Scrog in Quarantine: The Beginning

Before I get into this, let me just say that none of you people know what the word "quarantine" means. "A strict isolation imposed to prevent the spread of disease." At most, what we're under is what might be called "restricted movement." For now.

That aside, this new way of living began for me (as it did for many) yesterday, when it became compulsory as ordered by both the mayor of Los Angeles and, to a more intense degree, the governor of California. I'm not sure why SO MANY PEOPLE were under the impression these rules went into place before then, but doesn't really matter now.

AVN, of course, being a "non-essential" business, switched over to work-from-home operations for all employees, something that's really quite foreign to me. Not that I've NEVER worked from home, but it's only been once in a blue moon, and I find it a little claustrophobic and a lot, well, ISOLATING.

This is a bit odd, I know, seeing as how the vast majority of the office experience at AVN consists of all of us toiling in our own little cordoned off bubbles—not to mention that practically everything we do (in the editorial department, at least) can very easily be done from home—but there's still absolutely something to be said for being AROUND other people, and for having a workspace that's separate from your home space, where you're supposed to feel unburdened and at peace.

OK, I'm starting to sound whiny when I'm perfectly aware I've got it pretty good under the circumstances, so let me tell you about a couple of the more gripping experiences I had on Day One:

To set the stage, one aspect of my job that definitely is NOT easily done from home is gathering and sending out screeners to all the freelance AVN reviewers. Yes, just about all AVN reviews are still done from DVDs, and my office is stacked floor to ceiling with them. Knowing that I was going to have to do something in order to keep the review cycle going, I assessed that I was going to have to make a renegade run to the office and gather up whatever I could to parse out over the indefinite time until things return to normal.

Just to make sure I wasn't going to land myself in any kind of hot water with this mission, I checked with our CEO, Tony Rios, and he essentially gave me the green light to go for it. So I cautiously headed out, wondering if I would get stopped by any police and have to explain that I was on a crucial porn retrieval expedition. I did not, praise Jebus.

At the office, I carefully pulled everything of prime importance, and some of not so prime importance, from my shelves and loaded it into four large bags. This was much like what I go though every year during awards time, when I'm constantly hauling huge bags of porn back and forth from the office to watch between meetings. But that's another topic for another day.

I also grabbed a few more items I knew I would be needing to keep the train rolling from home. Sadly, I realized later that I neglected to grab my voice recorder. Whether I'll go back for it remains to be seen. Anyway, it was then time for phase two of this exploit: sending out a shipment.

Would the post office be open? Would I be questioned about what was in the box of such dire importance that I would risk my own life and that of others to send it? I would soon find out.

By the time I got the package assembled, it was almost 5:00. I investigated and found out there was one post office open until 6 in Woodland Hills. I got back in my car and headed there, bringing a Sharpie to fill out the address info if needed.

When I got there, I found myself doing things I never would have before: using the hem of my shirt to pull the door open, not touching anything I didn't have to, consciously reminding myself over and over not to touch my face. I got to the counter, and the lady gave me an address sticker and told me to fill it out and come back. I went over to the long island they have for doing just that while you're in line, and pulled out my Sharpie.

And that's when it happened: a girl walked up to the other side of the island, saw me filling out the sticker, and said, "Oh, can I borrow that when you're done?"

My heart froze. How should I know she's not infected?, I asked myself. This could be it, this could be how I get it. I looked at her, kind of mumbled, "Yeah, one sec," and went back to the sticker. But my mind was racing. Am I being inhuman if I tell her no? Am I going to be one of THOSE PEOPLE? What have we come to? Why does she need my Sharpie anyway, there's a pen right there!

I'll kill the suspense: I let her use the Sharpie. And then I proceeded to handle it like it was somebody else's used Kleenex I had no choice but to transport.

Back to the matter at hand, though, the box o' porn was successfully sent on its way with no questioning or other hindrance. Thank god.

In closing, if I report sometime in the near future that I've contracted the covid, as I guess I'll call it*, I think we'll all have a pretty good idea how it happened.

I had another tale I was going to tell from yesterday, but I think I'll save it for now because this has been quite a bit of extracurricular writing for me on an off day, and I want to order pizza and watch Netflix now. Probably Walking Dead, but we'll see what strikes my fancy. Toodles.

*Please, can we decide what this thing is called? First it was coronavirus, then it was COVID-19, and now I keep seeing "the novel coronavirus." Make up ya damn minds, whoever decides these things.