That was the question the newscasters were asking themselves the other night on my local five o’clock news. Online education would not have flown with dial-up internet connections. Working from home would have been grounded too as virtual networks were not yet widely available and clouds were just weather phenomena. No personal protective equipment (PPE) would have been generated on 3-D printers. Frankly, it would have been an even bigger mess than it is now. Thinking of this makes me feel better.
That’s even before I realize that there were no streaming television channels and televisions were not only NOT smart, but were big and bulky in 1999. I don’t think Blockbuster would have been deemed “essential” so we would have been stuck at home, with only our big ol’ televisions, VHS tapes that we already owned and sewing machines. I really like the movie, “Blast From the Past” and I’ve watched it on streaming while observing the “stay-at-home” order. I have “Blast From the Past” on VHS tape too, so watching “Blast From the Past” is an example of something that for me is the same now as it would have been in 1999.
My sewing skills were no better in 1999 than they are today, and I have the same sewing machine I had in 1999 (I’ve been through dozens of computers). I would not have had the time available for mask making that I have now (unless we were ordered to not work, but stay at home), because I was not retired in 1999. Any masks I made would have been of similar quality to those I’ve made in 2020. I think the sheets I’ve been using to make masks were purchased well before 1999, so they, like my “Blast From the Past” experience, would be indistinguishable from 2020.
Sheltering in place would have meant that Phil and I were cooped up together with OUR kids. All that togetherness would have been driving us CRAZY. In 2020, sheltering in place is a solitary experience in my house: just me and my cat, Cinnamon. In 1999, our household pets were ferrets, which some say are a lot like cats, so household pet status goes in the “1999/2020 Similar” column.
All-in-all it would have been different, and the same. Different and the same sounds a lot like the recommendations that are coming down from our political leaders right now. Bill Clinton was president in 1999, and was going through his impeachment hearings. In 2020 President Trump was going through his impeachment hearings. Here we are again; different, but the same.
This past week I finished up my most recent round of mask making. These masks are my third iteration, and definitely my favorite (https://aplat.com/blogs/shus-notebook/diy-cloth-face-mask); however, as far as quality goes, they are the same as those that came before (even though they’re different).