in this week it seems like shit has really hit the fan and the virus has been spreading undetected pretty much everywhere. I think when this is all over people will really look back and wonder why the west was so complacent and caught napping – seems like everyone just thought ‘ah well, it’s a problem in China, not here’ and did f’ all to prepare. My home country of NZ is now in full lockdown for at least 4 weeks, but that doesn’t surprise me as the measures at the border were so lax it was inevitable it would get in there. At least they declared a lockdown early to stop it rather than wait and lock down once it’s out of control. Just this week China more or less closed the border as now the main risk is re-importing the virus from elsewhere.

    I’m thinking the most likely scenario now is that most developed countries will belatedly get their act together and manage to test, treat and contain cases of the virus in their own countries – including the US I hope. But while the headlines are dominated by what’s happening in the US and Europe I imagine it is spreading through poorer countries unchecked, and I think it won’t be until the worst is over in the developed world that attention will turn to the less developed. So travel restrictions and the threat of reintroduction from other countries will remain until there’s some level of global control or vaccine available. Even then, how do you vaccinate the whole globe?

    Just two years ago in 2018 was the centenary of the great 1918 flu, so it seems like we’ve been overdue a pandemic and got a late 100-year fuck you present 😉

    I’ve been keeping sane with cranking and rediscovering earlier releases like Lost Soul’s Atlantis (as I type), Darkend, Khonsu, Mencea, Agrypnie, as well as more recent releases like Deathwhite and making my way through my bandcamp wishlist, which is like a bookmark of releases I meant to get around to checking out.

    Thanks to Islander and all the writers here for keeping the NCS homefires burning.

    • Thanks again for this report, which is very interesting. I fear you are correct that the virus has spread everywhere undetected. It is certainly a rapidly growing scourge here in the U.S., and I shudder to think what it’s going to do to the poorest parts of the globe. I don’t think we’re anywhere close to returning to normalcy in the U.S., and probably weeks or a month away from the spread hitting its peak. The current hot zones are going to become healthcare disasters, and more hot zones are going to develop day by day. Glad you are managing to get some writing done in addition to all the other responsibilities.

      • Yeah when you see those exponential growth curves of rates of cases in the US it’s terrifying. I remember when it was 8000 cases and thinking ‘wow that’s bad’. Now that’s a drop in the ocean. There will certainly be overwhelmed healthcare facilities and, as you say, healthcare disasters.

        For all our modern technology it’s odd how it’s all come back to the very basic strategy of people just need to stay away from other people, as viruses need interaction to spread. So if that cuts way down, then the rate of new infection has to drop, which could limit how bad hot zones get. How well will it work? I don’t know. But it’s like watching a train wreck right now – it’s horrific but you can’t look away.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.