Corona Virus Check-in Thread no. 3 March 23, 2020 11:35 AM   Subscribe

I can't improve on Gotanda's intro for the last check in thread so here it is again updated: A third catch-all thread for mefites living in areas directly affected by novel coronavirus (aka SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19) picking up from the last one. Again, please no idle speculation, catastrophizing, or chat. Let's stick to actual news, updates, personal experiences, and more mutual support from and to people dealing with this virus in their daily lives. How you all doing?
posted by glasseyes to MetaFilter-Related at 11:35 AM (1072 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

Not so well. I've been work from home for over a week since we had a coworker test positive. I've not left my apartment except 2 times to get mail. I have food, and can get deliveries but....I see posts of people going to parks and I don't know if I can keep just staying in all. summer. long.

I did have a Zoom virtual happy hour Saturday so that was a reprieve.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 11:49 AM on March 23 [7 favorites]


Our president just announced that South Africa is on lock down from Thursday. We won't be allowed to leave our homes except for exceptional circumstances
My husband and I have been in self imposed lock down since Friday. Only 2 weeks ago I was feeling silly about stocking up on basics. Now I am grateful to my past self.
Am very lucky to be able to work from home easily. Fear is a terrible thing. I'm trying to have compassion for everyone, we're all trying to make the world feel less frightening.
posted by Zumbador at 12:05 PM on March 23 [19 favorites]


I'm high-risk-ish (I have asthma) and am afraid to leave my house, because what if I touch something and get sick or, even worse, pass it on?? I will be shocked if a lot of people don't come out of this quarantine at least mildly agoraphobic, given how we're having to learn and dwell on all the dangers of going out.

In the meantime, while I stress, my husband continues to do the deliveries he makes his living at and worry very little about where he's going and who/what he's touching. He told me last night that if we get a shelter-in-place order, he wants to travel to his parents' house in another state and stay there instead. I was like "That is the OPPOSITE of sheltering in place, jesus fuck dude". I just can't with him, and I'm usually the only one who *can* with him. I'm out of "can"s.

I also can't convince my mother to stop going to her office. I can't convince my father to stop volunteering on the local ambulance corps and taking ambulance calls despite the fact that both he and mom are in the high-risk age group (I get the dedication, and it's good he wants to serve his neighbors, but good god man, let the younger people take the risk for a while). I'm an anxious wreck about them.

On the bright side (yay...), I'm socializing more with friends now, from home, than I ever did back in the pre-quarantine days. Zoom cocktail hours are surprisingly fun. I'm just really glad I have supportive online communities around me, because I think I'd have broken already if I didn't. I don't know how people who live(d) their lives mostly irl can even be coping right now.
posted by Hold your seahorses at 12:16 PM on March 23 [23 favorites]


I'm having a hard time. I just read "well people had to put their pets down during the Blitz because there was no food" and even though I KNOW that won't happen, I still burst into tears and went out to get some cat food. My first time out in 5 days.

I had an extremely stressful short walk to the pet food store. Multiple instances of men crowding me on fairly empty sidewalks. Do they not take this seriously? Are they enjoying the intimidation aspect? Fortunately I had my umbrella with me and used that as a shield. Then I cried again when I got home.
posted by Stoof at 12:18 PM on March 23 [48 favorites]


Self isolating in NYC and just filled with a perpetual sense of dread for how much of a hot zone this place will become in the next few weeks. I'm a generally healthy young-ish person but the uncertainty and feeling of instability is getting to me, and huge anxieties over the medical system becoming bottlenecked should I get sick, should my parents, should my friends or my friends parents, etc.

Working from home, but can barely focus or turn away from the news. People having conference calls and trying to conduct business as usual feels so trivial while waiting for the government to do these sorts of "how much mass death can we trade off for a functioning economy" calculations. This has been hard.
posted by windbox at 12:21 PM on March 23 [19 favorites]


Ontario's ordering the closure of all non-essential businesses. How long until we get delivery downtown by remote-operated mini robot trucks? That's the future.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:33 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


Self-isolating, thankful to still have a job I can do remotely, and having daily panic attacks about the potential for layoffs in my industry. Obviously this spirals into guilt because so many other people are having a worse time of it. Generally despairing about the future and really wishing I had another puzzle to do.
posted by Marinara at 12:34 PM on March 23 [7 favorites]


I was off last week, I spent most of it doing some home improvement projects to distract me, but I'm "back" at work working from home now. I work at a pretty big hospital and everything is on hold as all resources are put to use fighting this thing. Some of my teammates have been thrown onto the help desk to assist with all the people needing help working remotely. Every day we get a few COVID-19 update emails from various people in the hospital.

This sucks. Everything about it sucks. I am trying to stay positive but I'm stuck at home with my wife and a teenager who was already having a shitty senior year for various non-virus reasons and now pretty much everything is being cancelled on her and she's stuck with her parents, which, as cool as we are, totally sucks for her.

My mom lives in senior housing and I've been bringing stuff to her and just leaving it at the door for her to come out and take. She's old and unhealthy anyway and all I can think is if she dies during this we won't be able to have a wake or funeral for her. It's nuts.

I've prepared for snowstorms and hurricanes before but they always have a pattern to them and we know how it's going to play out. This time there is no playbook and no end date.

I have a trip planned for July and I figure if it gets cancelled that'll be the least of my problems but it still sucks.

Everything sucks. Everything. I know, all things considered, I have it ok though. I'm sorry for all of you who have it worse. I'm trying to do what I can but I feel like there's not really anything I can do.
posted by bondcliff at 12:35 PM on March 23 [31 favorites]


I'm in NYC but my roommate, who works for an org with offices in multiple cities, said her Chicago-based coworker's dad has just died of it.

Here in NYC... well my life is the same as it's been for two weeks, but the headlines say the city hit 99 dead this morning. When I talked to my parents on Friday it was 22. I just keep wondering how many times I'll see that number go up, and whether/when it'll include someone I know here. And that's not even mentioning my parents in NC who are old and not in the best health anyway.

I'm glad my job is one of the ones that has more work to do now, rather than less. It's good to have things to do right now.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:35 PM on March 23 [10 favorites]


Staying home, working from home. The case numbers in Arizona are still low... but there has been minimal testing so who knows what the hell we've got here. I've heard some anecdata from friends of friends who are under the weather and who have been told it's likely covid-19, but there's not enough tests so they can't get tested for it. My wife is still going to work (kinda hard to work from home when you work in a vet hospital) and that makes me kinda nervous.

Someone stole 29 test kits from a clinic the other day as they were closing. The kits are useless without a lab, but that's just more capacity off the table. Meanwhile, a pic was shared online yesterday of someone at a street corner selling TP for $3 a roll out of their truck, as well as other supplies. I have to question the wisdom of that, since even though it's a tough commodity, you're opening yourself up to being robbed and/or assaulted, and I don't know that the police would really put much into investigating that.

It's gorgeous weather out, though. 75 and sunny. I'm glad I can go for a walk around here without running into anyone.
posted by azpenguin at 12:40 PM on March 23 [8 favorites]


Solo quarantined here in NYC. I live 2 blocks from Central Park, and have been trying to go for walks, but there are so many people out there. Out of work for the foreseeable future. The husband of the last person I had close contact with had a positive Covid-19 test yesterday, so I presume it's only a matter of time for me. Hopefully I get a mild case?

This all sounds so dire, and it is, but it was my birthday yesterday and I talked to a ton of friends and family and I felt so loved and cared for and supported. Which is pretty much the best thing.
posted by mollymayhem at 12:59 PM on March 23 [25 favorites]


I wasn't really affected when the previous check-in threads were posted, but I've posted a few times on the Fucking Fuck thread, which has become one of my favorite threads of all time.

I'm in treatment for cancer, and I need to go to the Cancer Center weekly for chemo. How can I even begin to count the concerns I have? I'm in Michigan, and the cases in my county are still in the double digits, but that's clearly going to change.
So - will they keep treating me for cancer? Will my hemoglobin continue to go down, as it has for the last month, so that I need a blood transfusion that they can't give me because of the blood donation crisis? Will chemo drugs continue to be available? If they are available, will someone decide administering them isn't a great use of the nurses' time? Will I get infected from having to go to the cancer center? Since I'm immunocompromised, if I do get infected, will I die? Will they even bother to try to save me, since I'm old and a cancer patient? My kids live across the country - how will they take care of the practicalities if I do die?

I might be hopelessly naive (please be kind), but I tried to bring some attention to the blood donation crisis. People seemed responsive on Next Door, and MeFites were so amazing, it literally brought tears to my eyes, but then I tried sending messages to mildly famous people I follow on Twitter, almost all of whom tweet about health and wellness issues, though a few are progressive religious types. I asked people to retweet the Red Cross' tweets on the blood shortage. The only person who did so is a theologian at Duke who has cancer. I felt really gutted by the lack of response - and as I said, I might be terribly naive. But people are going to die from this blood shortage. They just aren't going to die directly from coronavirus. In one case, I had replied to someone who said he was a health professional and would do "anything he could" to help with the crisis. But apparently that doesn't extend to retweeting the Red Cross.

So maybe it was crazy of me to think that I could do something that way. But now I just feel like all of these people are just wanting to build up their fucking brands. One of them is a doctor I have actually seen as a patient. I emailed him, and he said that it's an individual choice because of the risk of infection. In the meantime, he's tweeting for people to patronize his fucking restaurant.

I hope it's OK that I've said much of this on the other thread. I just felt gutted by this experience. My granddaughter needed a blood transfusion in December, before she was even born. And it just feels like all of these people I respected don't give a shit.
posted by FencingGal at 1:05 PM on March 23 [46 favorites]


I work at a W*mart in Washington, and I'm so tired. We're getting about double our normal freight every day and still can't keep the shelves stocked.

On Saturday a woman broke down in the aisle when I showed up with a cart full of beans/rice/pasta. She said she hadn't been able to find anything else on her list.

Every one working here just assumes it is only a matter of time before the virus hits us but nobody can afford to miss work. Our managers are almost entirely absent. They watch the cameras from their office and give orders to the team leads over radio.

And if a pandemic wasn't enough my car died last Tuesday. So my normal 45min round trip commute has become 2.5 to work by bus and 2 hours home by bike. Wednesday/Thursday are my days off and I'm hoping I can get my car running. I think it's just the water pump.

Before all this started I was looking for a new job but I guess that's on hold for now.
posted by Tenuki at 1:09 PM on March 23 [61 favorites]


Fun times here in west Alabama. Our big regional hospital set up last week for drive-thru coronavirus testing, which you'd think would be great for getting a handle on the extent of the outbreak. But then they had to cancel on like the third day due to rain. Then most of the hundreds of tests they did do got spoiled on the way to the testing center. Then they were closed over the weekend. Then they just had to cancel Monday's testing... due to rain.

Still just 11 confirmed cases here, but it must be at least an order of magnitude higher.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:17 PM on March 23 [9 favorites]


I'm really scared. I'm in NYC and safe. My job is virtual until 4/20 at least, and then we'll see. I'm supposed to move to Alaska for another job in April. What if the movers won't come? What if they shut down travel to Alaska? I already had to move my travel up to comply with a local isolation order for new arrivals. What if I get hired, then get laid off if the libraries have to stay closed? What if I get sick and don't have any accrued time? What if I get to the Anchorage airport and they send me back, and now I don't have a place or a job? What if my parents get sick and I can't go to them? What if my wife gets sick before we have my new healthcare? What if my wife gets sick now, with her family, away from any in-network health care? What if they close the libraries everywhere because we're too essential to close without fighting with the mayor, but too disposable when they set next year's budget?

There's so much and I can't do anything about it.
posted by blnkfrnk at 1:23 PM on March 23 [11 favorites]


Here in Illinois we are all sheltering in place. Which still allows for jogging in the park and trips to get groceries, but I've been physical distancing for 10 days now and it's getting rough. I had intense nightmares last night. I don't know when we will be able to get out again.

I am teaching elementary school online which is going fine but is really, really not ideal. The kids are troopers, but many are sharing computers with a parent who is also working from home. I'm offering flexibility and grace, I am trying to make sure everyone knows that everything we are doing in "school" is a resource, not a requirement.

I need to go to the doctor for a non-coronavirus reason and even though the health system is not yet overwhelmed, my clinic is being really weird and difficult.

I can feel angry about all this for a few minutes at a time, then it just lapses back into helpless anxiety.
posted by mai at 1:28 PM on March 23 [8 favorites]


So VA schools are now closed for the rest of the academic year, and my anxiety is starting to ratchet up again. If it was just me, I'd probably win social distancing, because I'd just hunker down with all of the extra food I previously stocked up while doing regular shopping runs, make a lot of bread, knit, read and watch netflix. At my former job I worked from home 3 days a week, so I slipped right into the routine I had back then. But now it's not me and the dog hanging out all day, it's me, the dog, Big Purr who does not have the temperament for telework (extroverted, FOMO, job is basically direct client services) and Little Purr, who is now at home ALL THE TIME. And there is this sort of added guilt that if we're not optimizing the homeschool experience, then they'll be missing out. LP has been meeting expectations, so I'm not worried about their academics, but they're going to be away from direct contact with friends for several months before this is over. And they won't be able to hug their kindergarten teacher until next year, when they'll be moved up to 1st grade :(

I have this reoccurring feeling that the coronavirus is the Passover "angel of death" stalking the streets, looking to see which door has been marked with lambs' blood (aka who has social distanced enough). We have driven 4 times in the past week an a half, and done some takeway. Playgrounds are now closed in the area. Will this be enough? agh. The second half of today has been a wash, work wise as I just can't focus. And having my family here ALL THE TIME is not helping, as much as I love them.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 1:29 PM on March 23 [16 favorites]


I feel like the people I know are divided into two camps: those who are really stressed and those who are really bored. For example: my friend is trying to work from home while also guiding her kids through distance schooling while schools are shut. In contrast, I'm bored stupid because I got laid off until the libraries re-open and everything that I used to do for fun is now off the menu. And the frustrating thing is that I can't help my friend, and she can't help me.

I applied for unemployment and I am now officially on the dole. I am not going to panic unless Libraries re-open and they do not bring me back as a sub. Right now there's no reason to think that they won't, but WHO KNOWS.

Today I was Speedy Delivery for my parents (in their 80's, poor health, at home) and my sister (late 30's, healthy but paranoid, shut in her house). I went to the grocery store for them and delivered their bags to their back doors. We waved through the windows.
posted by Gray Duck at 1:30 PM on March 23 [13 favorites]


i just almost made my ups delivery guy wet his pants bc my voice is very creaky today and he thought i was in the end stages of plague death when i asked if he needed a signature. sorry ups guy, this is just how i sound.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:41 PM on March 23 [15 favorites]


UK lockdown just announced.
posted by paduasoy at 1:42 PM on March 23 [9 favorites]


In NYC the death toll just went over 150, after sitting at 99 this morning. Yesterday I had to take my son to the ER for a non-COVID19 reason, and as soon as I walked in and was faced with having to tell the entry security guard in full face mask and gloves what I was there for, I just broke down and had to try three times before I could talk to say what we were there for. He's fine, we're home, and I'm not going anywhere for the next couple of weeks except to walk the dog, but there goes any last hope that we'll see my mom or my in-laws for the Passover seders (TBH it was only a 2% chance anyway, but yay one more thing to beat myself up over).

And despite all that I've been mostly holding it together, but I just read that Columbia Presbyterian Hospitals announced that women in labor and delivery can no longer have guests, including spouses / partners, and even though I'm starting menopause and it won't ever apply to me, that was the thing that tipped me over the edge. I just can't even.
posted by Mchelly at 1:49 PM on March 23 [18 favorites]


The last couple days I've had a mild cough but more concerning, mild shortness of breath. No fever yet thank goodness. It kinda feels like I did when I was finally diagnosed with walking pneumonia a few years ago (but I had a much much worse cough then). In our pre-covid19 world I wouldn't really be that concerned... it would just be an annoyance i'd be aware of. But we dont live in that world anymore. I've had possible exposure to the positive case at work. I dont want a test, I just want to know what to do! When do I seek medical attention - how bad does it have to get before I need to be one of the ones taking up space in system? I had a crazy bad flu last year and I'm using that as my guide - if I have to sit up to be able to breathe enough to sleep, its time for help. Is that the right criteria? Who knows... the symptom checkers are way too vague. Our medical help line for these types of questions is also overloaded.

Anyway, I'm self-isolating obviously, have been for 10 days now, but eventually I need to get groceries again. Delivery is not an option - any place that delivers is completely overloaded. I have a limited support network, and the people I do have are already overextended. Heck, i'm a large part of the support network for my 70+ parents. I dont want to go out, I really, really, really dont.... but I'm physically capable of it. There are people who need help more than I do, I dont want to take resources from them. But I dont have a mask... what else can I use, for example? I do have disposable gloves, thank goodness, left over from a project last year. Stay tuned for my ask.mefi question if I cant figure it out.

TL:DR - mild shortness of breath + possible exposure + anxiety = not a great day today.
posted by cgg at 1:52 PM on March 23 [12 favorites]


Second week of self-isolating here in sunny Birmingham and have just watched Boris announce lockdown. I am frankly worried as an overweight diabetic of a certain age, and the normally unflappable Mr MMDP was very upset indeed an hour back just thinking about the threat to us, family and friends and also about what we might be facing after the immediate threat is over. Also Dad MMDP is 85, in end stage kidney failure, asthmatic and claustrophobic (having to stay in is tantamount to a small cell for him). It's going to be a case of the devil in the detail as far as dad goes - can we shop for him, how do we get him to and from dialysis, how do we stop him crawling up the walls when he can't get out?

Things are eerily quiet at the moment round here, but it's going to get even quieter. It doesn't sound like home any more.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 2:06 PM on March 23 [9 favorites]


I feel like that too, cgg. I can't tell if it's anxiety. Guess I'll keep staying inside and keep an eye on it.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 2:08 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


It's hard to be sure of the UK lockdown details as it's still in the 'Live' section of the paper. From what I can see what is allowed is:

"Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
One form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household
Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home
That’s all – these are the only reasons you should leave your home.
You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say No.
You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home. You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine — and you should do this as little as you can. And use food delivery services where you can.

Also: "If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.
To ensure compliance with the government’s instruction to stay at home, we will immediately close all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing and electronic stores and other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship.
We will stop all gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with.
And we’ll stop all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals.

And: "Minutes after the prime minster’s announcement, police made it clear the details of the enforcement of the lockdown were still being determined."(Vikram Dodd)

I hope this means we can continue to drop off shopping for my daughter who is self-isolating and whose needs nor her child's aren't being met by erratic food deliveries. Also, that my walks in the wood can continue - it's been such a dreary wet grey year people need to get in the sun now it's here or there'll be real health repercussions. There aren't very many people around and we steer clear of each other.

Really lost my temper today at somebody who wanted me to 'vent' in order to 'get real' and 'share'
posted by glasseyes at 2:29 PM on March 23 [11 favorites]


I think Washington state may be about to go on mandatory lockdown. The governor scheduled an address tonight to announce “enhanced strategies,” and, well, there’s not much else we haven’t already done.

I phoned our 91-year-old neighbor who lives alone, offering help in case her daughter isn’t able to make her usual visits from out of town. She was in quite good spirits, and said she’s been enjoying the good weather and talking to friends on the phone now that they’re all stuck at home. She was also fascinated by the scope of the pandemic, saying it was like nothing she’s ever lived through before.
posted by mbrubeck at 2:38 PM on March 23 [13 favorites]


glasseyes, it looks like you can still pass by your daughter's house with groceries, but if you can, I think you should compile a big box of stuff that can sustain them for a while. You never know when the government is going to tighten the rules like they've done now in Italy. I don't now how bad your daughter is feeling now, but some of it might have to be stuff your grandchild can heat up. Maybe you can prepare something for their freezer?
Remember chocolate and fruits.
As I read it, you can still go for a walk - get out in the sun every day, so you don't get other ailments!
posted by mumimor at 2:47 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


I work in public schools and so have been off work since last week, though they're saying we should be ready to do ... something ... remotely starting next week - IEP meetings and evals at least, I guess, though it's really not clear what else. I'm currently in a clinical fellowship year, meaning I'm supposed to get a certain number of hours working with students in order to complete my certification, so I'm mildly worried about that - but it helps to remember that lots of other people are in the same boat and something will have to be figured out for that one way or the other. I've been managing pretty well with being home so far and am glad my wife is able to work from home, too. I'm mostly hanging out with her and our dog, reading, and playing a lot of video games.

The one thing that is absolutely killing me is that every. fucking. TIME I've called my mom down in Florida, she's been on her way to or just coming back from some fucking outing. Golfing. Going out to lunch ("Don't worry, they're making us sit far away from each other!"). Picnic in the park ("oh, we're all sitting at our own table!"). Driving range ("it's just the same as going to the park!"). She lives in that huuuuuge Ocala retirement community and it sounds like nobody there is taking it seriously enough (my aunt, who also lives there, is still having contractors in to redo her baseboards and upgrade her carpet while simultaneously trying to bring home my uncle, currently in rehab with multiple serious health conditions). I know I'm already considered the family chicken little so there's pretty much nothing I can say that is going to be taken seriously, so all I can do is vent. I'm making a point of not asking her what she's up to when I call, but it keeps coming up anyway and at this point I feel like I just need to stop calling at all - which is the opposite of what I want to do. I WISH they'd order a lockdown in Florida but I'm not holding my breath for that. So fucking frustrating.
posted by DingoMutt at 2:53 PM on March 23 [14 favorites]


lost my temper today at somebody who wanted me to 'vent' in order to 'get real' and 'share'

win, win!
posted by 20 year lurk at 2:55 PM on March 23 [8 favorites]


Yes indeed, thanks. She was better when I spoke to her today, not sounding breathless at the end of a sentence. Her self-iso ends in @ a week, she's thinking she will be called back to school - the fact they're not testing is so stupid. The whole schools thing is not worked out at all well. The kitchen jobs are part time and low paid and they have a preponderance of single parents working as it fits in with kids being at school - it's one of the few jobs sustainable as a single parent. Whoever's deciding on who should stay at work and whos kids can stay at school hasn't factored this in at all

This is incoherent, I'm thinking of 2 different young women
posted by glasseyes at 3:01 PM on March 23 [4 favorites]


I think Washington state may be about to go on mandatory lockdown. The governor scheduled an address tonight to announce “enhanced strategies,” and, well, there’s not much else we haven’t already done.


Good. I hope so. I was honestly getting a little anxious seeing all these places that hadn't been taking things seriously decide they needed to lock down, where as here where the first cases were reported, there's been no legally enforced order. I mean the initial steps seemed to be taken swiftly and the virus taken seriously - I'm just starting to worry a lack of vigilance might keep us from stopping things as fast as we could.

It's now officially 3 weeks since my work shut down here. It's... going ok. Finally got my unemployment application in. Honestly, my lifestyle isn't that much different from other times I've been unemployed, since a lot of my friends I keep in touch with online through discord and video games anyway, but... I feel more stir crazy not even getting to plausibly imagine going out and Doing Things. My parents, thankfully, have been taking things seriously and I've been keeping in touch. I just hope it's enough.
posted by Zalzidrax at 3:02 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


I am so pessimistic that I have become utterly toxic and realize that it’s best that I not share my dark projections. In other words, don’t get me started.
posted by Jode at 3:07 PM on March 23 [19 favorites]


Salt Lake City:

We are still feeling aftershocks from last week’s earthquake, and we are expecting a surge in community spread following last night’s missionary return cuddle party. (Miss me with the reflexive Mormon-bashing, please, but take my word: there is no better place to witness lack of situational awareness en masse than land-side at Salt Lake International. We Utahns generally are so dang bad at respecting personal space and checking in with our surroundings.)

I’ve been rather lucky: new boss seems great and is patient as we iron out the wrinkles of working from home, and I don’t have to video in, so I can work out in between emails. Husband and I have both had a shallow, dry cough for a couple days. We are self-isolating to the extent that certain bull-in-a-china-shop relatives give us our space. (See again, re: Utah situational awareness.)

My dad is not one of those relatives. He is my last surviving ancestor, and he lives just half a mile away. He’s 69 years old, and it’s killing me not to be able to meet him over a pint (or at all). I don’t want to be an orphan. Those huggy airport families better go to their rooms and think about what they’ve done.
posted by armeowda at 3:10 PM on March 23 [6 favorites]


The govt was in the middle of sending letters to 'the vulnerable' telling them to stay home and pointing them at helpful services for instance, I think if you have this letter you can get priority in the food delivery queues. I'm wondering if this is now superceded by the lockdown? My girls have asked me to let them know if we get one ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I suppose it's a possibility.

The reversal of not being the one who rushes in to fix everything but instead make myself available to my children to be fixed is mentally quite challenging.
posted by glasseyes at 3:14 PM on March 23 [4 favorites]


Virginia is on mandatory lockdown for the next 30 days. Hopefully that will flatten the curve here. I'm locked in with my wife and adult son. I got a 5-mile hike in yesterday, which was very helpful.

Also, as a former homeschooler (neither kid ever attended school) don't stress about the education stuff. As long as the kids are learning something each day it doesn't matter what they are learning. Improving their reading skills by reading Harry Potter (if they are younger) is just as legitimate an educational activity as anything else. Older kids focusing on a passion project or hobby intensely for the next couple of months is fine too. Kids are resilient - you aren't going to do any permanent damage to their education over the balance of this school year.
posted by COD at 3:17 PM on March 23 [24 favorites]


I just joked that LP was learning about the gig economy from the various Dr Panda apps they were playing all day, so yay?
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 3:24 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]


Arg. My parents are coming back from a trip to New Orleans (I'd managed to beg off with-refund, but they weren't about to be deterred), and due to airline chaos they have an overnight layover in my town.
And on the one hand, I don't like the idea of resetting social isolation (might've as well gone on the trip at that rate, infection-wise);
but on the other hand, there's no way to reasonably say "You should stay in a hotel despite nobody showing symptoms" without it being more of A Thing than I'd want to handle. Hospitality of the home and all that.

I suppose perhaps this evening's gubernatorial media conference might force matters.
posted by CrystalDave at 3:30 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


Virginia is on mandatory lockdown for the next 30 days.

Wait, what? What do you mean by “lockdown”? I don’t believe that Northam said we’re on lockdown, not even a “stay at home” or “shelter in place” order — but maybe I’m wrong or we’re miscommunicating?
posted by rue72 at 3:30 PM on March 23 [4 favorites]


What worries me about the education situation, COD, is the probably inevitable widening of the gap between the children of better-off families and the most deprived children. "Summer learning loss" is a thing (a couple of links if anyone is interested: Are summer holiday experiences putting poorer children’s mental health at risk?; The cost of school holidays for children from low income families). I realise "vulnerable children" (definition unclear) are still able to be in school, though not taught the national curriculum, but not sure that is going to be taken up widely or make a lot of difference.
posted by paduasoy at 3:35 PM on March 23 [8 favorites]


My understanding was that here in VA the announcement was closing schools and closing non-essential businesses. Nothing that I heard about lockdown or shelter in place.
posted by brilliantine at 4:09 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]


I'm self-isolating obviously, have been for 10 days now, but eventually I need to get groceries again.

Have you tried asking mutual aid? Or even a neighbor you don't know well? Right now it's in everyone's best interest to make sure you can stay home while you're sick.
posted by Margalo Epps at 4:09 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


> What worries me about the education situation, COD, is the probably inevitable widening of the gap between the children of better-off families and the most deprived children.

Yes, I'm knee-deep in school-age children. I know kids who go to private school and are still getting formal education from their teachers. Mine, going to public school, are not.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:10 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


My husband and I are good at staying at home, he's been saying it's practice for retirement. What worries me is he might have to go back and babysit key workers kids at the school, and he takes public transport, which seems like a bad mix plus I'm selfish and afraid to let him leave the house. We have no idea tho! They closed the schools, realised oh shit nurses have kids, and are scrambling to figure out what they're doing and not telling the teachers a damn thing. They got the notice that all exams were cancelled *in the middle of an exam* that they were now not going to mark or even use for grade evidence. It's a right clusterfuck.

My brother is immuno-compromised due to medication and my parents think they count as young and healthy still, they're staying home except for food shopping but I feel like I'm going to be holding my breath for months.
posted by stillnocturnal at 4:18 PM on March 23 [4 favorites]


i think i have to stop watching the task force blatherings. but for those, my mental health is ok.... though i do get a bit choked up at other odd times somewhat more frequently than i'm accustomed to.
posted by 20 year lurk at 4:18 PM on March 23 [6 favorites]


Allegheny County, PA here. I made the mistake of turning on the news for one of the major networks for 15 minutes this evening and it provoked an anxiety attack, so there is that. I switched to the Food Network, now I'm listening to a mystery on one of the Hallmark channels.

Spouse and I have been gradually stocking up for several weeks, so when the edict came down we were well prepared. My employer ordered all employees to WFH before measures for social distancing were put into place in the county, so I already had all equipment at home.

Kiddo's school is closed until at least mid-April, with indications coming from the superintendent's office that school may be closed until the end of the year.

And now the governor has put in a Shelter at Home order for multiple counties, including Allegheny until April 6.

I've been at home for nine days. I developed a what appears to be a massive sinus infection at the beginning of last week. As I have asthma as well, there has been a lot of tracking of symptoms, measuring of temperature and checking of other vitals. Neither spouse or child is sick yet, but I'm quietly monitoring them as well.

Spouse is doing necessary runs. The next time I leave the house will be next week for allergy shots, which I cannot miss.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:22 PM on March 23 [7 favorites]


I'm on full lockdown in the UK after BoJo's announcement tonight. I'm much luckier than most - before coronavirus I'd worked from home 4 days a week for a few years, so changing to 5 days a week isn't much of a stretch for me.

I live alone, next to a forest, so it's relatively easy for me to get out into the open air away from other people. I also have a small garden, so I'm not confined indoors. I am very, very privileged compared with most people. As an introvert, I'm used to my own company, and I have TV, internet, radio, books. I'm doing just fine for now.

We have a WhatsApp group in the street and are sharing our supermarket delivery slots so neighbours can add a few things to each other's orders. I also found a wholesale fruit and veg supplier who, now the restaurant trade has dried up, has changed to home deliveries, in small, veg box-sized, quantities. I already had a small stockpile of dried and tinned food I'd put together in anticipation of a no-deal Brexit last October, so I have plenty of pantry items and I'm a good cook.

A neighbour is a physiotherapist in the NHS, specialising in people with breathing difficulties in the ICU, so right on the frontline. Yesterday she told me (by text) that she'd lost her sense of taste and smell (symptoms of COVID-19) but she had been told she has to go into work and would not be tested unless she showed serious symptoms. Insane.
posted by essexjan at 4:23 PM on March 23 [30 favorites]


For me, now that I have supplies sorted and am ready to hunker down, today is the first day where I've had time to register the sheer volume of suffering taking place. Gosh.
Metafilter is tremendously helpful.
thanks for being here!
posted by abuckamoon at 4:25 PM on March 23 [9 favorites]


I'm in Monroe County PA, so we're under a stay at home order starting at 8 PM tonight.

Meanwhile, today was our first day of online classes at the college. I'm very happy that I only had three preps this semester and not four, but still, getting a 13 credit hour teaching load online has been a whirlwind. (Plus four independent study / research students whose projects are all a big question mark now.) Our course management system was really showing the strain today, unsurprisingly - there's never usually this many people trying to access it at once. If we don't get that system improved, we're gonna have a lot of problems.

Also meanwhile, I continue to play a fun game of "is my breathing problem a virus or severe anxiety?"
posted by pemberkins at 4:41 PM on March 23 [4 favorites]


Last year, American Science & Surplus was selling a box of (I think) 25 extra small N95 masks cheap, so I bought a box. Tried one on, but my face is too big. Put them away. When my wife came back from Beijing at the end of Feb., she asked me to find some masks she could send to her mom. I dug out that box of XS masks, and they fit my wife & daughter. By that time, the drugstores were all cleaned out, but I knew hardware stores also sold N95 masks, and I got some at Lowes. Today, I found that the wife had sent all of the N95 masks except for a few of the XS ones to her mom in China. No N95 for me. I am solidly in the at-risk population, on a number of counts.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:51 PM on March 23 [7 favorites]


Western MA (US) here. Things are still pretty quiet, not too many confirmed cases yet... although, of course, not too much testing, either. We’re lucky to have a reasonably well-stocked pantry, and plenty of outdoor space for the dog. I’ve been using the excuse to get some yard work done—gets me outside, and gives me some exercise. Honestly, the worst we’ve experienced iso far apart from limited stock oat the grocery store is having to cancel a trip to NJ this past weekend. Which is a bummer, because I was looking forward to seeing some friends and really excited to see the Andrew Wyeth exhibit at the Brandywine River Museum of Art… but it’s not exactly a great sacrifice. So, we’re doing okay, but at the same time we know it’s going to get way, way worse before it gets better.

My non-local acquaintances are all taking this seriously, which is good. Family, perhaps, somewhat less so. I have a relative who works in NYC who probably should have handled things differently. But I’m most worried about my grandmother. She’s 88, and although she often spends weeks at a time at my aunt and uncle’s, right now she’s alone at home, and probably too stubborn to leave. My mother at least, despite her political leanings, appears to be taking this reasonably seriously; her husband is high-risk, just had some heart procedures and is in need of a kidney transplant, so she’s anxious for his safety. But all of my family is far enough away that I can’t do much to help from here. Same goes for most of my husband’s, too.

I worked remotely even before this all started, so my day-to-day honestly hasn’t changed all that much—apart from the fact that Mr. Door is now working from home, too. But I don’t really have any friends in the area (thanks largely to the combination of telecommuting and social anxiety), and this whole situation has dramatically compounded my feelings of loneliness and isolation. I know I’m not alone in that (sending good thoughts your way; we’re all in this together, apart), but it still sucks. This has been kind of a rough year already because an old teacher turned friend of mine committed suicide, and I’ve been a bit lost since then... the pandemic is a different sort of blow, but has somehow set back that grieving process. Or maybe I’m just feeling morbid this evening.

In any case, I’m grateful to all of you for sharing your stories here. Hang in there, everyone.
posted by cellar door at 4:58 PM on March 23 [5 favorites]


I'm waiting to see what the details of the more complete lockdown that is anticipated here actually entail. I'm guessing the weed stores are getting hit hard today as people stock up for the lock-in.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:00 PM on March 23 [5 favorites]


I'm guessing the weed stores are getting hit hard today as people stock up for the lock-in.

Are dispensaries not counted like pharmacies and able to stay open? I know a TON of veterans who are using pot as a primary method of managing pretty severe PTSD. Our state is 10% veterans by volume. This will be really bad if they haven't accounted for that.
posted by corb at 5:08 PM on March 23 [6 favorites]


I was on the skeleton crew that kept going to campus last week, getting a few physical things done after 99% of the university had switched to WFH. They kicked the rest of us out on Friday, so this is only day three of my solo existence. The weekend felt interminable, but today was a solid improvement. I have a bunch of student employees and one one part-time assistant, and they need me to find them something to do despite the fact that our reason for existing as a team has been erased. I normally run a workshop, train students to use machinery and make things. Now I'm scrambling to find work for my crew while learning several online collaboration platforms that I've never needed before. So I'm busy after all.

At this point I am fine. I can bike around the neighborhood, and chat with neighbors walking their dogs past my front gate. My employer is neither running on a shoestring budget nor eager to lose employees. I have productive work to focus on, people to interact with. But I'm worried about my mom in Cleveland, a friend in California, a neighbor across the street, all of them mid-70's at best and all fragile. They all seem so exposed, so impossible to protect.
posted by jon1270 at 5:10 PM on March 23 [4 favorites]


Here in Japan, schools are set to open again in April, but there really doesn’t seem to have been much in the way of any social distancing during March at all. Restaurants are still up and running. People were out in parks all weekend for the cherry blossom viewing, maybe fewer than usual, but still plenty of people setting down mats and drinking and eating with their friends (like, five to eight people on a 10’x10’ mat).

Yesterday, I went to my school for the first time since March 6th for an institute day, mostly for moving desks around in the teachers office, and a little bit of information, and I found out that, at least for now, the plan is to open, but another week later than usual, the 14th instead of the 7th, and I won’t be asked to come in until the 13th, though there will be a seminar that I hope to go in on the 6th for a crash course in online classrooms. Mrs. Ghidorah and I have talked about how lucky we are that I’m back to teaching, and will be full time and directly hired by my school from April (which is pretty rare for foreign English teachers in Japanese high schools), meaning we’re going to be able to pay bills, mortgage, etc. Mrs. Ghidorah is still working in a restaurant kitchen, and found out hours are going to be much more carefully controlled from next month, with part timers sent home at the first sign of a lull or slow day.

But... the train was crowded. Not as literally shoulder to shoulder can’t physically move, because Disney is still thankfully closed here. Still, I’m becoming aware that other people are starting to scare the hell out of me, and I’ve become hyper vigilant about everything and everyone.

I’m hoping that the ball is finally rolling on the Olympics being cancelled or postponed (thank you, Canada), I’m hopeful that Japan might start to take this seriously. I simply refuse to believe that there are only 1000 people infected in the whole country, and I worry that telling everyone all clear at the end of March is going to lead to a massive spike in cases mid April, and we’ll have to shut down (for real this time).

Before then, the goal is to get in touch with the in-laws (in their 70s and not that healthy), get a shopping list for a couple solid weeks for them, drive up, and leave it on their doorstep and wave from the car.

So yeah, fucking fuck, this is just a low grade level of fear/panic that’s just in and around me pretty much all the time.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:10 PM on March 23 [15 favorites]


corb: in maryland, grow operations, processors and dispensaries were listed by state OLC interpretive guidance (see truthiness thread) as among essential businesses. haven't managed to get my telemedicine rx yet tho. saw some headline a week or so ago relating the same as to some other jurisdiction. not sure where though.
posted by 20 year lurk at 5:12 PM on March 23 [4 favorites]


Up in the frozen north we have one confirmed case so far (more untested, presumably). My wife and daughters get back from BC Wednesday (unless their flight gets canceled!) so then we have to isolate for 2 weeks. Thankfully I'm here to get groceries and stuff ahead of time.

I'm one of the few working from the office while we finish transitioning everyone to work at home so I should be working at home by tomorrow afternoon.

I know everyone is panicky and this is all new, but when the first damn link on the site is how to use it from home and it's very short and makes it clear that method A for accessing your work is not possible at home so please use methods B or C, STOP EMAILING ME ASKING WHY METHOD A ISN'T WORKING.

... okay I'm kind of veering into fucking fuck thread territory there, sorry.
posted by ODiV at 5:32 PM on March 23 [8 favorites]


Also, being able to drive for 45 minutes and end up somewhere like this is pretty great for getting outside but staying far away from others.
posted by ODiV at 5:35 PM on March 23 [4 favorites]


Agh the live address keeps bouncing for me and Inslee is rambly already. I just want to know what’s coming.
posted by corb at 5:37 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]


I do wonder about Japan. I was following COVID pretty closely since the news first broke, because I was supposed to go to Japan April 2-17. I too find it hard to believe there’s only a thousand cases in the whole country, but if it really were spreading out In the wild, you’d see the hospitals get overwhelmed at some point, because Japan doesn’t really seem to be doing much besides closing schools. It’s a bit bizarre.
posted by Automocar at 5:44 PM on March 23 [8 favorites]


I'm enough of a hermit that not going out for a month isn't that much of a stretch from normal. I think the only thing I'm going to need anytime soon is some more coffee or tea. Finally, a quirk turns useful.
posted by zengargoyle at 5:47 PM on March 23 [7 favorites]


Corb, try Facebook Watch. That's what I did to watch Pritzker.
posted by WCityMike at 5:58 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


BC is going to send everyone on Employment Insurance (EI) a top up cheque for a $1000 this month; hopefully they keep that up for the duration.

My sister is an EI agent. She's been on quarantine because she was out of the country but is hoping to get set up to WFH. A normal work week for her is 37.5 hours - she's been offered 30 hours a week of OT.
posted by Mitheral at 6:02 PM on March 23 [5 favorites]


I feel mildly fortunate: I can work from home on my main job, but on the other hand my client's funding has dropped due to his other business feeling the crunch, so that cash flow has tightened up. I had a second short-term decently lucrative contract signed with a local university, but they have shut down operations for the semester so that has disappeared (which leads me to a question below).

My wife's job finally got put on hold today after a week of her boss trying futilely to get it declared essential when it so was not. It was public-facing and she is relieved to be home for the duration. The offspring was given two weeks off with pay. We live in a house with three or four streaming services as well as more books than is sensible, so we do not lack for entertainment. Frau Biscuit and I are more concerned with our parents, who are all north of 75 and all of whom try to balance common sense with headstrong self-reliance; likewise our neighbours to either side are of the same cohort and at least one of them is immunocompomised, but they have all turned down every offer we have made to go and pick up groceries and such for them.

I just had a massive infusion of a medication a few weeks ago which keep me healthy at the cost of partly suppressing my immune system; I am washing my hands like an OCD surgeon these days and have found my calling as an indooorsman. Seriously, I took out the garbage a couple of days ago and after three or four days indoors I got hit by a brief wave of agoraphobia. It was disorienting to have that happen.

Here in Ontario, it feels like both the provincial and federal governments are making prudent choices after a couple of earlier missteps.

My question (which perhaps belongs in AskMe): the prime minister announced a generous EI boost for those with employment affected by the coronavirus. I see the value of this for those whose wages are crimped down by reduced or vanished employment-- is there any eligibility for those of us who have seen a contract job with a start date still a couple of weeks in the future evaporate? Feel free to message me directly so as not to clutter up the thread.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:09 PM on March 23 [6 favorites]


i'm gonna say _trigger_warning_ because of the way my hackles rose at president horrorshow's marked change of demeanor from the usual arrogant and effusive to a fixed flattened whispery monosyllable when asked about his wife's test, although i don't consider myself a traumatized person subject to such triggers (have been told i've an acute intuition for interpersonal menace; cannot confirm). i had to run in from the other room and open a new window in parallel to watch it again. i am sorry the camera cut away from him to the reporter, missing his face as the question landed. had they been people i knew, and in my presence, that's the moment i'd have started subtly getting in between them, or looking for the door. i wonder:
anybody else who was watching, or is willing to risk the potential trigger, have a similar take?
anybody know who that reporter is? a little worried for her.
i expect to not see her in the briefing room again. i hope she remains safe.
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:14 PM on March 23 [11 favorites]


I just looked it up and I haven't left the house except for walks around the neighborhood for two weeks (maternity leave is its own kind of self-isolation). MuddDude is starting his second week of mandatory WFH. Really really pissed at the right-wing talking points coming out today that this is unnecessary and that we Owe It to businesses to pretend like we don't need to avert a catastrophe.
posted by muddgirl at 6:20 PM on March 23 [7 favorites]


Today I impulse ordered a tree from the annual municipal tree sale. I can pick it up from the city impound lot in May if they figure out how to distribute trees during a pandemic. So I spent all the non-work and non-parenting parts of my day trying to figure out where I’m going to fit this tree (a redbud!) in my yard, what other plants I’ll have to shift around, and in what order I should start the plant relocations. It was the best $25 I’ve spent on my mental health in a long time.

... Because my husband has to go back to work to do stuff in the lab this week, one of us has to go grocery shopping again soon, and I am so terrified we’re going to get caught up in the peak of the outbreak. And our clothes dryer just broke (at least it wasn’t the washing machine?).
posted by Maarika at 6:23 PM on March 23 [7 favorites]


20 year lurk - I hadn't seen that clip before, and my immediate thought was "he's lying like a cheap rug."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:41 PM on March 23 [9 favorites]


Littlest is still running a fever in the evenings and I am debating whether to send her back to school tomorrow. She's desperate to go and her fever abides in the morning, but it feels too irresponsible to send her, even though the school says they're doing extra steps - twice daily fever checks, wipe-downs of classrooms and so on. We have a huge invisible problem with daycare (it's extremely expensive) in Singapore for working parents, primarily mothers, so the government is keeping kids in schools, saying that they are a generally low-risk group and it's better to keep them occupied. Which I agree with mostly because it looks like the strategy is identify and isolate rather than a full lock-down. But I feel wary about getting sick after all my previous bouts and complications. And I can homeschool.

So I guess she's going to homeschool for a while.

We've switched to open windows and fan from aircon, and at my desk there's a huge Bayan tree outside with birds nesting and singing. A golden oriole lands often outside. There's also a little bird building a nest in the fake tree outside our front door, so we are making a "do not disturb the tree" sign for it.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 6:49 PM on March 23 [11 favorites]


Welp, found out recently that someone at my job, albeit on a different floor that I never visit, tested positive, so I've gone from "only outside for shopping trips" to voluntary self-quarantine for a little while. (They've only asked the people who worked with this person/on their floor to do so--and we are informally but pretty thoroughly siloed--but I figure I can afford/stand it.) Fortunately I've been working from home since the Friday afternoon before last so the last possible time of exposure is (a) known and (b) not too far off.

I'll be honest, while all of this is, obviously, upsetting in multiple ways, I think without the actual work I'd be okay. I've been pretty angry at and resentful of my job for a while now, so what might in other circumstances be a welcome distraction just feels like an anchor wrapped around my ankles.

On the plus side, I learned that it's extremely easy to make panna cotta.

Also it is extremely strange to find Andrew Cuomo to be reassuring rather than unbelievably annoying. My fellow NYC progressives know what I mean.
posted by praemunire at 6:53 PM on March 23 [22 favorites]


First, thank you, glasseyes for the new checking in thread. I have been looking for an outlet to just... expel all this stuff.

Second... fuuuuuuuuuuuuucccccccckkkkkkkk.

As bondcliff mentioned way above: I've prepared for snowstorms and hurricanes before but they always have a pattern to them and we know how it's going to play out. This time there is no playbook and no end date.


I'm in the same boat. Not knowing what comes next is just an added stressor on everything else.

I work IT for what is essentially a network of hospitals and clinics. We're used to orders of magnitude of more support request during a hurricane and it's aftermath, for example. It's not fun, but there is pretty much an idea of when things will start slowing down.

Not at all with this. We have 7-10 times the amount of workers working from home. Virtually all of those have never worked from home before and couldn't tell you how to log in to VPN. Not to mention, the amount of licenses we have were for the smaller number of VPN users. We just added two new VPN clients to get everyone on our network. Because three different clients is a great way to provide support. /hamburger

Almost all of our desktop support is now WFH and assisting with phone calls. Even with that, those of us who volunteered for onsite are spending about 25% of our time on calls just due to everything crashing.

I'm tired.

Physically, mentally and emotionally. By mid-day Wednesday last week, I swore it was Friday because of the amount of work we had been doing. When Friday finally rolled around, I went to bed an hour early and slept three hours longer into Saturday morning than I ever do.

Everyone I see at the clinics and hospital are tired and stressed, too. It's really creepy to see people in Pathology... not so much scared, but resigned to this Sisyphean hill we are climbing.

Oh, and I got the privilege of going into one of our Covid clinics because someone who has been at our job twice as long as me and definitely knows better did not ask the end user to reboot the printer. (I was escorted in the back and never within 50 feet of patients. This was Friday and I am not showing symptoms, so I am not concerned. I am still pissed though.)

And, OH! My old boss was in one of our other Covid clinics on the day a patient tested positive. Said boss is exhibiting symptoms and has been tested. They are married to someone who is immuno compromised, so.... fuck. (They are good friends, as well.)

---------------------------

That's the work side of it.

non mouse spouse and kiddo have been home since Fri 03/13. our county just said only leave house for essential needs through 04/10. spouse and kiddo were already going stir crazy and getting short with each other.

tangentially, we were trying to do our best for our community by doing as much local shopping as we could until the dreaded but expected announcement of shelter in place came through. our local brewpub was forced to online orders only on Saturday, so we ordered (not enough, in hindsight) beer. spouse and I went to pick it up and ended up staying talking for almost two hours. Being the extrovert, they loved to finally have some time with others. Grabbed some local bbq as well.

Now, there is the whole same problem of possibly losing these businesses because of being forced to shut down (or people getting a misdemeanor for supporting them). We literally just had an outdoor venue/bar open in this same area months ago and they have called it quits. That area of town is a revitalization area.

If you made it this far, thank you for letting me drone on and read it all. I wish the best for all y'all and you and yours.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 7:17 PM on March 23 [15 favorites]


Posted this in the fucking fuck thread but it fits better here. I’m presumed positive for covid (presumed because testing is not available for outpatients here). On day 9 of being sick and day 9 of quarantine. Luckily I have friends who have been dropping food and meds on my stoop. Breathing is hard, and I have a weird cough that’s like barking. Still employed and set up to work from home but can’t work right now. Even getting up to get water is a huge energy drain. I’m only 34. I’m scared for myself and everyone.
posted by (Over) Thinking at 7:18 PM on March 23 [80 favorites]


Good luck, (Over)...

We are all counting on you.
posted by Windopaene at 7:51 PM on March 23 [13 favorites]


> anybody else who was watching, or is willing to risk the potential trigger, have a similar take?

20 year lurk: 100% yes absolutely.
posted by moira at 7:52 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


(Over) thinking, I'm sorry. I hope you recover quickly.
posted by moira at 7:55 PM on March 23 [4 favorites]


All of my symptoms are gone except for occasional lung pain, but I haven't gotten my COVID-19 test results back.

I saw a news article last night that local food banks were having a really bad time, with many volunteers staying away, and severely increased demand. So, I took the $$ I was gonna blow on a calzone or two this week, and donated it to the Northwest Harvest food bank instead.
posted by spinifex23 at 8:14 PM on March 23 [12 favorites]


I manage 17 people and we all can work from home but the tension and worry is there for them. Many have elderly parents or in-laws, or their own health issues.

I veer between sad and scared and resigned and ok, most days. My parents are gone but my kiddo is struggling with all the isolation.

I have decided that, as a boss, it's my job to send my folks cute animal videos or good memes or articles when I can. ,(Usually at end of day). Might as well weaponize my web-surfing habits.

I was also thinking of making a little video of my normal walk outside and sending that.

I bought a kit to make a catio enclosure for my ungrateful wretch cats, so I will probably do a little in-process video and send at some point.

What I want is to get them used to talking to each other and me and to share how we cope. Or just cheer them up a little.

Last weekend my about six of us from our church got together carefully to video a church service for FB live, but if they crack down further on gatherings, our poor minister will have to broadcast on her own.
posted by emjaybee at 8:28 PM on March 23 [7 favorites]


School is finally out. It's the most surreal end of term I've ever experienced.

Working from school today- in a classroom by myself, not sitting at my desk under 1.5m away from my colleague. I'm trying to remember that in times of high stress it is easy to get grumpy with people, and our differences in the ways of working and my frustrations with her (in my perception!) lacks is tough at the moment. I am finding it hard not to jump in and do stuff that I feel that she has done poorly (we are doing absence calls today- not to get any parent in trouble but just so we meet our legal requirement of explaining every absence)

JUST FOUND OUT WHILE TYPING THIS MY FRIEND IS IN ISOLATION- she's a health care worker with a cold, she thinks it's only a cold, but NOOOOOO. She brought food round last week when I was home sick (non cold related) and we hung out staying non-contact 1.5m apart. I don't have to isolate. Unless she comes back positive. THREE DAYS to wait.

Ugh. People standing too close at work, too.

I made a video showing our online lesson functionality - using screencastify so trying to keep it under 5 minutes, and tried it out on the tech unsavy teacher who came in (sat a bit close) and she said I was moving too fast. UGH so I'll have to re-record that and I'm feeling stressed.

Oh goodness if it's COVID I definitely can't travel to Melbourne this weekend to get a car seat (I'm currently on the 'this is still an essential' flip flop- see posts to the f'ing f thread).

ARGH.

I was going to do marking today but now I'm way too stressed out. Maybe I'll take it home I dunno.

ALSO I'm going through my desk to do the maternity leave clear out (even though I've still got 10 weeks left) and the mice are back in the office. At least it means I'm sanitizing my desk.
Someone lifted a bean bag the other day and 15 mice ran out from underneath. GROSS.

And I'm pregnant and I'm hungry right now which is a pretty petty thing I know, just need to eat and feel better. I'm going to take up my colleagues' offer and steal some of her chocolate.

Also thanks, Mefi- I really appreciate knowing I can say this to people going through the same thing who care. Even if it's just venting to the void of the internet- there are still people there!
posted by freethefeet at 8:45 PM on March 23 [14 favorites]


AND THE CHOCOLATE IS GONE
posted by freethefeet at 8:51 PM on March 23 [17 favorites]


Denver area here! The mayor of the city and county of Denver issued a stay-at-home order effective starting tomorrow (Tuesday) 5pm through April 10th. This seems like a good idea until you realize that Denver city itself is actually a small part of the metro area. I currently live outside of Denver in the suburbs but I work in Denver proper, so I'm not sure yet how our work will handle it. We're really small, anyway, with most people already working from home, but I've been trying to finish up projects that require me to be onsite to sort and mail out items, so I think that's technically part of the "minimum basic operations" exclusion. But I'm likely going to be working like mad tomorrow to get as much done as possible before 5pm just in case.

A "fun" issue with the original stay-at-home order was that liquor stores and dispensaries weren't considered "essential" -- which caused a chaotic run on those establishments, with people lining up down the block, which is the exact opposite of social distancing. The mayor's office has since made an addendum that liquor stores and dispensaries can stay open provided they are doing "extreme social distancing" in getting product to people.

Everyone's wondering when/if the governor will also issue a stay-at-home order (a lot of mountain towns have already done a "locals only" order since they're the hardest hit, largely thanks to ski resort tourists). He had a press con this weekend where he basically was like "guys, don't be idiots and please stay home/keep a distance from each other." He literally said that he doesn't want people to stay home out of fear of going to prison, but because they should be afraid of the grim reaper. Still, there are some companies that won't temporarily shut their doors or allow employees to work from home until there's a state order, so... yeah.

On a personal front, I mentioned in the 2.0 check-in thread that my mother was recently diagnosed with endometrial cancer and was getting a hysterectomy (which was scheduled a week after the original biopsy since hospitals were already started to cancel elective surgeries before the governor ordered it a few days ago). Originally the surgery was for last Thursday, but it got pushed to Friday morning -- the morning after a huuuuuuge Spring snow. Fun, fun, fun, waking up at 4am to make sure the car was cleared off and warm and the driveway shoveled.

Thankfully there are fewer people on the streets so the drive, although slick, was pretty fine, and we ended up getting there much earlier than anticipated. It was also the first day of the hospitals extreme lockdown when it comes to visitors, so coming back to collect Mum after the surgery (which went well!) was tons a fun and I only got in once they called upstairs and the nurses insisted that I needed to be a part of the discharge process.

That process took a few extra hours longer since the doctors noticed my mother's oxygen levels were low while she was in recovery. But of course the respiratory team is extra busy right now. In a bit of bizarre dark humor, I did wonder how the neighborhood reacted to me taking my oxygen-toting mother home and then a few hours later, getting a delivery of an oxygen compressor from a masked-and-gloved person. At least it's impossible to lose Mum right now -- just follow the green oxygen tube (which she should only hopefully need for a couple of weeks). I joke that she's my toddler and I'm now the mother, since I'm the one doing all the cooking and cleaning and money things and basically being charge of our household.

We thought that it would just be a slow couple of months as she recuperates (it's not like we're going anywhere right now, anyway), but today the doctor called and said that the cancer got pretty close to the cervix, so in about a month once she's healed from the surgery, Mum will need to start a "precautionary" radiation treatment. Sigh.

It's been nice that everyone has been working from home, so I haven't felt like a nuisance taking a lot of time off to care for Mum. It's just been so hard trying to figure out what will happen next, since the world and our personal lives keep changing so quickly. The past week has felt like a month, the last 24 hours like a week.

And I'm so very, very tired.
posted by paisley sheep at 8:55 PM on March 23 [14 favorites]


Today I asked my lawn guy for the place I rent, if he, his wife, and son had enough food. He said maybe so, (but then I can't understand him fully, but we are friendly,) I said for him to wait, and I brought out a half dozen eggs in a big plastic Popeye's cup, two cans of chili beans and two cans of chili. He was happy to see that, especially the eggs, which went right into his cup holder. He said stores were selling beans for 2 bucks a can. Then my neighbor came home, saying at least he had found some napkins...so I texted his wife, and asked if they needed any paper products...she said they could not find TP anywhere, so I had a dozen rolls for them. Dad neighbor thanked me later as we took out the big garbage cans. It is better for their kid, if something as basic as toilet paper is there for her. This couple endured two close suicides this month, and they both work with children, one as a teacher for kids with disabilities, and one who is an aid for kids that have severe autism. This month has been something for them. My life is pretty much the same, my daughter commented that I am already good at self isolating. Today felt good for me, because I could do a couple of little things to better the situation. This is a huge system, but every little thing you can do, counts.
posted by Oyéah at 9:07 PM on March 23 [29 favorites]


We can come together, or we can break apart. I keep hoping that the good in people, will overcome the shitty people that appear to have the power. We are all in this together. Let's help each other make it few the next few months.

Aside: We are all living through a historical event! Let's all be he best people we can be.
posted by Windopaene at 9:39 PM on March 23 [18 favorites]


I lost my cat this weekend. I was able to give away all the cat food and supplies this afternoon to other people in my apartment building (via a note and pile in the lobby). I take solace in the fact that could save a neighbor a trip or two, lower the chance of exposure just by a little bit.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:54 PM on March 23 [54 favorites]


Welp, New Zealand is entirely locked down from tomorrow, with basically no travel allowed even for locals. Even at this point anecdotal evidence from others trying to get in or out is that my husband (Australian citizen, but parents are NZ citizens living in NZ) might be turned away if he tried to travel there and I (NZ citizen but living in Australia, without Australian PR) might not be able to get back to my home and job in Australia if I don't stay put.

Tomorrow we'll find out the prognosis for my husband's father, who is hospitalised with surprise stage 4 cancer.

Also, my mother (also in NZ, in her 70s, with asthma) is currently at the emergency room with a suspected blood clot.

My stepmother is undergoing treatment for cancer too, but thankfully it seems likely to NOT be terminal.

Fun times to be away from family, that's for sure. When I moved to another country than my parents, I always worried that it would be logistically difficult and/or expensive to support them when they faced old age and illness. It did not occur to me that borders might actually close and there might be no way to say goodbyes or attend funerals.
posted by lollusc at 10:05 PM on March 23 [17 favorites]


Also, if I may have a second complaint, an unexpected thing I am HATING about working from home is that the dude I made a sexual harassment complaint about last year now gets to be basically IN MY LIVING ROOM (on zoom) all the time. He is on so many committees and in so many groups and of course at the all-staff meetings, and he talks a lot, so he's frequently the centre of the screen (although I have to admit I often mute or turn the screen off for a minute or so). I thought I would love not ever having to physically interact with him now, but instead it feels like I don't get to keep my home as a safe space away from him any more.
posted by lollusc at 10:11 PM on March 23 [30 favorites]


I keep hoping that the good in people, will overcome the shitty people that appear to have the power.

I'm not a huge U2 fan, but I stumbled onto this other day on HBO and it rather stopped me in my tracks.

U2 & Eagles Of Death Metal - People Have The Power (Live 2015)

For context, this was less than a month after the Bataclan terror attack wherein 90 Eagles Of Death Metal fans were murdered in a Paris nightclub.

The power to dream to rule
To wrestle the world from fools
It' s decreed the people rule
It' s decreed the people rule
I believe everything we dream
Can come to pass through our union
We can turn the world around
We can turn the earth' s revolution
We have the power
People have the power


I believe it.
posted by philip-random at 10:11 PM on March 23 [5 favorites]


I work in videoconferencing and I am so tired
posted by one of these days at 10:17 PM on March 23 [17 favorites]


Oh geez, lollusc. I'm so sorry.
posted by frimble (staff) at 10:34 PM on March 23 [8 favorites]


(Over) Thinking, please seek medical treatment if you think you need it. I get that people are trying not to overwhelm the medical system but if you’re having trouble breathing, you definitely deserve care. Call in advance so they know you’re coming and can advise you on how to minimize exposure.
posted by delight at 10:35 PM on March 23 [7 favorites]


We finally got our stay at home order here today, after everyone swarmed on the parks/beaches/cherry blossoms/snow-free hiking spots very conspicuously this weekend. Which means I'm done working, as I'm not an essential worker and can't work from home. I'm done with school for two weeks, since our spring break got extended so the professors could convert their classes to being online-only. Looks like I'm going to spend a lot more time walking my dog and working on puzzles, then!

The uncertainty has been hard. One of the things that has kept my depression at bay was having things to look forward to, and the other big thing was going to work every day. Now I have neither of those things. Social media has been surprisingly helpful. It's nice to know that all of my friends are going through the exact same thing as me, but in different parts of the country, and we've been chatting a lot more now that we have all this free time.
posted by mollywas at 10:38 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


In Chicago social work news, the homeless shelters are full. All of them. there is no place for people without a established bed, or newly homeless to go. Period. There is no guidance. Until yesterday, there wasn't a solution for persons under investigation or confirmed cases who didn't have a place to self isolate to go either. There is supposedly money coming down the pipeline, and plans to expand shelter capacity but at this time if someone is homeless there is litterally no where for me to refer. At all. Everywhere is not here.

Meanwhile, job wise i'm an essential employee so I'm reporting to work as usual and continuing face to face contacts which seems wierd. There is very little guidance for the social worker staff. I wear masks and try to limit face to face time a much as possible. But there is no policy or plan or backing for what I'm doing I'm just winging it and staying at home otherwise.

I got a toddler at home and it's so hard not to have outside activities for her. But the easel my wife bought her at the thrift store is getting a ton of use and hopefully she'll learn her colors before the end of this. Just taking things one day at a time, and greatful that my employment isn't impacted by this. In some ways being able to go to work has been such a relief even though the risks are high.
posted by AlexiaSky at 10:40 PM on March 23 [11 favorites]


Also - I'm a Buddhist, and I decided that this event in time called for a new mala. A Quarantine Mala.

I love stringing and knotting my own malas, out of DIY kits. I'm not the best stringer and knotter, but I find the process extremely calming. I watched Dharma Talks on YouTube when making this.
It's an 81 bead mala. Made of red flake jasper for the main beads, and shiny black onyx for the larger marker beads. The sitting Buddha charm and Guru Bead are from Nepal. I don't know if you can see the knotting string, but I picked a sky blue color for it. And the red string is to keep on the Buddha charm, because I don't know what I'm doing, and I burned off the blue string holding it on - oops.

Quarantine Mala

If you want to get your own kits, I cannot recommend Shade of the Bodhi Tree enough.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:52 PM on March 23 [23 favorites]


UK lockdown and the first of my check-ins here. Feeling very lucky that both I and The Other Paws have jobs which are remote workable, as we ditched a tiny flat with no outside space to stay with family with a garden a week ago. We have an eighteen-month-old and staying in that flat would have been gruelling. A further benefit is that we've been able to have it flatsit by a friend who themselves was in a small room in a shared house, so that's a decent upgrade for them, too.

Lockdown itself should feel more dystopian than it does. With people gathering as they were over the weekend, it seems like the only way this was going to get slowed down, especially with the government already having beefed the chance to track and test better. Now nervously awaiting the stats for the next two weeks to see if we track as disastrously as Italy did.
posted by ominous_paws at 11:02 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


NZ goes into 'full lockdown'\'Level 4' midnight tonight. Today we went to Dunedin, as bizarrely, I had a new job to visit, forecast (and reality) was awful for site visit but gotta make hay while the sun shines - but its hard to keep focused with all this. Almost all cafes, pubs closed, door control on pharmacies etc.

You know things are serious when your accountant phones at 7:30pm telling you to review your business as the govt is working out who will have a business shortfall, and who they need to assist.

and in the land which makes 3% of the world's milk we can't get milk powder anywhere after all the selfish people panic-bought the whole stock (or it might be complicated than that) - well we haven't seem any for sale across south NZ anyway and no-one is writing about it here - altho' just found this - suggesting that packagers depending on a sole supply chain from China is the reason.

But tomorrow the clouds will lift and we'll see some early snow on the nearby mountain, and we'll still hear the tuis and bellbirds drunkenly trying to sing from the pear tree.
posted by unearthed at 11:25 PM on March 23 [7 favorites]


i really liked the job i started two months ago

i don't have it anymore
posted by Jacqueline at 12:02 AM on March 24 [47 favorites]


I still burst into tears and went out to get some cat food.

cat food was our #1 priority when we stocked up for a potential quarantine or lockdown
posted by Jacqueline at 12:04 AM on March 24 [8 favorites]


Oh Jacqueline, I'm so sorry
posted by lollusc at 12:05 AM on March 24 [9 favorites]


Hong Kong today:

- The Chief Executive has suggested bars "do something else" instead of sell alcohol if the proposed alcohol ban becomes law. Bars seem...confused by this; most don't have full restaurant menus or even full kitchens.

Personally, I'm dialling leaving the house waaaaay back and trying to stay in as much as possible. I'm only going into work for my onsite weekly duty management shift; otherwise I'm working from home and only going out every few days. The office is frantically assessing whether, after all this time, we actually are able to work entirely from home and maintain our safeguarding and data security standards and not depend on borrowing and then returning shared work laptops. (I KNOW.)

My end-of-year review is coming soon and has been blessedly simplified and the in-person meeting replaced with whatever happens in Microsoft Teams. I just hope things don't get so bad up to and through the summer that people don't want to enroll in the fall semester.
posted by mdonley at 12:27 AM on March 24 [2 favorites]


My household has run out of fresh vegetables and milk will run out soon, which means I’ll need to go shopping. I last went shopping at Costco two weeks ago, here in ground-zero Seattle, and the 30-minute wait for check-out amid a sea of shoppers was intensely uncomfortable. I’m in good health, but I live with two seniors and I’m scared that if I get sick, they’ll get sick. So I’ve been trying to work out the calculus of how to minimize risk and above all avoid finding myself stuck in a crowd again. The online options seemingly can’t keep up with demand.

As weeks turn into months of isolation, I’ve no doubt we’ll see more robust and safer distribution networks spring up, but they’re not here yet. In Wuhan, the government took over food delivery.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 1:25 AM on March 24 [3 favorites]


Thank you so much glasseyes.

It is my birthday today. And instead of being on lobby shift at my Uni department, saying hello to tens of people wishing me well, with the evening ending in a sauna party long organized, I am home alone today with another day of quarantine to go before I can see Potato. We did zoom. Blech. I turned the video off because I'd rather listen to his voice in my ear than see a jerky little video on screen that I can't touch. Boo hoo hoo is what I feel like saying right now.
posted by Mrs Potato at 1:28 AM on March 24 [12 favorites]


California is on lockdown, but I guess Los Angeles is just in shelter in place mode for right now. I did see that Los Angeles school districts are planning to be closed until May 1st which is very distressing.

My best friends are in San Diego and they teach deaf and hard of hearing students. for those kids this quarantine. Is so difficult because they already feel isolated from their friends and family just by virtue of not sharing the same language. So behind the scenes my bestie is arranging video chats with all of her kids so that they can still practice their signing and have interaction that is meaningful. Technically according to their school district this is, uh, not kosher, but my bestie is Super Woman and she will never let her kids down.

The prospect of this all lasting for another few months is just bizarre. I am very blessed to be working at a company that will continue to pay me because I can work from home. I can continue to afford my rent and my bills. I know that many people around me can't. I am also grateful that my parents are semi-preppers and that they have been amassing water and supplies for many years because that's how our anxiety manifests. We get stressed out every spring for some reason and start prepping like mad for both our homes and our cars. I guess now it's paying off.

Access to food and toilet paper equals stress for me though which is very stupid.

I don't know how to feel about being an active participant in such a significant part of modern global history. I was just starting to become more social, too. I wanted to join a local temple and church, I wanted to organize museum meetups. What timing to have to back to being my somewhat stagnant original self.

But one of my coworkers has it so much worse. He is in India and can't get access to food. My coworkers and I are trying to figure out how to help. Does anyone here have any ideas? We are really concerned.

So much love and wishes for good health to you all.
posted by Kitchen Witch at 1:29 AM on March 24 [6 favorites]


On the plus side, my mother did NOT have a blood clot. So that's something.
posted by lollusc at 2:00 AM on March 24 [27 favorites]


But tomorrow the clouds will lift and we'll see some early snow on the nearby mountain, and we'll still hear the tuis and bellbirds drunkenly trying to sing from the pear tree.

unearthed, thank you; this transported me for a moment to a time when my world was larger than the walls of my house.

We’ve all had some mild respiratory creeping crud so are self-isolating until ??? I’ve heard mixed reports on how long we should wait to, eg, take a walk outside; I’ve been confined for ten days now. We’ve started to order our groceries online, which requires a different sort of planning than we’re used to. (Part of the point of living walking distance from a grocery store was to allow for last minute shopping!; but I imagine few people’s cost/benefit analyses on property purchasing would survive a pandemic.)

Homeschooling is interesting. Little e misses her friends, but is really enjoying having some unscheduled time in each day to do as she likes. She’d get more of that if it were easier to keep her on task through the schoolwork...

Best wishes to everyone facing illness right now. I hope you are all able to get the care you need.
posted by eirias at 2:02 AM on March 24 [2 favorites]


My local covid inspired neighbourhood connection group is great. Some lovely stories of people giving away food and supplies. Unfortunately someone posted their little free library was open since the libraries are closed. I commented the study about covid on surfaces, advocating caution, and now I feel like the party pooper.
posted by freethefeet at 2:10 AM on March 24 [2 favorites]


My wife and I are still working from home in full-time (or more) jobs.

Kid (6) is home for the first week, school's given us detailed lesson plans covering half a day. I did the first two at the weekend to get ahead. My wife's covered Monday and Tuesday.

It's OK in the short term but not sure we can sustain it. Potentially I can ask my employer to change to work part-time but I don't know if they'll grant it and it puts me at risk of layoffs (they had one round before the crisis already).

Bought the kid a tablet which is keeping him entertained but he still wants attention and not sure what it's going to do to his brain in the long term.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 2:15 AM on March 24 [3 favorites]


Bought the kid a tablet which is keeping him entertained but he still wants attention and not sure what it's going to do to his brain in the long term.

The Danish authorities have something to say about this: some years ago, we had a long teachers' strike, and obviously most parents were physically at work then, so homeschooling was not really an option (and since the teachers were on strike, there wasn't any teaching material available either). Everyone was very worried, but in fact all the kids caught up and there are no signs that they fared worse than other generations of children at their final exams when they got there.

The learning proces is slow, with lots of redundancy. His brain will be fine. What can be a challenge is keeping him entertained, and six years is a difficult time for that. Maybe buy some age-appropriate puzzles online? It's long since my kids were six, but I still have their wooden train tracks, saving them for grandchildren. They were quite fun to build and dismantle and rebuild and of course run the trains on. And maybe videos with dance tutorials (for kids), they must be out there. Back then we bought DVDs, and they were great for letting out energy on rainy days.
posted by mumimor at 2:29 AM on March 24 [10 favorites]


I really wish people would stop using the media word "lockdown" here in the UK, mostly in the context of "X is still happening so it's not a real lockdown". That isn't a thing, guys. We've never used that word before, it has neither legal nor clear colloquial meaning so using it actually makes it less clear what is meant. Many American states at least have understood vocabulary around shelter-in-place but we don't have enough natural disasters to have a ready-to-go framework for staying at home.

People are still going to some non-essential jobs here today, but then they were in Italy until yesterday (not widely appreciated here). Since the Italians brought in a set of restrictions comparable to what we now have two weeks ago, we will know this week if that was enough or whether more is needed to get Rt to well under 1. If Italian ICU admission rates (2.5 -3.5 week lead from control measures do not peak this week then we will need to get even stricter).

That said, I know I'm just being an irritated middle-aged man, that public health communications are hard, and that the word seems to mean something to people.
posted by atrazine at 3:02 AM on March 24 [7 favorites]


Apologies atrazine, you are quite right about incorrect use of the word - I used it lazily above, but agree that we don't have any cultural / colloquial background for it and also it isn't where we are just yet legislatively or socially. It just seemed like convenient shorthand in the immediate aftermath of the PM's announcement.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 3:39 AM on March 24 [3 favorites]


freethefeet: someone posted their little free library was open since the libraries are closed. I commented the study about covid on surfaces, advocating caution, and now I feel like the party pooper.

You're not wrong though, people should be careful. I have a public bookshelf in my front yard, too; I'm keeping it open but advising people to leave the books lying around for a day or so after bringing them home, because the virus doesn't stay intact for more than that on paper. I'm also propping the doors open in the daytime so people aren't all touching the same doorknobs.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:39 AM on March 24 [4 favorites]


Still heading to work here in Brooklyn. My boss keeps telling me I'm free to pull the plug and work from home whenever I want, but things are so sparse in my office I'm actually safer there than at home. Plus my roommate has an empty space for himself. It's an essential industry so we're still open; I think we're adding the making of some medical supplies onto our usual business as well.

My boss has been working from home since last Monday, and only yesterday told me why - someone at his wife's workplace was showing suspected symptoms, so she was self-quarantining out of caution and he decided to do the same out of extra caution.

I'm being super-cognizant and diligent about keeping myself six feet away from anyone, even when passing them on the sidewalk as I walk to and from work. We're due for some rainy weather - especially on the weekend, when it's supposed to rain all day - and that should keep more people inside.

The family in the apartment below mine has two small children, and I've gotten used to hearing them running back and forth at all hours. It sounds like their parents have started running races with them a couple times a day just to burn their energy off.

I may join a photo challenge as well - the creator has designed it so that it's possible to do while staying inside, so as many people can join in as possible.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:26 AM on March 24 [4 favorites]


So my Dad has a cough and a runny nose. It's probably allergies. A runny nose is not a coronavirus symptom, and he gets seasonal allergies. But I'm kind of freaking out, and I realize that I actually need to make a plan for if one of us gets coronavirus. And the plan is grim. It also puts a huge amount of responsibility on me, as the only member of my family who isn't a child, doesn't have a serious underlying condition, and is in good enough physical shape to transfer my mom from her wheelchair to the toilet and/or the bed. And I can't really come up with a plan for if I get too sick to take care of my mom. I guess that what happens then is that one of my family-members who does have a serious underlying condition takes over for me, and we hope that I'm better enough to come back before they're sick enough to be incapacitated.

So anyway, today I am going to go over the plan with my father, because I think that hearing the plan may be the thing that causes him to take this thing truly seriously.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:29 AM on March 24 [9 favorites]


From the beeb, this is a list of businesses allowed to stay open in UK. So far. The article has further info about self employment, pay and the reaction to JD Sports bosses claiming they should stay open.

The government has now issued a list of which "essential" retailers are allowed to stay open. They include:

Supermarkets and other food shops
Pharmacies
Petrol stations
Newsagents
Bicycle shops
Home and hardware stores
Laundrettes and dry cleaners
Garages
Pet shops
Post Offices
Banks

Businesses will still be able to take online orders and deliver items to people's homes.


posted by glasseyes at 4:32 AM on March 24 [4 favorites]


Many local area beaches are closed. Sooo people who are bored are treating the big box home improvement store as a good gathering space and playground.

There is less social distancing at the store than at the beaches. I've had customers tell me how nice it is to enjoy looking around; no, they don't need help; just browsing.....

I am required to smile.... I understand that they are bored but obviously don't seem to understand that they may be exacerbating the problem.

And there is absolutely no consideration to social distancing. I had one male customer keep surreptitiously touching me at a particularly unacceptable location. People seem to have lessened social restraints now. It's a bit scary.

Management does not care. There was only me and another worker scheduled for the first hour at the garden center. People were backed up waiting for us to do the loading of their 30 bags or 120 pavers or whatnot. We always have customers waiting for the doors to open. It's Spring. We have a sale.

I cannot say what extra cleaning is happening. There's now an employee wiping off cart handles at the main entrance to simulate cleaning? None of the other entrances receive this treatment but it seems the same as a year ago: hectic and busy business as usual. Except that now once an hour the overhead announcement asks people to be safe and maintain social distancing...

Meanwhile, in the filthy break room employees are livid at our risk because management is doing nothing to help us. Many cashiers have their personal bottles of sanitizer or wear rubber gloves. The stress is exhausting. The extra work is exhausting.

The store is an essential business so will not close. Customers will continue to mob the store for boredom breaks. We will all continue to put ourselves and families to risk for the good of commerce.
posted by mightshould at 4:51 AM on March 24 [29 favorites]


I feel so grateful, more than anything else - that my company is extremely stable and can afford to keep paying me for the foreseeable, that my job will be considered essential to them even if we do start to struggle down the line (as it was the last time we went through layoffs), that I can do my job effectively from home and that the work I do (communication about how the company is handling the situation) has been genuinely helpful for my coworkers, that my home is a nice place to be with a lovely partner to share it with and plenty of space including a garden, that we're close enough to nature that our government-sanctioned once daily walk/bike ride is very pleasant and social distancing is very easy while doing it, that I'm not stuck in an unsafe place with abusive people (and I feel so hard for everyone who is in this situation), that I have enough food to keep our household of bodies alive for the time being, that all of my olds are already dead and I don't know anyone personally who's at seriously high risk from this thing.

And my concerns right now feel extremely trivial - that I can't get some of my favourite things to eat super easily, that I didn't take advantage of being able to do things that I always knew I could do but didn't urgently feel the need to do the last time I was physically able to do them (eating soft serve ice cream is high on this list for some reason), that the government is telling us to get deliveries where possible when the next four weeks of delivery slots from every major retailer near me are already booked, that I'm getting irritable more often and more easily with people whose working styles are less compatible with mine (which is normally fine but magnified in intensity by all of us being remote all of a sudden), that I was gearing up to come out as non-binary at work and have had to shelve that idea for the foreseeable 'cause now is very much Not The Time.

I hope everyone else is hanging in there as best they can. The person I manage at work had to say goodbye to a beloved pet this morning - this thing is like a difficulty multiplier both for everyday life and for everything that was already hard to go through without a global pandemic happening at the same time.
posted by terretu at 5:01 AM on March 24 [11 favorites]


Athens, GA here! We've been on a 24/7 shelter in place except for essentials since March 20th. Our Mayor and city commission have been proactive in getting bars, restaurants, and venues closed even before that. UGA is now all online, and our classes resume this coming Monday. Because we're such a big music and restaurant town, so many people are hit hard by the closings. We also have a large homeless population so I, like many others, was worried that with the new restrictions that there would be harassment and arrests of the homeless. Fortunately, the Mayor made it explicit that police were to be educational and there won't be arrests for being outside or sleeping rough.

On Saturday, I woke up with a severe sore throat and very swollen tonsils. By Sunday morning, I could barely swallow liquids and it took me about ten minutes to eat a very ripe banana. I looked and my uvula filled almost the whole back of my throat. I finally went out to buy some soft foods and some cepacol at CVS, but I realized when I went to check out that I could barely speak because of the swelling. So I called the health center here at UGA (I'm a student) and asked if I could come in even though I didn't think I had COVID-19 and they said yes. They were so awesome, so understanding, and so well organized! They asked me about my symptoms, got me hand sanitizer, put a mask on me correctly the blue kind that pinches your nose), walked me to the correct clinic and my doctor, and got me seen instantly. Within 20 minutes I had a diagnosis (acute tonsilitis), and their in-house pharmacist actually brought the medications to me!!!

Anyway, I share this because I felt guilty about going in, but they reassured me that I was right to have done so. It's okay even during the pandemic to seek medical treatment if you need it (and I definitely needed it). They even told me that if the steroids and antibiotic didn't kick in and it got worse that I should go to the ER. It probably helped that I didn't go in thinking I had coronavirus, but I was so relieved by the whole experience.
posted by Mouse Army at 5:03 AM on March 24 [29 favorites]


I'm thankful that during the first wave in Hong Kong I was quietly stocking up on groceries one shelf-stable item at a time. It's nice if I can get deliveries of fresh food still, but I've got enough food (and TP) to hold out a couple of weeks.

My job is on shaky ground. Not just mine, everyone's. Retail is hurting badly. Still, I'm feeling lucky. I'm hearing stories about factories closing already in Indonesia. Many many workers here are day workers, so no work can mean no food. It is a very new middle class here.
posted by frumiousb at 5:23 AM on March 24 [5 favorites]


lollusc, if you're using Zoom, there's a gallery view that keeps everyone in tiny windows instead of having the speaker jump to the forefront. (I hate that switching back and forth; it's so distracting.) Maybe that will help with keeping that guy out of your face.

NJ has been on lockdown since Saturday night. I'm basically a hermit anyway, so staying home isn't much of a strain for me, but I still get periodic bouts of anxiety. I've got another month or so of my meds; hopefully the supply chain holds. This whole thing feels so unreal--a couple of times a day I have to give myself a literal reality check. Am I dreaming? How can the entire world be shuttering down like this??

The state has a couple of drive-up testing centers, and the last couple of days they've been hitting capacity before they even open. We now have the second-largest number of cases in the US, which isn't too surprising, considering our population density and the percentage of that population that works in NYC, and a couple of hospitals are already hitting Italy levels of desperation.

I thank the Gods daily for my privilege. And for the fact that the governor has deemed pet stores essential businesses. One of my big fears is not having anything to feed my cats. At least they're delighted with the situation. Mommy's home! All the time!

I'm mostly a lurker here, but I take comfort in reading everyone's stories. Thank you for sharing them.
posted by velvet_n_purrs at 5:24 AM on March 24 [13 favorites]


My wife and I are both working from home and that's mostly been a pretty easy transition. Pittsburgh is under lockdown right now so we can only go out for food, drugs, exercise or emergencies. We did a big buy at the supermarket two weeks ago and are still doing well on food but will probably make a run toward the end of the week. I dusted off an elliptical that's been in the garage for a decade and ordered a weight bench and am putting together a little gym in the garage since the Y is obviously closed.

My son is unemployed since he's a concert lighting designer/technician and his whole industry evaporated overnight. He and his girlfriend were also quarantining themselves because someone in her office building had test positive but they've passed the two weeks and are fine.
posted by octothorpe at 5:39 AM on March 24 [7 favorites]


I posted in the other thread about how kosher grocery stores in the NY/NJ area were getting swamped with people trying to stock up with food for Passover. As of yesterday ALL of the supermarkets have put in new rules: Only 40 people in the store at one time, only one person per family can go in, no kids under 16. So there's that.

One tiny bright spot in all this: my son's school is getting close to a full school day via zoom. He's 11, so he's already entered that phase of life where he's pretty independent and school becomes a place to really develop who you are as a person. And it's occurred to me that school is kind of a black box -- you send your kids in, and you have no idea what's going on in their life, how they behave and express themselves and interact with grownups when they're away. And you can worry about it, or you can pester their teachers, or you can forget all about it, but you never get to see this huge chunk of your kids' lives. And now, because we can overhear his responses in class and his online teamwork with other students, there's suddenly this little window we can peek into. And it's amazing, to see what he's like when he's on his own. It might be the only good thing about this, but I'm treasuring it.
posted by Mchelly at 5:48 AM on March 24 [31 favorites]


I've been working from home for a little under a week now. So far I've managed to keep up a routine of actually wearing real people clothes, but my timekeeping is...less stringent than it would be if I were still in the office. (There've been a couple of days when I haven't put on pants and actually logged in until past ten AM.) As I mentioned in another comment, I'm really amazingly lucky in that I've got a good stable job that can be done almost entirely remotely.

Mrs. Example continues to have to go into the office, though, since she works for the NHS. She's not a front-line worker, and she says her bus only ever has four or five other people on it, but I still worry about her being out there every day. I really wish they'd let her work from home. (She does medical transcription as a large part of her job, and there are laptops available that would let her do it remotely...but they're not issuing any yet for some reason.)
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:52 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]


My kid’s teacher tested positive - she is recovering nicely - so we are all staying home and inside until Thursday. This is not easy with a rambunctious four year old.

Looking forward to being able to take a trips to work starting on Thursday. As social media person for a public garden which is now closed to the public it will be good to go there and take pictures and do some video so I can share the spring flowers that people are missing.

I know how much I’m missing it right now.

At the same time I’m terrified of the coming weeks. We are just outside of NYC and the numbers and graphs are dire. I know that friends and family are likely going to die. Trying to take this from abstract to real is so hard.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:55 AM on March 24 [9 favorites]


I've been putting off a cab trip I need to make, two actually, one to look for water. I'm trying not to worry too much.
posted by Beholder at 6:16 AM on March 24 [3 favorites]


My husband and I are both working from home doing our full-time jobs with our hours staggered and offset, while also caring for a 1 year old and a 6 year old who are always home now. I feel like so many people have all this free time for Netflix and video games and reading the news, while I feel like I'm as busy as I have ever been in my entire life. It's weird and just adds to the feeling of isolation. We have it so good here but it's still super hard.
posted by beandip at 6:21 AM on March 24 [15 favorites]


i believe i work harder, longer and better at home. get a bit distracted by the news. but that was no less true when i commuted to an office to sit in a sick building basement all day. also i am less existentially miserable and eat better. do keep getting the keyboards confused tho.
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:29 AM on March 24 [4 favorites]


still hate management and the clients tho. it's just a bit more diffuse.
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:34 AM on March 24 [2 favorites]


By the way, it still sucks to be middle-aged and going through hot flashes (which makes you paranoid you're getting a fever), and to have mild seasonal allergies (which gives you sinus congestion that can sometimes make you the very slightest bit dizzy, and gives you a very mild cough during the day). Then add some indigestion from a particularly spicy homemade curry that kicks in right after you see a headline that "some people report gastrointestinal symptoms".

I've taken my temperature about 12 times in the past week as a sanity check, which is more than I'd taken it in the entire previous 50 years of my life. I continue to have a normal temperature, the sinus congestion alleviates after I give one good sneeze, and the indigestion...has been resolving itself in such a way that proves it is not a Coronavirus symptom as well. (Let's just say that there are now TWO reasons I'm grateful to be working in a sparsely-populated office.)

I'm extremely grateful that I continue in good health, but I'm starting to think that God is making sure I suffer from excess worry instead.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:55 AM on March 24 [8 favorites]


i really liked the job i started two months ago

i don't have it anymore


Same, except mine was three weeks ago and I had just started it after losing another job to budget cuts in January. It was nice to WFH for a week; at least I had that distraction. My son is a software developer who works for a contracting agency. The contract he was on that was supposed to last for three years is now not being renewed and will be finished by April 17. Hopefully they'll find him another contract but he's only been there since September. He can move back in with us if he needs to but I know he doesn't want to and I don't blame him.

Meanwhile I continue to panic about what getting the virus could mean for me, with asthma and reduced lung function because of a near-deadly pneumonia five years ago. I'm so, so scared.

mrzarqon, I am so, so sorry for the loss of your kitty. <3
posted by cooker girl at 7:00 AM on March 24 [9 favorites]


I've worked from home off and on now for 20 years, but I'm having one hell of a time staying focused or actually giving a darn about my work right now.

And I picked last month to move in with my fiance and her kids, buying a home together and putting both of our homes up for sale.

So I'm contending with a few things: a looming fear of layoffs and my house (and hers) not selling or selling at a loss. The expected pains that come with a new living situation plus having to cope with nobody leaves the house except for the occasional trip back to our old houses to grab something or check on painter's work, or a very necessary trip to get essentials. But we still have a fear that someone might get sick.

We have a greater fear for some of her family and mine who work retail or front-line health care. Thankfully her mother, who stays very busy and is very social, has listened to reason and is staying put.

But we are fortunate. Most of our concerns are things that may not even happen or can be weathered.

We have plenty of food. We can work from home (though she's not loving trying to do therapy over the phone or on video) and overall things are OK for us. The worst things right now are a weird combination of isolation and not enough solitude, and the uncertainty. And anger at the Trump administration and his enablers in Congress and FOX and the overall population. Already talking about ending the social isolation because god forbid they lose some money or people realize what a sham our society really is.

Also watching this happen and not being able to help -- or, more accurately, the most effective help we can offer being to do nothing. And trying to not freak out in front of the kids, too and trying to be honest about what's going on without adding to their fears unduly.

Someday this will be over and things will be "normal" again, for some value of normal. I hope that we will not forget this, and that we'll learn from this. That's possible, right?
posted by jzb at 7:04 AM on March 24 [4 favorites]


Powdered milk and water did not go over well at first when introduced as such. But when the milk jug in the fridge mysteriously never ran out, we were none the wiser.

From a two-physician family, work permeates home a little more. Email/text/slack is such high signal to noise that it can't be ignored these days. We're still at a manageable work-home balance for now. Regular health problems still happen, and can still require urgent care, which is thankfully still feasible here. Telephone visits are fantastic for some things, but obviously have limits. We're still more in the preparation/early upswing phase, not sure how long it will last. The predictions based on experience elsewhere are frightening. And I feel like I'm missing something when I'm not at work.
posted by sillyman at 7:29 AM on March 24 [5 favorites]


At today's press conference the message was that hospitalizations have tripled in a week. If they can't stop it, that rate is scary. In other news, local industry are trying to transform their production ASAP, mainly into PPEs but perhaps also into more complicated medico stuff like ventilators.
posted by mumimor at 7:38 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]


People who have grown up in malarial countries are probably quite used to taking chloroquine, in Nigeria in the form of Nivaquine or Avloclor. In Nigeria it's no longer effective and has thus fallen out of use to an extent. Nivaquine was sometimes used preventativley at a low dose but more often taken once you actually have malaria. IT IS MINGING. Not only does it taste bad it makes you feel so strangely nearly dying. It really does have terrible side effects, nausea, feeling like your head has detached, that sort of thing. And as well as giving you nausea + the runs it's dangerous for your liver. I wouldn't say it is worse than having malaria but the combination of malaria and the medication for it, while a really common thing, is truly a most unclassifiable experience of illness.

Some Nigerian news:
March 20: Chloroquine posioning in Lagos
An official of Nigeria’s Lagos State government has disclosed that hospitals are receiving patients suffering from chloroquine poisoning.
Oreoluwa Finnih, a Senior Special Assistant to Lagos governor has thus urged the public to desist from using the anti-malaria drug as a measure of preventing coronavirus infection. In Nigeria reports indicate that the drug’s price has been hiked since the news broke.
Chloroquine has been gaining traction on social media since some news agencies reported it had been approved for the COVID-19 pandemic.
The outlets cited U.S. president Donald Trump as making the claims. America’s Food and Drugs Authority, FDA, has since disclaimed the assertion saying the drug has not been cleared for any such purpose.

From africanews.com

March 18: Nigeria bans travellers from 13 countries.
Nigeria’s federal government announced on Wednesday that it will ban travellers from 13 countries as a measure of controlling the coronavirus pandemic.
The affected countries include China, the United States and the United Kingdom. The measure will however take effect on Saturday March 21.
Nigeria joins a number of countries across the continent that have announced travel bans on countries with high coronavirus cases. Some countries have used reported cases to activate the bans. Ghana for example says travellers from countries with 100 or more cases will be refused entry.
Nigeria currently has three confirmed cases, one of which has been discharged after recovery. The index patient, an Italian, is still receiving treatment.
Citizens had on social media piled pressure on government to follow the trend and bar certain countries from entry into Africa’s most populous nation. All three cases are in the commercial capital of Lagos.
(africanews)

Ministry of the Interior, Nigeria, twitter, statement confirming which countries' flights are banned. However all international airports remain closed for 4 weeks except for aircraft in distress and overflights.
posted by glasseyes at 7:39 AM on March 24 [11 favorites]


Something a little more up to date and comprehensive from the Nigerian Independent (nothing to do with the British paper.)
Nigeria has Chloroquine Poisonings after Trump Praised Drug
posted by glasseyes at 7:47 AM on March 24 [8 favorites]


I am so sad right now. Everyone I know in social media is still fighting with each other and I feel like everything is hopeless if people can’t even be nice to each other in the middle of a pandemic. I just started crying at 7am when I looked at the feeds and saw some more of it. But I can’t turn it off because that’s where I’m getting all my news from.
posted by corb at 7:49 AM on March 24 [9 favorites]


Come get your news from metafilter? My social media got fighty too. Everybody stressing stressing.
posted by glasseyes at 7:52 AM on March 24 [5 favorites]


This is really petty in the grand scheme of things, but it is disappointing that grocery delivery capacity is still being completely overwhelmed with no slots available at all as far as I can tell. I'm fine for food, it isn't any kind of emergency, and I'll just go to the grocery store later this week, but it is slightly frustrating to not be able to eliminate that one point of social contact during the lockdown.

I don't see an easy way to make it happen, but even more than my own mild frustration, I really wish that those delivery slots could be prioritized for seniors and other vulnerable people. There are people for whom going to the store is a much higher risk activity, and they should be first in line for these kinds of services.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:07 AM on March 24 [10 favorites]


Sometimes I like that I have forced my social media to be a bubble. There's no one fighting on my Facebook and Instagram; everyone is supportive and understanding and taking all of this incredibly seriously.

corb, I'm not saying you should unfriend everyone* but it might be worth it to mute the ones who are unreasonable. Also, I'll be your friend on social media! MeMail me!

*although, doing just that made a world of difference to my sanity after 2016. Sure, I don't see anything from my super-Republican family members but I just don't care anymore. If something happens, I'll hear about it from the family grapevine. And I completely abandoned Twitter. I know not everyone can do that. But if you can, do.
posted by cooker girl at 8:15 AM on March 24 [12 favorites]


Harris county (Houston Texas and surrounding area) is now under a "stay home work safe" order. Restaurants are still open for takeout and delivery, as are "critical services." They specifically do not want to use the term "shelter in place" due to the need to keep that specific to our usual weather-related emergencies. There are more and more cases showing up, especially in the NW area where I live. blurkerspouse and I are both able to work from home, but things are going to get much worse here before they get better.
posted by blurker at 8:17 AM on March 24 [3 favorites]


Just talked to my oncologist. He said that in the event the infusion center is shut down, he will have me switch to an all-oral regimen. While I'm glad that exists as an option, I am so fucking angry right now that I may have to lose the way better drug largely because this was so grossly mishandled by people who sold their fucking stocks and did nothing to protect the American people.

He is also going to have me take a red cell–boosting drug in order to try to avoid the need for a transfusion, since there's also a fucking blood shortage.

And now because of the fucking economy, we have the suggestion that us older people would be doing our grandchildren a favor by dying off instead of being around for them.
posted by FencingGal at 8:21 AM on March 24 [24 favorites]


NB. If people are having trouble sourcing fresh food, check your local commercial food retailers. Since their usual trade has dried up, many of them have stock that they’d love to shift. Around us the local meat supplier had shelf after shelf of discounted stock & the veg supplier was doing enormous veg boxes for £10 cash.
posted by pharm at 8:22 AM on March 24 [6 favorites]


There’s a blood shortage in the UK too. I would have donated today, but can’t as we’re in a 14-day isolation period :(
posted by pharm at 8:24 AM on March 24 [4 favorites]


It's spring in a lot of the world, which is when archers move outside and get to start shooting distance. But archery ranges are closed, even outdoor ones, and so we're all setting up thrown-together ranges in our yards, basements, from the dining room to the living room, down hallways, in garages, on balconies, or combinations of them. Seeing the photos of what people have managed to rig up makes me happy.

When the closings started I dashed to the range I'm usually at four days a week and got myself a portable bale. I now have a little range in my yard and it's quite pretty. I miss the range a lot, but my team has an active Facebook group and the coaches are supporting us via text. I feel very bad for my teammates who were supposed to be competing internationally this year, though.

One standard archery game is to shoot at a 40cm target from 18 meters away. I'm part of an on-line group where we usually shoot that at the range we usually go to, upload our scores to a website, and each month someone gets bragging rights for the top score. This month someone added a "shoot whatever distance you can get to" competition, where we used scaled-down targets proportionate to whatever you can come up with. I did it yesterday and came in just below my average, so I think it actually works.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:25 AM on March 24 [9 favorites]


Pretty much unremarkable here in the South Bay; grocery stores have limited selection in some aisles but then again it's not like I really wanted a 5lb block of undifferentiated meat product, so the absence thereof doesn't bother me. Still can't get groceries delivered, as the delivery slots sell out at midnight, but I almost got a slot yesterday which probably means people are starting to slack off on the bulk purchasing. First world problems.

...one thing I will say, however, is that Purple Carrot has been an excellent decision during all of this -- I get three vegan kits a week, which means six of my meals are covered without setting foot outside or interacting with anyone. Then I can do mass quantities (~16) of my standard burritos (refried bean, cheese, salsa, sour cream, soyrizo, then bake), and I've got lunch for a week, leaving me just one day to splash out on something stupid (assuming I can get it delivered, because man I really want some spiced-up queso de cabra, bread, and a decent red).
posted by aramaic at 9:08 AM on March 24 [3 favorites]


I had terrible crazy nightmares last night (I ate some peanuts which always seem to do this to me). Frankly, the insanity of my nightmares was a fucking relief from my constant low-level dread.
posted by srboisvert at 9:26 AM on March 24 [7 favorites]


Last night I had a nightmare about having to write a very detailed email about why I was coming in late to work, and honestly it was somewhat refreshing because it meant the world was otherwise normal! At least until I woke up and remembered reality.

My main problem is that my subconscious is so frazzled and worried that I've been waking up between midnight and 2am every morning (not usually from dreams/nightmares) and I've been having a hell of a time getting back to sleep. My usual get-back-to-sleep tactics aren't working quite as well, and I also just tend to sleep less when I'm cooped up inside for long stretches without doing much.
posted by phatkitten at 9:38 AM on March 24 [5 favorites]


(I realize that the description of my nightmare sounds kinda odd, but there was a perfect storm of other bullshit going on in the dream. So that was the main detail that seemed worth mentioning because in reality I've been WFH, making it odd that my brain pretended office life was still a thing.)
posted by phatkitten at 9:42 AM on March 24


Still fine working from home for a third week here in NC. Mrs. freecell got some groceries last Friday and we found a delivery service to top us up yesterday. I also have a park where I can go run around a lake and not get too close to people.

But I have people in my life and at work who are having a much tougher time.

Personal:
* friend's restaurant closed and everyone laid off
* family member manages a non-essential retail business and is going to have to close
* someone just found out they are having twins and is freaking out about it
* the politics of weekly exchanges of my 2 kids with my ex is a lot more complex now
* elderly mom, dad, and stepmom are local and mostly staying home, but I am super worried about them

Work:
* I manage a global team so I talk to people all over every day and they are in varying stages of lockdown/stress.
* All our India offices closed last week, and the major city lockdown stranded 2 people away from home.
* Just found out today that India has now declared a 21 day lockdown. Employees there very stressed (expected) but one also thinks it's a hoax (not expected).
* In general, having open communication lines with all my teammates is good but more challenging than social media because of the variety of opinions and theories they have, and I can't block them.
posted by freecellwizard at 9:48 AM on March 24 [5 favorites]


I had a dream the other night about the problems of air travel (as of, say, four months ago) that normally would have been a minor nightmare for the tediousness but was disappointing to wake to from because it meant the return to normalcy was a dream.
posted by Candleman at 9:53 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]


My husband went out yesterday for supplies and texted me while he was out: "There's a new Zachary's Pizza up by the hardware store." I found myself hit with an intense craving for Zachary's (and it's not even my favorite pizza place; I don't think we've been there in years). Figured out pretty quickly that what I was actually craving was the normality that would be implied by being able to go to a restaurant and eat pizza and drink beer with friends.
posted by Lexica at 9:55 AM on March 24 [8 favorites]


So from September to January I was unemployed and home almost all day every day. I was also pretty depressed during and before that period. And so, what have I been talking about with my shrink recently, now that I finally got a new job? The need for me to get out more. Socialize with my friends. And, especially, start dating again, after years of not bothering.

I would love for the next few months to be the story of me crushing these social goals by reaching out and talking to all my loved ones regularly and also falling in love with some new amazing person from an app while we're both on lockdown.

But I worry/suspect that it will be exactly like my depressing-as-fuck unemployment period, except with a job this time. (A job (which I am quite grateful to have) that currently involves processing thousands of covid-related layoff notices, so: also depressing.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:11 AM on March 24 [13 favorites]


I have enough stuff to make an erzatz muenster cheese and red pepper pizza. I think that is lunch, there will be shallots on it too. Heck yeah! I can do this!
posted by Oyéah at 10:14 AM on March 24 [6 favorites]


Yesterday evening the cumulative weight of convincing people that this pandemic is no joke bore down on me in a way for which I was unprepared. It has not helped that work, work which I am very lucky and grateful to have, is directly related to COVID-19 and also requires convincing. It was just too much, man. So this morning I made the decision to stop doing the work of convincing others that Things Are Bad because 1) it is self-evident and 2) that work is harming me, mentally. And I already feel a little bit better. My only job now is spreading joy, which is in far shorter supply than foreboding prognostications and downer links.
posted by grumpybear69 at 10:20 AM on March 24 [18 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos, it sounds like you should be at home like the rest of New York where everyone has been told to stay at home. Why aren't you at home?
posted by loriginedumonde at 10:32 AM on March 24 [10 favorites]


So from September to January I was unemployed and home almost all day every day.

I got laid off at the beginning of February - nothing to do with the virus, just a restructuring. Took a package, and as luck would have it, I landed a job earlier this month. Which was supposed to start March 17, then got pushed to the 23rd, now pushed to the 30th...And I suspect with trends being the way they are, we're about to go into full shelter-in-place in the near future.

So I'm thinking about emailing my new boss about setting up a Zoom meeting for Monday as a backup plan, and seeing what I can start working on remotely. Or else I just accept some extra weeks of unemployment, I guess.
posted by nubs at 10:51 AM on March 24 [2 favorites]


This is day 24 since the last time I saw my desk at the office, and week 2 of mandatory working from home. At least now, I get a corner office with a snoozing cat and a Sonos speaker.

(As an aside, I wonder if coronavirus will put an end to open office plans. Cubicle walls can't get sick.)

My wife and I both have our office doors closed most of the time, for phone calls and Zoom meetings. Shifting priorities where I work mean that my team has a little less to do now, so I'm worried about my job. I've been teaching piano lessons on Tuesday evenings, and my student and I are going to try video this time, so we'll see how that goes.

I bought a bag of limes last weekend to go with the giant pot of shredded chicken I made for tacos. For lunch today, it's a cup of ramen with a squeeze of lime to brighten it up a bit.

We found a blood drive nearby last week, and it felt good to help out in that way. Blood drive sponsors are canceling planned drives all over the place, but the Red Cross is still in need. Search by ZIP code on redcrossblood.org if you'd like to find a drive happening near you.
posted by emelenjr at 11:08 AM on March 24 [4 favorites]


There’s a blood shortage in the UK too. I would have donated today, but can’t as we’re in a 14-day isolation period :(

I'm not in the UK, so I may be missing something here, but this NHS website says that blood donation is considered essential travel.
posted by FencingGal at 11:08 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]


They have to self isolate because they have symptoms
posted by glasseyes at 11:10 AM on March 24 [4 favorites]


loriginedumonde: I'm at work because

a) I work for an essential business,
b) I am actually at a greater distance at work during the day than I would be at home where I would be cheek-by-jowl with my roommate who is working from home,
c) I am the only admin staff on site at an essential business, and
d) I have been closely monitoring myself and taking all the precautions, and know for a certainty that what I am experiencing IS INDEED allergies and hot flashes plus indigestion from a curry.

I've been taking my temperature on a daily basis and it has been consistently normal. I see no one during the day save for my roommate and maybe three people who all wave at me from a distance of about 20 feet as they each go to their own desks.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:19 AM on March 24 [10 favorites]


Our little corner of Idaho [Lewiston] is somehow still free of reported infections. That may change. I had this theory that the bug likes to follow the interstate highways. But I tend to be simplistic.

Stores and restaurants here are self-doing the right thing, as best they can figure it out. All the Fiddler gigs in this region were cancelled; I play my guitar at home. People are staying home. People are staying apart. Non-emergency medical appointments are cancelled. My cardiologist talks to me on the phone.

We postponed our plans to spend April in Cottonwood AZ. We have cat-food, toilet paper, and Netflix. If this is the worst we have to experience, I will count us among the supremely fortunate. I try to get a grip on the "14 day" theory, but it's slippery: symptoms lag infection, infectious capability outlasts symptoms. "14 days" seem like a bubble with sidearms.

We are both high-risk, yet, at least for now, we still have our hugs.
posted by mule98J at 11:23 AM on March 24 [9 favorites]


Yes, I’m at home due to a family member developing symptoms a week ago (they have since recovered completely thankfully). Advice is that I can’t donate inside the 14 day exclusion period.
posted by pharm at 12:05 PM on March 24 [1 favorite]


Me: Non-life-threatening autoimmune condition, not immunocompromised (much), already on daily miracle drug/death poison hydroxychloroquine for 5+ years now.

Also me: Half convinced I'm dying of something at all times, even outside of pandemic panic.

My IVIG infusion nurse: Oh, surprise, your medication order has changed and now I have to give you two IVs next week instead of just one!

Me: WTF?!!?!

MIIN: I don't know, maybe you had abnormal lab readings last time???

Yeah, that went over super well. And as it turns out, it's nothing.
There were no abnormal lab readings, so my instant certainty I was in imminent danger of liver failure is cancelled. My doc just has a bee in her bonnet about pharmacies ignoring her orders to add hydration to IVs for IVIG patients, so she's being super insistent about it for everyone. But I have never in 5 years of this had hydration, and never in 5 years had the side effects the hydration is meant to prevent, and also: NOT A FAN OF EVEN THE ONE NEEDLE, THANKS. Definitely don't want two.

Good news: They're fine with me not doing that if I don't want to do it, and I don't want to do it, so I'm not. Random panic was random.

I had also sent them a question via the portal about putting off my infusion for a few more weeks instead of doing it right now, as I do not particularly want anybody coming to my house - particularly not someone who has gone to the houses of many, many people every day for the past few weeks. I get infusions every 5-6 weeks, and next week is 5 - I would be perfectly fine waiting until 8 weeks, to see where things are then.

Bad news: Yeah, I don't get to put off my infusion. Doc nixed that idea before I could blink.

I like my infusion nurse and she's always been great at cleaning and sterilizing etc. But honestly, I'm not sure anyone could meet my current standards for that. I'm barely managing to meet my standards myself.

So that's awesome: Next week, two days in a row, someone has to come be in my house with me for 4 hours each of those days, touching me, touching my stuff, sticking me with needles. Breathing, and whatnot.

Me: Now super-convinced that if I'm not dying of something right now, I will be by end of next week...
posted by invincible summer at 12:27 PM on March 24 [7 favorites]


Not a whole lot to report. My roommate wanted to get quarters yesterday for laundry, and found out that the bank is drive-up window only. He doesn't have a car. So I went myself, and noticed that there were a few people standing in line with the cars, for future reference.

I work as a tech writer for a ventilator company, which is going full steam at the moment. I can work from home. They just asked me to approve the proofs for some labels that go on the ventilator devices. Been doing that all day. They accidentally mixed up the Norwegian and Swedish proofs, so I flagged them, and they were corrected. So when the people in Norway and Sweden get their new ventilators, they will have the correct language on them. That is my small contribution to this huge, huge effort.
posted by Melismata at 12:51 PM on March 24 [58 favorites]


Heard a rumor that someone had tested positive in one of our outer offices today; the rumor was more distressing because it was conveyed in a "we're not telling anyone, we Lysol'd the place down, we're not closing" way. Eff that. I called up my manager, who generally knows what's up, she had not heard, she is following up with leadership.

The office in question is in one of the few cities that don't already have a shutdown in place, but definitely should, and I had already been worried about my employee there because that office had seemed pretty hostile to the whole idea of taking this seriously.

If this turns out to be true, I don't have enough rage for the leadership in that office deciding this was a secret they could keep, and endangering everyone who worked there. But I'm holding on to my rage until I know for sure.
posted by emjaybee at 1:02 PM on March 24 [4 favorites]


SF Bay Area inhabitant checking in.
It took about a week for the Powers That Be to come to the conclusion that maybe keeping the Passport Office open for business during a global pandemic is not a good idea. You can still get a passport IF you have a bona fide life/death emergency but those cases are screened over the phone first and only the "mission critical" staff handle those directly.
I'm not "mission critical" and don't envy my colleagues having to pick their way through the Tenderloin. City Hall's only now trying to get homeless folks to a situation where they won't be vectors.
I'm doing well. Got a bunch of crabgrass pulled over the weekend. I have neighbors who I can wave at every day and two cats demanding snuggles and treats on the regular. Nice long honey-do list for myself, mostly books I've been meaning to read and online classes I've been meaning to take. The `hood is planning a social distancing picnic for Saturday, weather permitting.
Virtual hugs for everyone who's struggling with their health, jobs, and this whole shitty timeline in general.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 1:04 PM on March 24 [3 favorites]


Melbourne, Australia. Currently in shutdown as many things as possible mode, although stuff like hairdressers are still allowed to open (wtf- we can all enjoy having pandemic haircuts). Working from home, social distancing as much as possible. My mum wanted to come over and I said no. Will need to go to the supermarket as they don't do home deliveries. Have a zillion virtual medical consults this week, including one for my cat.
posted by daybeforetheday at 1:29 PM on March 24 [2 favorites]


Probably worth mentioning the second epidemic - the wave of terrible pandemic memes sent by extended family. My god
posted by ominous_paws at 1:36 PM on March 24 [17 favorites]


Second employee in my office, again on another floor, has just tested positive. Trying not to be irritated by the fact that they worked through Friday, which, given speed of onset and lack of speed of testing, means they almost certainly weren't feeling well on Friday and still showed up even though our office was very clear about staying home if you didn't feel well, and even though our state guarantees 14 days paid sick leave and job protection if you are under mandatory or precautionary quarantine.
posted by praemunire at 2:49 PM on March 24 [2 favorites]


Maine had its 1st case 3/12; it was in the news the following day. That was my personal circuit-breaker to Stay Home, esp. since I am a geezer and had a serious asthma flare-up and was coughing a lot. The side-eye, sheesh. A week or so ago, the Governor and MaineCDC recommended Stay Home and close non-essential businesses, and as of midnight it's an Order, though probably without much teeth, for now. This was the smart move. I am fine for groceries, dog food, beer, and wine. Heating oil was delivered with no contact, quite typical. We had a significant snow last night, but it's fairly warm, and sunny; I probably won't shovel the driveway; it'll melt.

After 6 weeks of using an inhaler aggressively, I'm not coughing, though my lungs are not 100%, but I feel better. I am deeply regretting not buying more oranges, but I'm not ready for a pick-up order yet. I have plenty to do and am accustomed to the Internet being a chunk of my social life.

How do I start telling people on social media to Buck Up? People are ill, working when they shouldn't because they have no choice, worried about money and groceries and parents. I have friends stranded overseas trying to get home. You can't get your hair colored? Tragic. Your kid's senior trip isn't going to happen? Traumatic. The grocery opens just for seniors, but you don't want to get there at 6 a.m.? How dare they try to keep you safe by letting you shop when the store is at its cleanest! This is a Global Pandemic in which there's a Death Toll and an Economic Toll, and many personal costs that will never be counted... rant continues... okay, I needed to share that. It's hard and it's hard for lots of people. I have moments of fear, and moments of loneliness. The idea of being afraid of Covid-19 for the next 18? months is depressing AF. The only thing I can contribute is to try to not make it worse.
posted by theora55 at 3:11 PM on March 24 [19 favorites]


My life’s changed less than probably 98% of the population. WFH w few friends; most weeks I only talk to the beau and the pup.the only major concession was I had to stop going to the shelter to walk doggos.
My baby sister, on the other hand-ICU nurse in CT w 18 mos kid who’s been monitoring lung cancer survivor dad since he was released from the hospital on home O2 after a bout w simple pneumonia. And she told me last night the PA she works in close quarters with has a bf who just tested positive. So that’s fun.
Also! Just saw the news about Liberty U. The hospital group I work for is close enough to them to admit their students as patients and mentor their med students. So if the epidemiologists are right and not the ecclesial, I’m about to have a heartbreaking view of how fast this thing explodes in a population ( currently no confirmed cases in the system, but definitely a few “ flu test is neg but it looks like flu so we’re calling it flu” pre Covid test availability.)
posted by jacy at 3:12 PM on March 24 [8 favorites]


anybody know who that reporter is? a little worried for her.
i expect to not see her in the briefing room again. i hope she remains safe.


still don't know who she is (couple stories reporting the fact of the first lady's test yesterday referred to her only as "a reporter"), but she's in the briefing room again today looking hale and healthy.
posted by 20 year lurk at 3:13 PM on March 24 [2 favorites]


> ominous_paws: terrible pandemic memes
I love them and post a batch daily on fb. Told ya I was a geezer.
posted by theora55 at 3:13 PM on March 24 [6 favorites]


Five large green helicopters, I think with white circles and red crosses on the side, flew by my home a little while ago. Yesterday, I watched the video linked at this comment (Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, Chief of the @USACEHQ, provides a 'simple' solution to the complicated problem of building temporary medical facilities to assist states with responding to #COVID19) and felt encouraged, and today I am grateful for that sense of hope and determination.
posted by katra at 3:14 PM on March 24 [4 favorites]


You know what? I work in UK healthcare, in a London hospital with triple figure patients at present. We are being hit very hard. I’m going to post some unexpected small scale positives, because I don’t want to see negativity at home as well as at work right now.

My department has finally, finally embraced conference calls - fantastic for us part-timers who used to miss all kinds of important things. Previous option was ringing a friend and them putting their mobile on speaker, which obviously doesn’t work well.

IT have finally given us all remote access, and I have managed to get a lot of IT glitches ironed out this week “to help fight Covid” (and actually that part is true, I do need these things to run effective virtual clinics. But I needed them before too, and couldn’t get them for Reasons which apparently no longer apply).

More buy-in for virtual clinic and telehealth in general, which I am a strong believer in - I genuinely think this will lead to permanent, positive changes in how we offer care, and more flexibility/family friendliness in my job.

I have finally managed to get my dialysis unit to move over to electronic prescribing - we have it in our other units, my unit is privately owned and was an outlier. Now they face the prospect of no doctor on site for six months, they have rapidly come around to the idea.

Any other petty little plus points to lockdown/Armageddon? Honestly the sillier the better right now.
posted by tinkletown at 3:42 PM on March 24 [20 favorites]


currently no confirmed cases in the system, but definitely a few “ flu test is neg but it looks like flu so we’re calling it flu” pre Covid test availability.)

Did you mean “calling it COVID”? Because I really hope they’re not calling it flu even with a negative flu test...
posted by Automocar at 3:50 PM on March 24 [2 favorites]


FDA is allowing scripts of Schedule II-IVs on the basis of a telemedicine appointment, saving a lot of people who are on one of them long-term from a lot of tedium. Hopefully that policy will stay in place with any necessary tweaks after this is over.
posted by praemunire at 4:27 PM on March 24 [13 favorites]


Got a link for that I could share, praemunire? :)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 4:35 PM on March 24 [1 favorite]


I made the mistake of stocking up (reasonably) and hunkering down two weeks ago... which means I was in need of more groceries on the day that the governor announced shelter in place. I probably should have just gone without milk and eggs for a few more days but I needed to be out to pick up a medication anyway and wasn't thinking very clearly. It wasn't crazy, but definitely busy, and it was hard to keep 6 feet away from people in small aisles, especially with everyone moving quickly and my peripheral vision being absolute shit.

I was seriously impressed with Trader Joe's, though. They had an (extremely cheery) person directing people to carts and baskets that had been cleaned, marked boxes of tape on the floor so that people stood 6 ft away from each other in line (and a person whose sole job was to walk around with a sign saying "LINE STARTS HERE" and direct people to stand in the boxes), they disinfected the counters (and more? I was frazzled so didn't quite catch the whole process) in between every customer, the cashier would come and get your cart or basket from you and take it over to the bagger and they'd both stand 6 ft away while your items were rung up and bagged. When ready to pay, the cashier and bagger stepped back from the counter and had you come around to the terminal; the receipt printed automatically and you were instructed to grab it yourself if you wanted it. I don't know if this is national policy but I told them I was really glad that the store was doing so much to keep their workers safe.
posted by brook horse at 4:46 PM on March 24 [32 favorites]


Did you mean “calling it COVID”? Because I really hope they’re not calling it flu even with a negative flu test...

No, you grokked it. It’s not often, but there was an uptick in documented influenza w a negative tests ( influenza panels do have a margin of error)as well as “ unspecified viral illness” the past month to two months. we’re absolutely forbidden to code it to Covid w/out a positive test result. It’s one of the very few exceptions to our normal practice of coding probable/likely/suspected diagnoses as confirmed.
posted by jacy at 4:49 PM on March 24 [4 favorites]


I can't figure out if there's actually a use for homemade whatever-cloth-you-have masks in Seattle. There was, and then a local manufacturer picked it up and the proper fine-filtration materials went to them, but Facebook groups show maybe some maskmaking still going on? Facebook does not make the timelines clear.

I haven't seen any analysis saying that washable masks make things worse *if you drop them in the laundry when you get home*, and quite a lot saying they reduce transmission risks both ways they just aren't as good as the medical ones... maybe I should just make some dang masks.
posted by clew at 4:50 PM on March 24 [3 favorites]


FDA is allowing scripts of Schedule II-IVs on the basis of a telemedicine appointment, saving a lot of people who are on one of them long-term from a lot of tedium

wait are people really still being forced to see a dr every fucking month to get an adderall refill? in 20 fucking 20?
posted by poffin boffin at 4:53 PM on March 24 [11 favorites]


In my world, I'm getting excited about cooking with different grains. Just ordered some millet; here's hoping I don't make a fantastic mess of it all.

Two advantages of this: diet variety, and no one's doing panic buying on millet that I can see. Plus, until my lungs fully heal, there's no way I'm getting on a bus to haul back a bag of rice. Nor am I having friends take me on errands until I know if I'm positive or not. (I am also OK on rice, so no need.)
posted by spinifex23 at 5:03 PM on March 24 [4 favorites]


My workplace is dependent on visitors and admission to help it stay afloat, so we are suffering right now. Upper management, to their credit, is trying really hard to devote as many resources to salary right now as they can to keep everyone employed as long as they can. But it feels inevitable that the plane we’re flying comes in for a terrible landing: two other museums in the metro area laid off most of their staff today.
posted by heurtebise at 5:16 PM on March 24 [6 favorites]


The art world has taken a huge hit. Maurice Berger is gone. This is an awful loss for us all, and I am gutted. I need to go sit with my art books and hope for a beautiful sunrise in the morning. Peace to you all.
posted by heyho at 5:36 PM on March 24 [8 favorites]


Whelp, DrMsEld had an employee test positive after, thank heavens, self isolating a week ago. Now that, in addition to a very low grade but persistent fever, means DrMsEld has to self isolate until she can get a test and get results. It's hopeful that testing will be faster and easier now but that hasn't been our impression since beginning to try to get information a few hours ago. She's in a hotel now and I'm in single-parent-while-working-at-home-mode so *shrug*, buckle up, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.
posted by RolandOfEld at 5:40 PM on March 24 [16 favorites]


Here you go. I know it's being put into practice because my own doctor just did it for me.
posted by praemunire at 5:42 PM on March 24 [7 favorites]


This is the second-and-a-half week of virtual instruction for my university. An anonymous survey taken by some students have highlighted some of the huge challenges to educational equity on top of the known issues with access to stable internet and computers now that campuses and library systems are shut down.

How the hell do you get your work done when you are home all day and thus "available" to take care of younger siblings. How do you jump onto Zoom and focus on an online class if you don't have your own bedroom let alone a dedicated work space? How do you finish your senior thesis when you are depressed and anxious? How do you stay mentally and physically resilient when you can't go to the gym anymore? What if school was a refuge from some crappy family dynamics and now there's nowhere to escape?
posted by spamandkimchi at 5:46 PM on March 24 [40 favorites]


Not to mention the students who either work at grocery stores/big box chains that are deemed essential, and thus are on the literal front lines and getting yelled at by upset customers, or students who got cut from their jobs and can't pay their rent.

Some faculty are pushing for a move to pass/fail for this semester or quarter.

I've retooled the syllabi so that projects can be redesigned to create group Instagrams, blogs and podcasts for us to collectively think about the urban and social equity impacts of the coronavirus crisis. I don't want to give up on learning together with my students, it's important, I think, to keep these spaces of mutual education open.

Neither response is sufficient. But it's something.
posted by spamandkimchi at 5:51 PM on March 24 [11 favorites]


cuny is pausing online classes, having realized that many students either don't have internet access at home, don't have a computer they have constant access to, or both, which is great - great that they're acknowledging it and trying to work something out. but less great in that the paused week or so now counts as our spring break and anyone who is still not able to get work done during that time now loses that time. incompletes are being pushed back to the end of the calendar year for completion, and CR/NC will be available until literally the last day of classes, but it's still such an immense shitshow, and i feel like a lot of people are just going to quietly withdraw rather than try to deal with everything, asking for accommodations, extensions, etc.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:00 PM on March 24 [9 favorites]


Some faculty are pushing for a move to pass/fail for this semester or quarter.


My daughter's school (a small liberal arts college) has converted all classes to pass/fail this semester. They will record a grade but it won't be included in the GPA and it won't be provided unless needed for something like grad school applications.
posted by vespabelle at 6:11 PM on March 24 [4 favorites]


following up on upthread discussion, dc mayor's order closing all nonessential businesses and prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people, effective march 25 at 10pm, includes marijuana dispensaries among essential healthcare and public health operations.
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:34 PM on March 24 [5 favorites]


I did my first telephone visits yesterday. They went better than expected. It was actually more efficient than an in-person appointment, because I just called at the stated time, we talked for about 15-20 min, and then I had 10 min to document. As opposed to the patient spending 10 min checking in/updating insurance at the front desk, another 15 min chatting with the nurse, and then like 5 min with me while I hastily try to document after the fact. It was luxurious to actually get to TALK to patients for a change.

Just proves what I've suspected all along, 90% of a medical encounter is useless checkboxes for billing purposes. Once they update bandwidth for video visits, it'll be even better. I'd love for the post-covid world to have telemedicine be standard, maybe once a year in-person appointments, or if there are new symptoms, but tele can take care of a lot these days (including, yes, refills of scheduled meds).

Also, I'm lucky in that my research (population health/epidemiology) can mostly be done at home, so the closure of wet labs doesn't affect me much. Analysis runs slower through the vpn, but this WFH setup means I can make a cup of tea while waiting. I also finished writing a book chapter today, a month before it's due, incredible!

I still can't shake my utter anger at the US govt chaotic "response" but on a hyperlocal level, things are alright for now. It feels like the calm before the storm, but at least my immediate leadership is trying to be proactive with mandating WFH/televisits be the default, encouraging transparency around contingency plans for quarantines, and basically called the CDC scarf/bandana recommendation "hogswallop" on a 65 person Zoom call this evening.
posted by basalganglia at 7:20 PM on March 24 [35 favorites]


RolandOfEld, best wishes to you and DrMs.
posted by eirias at 8:06 PM on March 24 [2 favorites]


Stay at home order for my area started today. And my brother just revealed that he is volunteering at a COVID-19 recovery center for homeless people. This is my adult brother who doesn't live with me, and I know he is doing a noble thing. But inside I'm screaming NOOOOO I DON'T WANT TO TO DIE.
posted by medusa at 8:44 PM on March 24 [5 favorites]


praemunire, I hovered over your link and was like, "Who is Dead Iversion and why do they have a .gov?" before I segmented the URL correctly :D

Reporting from central Seattle again; this is my second week of working from home. The office is now officially locked down but they agreed to water employees' desk plants (i.e. the usual office plant caretakers will label people's desk plants with the desk number, corral them in a central location, and keep them alive as part of their rounds).

Two folks in my co-op had their cars broken into, parked on the neighborhood's main stretch. Maybe this is an (unfortunate) indicator that enough folks are staying home that there's no longer enough pedestrian activity to deter thieves?

For a while, I didn't really think this was a huge change: you could still take walks; you could go to the grocery store; this was pretty loose. But now having read about supermarkets' unwillingness to keep their employees safe, I'm now not so willing to go to the grocery store anymore. The two stores nearest me are Safeway and Trader Joe's; Trader Joe's is metering entry but the line outside often has people not keeping their distance, and the Safeway hasn't made any changes at all; in contrast, my friend in another neighborhood says that their Safeway has 6' markers set up and freshly sanitized baskets.

Is it prudent to plan a December wedding at this rate?

Oh, my kitten gets to keep his testicles for a bit longer :D The vet is closed except for emergencies, and the doctor has declared his fuzzy bits to not be an emergency when I called! They also said that while 6 months is when most kittens get their surgery, exotic shorthairs take longer to mature, so I probably don't have to worry.

In the meantime he has terrible breath and now his lower gum seem swollen -- the swelling makes it look like his tongue is always hanging out, but his tongue is well inside his mouth. I hope this doesn't turn into anything serious. He's still snarfing at his food and willing to hunt the feather and chase the mouse, so maybe it'll just pass.
posted by batter_my_heart at 10:47 PM on March 24 [7 favorites]


Our national lockdown (and I really couldn't care less if people elsewhere in the world use a different terminology for various stages of quarantine, maybe focus also on the fact that I think that"alright" is a distinct and valid word) tomorrow end of day.
We've prepared pretty well, I'm safe, I can work from home, my husband no longer has to go in to work and yet I'm feeling so incredibly guilty that I haven't managed our shopping more carefully. My husband is just better at that kind of thing. I keep thinking "OMG we are going to run out of x, where can we get x" and B just sits down and does a spreadsheet.
We've been in complete "don't go outside" mode since last week. I have very little to complain about, and yet am still feeling so scared. I'm saying it here because there is nowhere else I can really say it without feeling that I'm dumping my stress on somebody else.
Batter my heart, I hope your kitten is ok! I'm kind of jealous at you for having a kitten. They are so awesome. I have five budgies and they are pretty cool too, but kind of self-contained which isn't what I need right now! :)
posted by Zumbador at 11:04 PM on March 24 [4 favorites]


Birdlovers of MeFi including Zumbador. You may enjoy this Facebook post turned Tweet. (direct link to image)
Them: "So how are you doing with the virus and quarantine and everything?"
Me: "Well I made a Jane Austen Bonnet for my chicken.... sooo...pretty great."
Them: .......
Me: "Her name is Elizabeth Hennet."
posted by spamandkimchi at 11:15 PM on March 24 [26 favorites]


Any other petty little plus points to lockdown/Armageddon?

Okay, here's quite a long list. I hope it doesn't sound smug. I'm trying hard to notice all the good among the terrible:

My university, which was already relatively good at offering Zoom options for meetings/events, is now also doing less formal things by Zoom, and as someone who worked from home most of the time already, and was based at a different campus from my disciplinary colleagues anyway, that is HUGE. I feel more connected than usual, and to the right people, not just the ones I happen to be located near.

Also, one of our students organised a daily writing session first thing in the morning where people log on, discuss what they want to work on, write (with cameras on) for an hour, and then check in to report progress. It is magic. I'm basically getting nothing else done all day, but it's the one thing keeping me vaguely productive right now. And it's forcing me to adhere to a normal schedule instead of indulging my nocturnal tendencies. Also it's awesome that it's student-led, and that the students don't mind us participating too, and I get to know some of our students better.

I finally stopped kidding myself that I would go to a gym or anything, moved some old exercise equipment out of the garage into a more convenient location (thanks to knowing we won't need any space for guests any time soon), evicted the redback spiders, and have gotten back into weightlifting for the first time in years.

No commuting (which on days I don't work at home for me would be a minimum 1.5 hours in a day, and often up to 3.5 hours in a day if I have to go to a different campus) is good for my wellbeing.

My cat is very happy to have people around all the time for snuggles at all times of the day.

Good friends who are geographically very far away are making more time for virtual get togethers, since they don't have to choose between real drinks/dinner with local people and virtual drinks/dinner with me.

I have time to have coffee with my husband in the morning before starting work for the day.

I've missed a few deadlines lately, but I've ALWAYS missed a few deadlines at any given time, and it's really nice not to feel guilty about it for a change, because everyone is just accepting that things are going to take longer than usual.
posted by lollusc at 11:41 PM on March 24 [8 favorites]


Hello from my shelter in place in San Francisco. The cats are very happy I'm home all day. Especially because I turn the heater on mid-day. I've been WFH for a couple of weeks and that's fine. I WFH a lot on my previous job. I don't have a very ergonomic set up, and should fix that, but eh. My actual work has mostly evaporated for the moment -- job is fine -- as the state legislature is in recess and City Hall is only working on covid19 issues. So I'm digging deep into my to do list and working on various fact sheets and reports that I never have time for. This is usually a very busy time of year and I love my job so it's very disorienting to not have much to do.

The shit that's really freaking me out: my sister was just diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. Which would be terrifying in the best of times, but navigating cancer and chemo in the midst of this shit is just too much. Plus all of the echos of taking care of rtha as she went through her cancer treatment and yeah, it all fucking sucks. She's nearby, and I can drop off groceries and things, and her partner's a mensch, but it's all awful and I'm keeping my physical distance at all times. Oh, and my 85 year old dad is in the hospital in Virginia with an infection and my mom is of course visiting him all the time and yeah that's not scary at all, nope.

I miss rtha deeply and constantly and there's a whole new level of grief here. I miss her for all of the fun stuff and the good times, but it turns out I really really miss her in the hard times. No one else I'd rather be quarantined with, and I don't have that option any more. So yeah, grief is sucking extra hard. Plus bonus echoes of the early years of HIV and all the people I lost then and the same fear of losing more people.

Not sure if there's anything good. I'm getting good at Zoom and convening different social groups on Zoom most nights of the week to meet my social and community needs. I've been doing weird things like online yoga classes. My job is safe, for now, and I can afford to order grocery delivery, and am pretty well set with canned food and so on. Lots of cat food stocked up. My downstairs neighbor is stress baking and keeps leaving bread and cake on the back porch for me. I'm working my way through some of the fancy liquor I never drink.

I'm paying the woman who cuts my hair and the woman who cleans my house and even my dentist had a pre-pay set up that I'm doing. I'm worried about the bars and clubs and restaurants that matter to me. I miss seeing my friends in person. I'm glad Metafilter is here for all of this. Hang in there.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:05 AM on March 25 [71 favorites]


Yay! Both the hotel and airline to Cambodia are willing to reschedule for us in June-September as we are ok with not refunding outright. We hope to go up as soon as travel restrictions clear, but who knows when.

Singapore announced a huge lockdown of pretty much anywhere over 10 people, except for classrooms. My youngest has passed her throat infection to me, and I have no idea when she'll be able to return to school, the one place she is allowed to go. Last night she started weeping over how many places are shut down, and that all her playdates are cancelled.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 1:49 AM on March 25 [5 favorites]


Australian check-in. So in Sydney with my 15 year old, who is going to school in Sydney this year as she was getting too big for her boots when we were in Tasmania.

I was supposed to fly back to Tasmania a week ago, come back to Sydney, and then we were going to fly back together to spend Easter with the family. But Tasmania has quarantine requirements, so getting there and back - too hard.

She went to school Monday and Tuesday. Today was 'home school' - WFH for me - apartment in the CBD. And the restaurant across the road sold out its wine stock at cost price as they are going to be shut for two months. And the cafe around the corner is now happy to deliver a single coffee to you. And the Chinese on the opposite corner have a special offer for anyone 300m away and the corner shop at the bottom of the building gives you 20% off if you live in the building.

The apartment has never been cleaner - when I need a break, I bleach, polish, wash any and all available surfaces.

2019 was a pretty crap year, but 2020 is setting some new benchmarks in crappiness. The only consolation - "when you are going through hell, keep going" (Churchill, from memory). I saw fragility in so many areas - these stresses are going to shatter an awful lot of people, systems, and beliefs. My hope is that out of that comes a gentler sustainability.
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 2:13 AM on March 25 [8 favorites]


Awful behaviour by Travelodge.
posted by paduasoy at 2:56 AM on March 25 [2 favorites]


Oh by the way, here's a tip for those of you who are (like us in South Africa) under "only go to the grocery store" restrictions.
Wear only clothes and items you can easily wash afterwards. Shoes? Belt? Hat? You might want to disinfect everything after your trip. Think about that.
Before you leave, set up a place near the entrance (garage door? front door?) where you set up a sanitising station with:
a cake of soap, bowl, and bottle of water and a towel for washing hands
a spray bottle of disinfectant for tins and boxes and anything else that you can disinfect
a rag to wipe shopping down with disinfectant or soapy water being sensible about what can be wiped down with a wet rag (don't disintegrate carboard boxes!)
a bag for your now possibly contaminated clothes which go straight into the washing machine
A robe or large shirt if you can't walk through the house naked
if possible, a box where you can leave all non-fridge-needing stuff to devirus themselves for a few days before you move them into your food storage spaces.
posted by Zumbador at 3:20 AM on March 25 [10 favorites]


This probably seems petty, but I am very relieved to hear that there is a six-month exemption for MOT tests from 30 March. Mine’s due in April, and I have been worried about it, and very glad I’m not facing the choice of risking it or declaring my vehicle SORN.

In other horrors, our deep freezer appears to be broken and my husband managed to find the last one in town, according to our usual appliance guy, and it’s due this afternoon. Fingers crossed it all goes ok.
posted by skybluepink at 4:16 AM on March 25 [7 favorites]


And yes, I am very fucking privileged to just buy a freezer, but my husband is in a higher-risk category, and this would be a very bad time to lose my freezer full of leftovers and frozen stock.
posted by skybluepink at 4:28 AM on March 25 [6 favorites]


Fuck. The governor of Tokyo, who’d been rumored to be ordering a lockdown, is holding a press conferencing really, really suggesting, very strongly, pretty please, that people stay home this week.

Today, after the largest single day number of positive tests in the city. No order to restaurants and bars to close down, and with no support structure for those that choose to close down during one of the traditionally busiest times of the year (business year end/beginning parties). So nothing is going to happen, and it’ll be just like last week (or all this week) where everything is crowded and people are going out like nothing is the matter. As far as I’m concerned, this is ass covering so that next week, when numbers continue to climb, they can claim that they did all they could. As far as I’ve heard, they’ve said absolutely nothing about what to do from Monday, aside from “if you can, you should work from home,” where recent reports showed that roughly 13% (!) of people in positions where work from home would be possible are doing so.

Thank god we went shopping for Mrs. Ghidorah’s parents yesterday and this morning, though they thought my insistence on them staying back while we put everything on their porch was excessive. And then my father in law jokingly point out that the guidelines that came out today, warning about people over 75, and people with certain conditions should be careful, saying “hah, I’m both of those!”

Fuck. Seething with rage between bouts of deer in the headlights sense of impending doom. Sorry, I needed a place to shout for a minute.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:37 AM on March 25 [12 favorites]


heard from friends on lockdown in toulouse. friend in bangkok who said things were fine there when i started working from home last week this morning says they're now on lockdown.
posted by 20 year lurk at 4:47 AM on March 25


Hong Kong today:

- more voices are calling for a full shutdown of society, including the head of the University of Hong Kong's Centre for Infection, to protect our healthcare system

- the cycle of masks flying around the world has reversed and now we're sending ours elsewhere

- some in the medical profession and all the local councils are begging people to stay home as much as possible

- it was reported that an infected Cathay Pacific pilot visited the bar Insomnia (note to MeFites: do not go to Insomnia) in Lan Kwai Fong while having been home for a month and the whole band contracted Covid-19; it's not clear if he's the person who passed it to them, but if so that means that 14 days of isolation is not enough

- the debate on whether the focus should be on limiting gathering size or creating more social distance at bars and restaurants continues

- the pan-democrats attempted to filibuster an emergency funding package but failed

- local retired investment banker/good governance activist (!) David Webb has brought up the point that the Education Bureau does not actually have the power to close schools, and has called for a Singapore-style continuation of classes, with protective measures; I agree with him, because online learning is simply not working for many working-class Hong Kong families

Personally, I've been told to prepare to organise a much longer duration of online lessons than I originally expected. Happily, the lessons can be ported back into real classrooms if we ever go back to school.
posted by mdonley at 5:35 AM on March 25 [5 favorites]


are we really getting an extra $600/week in unemployment benefits because that seems too good to be true?
posted by Jacqueline at 5:46 AM on March 25 [4 favorites]


Just got back from Kroger and most people weren't attempting to avoid other people's space even though the store wasn't crowded at all. Ugh.
posted by Beholder at 6:54 AM on March 25 [4 favorites]


Increasingly glad I got most of my food stocked up early as panic buying has now set in in Jakarta. I'm arguing daily with the animal transport agency about getting the paperwork for the dogs ready in case I really need to go. An odd neighbour whose family has gone back without him keeps inviting me over for drinks. If I live through this, it's going to make a great story.
posted by frumiousb at 7:00 AM on March 25 [2 favorites]


USA: This morning, I went to Market Basket in NH, for their seniors-only hour. It was crowded. Less than half the people wore masks. Most people weren't tring to keep a distance. Only me wearing gloves. My mask was one of the surgical-style ones my wife bought a bunch of, and it was largely useless. It had no way of pinching onto my nose, so I was just breathing around it, not through it. My wife gave me a very long list of stuff, and I wound up having to walk through the whole store several times, because they were still stocking the produce, and I didn't know where some items were kept. After almost 1-1/2 hours, I had a really full cart, and checked out. By then, the checkout lines were short. $230 worth. We hope it will last 2 weeks.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:01 AM on March 25 [6 favorites]


Oh, and there were no shortages of bread or toilet paper. Soy sauce was sparse; only La Choy left. Pasta had some big empty spaces; I got the last box of elbow macaroni. Milk was being restocked, but it didn't look like they had a huge amount. By and large, the store was well-stocked.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:14 AM on March 25 [5 favorites]


My current plan is to shop at the very last hour Hannaford is open and just take whatever they had left. Last week I got a bunch of Soba noodles because apparently frenzied shoppers didn't recognize them as pasta.

My kids are bouncing off the freakin' walls and I'm lucky if we do one educational thing a day. Dual WFH and school from home is just impossible.
posted by selfnoise at 7:17 AM on March 25 [6 favorites]


I live in an apartment and don't have a washer/dryer. I can't just wash wash wash my clothes immediately after having been outside. Hell, I'm afraid to have to spend time in a laundromat for hours. Another reason for me to NOT change clothes every day and NOT work out and get sweaty and NOT go outside, y'all. I need to NOT do laundry for as long as possible.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:53 AM on March 25 [10 favorites]


Sleeping Bear Dunes, a national park in Michigan, has had to close all of their restrooms because people can't use them safely after thieves stole all of the toilet paper and hand sanitizer. This included breaking the Purell dispensers to steal bags of the stuff. I'm sort of alternating between thinking people are wonderful and thinking they're terrible lately.

I also just posted on Next Door that the people posting for sale and free stuff are violating the governor's order, since we are only supposed to leave our houses for reasons of health and safety, which does not include picking up someone's old couch or dining set. I'm really wanting to downsize too, and I have a lot of stuff I'd like to get rid of, but I'm not doing it because of the governor's order.

I'm feeling very grouchy about the people thinking only of themselves and figuring it doesn't matter if they violate the order. I'm sure a lot of this is because I'm waiting every day to see if my oncologist calls me to tell me my chemo infusions have to be cancelled.

On the plus side, when I go for walks in my not super populated area, people are great about maintaining social distancing. Also, Ann Arbor is currently livestreaming their annual film festival. Should that be posted on the blue? I've always been afraid to post on the blue.
posted by FencingGal at 7:54 AM on March 25 [15 favorites]


I have to go in once a week to do payroll and deposit checks, but otherwise WFH. I don't really have the hang of it, honestly. My desk at work has so many visual clues about the stuff I need to get done. After the office yesterday I stopped at Costco for weekly shopping and they really have the program down. Much less busy than normal, cleaned carts, tape for distancing at registers - but there was no line. Fully stocked as far as I could tell. Even the guy who marks the receipt had me hold it up with two hands so he could mark it without touching it.

Meanwhile, I have seen many lovely chalk art and poster messages in the neighborhood as I walk my dogs. I have started my first sign for the yard. It says "Pandemics are dumb". I thought if I walked or drove past a house with that sign it would make me laugh. Hope to make some positive ones also. Thought about starting a Meta for us all to brainstorm pandemic slogans.

Definitely having moments of panic daily. MeFi helps.
posted by Glinn at 7:58 AM on March 25 [9 favorites]


This is asked in good faith. Can anyone tell me why the CDC's PPE requirements for covid19 ruleouts have relaxed even though OSHA continues to recommend an n95 or better respirator? Is it really only because there are not enough respirators or is there data that a surgical mask protects against x% of particulates when completing y task?
posted by pintapicasso at 7:59 AM on March 25 [2 favorites]


FencingGal, I have had downsizing urges during this, didn't realise it was a thing, but that makes sense. Nothing I can do with excess stuff at the moment so just piling it up for now. The charity shops may be overwhelmed when this is over.

Hmm, a slogan thread would be good.
posted by paduasoy at 8:02 AM on March 25 [2 favorites]


Also, Ann Arbor is currently livestreaming their annual film festival. Should that be posted on the blue? I've always been afraid to post on the blue.

If it's freely accessible on the web, sounds great! Go do it to it. If anything goes wrong, you can blame it on me.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:02 AM on March 25 [17 favorites]


METAFILTER: Soy sauce was sparse; only La Choy left. Pasta had some big empty spaces; I got the last box of elbow macaroni.
posted by philip-random at 8:03 AM on March 25 [5 favorites]


If it's freely accessible on the web, sounds great! Go do it to it. If anything goes wrong, you can blame it on me.

It's up. Thanks cortex.
posted by FencingGal at 8:17 AM on March 25 [10 favorites]


A family we're friends with just asked me if I would take their daughter's Senior photos: outside, everyone keeping appropriate distance. I'm in tears. If I can give her this one bit of the Senior-in-high-school experience, I'm more than happy to do it.
posted by cooker girl at 8:20 AM on March 25 [14 favorites]


I live in NYC, which has more confirmed cases than the rest of the state, and more confirmed cases than the next largest state. yaaaaaaay D: D: D:

I have no idea how other people are able to focus on things. We (my two partners and I) have a 4yo, and being a full-time worker and also a full-time brand-new homeschooler is fucking me up. I'm constantly worried that being distracted by child management will put the focus on me at work as being less than fully committed to work, which would put me on the frontline of any layoffs. (I don't know that that's true, but anxiety, &c.) On the other hand, how on earth am I supposed to focus on work when all this is going on?
posted by XtinaS at 8:36 AM on March 25 [8 favorites]


Social Distancing for Bros. Keep calm and party on. Just limit it to groups of four and bring your own picnic table.
posted by philip-random at 8:42 AM on March 25 [3 favorites]


interstitial segment on today's democracynow! (at 33:10) featuring PPE-clad health care workers dancing (& doing calisthenics or clapping-up maybe) over soul makossa got something in my eye.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:28 AM on March 25 [1 favorite]


gingerbeer, I'm so sorry to hear about your sister. There's obviously no good time for something like that but I can't imagine how awful the added social distancing component is making everything. Sending caring thoughts your way.

And I'm just a rando on the internet but I wanted to say that rtha isn't forgotten, even by those of us who never had direct interaction with her. I miss her comments on the blue and the green - and just the other week I saw some sort of raptor perched nearby while out with my dog, and thought about how rtha probably would have known what it was, and how great it would be to have that skill. I'm glad she shared some part of herself with us all on Metafilter, and I'm glad you're here as well.
posted by DingoMutt at 9:51 AM on March 25 [51 favorites]


St. Louis checking in. We're under Shelter in Place orders in both the City and County, but not St. Charles County where my parents live. I had to go out to Costco yesterday for medication and we grabbed a few things as well. It was noticeably quieter, and people were, at least in line, socially distancing pretty well. The drive home via Lindbergh was eerily sparse. People are out, but not a lot.

My org, a local university, has been working from home since Monday. I'm too distracted to do more than the bare minimum. I feel like something huge is happening and we're just toiling. Which, maybe it's good to have a distraction, but I feel like so much more is happening. Mostly, I've been mad at the way the government has been handling things. St. Louis seems okay, but the Missouri government dragged its feet closing schools, allegedly because of budget reasons. And the federal government, well... It shouldn't be shocking to me how much has been laid bare by COVID-19, but it's amazing how upset and appalled they've gotten at the thought of "maybe we should help people." So yeah, I'm just angry all the time now.

On a side note, I have an HR call in 10 minutes with the rest of the staff. I'm worried it's a "you are all laid off thing." I've been considered Essential Staff, but the fear remains.
posted by gc at 10:22 AM on March 25 [5 favorites]


I was going to be responsible and order delivery, but there are zero delivery spots available for the next week. So I guess it’s time to use the next few days to figure out how to suit up to brave the outside world.

I’m amusing myself by trying to plan “hazard fashion”. Like: should I sew gloves to go over dish gloves, so I don’t look quite so outlandish?
posted by corb at 10:23 AM on March 25 [3 favorites]


Today I have achieved almost nothing. I had tons of plans, and while I took a single phone call, answered one mail and paid a few bills, mainly I just hung out.
The reason I'm checking in in spite of my embarrassment is that I am working on my life's first sourdough from scratch. I'm not sure it's good, it smells like a barn. But what I'm noticing is that even though I don't touch it with my hands, my hands still smell of it, and I'm taking that as an indicator of how tiny molecules can catch on to you from what seems like a distance. It's quite frightening.
posted by mumimor at 10:32 AM on March 25 [14 favorites]


I live in a forest and have been going out with my neighbour at 6.30am to walk her two dogs in the woods - keeping a distance of at least 2m between us. We walk away from the hiking paths, and stay in the woods.

The rules here are confusing - you can take your dog for a walk, along with a family member, as your daily exercise. And if the dog has more than one walk it has to be another family member who takes it. I'm not a family member and so technically should not be walking a dog with my neighbour.

But the rules also say that there can be a 'gathering' of no more than two people, provided they stay more than 2m apart. So I don't consider that I'm breaking the rules when I take my daily exercise at the same time as my neighbour and her dogs.

Yesterday we saw only about 4 other people out between 6.30 and 7.30am. The Forest Rangers reported on Facebook that later in the day the car parks were full and the forest was packed with people - we've had a few gorgeous clear, sunny days after weeks and weeks of rain. It would be impossible on the hiking paths to stay more than 2m away from people - some of the paths are only about 1m wide.

This morning we saw probably about a dozen people on our walk, so I think people are starting to go out earlier to ensure they don't come into contact with throngs of people.

I saw on the news that police around the UK were having to break up large groups of people who are acting as if they're on holiday, holding parties and barbecues in the sunshine. WTF is wrong with people?

I've had a cough for a while (about six weeks) - but I had flu in January which lasted for about 3 full weeks, followed by a general post-viral malaise. I'm still not feeling 100%, with a constant post-nasal drip (which, means that mucus runs down the throat, giving a feeling of constantly needing to clear the throat, hence the cough). A couple of weeks ago I had an upset stomach and nausea, and the continuing post-nasal drip, with a foul taste in my mouth. I'm fairly certain that this is all a remnant of the January flu. I'm keeping an eye on it though. Breathing is fine and I think the irritation on my chest is just from too much coughing rather than any kind of pre-pneumonial fibrosis.

My upstairs neighbour, who works in the ICU dealing with people with breathing difficulties, told me (by text) it is exhausting and horrifying beyond belief. I've asked her to spare me the details, as it would stress me out too much.
posted by essexjan at 10:38 AM on March 25 [8 favorites]


While I'm really glad that the FDA is letting Schedule IIs be prescribed via telemedicine, there's still one huge problem....picking up. We're still largely stuck with going to the doubtless germ-ridden pharmacy to get our medications.

In our state (MA), I couldn't find any legal way to get our ADHD meds delivered to us. I did call our insurers and point this out, and they said they'd call back, but I have yet to hear anything. Under state law, I'm pretty sure we're still restricted to a 60 day supply at most, and my last pickup was for 30 days since those are the rules for the healthcare alliance I use. (Maybe they'll loosen that up the next time I make a request).

Going without is really not an option, considering that we're employed people with ADHD desperately trying to focus on work during a mass pandemic.

I'm going to try calling some of our representatives this week to ask if there's something that can be done about this.
posted by faineg at 10:47 AM on March 25 [4 favorites]


reminder for nyc that medly and capsule are still doing rx deliveries and IME medly at least is 100% reliable, although delivery slots go fast; i have never used capsule.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:02 AM on March 25 [2 favorites]


My job finishes this week. I've been working from home for the last couple of months and have to go into the office to drop off the work laptop. My manager (in his 20s), emailed to say "where and when shall we meet? I'm not precious about the infection". Told him I am and I'll drop it off at a time when I'm fairly sure there'll be no-one in the office. He's replied to say that's fine and he's been in the office today and it all seems very normal ... ? Wondering if I'm in some strange working from home bubble. This is in local government, so not somewhere you'd expect to be ignoring guidance.

The freelance project I was expecting to start next week has been cancelled as a result of the virus, so will have to look for work and apply for benefits. However one does the former at a time like this and with a skillset (data) that is mostly not very useful in a crisis.
posted by paduasoy at 11:07 AM on March 25 [3 favorites]


reminder for nyc that medly and capsule are still doing rx deliveries and IME medly at least is 100% reliable, although delivery slots go fast; i have never used capsule.

good reminder; I've used and liked capsule including last night
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:10 AM on March 25 [2 favorites]


Various places have started offering free or discounted food and drinks to NHS medical staff, along with reserved access to essentials at some supermarkets. So of course we're now getting reports of multiple attempts to mug NHS staff and steal their ID badges. I just can't even.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 11:28 AM on March 25 [7 favorites]


My employer scheduled a mandatory, in-person safety training, said we'd be following safe distancing which I suppose we were; nobody sat close to anyone. Just the same it was 10 minutes of dubious information presented over the course of 90 minutes by someone who introduced herself cheerfully as an RN who has been working directly with people diagnosed with COVID and told us to treat it like a flu. We had been told there would be some kind of magical info in this training that required it to be in person. I can't imagine what that would have been, but there certainly wasn't anything. At one point she wanted to show us how to properly put on and take off a face mask, but hadn't brought one. KICKER: our division head, who made this mandatory thing happen, was watching on FaceTime from home.

I am otherwise, keinahora, fine. But the people I work for are fucking idiots.
posted by less of course at 11:45 AM on March 25 [29 favorites]


Austin has been on shut-down for a couple of days but there are already strands of spider web between the cars in the parking lot. The spiders know the score.
Here's a useful message from The Doctor.
(someone on Twitter pointed out that this video means that Jodie Whittaker keeps her costume at home, which is awesome)
posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:54 AM on March 25 [11 favorites]


Well, of course she does. Never know when you need to bug off on an adventure....
EXCEPT RIGHT NOW, ANYWAY.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:58 AM on March 25 [3 favorites]


Well, my test came back negative, so I don't even know anymore.

"SARS COV 2 RNA, RT PCR NOT DETECTED
OVERALL RESULT: NOT DETECTED
The specimen is NEGATIVE for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus
associated with COVID-19.
The negative result does not rule out the possibility of COVID-19
and should not be used as the sole basis for patient management
decisions."

Still terrified to leave the house, and my lungs still suck.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:01 PM on March 25 [16 favorites]


Spouse and I left the house today for the first time since...I think Friday for him? Saturday for me. We went to donate blood (Success--two pints in the bank!) and the donation center was quite busy. A strong flow of people there to donate, but also the staff were clearly struggling to keep up with all the extra responsibilities they now have on top of the extra turnout. One of the workers said it's been like this for two weeks. I don't doubt blood supplies are down overall due to cancelled mobile drives if for no other reason, but it's not because nobody wants to donate. At least here in Chicago.

After that I did a grocery run to Aldi and a local Asian grocery, my first since things have gotten crazy. Aldi was about half-stocked. It was strange, like they had all the canned beans, but no dried beans and almost no rice. They had flour and sugar but none of the standard cooking oils. Produce seemed well-stocked, but all the good kinds of bread were out. The Asian grocery was actually indistinguishable from any other day, only fewer customers than usual. The only thing I couldn't get there was the one best kind of tofu, which is out of stock half the time normally.
posted by gueneverey at 12:20 PM on March 25 [6 favorites]


Reporting from the coast of Oregon, where the flood of tourists arriving for spring break last week meant that the governor ordered stay-at-home starting Monday and now the beaches are closed. It's a good thing on the whole - my neighborhood was full of parties the weekend before last, now, not so much - but oh it is making my dogs miserable. They're used to a couple long long runs on the beach every week and now it's leash only and in the neighborhood, which is suddenly full of dogs and people I have never seen before. This is very frustrating because the places I normally take them are usually empty even without a ban, but now I have to be around other people.

I'm not adjusting super well. Turns out that my naturally scattered self is just exacerbated by all this and trying to track work while at home feels like torture. I have like 8 projects going at the moment and I'm pinballing back and forth from one to the other, which means nothing is really getting done. I know I am incredibly lucky to have a job at all right now, much less one that lets me work from home - I am the only member of my small family who is still employed. The problem is that I didn't like my job much in the before times and it turns out that being able to sit in the living room in sweats is not enough to change that. I have to hold on to this job with all my might, gods know, but somehow knowing that is more anxiety provoking than motivating.

My beloved and toubled adult son, bearer of chaos energy, has come home for the duration. That's two people to feed on my small and tenuous paycheck. Yesterday my car broke down and my oven quit. Last Friday the city stopped by to tell me that my sewer line was broken under the street right before it enters the main (which apparently runs down the middle of the street) and I have 30 days to get it fixed. Also it's not the reason for the slow drains, that's something else that will have to be addressed and soon. Mechanics and triple A and plumbers and so on are all working. It's so surreal - some of my friends and all my family are in dire straits, no jobs, no money, others are working from home like me, cobbling together Zoom meetings on multiple aging machines and some things are just going on as if nothing has changed.

It's just so fucking weird right now.

And, if all that was not enough, my gall stone surgery has been put off indefinitely as an elective procedure. I am getting pretty good at fat free cooking - I made a pumpkin bread last night that was out of this world - but I'm starting to mourn for home fries. To top it off, the doctors still have not figured out where the blood clot that appeared in my lung at the same time as the gallstone* appeared in my gall bladder came from. So they want me to do more tests - at the hospital. I do not want to go to the hospital right now, thanks.

So, TL/DR: it's getting harder and harder to differentiate the constant underlying thrum of impending health doom from the constant underlying thrum of impending financial doom.

* I only have have one gallstone, but it's a really big one that keeps blocking the ducts. The surgeon says I can't keep it and turn it into a piece of gruesome jewelry after it's out though, bah.
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:31 PM on March 25 [19 favorites]


Yesterday I cleaned off my vanity table and put all my makeup in a drawer. I thought it would feel liberating and decluttery, and it sort of does... but it's mixed with a weird nostalgic sadness about the utter non-existence of my normal workday or going-out appearance, and then a sort of second-level guilt about caring at all about such a thing in such a time.

I regularly go without makeup during the day on the weekend, so it's not as if I'm not used to seeing my face without it, and I don't even wear heavy makeup normally. But somehow it's very unsettling to go to the bathroom or turn on the webcam during work and see my weekend self.

"Doesn't she look tired?" Yeah, I guess I do :(
posted by slenderloris at 12:31 PM on March 25 [11 favorites]


My uncle who has been very ill for a year with pancreatic cancer just tested positive for the virus. My cousin and aunt are self-isolating in their high-rise condo in Westchester, but cousin told me that she's been doing things like lifting him to shift him from bed to wheelchair, so she's pretty sure she's just waiting for symptoms. They won't be allowed in to the hospital, so it's quite possible they have seen him for the last time.

Another cousin, in Queens, works in a medical office where a doctor recently tested positive, so she is waiting for her results. She and one of her siblings live with their mother, my aunt, who was hospitalized for bronchitis in February. She has various medical vulnerabilities and is in her 70s. Their other sibling lives alone in subsidized housing in Harlem, and has all kinds of anxiety/mental illness. I'm not sure whether to hope he's been staying with them or not, this whole situation is the absolute worst kind of trigger for all the things he obsesses over.

My dad, the youngest of his siblings, recently has made a pretty full recovery from surgery to treat his esophageal cancer and lives in Western NY. He and his wife are pretty aloof in general and having no trouble with staying home and living quietly. I was able to advise them to cancel their cleaning lady's visit this week (they paid her) and I think they are treating this seriously.

Keeping tabs on my people (mom and partner; sister and partner; brother and partner; partner's family; friends across the country; colleagues and their partners) helps in that I have talked or texted or facetimed a lot of them lately - but it's also exhausting scrolling through the mental list, holding them all in my heart, hoping we all make it through as well as we can.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 12:41 PM on March 25 [7 favorites]


Thank you for the link to Doctor Who, thatwhichfalls. You'd think it would be safe to read the comments. Why would people, at a time like this and in response to an unarguably kind message, think it's ok to slag off the actor or the programme? I don't know why I am resorting to rhetorical questions, never a good idea.
posted by paduasoy at 12:42 PM on March 25 [4 favorites]


But somehow it's very unsettling to go to the bathroom or turn on the webcam during work and see my weekend self.

I don't really wear my glasses around the house (for long distance reading at this point), but it's very weird that I literally haven't put them on for over a week now.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:56 PM on March 25 [3 favorites]


> I don't really wear my glasses around the house (for long distance reading at this point), but it's very weird that I literally haven't put them on for over a week now.

I need to remind myself to brush my teeth in the morning, because it's usually what I do right before leaving the house and now I don't have that cue.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:02 PM on March 25 [15 favorites]


I don't really wear my glasses around the house (for long distance reading at this point), but it's very weird that I literally haven't put them on for over a week now.

I wore a bra for 30 minutes during a web meeting last week and then realized they can’t see my chest anyway, and have not otherwise since. It’s not mind blowing because I did this for years and only recently started wearing a bra again, but it’s still pretty great.
posted by brook horse at 1:29 PM on March 25 [11 favorites]


and now I don't have that cue.

When I left my office for the unforeseeable future last week, I made sure to bring my blue cup with me. It doesn't matter that I have other cups at home. I can't do work properly without my blue cup.
posted by Melismata at 1:34 PM on March 25 [12 favorites]


This resonates so hard ...I'm lucky if we do one educational thing a day. Dual WFH and school from home is just impossible.

my 11 year old is falling into a decline (no joke, totally serious), and I am helpless. We have been home now since 12 March, when he was sent home from school with fever (pediatrician said no corona, lungs were and are totally clear). Once the fever was over, on 16 March, all schools were closed here in Austria. So we are sitting on eaach others nerves, me trying to get him to do his home work (the only ones he loves doing are maths, his fave subject and favourit teacher who also does a daily video for the class), the rest is a mess.

And I am scared to lose my job, I am an event manager, and all I did last week was cancel events, all the way into September as there is no way we can secure speakers now for the foreseeable future.
The worst part about the cancellations is that these are all suppliers I have known for many years, some more than 15 yrs, and they are all small businesses and face the abyss - caterers, restaurants, car service, small hotels, vidoegrapher, photographers, tech guys, etc. I have always preferred the small business to the big corps, and now I get to share their pain.
And once I am done cancelling and in some rare cases postponing (into 2021 as these are all academic conferences and lectures with long palnning phase) I iwll have run out of things to do, nothing to plan or manage.

I just left my now ex, my 11yrs old and I moved out in January, but now virtually the only person we see is ex, either son visits him or ex visits us (which is legal in Austria, children with two households may move between the households after a special regulation added to the law only a few days ago).

supposedly the restrictions will lift on 13 April but I don't believe it. I fear it will go into May, perhaps even June. And I am already worn out. But we do have noodles and TP at least. No shortages here, supermarkets are fully stocked following the initial hoarding.
posted by 15L06 at 1:38 PM on March 25 [12 favorites]


I went to the grocery store this afternoon for some essentials, but I wasn't able to pick up any rice or canned tomatoes. There were no canned tomatoes (or pasta) to be found, and the only rice available was the overpriced microwave stuff, which no one else seemed to want to touch either.

The rational part of me is telling me that this is just supply chain problems in a time of weird shopping patterns, and everything will be okay. The small catastrophizing part of my brain that is one of my few legitimate inheritances from my mother, however, is FLIPPING THE FUCK OUT RIGHT NOW. Fortunately Mrs. Example is around to talk me down.

On a happier note, I have somehow in the middle of all this managed to get promoted at work, effective at the beginning of next month. I'm pretty excited about it, not least because I'll be more or less doing the same work for more money...but I really wanted to go out to the pub with people to celebrate, and I can't. :( I'll just have to save it for a few months from now, I guess.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:43 PM on March 25 [7 favorites]


When I left my office for the unforeseeable future last week, I made sure to bring my blue cup with me. It doesn't matter that I have other cups at home. I can't do work properly without my blue cup.

Same! I went in over the weekend to collect my long-term supplies, and it's made me unreasonably satisfied this week to have my Work Bottle With The Long Straw at my kitchen-counter-workstation.

It's also fun to see my colleagues at home with their own Work Bottles and Work Mugs that I recognize from the office, haha.
posted by slenderloris at 1:48 PM on March 25 [11 favorites]


Congrats with the new job, Mr. Bad Example!
posted by mumimor at 1:49 PM on March 25 [2 favorites]


I just got my first Trump campaign flyer in the mail. President Trump's Coronavirus: Guidelines for Americans. I added the punctuation that they left out.
posted by srboisvert at 1:56 PM on March 25 [12 favorites]


I feel so much better today because I messaged my friend who's job is basically processing COVID-19 tests for the foreseeable future to offer to pick anything she might need from the grocery store when I go tomorrow and just leave it on her front stoop, and she said that would be so helpful, she's been working such long hours that she hasn't had the time or energy. So now I have a purpose that contributes to making the world better! I can help make her life easier so she can keep doing her important thing.

It's such a little thing, but it feels good to contribute in some way.
posted by bridgebury at 2:00 PM on March 25 [27 favorites]


A couple days ago, in the middle of the night, I realized that my cable modem has been running 24/7/365 for over five years and that I currently rely on it for pretty much 100% of work, recreation, and social activities. So I ordered a spare to keep on hand in case it craps out.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 2:02 PM on March 25 [8 favorites]


My life has not really been affected so far as I already work from home and live a "socially distant" lifestyle. However I have had plans to move to a permaculture smallholding for the growing season from April. I know I can't do this now. The frustration and confusion of not being able to control the future and do what I want has been making me feel terrible. I feel lucky that this is the only affect on me so far, but it still sucks. So I am so empathetic to people who are having to make much tougher choices than this. Best to you all.
posted by Balthamos at 2:28 PM on March 25 [5 favorites]


bridgebury; wonderful! We need more stories like this.

It's a way through if we can find something good and share this experience in any way we can.

For some, it's looking after relatives or co-workers or ourselves. Sometimes we can help a stocker or cashier or healthcare person or delivery person by being a highlight in their day. It's offering the neighbor to pick up something or lend a hand.

The hardest help is to be a listener or offer sympathy to those who need it for any reason. We send internet hugs to mefites who've just lost a beloved pet or person and isn't able to process in these times. We are understanding when someone is filled with angst or is fighty. This all takes a sense of community that's the defining feature of this website.

I'll share too: I gave a package of toilet paper to an acquaintance who has teenage girls at home. It's a small necessary thing that will make their life just a small bit less stressful. And I now have something to smile about, too.

I hope we all find our way through this together. I wish we could all feel safe. I wish none of this was happening. I wish I could make it all better.
posted by mightshould at 2:39 PM on March 25 [6 favorites]


Well.

Someone at my office has tested positive, and they are closing down the office until March 30th for deep-cleaning. In addition, I am one of the people that they think might have come into contact with this person and I have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.

I have been very diligent about keeping my distance from people and proper sanitation and cleaning, and I'm in an office with a door I can close and barely talk to anyone in real life all day. So I am reasonably confident that I'm going to be okay; the people who decided who had to self-quarantine have been working from home for a couple weeks themselves, so it's very possible that their list of "who has to stay home" was based on "who got pizza the day we ordered it last week" as opposed to observable data. Still....a little freaked out.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:56 PM on March 25 [13 favorites]


Welp, we just got locked down. I'm not too worried about my immediate situation. I have enough food for a few weeks, a job that I can do from home, a back yard, and a bidet. Also, I'm kind of living the quarantine dream because my partner has his own house a couple of blocks away, so I'm not suffering from either loneliness or too much togetherness.

I wonder if a lot of platonic friends aren't partnering up to get through this. Couples accept the risk of cross-contamination in exchange for the comfort of human contact, so it seems like it would be a totally reasonable thing for friends to do too.
posted by HotToddy at 2:57 PM on March 25 [4 favorites]


My mental health has begun to seriously deteriorate. Spouse has been an absent partner for a while, this has gotten more pronounced. We no longer express affection in similar ways and react very differently to any stress much less acute stress. I want to seek comfort and safety in arms of lover, they do not. I have communicated this 4-5 times over the last couple years, only result was they started therapy a month ago but has now stopped.

Trying to hang in there but feeling very anxious / sad / angry. No sleep schedule, isolating in office nee guest room. Back on booze after two months sober. Crying a lot. Some intrusive thoughts. Terribly worries about my family down in north carolina. Trying to somehow lock back in to school, many deadlines and stress there. Work also - working for a dept which includes a primary care clinic in west Philly = on all of the emails that paint a picture of what is coming. I don’t think anyone that is not in health care understands how bad this is about to be, and I’m only on the edges.

Taking baths, throwing anything at the wall that might help for an hour. Left house yesterday for first time since the 16th for a two hour bike ride. Playing some online video games with two friends this evening, should be nice for a minute.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:09 PM on March 25 [28 favorites]


this is all a global disaster of epic proportions along so many different axes. mine is somewhat safe w/r/t economy which is massive. flipside is very not safe w/r/t mental stability. please reach out to your non neurotypical friends and family, they are likely absolutely losing their shit also
posted by lazaruslong at 3:11 PM on March 25 [13 favorites]


Went outside for a small walk, and the Universe gifted me a wok. I feel so happy about my little wok right now.

It needs to be reseasoned, and the little bits of rust needs to be cleaned off, but it's MINE. I haven't had a decent wok for years now.
posted by spinifex23 at 3:34 PM on March 25 [13 favorites]


USA: MA Governor Baker announced today that all schools will stay closed until at least May 4. My wife says she'll keep WFH as long as the schools are closed.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:35 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]


New York currently has 10x the cases California has and it's so incredibly frustrating knowing that friends and family in NY are in the midst of all this, surrounded by people failing to take this situation as seriously as they ought to be, with no guarantee of evading risk, no matter how many precautions they personally take.
posted by rather be jorting at 3:56 PM on March 25 [11 favorites]


I wonder if a lot of platonic friends aren't partnering up to get through this. Couples accept the risk of cross-contamination in exchange for the comfort of human contact, so it seems like it would be a totally reasonable thing for friends to do too.

My little family is three platonic friends in a house (plus assorted animals). We're remarkably well suited to each other, and tend to take turns with our anxiety spikes -- even now, when they're cycling a lot faster than they used to. I would probably definitely be careening off the rails without them right now.

It's a much more relaxing situation than most of the coupled-up relationships I see in the world. (Dating and marriage look super stressful from the outside; I cannot recommend. :)
posted by invincible summer at 4:00 PM on March 25 [7 favorites]


We're in Tacoma, about an hour south of Seattle. None of us have been tested, but I think that my two kids had, and got over, mild cases of COVID-19. Now my husband is showing symptoms. I've been finding it hard to do anything but read the news and Twitter lately and this doesn't help.

I deal with my stress by free writing with cognitive-behavioral therapy prompts... time to go do a lot of that.
posted by shirobara at 4:40 PM on March 25 [4 favorites]


Went outside for a small walk, and the Universe gifted me a wok.

i wanted to ask "was it just hanging out on the ground or did it fall excitingly from the sky" but that set me off on a 1.5h internets tangent over who is on the ISS right now and whether or not it is apparent from their social media that they might have misplaced a wok
posted by poffin boffin at 4:52 PM on March 25 [28 favorites]


Central New Jersey: supermarket worker checking in.

We currently have plexiglass partitions between cashiers and customers; the fire department came here and sanitized all our carts; no hand baskets because it's too hard to track them all down to keep them disinfected; no loose bagels/doughnuts/cookies/salad bar/olive bar where people can serve themselves for the time being; today we placed markers on the floors to both show where six feet designations are, but also to make the aisles "one way" to as to lessen people coming in contact with each other.

And yet...they still come in shopping, some wearing masks and gloves, and do not observe the six foot rule. I'm trying to fill the meat case, and they think nothing of reaching in front of me, or coming up close to ask a question. All I can do is step back but they'll keep approaching. I use meat racks to shield myself and make a barrier, and they'll try to move it aside. It's very frustrating. You'd think they'd WANT to stay away from me! I have hundreds of people every day passing me, talking to me, hovering over me.

Patience is wearing thin. And if you don't see it, we don't have it. We DO NOT hide stuff in the back, like some people seem to think we do.
posted by annieb at 4:59 PM on March 25 [71 favorites]


Thank you for your service.

We all need food. Stay safe.
posted by Windopaene at 5:32 PM on March 25 [11 favorites]


I had a fetal monitoring appointment today at my doctors office located not in a hospital but the giant four story clinic that runs all the labs and had primary care. I was expecting a crowd but it was almost empty. So few patients, mostly nurses and doctors. After a while I asked what was going on and was told they’ve switched everything possible to video appointments, unless you physically need to be there like I did they keep you home. I’m amazed they implemented that so quickly, and happy because I want them all to be as safe as possible.

Also baby is doing fine, less then a month to go!
posted by lepus at 6:01 PM on March 25 [31 favorites]


Yesterday I cleaned off my vanity table and put all my makeup in a drawer. I thought it would feel liberating and decluttery, and it sort of does... but it's mixed with a weird nostalgic sadness

I was just thinking I could do the same with my shoes, and like 90% of my clothes. All I'm going to need for the next few months are comfy lounging around clothes, and slippers. But it feels too sad to hide everything else away. It also feels sad to look at all the stuff I don't need every time I open my closet, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by lollusc at 6:26 PM on March 25 [6 favorites]


just me - i feel a big sense of accomplishment if i shower and put on makeup, right now. also really nice to not have to remove my fingernail polish to go into the office. kind of a silver lining that the conflict between my desired gender expression and my anxiety about having an alt gender expression in public is reduced. a++ would recommend.
posted by lazaruslong at 6:29 PM on March 25 [23 favorites]


My boss just cancelled our Friday staff meetings through Memorial Day. He’d already done through April a week or so ago. Guess he’s getting guidance from on high to expect at least another month.
posted by janell at 6:30 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]


My doctors found the right med to contain my coughing! Benzonatate is a miracle as far as I’m concerned. It was looking like I might have to go to the hospital, and now I definitely don’t! I can breathe! I showered standing up! Still need to sleep for days. Maybe a week.
posted by (Over) Thinking at 7:05 PM on March 25 [48 favorites]


Yay, so happy to hear you are feeling better, (Over) Thinking!!
posted by ferret branca at 7:29 PM on March 25 [2 favorites]


Thumbs up (Over)...

Apologies for making a joke at the expense of your name. But, it was funny...
posted by Windopaene at 7:30 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]


After finally getting around to checking in on friends after last week, it turns out I actually know five people with the virus. Mildly surprising. All five seem set to survive, so far anyway.

...now, to be clear, none have actually been tested, but in all five cases their docs/nurses told them they *definitely* had it but they also weren't going to be tested because it wouldn't change their treatment plan (said treatment plan being "stay at home, and try not to die. Also, drink lots of fluids.").

Three in NYC, two in Chicago. They all found out within two days of each other, which I find oddly fascinating (in terms of how things develop over time, I mean).

The US may be the most incompetent society in all of human history, which is really saying something when you adjust for scale.
posted by aramaic at 8:10 PM on March 25 [12 favorites]


I was just thinking I could do the same with my shoes, and like 90% of my clothes. All I'm going to need for the next few months are comfy lounging around clothes, and slippers. But it feels too sad to hide everything else away. It also feels sad to look at all the stuff I don't need every time I open my closet, so

Yeah, it's ironic that I have overfull closets and now there's no point in literally any of it now. I'm known for my outfits here, but what's the point now? There is no point.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:24 PM on March 25 [5 favorites]


You can have a covid home fashion show.
posted by Marticus at 9:36 PM on March 25 [10 favorites]


Good point.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:40 PM on March 25 [7 favorites]


Checking in from Albuquerque, New Mexico:

Inspired by Fencing Gal's comment about people buying and selling though NextDoor, I wrote to Craigslist and told them they shut down much of their site where there are restrictions to just essential services.

My wife and I are both working from home. There are some glitches, technical and otherwise. But we are pretty lucky overall. I try to get out for a walk every day.
posted by NotLost at 10:07 PM on March 25 [3 favorites]


South Africa: it's official. Sale of alcohol prohibited. That's going to go down well. Wonder how the black market will respond.

Yesterday my husband suddenly said we should try to foster a dog from one of the nearby shelters to help them out. But none of them needed us to foster so...that one didn't work out. I'm actually relieved because it's one less uncontrollable variable in my life. And having a new dog that you can't walk (dog walking in public spaces is prohibited) maybe not ideal.
posted by Zumbador at 10:13 PM on March 25 [4 favorites]


That's one thing that gets me in all of this, every time - people's pets and companion animals? They're stressed out too. There's been a major change in routine, not to mention elevated tension and the like, and some are not handling it well.

I feel for the animals affected in all of this, as well.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:31 PM on March 25 [10 favorites]


So of course we're now getting reports of multiple attempts to mug NHS staff and steal their ID badges

My first thought was "what incredible arseholes". But then I started wondering: with the benefits system overwhelmed and lots of people thrown out of casual work, are they stealing the badges because they just need food?
posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:39 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]


So of course we're now getting reports of multiple attempts to mug NHS staff and steal their ID badges.

What I see there is one confirmed incident and maybe some others, given with no specifics or even a specific location.

OK. I'm not saying this never at all happened anywhere at any time; I'm sure the one reported with names did. Nonetheless, I'm down on my knees to you, Mefi, you are all educated and/or smart people, this is the kind of story that should make you instantly suspicious and double-checking the sources. It's the "of course *they* would" sort of narrative, and as grown people in a crisis you have a responsibility to keep your basic critical thinking skills functioning. Otherwise you end up just contributing to another moral panic.
posted by praemunire at 12:02 AM on March 26 [29 favorites]


The wholesale fruit and veg businesses based at New Spitalfields (London's wholesale produce market in Leyton) have lost their restaurant trade so they are offering a home delivery service to the public, within the M25 and in certain areas on the South Coast - either a veg box or you can choose your own items from a list of fruit, vegetables and a few other items such as dairy and bread (and toilet rolls!).

Prices are reasonable, and delivery is £4.95 on an order costing over £25. You don't have to order huge quantities (e.g. a sack of carrots), just the normal amounts you'd buy in the supermarket.

It's called Osolocal2U.

I have put in a 'test' order to see what it's like. If it's good quality, then the neighbours will get together (on WhatsApp, of course!) to co-ordinate a bulk order to defray the delivery costs.
posted by essexjan at 12:15 AM on March 26 [14 favorites]


I feel for the animals affected in all of this, as well.

nyc shelters are p much empty bc everyone was like GIVE ME A DOGGY RIGHT NOW so at least some of them are doing well
posted by poffin boffin at 12:22 AM on March 26 [16 favorites]


Might be of interest to MeFites: Call for isolated Britons to help digitise historical rainfall data.
posted by paduasoy at 12:37 AM on March 26 [4 favorites]


So we had a possible covid infection at work today and that was the final straw; my workplace is essential (unemployment department) but my job really isn't, so I am now on two weeks annual leave, and if they don't have work from home available by the end, I'm dipping into my long service leave. I understand I'm privileged, but I'm not getting on a bus while infections are still increasing.

Good thing I stocked up on tequila and Futurama.
posted by Marticus at 1:22 AM on March 26 [11 favorites]


Poland: as of yesterday we're on essential-errands-only lockdown, which thankfully includes outdoor exercise. A full 99% of my agency's workforce is working from home, though as of Friday last some ministries were still refusing remote office work even while the government recommends it for everyone.

I'm channelling my energy into care for a surgery convalescent (who complains I boss her around <3) and cooking treats for her. I've hand-sewn two masks for both of us and am wearing one in all enclosed spaces. I may make more, the sewing is calming. Less writing, though I got another shipment of pretty pens and ink. And makeup, which I need to start putting on at home to enjoy it...

My psychiatrist Skype checkup included separate Covid questions and she says that normally she'd start discussing taking me off the SSRIs now (been on them since late November for anxiety to cope with family stress), this is "not a normal spring" and she's giving me enough for four more months.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 1:36 AM on March 26 [3 favorites]


Today I want to get some work done. No hanging about in my PJs all day.
I thought it was a good omen that I saw a fox cub working on their hunting skills in my garden when I sat down at the computer. The dog didn't notice, luckily, so I could watch for a long while, and take pictures to send to the girls in the city.
In other good news, the virus is making rents fall dramatically in the bigger cities here. Like I suspected, they were driven up by airbnb, and with no tourists, they are coming back to a more reasonable level. The evil rent seekers are not seeing any change soon, because they reckon that even after the pandemic is over, it will take a while before people start traveling again.
The numbers here are OK. There's going to be a steep curve in the number of cases, because they are going to test far more from very soon. (I don't know when that is yet). But if you just look at the curve of people who are hospitalized, it's rising, but not exponentially.
posted by mumimor at 1:48 AM on March 26 [7 favorites]


i've been listening to some episodes of columbia university virology professor vincent racaniello's podcast This Week in Virology on youtube as i sink into sweet slumber, nights. his blog is here. episode 594: coronavirus update - shelter in place is dated yesterday.

NB - maybe not for those in the grip of exceptional anxiety. or, maybe, better to hear from an expert (or several: on those episodes i've heard there is a panel) than the orange horror and his boosters.
posted by 20 year lurk at 5:47 AM on March 26 [5 favorites]


just learned from TWiV (above) about the fantastically granular and informative 1point3acres.com's tracker.
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:08 AM on March 26 [6 favorites]


Theoretically working from home, but in reality trying to keep it together enough to help my kids maintain their sanity and have some element of fun every day. My husband has two jobs that are considered “essential” and since we need his paycheck, he’s going to work and doing his best to maintain distance. It’s hard. I’m trying not to feel envy of people who don’t have to leave their house or people like most of my neighbors, who have HGTV style mini mansions , full play sets in their yards and big play rooms for their kids. It’d be nice if they’d stop texting about how they’re still wearing yoga pants lol or really enjoying time with their families.
I do know I have more than most people in the world and that’s my mantra.
posted by areaperson at 6:32 AM on March 26 [9 favorites]


Indy here. The official state-wide shelter-in-place order started yesterday. We're doing okay, though it's been a little weird getting used to my wife being here every day (she's been working from home since last week)

I saw this today. It's a very haunting video of downtown San Francisco under quarantine. I have a cousin living there, and this matches his description of the scene right now. It makes me want to cry.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:36 AM on March 26 [5 favorites]


Someone just sent me this video, and I found it incredibly helpful: Dr. David Price of Weill Cornell Medical Center - Protecting your Family.
posted by Mchelly at 6:55 AM on March 26 [7 favorites]


Yesterday I spent the day in my front yard and driveway trimming my fruit trees and using the cuttings to construct a folding privacy screen. Usually I would have moved the construction to the backyard because my street is a moderately busy residential connector and despite my house being in a playground zone people roar up and down the street at 60 all day long. But yesterday I bet I averaged less than a car every 20 minutes and they were subdued because several of the families with young children were in the street riding bikes. I'd literally never seen that before. Hopefully weather today is as nice as yesterday and I can get the screen finished.
posted by Mitheral at 7:05 AM on March 26 [2 favorites]


I didn't go to Malta in early March like I meant to. It was going to be my first visit to the land of my long-gone grandparents. Booked my flight in September and for months researched all about them and there. Maps, history, politics, architecture, religious rites, ancient temples, music - town and country, then and now, everything. I even joined Reddit, which I never thought I'd do, when I heard there's a Malta sub. Alas, I made but two joyous contributions, announcing my imminent arrival and my newfound enthusiasm for traditional Maltese music, before I had to post a tearful farewell.

I cancelled my flight a few days before I was due to leave, ditto a side trip to France to see a friend. For a week I'd been one eye on the news and the other on the calendar tossing up should I go or should I stay [cue The Clash and Jimmy Durante]. What clinched it was an email from my sole, distant relative in Malta, who said he and his wife had returned from a holiday in northern Italy and were in 14-day home isolation. Probably won't get much refund, if any, but I'm so very glad I didn't go. It was the first week of March. Seems a long time ago.

Instead I went to Queensland and minded my cousin's flat while she was overseas. Great location near a magnificent beach, except it rained and blew a gale most of the time and I hadn't brought any wet weather gear 'cos Queensland, and the big mean beach kicked sand in my face. But it fined up towards the end and I was pleased to be able to stock up on groceries for my cousin's early return and compulsory 14-day self-isolation.

Landed home a week ago, just in time before domestic flights began to stop and the QLD/NSW border closed. Been really lucky so far, I'm well and so is my cousin.

Got an FPP coming soon about that Maltese music. Love to all.
posted by valetta at 7:09 AM on March 26 [14 favorites]


My apartment is big enough that I can keep to my room and the weird office nook I made for myself during the day, and my roommate can keep to his own office space (there's a small room off the living room I let my roommates use exclusively), and we have the top floor of a brownstone between us, so I think we'll be okay during my exile to the White Wall. He's even taken on upgrading our internet connection so that is helping with my own connectivity back here.

I've moved a folding bed table in front of my closet because, hell, I'm not going to be wearing anything other than pajamas for the next two weeks. My job today has largely consisted of playing tetris with the boss's calendar and reminding him when his upcoming calls are drawing near, so I'm able to do that pretty handily.

I may just go a little stir-crazy. I've earmarked a cassoulet recipe that I will make when my watch has ended.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:49 AM on March 26 [3 favorites]


I'm finding mundane work tasks very difficult - urgent, emergency response tasks are easy, but the regular work feels pointless. Being alone all the time, unless I am going to grab my grocery order or whatnot, is wearing on me. I fear I will have to change my living situation when this is over, because doing this again seems like something I won't survive...but with whom could I live?

Video chats are nice but I am pretty lost. I cry a lot, just for a minute or two, but frequently.
posted by wellred at 7:58 AM on March 26 [20 favorites]


I don't want to do video chats (and so far, haven't) because I am crying during Zoom meetings at work already.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:02 AM on March 26 [5 favorites]


I understand I'm privileged, but I'm not getting on a bus while infections are still increasing.

You are privileged... but you're using that privilege to try to keep yourself and others from getting infected and that's putting it to good use for everyone.
posted by azpenguin at 8:32 AM on March 26 [24 favorites]


As an amusing footnote - I have Meetup set to occasionally send me alerts when a group starts up that I may be interested in; it's usually based on some broadly-defined settings, so I end up deleting most of them.

The most recent one was a group for people based in Newark New Jersey - who were interested in cruises.

really?.....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:05 AM on March 26 [4 favorites]


I cried...just a little...during my direct report's midyear performance review yesterday because she's so awesome. I mean...that's actually funny.
posted by wellred at 9:34 AM on March 26 [3 favorites]


The US may be the most incompetent society in all of human history, which is really saying something when you adjust for scale.

So, the Peter Principle on a massive scale.

The Peter principle states that a person who is competent at their job will earn promotion to a more senior position which requires different skills. If the promoted person lacks the skills required for their new role, then they will be incompetent at their new level, and so they will not be promoted again. But if they are competent at their new role, then they will be promoted again, and they will continue to be promoted until they eventually reach a level at which they are incompetent. Being incompetent, they do not qualify to be promoted again, and so remain stuck at that final level for the rest of their career (termed "Final Placement" or "Peter's Plateau").

emphasis mine.

This doesn't apply to Trump by the way as I doubt he's ever been promoted. His incompetence is more from the self-aggrandizing-rich-kid-buying-himself-in-then-surrounding-himself-with-ambitious-and-obsequious-yes-men* angle.

* and women.

posted by philip-random at 9:44 AM on March 26 [6 favorites]




This doesn't apply to Trump by the way as I doubt he's ever been promoted.

Definitely self-promoted, endlessly.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:52 AM on March 26 [3 favorites]


Just a quick update from Rome - two month on from the first reported cases in Italy (two tourists from China, here in the capital), and after a solid two weeks of a progressively tightened lockdown, as a kind of preview bulletin for those just beginning a period of more or less enforced isolation:

- by current rules we're now allowed out only for medical and pets' necessity, groceries, and workers deemed critical in the latest decree issued a week ago; personal outdoor exercise is strongly disencouraged, parks are closed; if you're out, you will be controlled, and if your self-certification is not up to scratch, fines are in the €1000s
- shops in our neighborhood (center, not hugely populous) are stocked pretty much normally, there's been no noticeable run on TP or flour or other basics; only cleaning alcohol and disinfectants are still hard to come by, as are masks; reports from more crowded neighbourhoods have been.. spottier
- many but not all those waiting in line at the small local supermarkets wear masks, quite a few wear gloves, too; everyone studiously keeps their distance from one another
- the shops have adapted to enforce access-distancing regulations (2m distance), and have to deal with police controls every now and then
- window/balcony singing still happening, though not necessarily all evenings
- a lot of time is spent fact-checking dodgy "news" whirring around WhatsApp (Italy does not do Twitter, and has never heard of Snapchat)
- yesterday's thing was 100 movies in emoji
- we've concentrated on cooking, some domestic stuff we'd put off, plus an evening routine of series to catch up on (best so far Mrs. Maisel, currently still enjoying Gabriel Garcia Bernal and Lola Kirke's symphonic antics)

As regards the local spread of the virus:
- hospitals have held up OK so far: the Spallanzani clinic was the designated national specialist hospital from the very first two cases in late January, so perhaps there'a been more of a general alert here, especially as we've watched the northern regions hit hard
- Lazio is 500km south of Lombardy and Veneto, the two main hotspot regions in the country
- in terms of area it's like Connecticut+Rhode Island, but it's got a 3m-inhabitant capital city in its middle, which makes for a population density of 340/km2 (Rome is 2,210/km2)
- region-wide new-positives-per-day went from 0 to 20 in the first week of March, then right at the lockdown started climbing to about 80 per day by the end of the first week, then jumped in the space of a couple of days to around 180-190 per day, where they've now stayed for the last week.
- about about half of current cases are in the capital
- local mini-hotspots have been some old-age homes and a nun's community
- there has been one rare younger casualty (an otherwise healthy 35-year old), but basically the reported age-correlated mortality averages have been confirmed here too, so far; median age of cases is 59, the male/female split is 60/40
- the current regional case fatality rate (as per today's totals of 2,096 confirmed cases and 106 deaths, is 5%)
- current total of tests done is at about 30,000, with rate of testing now up to about 4,000 per day; 20% of these have been on hospital and front-line medical personnel
- half of all active cases are currently hospitalised, with 6% of cases in ICU (about 110 total)
- Covid-ICU bed capacity has reportedly been doubled to 450, with 5 specialised "Covid-hospitals" organised as extensions of existing facilities.

Happy to answer any questions (though I'm realising every individual reality is going to be differently intricate) - we're feeling pretty lucky to be living out of range of the full brunt of this thing. But it still feels very early to be sure of what's still in store...
posted by progosk at 9:57 AM on March 26 [33 favorites]


Report from people I know who returned to Canada yesterday. At Pearson airport they were spoken to very seriously about the mandatory quarantine (14 days) and warned that they could receive a fine or face jail time, and that they had "ways" of knowing if they broke quarantine (unsure if that's true currently).

Per the news today: Ottawa made good on its warning to force Canadians to obey appeals to self-isolate. All travellers returning from abroad now face a “mandatory” order to stay at home for two weeks. Those caught risking others lives by going out could be fined up to $1 million and face up to three years in jail, Health Minister Patty Hajdu’s office said.
posted by devonia at 10:10 AM on March 26 [5 favorites]


I got to "go" to a birthday party this morning, for my nephew, in another state. It was neat to see people connecting from all over the country (and two from another country). Our singing of Happy Birthday was even more discordant and haphazard than it normally is in person. I wore a pretty scarf so I would be dressed up. My daughter pointed out, with some relish, to her cousin that he wouldn't have to share the cake with all of us.

I've been holding onto the concept of saving the world by staying home and watching Netflix. Because we're staying home, trying to make sure we stay happy, but nothing really is happening, and that's a good thing.

My daughter's school was originally just closed, which weirdly was fine for us. Now the state has told the district that they must offer some sort of school, so they are solely reviewing previous lessons, ungraded, and fairly pointlessly. I'm annoyed that my daughter has to increase her screentime for busywork. I don't want her to have to limit video friend time because of headaches, when school isn't even able to teach something new. Maybe they'll work up to it later.

I am glad I dropped one of my classes for next term. I'm sad I needed to, but life will work better with only trying to find the time for me to do one class while doing stuff with the kid (baking, games, research). It's, uh, interesting as an introvert being home with my family all day and trying to keep in touch with more people than usual.

We've been happy baking a lot since we've been home: chocolate chip cookies, lemon meringue pie, oatmeal raisin cookies, 2 loaves of bread, blueberry muffins. Next up: spiced nuts. Considering some multi-grain cloverleaf rolls too (like the ones at Starbucks that I like, though I now like mine slightly better). My daughter wants to learn some more cooking too-- especially how to make a meal out of whatever you've got around. I'm trying to figure out how to teach that, instead of just do it. Will possibly just talk through using up whatever is in the veg bin and throwing in some protein, grain, and flavour.
posted by Margalo Epps at 11:08 AM on March 26 [4 favorites]


India has a twenty one day lockdown in progress. Both domestic and international flights have been stopped. For reasons best known to the current administration, the announcement for the lockdown was not accompanied by reiterated assurance that essential services would remain open, leading to panic buying and fights (nobody would give a shit about social distancing when food is at stake) everywhere. The aftermath of this has been handled better - with several states making separate announcements for reassurances/relief measures, and a significant central government package for relief of the poorest in the country.
As the state I lived in had imposed lockdown prior to the nationwide one, I've been home for over a week already. Working from home is not the norm for us, so I've been scattered and anxious and even though I'm doing ok on provisions, constantly worried about running out (especially since the timelines keep lengthening and stores are basically empty at this point). It has been a terrible strain on my relationship, as my partner has not evinced any particular concern about my situation (they live with family) and has pretty much checked out of any conversation I would want to have about feeling anxious/sad. It does feel like I'm in this alone, and that's stressful and sad on a whole different level.
But.
I have a comfortable home. I have job security. I'm able to ensure I can keep paying everyone who works with me/for me (domestic help is common in India) for as long as I have to. I've been able to kick a tidy sum towards people who are now struggling for basic necessities (government relief measures notwithstanding). My parents are okay. My siblings are fine. I've reconnected with some old friends and I'm reading two books. I have coffee that would last me till the Apocalypse.
I am not him.
So I'm privileged and okay (if anxious and scattered and sad), and I'm sending by very best wishes to all of you. May this be over, and soon. Stay safe.
(I don't like how many times I've used the word anxious in this, but it's accurate.)
posted by Nieshka at 11:19 AM on March 26 [13 favorites]


Our little corner of Idaho [Lewiston] is somehow still free of reported infections. That may change.

That changed. Exponents rule now.

Hunker in the bunker. Walk along the levee; day trip to visit our little cabin on the hill above the Clearwater River. We live in bubbles, the passing cars, the woman on the other side of the island of gas pumps. We wipe our hands on disinfecting clothes, but we do not yet look at one another with suspicious eyes.

We both are high risk. We navigate darkly.

Good fortune smiles grimly.
posted by mule98J at 11:31 AM on March 26 [11 favorites]


(argh: GAEL Garcia Bernal! And: how the word "convent" slipped my mind... not sure I'll ever know.)
posted by progosk at 11:35 AM on March 26 [4 favorites]


From Rhode Island: I just heard Gov. Raimondo order all travelers arriving from New York to self-quarantine for 14 days. They will be met at bus, train and I think the airport, by National Guard and cars arriving with NY plates will be flagged down by state police. I may have some details wrong as I haven't seen them in print yet.
posted by Botanizer at 12:04 PM on March 26 [4 favorites]


Neishka, it sounds like you're being a rock for others, a real and practical support. I kind of think it's time to be scattered and sad now, how could one not? That doesn't take away from the fact your people are lucky to have you around.

On my walk today I saw a heron, stalking on somebody's roof. Maybe they have a pond in the garden? Hardly any traffic, only a few dog walkers, 3 people gardening and one of them hid behind the fence as I drew by. Very wise, at least people are taking social distancing seriously. At last. In the little suburb that still bears traces of the village it once was, almost every single shop in the high street closed. The hair dresser, the two pubs, the nail bar, three charity shops, hardware store, sports kit shop. The supermarket was open. The funeral directors and the bike shop had notes in the window saying phone us if you need our services - bike shops are listed as an essential service as public transport is depleted. At the butchers, there the well-spaced line of customers stretched a short way out of the door, social distancing observed.

Meanwhile for some reason police in Derbyshire decided to harass people choosing to take their allowed exercise walking on the moors - perhaps social distancing is problematic to maintain up there ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It's a beautiful evening and there's just the bright sliver of a new moon sinking into the west.
posted by glasseyes at 12:46 PM on March 26 [6 favorites]

- by current rules we're now allowed out only for medical and pets' necessity, groceries, and workers deemed critical in the latest decree issued a week ago; personal outdoor exercise is strongly disencouraged, parks are closed; if you're out, you will be controlled, and if your self-certification is not up to scratch, fines are in the €1000s
We're not yet on official lockdown here, and it may not come to that, because people seem to be self-isolating pretty assiduously. But I'm really worried about what will happen if they do declare a total lockdown. I'm taking care of my disabled, terminally-ill mother. I'm currently staying in a house and going to her apartment every day. My family has decided to consider the two homes to be one household: I am either in the house, the car, or the apartment, and I don't stop anywhere in between. But there really isn't room for me to sleep in the apartment, and I truly don't want to move there and sleep on the floor. Would I still be allowed to commute if we had a lockdown? Can you get an exception for "someone needs to help my mother get on the toilet, and my father can't do it alone?" I know the home health aid can get an exception, because my dad filled something out for it. But what about a family-member who is providing critical support?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:48 PM on March 26 [8 favorites]


That sounds so stressful, ArbitraryAndCapricious. I don't know how your governor/mayor will do it. I can say that with experience from my partner (CA) and here in NY you would definitely be able to go see your mother. You can still drive around and walk around and stuff generally, you're just supposed to only do it if you need to. The idea, honestly, is much more about making businesses close than about policing individuals walking or driving around.

Going to care for a sick relative would almost certainly be 100% fine everywhere I'm aware of, at least in the US. This is not something I, personally, would worry about at all.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:14 PM on March 26 [3 favorites]


I’ve been mostly holding it together, but I just stood on my doorstep to clap for the NHS at 8 pm, and my whole street was out there too. It was LOUD and prolonged and now I am a snivelling mess.
posted by skybluepink at 1:15 PM on March 26 [23 favorites]


But what about a family-member who is providing critical support?

We're actually doing the same for a senior family member across town whose live-in help is waiting to receive her documents, and is therefore too afraid of controls to go out at all: the way it's regulated here, doing the shopping for and periodically going to assist those who cannot care for themselves is definitely considered a "necessary" activity - there have of course been cases of people pretending to be doing this, and who were caught out when the checking officers called the purported relatives and the lie came out. It'll depend on the humaneness of your local regulation and officers, but it seems unreasonable that a situation like yours would not qualify as an obvious exception to any distancing rule.
posted by progosk at 1:52 PM on March 26 [2 favorites]


skybluepink, we just did that in my street, directing all our applause to my upstairs neighbour on her balcony. She's an ICU therapist specialising in patients with breathing difficulties. We were all in tears by the end of it.
posted by essexjan at 1:53 PM on March 26 [12 favorites]


Oh, and my next-door chav neighbours had visitors over today. Zero fucks given by them about the health and wellbeing of either themselves or anyone else.
posted by essexjan at 1:55 PM on March 26 [3 favorites]


That's one thing that gets me in all of this, every time - people's pets and companion animals? They're stressed out too. There's been a major change in routine, not to mention elevated tension and the like, and some are not handling it well.

Yeah, that's true. But there are also pets like our puppers, who seem thrilled that there's almost always a food ape around for pats 'n' scrobbles and there are extra walkies.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 2:36 PM on March 26 [15 favorites]


Arizona is not under a stay-at-home order and people are starting to voice their displeasure over that. The governor the other day issued an executive order outlining what businesses are "essential" and also mandating that local governments could not enact stricter closures than what he mandated - and his closure mandates (the usual, bars, gyms, theaters, and restaurants are take-out/delivery only) only apply to counties that have confirmed cases. As a side note, mayors are PISSED that he has deemed golf courses essential, and also listed as essential are gun shops, because hey, Arizona. Two counties reported their first cases the very next day, and more have come in since. Current count in the state is 505 cases and no one is believing that, because there are tons of people saying they couldn't get tested despite having symptoms, and the state keeps saying "there's not enough tests." Regardless, I think we will get the stay-at-home order within a week. Yesterday, at a press conference with the governor, the state Department of Heath Services Director said that Arizona may be short 13,000 hospital beds during the pandemic, with infections peaking in April and hospitalizations peaking in May. She said they're quickly working to get buildings to turn into facilities for the sick. The governor has been starting to use some weasel words about the whole "we're not like other states" bit that he's pushing, so I think that the DHS director and medical professionals across the state are starting to finally get through to him about the math he's facing. We have a huge elderly population here, especially with the snowbirds, who will start leaving late next month. Which brings up issues of possibly transporting the virus to other states...

Last night I actually went to a business and spent money! Well, it was a gas station around the corner, and we filled up my wife's car, and no one else was there. I used pay at the pump. I have been staying here as much as possible and haven't been more than a mile from the house since Saturday... and last night was the first time I'd gone anywhere in the car. My own car, I filled it up two weeks ago and still have 3/4 tank. Weird thing is I've always been restless and looking to go do this or that... and I'm starting to really like this. I'm working from home and the indications are that I may be able to just shift to this for good. Still nervous about my wife, though, since she still has to go into work every day. Almost no contact with the public anymore, but she does have a lot of co-workers and I hope no one brings it in the building.
posted by azpenguin at 2:47 PM on March 26 [8 favorites]


The surgeon says I can't keep it and turn it into a piece of gruesome jewelry after it's out though, bah.

mygothlaundry, I’m sorry to hear that (and that your surgery has been delayed, ouch!). When I had my gall bladder out, the surgeon presented me with my roughly chocolate-covered-almond-sized stone in a little plastic vial. I kept him(the stone, not the surgeon), and he’s on my book case. I call him Alexander.

I hope things improve to the point where you can get your stone out, I remember it being excruciating until I had the surgery.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:48 PM on March 26 [5 favorites]


We live in WA, and have a 'stay at home' order now, and were abiding by that prior. The Mr and I are on day 11 of not leaving the house. A neighbor has brought home-made soups (frozen), and excess produce (kale). I retired early because I got laid off at the end of Feb (but get paychecks through May 1st, so yay), and so have been spared the exposure I'd have had on the ferry/bus/Lyft/work.
Mr dbmcd is staying very busy in our large veggie garden, and is baking up a storm. I've rediscovered my love of cooking, so we're working our way through our freezers.
I just ordered a grocery delivery from Costco - should be here in a couple of hours, and we have a Monday pickup at Fred Meyer.
Also, there are 27 known cases here in Kitsap county, but the Navy shipyard is still full steam ahead, and with two carriers home-ported here, goodness knows how many sailors/workers are infected!
We are both late 60s, and Mr has some additional health issues that add to his risk.
Because we started early, have good stocks of food, canned goods, and frozen food, and good skills - I feel pretty good (surprisingly). Ask me again in 60 days.
posted by dbmcd at 2:51 PM on March 26 [11 favorites]


My work is sending mealy-mouthed emails that say we are essential because we work for legal services for the State. I am currently working from home and can do 90% of my job at home. Others cannot work at home. They are basically saying that our work is essential and we hope we feel that way too. Uh, not enough to endanger my life or my coworkers lives! We just found out in Chicago that we can't even go out to the parks or the lakefront any more. I am scared.
posted by tiny frying pan at 2:52 PM on March 26 [5 favorites]


in Chicago that we can't even go out to the parks or the lakefront any more.

The activation of the mobile emergency alert system to announce this was certainly uncalled for.
posted by hwyengr at 3:05 PM on March 26 [2 favorites]


Well, we just finished 14 days straight of not leaving our 500sq ft apt. We each had coworkers come down sick within 24 hours of each other, and quite frankly that was enough to make us lock down: one ended up with COVID, and one didn't, so figures... (I had asthma as a kid,and I've had pneumonia 3x in the last 5 yrs, so I'm a little leary of getting hit hard by this thing, despite otherwise being low risk)

We celebrated by trying to go grab groceries (ran out of veggies and cheese), and things almost went well, until we were lining up for the registers and UGH people were way too close and that was un-fun.

It was really nice to sort of participate in the outside world for a hot second, even if it was uncomfortable in the end. We've been really good about trying to stretch during the day, only watching TV at night, even on weekends so this routine feels manageable for the medium term. I can work from home mostly, and I've been busy from 10-11 hours a day, but my partner is struggling a bit- there's just not as much that he can do from home. Our kitchen is already hitting levels of cleanliness I didn't know possible.

At least it's raining in NYC this weekend, so that makes staying in a little less awful. We started seeds inside this year, and literally we've been watching seeds sprout the last few days. It's exciting to keep track of germination rates?
posted by larthegreat at 3:12 PM on March 26 [10 favorites]


Also my cat is really over us being home- he's starting to hide deeper in closets to ensure he's left alone. (We do give in to drive by petting all the time. HES SO SOFT)
posted by larthegreat at 3:14 PM on March 26 [16 favorites]


Week 3 of working from home - distinct "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic" vibe around here. Apparently many of my colleagues' response to pandemic stress is to REARRANGE CHAIRS HARDER, so much that our boss had to give us all a talking-to about how 3am texts and emails were neither healthy nor sustainable. Little do they know I've been following a strict schedule of 9am-5pm dissociating in front of my laptop (1hr break for lunch) and getting nothing done!
posted by btfreek at 3:38 PM on March 26 [22 favorites]


I’m in Queens, which seems to be the epicenter of the epicenter. I went out today for the first time in I guess a week or so to make a Walgreen's run. They were handling it well; there was a guy inside controlling how many people came in. The guy waiting in back of me kept getting too close and I kept pointedly maneuvering away from him until he got the hint. Of course, on the way back home, I managed to absentmindedly scratch my face more than once, so now my anxiety has really spiked.

My husband has turned out to be damn good company during a lockdown, so I’m grateful for that. I feel very fortunate in a lot of ways, so I’m trying to just buckle down and get through. I will confess that Klonopin and weed, not necessarily in that order, are helping.
posted by holborne at 4:07 PM on March 26 [9 favorites]


I just lost the ability to slightly de-stress by going for a Chicago lakefront run, which I have been doing for 8 years now, because people couldn't self-distance and also because I think we were set up by the mayor's office to be targets of hostility.

They could have kept the lakefront open with some signage, monitoring and by closing the Lakeshore Drive to traffic and opening it for cycling and pedestrians (like they do once a year for "Bike the Drive" a charity event).

But instead I think they wanted a low-cost low-effort target to make an example of (that frankly can absorb the blow - I mean I'm well off, living in a nice area and with an income that won't go away and most of neighbors probably are as well) in order to drive home the lockdown message.

I ran this morning and frankly was arriving at a shut it down point by myself because it was stressful trying to social distance - the paths are narrow and there are choke points and I don't want to play real world Run Zombie Run. But I am still kind of pisssed at how little effort the city put into trying to actually make it work (as in zero effort - Chicago Park District appears to be on complete vacation since about December). I mean I know the mayor and other departments have much more important concerns but the Chicago Parks District definitely doesn't - they were out trimming trees today and helping upgrade a 5G tower.

Grumpy Rant Over.
posted by srboisvert at 4:17 PM on March 26 [5 favorites]


The activation of the mobile emergency alert system to announce this was certainly uncalled for.

I think it was pretty reasonable. I've been shocked at how dumb and uninformed some people are during all this. You simply can't assume people read news or watch news on TV at all.
posted by srboisvert at 4:23 PM on March 26 [13 favorites]


Landlord over here is offering "rent assistance", which is to say, the money you owe now can be deferred for a couple of months, at which point you'll owe that month's rent along with whatever you deferred. But they'll waive any late fees! Oh and also you'll need to demonstrate proof of hardship. Like, what even is that? look out the fucking window, assholes, turn on the news, there's your proof of hardship. Really hoping the scattered calls for an April rent strike pick up speed and volume this week.

People on Twitter and Reddit are sharing a thing about language that you're supposed to use when talking to creditors, lien holders, &c: "I have no income due to the Coronavirus." As in, I have no income due to the Coronavirus, therefore I need assistance or forebearance on paying this bill or what have you. I appreciate that some are willing to do this, but if you ask me, the full language needs to be: "I have no income due to the Coronavirus, therefore you have no income due to the Coronavirus." Welcome to the crisis that everyone else is dealing with. You don't get to ride this out on our backs.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 4:49 PM on March 26 [25 favorites]


lepus:

I had a fetal monitoring appointment today at my doctors office located not in a hospital but the giant four story clinic that runs all the labs and had primary care. I was expecting a crowd but it was almost empty. So few patients, mostly nurses and doctors. After a while I asked what was going on and was told they’ve switched everything possible to video appointments, unless you physically need to be there like I did they keep you home. I’m amazed they implemented that so quickly, and happy because I want them all to be as safe as possible.

Also baby is doing fine, less then a month to go!


Congrats on the baby!

While not confined to one building, the areas you speak of are the majority of the areas I support where I work. From the inside, it is even more amazing to me how quickly the changes are being made. ESPECIALLY because the people who need to make the changes are in meetings all day about what changes need to be made because of covid.

We have a building that houses multiple clinics. To move one clinic from one side to the other took six weeks. That's just the six weeks I knew about it as being boots on the ground. For us to open one of our covid clinics in that building, we moved that clinic to "almost, but not quite" it's original location. That forced another clinic to share space with a fourth clinic. All of that was done in a week and I was never told. I didn't even get any tickets about random stuff breaking. That's unheard of.

As far as labs go, I'm just really damn proud to be supporting them right now. They are firing on all cylinders, often with tests they have never performed before.

We have also gone "TeleHealth" as much as possible. There is some back-end grumbling about how to do it/how to support it, but so far it seems like it is pretty seamless both for the providers and the patients, which is just stunning.

I haven't been around the clinics much (bc they are almost completely empty) but the only grumble I have heard about the TeleHealth is when one of the clinics was calling to reschedule and some guy (yes, it was a guy, because of course) refused to reschedule and insisted on an in person visit. His demand was not met.

Unrelated: One of my colleagues who lives in the city said there were cops at all the major grocery stores... in the toilet paper aisle. wtf yo?
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 4:55 PM on March 26 [8 favorites]


I went out for the first time in 12 days for a grocery run and it was deeply stressful. I picked a fancier store in the richer town neighboring mine because the aisles were wider than my regular store and I hoped they'd be more on top of precautions.

They were not. No one at the store appeared to be making any effort to encourage/enforce social distancing beyond a couple of signs up and one taped off line at the registers. None of the other shoppers were wearing gloves or masks and everyone kept coming so close. I'd read that other stores have started making the grocery aisles one-way and that makes SO MUCH SENSE. I was so frazzled by people who kept barreling down the aisle at me (or chasing me and getting closer thatn 6') that I forgot to get some of the essentials on my list. And the store still was ransacked: there was absolutely no flour, and extremely low quantities of pasta, soup, eggs/dairy, and frozen goods.

But: I did totally catch the store rationing toilet paper on the hour! I walked down the toilet paper aisle mostly just to marvel at how it was completely empty. There was NOTHING there. Five minutes later, I passed by the aisle again and saw a woman emerge with an 8-pack of TP! I looked down and there were three more packages out! I know I wasn't hallucinating because the woman who'd been chasing me all over the store confirmed that when she followed me down the TP aisle the first time there was nothing there. We got two of the final three packets they put out (my boyfriend was so low he was starting to save napkins, which... we are not there yet).

As a final point of stress, my state banned reusable bags so I had to use the absolutely shitty paper bags the store has, all of which tore before I even got them into my car. I really, really do not want an experience like today ever again. I don't know what I'll do when I next need to venture out.
posted by TwoStride at 5:46 PM on March 26 [5 favorites]


Also my cat is really over us being home- he's starting to hide deeper in closets to ensure he's left alone.

oh you gotta build him a maze/cave/pillow fort now that's the rule
posted by poffin boffin at 5:58 PM on March 26 [15 favorites]


I have been in South America since last June, and I was travelling through southern Chile when the WHO declared COVID a pandemic. I had a choice: stay in Chile, go to Uruguay (a country with better health care infrastructure), or return to the US where I have no health insurance.

I decided to stay in Chile. I am currently on the archipelago of Chiloe off the southern coast, which is akin to the US Pacific Northwest in a lot of ways.

First diagnosed case on Chiloe was announced yesterday. I am low risk in terms of complications but as we all know the critical form of the disease isn't limiting itself just to high-risk folks.

So I'm waiting for the storm to hit here, stocking my cabinets and fridge, reading Das Kapital (finally), watching movies and livestreams of theatrical productions, going for walks with my mask on (it's beautiful here), chatting with friends over the phone, and attending online 12 step meetings. II'm eating remarkably well and thanks to a nice heavy blanket on the bed and a great mattress, I'm sleeping well too. I'll be on Chiloe till at least June unless they kick out tourists before then.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 6:05 PM on March 26 [12 favorites]


I just lost the ability to slightly de-stress by going for a Chicago lakefront run, which I have been doing for 8 years now...

The lakefront is essentially my front yard (my bldg certainly doesn't have one). It's the place I go when I want to walk on something softer than pavement, which is pretty often. Kinda sucks, but I'm glad she shut it down; there were far too many people not heeding the warnings. And I'm grateful that she did it today instead of dragging it out and hoping people would magically come to their senses. Because yeah, that already didn't work, and she shouldn't have to tell everyone thirty goddamn times to start giving a shit about their neighbors, their families, and themselves.

(How completely foreign it is to me that I actively like both my mayor and my billionaire governor. Strange days indeed, 2020.)
posted by heyho at 6:11 PM on March 26 [10 favorites]


Thankfully the person at work tested negative, but I'm still not going in.

It's not just my house, it's my hermitage.

Futurama.
posted by Marticus at 6:17 PM on March 26 [4 favorites]


To get meat from the butcher I had to call down in advance, confirm that they had what I was looking for, and then meet them at an in-between point to hand over my card to be taken into the store to be run and then brought back with the foods. We make our own quarantine fun, I guess.

If you missed Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey in the theater, it's out on digital now.
posted by praemunire at 6:19 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]


It's not just my house, it's my hermitage.

Like a COVID captive
Staying inside your house in a national quarantine
Like a COVID captive
Keeping social distance from all the people you can see
And hangouts comin' over the screen....
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:31 PM on March 26 [7 favorites]


The cat has already commandeered my pillow when I'm using it the last 5 nights (cat as a hat is adorable until he starts wheezing), so he's not getting a pillow fort from me. Perhaps the other human can be petitioned to construct him a better fort.

The fluffy asshole did figure out that the sun warms our raspberry plants and he can hide in them and not be harassed... But it's also an elaborate process for him to make it into the container.

He's fluffy and he's pretty but he is not a bright cat.
posted by larthegreat at 6:37 PM on March 26 [15 favorites]


Oh and also you'll need to demonstrate proof of hardship.

My landlord wants to see three months of checking and saving account statements to "prove" you need rent deferment.

A) fuck you
B) luckily I have access to Acrobat Pro and know how to use the redaction features

I mean... While I'm lucky enough to work for an organization that is unlikely to be permanently shut down by this and I'm able to work from home while this is going on, I'm married to a bartender. It's not that his job has gone away, his entire industry has been shut down. Seems like demonstrating that he's lost his entire income (and we're in a damn pandemic shutdown so "just hustle and find another job" isn't an option) should be enough, without having to grovel and immiserate ourselves.
posted by Lexica at 7:05 PM on March 26 [20 favorites]


I've been working from home for just over 2 weeks now, and everything still feels weird. I am grateful to have my job with great health insurance. I'm glad to be in a position where I can offer my students a little extra support, because I have just me and my cats to take care of here. Luckily, I was already very internet-competent before we transitioned to classes online, but it's still been a tremendous amount of work.

Two of my cats are extremely thrilled to have me at home all the time, and they seem to take shifts of draping themselves across me to take warm naps. The third is mostly her usual independent self, ignoring me half the time and being super lovey dovey the other half. I am relieved that cats are apparently not at risk from this coronavirus. Not sure what I'd do if I had to avoid snuggling them for months.

I've been out of the house maybe three times in the last few weeks, twice for food, and once to donate masks to my hospital. They've gone into near lockdown, with only one entrance (other than the ER), where they have set up some kind of secruity/check-in process. Intellectually, I already knew it would be something like this, as they had sent an email about restrictions on who can even go in the hospital, but it was jarring to see in person anyway.
posted by ktkt at 7:06 PM on March 26 [7 favorites]


My seven-year-old is dealing with staying home by adding a million random cities to the Apple weather app on our phones and checking to see which locations in Siberia are the coldest (Yatusk won today), which places have active thunderstorms (“Mom, remind me to check Saipan in an hour because thunderstorms are supposed to start at 1:00”), and if New Delhi will ever not have unhealthy air quality for sensitive populations. I feel like the longer we stay in our house the more he wants to learn about the distant, far away world. It’s kind of cool and definitely better than impulsively hugging the cat every 15 minutes.

My work-from-home productivity has tanked, obviously, which isn’t helped by my husband locking himself away in an office with the door closed because he is more stressed out about work than I am. The cat does not want hugs, so I do get some bonus hugs, which is nice. Trader Joe’s was letting in only 20 customers at a time yesterday, plus the shelves were mostly restocked, so it was the calmest shopping trip I’ve had in many months, actually. Our clothes dryer broke, so I spent the past 24 hours in a deep internet rabbit hole of Australian-style outdoor clothes dryers because there is no way I am dealing with gas appliance repair/delivery/installation right now in shelter-in-place Minnesota. To be totally honest, pandemic rotary clothesline online shopping is so much more soothing than reading Metafilter. I highly recommend the artisan clothespin rabbit hole as well.
posted by Maarika at 8:30 PM on March 26 [28 favorites]


As an Aussie without a dryer, i just have some indoor clothes racks; and when it's cold and taking longer to dry, i just point a fan at it, no heating required (YMMV if below freezing).
posted by Marticus at 9:30 PM on March 26 [4 favorites]


I've been doing pretty OK - until I had a packet of ramen.

It was a packet I got at random, at a local Japanese grocery store in Seattle. Uwajimaya, where they have a ton of ramen. Sometimes, I'll just go there and buy random stuff, to see what I'd like.

A year or so ago, I somehow acquired a packet of Nongshim's pot-au-feu ramen. Tonight, I found it, and made it up with some string beans and a couple of eggs cracked into the broth. It was *so* delicious, that I knew that I wanted to eat more of it. I wanted to buy more of it. It'd make for a nice, quick dinner when I'm not feeling like cooking something more complex.

Then, it hit me what it'd require: I'd have to bundle up and go outside. I'd have to walk to the Light Rail Station, take the Light Rail from Capitol Hill to the Intl. District, and then wander around the store until I found some. Then, I'd have to purchase it, and take the Light Rail home. All of that just seems too daunting, being at high risk for the virus. It's just way too much of a risk. So, I don't know when I'm going to get this delicious ramen again. I took a couple pics of the wrapper, so that I could remember to get some when things clear up.

That old life of just....going to the store....seems a million miles away.
posted by spinifex23 at 9:57 PM on March 26 [30 favorites]


spinifex23, from Capitol Hill can you walk down to Kai Market at 400 Fairview? It's an offshoot of Uwajimaya and carries a selection of the main store's goods, so you might not find the exact ramen, but you can get a lot of stuff there. And they can surely use the business.
posted by cgc373 at 10:49 PM on March 26 [6 favorites]


I could, but because of both asthma and Spastic Paraparesis, I'm double at risk for the virus.

I can live without my pot-au-feu ramen for a while. I'll get to Uwajimaya eventually; I do need to pick up some decent tofu from there. It was just the little thing that made it all of this just a tad more real for me.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:59 PM on March 26 [6 favorites]


Also! Figured out what I missed so much, flavorwise, in that ramen soup - garlic.

It was the garlic. I have no garlic products of any kind at home. Just ordered a container of granulated garlic; that should help somewhat. (Fresh garlic has been sold out of stores.)

Now that I'm doing all of my food preparation and cooking at home, it's interesting what gaps there are in this for me, both in terms of cooking knowledge and cooking supplies. Before the Deadly Virus Times, I rarely cooked with spices at home, because I primarily made plain food. All of the spicy and garlicky stuff I'd eat outside of the house. I'd only really do subsistence cooking, and not put very much imagination into it.

But now? I'm not only investing in grains to try, but also spices. I already have some Garam Masala that I enjoy using, and soon I'll have some garlic as well. Also invested in some Indian pickles; that's another dish that I've been missing greatly. Mango and lime!
posted by spinifex23 at 12:49 AM on March 27 [6 favorites]


I feel like the longer we stay in our house the more he wants to learn about the distant, far away world.

I only recently learned about how strategic meteorology was/is, via this 99% Invisible ep. It was a thing to the point that in 1958 Frank Capra penned and directed a movie about the weather, The Unchained Goddess (with animation by Bill Hurtz), which might be worth a watch together with him. (Don't miss the accurate prediction of the climate crisis at 50:06...)
posted by progosk at 1:04 AM on March 27 [7 favorites]


So right now I am teaching the third online class since the wfh order came out. Nothing is happening. My colleague, who does the zoom thing from his home, wrote today that only three groups out of nine participated last week. I'm spending the time writing a lecture that is more like an essay, just like I did last week. By the time this is over, I'll have material for a book.
My back is hurting. I try to take a good walk every day, and to do some stretching. But I take more painkillers than usual too.
posted by mumimor at 1:23 AM on March 27 [5 favorites]


Remote teaching with cat:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-xphU3h6Zc

And Australia's national treasure, First Dog on the Moon on "Pets of the Pandemic":
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/27/pets-of-the-pandemic-true-stories-of-how-animals-are-helping-in-self-isolation
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:46 AM on March 27 [12 favorites]


My friend tested negative, which is a huge weight off my shoulders. I mentioned my anxiety out loud to my Doctor at the appointment (baby doing well) and that has kind of made it scarily real. Thankfully I can get tele-therapy.
posted by freethefeet at 3:11 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


USA: Rhode Island State Police are authorized to stop cars with NY plates, to enforce a 14-day quarantine rule. The ACLU objects. I though I'd seen that NJ was also stopping NY cars, but can't find it now.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:43 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Indiana is now up to 17 deaths. We had 7 this time last week. We apparently have one confirmed infection in my neighborhood. The person hasn't been identified. I live in the county with the second highest number of infections in the state.

The Indy 500 has been tentatively postponed until Aug. 23.

There will be a taco truck in my neighborhood this evening. They have a process for remote ordering and scheduling pick-up, to minimize the potential for a crowd. I haven't decided to partake yet. But, man, tacos sound great right now.

I'm unexpectedly feeling irritated not being able to get together with any of our friends. My wife is part of a group of women who do a monthly girls-night-out, and tonight was supposed to be their March night. They're going to do it via WebX instead.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:22 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]


Boris has it. My, what a pity!
posted by glasseyes at 5:30 AM on March 27 [9 favorites]


> A year or so ago, I somehow acquired a packet of Nongshim's pot-au-feu ramen.

Nongshim is a Korean brand, and the regular Shin Ramyun is widely available, not just in Asian grocery stores. I've spotted it even at Walmart. The pot-au-feu flavor seems to be the re-named Nongshim Shin Ramyun Black produced in the U.S. and not in Korea, and I've only seen it in the Asian grocery stores. Do you have any Korean grocery stores nearer than Uwajimaya? In a pinch you could try regular Shin Ramyun, it's not going to taste as rich as Shin Ramyun Black, but will still have all the garlicky spiciness.
posted by needled at 5:47 AM on March 27 [7 favorites]


Hong Kong update:

- the wave of people who came home to HK as the West shut down made the number of cases here jump from around 150 to 500 in ten days or so; this has led the government to ban gatherings of more than four people and bring in a raft of distancing measures

- Hong Kong's...laissez-faire, shall we say, approach to the wildlife trade is being criticised by the WWF

- closing McDonald's to dine-in customers after 6 pm has led to the many, many unhoused people who use franchises open overnight as a shelter to seek out alternatives, like stairways

- foreigners, even those with resident visas, cannot enter or return to Mainland China unless they fit into a few limited categories

- I can't do better than this headline: "Maskless cop sends hospital duo to quarantine"
posted by mdonley at 5:57 AM on March 27 [7 favorites]


In good news, a truly local bookstore set up a Go Fund Me, saying they needed $100,000 from the community to stay in business. They met that goal in two days.
posted by FencingGal at 6:05 AM on March 27 [22 favorites]


Minor domestic tale from the pandemic: my husband, who lost his sense of smell a few years ago, had been doing the grocery shopping/necessary errands due to our new baby and my asthma. When he comes home he throws his clothes in the washer, wipes down all the surfaces with disinfectant including his phone and glasses, and takes a shower.

I have a habit of narrating smells for him, and for the past few weeks I have noticed a new faint waft of cloves in our house. I thought it was our new neighbor smoking clove cigarettes on their back porch? It took us way too long to put our heads together and figure out the disinfectant wipes he bought were "natural" and use thymol oil. I don't use the wipes for cross-contamination purposes so there's no way I'd know the smell.
posted by muddgirl at 6:06 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]


Millions to need food aid in days as virus exposes UK supply. Guardian
The thing is, tens of thousands, at least, were already in food insecurity. Homeless people. People who've had their benefits cut, people on sanctions, low-income families denied child benefit for the third child. People using foodbanks. People who were on the edge in the first place and now their income has dropped and so they can't sign on or fill in forms because they can't afford data for their phone and libraries have closed so they've lost access to the internet completely and will probably lose their benefits. It was a cruel system in the first place, designed to 'lose' the most vulnerable and delay assistance to the rest. Is anyone in govt thinking about how to avert the catastrophe?

The system was redesigned to make these people invisible. The figures indicating who is most at risk will be in the system - who has been sanctioned? Who has been denied benefits? Who has been referred to a food bank? - but needs re-analysis before it can point to who is most at risk. Is there any political will to do that?
posted by glasseyes at 7:00 AM on March 27 [8 favorites]


Millions to need food aid in days as virus exposes UK supply. Guardian

Meanwhile, also in the Guardian: Food wholesalers seek help over unwanted produce - Trade group says £20m of meat, fruit, and veg is lying in storage after restaurants closed.

Some real "Lisa needs braces" / "Dental plan!" energy here.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:10 AM on March 27 [10 favorites]


A letter to the UK from Italy: this is what we know about your future Guardian
You will miss your adult children like you never have before; the realisation that you have no idea when you will ever see them again will hit you like a punch in the chest.
That bit's true.

We've been doing a daily whatsapp quiz with the in-laws. Quizleader is whoever won last time, or whoever they nominate if they've already had a go. TIL it is quite difficult to come up with questions that: 1/ have only one answer, 2/ have an answer that's not in dispute, and 3/ aren't already too familiar with your half of the family, thus constituting cheating. For instance, questions about Star Trek: these would be unfair under the circumstances.

Another beautiful day with some haze and cloud cover, and colder than it looks. More people about with face masks than yesterday but then I was in the slightly less urban suburb. I went up to my favorite lookout place, arguably the highest point in Bristol, but it was too hazy to see, as you sometimes can, all the way over to Wales, a tiny sliver of the Severn and the two suspension bridges.
posted by glasseyes at 7:15 AM on March 27 [9 favorites]


The government refund of rent money in BC is almost double what people get on disabilities every month. And I see an uprising in comments locally and elsewhere that disabled people are just lazy and should be refused treatment as we don't pay taxes blah blah So I'm really feeling positive about society now.

Also I feel like absolute garbage.
posted by kanata at 7:37 AM on March 27 [12 favorites]


METAFILTER: But, man, tacos sound great right now.
posted by philip-random at 8:03 AM on March 27 [5 favorites]


I've recently just started reading the paper again after not doing it for three months. Comment sections are ... well there's some odd patterns of comments. It's more noticeable after you've been away. I wouldn't trust them, I feel there's a lot of shadiness behind what's going on online and comments in an open forum represent in a great part the unknown motivation of whoever has invested most effort into gaining access to the forum. I hope that one of the changes that are coming to us is that open comments stop being seen as a public good. At least in a place like metafilter you can be reasonably sure that people are who they present themselves as, which is not the same as losing anonymity; but there's some guarantee that people are posting things they mean and have thought about. I think all forums need that accountability.

Cheers kanata, I hope things improve. I hope you've got cake and nice stuff and good tv coming shortly
posted by glasseyes at 8:09 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Bay Area here: Last Friday I went to Safeway at opening and it was PACKED. It gave me a slow-burning panic attack about having to return -- what if there were still a ton of people the next time I went, and still not the things I needed to buy? We live in a hotspot and going out among other people has been anxiety-inducing for weeks now.

Luckily, when I tried Safeway at opening this morning the situation was almost typical -- sneeze guards and social distancing tape on the floor, yes, but plenty of food (though still a fair number of out-of-stock items) and so few people it was even less crowded than a non-pandemic Friday morning. I got everything on my list except one thing, but I could easily make it 2-3 weeks, maybe longer, before going back for a fill-in trip. The normalcy at the store was such an unexpected relief that when I thanked the cashier for working, I started to cry. We talked a bit about how times were tough right now and she said that she'd pray for me. I'm not religious, so I normally mentally shrug that off, but this time it touched me in a way I really appreciated.

In other non-survival news, I am using all of my best shit all the time at home now because what the fuck am I saving it for, the next pandemic? My favorite tea is in my mug every day. I am writing my daily to-do lists using my fancy fountain pen ink. Best perfume? Check. Makeup for video meetings? Check. Comfiest pajamas and socks? Check check. Prioritizing my guilty pleasure books and TV shows. Playing my favorite games. Indulging in every way I can because even if the world outside is getting scarier, my world indoors can continue to be good.
posted by phatkitten at 8:13 AM on March 27 [44 favorites]


I've got a new happy place. MLB has opened the archives to the 2018 and '19 seasons for their streaming service to everyone. AND! they have an audio option that's just the sounds of the stadium with no announcers. I've been sending that to my Sonos, so the whole house is now a ballpark.
posted by hwyengr at 8:30 AM on March 27 [16 favorites]


Just got back from Kroger in Houston. They had everything except rubbing alcohol. Paper towels were in short supply.

If you're looking for one day's worth of distraction, Tiger King on Netflix will surely give it to you, but there are scenes which might trigger some, so research accordingly.
posted by Beholder at 8:32 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


my spouse and i went to the grocery store yesterday (and ran into Automocar who was very nice even though I realized after that I had a bandana mask on and mascara and had recently dyed my hair and possibly they could have not recognized me at all lol) and we ran our budget numbers and decided to try and stock up so we don't have to go out again for at least a month. we ended up spending 550 on groceries that will hopefully last the two of us the next ~45 days. we are so lucky to be able to afford that much food at one time. the store was mostly chill, not too crowded, and aside from hand soap we were able to get everything we needed. i got hand soap at CVS instead.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:32 AM on March 27 [5 favorites]


also i am trying so hard to lock back into work and school and today took a spanish exam the main topic of which was, and i shit you not, Dali and surrealism.

yes, i am in home during a pandemic trying trying to talk about surrealism in a different language what is life
posted by lazaruslong at 8:33 AM on March 27 [18 favorites]


spinifex23: I'm not only investing in grains to try, but also spices.

If you can order it, and haven't tried it yet, I very much recommend smoked paprika. It's SO GOOD on so many things.
posted by Too-Ticky at 8:58 AM on March 27 [9 favorites]


Still holding up in exile in Brooklyn. Workwise I'm showing up well, as I actually asked about whether there was some software I could be plugged in on now to do more work remotely; the boss was going to get me set up to do his expenses before he went into self-quarantine, and then I got put there so it fell through the cracks. I have it now, it'll be a super-quick study, and I look good by asking about it. (we will not discuss the fact that I didn't hear an email alert at one point because I was playing a couple turns of Civilization V, however.)

Health continues to be good. Cabin fever is my biggest danger presently, because there is a beautiful big sunny sky outside and I am stuck in here. Grrr.

We are way set for food, I was already thinking of trying to get through a week with what I have on hand as it is. My roommate is not on quarantine, and he is desperate for chances to leave the house, so he has been the one to make occasional house errands if they should come up.

My book club is moving to Skype this month.

A Facebook friend had an interesting observation - she said when she was little she always thought it was weird when her Depression-survivor grandma would save everything; a last lone five peas from dinner were safely put into Tupperware in the fridge, things like that. But now she's thinking ahead to her own eventual grandchildren looking at her and thinking "wow, it's really weird that grandma makes grandpa wipe down all the groceries when they get back from the store."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:03 AM on March 27 [10 favorites]


Also my cat is really over us being home- he's starting to hide deeper in closets to ensure he's left alone.

oh you gotta build him a maze/cave/pillow fort now that's the rule


Here in Chicago, my wife and I have built a space in our closet for our cat. It's a Canada blanket with a Canada pillow and a little framed script art Canada map (Our friends and family give us these as gifts in case we forget where we are from I guess). When she goes to her closet space we say "She is going to Canada".

Frankly I am jealous of my cat right now and would like to go curl up in Canada for 6-18 months.
posted by srboisvert at 9:04 AM on March 27 [55 favorites]


I've recently just started reading the paper again after not doing it for three months. Comment sections are ... well there's some odd patterns of comments.

Oh my, yes. My engagement with Facebook is mostly a series of daily facepalms at the realization of how many people are guessing at the contents of news stories based on quickly reading the headline and then repeating rhymes and sayings in place of thought.

A local major fast food chain restaurant (not far from Toronto) closed a few days ago because a staffer tested positive for Covid-19. Today the news reports that the teenaged employee faked a doctor’s note and is actually fine.

Hundreds of comments: he should be fired (she, and she was), she should be charged (four criminal charges, covered in the second paragraph of the article), she will not go to jail for this (precognition is damned convenient), it’s the parents’ fault so they should be charged as well because the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree (wat), we have to get rid of the Young Offenders’ Act (repealed seventeen years ago), her parents are probably immigrants (really? You went there?), don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time (we are now into dialogue from 80s cop shows), she’s a special kind of stupid (now lifting bits of Roseanne Barr’s 80s standup routine), only prayer will save us (huh), something something Trudope (this erotic fixation people have on the PM is troubling), I never went to that restaurant anyway (thanks for letting us know).

Spellcheck optional; ALL CAPS RECOMMENDED; punctuation is for weaklings.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:04 AM on March 27 [18 favorites]


I went to the grocery store for the first time in a couple weeks yesterday-- I don't understand why the grocery stores and the grocery store parking lots are all packed. I just want to shout from the rooftops at everyone that the whole point of stocking up was so that we could all go to the grocery stores LESS often than usual, not way more often??
posted by geegollygosh at 9:07 AM on March 27 [6 favorites]


A kind Mefite sent me a gift certificate for a spice shop, so both granulated garlic and Smoked paprika is on their way to my place!

Thank you SO MUCH, Kind Mefite™. You make the world a much better place! (I'm not outting them unless they say it's OK.)
posted by spinifex23 at 9:20 AM on March 27 [20 favorites]


But now she's thinking ahead to her own eventual grandchildren looking at her and thinking "wow, it's really weird that grandma makes grandpa wipe down all the groceries when they get back from the store."

I'm figuring it will be, why do all old people have 20 packs of toilet paper in the garage?

I'm not only investing in grains to try, but also spices.

Try berbere if you can get it. Like curry, it's a spice mix rather than a spice, so there are also recipes online. I love it with lentils.
posted by FencingGal at 9:41 AM on March 27 [8 favorites]


Went to H-Mart just now. The good news is, looks like they had plenty of the staples. Bunch of pallets of instant noodles up front, they know what people like me are looking for I guess. The bad news is, way too many people, far too few masks. I expected at least the staff to all be masked and gloved, but... maybe half? Impossible to maintain distance from unmasked people.

Portland is just not going to take this seriously until we're posting NY numbers and maybe not even then, I'm afraid.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 9:54 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]


Suddenly I'm just feeling really down, like I could begin to cry any minute for no apparent reason (though I do actually have stuff to cry about). I also have a lot of back pain from working at my dining table. Everything just feels shitty and overwhelming. I don't feel like cooking the delicious food I've bought, and I really wish I could sleep already, but I can't fall asleep. I can't focus on reading either, and when I feel like this, a movie is too much.
This would be a good time to take my new anxiety medicine but there is a big warning against taking it if you have sleep apnea, which I think I have but forget to talk with my doctor about.
posted by mumimor at 10:03 AM on March 27 [15 favorites]


Portland is just not going to take this seriously

Yeah, my home work desk is by a window that looks out on the residential street in front of my apartment. I'm constantly seeing small groups of smokers congregating/socializing on the sidewalk in front of the apartment complex across the street, kids running/biking up and down the sidewalk, close clumps of 2-4 people strolling past chatting casually, even a few families clearly on their way to the park about a block up the street from me. And that's apart from the frequent single walkers of all stripes. At my local grocery store a few of the cashiers are wearing gloves but that's about it - I don't recall seeing anyone wearing a mask, employees or shoppers.

Personally I've been facing this current period with the same caution I do every flu season - not touching my face when I have to visit the grocery store, avoiding all other unnecessary trips, practicing appropriate social distance (which TBH I'm prone to even when it isn't flu season), changing clothes and washing my hands as soon as I get home, etc. I'm not feeling any overwhelming sense of dread, just reasonable caution. But it's odd to see people apparently treating the situation in such a cavalier manner.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:18 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Also - during all of this, I am especially grateful to my local Buy Nothing group.

Two years ago, someone put up an unused, still in original packaging, hand held bidet bottle. Everyone else went 'ew', I went 'yes please', because I had a couple surgeries scheduled. That little thing has been reliably used since then, works really well, and has been an absolute lifesaver in this pandemic and resultant TP shortage. So much so that when things settle down and they come back in stock, I'm getting a couple more for travelling.

This is the one I have: Bio Bidet.

Also, I got refreezable ice cubes a couple of months ago from the same group, and that saves a LOT of freezer space - and I can still have my Cold Brew. A thought if your freezer space is at a premium, like mine is.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:33 AM on March 27 [7 favorites]


Thanks for the kind thoughts, ghidorah! I am actually fine as long as I keep my fat intake below about 5g a day. I haven't quite figured out the actual line but the penalty for crossing it is 5-6 hours of absolute agony, so I err on the side of caution. It has made cooking and grocery shopping much more challenging though; I have learned a lot about what has fat - chocolate, damn it - and what doesn't - those seaweed flavored small rice crackers from Japan. I feel bad because I actually really do need to read the labels before I buy anything and so yes, it's me: I handle things at the grocery store. I wash my hands before I leave the house and then I sanitize before I go in the store and don't touch my face, but still. I haven't been to the store in a week but today that's going to have to change.

I only leave the house to walk the dogs. I have actually chatted more with my neighbors since this started than I ever have and it's nice. We all stand 6 feet or more away from each other and commiserate. Yesterday I had my truck towed. The towtruck driver said he hasn't had any calls all week, "It's usually like 20, 30 a day. Yesterday, it was 3. Sunday, nobody." So another group of people in financial trouble who I hadn't even thought of. Anyway the truck magically healed itself, so that's excellent news although a bit embarrassing and I feel bad for wasting the mechanic's time; hopefully it will stay healed.

The real problem with going to the store and the bank is that I have a cough. I am pretty sure it is just allergies - no fever, I feel completely fine otherwise except my eyes are itchy and red - but I don't want to cough at Fred Meyer and cause a panic. I dug up an old N95 mask from the depths of the toolbox and I will wear that although, ugh, it is not really sanitary but probably I will not get sick from rust dust. Also of course I am freaking out a little. Yesterday when the cough started I immediately wrote out a last will and testament in longhand in the marble composition book I use for grocery lists and it made me giggle because it was such a weird 5th grade sort of thing to do, same book and all. My inner 11 year old is apparently thriving, helped along by my large adult son, who keeps appearing behind my back and asking questions like, "So, what do you think the next step to total societal breakdown will look like?"

The Stay At Home order is kind of working in my neighborhood and kind of not. There are still gangs of free range children running around, although they're somewhat smaller gangs. People are coming and going in groups. Traffic is not really noticeably less. And I really really want to know where all these people and dogs I have never seen before in the 15 months I have lived in this house have come from because they are everywhere.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:44 AM on March 27 [8 favorites]


Just got back from picking up groceries - the store here won't let the employees who work the curbside pickup take tips and I really wish that weren't the case. I'll send in some positive feedback about them but I wish I could do more. Anyway, here in Eugene, OR stores have consistently been out of tofu for weeks now and that is just about the most Eugene thing I can imagine. It makes me wonder what other regionally-specific shortages people are experiencing?
posted by DingoMutt at 10:48 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


That's so weird! The stores in Astoria, OR have also been out of tofu and I really don't think of Astoria as a tofu town.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:50 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


It's true, mygothlaundry, the dogs! So many I never saw out in the neighborhood before (I have been walking mine twice a day for 3+ years). Sweet to see kids tagging along on the dog walking. I wonder if some of these didn't get regular exercise before, or this is the result of dog parks and doggie day care being closed.
posted by Glinn at 10:54 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]


I still feel horrified by having to venture out yesterday (and also at my neighbors who are a total fail at practicing social distancing and it's driving me nuts, like yes I know it's hard to corral a 3 year old but don't let them run up to me!) so to feel a bit less powerless today I contacted someone who's picking up front porch donations for my town, and now a bag of clothes and towels are going to a local shelter and a dozen N95 masks that I found in my basement (old and opened, but we are in desperate times) are off to a local health clinic today.
posted by TwoStride at 11:02 AM on March 27 [6 favorites]


Seattle suburbs. Zero flour here, and I am hearing from essential workers that police are on all the on-ramps, presumably to discourage travel.
posted by corb at 11:48 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


I reported the director of the program I work at (not my direct supervisor) to the larger organization we’re part of and our funded due to assorted covid fuckery: keeping my coughing, feverish co-worker who has just come back from New York on the schedule working doubles, not immediately banning outside visitors even after her supervisor strongly suggested it. The next day I got a long lecture about why didn’t you come to me first, don’t you know we’re a team here, I have given so much of my life to this community, don’t stress our participants out now. I did not respond to this manipulation, because I learned from AskMe that appeals to “team” and “we’re like a family” are so often ways of keeping abusive behavior under wraps. I told her that taking precautions like wearing masks and maintaining social distance don’t have to feel paranoid if they’re done in the spirit of community. She said that our participants, all formerly homeless with significant substance use and trauma histories, in early recovery, have trouble with the idea of community and that’s why she wanted to take things slow. I did not tell her that it’s fucking infantilizing to attribute a larger American culture problem to substance history and that she’s simultaneously contributing to stigma against addiction and covid risk, though I badly wanted to. Since that day outside social visitors and outings have been banned for the moment. My coughing co worker got a few days off but nowhere near 14 days. The director literally will not address me directly. We’re still not allowed to wear masks.

I don’t even know what to do. I feel like the only reason I’m not fired right now is because it would so obviously be retaliation. My direct manager sent an email around to all the nurses warning us not to make rash emotional decisions, so clearly she’s useless. I feel invisible in the larger discourse about heroic frontline providers. My work is the lowest paid, lowest prestige end of RN work. We probably wouldn’t have PPE even without a national shortage, between the incompetent management and the fact that we can’t manage severe infections requiring isolation on-site. This is clearly a hostile work environment, but I don’t know that I have documentation to prove anything because so much is verbal, and I hate that I have to have perfect proof to be believed in any way that will get me compensated for this torture.

And honestly, where else would I go now? I was hoping to make it a year here—my nursing job history is scattered from the time I spent getting mental health together—but I’m not sure I can hold out that long. Looking at hospital jobs now feels near suicidal, especially since I can walk to my current job and would have to take transit to any hospital. The kinds of outpatient programs I specialized in prior to my current job are closed until who knows when. And really, I’m afraid everywhere is this bad. I love the practice of nursing but hate the constraints that US healthcare places on it and the fact that I’m so often at the mercy of people who know fuck-all about patient care. Other people I know can compartmentalize enough to be quiet about that during working hours and do their jobs so why can’t I? Am I just too angry and emotional and crazy to work at all? That’s my biggest fear, and I know it’s full of ableism, I know that one’s value doesn’t come only from work, but I love my work when broken systems don’t get in the way and I’m scared to have the parts I love taken from me.
posted by I am a Sock, I am an Island at 12:16 PM on March 27 [36 favorites]


My mother in law's funeral was today, so now my wife and I need to get back home to Australia from the UK. We have one Qatar flight from Cardiff on Monday, then none for months, so we're booked on it. We won't get home ahead of the enforced requirement to be trapped in a hotel or worse for two weeks, despite having a well stocked house that's just us.
My job includes helping businesses set up and maintain remote access so their staff can work from home. I can do my job from home, but probably not from some random shitty hotel.
posted by krisjohn at 12:53 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Some crappy personal news lately, a friend with breast cancer had surgery today, and who wants to be near a hospital right now? Friends post about trips to the store, and I won't scold them, but WTF? II think my form of stress right now is exasperation, frustration with boneheads and the sheer rage at the US President. It's warm, sunny, I have virtual cocktails shortly, I have plenty of food and just made Margarita jello cups. But, for real, the single most important thing we can all do is Stay Home. also, my mail carrier is a hero, so I think I'll make cookies.
posted by theora55 at 12:57 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


If you are west side in LA, Lodge Bread is doing walk up and pre-orders. They have some bulk items currently that are probably shedding inventory (10lb of organic flour for $15, half dozen avocados for $9). I saw a couple other places that will probably be doing the same for the next week with fresh produce.
posted by 99_ at 1:17 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Week two of working from home. It is working pretty well--we are using Microsoft Teams to communicate and I am pleasantly surprised that the interface is easy to use.

I have been very busy--even though we've reduced service (BART, in the SF Bay Area), I'm in the thick of communicating those service changes to our customers and working with our scheduling folk on presentations to our Board and Execs about even more severe cuts. And, we're taking advantage of our reduced service to do lots of infrastructure work (we're losing Operating budget dramatically--but our Capital budget is healthy). I've been asked to charge as much of my time as I can to Capital stuff because I also help create wayfinding signs and passenger bulletins about the work we are doing. And, we are still planning on opening two new stations in June and I need to have all the print collateral (maps, brochures, fare charts, etc.) ready to go.

I have been staying home. I did a big run to the store last Saturday and I'll give it another try tomorrow--the delivery services are too backed up. I have developed a whole routine (based a lot on suggestions here) I have "outside shoes" and "inside shoes", I stage groceries on top of the washer--wipe down each one and put on dryer to carry into the house. Before I carry anything in, I strip off my outer layer of clothes and put them and the bags (I'm using all canvas bags now) in the washer and trot into the house and into the shower.

I am not a super social person anyway, so I'm doing OK with the isolation (and, really with all the freakin' MS Teams meetings, I don't feel that isolated). However, I did catch myself having a very long conversation with my cats this morning...one is a talker and kept responding so that kept me going.
posted by agatha_magatha at 1:17 PM on March 27 [6 favorites]


That old life of just....going to the store....seems a million miles away.
posted by spinifex23 at 5:57 AM on March 27


Oh man, yes, I hear you. I love food shopping, choosing the best produce, finding new ingredients, thinking what I'm going to cook as I wander round the supermarket or farm shop. I'm an introvert and generally very happy in my own company, but I've really missed going out to buy food. I don't actually need any food at the moment, and this lockdown has concentrated my mind on using what I've got.

That's so weird! The stores in Astoria, OR have also been out of tofu and I really don't think of Astoria as a tofu town.
posted by mygothlaundry at 6:50 PM on March 27


No tofu here either in Essex, just north-east of London. It's one of my staples too.
posted by essexjan at 1:20 PM on March 27 [6 favorites]


I just posted it this on the dreaded Facebook, and it seems spiriting, so fingers are crossed. I'll let you know for spoilers that the man in the story was/is wonderful and he said he'd call back in days ahead to make sure we're okay (and that he's okay, obvs).

A nice isolation story: strap in. We begin about two months ago, when I was at the thrift store hunting new paint clothes for a new gig. It was near closing time, so the staff were stressed. I found a shirt and went to pay.

The man in front of me in line was getting a couple of books and a really beautiful painting. He and I chatted while on line about books and paintings. He's about my dad's age and really nice.

Second act! This man got to the front of the line and no one had priced the painting. The cashier was rude to the man, saying they needed a manager to say how much it cost, and there was no manager on duty. He couldn't buy it. He was really disappointed.

I asked when a manager would be around again. It would be in the morning. I nodded at the man with conspiracy in my eyes. He paid for the books and waited for me to buy my new shirt. I told him I'd come back in the morning and get the painting for him. We hid the painting, facing the wall, behind another painting in the store (this was on my chaotic encouragement and resulted in giggles) and exchanged phone numbers.

I went back in the morning to buy the painting. The new cashier told me I'd have to ask the manager in the back. The manager in the back was the cashier from the night before. She sighed and slapped some price tags on it and I brought it home. That evening, I got home from work with my new paint shirt on and brought it back out to our man, Mostaa. He'd been on the train for about 90 minutes for it.

The kicker: Mr. Mostaa just called me this afternoon, two months later, to make sure I was okay in the isolation business. He's bored at home. His wife is annoying him with getting him to be careful and he knows she's right and is doing what she says. I told him I was doing the same with Francis. His kids are all isolated and being careful. His brothers in Bangladesh aren't taking it seriously yet, but he's arguing with them. He was just calling this this-here idiot near-stranger to make sure we were okay.

He's been occupying himself reading "boring books," and I've seen the books he picks up, and they are indeed super boring. I told him this and we laughed about it.

The moral: I guess, keep being nice. Keep looking out for each other. You're all doing a pretty good job. And be nice to cashiers for sure.
posted by lauranesson at 1:58 PM on March 27 [49 favorites]


Unopened tofu keeps in the fridge much longer than uncooked unopened meat. If I could still eat tofu, I’d be looking for it too.

Instead we are trying to figure when we should head out again for groceries. We could last another two weeks, maybe three, with our current load. But here in AZ the big ramp-up hasn’t happened yet (it will, especially given our asshat governor’s refusal to let municipalities set their own stronger shutdown policies) so we are considering going out next week, hoping to go before it gets bad here and stock up for a longer time.

I’d do it in a heartbeat if I could a) figure out which stores are actually enforcing social distancing, and b) if we could do a run for someone who needs it more than us at the same time. I want to go to a store with number of people inside limited and limits on purchase numbers and so on, but I just don’t know where to look to find out if a store near me is doing any such things.

I’ve also started in on my giant pile of mending, which I can do during meetings now (I can rip a seam below where my camera shows..). And so currently I am annoyed at the skirt I am trying to repair, whose elastic was clearly designed to never be replaced. WTF, fast fashion market. Damn late stage capitalism.
posted by nat at 1:58 PM on March 27 [4 favorites]


Well, stay-at-home order begins in my county tonight. I have been living that way for about 2 weeks already, so it won't change much for me. But it feels sad. I have been preparing for a long ordeal and it seems official now. I went out today at noon to walk at a nearby residential/retail development thing that has some trails I like to use. A restaurant there is already closed, the movie theater is closed. The food co-op is partially open. Not that I am endorsing the call to Reopen All The Things by Easter, by any stretch, but it is sad to see local businesses actually start to go under.
posted by thelonius at 2:00 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Members of my city's CERT team are being asked to help screen people who need to use certain of the city's facilities, so that's... an excuse to get out of the house! I'll do it. I wonder if I'll get to wear my official hardhat.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:50 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


So one thing that has been genuinely delightful this week is that Alan Doyle, formerly of Great Big Sea, has been hosting a concert from his basement every night this week (with some famous friends appearing on video) on Facebook live to raise money for his Dollar a Day charity, with proceeds this week going to Kids Help Phone. Fans have raised almost $CAD50,000 this week, and Sobey's just announced that they would match with 50k, thus bringing them to $100k for Kids Help Phone for the week. That's just so amazing. And the concerts have been the highlight of each day. (TIL that Oscar Issac has a gorgeous voice!)
posted by TwoStride at 2:57 PM on March 27 [6 favorites]


My daughter would like to point out that Hozier has been doing a weekly concert, benefiting great causes he supports, though not COVID-19 so far, every Friday at noon Pacific.
posted by Windopaene at 3:05 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


(TIL that Oscar Issac has a gorgeous voice!)

TwoStride, you should definitely check out Inside Llewyn Davis, where he stars as a struggling folk singer in 1960s New York.
posted by bassooner at 5:08 PM on March 27 [6 favorites]


I have that feeling in my gut, like we're at the top of the first hill on a roller coaster.
posted by moira at 9:46 PM on March 27 [15 favorites]


i haven't stopped watching the two minutes hate. i did miss today's episode ("i wouldn't say i've been missing it, bob") in real time and tried to watch it later on c-span but, well the technology was there, i just could not sit through the orange horror. so i skipped though it to see if doctors fauci and pollyanna were there and whether aspiring-hand-of-god pence closed with the same troubling language he has routinely been using. fauci and birx were there. fauci praised people on the ground. very briefly. i tuned out birx; guess i'm done with her too. and the c-span reply cut off before pence's repeated dogwhistle, which i don't doubt he said again. the dogwhistle is something a pledge to care for people and "heal our land." (apparently this is not a new refrain for him: he has been repeating it since at least 2016 CPAC).

it has been bothering me because it sounds biblical, and thus blasphemous in his mouth. (i am not an those faiths of the book, but was raised and educated among mainline protestents and catholics, so have the ear). also because it echos an aspect of the movie excalibur, where percivale returns from his successful grail quest to deliver his revelation to aurthur: "the king and the land are one."

so i tracked it down. it seems to be several types of "contemporary worship music," notably a song on the eponymous 2012 album by the planetshakers, a 2017 song by kari jobe, and a 1993 "song for the national day of prayer" by michael card. there appear to be more over on youtube but i stopped. (except jaime rivera: gag).

i'm sorry i asked. but that's not all! at least jamie rivera's lyrics hew fairly close to the biblical source, second chronicles 7:14, which, in context, recounts an occasion when, after building the temple, solomon enjoys a vision in which the lord "appeared to him at night and said:"
...when i shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or sent a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then i will hear from heaven, and i will forgive their sin and will heal their land....
the lord goes on at some length.

now i have a hard time with, what in separation of church and state discourse is called "ceremonial deism" and inexplicably allowed. this is like any random president's request that god bless america or the congressional chaplain opening sessions with a prayer. but this is something more. this is not ceremonial deism but outright, menacing, THIS-CATASTROPHE-IS-BECAUSE-GOD-HATES-THE-SINNERS nascent theocratic danger. actual antichrist stuff!

i don't know what he was saying by it in 2016--just culture-war stuff, i guess. he certainly wasn't addressing every u.s. person in his speech to cpac. now he is, every day, from behind the podium in the james s. brady press briefing room of the white house, as vice president and the nominal figurehead of the government's response to a disastrous pandemic. he is saying this plague is because the people have turned away from god and pursued their wicked ways, and that, whatever we may do with emergency declarations, defense production act edicts and epidemologists, it will take the people seeking god's face in just the sort of righteousness that those who already count themselves "among the faithful" if not among the saved are champing at the bit to force everyone to comply with.

this terrifies and enrages me, and, on top of the rest of this situation, fill me with despair. and now, if you couldn't already, you can hear this too. i don't think it is exactly a dogwhistle anymore. i do think it is dangerous and significant. much more dangerous and significant than that insipid music.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:26 PM on March 27 [25 favorites]


on a lighter (?) note, i text my mom my state/county's confirmed case numbers when they're reported each morning around 10--something like (today's) 774/208--and she writes back "what is that, your blood pressure watching two minutes hate?" ha! she's been keeping her own hand-drawn chart of new cases per day on the back of a piece of note paper. today she realized she's gonna need a bigger piece of paper (redacted to obscure bleedthrough from a note in sharpie on the other side). ok. not a lighter note.

thanks for being here everybody.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:32 PM on March 27 [9 favorites]


Seattle is building a temporary hospital and medical center in the CenturyLink Field Event Center.

This is a place that usually hosts concerts and trade shows, and is attached to CenturyLink Field, a football stadium.

CenturyLink Hospital

Gov. Inslee also says that they stay-at-home order may have to be extended for WA State, depending on conditions.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:07 PM on March 27 [7 favorites]


The New Mexico governor has also asked for a field hospital, on Thursday. On Friday, our number of cases jumped from 136 to 191. I feel like our governor is responding fairly well about this. We've had a stay-at-home order for a few days. But I wish she would be even more aggressive.
posted by NotLost at 12:04 AM on March 28 [6 favorites]


I can’t stop thinking that this has been around longer than we thought. My dad in his 70s had something flu-like with fever, cough, and pneumonia in late January. Then my toddler daughter got sick around the first week of February. She had fever plus she would just cough endlessly, coughing until she threw up multiple times each day and night. It was scary for a week or so. The flu test was negative for her, doctors kind of shrugged and said it was some weird virus going around. I got sick next and first I thought I was getting a cold, then a few days into it I had a high fever for a couple days and the worst cough I’ve ever had. It hurt to inhale, my chest felt tight, the cough sometimes felt uncontrollable and scary. It seems to have turned into bronchitis and I’ve been coughing up gunk ever since, about five weeks now. I’m still coughing, but it’s a bit better lately. I got checked about a week into it and there was no pneumonia; they gave me some cough medicine and sent me home. They said it was a virus, who knows, something like flu.

I just keep reading reports of people with COVID-19 and thinking it sounds awfully familiar. The timing doesn’t match up, there weren’t cases reported in my state then, but still. If I had those symptoms now I would feel very sure of what it was.
posted by beandip at 4:58 AM on March 28 [25 favorites]


My mother had a terrible chest infection with fever, etc., early this year. She’s mostly better now, but was in a bad way for quite awhile. Given how frail she is in general, I am desperately hoping she’s already had it.
posted by skybluepink at 6:01 AM on March 28 [7 favorites]


To my surprise, I was actually able to get a grocery delivery slot a few days from now. Not everything I wanted was showing as in stock, but even so, if they bring even most of what I ordered, that would let me push out going to the store in person at least another week.

So slots starting to open up feels like a real positive, which should be helping to reduce crowding in the stores.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:46 AM on March 28 [9 favorites]


can’t stop thinking that this has been around longer than we thought

over at this week in virology podcast host and guests express their interest in the availability of a serum antibody test so that they can check stored samples, musing sometimes that maybe they'll find sars-ncov2 was circulating as early as last november. not sure which episode(s) sorry; i think its been mentioned more than once. little lurk had something like beandip describes their daughter having before i had what i've been calling my presumptive flu, though within the february/march timeframe, in our cases.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:19 AM on March 28 [3 favorites]


I don't even. The big box home improvement store is slammed today. Literally all the carts in use. People bringing infants in and just browsing around; bored children racing about playing tag. Instead of 6 feet it's 6 inches. I am doomed to get it, as will others in the store. So tired. Now my lunch break is over; time to finish out my scheduled 10 hour day. I hate people.

If the apocalypse happens then lots of folks will have good looking homes and yards as a legacy.
posted by mightshould at 10:12 AM on March 28 [34 favorites]


I had a chemo infusion yesterday. I was called the day before and told I couldn't bring anyone with me - that if someone had to drive me, that person had to wait in the car. But when I got to the waiting room, it was packed with chatting couples, and there was no way to stay six feet away from people. I tweeted a complaint to the cancer center, and they DM'd me and asked me to get back to them. We'll see what they say.

I had agreed to take an injection to boost my red blood cells, since I'm pretty anemic and there may not be blood available if my hemoglobin keeps dropping. Well, my hemoglobin actually went up a tiny bit - first time in weeks - and that was good news. They were going to go ahead with the injection, and they gave me the fact sheet for the drug. It was the most terrifying drug warning sheet I've ever seen. It immediately said that this drug can shorten your life, that you shouldn't take it if your cancer is curable (mine isn't - but still), and that it should not be given in place of transfusions. I quickly emailed a pharmacist friend of mine to ask if he could help me feel better about it. He got back to me right away and sent me info about a study of this drug that they stopped after four months because the mortality was so high. Then he said that if he could give me blood, he would come over immediately.

I haven't had a panic attack in years, but I was getting pretty close to one. I talked to the nurse, and she agreed to call the doctor (she was amazing). He said that he was OK with me skipping the drug for now since my hemoglobin had gone up and that he'd call me to talk about it more. My hope is that the chemo is killing enough cancer cells that my bone marrow can start making red blood cells again.

And then I got home, threw all my clothes in the washer, and it started acting up on me. I wrote an Ask about that. So not a great day, though I'm super happy that my hemoglobin went up, so it could be worse. And the nurses at the cancer center are so wonderful - they are just amazing people, and I do make a point of telling them how much I appreciate them.
posted by FencingGal at 11:22 AM on March 28 [35 favorites]


In my little corner of the Bronx, it's just Saturday. My neighborhood is usually devoid of people walking around. The grocery stores weren't crowded when I last went on the 13th. There was TP and wipes. As the poorest borough, the Bronx is a ticking timebomb. I'm staying put. I have no health insurance since I lost my job on the 13th, and I've been trying to get though to the State health care folks to see what my options are. COBRA's not it. I was shocked when I saw how much it would be per month. I'd qualify for Medicaid, but what with Governor Asshole lying to us about why we're not getting the $6 billion in aid that Chuck Schumer was able to wrangle for us on the 18th, I'm not sure what's going to happen.

Cuomo wants desperately to cut Medicaid to cover a budgetary shortfall that a tax on 2nd homes, yachts, private planes, and other toys of the wealthy would easily cover, but they let him know they don't want to pay ANY tax, and isn't this why they gave to his campaign? This is a tax with statewide bipartisan support among the voters. To receive this Federal aid, Cuomo would need to NOT cut Medicaid. But because he has such a hard-on to make those cuts (and to the state public education monies as well), he's going to go on TV and lie that, “The federal government gave us zero, nada, niente, zilch.”

Cuomo is no different than the execs of my former company, who would authoritatively tell us every 6 months that the reason there were layoffs yet again was that there was very little revenue coming in. Umm-hmm. The private equity firm that owns the place takes a major cut off the top of all revenue as "management and other fees". The executive team went en masse to hold their monthly meetings for over 5 days each time in Rome, Berlin, Honolulu, Paris... The execs funneled money to cousins and cronies providing "third-party services" to the company. They gave each other raises. Now that none of the company's tourism-based clients will be able to operate for the next few months... Pfft, I don't care. I want my severance next month, as per the separation agreement.

Anyway. I'm glad there's remote volunteering that I can do. I'm over 50, and New York Cares has asked us older volunteers and Team Leaders to not sign up for anything that would be an onsite job. I suppose the liability would be too great, and they want to protect us. It's been hard to realize that I'm one of the older folks now, but there it is.

In between looking for work, having FaceTime happy hours, checking in on older relatives and friends and on those who are health care workers, I've been trying to teach myself the "Think About Things" dance by Daði Freyr. The crossover bit in the middle is harder than it looks! And my apartment is very clean. Maybe I can talk a walk today before we're all quarantined. I'd sit on my fire escape, but I don't trust its structural integrity!
posted by droplet at 11:34 AM on March 28 [8 favorites]


Every grocery store trip is an adventure. I need a shirt that says "If you can read this, fuck off" and a hat that says "If I can smell you, you're too close".

I feel like 50% of the people understand the six foot rule but it needs to be 100% for the love of Christ.
posted by selfnoise at 11:41 AM on March 28 [23 favorites]


i am like. dangerously furious about that piece of shit arsonist setting fires in all the subway stations uptown right now. this is gonna be the thing that turns me into a costumed vigilante except my costume is a ratty old messi jersey and red short shorts that say ENEMY OF THE STATE on the ass.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:45 PM on March 28 [34 favorites]


Extremely same, poffin boffin, let me know if you need a vigilante entourage.
posted by ferret branca at 12:53 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


I've got my "Every billionaire is bad" t-shirt ready to go!
posted by praemunire at 12:58 PM on March 28 [4 favorites]


San Francisco here. I'm sheltering at home and very grateful for my job with a genuinely decent company (saying this not to brag but to acknowledge that there is some goodness in the world, here and there). Hubby and I are pretty comfortable with a reasonable amount of food on hand and a Strategic Toilet Paper Reserve in the bathtub. Hubby has been doing the food shopping since he's at slightly lower risk than me: we're both nearly 60 but I have cough-variant asthma (which means that normally I can breathe just fine and never have typical asthma attacks, but when I get a respiratory infection it really kicks my ass and I cough for weeks and weeks afterward) so I'm assuming it's as much of a risk factor as regular asthma.

He reports that the 2 grocery stores we normally shop at are handling things pretty well, posting an employee at the door as a sort of traffic cop, operating the registers so as to keep people far apart, wiping down the shelves every minute when they're not actually restocking, and one (Trader Joe's) hands everyone a sanitizing wipe as they enter/leave. And most products are still available most of the time, so while things are definitely not normal, they haven't reached the apocalyptic stage.

Back in December we both got really sick and I kind of wonder if it was COVID19. Right before Christmas we flew from SFO to Calgary via Seattle and I wonder if we picked up the virus in SeaTac or on the plane? The epidemic was bad in Wuhan but it hadn't really spread outside China at the time so nobody was worried about it in North America, but it may have snuck into Seattle by then. It was probably the worst flu I've ever had but when I went to the doctor a few weeks later she said "Bad cold, not flu" without actually doing any tests (uh, how can you tell?) and sent me home with a Rx for cough suppressants. I felt like crap for several weeks but I was probably not infectious by the time we got home, luckily (and I really hope I didn't infect people while traveling).

Anyway, I wonder if Hubby and I are now immune to COVID19? We're still taking all the recommended precautions, but if I could find out that I'm immune then I'd volunteer to do ... something? Lab work (I'm a biotechie), patient intake screening, whatever would take some load off frontline healthcare workers. Serological tests which measure antibodies in the blood are under development; these measure a person's immune response to the disease rather than the presence of current infection (and they're a lot faster and cheaper, but they take longer to develop so the "current infection" tests are the first to be deployed in a pandemic). Well, maybe the situation will come to that and I can make myself useful, but for now I'm assuming that I'm at risk just like everyone else, and I'm staying at home as much as possible.

Best of luck to all of us!
posted by Quietgal at 1:01 PM on March 28 [8 favorites]


We've had our first confirmed case in Xalapa, Mexico, and it was only detected by accident. The patient was asymptomatic and they only decided to test him because he had had contact with Italians. So now we're wondering how bad it really is, and bracing for the worst. In good times, it doesn't really matter if the head of state is inept, but in bad times, it makes such a drastic difference.
posted by dhruva at 1:36 PM on March 28 [9 favorites]


Antibody testing is going to be the next big step in this fight, it will be interesting to see how many people were asymptomatic but have developed antibodies.
posted by muddgirl at 2:31 PM on March 28 [6 favorites]


Can I gently ask/suggest that we back off on pontificating if/when we might have gotten the virus before it was "really here?" It seems like tabloid speculation and collectively feeds into general rumor-milling that we really don't need to contribute to.
posted by nakedmolerats at 2:35 PM on March 28 [17 favorites]


All the Girl Scout summer camps in my council are going to be closed this summer. Between that and the abridged cookie season, finances look grim. This is heartbreaking for me, as a Girl Scout leader, and for my kid who has gone to Girl Scout summer camp every year since she was a Brownie. She has her heart set on being a counselor there in a few years and I hope they manage to keep the camps going.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:01 PM on March 28 [12 favorites]


I keep waiting for the shoe to drop on camps, our rec camp here in the city just announced that it is not starting registration as normal on April 1.
posted by selfnoise at 3:25 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


Among the many business emails I've received lately have been ones from our local Wild Birds Unlimited store. Apparently they're still open and are delivering orders to people's cars, but the latest email from a few days ago ended with the following:

We hate to have to say this, but unfortunate recent incidents make it necessary. WE ARE NOT WILLING TO ALLOW ANY RUDE, DISRESPECTFUL OR ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR TOWARDS OUR STAFF!!! Please examine how you are treating the people on the front lines.

It's been three days and I still can't get this out of my head - not that ANYBODY deserves to be exposed to rat-bastard customers at any time, but it kind of boggles my mind to think there are people out there being shitty to humans working in a flipping BIRDSEED store during a fricking PANDEMIC. Mostly it's just made me angry and grossed out, but my wife is mildly obsessed and keeps wanting to know what the "unfortunate recent incidents" were. What on earth happened??

Either way it boggles the mind and I hope whoever was the cause of this email ends up with a whole yard full of rats and and some severe pecking injuries in embarrassing places.
posted by DingoMutt at 3:29 PM on March 28 [17 favorites]


Here local groceries stores are selling girl guide cookies or you can request them and they'll bring you a box at the counter in support of the girl guides. Maybe there is a way to get your local businesses to do the same.
posted by kanata at 3:54 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


Only 600! New cases today in Washington. So, we didn't double today... 500 new yesterday. Baby steps I guess.
posted by Windopaene at 3:55 PM on March 28 [4 favorites]


I'm hoping those numbers are real. there have been some gaps for individual days that i've seen, so i am actually waiting to see a trend here in washington. we're within the beginning of the window where the distancing should start to show up...but then again we are still not testing enough, so a spike in the number of tests could result in a spike in the number of reported cases. it's so frustrating to be addicted to watching the numbers and yet be so skeptical of them
posted by OHenryPacey at 4:08 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


Yeah when we jumped from a hopeful 100 new cases on Thursday, to 519 yesterday, that was a bummer. But, increased testing means more cases. But, we are so far behind the testing curve it's hard to know how to read the data.
posted by Windopaene at 4:11 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Between that and the abridged cookie season, finances look grim.

do you guys not have access to the online cookie selling portal thingy? that's where i've been getting mine, but i'd be delighted to repeatedly spam my social media with other cookie selling links if you have one.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:09 PM on March 28 [6 favorites]


We do have the online cookie selling portal thing and it's definitely better than nothing! The council closed them as usual, but then re-opened them when we had to shut down the booths.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:15 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


LINK US TO YOUR COOKIES WE MUST FEED
posted by poffin boffin at 5:19 PM on March 28 [21 favorites]


In the Bay Area, CA. Two people in our social circle (not people we've physically interacted with for months) got it (tested and confirmed) and recovered. One (60's ish) was hospitalized and just got released yesterday and is in wonderful spirits. The other (30's ish) didn't need hospitalization and just had a fever and a bad cough.

Hearing that these two are ok was like a little ray of sunshine through the clouds.

I'm in a poly situation. There's me and my partner (we live together), his boyfriend (lives elsewhere), my girlfriend, and her husband (they live together elsewhere). We've agreed for the time being that if we limit interactions to only us, it's probably ok -- but that could change at any moment if anyone gets sick or just feels uncomfortable with the situation. We only go out for shopping for food and supplies and occasional takeout and sterilize everything like mad people.

My mid-70's mom is living by herself in Texas. We tried to get her up here before everything went crazy but weren't able to do it fast enough. I'm so worried about her. If she gets symptoms and starts having a tough time I'm on the first flight out of here (if there are still any) with the knowledge that I might not be able to return for months. I've wrestled with going to Texas anyway, but that seems reckless -- I could have it and be asymptomatic or I could pick it up on the flight down there.

My partner's mom is also in Texas and he recently had a conversation with her about where she wants to buried. Her response was "you can toss me into any old hole in the ground as long is isn't next to my ex-husband". We had a grim but good laugh at that one.

Spirits are good for now.

I do wonder if I've already had it. Late January, me, my girlfriend, my partner, and a number of people close us, all came down with a pretty nasty bug that lasted for about a month. We'd get better, then get worse, then better, then worse. It started like a mild cold but as it progressed it involved fever, chills, aches, a not-very-productive cough but it was never like a full-blown flu. But it was very intermittent -- we'd feel ok one day and then be shivering with a fever the next and the ok again in a couple of days. All of us remarked that "this is really weird -- I've never had something quite like it". A friend had to go the ER because she was having trouble breathing. My girlfriend got pretty bad shortness of breath and I got winded just walking up stairs -- though she's asthmatic and had a harder time than I did with the shortness of breath. I've had walking pneumonia a couple of times in my life and it seemed like she had symptoms and I remember suggesting it her but they never did an X-ray. A couple of rounds of antibiotics and steroids finally cleared it up.

I guess we'll never know.

This is a huge thread and I'm slowly making my way through it but may not get through it all, and I doubt anyone will read this. But it's nice to type it all out to a place that feels like an internet home. Stay safe everyone and best of wishes and hang in there the best you can.
posted by treepour at 5:59 PM on March 28 [17 favorites]


"not that ANYBODY deserves to be exposed to rat-bastard customers at any time, but it kind of boggles my mind to think there are people out there being shitty to humans working in a flipping BIRDSEED store during a fricking PANDEMIC. "

I'm not even a tiny bit surprised. Service workers who are there to help you and can't defend themselves/fight back without losing their jobs are just there to be abused by some members of the general public.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:12 PM on March 28 [6 favorites]


Can I gently ask/suggest that we back off on pontificating if/when we might have gotten the virus before it was "really here?" It seems like tabloid speculation and collectively feeds into general rumor-milling that we really don't need to contribute to.

Made my post before I saw this comment and probably wouldn't have added that detail if I'd seen it. That said, I do feel like it's a reasonable if fruitless thing to wonder about, fruitless being the key word -- it's incredibly important to assume that we haven't had it and to act accordingly.
posted by treepour at 6:13 PM on March 28 [6 favorites]


I weighed myself today, and I have lost 12 pounds in approximately the past month. The trauma diet is real, and I need to get off of it right now.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:27 PM on March 28 [8 favorites]


On the subject of people thinking they may have had it early, I was horrifically sick at the beginning of January with similar symptoms, including a fever, but since I’m a cancer patient, I was hospitalized and tested. I had both influenza A and rhinovirus. The hospital blood tests even say I tested negative for coronavirus (there are many coronaviruses, not just this one). So there was a terrible influenza going around - I had just flown from the Bay Area to Michigan - and people may have had that. I was in the hospital for five days and missed another four days of work in addition to being sick for a weekend. I don’t think I’ve ever been that sick. And yes, I had a flu shot this year.
posted by FencingGal at 6:31 PM on March 28 [14 favorites]


My county had zero confirmed cases yesterday morning, and now we're up to five. In a way it's a relief because it means they're doing SOME testing, and it might give a slight reality check to (for example) my coworker who thinks this is all "hysteria." But we're pretty rural and it's easy to imagine the medical facilities getting overwhelmed with even a relatively small number of cases.

The governor has been doing helpful things like canceling all abortions and ensuring that farmers can stack more pigs in a barn, but won't consider a shelter-in-place order.

I'm in a lot of pain after a dental procedure, despite antibiotics and ibuprofen - a week and a half later, it shouldn't still be getting worse. I don't know if I need an emergency dental appointment, and I don't know if I'll be able to get one.
posted by Jeanne at 6:50 PM on March 28 [7 favorites]


Still getting worse after a week with antibiotics seems like it’s worth at least asking your dentist if they can check up, Jeanne. Fingers crossed for you.
posted by clew at 7:29 PM on March 28 [6 favorites]


The governor has been doing helpful things like canceling all abortions

Abortion Clinics Are Staying Open During The Coronavirus Outbreak.
posted by katra at 7:31 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I also had a nasty flu in late February, and I had had my flu shot too. I had heard that there was also an influenza strain going around about a month before the coronavirus kicked off which was not responsive to this year's flu vaccine. So I wouldn't jump to conclusions about what any given person might or might not have had, based on that particular flu virus' existence.
posted by sciatrix at 7:57 PM on March 28 [11 favorites]


I have lost 12 pounds in approximately the past month

it's ok i found them
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 7:58 PM on March 28 [68 favorites]


also please mefites with Girl Scout troops, bring us your cookie links.
posted by sciatrix at 7:59 PM on March 28 [16 favorites]


haven't caught up reading but i want that shirt and those shorts.

i've tried pretty hard to convey "stay away" in my habiliments for years, but also make eye contact and greet people sympathetically (and seem to be someone less ... conventional ... people feel comfortable approaching), so have received a bunch of hostile tee shirts from friends. one is battlestar galactica merchandise reading "FRAK OFF"; another just says "NO" and the one i'd have thought would be most effective, a white circle on a black shirt with bold black letters inside reading simply "I HATE" (long story). but nope: people come up to me all the time to ask what i hate. usually i try to do my best brando and reply "whadda ya got?" but nobody yet seems to have caught the reference; have also experimented with "impertinent questions" and "talking to strangers," with mixed results.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:13 PM on March 28 [6 favorites]


^sorry. thought i had linked the reference.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:32 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


I doubt anyone will read this

I don't think I'm the only person who keeps these threads open and checks then several times a day.
posted by Margalo Epps at 8:42 PM on March 28 [59 favorites]


One of my friends has a Girl Scout, and was fretting with what to do with the rest of the cookies. Before the stay at home order hit, she took orders and drove around. I basically bought the rest of her Lemon-Ups. (Only three boxes, but still. Those are so delicious!)
posted by spinifex23 at 9:00 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


heard on the radio driving home on the fairly-sparsely-trafficked roads from little lurk & mama's place this evening that a nursing home in a neighboring county confirmed sars-ncov2 in 66 residents today (or it was announced today). residents in three nursing homes in my county -- including the one where my grandparents died 20some years ago -- have also had cases confirmed, though no numbers were reported. the governor also announced five more deaths in maryland today, doubling the state's reported fatalities. stopped by foodlion: it was pretty empty -- maybe five staff (self-checkout closed, two lanes open behind sneeze guards) someone cleaning, someone stocking, and likely someone at the service counter -- possibly as many as 10 people shopping. fair amount of produce, though some kinda sad looking, some macaroni, cartons of chicken, beef and shrimp-flavored ramen, a bit of bread (bakery section still has plenty of those excellent bagels), no shortage of eggs, a full stock of bananas. i think i found everything i was looking for. eerily quiet tho. then back home to do laundry and catch up on the metafilters: yes, this thread was still open.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:32 PM on March 28 [5 favorites]


Yeah, the impact on nursing/assisted living places is bad. I have to think too many employees are working multiple jobs at multiple facilities. Ugh. Have seen some of this in Washington.
posted by Windopaene at 9:45 PM on March 28 [4 favorites]


I have also had this thread open and have been reading along with everyone's experiences. Last night I went to Fred Meyer and it was one of the most surreal moments of my life. There was hardly anyone there, most of the customers walking around seemed to be folks with some mental health stuff happening, possibly were there because they had no place else to go. Typically I am not at all nervous around those folks but honestly everything feels so unpredictable right now that I was scared and I also felt guilty being scared. There was no pasta, no toilet paper, but I got everything else I needed. I started getting more and more anxious though, and then flat out felt like I was going to panic when a woman pushing her cart moved as if she was going to just push right past me, close to me, and I immediately and quickly pulled farther away. She yelled, "REALLY??" I said, "You can go ahead," and she said in the most mocking tone, "Oh, yeah, 6 feet away, right? Listen, girl, I have two young babies at home and I'm not even THAT paranoid." And I was so angry and sad and freaked out and I honestly almost just started yelling at her because I know 2 people who each had a relative die yesterday. But I was scared of her because she seemed unpredictable so I just said, "Well, I am," and pulled my cart the other direction and stayed away from her. But I almost started screaming. And I'm really glad I managed to keep it zipped and just keep moving when my nervous system felt like I wanted to fight her. I went home and cried instead. You guys, it's kind of scary out there. This thread is making me feel safer, I don't know why but it feels good to know that it's here, even if I don't comment that much. Thanks. Be well.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 9:48 PM on March 28 [54 favorites]


Sparse traffic on the roads seems to tempt everyone to play fast and loose with the rules... I just found out that a friend of mine got hit by a car while on his bicycle - injuries bad enough that he got sent to the ER, and now he’s got broken ribs AND a cough, which I’m sure you can imagine is an extremely unpleasant combination. As someone who has no choice but to bike/walk for transportation this naturally has me a bit freaked out, so just a reminder to please please please be careful on the road - I know everyone’s stressed and got a lot on their minds, but it’s invariably the folks who aren’t in the steel boxes who get the short end of the stick.
posted by btfreek at 10:13 PM on March 28 [18 favorites]


Cape Town. Day 3 of official lock down for the country, we've been in personal lock down for more than a week.
My sister says a drone flew over her house yesterday and seemed to be watching her as she played with her dog in the backyard. Bored neighbour maybe? Kind of creepy.
Had a family zoom meeting last night. Highly recommended. Nice to see everyone's smiling faces.
posted by Zumbador at 10:33 PM on March 28 [4 favorites]


Metafilter punctuation is for weaklings

+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

But also! I need to know, as my online shopping is getting out of hand.

If you can order it, and haven't tried it yet, I very much recommend smoked paprika. It's SO GOOD on so many things.
posted by Too-Ticky


Sweet or hot? I'm seeing sweet Spanish ("La Dahlia") and both kinds from "La Chinata Pimenton."

Positive notes:
* Snowy horrible weather outside today in Tokyo means no hanami gatherings and almost nobody out on the streets.
* Started to worry about an old friend back in the States, so sent him a text. So, now we are doing that. Having a nice chat now and then. His job is tending bar, so that's a problem, but he and his family are OK for now.
* My apartment is getting cleaner. The kitchen is amazing!
* Friend who was supposed to leave for Canada on sabbatical on Thursday will likely be able to put it off until September. I really, really hope that they will be able to go away by then.
* Mrs G scored a four pack of unscented toilet paper.
* I cooked some delicious sausages for dinner last night.
* Somebody posted an awesome deep dive Twitter thread on exactly what is legal or illegal regarding emergency measures, curfews, requisitions etc. in Japan and partly explaining why things are as they are here.
* I will be a newbie host for a bunch of other newbs on Zoom tomorrow. Got a bunch of English teachers to give it a go before our schools tell us to use it. It's been fun reaching out to people and hearing from some folks I haven't run into in ages. We are going to have a good time with it, and if anybody learns anything, bonus!
* My coworker who hates me and basically refuses to speak with me sent me a friendly and constructive email reply to some resources I emailed out for online learning. This is a big deal. Told our department head about this event and they were shocked. Shocked. It could mean the end times are here.
posted by Gotanda at 12:47 AM on March 29 [16 favorites]


Howdy, all. I have significantly cut down my time here on MetaFilter and elsewhere to focus on my mental health but this is still my online home so I am loving this check-in thread but wishing life were easier for all of us. I am privileged. No shortage of anything really, I can walk to a lake and a local grocery store. The endoscopy I needed was not cancelled last week, although I have no idea if I will get to see a doctor in a month or so when the results are ready. There was only one other person, a Swede, in my particular waiting room and we actually chatted, a pleasant and shocking development. I was even able to make a last-minute dental appointment to find out why my teeth hurt and how to make it stop.

This week Sweden tightened up its restrictions on gatherings and dropped the allowed number of groups from 500 (I know, I know) to 50. Some folks outside of Sweden are calling the country's more relaxed approach to restrictions "the Swedish experiment" and there are Swedish critics as well. In this country, politicians do not get to override the national health department and the national health department is asking people to be responsible, stay home if you are sick, stay home if you are 70 or older, don't travel unnecessarily, and don't leave Stockholm for other places because Stockholm is the epicenter of the outbreak in this country.

Like every other country, Sweden has a shortage of hospital beds, hospital personnel, personal protective equipment, and coronavirus test kits and related materials. But last week some folks at a microbiology lab elsewhere in Sweden wondered if maybe they could use the test swabs from the chlamydia tests they had in stock for coronavirus testing. They tried it, it worked, and they went out and bought thousands more chlamydia test swabs and are trying to spread the word about this effective substitute.

Meanwhile, early this morning someone bombed a building in my neighborhood. No one was hurt, thank goodness, but apparently organized crime (or whomever the fuck was behind destroying a new restaurant in the process of being built) is not going to let something like a pandemic screw with its nefarious plans. That sucks. But I made a new buddy at the local flea market yesterday, which rocks.

We bonded over his crankiness about compliments as he rang up my purchases. He guessed correctly, thanks to my broad American accent, that I was an American. I mentioned that a cashier had recently pretended that I had practically no accent at all. My new buddy found all compliments suspect and probably false. "Why would someone say it is nice to meet you?" he asked. "How do they know if it's nice to meet me, they don't even know me yet." Eventually I will go back, at a suitable distance, to enjoy more of his bad attitude.

Hang in there everybody. Sending you hugs and hope from Stockholm. Girl Scout cookie folks, send those links around!
posted by Bella Donna at 1:33 AM on March 29 [18 favorites]


Here's a useful message from The Doctor.
(someone on Twitter pointed out that this video means that Jodie Whittaker keeps her costume at home, which is awesome)


This is beautiful and I may have watched in over ten times. Thank you Jodie
posted by daybeforetheday at 1:35 AM on March 29 [1 favorite]




After two weeks of rudderless drifting I've settled into something resembling a new routine. That is to say, our relationship survived, and last Friday I finally managed to get some actual work done. I pray I can keep that up, because my partner lost their job mid-March and we can ill afford to lose both. It's not just the money; by chance we happen to live in a country that provides relatively generous unemployment monies. It's also the mental strain of losing your bearings, of not having anything to look forward to, of feeling useless, powerless, & cut off.

At least I still can work. A common acquaintance of ours works in a bar, and has been sitting at home since the bars closed down earlier this month. We're also their landlord. I want them not to worry; we can probably absorb two months without rent monies. But after that? Fear begins to surface like a corpse from the deep.

The city, normally bustling, has become a ghost town. I have strange dreams. Sometimes it feels like I'm dreaming while I'm staring out the window.
posted by dmh at 1:46 AM on March 29 [7 favorites]


Hour 76 of hermiting. Tequila supplies run low. Salami and cheese are but a fond memory. Futurama continues apace.

Government in Aus has now reduced gathering limit to two, I fear for what happens when it's reduced below one.
posted by Marticus at 2:25 AM on March 29 [13 favorites]


sorry 'bout your friend, btfreek. yes, however sparse there is always at least one maniac asshole. i think they stand out more (around here) because the noise of other maniac assholes and those within the range between dangerously timid and that maniac asshole aren't so densely represented but am not sure. have seen bikers, pedestrians and persons on scooters on dark shoulders seeming terribly vulnerable. be careful out there. the entitlement and the wrath seem to be a lot closer to the surface these days.
posted by 20 year lurk at 3:05 AM on March 29 [3 favorites]


Things are so different. I see pictures from big cities that look like postapocalyptic movies. The ones from San Francisco reminded me of On the Beach. Meanwhile, I look out my suburban window and see lots of people walking around. Normally, there are a few, mostly dog-walkers. Now there are many, some in groups that don't look like families. My guess is a lot of workers aren't working, and are getting cabin fever.

Yesterday, I took a walk on my usual route, which goes past the lake and up the slope on its shore. The slope is moderately steep, and there are steps to make it manageable. This time, there were a couple of people on beach chairs doing an impression of basking walrus, blocking the landing halfway up the steps. No way could I get past them and maintain 2 feet distance, let alone 6. I had to walk up the slope off to the side. I was annoyed, which was petty of me, but it would have been easy for them to set up off to one side so others could pass.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:41 AM on March 29 [4 favorites]


I'd planned on meeting a friend for a walk in the forest today (keeping our distance, of course). Like me, she lives alone (with cats) but she mentioned that she's been going into work (at a school which still has some children attending as they're key workers' children) and so she's had contact with many more people than I'm comfortable with. I cancelled.

I am in this for the long haul. I just ordered 30 bags of pretzels online. They're 56g bags, so not too bad if I'm able to restrain myself to eating only one a day. My snacks of choice have to be salty-crunchy, and I'd run out of the pretzel sticks they sell at the Turkish supermarkets nearby. I'd contemplated going out to buy some but my desire to not die is greater than my craving for a snack. Thank goodness for eBay.
posted by essexjan at 6:08 AM on March 29 [6 favorites]


NYC -- feels like we're living in the beginning of a zombie movie, where we're all holed up and you feel like the circles around you keep getting smaller. In the mornings when I walk the dog, I have pretty much the whole of Riverside Park to myself. I walk laps around the empty dog run to get some exercise - 10 laps is about a mile. No one comes in, and only a handful of people walk by. We went out for a walk yesterday afternoon and the park was more populated, but still a ghost town. It's so eerie to see completely empty playgrounds on a nice day, when on a normal Saturday it's always wall to wall kids. We ran into the family of one of our son's close friends, and while we stayed a good 8-10 feet apart, we still only talked for a minute or so. And it's awful, my kid's been cooped up all week, and here were his friends, RIGHT THERE, and they couldn't play.

I know that's a ridiculous complaint when people are facing much, much worse. But I think I'm already seeing this thread like the 9/11 one, as a historical record for the future. And normal already feels like forever ago.
posted by Mchelly at 6:11 AM on March 29 [22 favorites]


But I think I'm already seeing this thread like the 9/11 one, as a historical record for the future.

Journaling during the pandemic, for yourself and the historians

I like this idea to make some physical record of our experiences; we don't know how long digital documents can be preserved. And at the least, journalling's one way to relax and reflect during these times.
posted by far flung at 6:44 AM on March 29 [3 favorites]


I still have to do online teaching and it seems so stressful rather than distracting to try to pretend everything is normal and that it's just a regular video conference call.
posted by dhruva at 7:19 AM on March 29 [6 favorites]


"I like this idea to make some physical record of our experiences; we don't know how long digital documents can be preserved. And at the least, journalling's one way to relax and reflect during these times."

I'm updating my blog regularly - daily for the last week.
posted by COD at 7:36 AM on March 29 [4 favorites]


Cognitive dissonance report:
Watching pre-2010 TV is already weird because of the thing where if anybody is holding a small oblong object you assume it's their cell phone, but you're watching Bonanza, filmed in 1962. Now watching pre-2020 TV is similarly weird because of the thing where if two people are in the shot together, you're screaming at the screen, "SIX FEET APART OR SIX FEET UNDER" but you're watching Lego Masters and the virus is still hanging out and doing its thing in bats at time of filming.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:46 AM on March 29 [13 favorites]


So we have been in Westchester for a week. I told my boss I wasn’t comfortable going in to the office, even being solo on the weekend for various reasons. Mainly I don’t have health insurance and I don’t wanna die. I’ll be working from home as much as possible so wish me luck.

The cats settled in quickly—one was hissing quietly in his carrier, thankfully not much yowling. They hid part of the first night and accepted food by the morning. We had to do a late-night insertion, as this is a no-pets complex (I saw a cat scratcher in the dumpster a couple days ago, so there are other kitties here).

It feels more calming that we have more stores nearby to find supplies, without having to deal with the claustrophobic quarters in Fairway, which was comically cleaned out when we were there last. Mostly I’m just relieved to be away from the hordes of people. I can ride my bike on trails only a couple miles away and we could even do a short hike. So suburbs yay?

All I really want is a non-communal washer/dryer. Unfortunately that’s still aspirational.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:08 AM on March 29 [6 favorites]


All I really want is a non-communal washer/dryer. Unfortunately that’s still aspirational.

Same! But on a lighter note, doing laundry is suddenly a lot less work, because my husband no longer needs dress shirts or all that many socks, and my 11-year-old has not only stopped needing school uniforms anymore, he apparently has decided to forego underwear as well.
posted by Mchelly at 8:16 AM on March 29 [12 favorites]


I'd not been shopping for some days and went to lidl yesterday, and had to queue outside. They were letting 20 people in the shop at one time and at the entrance it was one out, one in and they had marked the ground at 2m intervals to make sure everybody spaced out in the queue. Inside, they've taken out half the self service tills so there's a lot of space around each one and they've marked the floor at the other tills to maintain the distance thing. There wasn't any pasta - I didn't take notice if there was loo roll or not - but mostly the shelves seemed decently though not abundantly stocked. So it was calm, shopping anxiety was dissipated.

I think all the supermarkets now have limits on how many units of the same item you can buy at once, In Sainsburys it's 2 for high demand basics and 3 for everything else. Iceland has a sign on the door reserving certain shopping hours for NHS staff. The lidl is literally round the corner from our house so even in normal times I won't pull free of its gravity unless there's some branded thing I really want from further away, on the high street. I've been cooking today because just about all the food in the house is sensible stuff you can't eat without some preparation but once I get to the end of the day I really can't be bothered to cook. Spouse cooks and is humming with activity and positively scouring the house for domestic tasks - kind of a huge change - but his daily clock is set later than mine and I can't stand to eat late in the evening.

What with all the whatsapp and the calls and the texts I'm really all socialled out. I've never been in touch with so many people at once with such intensity! Yesterday heard from a friend who lives next door to her mum, whose health is fragile. My friend left her job voluntarily 2 weeks ago because her mum has to self isolate and it would have been just to much to expect her to do it all alone. So they are self isolating together, her sister and her son bring food but they don't come in or touch. My friend won't get paid time off or unemployment because she left the job voluntarily. They are living on her savings for now. I also heard from two friends who are a couple who have both lost their sense of smell simultaneously. Yesterday was a day of anxious sympathy. And a little bit of spiralling, where I'm wondering if I should specify who's going to get my books.
posted by glasseyes at 8:20 AM on March 29 [8 favorites]


The laundry is the main downgrade in living situation. It is absolutely going to be a requirement where we go next.

For two adults we generate a lot of laundry. It doesn’t help that we both put it off till it’s a mountain range on the floor.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:22 AM on March 29 [3 favorites]


It's so much the calm before the storm here. There aren't nearly as many people visibly taking a walkabout as you would think. The streets are so free of traffic when people walking look likely to meet on the pavement one party can easily make a wide detour in the road. One weird thing: I spent time in Nigeria during some kind of long standing political/economic crisis and I couldn't work out what I was finding so disorientating (beyond the lack of electricity, water, cooking gas etc) - it was the lack of overhead aeroplanes and exhaust trails. Because they really are an indication of life outside your own geographical bubble. Without them somehow you feel very cut off from the wider world. Your boundary is the horizon, which mentally I think hasn't been the case for modern people for a while. And now, with the skies so much quieter here, it feels like slipping back into the same situation.
posted by glasseyes at 8:34 AM on March 29 [8 favorites]


For anyone washing their laundry in the bath, just be extra super careful not to hurt your back. I washed our laundry in the bath for years (now have a machine thank god) and it's so, so easy to hurt your back, bending over the tub or lifting up heavy loads of wet laundry.
posted by Zumbador at 8:46 AM on March 29 [10 favorites]


he apparently has decided to forego underwear as well.

That's next week.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:48 AM on March 29 [5 favorites]


> I see pictures from big cities that look like postapocalyptic movies.

Judging from the lighting, a lot of those photos are shot at like 6 AM, to maximize the “deserted streets” ambience.
posted by mbrubeck at 8:48 AM on March 29 [13 favorites]


the lack of overhead aero planes

We live under one of the flight paths for the Portland Maine jetport. I was worried it would always seem loud but it quickly faded to background as the planes are fairly high up once they are over our house. Now, though, they stand out like crazy, just one every couple days. I've started going out to look at them it's so novel.
posted by donnagirl at 9:20 AM on March 29 [4 favorites]


I saw the following tweet on Bowen Yang's insta story this morning, and it resonated quite a bit. Via @NoahConk:
It’s fucking me up emotionally how one day a Korean film with subtitles can sweep The Academy Awards and the idea of inclusivity/progression is in the air.

A month and a half later, I’m being told I eat bats and Asian American hate-crimes are on the rise.
posted by rather be jorting at 9:26 AM on March 29 [33 favorites]


> LINK US TO YOUR COOKIES WE MUST FEED

pssst check my profile psssst
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:27 AM on March 29 [7 favorites]


Milwaukee, Wisconsin, checking in. Our "safer at home" lockdown went into effect last Wednesday at 8am. I'm glad but I can't help feeling its not going to be enough.

I've been work from home for the past week and a half as the campus is only minimally staffed. I'm grateful for having work, but its part time and only pays 12/hr. I took a low paying job to be on campus and stay in the school mindset. Before now, I thought to myself that I was okay with living lean and trading comforts for the long term gain of finishing my degree. But also with the eye on if I needed to, I could aways find other work that was more in line with my experience. But now, that rug, pulled out.

It also feel so trivial, as someone said above. Classes start again tomorrow, and I just can't bring myself to care. It seems crazy to go on normally (as normal as suddenly taking classes from home can be) when I'm seeing a crisis unfold around me. Going back to school was kind of a hail mary pass to get myself back on track at the start, and it has been good for me to get my head on straight but now, seems so privileged to be doing it while there are people out there fighting for their lives and/or fighting to save lives.

I still try and go out and walk as often as I can. it's so strange being in one of the busiest parts of town, but so many things closed, so few cars on the road. When I do see cars out, a high number are out of state plates. I don't know what that is about but another friend noticed the same thing. There are still people out walking too, so it isn't completely empty. But it's just wild, I've known this city my whole life and its never been this quiet. Except 9/11. Which coincidentally, was one of the times I tried going back to school. (I just realized that now writing this out. Damn.)

I'm thankfully stocked up on food and essential supplies for a few weeks thanks to help from a few generous people. I didn't have any room in my budget to be buying ahead that much and normally that's not just fine but I prefer it. The downside and I know we're all dealing with this, is its way too easy to boredom eat now being at home and having a stocked pantry. A doctor friend of mine opined at least we'll all have reserves when we get sick.

I had a tense couple days last weekend where I got my flu vaccine and a pneumonia vaccine, because I too have cough variant asthma, and though it won't directly help with coronavirus, my doctor thought it could help with secondary infections. But i got a low fever on and off the two days after and just felt achy and fatigued. Possible side effects from either vaccines, and possible coronavirus symptoms. I've been fine since Monday.

Except, I coughed a little yesterday morning. And this morning. Its probably just allergies, right? I know I cough sometimes, usually due to allergies or dust. But I don't think about it.

I guess I'm saying I'm fine for now, but also its all a mess.

One thing that just started to come to light is how most of the coronavirus infections in Milwaukee, and all the deaths*, have been African Americans from some of the poorer communities. I was surprised this wasn't more widely reported yet. It isn't surprising, if anything those are the communities that are going to be hardest hit. And Milwaukee has such a problem with segregation and poverty in black communities that OF COURSE it's happening in the most underserved, vulnerable communities. But I get the impression and I personally thought the outbreak here was more widespread. It's not.

*as of my reading yesterday. Who knows if that's changed today.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:13 AM on March 29 [11 favorites]


Had a bit of excitement down the block yesterday, multiple cop cars but no shouting or sirens, and someone went away in handcuffs. Don't know what happened. We're pretty sure it was one of those houses rented to a huge group of students; we live at the edge of a university.

In the daytime streets are filled with parents walking kids, and people walking dogs. I enjoy the doggo parade while I work from home, but the screaming children are a distraction.

Still can't manage a sustained phone call with mom, her line is still f'ed up. Hard to tell how she is other than confirming no one in the local family (rural Washington state) is actively ill, and she seems to be having only her normal level of anxiety.

Have one pair of friends in their 60s/70s currently moving cross country; they had already paid deposit and first months rent in new town and would not be dissuaded. Last we heard they are doing ok, other than having to wrangle their cat out of hotel boxsprings at checkout time.

Another friend is on unpaid leave, she works for a small enough company that they don't have equipment/infrastructure for work at home for anyone other than executive level, and they specifically forbade employees from using any sort of PTO. Just before the stay at home order she came over and picked up my old chromebook so she could file for unemployment; her usual internet access is through the library and she uses a dumb-phone. Luckily the family she rents a room from has wifi in the house (though no computers?? just smart phones and game consoles?? Who lives like that??)

Running low on caffeine here, and it's my migraine preventative. Roommate can go longer without caffeine but I really do not want to be confined in a house with her when she's that cranky. Last time I left the house was a week ago, and was unsuccessful in finding my preferred caffeine delivery option (diet dr pepper). drinking horrible metallic tasting diet coke for now.

I was just able to put in a grocery delivery order for next Saturday, first time in weeks it let me get far enough to place an order. Might still get cancelled but worth a try. (We usually do one order a month in normal times because we both have mobility/strength/stamina issues and hauling all that soda and water in the house is a burden that we're willing to pay someone else to do. )
posted by buildmyworld at 10:22 AM on March 29 [4 favorites]


I mentioned somewhere that this pandemic coupled with a Saudi-Russia oil war could be a real Come To Jesus moment for Alberta. Welp, the Conservative government in power in Alberta laid off 25K substitute teachers and educational aids yesterday (Saturday) via press conference. The second largest mass layoff in Canadian history. School boards apparently had a 15 minute heads up of the coming funding cuts. And in an amazing display of hipocracy for a government decrying equalization payments and pushing wexit they said laid off workers will be OK because they can partake of Federal pandemic response programs.
posted by Mitheral at 10:31 AM on March 29 [8 favorites]


Checking in, I guess.

I'm in the suburban West Midlands of England, in a rather nice house I've stayed in a few times before. The last few weeks has been ... intense ... for a number of reasons, not just the pandemic, and I had some very complicated choices to make about what country and what house to live in for the forseeable.

I'm pretty happy with this choice as the owner is good, there's several hundred books (and a lot of antiquarian, gothic, pagan and witchcraft items), there's a cat and the resilience for a longer stay is higher here than at other options.

I've also got a new writing project, borne out of a year of frustrated personal writing, but more on that another time. My new, roughly one picture a day, Flickr album is here.

Stay safe, folks.
posted by Wordshore at 10:38 AM on March 29 [26 favorites]


The airport, Cardiff, we were due to fly out of tomorrow (on the first Qatar flight after the funeral) has been closed. We have now been pushed back two days, plus now have to drive four-something hours to Heathrow. Not that we're in a hurry to be locked in a hotel room with windows that don't open for two weeks. Our ninth wedding anniversary will now mostly be in the air instead of in lockdown.
posted by krisjohn at 11:25 AM on March 29 [3 favorites]


A friend of my father-in-law's in New Jersey fell last week and hit his head. He was rushed to the hospital and needed a ventilator. They said he was too old, and they couldn't give him one. He died. He was in his early 80's. This was totally preventable. I don't even know what to say.
posted by Mchelly at 11:32 AM on March 29 [43 favorites]


Just went to place an online grocery order for a care package for a loved one who just took a big pay cut and has a large family (and is grateful to still have the job). Item after item not available. I am so sick of hoarders.
posted by FencingGal at 1:19 PM on March 29 [7 favorites]


Also, I'm trying to write out all of my financial info for my family in case I don't survive this. Fortunately, I made a will a long time ago, so that's all set. It's just an emotionally overwhelming thing to do. I'm really not sure if I'm getting all the info together correctly, and I'm just not up to doing a big online search right now to look for resources. I'm still doing well, so I'm hoping I can get it all gathered together over the next few days. We've had family members who never got their affairs in order, and I don't want to leave that kind of mess.

There have only been five deaths in our county so far, but we just got a letter from our priest saying that a few of our parishioners have died.
posted by FencingGal at 1:27 PM on March 29 [5 favorites]


We live under one of the flight paths for the Portland Maine jetport. I was worried it would always seem loud but it quickly faded to background as the planes are fairly high up once they are over our house. Now, though, they stand out like crazy, just one every couple days. I've started going out to look at them it's so novel.

I totally get that - I live between an international airport and a large Air Force base. The base flies A-10s, and those are really quiet. I believe they’ve halted flying exercises for a while there. Yesterday a Southwest 737 took off and flew over the house on the way out of town, and I was so surprised by the sound of a jet that I had to go outside to look. Wonder if the daily Guadalajara-Anchorage 747 is still going right now. Last time things were like this was the week after 9/11. You get so used to it, it’s not even a thing. And then times like now it’s almost a treat to see a plane.
posted by azpenguin at 1:27 PM on March 29 [4 favorites]


Oh yeah, that's another thing I did this week: put beneficiaries on my IRAs and made sure my financial institution has a copy of my power of attorney agreement.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 1:30 PM on March 29 [4 favorites]


Cognitive dissonance report:
Watching pre-2010 TV is already weird because of the thing where if anybody is holding a small oblong object you assume it's their cell phone, but you're watching Bonanza, filmed in 1962. Now watching pre-2020 TV is similarly weird because of the thing where if two people are in the shot together, you're screaming at the screen, "SIX FEET APART OR SIX FEET UNDER" but you're watching Lego Masters and the virus is still hanging out and doing its thing in bats at time of filming.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:46 AM on March 29 [5 favorites +] [!]


One of the Netflix movies we watched the other night had a scene in the very crowded Seoul subway system and it gave me the fucking heebie jeebies to see so many people crammed so close together.

This morning I read an article on the CBC about a fatal stabbing at a party last night in Kamloops, and literally my first thought was “WHY WAS ANYONE HAVING A PARTY?”

I fear for my soul.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:33 PM on March 29 [18 favorites]


I found out earlier today that a neighbor in my building died from the virus a couple days ago. He was a real mensch, active on our community board. Sucks.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 1:46 PM on March 29 [19 favorites]


Wow the Kamloops stabbing was just a few blocks from my house. Police say that less than the regulation 50 people were in attendance but the 50 person limit is obviously too high.
posted by Mitheral at 2:07 PM on March 29 [2 favorites]


Hit the Ballard Safeway, market, and PCC today, (wife and children returning from the dorm), too many people in line at TJs sadly. But, bought a couple of days, (pickles and jalapeños running dangerously low...), of not having to have a shopping day. Found 4 3m painter masks which I have been wearing when I go to the groc. Have 2 unused left. May not throw away the one I used today...

Good luck all. Be smart
posted by Windopaene at 2:12 PM on March 29 [3 favorites]


Less than a week into staying at home and my depression is back in full force! Without any work to do or much to look forward to everything's pretty bleak.
posted by mollywas at 2:54 PM on March 29 [10 favorites]


We’re ok. The wife got laid off a week ago Wednesday at the end of her shift with no warning or severance. The company I work for is hanging on by a shoestring- I’m one of 5 managers who are for now being kept on salary until the 13th. We had to lay off all the hourly workers last week, per City of Austin. That was a particularly un-fun day. We’ll see if we have any business to reopen to, if Austin allows us to reopen. I’ve been doing what little work-from-home stuff I can do since last week, & going in a bit by myself to affect an orderly shutdown of equipment, back up computers, etc. We shall see.

Otherwise, the news is good so far. We own our house outright & paid all our property taxes in January. So we can occupy this piece of land for a while. I’ve got a couple months salary in savings & my son, bless his heart, had been saving hard to buy a car & has put that on hold in case we need the cash. So we can probably keep the lights on & water running for several months absent any income. We’re healthy. My son & his girlfriend have been self isolated out of an abundance of caution for over 2 weeks now (they work for a restaurant & both took vacation several days before the restaurants were shut down, as they were leery of bringing the virus home to their grandmother.) I have had very limited contact at work for at least the last week we were open - everyone there did a good job of self-monitoring & keeping distance, & we sterilized & sterilized again every day since about the 15th, so I feel like we’re all past the potential incubation period for now.

I’m resting & reading & meditating a lot, because I need it. I’ve been going hard for years & years, and if the planet says “take a break,” I’m listening. I have a long list of projects, but I’m taking it easy on them so I don’t burn through them too quickly. Cooking at home every night has been a challenge, but I’ve kept it going & the new frugality is not unlike the old frugality I grew up with into my late 20’s. Cracking out some old survival skills.

Preview: Everyone needs a hug worse than ever.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:02 PM on March 29 [23 favorites]


Wow the Kamloops stabbing was just a few blocks from my house. Police say that less than the regulation 50 people were in attendance but the 50 person limit is obviously too high.
posted by Mitheral An hour ago [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


Holy cow, close to home Mitheral!

I honestly didn’t know gatherings of 50 people were still okay here in BC! Yikes. I agree with you, that’s too many. And clearly the stabbers and stabbees were not practicing physical distancing because I don’t think you can stab someone from 6 feet away.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:25 PM on March 29 [3 favorites]


And clearly the stabbers and stabbees were not practicing physical distancing because I don’t think you can stab someone from 6 feet away.

Polearms. I personally favor the classic Bec de Covid.
posted by notoriety public at 3:37 PM on March 29 [12 favorites]


> clearly the stabbers and stabbees were not practicing physical distancing because I don’t think you can stab someone from 6 feet away

We call that "archery."
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:43 PM on March 29 [18 favorites]


Two days ago on a phone call with my father and he commented how, "It doesn't feel real until someone you know gets it, but it's going to happen any day now."

This morning over coffee saw on Twitter that a friend's father passed away from COVID-19. No flights back to the UK. Even if there is a funeral, no hugs.

It's getting very real, very fast.
posted by Gotanda at 3:43 PM on March 29 [9 favorites]


So we can probably keep the lights on & water running for several months absent any income.

PSA: EVERYONE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE STAY ON TOP OF YOUR LOCAL & STATE NEWS & GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR INFORMATION ON THINGS LIKE THIS.

Sorry to yell, and I'm not directing this at you personally, Devil's Rancher, but lots of municipalities and counties and states seem to be doing things like requiring (or strongarming private companies into "volunteering") utilities (including Internet) to stop turning off services for non payment, and waiving late fees, and putting a moratorium on evictions, and allowing late payment of property taxes with no penalties, and things like that.

If any of you are looking at little or no income and wondering how you are going to pay your bills, know that you may not have to. Not all of them, and not in full, anyway.

And of course this all happens at the state and local level, it's not going to be covered by CNN. Check local utility & government websites, see what kind of relief may be offered, and keep up on it, we're in a fluid situation and things can change. We don't want anyone going hungry because they paid an electric bill they could have put off for 3 months.
posted by soundguy99 at 3:44 PM on March 29 [33 favorites]


Wow the Kamloops stabbing was just a few blocks from my house. Police say that less than the regulation 50 people were in attendance but

... you really only need two people for a stabbing. One if you're drunk enough.
posted by philip-random at 3:52 PM on March 29 [16 favorites]


We don't want anyone going hungry because they paid an electric bill they could have put off for 3 months.

Good point! We’ll keep an eye on that.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:53 PM on March 29 [5 favorites]


I’m more or less OK, given the circumstances. No job for me - I’d been temping while looking for full-time work. As you’d imagine, assignments have dried up, so I filed for unemployment last week. David (my partner) has been working from home for the last couple weeks, and I’m glad he’s able to. We were supposed to be in Arizona for vacation/spring training last week. I’m bummed that I had to cancel, but we couldn’t do anything but that. In the meantime, I’ve finished reading a couple books - if nothing else, I will make a big dent in my to-read pile while this is going on.

I’ve only left my place a few times this week, to pick up food and prescriptions. I guess this week is when things really hit me - going out makes me anxious in a way I’ve never been before when doing routine things. My sleep schedule has been really screwy, more so than usual. Granted, things could be much worse.
posted by SisterHavana at 3:59 PM on March 29 [3 favorites]


And of course this all happens at the state and local level, it's not going to be covered by CNN. Check local utility & government websites, see what kind of relief may be offered, and keep up on it, we're in a fluid situation and things can change. We don't want anyone going hungry because they paid an electric bill they could have put off for 3 months.

Yeah, both my electric (local) and internet (AT&T) are suspending disconnections for nonpayment until May + waiving late fees. Definitely, definitely check your individual utility companies before you pay anything, if you're worried about being able to afford anything. Check your insurance policies too--USAA is waiving late fees and pausing non-payment cancellation for auto/property insurance until June 17 and offering special payment plans.
posted by brook horse at 4:06 PM on March 29 [9 favorites]


Seattle: I did the thing - I left the house to go to Safeway! Major accomplishment!

In order to brace up to it, I had to do some deep breathing, and play some Fortnite, to steel my nerves. But, I bundled up, washed my hands, masked up, and washed my hands again to go to the store to get some provisions, and to use the rest of my March Fresh Bucks on some canned salt-free sugar free vegetables. (Fresh Bucks is a program that gives $40 a month in vouchers to low income folk, to be used on fresh, frozen, or canned produce - if there's no sugar or salt added. The program launched way before the pandemic, and there's no mechanism to hold on to the vouchers after they expire because of it, so I had to head out to use the vouchers before they expire.)

Now I have enough canned veggies (and some leftover fresh veggies) for at least two weeks, so I don't have to leave again for a while. I even found three packets of my treasured Nongshim Black pot-au-feu ramen so I bought those as well. And some Almond Roca. if there's a pandemic afoot, I need some Almond Roca to get through it.

I'm prone to depression and anxiety, and the last time I went to Safeway I nearly had a panic attack in the salsa aisle, because VIRUS. This is something I should definitely pay attention to for future trips, and planning an expedition to the store with a set list helped quite a bit for this most recent trip.
posted by spinifex23 at 5:22 PM on March 29 [35 favorites]


AUGH JFC I FINALLY got my parents to take this seriously and stay home (except for very solitary nature walks) for the last two weeks and I just heard that today THREE GENERATIONS of neighbors--including a baby!--showed up and wanted to come in and hang out like it was no big deal! And my parents wouldn't let them in but couldn't get them off the porch for like an hour, AUGH. I can't believe they didn't just slam the door on these idiots' faces and if I had the power to reach through the internet and slap some people I'd be slapping two generations of neighbors (I don't hold the baby to blame, but the parents and grandparents? Out of their g-d minds).
posted by TwoStride at 5:37 PM on March 29 [17 favorites]


TwoStride, that's the WORST!

I just called my county's 311 operator on my county because they're making all the county public school teachers come into school tomorrow and sit in their empty classrooms and attend a zoom meeting to tell them to call all the parents and tell the parents they're going to conduct school remotely. This means that the janitorial staff must also come in so that they can clean the classrooms after the zoom meeting. Why must the zoom meeting be attended from campus instead of from home...? The 311 operator did not know and sounded shaken. It's the WORST!

(But then pretty much everything is the worst; superhard to prioritize these days.)
posted by Don Pepino at 5:55 PM on March 29 [10 favorites]


Also - in other news: the iron deficiency that was diagnosed and treated 6 months ago, and resultant brain fog, has cleared up with a constant supply of iron and Vitamin C. Juuuuuust in time for a resultant worldwide pandemic.

But! Not only am I using my brain powers for Good in increasing my programming skills, I'm finally getting around to building some antennas for my Amateur Radio 2m/70cm setup. Just ordered a roll of speaker wire, electrical tape, and some hooks for my wall. It'll arrive in mid-April, and then I can start scheming and calculating and building.
posted by spinifex23 at 6:31 PM on March 29 [13 favorites]


Narrow slice of Brooklyn finally waving hello. Now gearing up for third week of working from home (both me and my wife) and remote learning (a very social 4th grader) and teething from home (a toddler). My wife and I are trading shifts of childcare and full-time WFH, with occasional outings to spots where we can run around but still maintain 6+ feet from everyone.

Both our offices strongly encouraged us to stay home even before NYC schools & our toddler's daycare closed. Neither of us is all that well equipped for WFH but we’re making do, and lucky to even have the option. Our kids are extremely social & it’s hard on them in ways I’m sure we’ll be sorting through... forever. My daughter in particular (the 4th-grader) is like an arrow nocked on a taut bowstring ready to go twang and fly the hell out of here and I can’t blame her. I am stressed beyond what's healthy, I know, but I feel like it's hardest on her. All of a sudden she's wedged between the intense, particular, all-day needs of a toddler and the newly present & disruptive needs of both parents working from home at jobs that feel precarious. Not much of a reward for being self-reliant. I feel so lucky for all we have and also everything is fucking precarious.

Somehow the toddler chose last weekend to figure out he can hurl his tiny body up and out of his crib—it’s like some old-timey track-&-field footage of high jumpers—which has led to a scramble of babyproofing and furniture moving and schedule rearranging that we don’t quite have the spoons to deal with on top of all the other disruptions to routine and our overall exhaustion & stress. Procuring and assembling an IKEA bed is a marriage crucible at the best of times and obviously harder right now. We’re underslept and toggling between freaked out and Very Freaked Out. Trying to introduce as much routine as we can into our days, which helps us all.

Also, two bits of local color: (1) Ambulance sirens hereabouts are constant. At first I thought it was the being at home all day, or the lessening of other background traffic sounds, or my panic picking up on it more. But no, it's just constant. (2) Lots more dog poop on the street! Like, lots. I assume people everywhere are hoarding their plastic bags for various immediate and long-term hygienic uses, and in laughably unfortunate timing NYC's plastic bag ban went into effect on March 1. Also, I would guess that fewer people on the street = less public pressure/shaming to clean up. I grew up in New York in the '70s, so all those turds are kind of a nice throwback for me (literally, they make me smile with recognition), or they will be until my toddler starts stomping in them.
posted by miles per flower at 6:56 PM on March 29 [19 favorites]


This morning as I was walking my dogs a young man came out of his apartment in the complex about a block from my house to shout at me. He didn’t come nearby, stayed in the parking lot about 20 feet away. He said, “do you know about this virus? You know about America #1 Covid 19?” And I cautiously said yes and he started shouting, “Its your fault! Your generations fault! You old people did this to us!” I said, “dude, I’m genX” thinking it would maybe derail him but no, he went on, really screaming now, “You’re even worse! You were the shitty babysitters having sex and doing drugs! You let everything happen! Fuck you! Fuck all of you! Fuck your parents” and more in this vein, probably about 10 minutes worth. The gist of it was that old people ruined the world and created the virus and he hoped we all die, also, nobody should ever listen to anything we say ever again.

It was unpleasant. To put it mildly.

I probably should have walked away but I didn’t, old trauma response of freezing like a deer in the headlights in full effect. Later I thought, well, if some poor girl is locked up in that apartment with him, maybe letting him rant it out and feel like a big powerful man will save her some misery. I seriously doubt he’s popping out of his apartment to harangue any of the many many old men walking by. No, he was waiting for one woman, old enough to be his mother, quietly walking her dogs down the street in this small town.

I am a little freaked. I feel like wow, is this just the start? Are there going to be other crazy people screaming at me every day now? Is this the inevitable next step in the decline of well, everything? And now every time I walk by the apartments - which I kind of have to do, there’s no escaping it - I’m going to be tense and unhappy and god DAMN. I didn’t create this virus and I’ve spent a considerable portion of my life protesting injustice in this horrible country, admittedly to little avail, but oh well, I guess.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:01 PM on March 29 [39 favorites]


Is this the inevitable next step in the decline of well, everything?

This is meth. If that makes you feel any better.
posted by praemunire at 7:33 PM on March 29 [27 favorites]


little lurk and i got chased off the local grade-school astroturf soccer field where we've been practicing bike riding by public health authorities who were staking the place out. little lurk had just clipped a post with a handlebar and was crying between the ground and my embrace as public health authority called to me from the far side of a car to inform me the place was closed. i comforted my child (little lurk was ok; their hand was a little sore from whacking the post) while the authority approached (to about 10 ft) and repeated it. "i wondered" i said, "we were going to read that sign over there when we got within reading distance." "the signs are posted" said the authority gesturing to no signs at all. "maybe you ought to put them on that gate we came through where there were no such signs" i didn't grumble back. no need to argue or express pique; it's a thankless job, i reasoned with myself as we left. we tried a local church nursery school. had some success, bailed a couple times, decided it was too small. so we went to a local public high school parking lot across the street from a park. there were lots of people going and coming from, traversing and gathering in the park all day. we rode unmolested in the parking lot for several hours. little lurk can bring the bike to a stop and stand there holding it with fair consistency. toward the end the child managed to get going from a standstill unassisted several times, though with some frustration. finally little lurk fell and we packed it in.

talked to mom. she wanted to read an email to me. these people mostly send me jokes, she said and read a headline "guiliani interviews dr. soandso about 100% success rate curing coronavirus -- is there really a dr. soandso?" i don't know. it sounds like a name -- waitaminute: did you say guiliani? delete that and block the sender. she read on about a 100% success rate curing coronavirus with azithromycin, and zinc. i interrupted her: did you say guiliani? she said "what is the citizen free press?" it sounds to me like one of those right-wingnut propaganda sites that wingnuts accept as news. i don't think that's a joke. i mean, there's a fine line between what we recognize as trenchant parody and what a certain portion of the population take as serious independent news. so, yeah, it is a joke. you should regard it as a joke. but it is malicious disinformation. as i understand azithromycin and hydroxy chloroquine are dangerous (invoking a reference from jack flash in the truthiness thread); she seemed to know and agree to this. as a general rule, you should make every effort to prevent anything from rudy guiliani from getting into your awareness: that stuff is bad for your mind. "oh!" she twigged, "rudy guiliani?" yes: guiliani. rudy guiliani. all he wants is to throw sand in your eyes. "i didn't realize." delete that, and tell those idiots to skip you with the bullshit disinformation in future. she agreed to delete it, but probably won't push back on her brainwashed friend, more's the pity. then -- as i often do these days -- i related a recent episode of TWiV on which a virologist who has recovered from covid-19 said he'd been treated with hydroxychloroquine, and he recovered -- after experiencing some explosive diarrhea -- but was hesitant to link them causally, "because he's a scientist." mom chuckled.

fucking guiliani, man.

little lurk and i played "coronavirus testing and contact tracing" which mama found a bit morbid (the child is 5), but i'm game to run with the imaginative play and try to infuse the sensible nonpanic of not unduly censoring the scary thing. the child also reported spending a lot of time thinking about coronavirus like everybody else, and worrying that while we're all paying attention to that disease we'll fail to be attentive to the dangers of other diseases. both mother and i, separately, explained that those measures we're taking to stay safe from coronavirus are also keeping us safe from most other transmissible diseases. but it is true that if everybody in the hospital is focused on that one emergency maybe some of the other care we count on hospitals to perform will not be available or not be as good. so we were going to do our best to stay safe and healthy and not go to the hospital.

stay safe, y'all.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:11 PM on March 29 [18 favorites]


My friend tells her toddler son, when he wants to go play in the park, that the park is 'sick' and needs to rest.

So now the toddler wants to give a Get Well card to the park.

This thought just makes me smile constantly.
posted by spinifex23 at 8:31 PM on March 29 [52 favorites]


I started dating my ex-wife during five months of lockdown during SARS. Just started week three of lockdown with her. Started with some trepidation but we seem to be handling it better than most. I’ve found myself thinking thank god im going through this with someone else who has done it before.
posted by wobumingbai at 8:33 PM on March 29 [4 favorites]


spinifex23, clearly I'm maudlin the last couple days, but I'm so happy that you got that goddamn ramen that I almost cried.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 8:54 PM on March 29 [19 favorites]


I don't hold the baby to blame

a classic mistake that has led to the downfall of many a noble greek house
posted by poffin boffin at 9:12 PM on March 29 [28 favorites]


i feel your caffeine/migraine anxiety, buildmyworld. got any chocolate? over the counter painkillers that claim (in my experience wrongly) to mitigate migraine, excedrin, anacin? diet pills? kombucha? guarana? yerba mate? matcha?

of course, dose carefully. and, i guess, ration. but may help.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:25 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


poffin boffin comments are a light in the current darkness.
posted by Marticus at 9:26 PM on March 29 [18 favorites]


I literally bought a few packets of chocolate-covered espresso beans, which I otherwise don't eat, to serve as an emergency transition off caffeine, if necessary.
posted by praemunire at 9:33 PM on March 29 [4 favorites]


I live in Brooklyn, but two weeks ago traveled to Minnesota to be a pallbearer at my grandfather's funeral. I had intended on staying a week but I'm still here and don't know when I'll be able to return. I made a bad decision to travel when I did, but I'd already been working from home a lot in recent weeks and had been taking pretty extensive safety measures beginning in mid February. And the stories I'm hearing from friends back in NYC make me feel both lucky and guilty for being relatively secure here.

My friend who's a doctor of emergency medicine at a Manhattan hospital is becoming more and more afraid for his own safety. Two of his colleagues are now hospitalized on ventilators and in very bad condition. He says some hospital services have totally abandoned the ER, some won't send their people even to attend to non-COVID patients. And apparently hospital admin is willing to let them get away with it. He's also been told not wear scrubs on his way home because some health workers have been accosted by people who apparently blame doctors for spreading infection.
posted by theory at 9:35 PM on March 29 [13 favorites]


Shortly before the pandemic shutdown really took hold in my area, I ended my 7-year relationship. I left our shared home to give my ex-partner some space. Then the city locked down, and what was meant to be a couple of nights' stay with my parent out in the sticks has now turned into an indefinite residence, as I can no longer look for a place to live and my partner can no longer move.

My parent is older and in several risk groups, so staying with them is probably prudent anyhow. But they are also an active alcoholic with disordered eating, and we do not have an excellent track record for our relationship generally.

I have been doing my best to keep Parent in the house and to try and minimize our trips out into the world; however, they are simply FAR less prepared for this situation than many. For one thing, they keep virtually no food in the house under normal conditions, so it's not a matter of filling pantry gaps but of building a pantry from the ground up. And then getting hollered at by my friends for leaving the house. My friends who are with their partners, in their homes, with all their stuff, while I have three pairs of underwear to my name. And then being yelled at and guilt tripped by my mother because I look "sad," and why on earth would I be sad, I'm just going through a breakup in a fucking pandemic, and I have lost my home.

And I know, trust me I know, that I am so so so lucky. I still have a job (for now -- but it's nothing essential, so it could evaporate at any moment), I have a roof over my head. For now, we are healthy. Far from being bored I barely have a moment to think, because my job is so busy and intense.

But I am mourning essentially everything I ever knew. When (if?) I get back to my home city, it will look vastly different. Most of the places I filled my days with may be gone permanently. Some of the people may be, too. I will never wake up again in the bed I still think of as "mine." So today I researched which crisis hotlines are still functioning, because I know before long I will need one.

The only thing keeping me going is the thought that by doing this, we might keep things from getting so much worse. If it all turns out to be for naught, I don't know what I'll do.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:09 PM on March 29 [50 favorites]


Speaking of caffeine, Sprudge recently posted an ongoing #StillRoasting map to highlight roasters around the world that currently continue to roast and ship coffee. ☕️
posted by rather be jorting at 10:10 PM on March 29 [8 favorites]


Checking in from Cape Town.
So quiet here. First Monday of the nationwide lockdown. My neighbour told me yesterday (from a safe distance!) that there had been a riot at our neighbourhood supermarket. I don't want to go on Facebook or the local news so I don't know if "riot" means a couple of people getting rowdy and being arrested, or, you know, an actual riot. It's very possible, we've got a lot of (rightfully) very angry, vulnerable people here and the situation is pretty volatile.
I'm finding it difficult to find a balance between shutting off the firehose of bad news and social media, which I have to do for my mental health, and staying informed about the basics.

Yesterday we played "rock, paper, scissors" with friends over zoom. Our friends cheated. It was fun.
posted by Zumbador at 10:55 PM on March 29 [6 favorites]


Also I fucking hate "virtual happy hours" with the heat of one thousand suns and I fucking hate that I'm going to be expected to do eleventy bazillion of them for the next 12 weeks or whatever.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 11:01 PM on March 29 [15 favorites]


After a couple weeks of wondering if my office would ever switch to WFH, considering work has been extremely sparse for about a month or more, I just found out today that the whole office is going on forced leave for at least 2 months beginning April 16. At 60% pay, with a possibility of dropping to 40% if it extends past 2 months. Which, considering the circumstances, is better than it could be, but I'm unmarried and living overseas away from family so a drastic drop in pay is going to hurt. I'm pretty sure I can budget through the months and I have savings to rely on, but living through a pandemic is such a shitshow.

If anyone has reputable sites for on-demand transcription/captioning/data entry work, please MeMail me. Just something to give me something to do during the day.
posted by lesser weasel at 12:23 AM on March 30 [4 favorites]


Re: smoked paprika, get the "sweet" (which really just means not spicy) stuff. It saved my meal the other day - I panic bought some cans of vegetarian yellow pea soup and it is so bland and preserved tasting. Smoked paprika (and black pepper) made it palatable, if not pretty tasty, and gave it a bit of that ham and pea soup flavour.

Speaking of panic buying, we are following a plan of weekly shopping trips (where one of us goes out alone without the kid) and just finished trip 3. Interesting to see what is and isn't available. Still no rice, dry beans/lentils, flour, or canned diced tomatoes to be found. Or frozen perogies, comfort food here in Alberta! Frozen veg (to a limited extent), chicken, TP, and domestic/less expensive dairy like cheese and sour cream have returned to stores.

We had plans this weekend to go to one of the less popular provincial parks, but access roads are closed. Between that and avoiding the city parks and river pathways which are now thick with people strolling and jogging at all daylight hours, I see our world shrinking a lot more than I first expected in the foreseeable future. When public places started closing, I knew our main outdoor recreation/exercise as a family would be walking, but I didn't think that would mean no hikes, no trips to the nicer parks, just our own neighbourhood and surrounding areas. I realize this is just about the lamest thing to complain about, considering the circumstances so many others are in.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:44 AM on March 30 [3 favorites]


In Denmark, there are now 72 dead, the first person died on March 11th. So that is a pretty wild curve though not close to what is happening in some other countries. Not enough people are tested here to make a useful statistic about how many people have contracted the disease, this is about to happen now but they are short of both test kits and personnel. However, the number of corona-related deaths is reliable. Norway may have better numbers, for those who are interested. Iceland has tested more than any other country, but it's a huge island in the Atlantic with a small population, they can control travel and spread much better than most other countries.
A doctor in the second largest Danish city, Aarhus, says they have mostly young and middle aged people on ventilators right now, and unfortunately, quite a few health-care staff are ill now.
Generally, the disease is very unevenly spread right now, and I'm afraid there will be a hard second wave if people begin moving around the country during the summer. No one is going abroad, obviously. I've studied hospitals and healthcare for several years, and I can see the Copenhagen area must be very close to capacity now, in terms of ICUs. On the other hand, the neighboring regions are doing OK for now, so maybe they can transfer patients.

I avoid social media, but my sister calls me when she is overwhelmed by the fake news, conspiracy theories and punditry. I guess I always knew that a huge part of the population, any population, don't do math, but I'm surprised at the number of people who keep on saying this is like a bad flu and we should focus on the economy. I mean, if you are interested in the economy you should know a bit of math. Luckily, the government, or parliament aren't distracted. Yet.
posted by mumimor at 1:21 AM on March 30 [9 favorites]


This is going round one of my social groups, thought it worth sharing on.

From Jonathan Smith
Epidemiologist, Yale U.
* * *

Dear everyone. As an infectious disease epidemiologist, at this point feel morally obligated to provide some information on what we are seeing from a transmission dynamic perspective and how they apply to the social distancing measures.

Like any good scientist I have noticed two things that are either not articulated or not present in the "literature" of social media.

Specifically, I want to make two aspects of these measures very clear and unambiguous.

First, we are in the very infancy of this epidemic's trajectory. That means even with these measures we will see cases and deaths continue to rise globally, nationally, and in our own communities in the coming weeks. Our hospitals will be overwhelmed, and people will die that didn't have to. This may lead some people to think that the social distancing measures are not working. They are. They may feel futile. They aren't.

You will feel discouraged. You should. This is normal in chaos. But, this is also normal epidemic trajectory.

Stay calm. This enemy that we are facing is very good at what it does; we are not failing. We need everyone to hold the line as the epidemic inevitably gets worse. This is not my opinion; this is the unforgiving math of epidemics for which I and my colleagues have dedicated our lives to understanding with great nuance, and this disease is no exception.

We know what will happen; I want to help the community brace for this impact. Stay strong and with solidarity knowing with absolute certainty that what you are doing is saving lives, even as people begin getting sick and dying. You may feel like giving in. Don't.

Second, although social distancing measures have been (at least temporarily) well-received, there is an obvious-but-overlooked phenomenon when considering groups (i.e. families) in transmission dynamics.

While social distancing decreases contact with members of society, it of course increases your contacts with group (i.e. family) members. This small and obvious fact has surprisingly profound implications on disease transmission dynamics.

Study after study demonstrates that even if there is only a little bit of connection between groups (i.e. social dinners, playdates/playgrounds, etc.), the epidemic trajectory isn't much different than if there was no measure in place. The same underlying fundamentals of disease transmission apply, and the result is that the community is left with all of the social and economic disruption but very little public health benefit.

You should perceive your entire family to function as a single individual unit; if one person puts themselves at risk, everyone in the unit is at risk. Seemingly small social chains get large and complex with alarming speed. If your son visits his girlfriend, and you later sneak over for coffee with a neighbor, your neighbor is now connected to the infected office worker that your son's girlfriend's mother shook hands with.

This sounds silly, it's not. This is not a joke or a hypothetical. We as epidemiologists see it borne out in the data time and time again and no one listens.

Conversely, any break in that chain breaks disease transmission along that chain.

In contrast to hand-washing and other personal measures, social distancing measures are not about individuals, they are about societies working in unison. These measures also take a long time to see the results.

It is hard (even for me) to conceptualize how 'one quick little get together' can undermine the entire framework of a public health intervention, but it does. I promise you it does.

You can't cheat it. People are already itching to cheat on the social distancing precautions just a "little"- a playdate, a haircut, or picking up a needless item at the store, etc.

From a transmission dynamics standpoint, this very quickly recreates a highly connected social network that undermines all of the work the community has done so far.

Until we get a viable vaccine this unprecedented outbreak will not be overcome in grand, sweeping gesture, rather only by the collection of individual choices our community makes in the coming months. This virus is unforgiving to unwise choices.

My goal in writing this is to prevent communities from getting ‘sucker-punched' by what the epidemiological community knows will happen in the coming weeks. It will be easy to be drawn to the idea that what we are doing isn't working and become paralyzed by fear, or to 'cheat' a little bit in the coming weeks. By knowing what to expect, and knowing the importance of maintaining these measures, my hope is to encourage continued community spirit, strategizing, and action to persevere in this time of uncertainty.

Jonathan Smith
Epidemiologist, Yale U.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 3:03 AM on March 30 [60 favorites]


I got it. Regular chest cold took a nose dive on Thursday, and as of yesterday, the Doc is satisfied the bingo card is complete. The taste and smell thing is particularly alarming - not so much an absence, but a fading and alteration in common tastes. Diet soda tastes watered down 50/50, fresh fruit tastes stale and off, but not rotten, pasta sauce is bitter, etc.
posted by Slap*Happy at 3:24 AM on March 30 [58 favorites]


Oh dear, Slap*Happy, I hope you recover soon and well.
posted by mumimor at 3:30 AM on March 30 [14 favorites]


Air hugs to you, Slap*Happy.

Saturday at the big box garden center was awful. The place was like a disney theme park at peak time. Everyone who's been cooped up came to play. There was no social distancing and customers were oblivious.

One co-worker had just finished conscientiously sanitizing mowers only to see three children playing on them (as they like to do.) The parent, when informed of the cleaning and reason said it was okay because this is the children's reward for doing their schoolwork. Playgrounds are us.

Not one single manager came out there. Our portion of the store does 1/3 of the store sales during season. All cashier lines were open and lines were back to the third row of tables. I helped one customer on Sunday who mentioned that she waited in line 40 minutes Saturday.

WTF PEOPLE. plants and mulch and pavers and rock are NOT ESSENTIALS. I worked a10 hr day amongst the germ-ridden clueless privleged ignorant assholes. Yes. Every single one of them is buying something non essential and treating us employees and other people as mincemeat under the boots of capitalistic lust. Honestly, the store and plants will be there in a couple of weeks and stuff will be available.

I was so tired and frustrated and demoralized I couldn't even cry. I couldn't even figure out how to manage to resign. My other work is gone because of stopped projects. If I didn't have others depending on me I would find a way off this merry-go-round of so-called life. It's that bad; but not as bad as other people have it is my mantra. I'm not sure but the water does seem awful hot.

Sunday was turing into the same until it got quiet in the garden center. The gates were closed around 11 AM. I went to lunch at 11:30 and found that the store now had a 100 customer limit. Amazing.

Too little was done in advance even though corporate knew what needed to be done, but profits are more important than customer or employee safety since there is no way to sue for negligence in this circumstance..

I could add more about the contract worker and warehouse worker who have been diagnosed with the virus but I cannot since it's not valid public information; note to my bosses/corporate *WE ARE DOING A GREAT JOB*
posted by mightshould at 4:03 AM on March 30 [36 favorites]


hang tough mightshould, We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese, Slap*Happy and everybody!

oh shit rather be jorting! you remind me:

hey buildmyworld^^, you didn't indicate your preferred source of caffeine, but assuming it is coffee, i think i've got some green beans (stored in vacuum and darkness for some years since i stopped roasting my own) i could probably mail you a unit. memail me if you like. you'd have to roast them (and i'd encourage you to find a better mentor in that regard than myself).
posted by 20 year lurk at 4:38 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


If it all turns out to be for naught, I don't know what I'll do.

i for one will be doing Crimes
posted by poffin boffin at 4:47 AM on March 30 [9 favorites]


Still holding up, fingers crossed--I'm still working from home, and so far symptom-free, although last night I sure didn't sound like it. (I was finishing off some of the cheese in the fridge late last night with some crackers, and it turns out accidentally inhaling Ryvita crumbs gives you a horrible dry hacking cough until you bring them back up.) Mrs. Example is still working at her hospital, but so far she's okay too. She's in contact with people a lot more than I am, though, and I worry about her.

We're actually doing pretty okay, all things considered. We both still have our jobs, and we're able to get food and other necessities as and when we need them. So far the worst bits of the experience are us going a little stir-crazy being inside for such long stretches and the weight that I'm putting on by being a lot more sedentary all of a sudden. We tell ourselves every day how very, very lucky we are.

We're feeling lucky enough, actually, that we want to spread it around a bit. See, we have some good friends in a nearby town. They're a married couple, and he's self-employed (and thus not working) and she's a school teacher (and not working)...and they have their first baby on the way in a few months. We're trying to figure out a discreet way to send them a little extra money or have some groceries delivered to them without making it seem like...I don't know, really highlighting how much better we have it financially right now or anything like that. We'll have to figure something out.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:24 AM on March 30 [5 favorites]


My roommate went out on a grocery run (I am in Day 5 of my Exile For The Good Of The Realm) and came back in a peevish mood. He says that the supermarket wasn't that crowded, so when he got into line he was able to practice the appropriate six-foot social distancing in the line, And then someone with a full cart, a mask and a couple bottles of sanitizer took the empty space in front of him as a sign that "oh, this person isn't actually in line" and line-cut right in front of him, placing herself inches from his face.

He's a placid sort so he just sighed and stepped back. But....some people, man.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:34 AM on March 30 [15 favorites]


Here in the SF Bay area Mrs Mono and I have been cooking up a storm and exchanging dishes with a neighbor. We got down to only a few rolls of toilet paper so I bought this on Amazon to connect to the sink faucet next to the toilet for just in case. Mrs Mono kept eyeing it like a rattlesnake but fortunately now there's some TP again in a few stores. Also finally was able to score a bottle of Clorox. We've been sanitizing anything that doesn't move. Smells like a swimming pool around here.
posted by mono blanco at 5:41 AM on March 30 [4 favorites]


By "exchange" I mean putting the food storage container halfway up the steps then backing away so the other can slowly approach and take it. Like two wary tribes engaging in barter trade in some B movie about the Stone Age.
posted by mono blanco at 5:45 AM on March 30 [15 favorites]


cold war meatloaf dead drops
posted by poffin boffin at 5:52 AM on March 30 [23 favorites]


FencingGal^ and interested others. my grandfather prepared a document titled "before you leave" for gathering needful information that my mother found useful when he died, and is now keeping a copy updated herself. not sure where it is from (have seen similar stuff on estate-planning-related websites), but she sent me the template and i posted it to blogspot blog, where you can find it, if you think such a thing might be useful.
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:11 AM on March 30 [17 favorites]


Thank you 20 year lurk. That does look useful.
posted by FencingGal at 6:20 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


Slap*Happy, please keep us updated. Will worry about you, as I do.
posted by cooker girl at 7:25 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


cold war meatloaf dead drops

Yet another excellent MF handle.
posted by Bella Donna at 7:30 AM on March 30 [5 favorites]


Mr. Bad Example: We're feeling lucky enough, actually, that we want to spread it around a bit

Oh God, I thought you meant the virus for a second then.

I'm overdue for a check in, so here goes. I mostly lurk but I've been addicted to MetaFilter for going on 15 years now so whether or not you know it you folks are my long term support network and, since quitting Facebook, my social media.

Long story short, I've been self-isolating in some form for the past 4 years, struggling with unemployment and depression. To add to the irony overload I got a job at long long last in December - at the hospital. The background checks and bureaucracy took so long that it was March before I finally started training. I'm not NHS but ISS (not to be confused with ISIS), the support staff. I'm serving food and drinks to the patients. Four years unemployed and I get a job just in time for a global pandemic. Brilliant.

So I do the training over two weeks, with the health and safety aspects carrying that much more weight. Then I start working. Two shifts and I'm showing symptoms of Covid-19. So I have been in quarantine at home for some 9 days now. (For some added irony, it's possible I acquired the virus in infection control training. At least that's what I'm choosing to believe.)

Thank the gods I don't believe in that I have such good and close by friends, because they have literally being keeping me alive through this. My symptoms have been mild, which is to say that I'm not hospitalised but that it is still a horrible disease that is not to be taken lightly. I immediately quit smoking and regret so hard having smoked so much the last 15 years. But that's how it goes. We rarely take action until it becomes a crisis, it seems.

Anyway, I've been doing ok: moderate lung discomfort, periodic headaches, fever comes and goes in waves. No cough whatsoever, but I suspect that being a heavy smoker for so long has made me able to withstand the discomfort or something. You'd expect the reverse but who knows.

So I'm still pretty much where I was a week ago and no sign of it stopping yet, again probably because I've been running my physical and mental health into the ground through the last few years of depression and poverty. I'm not going back to that hospital until I'm 100% sure I'm at least 7 days past the symptoms disappearing. I'm not giving this to even my worst enemies. Well, one person springs to mind but never mind that, he's 3509 miles away.

Meanwhile my neighbours have been a source of frustration and yet we know each others' names at least now. I already knew my next door neighbour, who has cancer and who is the main reason I have not stepped past the threshold of my flat more than a handful of times in the last week. I received noise complaints from the woman upstairs but I think we have defused that tension. I'm half deaf from sleeping with ear plugs in years back for the same reason and have been listening to audiobooks and podcasts to pass the time, since much to my frustration the headaches are keeping me from my precious computer games.

I had to confront her about snoring that was keeping me awake, to which she responded with denial and disbelief - it turns out quite rightly, as it wasn't coming from her after all, but the woman below me, who I have now also spoken to and who responded apologetically. Add that to the dog that barks all day and getting rest and recovering has proven harder than it should have been. I've been forced to listen to white noise all night to get any sleep at all.

Meanwhile my cancer-ridden neighbour pokes his head out. "Keep your distance," I tell him, "I'm in quarantine."

"Why?" he says. "Because I don't want you to pop your clogs," I reply. "Oh, I don't care any more," he says.

I despair. For most of today. But I'm feeling a bit better about it now. He's made his peace with death, is all. He's not protecting himself like he should be. But so long as he isn't recklessly endangering others, I suppose I have to allow him some slack. It's not nice to know your last days are to be spent in isolation, I guess. He asked me for tobacco, I gave him it. I don't need it anymore. It's probably contaminated. I don't know.

That was longer than intended. But there you are, another Coronavirus diary entry for the anthology.
posted by Acey at 7:40 AM on March 30 [39 favorites]


Here's something!
Neil Gaiman Gives LeVar Burton 'Blanket Permission' to Read His Stories Online

Absolutely No You-Know-What, thank you for posting that.

And many positive thoughts/vibes for Slap*Happy.
Distance-hugs for all. Thank you for sharing.
posted by Glinn at 7:45 AM on March 30 [6 favorites]


Yes, thank you so much Absolutely No You-Know-What, I've circulated this widely and am re-thinking my very limited social contact with one neighbour.
posted by essexjan at 8:00 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the offers of caffeine; I am a special snowflake so it gets more complicated. I actually have an aversion to coffee and tea (unbearably bitter), and an allergy to food coloring and some additive that I have been unable to identify that makes me unable to eat mainstream candy and commercial baked sweets without choking. I do have some of the good organic chocolate but it's not the most efficient way of keeping a constant low level of caffeine going. Diet soda is my usual means and I am going through way more at home than I realized, somehow it seemed like less when I split my consumption between work and home. Mostly I am griping because I could not get my favorite flavor. I do have caffeinated migraine pills as emergency but they send me into a manic spiral of hyperactivity, so I have them for the rare occasions when a full migraines hits.

Luckily my usual symptom from low caffeine is just an aura that can blank out the center of my field of vision so that I can’t read, that'sover come by half an hour under a blindfold. Actually I was up to 3-5 auras a week in the office, and being at home it's been more like 1 a week. I think it's the lights in the office, it got worse when they remodeled.
posted by buildmyworld at 8:13 AM on March 30 [5 favorites]


One of my favorite family members is hospitalized for non COVID reasons, but hospitals are transmittal vectors and I am now incredibly worried about her.
posted by corb at 8:32 AM on March 30 [7 favorites]


Here's something!
Neil Gaiman Gives LeVar Burton 'Blanket Permission' to Read His Stories Online


It's better than that:

Neil Gaiman @neilhimself:
These are unusual times and I'm giving blanket permission to any teachers and educators and people with loved ones on the other sides of screens to read my books on video to each other.
and
I would include librarians, absolutely. (Honestly, given the mess we are currently in, I'd include anybody.)
posted by Mitheral at 8:40 AM on March 30 [9 favorites]


Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has now issued a stay-at-home order. Seems prudent, perhaps overdue, and just one more sign that we’re rather early in this pandemic in this part of the world.

My wonderful boss goes in for non-COVID surgery tomorrow - one of the few non-COVID surgeries permitted these days, which is unfortunately a testament to how serious her condition is. I’m worried about her.

I learned today that Matthew Faber died recently. He’d acted in several movies over the years, notably “Welcome to the Dollhouse” and “Natural Born Killers,” but I just knew him as Matt, that guy I grew up and went to school with. Her was a very nice guy, talented and smart. He was the first person I ever knew to achieve even a modicum of fame and I always enjoyed his successes from afar. His death might not be COVID related but it’s still hitting me in a weird way in the midst of everything else that’s going on.
posted by cheapskatebay at 8:51 AM on March 30 [9 favorites]


gov. hogan's stay at home order. and, interestingly, in connection with estate-planning concerns, an order authorizing remote notarizations.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:32 AM on March 30 [4 favorites]


I'm a notary in Vermont and did my first remote notarization over Zoom this past week. It's been really interesting seeing what things can bend and what things can not.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:36 AM on March 30 [29 favorites]


Ooof, that Maryland stay-at-home order is going to complicate my life. Trying to figure out what I need to do to get an exception.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:48 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


Ok, there's an exception for:

"Caring for a family member, friend, pet, or livestock in another household or location, including, without limitation, transporting a family member, friend, pet, or livestock animal for essential health and safety activities, and to obtain necessary supplies and services"

So I think I'm ok. I'm going to ask my mom's primary care doctor for a note saying that's what I'm doing.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:51 AM on March 30 [7 favorites]


yeah: i'm planning to argue (if necessary) that my regular visits to little lurk and mama are "caring for a family member," because they are.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:56 AM on March 30 [6 favorites]


I'm a notary in Vermont and did my first remote notarization over Zoom this past week. It's been really interesting seeing what things can bend and what things can not.

Curious - how does that work?
posted by azpenguin at 10:15 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


how does that work?

It's complicated. There is a law that spells it all out but basically either they have to sign a thing (with me watching) and then digitally transmit it to me for printing/notarizing or they have to sign it (with me watching) and then mail it to me and then I notarize it and send it along to wherever it needs to go. I need to know the person or have them give me two forms of ID. I have to keep the video recording for seven years. I need to write/sign my own "proof of all of this" document (my words, I don't know what it's called) that affirms I did all the steps correctly and that piece of paper is filed with all the other ones.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 10:19 AM on March 30 [13 favorites]


Googled a bit, looks like the above Jonathan Smith info is based on his Medium post, "Hold the Line." Might be good to share the Medium post going forward - I'm guessing the version being passed around on Facebook has been edited by a few different re-posters along the way.
posted by rather be jorting at 10:35 AM on March 30 [13 favorites]


My warmest virtual hug Slap*Happy - get well soonest.

mono blanco here's our (Maori NZ) example of careful exchange (you tube, the first 85 seconds), something that has happened in NZ for nearly a millennia - and is common today (fortunately) - throughout both parties remain several metres away (altho' the hongi comes later and that is now sadly out of the picture). It is extremely potent, it also washes away the so-called 'modern' non-natural veneer we have created.
posted by unearthed at 10:44 AM on March 30 [7 favorites]


I was wondering how notarization was going to go since some people in my office do it. However, I bet our requests for that go way down because the demand for notarization for travel to other countries, well....
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:53 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


My partner spent 3 hours on hold just now with our insurance hotline for COVID-19 and they just told her to head to the ER because she's having more difficulty breathing after 7+ days with a fever, fatigue, and aches. She isn't coughing and her breathing has been okay until now, but I am trying not to let my rising panic get to me. Going to drive her in but not go in with her because it’s probably safest to limit number of people there.

In addition, I found out this weekend that my friend who has terminal cancer had decided to go forward with an experimental and risky surgery that was essentially the only hope she had for extending her life (she’s 37) but the hospital let her know they’re no longer able to do the surgery because the hospital can’t handle it right now. I’m paralyzed with grief and not sure how to be there for her. It would be easy if I could be there in person, but talking on the phone or through video chat feels so meaningless.

Things are really hard. Sending solidarity to everyone feeling the same way (which is all of us, right?)
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 12:18 PM on March 30 [54 favorites]


Good luck, the thorn bushes have roses.
posted by cooker girl at 12:20 PM on March 30 [10 favorites]


So TODAY it hits me. Due to the vagaries of my custody schedule and life events, I've now gone three weeks and two days with not a moment alone to myself and ohhhhhh myyyyy goodddddddddddd please help someone help me please! I literally spent an hour staring at a blank page this morning without a word to show for it (I write technical things for work) and the only thing keeping me from going "Heeeeere's Johnny!" is the lack of an ax. An hour staring at the blank page. I'm usually exaggerating when I say that but today I'm not. This is scary.

Light at the end of the tunnel: kids go to their dad's place on Wednesday. I get three days off. But getting to Wednesday feels impossible.
posted by MiraK at 1:57 PM on March 30 [15 favorites]


Virginia Governor just announced mandatory shelter-in-place through June 10th. We were on a strongly worded suggestion to stay home previously. Apparently he sent staff out this weekend to the known young people hang out spots around Richmond and was mortified that the young people were congregating like it's a normal 80 degree Spring day. So laid the hammer down today.

Gov. Northam was a practicing Pediatrician prior to entering politics. I suspect he takes the opinion of the medical community more seriously than some other leaders in this country.
posted by COD at 2:52 PM on March 30 [16 favorites]


COD, I really wish our gov (MA) would do this. Right now it's on the stage of a strongly worded suggestion, rather than an order, and a lot of people here just do not seem to care.
posted by invincible summer at 2:58 PM on March 30 [4 favorites]


Point of order: Northam is a neurologist. A pediatric neurologist, sure, but we claim him for our own.
posted by basalganglia at 3:03 PM on March 30 [8 favorites]


Update: partner was told she almost certainly has it but they only could test her for the flu because there’s not enough tests. Really frustrated and worried since she doesn’t have any more sick time. Like, will she be able to take more and maybe be covered if the diagnosis isn’t official? We’re really unsure, she hasn’t felt well enough to find out her work’s policy. They’re decent folks so I hope this doesn’t end up hitting us too hard financially.

In positive news, her chest x-ray looked good and they discharged her so I don’t have to spiral into all the grim scenarios of how that would go, so I can focus my anxiety just on hoping she doesn’t worsen overnight and need to go back in.

Thanks for letting me vent here, everyone.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 3:18 PM on March 30 [44 favorites]


So many Jedi hugs - the thorn bushes have roses, corb, Acey, FencingGal, everybody who needs one.

I just went for a walk around the block for the first time in seventeen days. I think I met CDC guidelines for leaving the house (I wish I felt more confident that the CDC is a reliable source), but I still felt incredibly anxious and guilty stepping off the property. When I don’t even know if I had the freaking thing, because *Kermitflail*.

Most neighbors we encountered were trying to be conscientious. I don’t think we broke the six foot rule. Madisonians adore the outdoors at this time of year - we suffer for five months of the year, and so when the first beautiful day rolls around, it feels like we earned it. In a normal year, everyone emerges and looks like they are personally coming into bloom. But there was a thick layer of somber and weird under the joy this year. We had warm conversations with neighbors at a distance. We shared our own creeping crud stories of “was it or wasn’t it?” and TV recommendations and vague worries about whether we’re doing teleworking right. We waved acknowledgement to neighbors we don’t know, which is more Midwestern than I usually get. And I went back into my yard and felt relieved to a frankly worrisome degree.

I am, so far, about as lucky as one can be in a pandemic. Nevertheless, this is all still horrifying.
posted by eirias at 4:01 PM on March 30 [21 favorites]


I hope all goes well ttbhr.
posted by glasseyes at 4:09 PM on March 30 [2 favorites]


Unless you're under orders not to, or you can't do so without getting too close to others, I recommend leaving the house once a day. Especially if you're working from home from a basement, as I am. The passage of time will make more sense, and to some extent you'll be able to focus on what's actually out there in your neighbourhood in front of you, not your anxious ideas about the dangers out there. You won't regret it.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 4:42 PM on March 30 [32 favorites]


I'm going out for a few short walks and one longer walk per day right now. Granted, the weather here is beautiful and perfect for it, and I live in an area that's not very dense at all and can often walk for a half hour without having to avoid anyone. Whatever your situation, try and find some outdoor time if the weather allows. You need it.
posted by azpenguin at 4:53 PM on March 30 [5 favorites]


There have been at least two separate hate crime incidents in the last two weeks maybe about a block from where I live, so as an Asian person, leaving the building is, unfortunately, too much of a risk for now (though, at least I'm in a position where I don't have to go outside).

I've been watching this livestream by a bike delivery guy in Manhattan. He's incredibly upbeat despite... everything... and it's a way to see what's going on outside these days. Almost no traffic, pretty empty, except when he passes the parks and I find myself mentally drawing 6-feet circles around everyone on screen and hoping they don't get any closer.
posted by airmail at 5:25 PM on March 30 [17 favorites]


I have a bit of a special affinity for George Harrison (this is relevant). It started because we shared a birthday, and so I grew up as a baby Beatles fan saying that he was my favorite Beatle and got used to hearing our local radio station playing "Here Comes The Sun" every year on my birthday and so on. As I learned more about George as time went on, and who he was and how he grew as a person and who he became independent of the Beatles, I got even more convinced that we were sort of cut from the same cloth in some ways, and kinda like to think that if we ever met we'd kinda dig hanging out and shooting the breeze. So I have a special affinity for George.

On the day that I found out that I had to go into self-quarantine for 14 days, his son Dhani launched a fundraiser called the "Inner Light Challenge" - George's "Material World Foundation" has already donated $500,000 to the Corona relief efforts and Doctors Without Borders, and have pledged to donate an additional dollar - capping off at another $100,000 - for everyone who shares a lyric from George's song "The Inner Light" on social media in some way. Sing it, paint it, even just type it, with the hashtag. And Dhani kicked things off by sharing a video of himself singing it, accompanied by just a Tibetan prayer bowl.

They chose that song because its opening lyrics could be a comfort to those of us in quarantine:

"Without going out of my door
I can know all things on Earth
Without looking out of my window
I can know the ways of Heaven...."

It felt like George was trying to keep us all company. (Especially since Dhani is apparently looking more and more like his father as time goes on, my gosh)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:31 PM on March 30 [12 favorites]



"Note: Everyone needs a hug."


WHERE IS MEATBOMB WHEN WE TRULY NEED HIM
posted by not_on_display at 8:46 PM on March 30 [3 favorites]


Still unremarkable in the South Bay; people give each other wide berths when out walking, people seem to be reasonably decent to each other, and I actually managed to get a grocery delivery slot so I can finally have that spicy quest de cabra I’ve been waiting for!

...on the down side, my cat died this past weekend after 17 years. The vet still had decent service since he’s a Covid-19 survivor and thus not especially paranoid himself, but his staff are still vulnerable so you have to say goodbye at the curbside.
posted by aramaic at 10:02 PM on March 30 [26 favorites]


An “oh shit” moment today. A nursing home three miles away has an outbreak. 24 residents and 3 staff have it. Too damn close. And this place is not the best in good times. I’m terrified for the residents and staff there.
posted by azpenguin at 11:13 PM on March 30 [3 favorites]


Well, the parents have started turning the guilt screws with me being down here ~all alone~ and boy am I glad for all the would-be quarantine skippers getting shouted down on AskMe now, because of course I would like to go hang out with them for a few months in their nice house and big yard! Of course I would rather be close to my people, rather than rattling around on my own in this apartment I moved into 2 months ago, where the closest person I know who would be able to even bring me anything if I got mildly sick is my boss, probably.

But if everyone in my (already very fortunate) position did as we wanted, well, that wouldn't do. At some point I have to walk the walk when it comes to the collective good, so here I stay. And now I can't even talk to my parents without them getting all :( :( :( at me. Maybe later I will post an AskMe myself, so I too get shouted down.
posted by btfreek at 11:30 PM on March 30 [25 favorites]


This morning I woke up from a weird dream. I was at a party, where the queen was present, and while I'm having a good time, the hostess suddenly rings a bell and looks at me, saying I should be giving a speech. Oh yes, true. So I stand up, my lungs hurt a lot and then I faint, I have the Covid-19. I wake up (still inside the dream) and get on three layers of coats and go out to wait at a bus stop. While I'm thinking that I shouldn't take a bus, but the metro, the queen stands up next me and starts talking. We get on the filled bus, she only for one stop, I up to the next metro station. Then I faint again. I wake up in pain for real this time, feed the dog, drink some water, and decide to go back to bed. A couple of hours later I feel much better. The pain is a muscle pain, like if I've been doing sit-ups. Lungs are fine. As usual I have no fever.

But here's the weird twist to this: the thing is, there was supposed to be a party with the queen in it this week, and I was supposed to give a short speech, and the last meeting I was at before the lockdown was a meeting where we cancelled this party. It was supposed to be two hours, but we ended up sitting 4 hours around a table, discussing different hard issues (not the party). Some people got angry and shouted. One guy was joking about the virus, how his team were very scared. And in my mail today there was a short mail from him: he has been in isolation for three weeks, since we last met, with a high fever and respiratory issues. And he is still ill.

It's given me a lot to think about. I wish he had written out to us when he discovered he was ill. We didn't touch or anything, but we didn't sit six feet apart either. Now maybe we can all have been a-symptomatic disease vectors! And I've crossed the entire country to get here!* I've been a lot on the phone with two others from that meeting, and one has been coughing a weird cough. She sat next to him that night. She too has been out shopping and moved from the city to a summer cottage and back again. Luckily no one else seem to have been affected.

*I've moved to a place which is our remote family farm, I'm alone here (away from my restaurant worker daughter) and this is the region with the best preparation for the pandemic in the country including several hospitals, one of which is a university hospital. They've built a hospital just for the virus, which is only used at 5% of capacity now. I'm not burdening the system and the neighbors have clearly stated they are glad I'm home. But still...
posted by mumimor at 1:50 AM on March 31 [17 favorites]


Some friends live in the city. We all get together once or twice a year, usually around the kids' birthdays. Shortly after all the schools shut down because of the virus, my friend texted me and suggested that because none of us were doing anything, maybe we could have a gathering. As gently as I could, I said that "they" were telling us not to do that. She said, "well, it's up to you." She has a PHD in Biology ...
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:32 AM on March 31 [15 favorites]


It's hard to face this thing that we know is coming, especially as the run up to it feels like an endless moment. It's like watching that boxing day tsunami slowly climbing up the beach. I've said to my daughters, who have been policing each other not to visit us, that if we do get it, they shouldn't speculate where from. So many are asymptomatic. In the absence of testing and immediate tracing it won't be possible to tell whence it came directly. And also, safety can be a very random thing. Some people who have been positively reckless will escape. Some who have done everything correctly will not.

Wishing everybody courage and some beautiful moments of pleasure and comfort in the middle of this awful thing. And cake for everyone who wants it, even internet cake! But mumimor, your subconscious is so elegantly articulate! But she is also so very pointed, like a loved teacher who is also a hard taskmistress with impossibly high expectations. Sending you hugs, if you will accept them.

Hugs to everybody because it's drawing closer and we are all feeling it. Please pardon me if any of this offends or irritates.
posted by glasseyes at 4:53 AM on March 31 [13 favorites]


haven't caught up reading but i want that shirt and those shorts.

here u go
posted by poffin boffin at 5:15 AM on March 31 [2 favorites]


Seriously what are we supposed to do for a haircut? Has nobody decided to put on a tyvek suit and start cutting? I’m this close to giving myself a trim and if this goes into hot weather I’ll be going full Sinead O’Connor.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:25 AM on March 31 [2 favorites]


2020 is definitely the Year of DIY Haircuts 😬
posted by Mauve at 6:34 AM on March 31 [8 favorites]


Yeah this hair situation is going in one of two directions for me: either I figure out how to properly maintain the undercut I currently have, or I buzz everything off. I refuse to let this situation force me into growing my hair out.
posted by bridgebury at 6:57 AM on March 31 [2 favorites]


Time for the Flowbee haircut sensation!
posted by mightshould at 7:10 AM on March 31 [4 favorites]


I'm so sorry I wrote the above carelessly enough to seem as though I'm questioning safety precautions, I'm absolutely not. That's at least the third really stupid thing I've done today, after 1/ not having lunch and 2/ taking a road for my walk that was sloping ever so slightly downhill so that when i got to the end of it I couldn't make it back up again and had to call spouse for a rescue in the car.

I was having dreadful dreams before this all started, they've tailed off a little except: my subconscious keeps sending me dreams where I'm setting up home with my mother. Just her and me. They are nice dreams. I remember she's dead after I wake up. If I could I would slap my subconscious up the back of the head.
posted by glasseyes at 7:21 AM on March 31 [6 favorites]


if this goes into hot weather I’ll be going full Sinead O’Connor.

After failing to rock a mohawk as Self-Isolation Hair Experiment #1, I went with this! Clippers with the 1/8" guard is a little shorter than even I like. (I didn't even get the soft velvety fuzz, I just had, like, stubble :( ) But I can state from experience than anything between about 1/4" and 1/2" makes me look way cooler than I actually am and is delightful to maintain/pet.

(Fistbump to everyone whose hair is also a source of dysphoria, we are getting through this y'all.)
posted by kalimac at 7:52 AM on March 31 [13 favorites]


yes. yes. shaved heads for all. so many lovely scalps. excellent.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:00 AM on March 31 [8 favorites]


20 year lurk your phrasing sounds like you eat scalps or somethin

...

u eatin' scalps?
posted by lazaruslong at 8:08 AM on March 31 [18 favorites]


My parents were snowbirding through all this and weren't allowed to extend their rental. They drove straight through from Myrtle Beach to the top of Rhode Island yesterday. They were in Maryland when I called my mom to let them know that someone on their street had passed from coronavirus. He was 39.

As for me, I've had a lingering sickness for... it must be close to a month now. No fever, but I don't generally get them. I didn't have one when I had the flu last year. I have a pulse oximeter, though, and I'm using that as my "should I call a doctor?" guide. I did not leave the house in the month of March, but the mister and kid have and I gave them both a scolding two days ago over the fact that they do not immediately wash their hands when they come home. I'm high-risk and the two of them are the type to get one cold per year and I'm still furious inside, honestly.
posted by Ruki at 8:09 AM on March 31 [6 favorites]


I haven't been to the hairdressers in about 5 years since he made a racist joke and I decided I was done with that shit. I could have found another but I always hated the experience so that was all the reason I needed never to return.

I cut my hair on about day 3 of quarantine, I had little choice really. I'd been in bed for ages tossing and turning and it was irreparably matted at the back. Add to that daily showers to wash off the fever sweat and it was never going to be dry, plus general frustration with hair absolutely everywhere and the time had come.

I've only done it once before but now is as good a time as any. Here's how I did it: tie it back and go at it with the scissors. If you have clippers/a shaver you might be able to tidy it with that too. Expect to be correcting it for some weeks. But right now is the perfect time. It's not so bad if you aren't desperately concerned about your appearance. If you aren't living alone like me then you can get a friend to help of course. There's some tutorials on youtube that help. Another "skill" acquired through unemployment induced poverty that proved useful in the end.

No way am I ever going skinhead.
posted by Acey at 8:09 AM on March 31 [5 favorites]


But! Not only am I using my brain powers for Good in increasing my programming skills, I'm finally getting around to building some antennas for my Amateur Radio 2m/70cm setup. Just ordered a roll of speaker wire, electrical tape, and some hooks for my wall. It'll arrive in mid-April, and then I can start scheming and calculating and building.

I know this was a bit upthread, but this situation has prompted me to dust off my radio license and the chatter on 2m/70cm is just horrifying freeper AR15.com "boogaloo" posturing that makes me want to cry/scream/file FCC reports. The main 70cm system in town is run by this human garbagepile.

I originally got my license after the Northridge quake. I still think amateur radio can be a force for good but outside of the maker scene that's mostly into digital modes, it's just so many openly racist and fascistic fuckwads. Even a big chunk of those maker types who seem decent at first turn out not to be.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:15 AM on March 31 [10 favorites]


I was out this morning delivering groceries to housebound people. Understandably, people in public housing tend not to be super enthusiastic about opening the door to people in masks, even if you stand well back of the door.

Also got to try out my busted, busted Spanish. "Vamos a traerse la...la...groceria?...cada semana." Coming home, I see that "groceria" is definitely not "groceries" and I can only hope it's not slang for something else.
posted by praemunire at 8:16 AM on March 31 [9 favorites]


We have done home haircuts in my house as an excuse to try whatever we want but could never for fear of public. I’m rocking some short curls, the kidlet has a new butch do, and my partner is wearing a bun.

We may keep them.

In other news, what I find frustrating is I had to pick up medical supplies at Walgreens and clearly no one is teaching or training essential workers about mitigation procedures. Sure, yeah, they’re wiping down the touch screens, but like - don’t hand me the fucking bag! Back away and let me come forward to pick up the bag! Don’t stand in front of the doors which are only four feet away! That is not sufficient space!
posted by corb at 8:19 AM on March 31 [9 favorites]


We just found out my father is dying. He has advanced Parkinson's, so it's not really coronavirus-related. Except three weeks ago his nursing home self-quarantined, only essential staff and no visitors allowed in, so my mom couldn't get in to see him. She had been going every day, and she also had an aide check in on him in the evenings to chat and eat with him, do some exercises, etc. And thanks to a new diet, he was even starting to do better a couple of months ago. Now he's stopped eating or taking his pills, and it's likely a matter of days, if not hours. It's hard not to think that because he didn't have anyone interacting with him or taking any special care with him, he just gave up. They've let my mom in to be with him. And we can't go, and the funeral and shiva will have to be over zoom, and none of us were expecting this and it's awful.

We only found out yesterday afternoon. This morning I was walking the dog and a close friend called, just in passing. So I told her. And the thing is, as I was walking and talking with her, I approached an older woman out with her dogs. And when I got about 10 yards away, she crossed the path in front of me so I couldn't get out of her way, then pulled over to the side by the grass. So I hugged the fence on the other side of the path (we were about 8-10 feet apart) and kept walking, pulling back my dog back from approaching her dogs. And I passed her just as I said to my friend, "my father is dying." It's the first time I said the words to someone not family, and I started to cry, as I passed this stranger with her dogs. So I keep going on my way home, still talking with my friend, and as I'm reaching the far end I see that she's still standing there, watching me go. And I thought, wow, it's nice to get silent sympathy from a stranger. And then I thought wait, if all she heard was "my father is dying" then she might think I'm out when I should be isolating, or even infected. So I turned around and called back to her - still crying - "He has Parkinsons - it's not related!" And she yelled back, "I don't care! Keep walking!" I don't know what I was expecting, but it sure wasn't that. And it still hurts, but at least now I'm angry-hurting, which is a lot more bearable than helpless-hurting. But dammit.
posted by Mchelly at 8:23 AM on March 31 [71 favorites]


no, lazaruslong: the shelves were bare by the time i got to the store. damn scalp hoarders.

oh. so sorry about your isolation, your terrible encounter, and your anticipated loss, Mchelly.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:27 AM on March 31 [7 favorites]


I've been shaving my own head with an electric razor and a #0 comb attached for a bunch of years already. But I'm a 55 year old guy who's half-bald; not sure how I'd feed if this were a decade ago and I still had hair that I cared about.
posted by octothorpe at 8:27 AM on March 31 [4 favorites]


Michelly, I am so sorry. About your father, about that woman. How awful for you. Internet hugs to you.
posted by FencingGal at 8:27 AM on March 31 [9 favorites]


I see that "groceria" is definitely not "groceries" and I can only hope it's not slang for something else.

Groceria can mean "grocery store," you have not promised to marry anyone's cousin.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:28 AM on March 31 [17 favorites]


I thought it was more likely I was hinting I'd bring weed. ;)
posted by praemunire at 8:33 AM on March 31 [7 favorites]


Mchelly, I'm so sorry to hear about your father. And about that woman, WTF.
posted by ferret branca at 8:59 AM on March 31 [11 favorites]


So sorry you're going through such painful stuff, Mchelly. And what a terrible encounter. Horrible people just can't help themselves I suppose, not that it makes them any happier.
posted by glasseyes at 9:09 AM on March 31 [8 favorites]


My deepest sympathies, Mchelly.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 9:20 AM on March 31 [4 favorites]


Mchelly, I'm so sorry. I grieve with thee.
posted by kalimac at 9:29 AM on March 31 [4 favorites]


Mchelly, this is a hard time for you. Remember to take care of yourself, as well as your family.
posted by mumimor at 9:37 AM on March 31 [5 favorites]


Mchelly, I'm apologizing for that woman. She was wrong. And this whole thing is wrong wrong wrong. Sending sympathies to you and your family.
posted by mightshould at 9:46 AM on March 31 [7 favorites]


I'm sorry, Mchelly. I hope all of us can cancel that woman out.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:51 AM on March 31 [3 favorites]


Some people get mean when they get scared. I'm sorry.
posted by praemunire at 10:12 AM on March 31 [6 favorites]


I’m getting the “you can [should] come home” talk from my father and stepmom too. Of course that’s a terrible idea. They’re in semi-rural Maryland on close to 30 acres and have a lot of resources to be self-sufficient at least medium-term, alone.

I’m in Santa Clara County (south San Francisco Bay). Even if my staying-away-from-people has been 100% effective (who knows) and I could somehow get East without interacting with anyone, I’d be one more potential body for a small-city hospital that’s probably not prepared.

It’s a nice thought, but, no. Strapped in for the duration, here.
posted by Alterscape at 10:31 AM on March 31 [12 favorites]


Sooooo, I woke up furloughed.

I saw it coming last week, and started kind of teeing it up for my familypeople, who are being awesome about it. I am genetically predisposed toward laziness; on that score I'm ecstatic, but I'm also genetically predisposed toward having a work ethic, so also feeling extraordinarily guilty right now about the prospect of doing nothing for the next howeverlong.

It doesn't particularly help that I'm the only person on my team to get furloughed. I mean, it makes sense to a certain extent, given that my job is literally to get old people to go get health care they are not even allowed to go out and get right now. I can see the sense of it. But it certainly feels like a big scarlet "USELESS" sewn onto my chest. My manager made all the right noises about bringing me back as soon as "all this is over", and she's great and I believe she's sincere. But given that nobody knows when all this WILL be over, or what the world will look like by then...

Guess I have a bit of processing to do.

Still, there's a lot to be grateful for. We're safe, we have a home, nobody is sick right now. We'll get through it.
posted by invincible summer at 10:32 AM on March 31 [20 favorites]


Developed what the doctor called "probably" opportunistic bacterial pneumonia. 'Normally we'd test you further, but right now.... Anyway, here's another inhaler and some antibiotics. Come back in three days if you're not significantly better.' Finished the antibiotics yesterday, and I do feel significantly better.

Coronavirus test I took March 19th came back negative. (The test was way more painful than necessary and they also screwed up my gender and my language preference was set to Spanish, when I only communicated in English. Not pleased with the professionalism there. ) Considering every symptom fits and I realized that I lost my sense of smell for the majority of March, I'm viewing it as a false negative. My sister, who's riding out this epidemic in South Korea, says I probably tested too late in the cycle of the virus to have a high load in my upper respiratory tract.
posted by saveyoursanity at 10:36 AM on March 31 [11 favorites]


Mchelly, my sympathy about your father. That’s so sad and I’m glad your mother is at least allowed to visit him.
I can’t believe that woman said (yelled!) that to you! What a terrible person! “Some people’s kids,” as my dad would say. I hope you don’t have to encounter her again. I know we’re all dealing with intense emotions and insecurities right now, but most of us can manage not to yell at crying strangers!
posted by areaperson at 10:57 AM on March 31 [4 favorites]


As in all things, my life seems to be continuing in a strange duality. On the one hand, I am perfectly suited for the stay at home order, and am happily (enough) working from home and still trying to homeschool Little Purr. We've successfully been social distancing since the 14th and only gone to the supermarket once (need to go tonight to get more milk though). We've managed to hike on some local trails and get out enough that Big Purr isn't climbing the walls. We have white-collar privilege, food, a garden started, a dog to keep us moving, and get to watch the Mandalorian on our newly added Disney+. If/when we get Covid money, we'll send it out to nonprofits instead of saving it. I ate chocolate cake for breakfast, because why not?

On the other hand, the idiotic administration, the continuing uncertainty, 10,000+ US dead, all of us metaphorically bouncing off the walls into each other, and the knowledge that other friends and local small businesses are hurting periodically bubbles up and introduces a jolt of anxiety and stress. Everyone is stressing out and I'm ok, but some people need to be ok so that we all don't collapse into a ball of stress. But there always seems to be an element of disassociation of "fine/not fine" at any point. That is producing it's own issues, ugh.

Be kind to yourself, everyone.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 11:28 AM on March 31 [11 favorites]


Mchelly I'm so sorry, both about your father and you running into that person who did not treat you with compassion.
posted by lepus at 11:42 AM on March 31 [4 favorites]


Someone reminded me on twitter today that 'apocalypse' literally means an uncovering or revealing. Whether you'd use that word for our current disaster or not, it's clear that all the masks are off now. Some of the worst among us are showing us who they really are. Luckily some of the best among us are revealing themselves as well.

Stay safe everybody. Help if you can, in whatever way you can, and we'll get through this together.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 12:01 PM on March 31 [17 favorites]


I did a Target run today in Minneapolis, noticed about 5% of people are wearing masks now, which is new and good. I’ve literally never seen someone wearing a mask in public here until today. I’m set on food for a month but I’ll still hit the local store for fresh vegetables as is feasible. I haven’t seen any stores here limit the # of people in the store yet, I hope they start doing that soon.

Work wise - I work on chips that go into data centers, so demand is actually up. Our US based fab is still open, our Asia fab is still open (Because it’s in South Korea), and our Philippines assembly plant is being allowed to run at 30% worker capacity. That said the broader company is 100% having large layoffs this year, and there is no guarantee even for me when we’re probably the one bright spot in the company.

Mental health - I had a rough few first weeks of the month after listening to a podcast from a doctor in Italy which disabused me of the “it’s just the flu” which I had been working from even understanding the higher mortality rate since sometime in January. I’m an introvert and spend a lot of time alone but I’m not a misanthrope and the loneliness is already wearing on me. I’ve reconnected with a few friends I haven’t talked to in a while over video chat though, which has been a nice boost.
posted by MillMan at 12:26 PM on March 31 [10 favorites]


I haven’t seen any stores here limit the # of people in the store yet, I hope they start doing that soon.

Yeah, I haven’t seen this yet in AZ either. I would definitely prefer to give my grocery dollars to a store that was enforcing limits and doing social distancing. Anyone have an idea of how to find out which local stores are being responsible (for both their customers and their workers)?
posted by nat at 1:24 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


Nat, not 100% positive, but I believe Costco is. The one near me is directing people through a line where you can pick up a cart that they've sanitized, there's a sign at the door saying what's out of stock, and if there's a lot of people they stop others from going in until a number of other shoppers has cleared. I've heard some Trader Joes are limiting shoppers as well, but YMMV.
posted by azpenguin at 1:36 PM on March 31 [5 favorites]


Lots of love for you Mchelly
posted by daybeforetheday at 2:09 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


Southwest CT: The city where my job is (was) is now #1 in the state for cases. We've been WFH since 3/16. Had a call with my boss today and he said that some of us may end up being furloughed or laid off (in answer to my query - I have to start planning if I'm going to be one of the unlucky ones). I'll likely lose my apartment, which is packed with stuff that I really don't need. The idea of moving out of here is overwhelming.

My son, who lost his job in GA last month and has been since staying at his dad's, came over yesterday and is still here. It's really good to spend time with him - I miss him so when he's gone. He's a recreational cosplayer (Halo, Assassin's Creed, Revolutionary War styles) who sews his own costumes and has been hanging around my little apartment in full gear. I'm hoping my neighbors are enjoying the show, lol.

I'm trying not to let my anxiety overtake me. My mom (who I've been shopping/erranding for), keeps sending me doomy texts in all caps (6 MORE PEOPLE IN TOWN HAVE DIED!!! STAY INSIDE, DO NOT LEAVE!!) so much that I snapped and told her, "I cannot have you going off the deep end! PLEASE stop panicking!". My brother in WA state periodically goes off the deep end as well (which sends my mom off the deep end in worry about him) and I'm just so damn tired of having to be the stronger one in this family triangle. But I have to just keep being calming and soothing to them.

I'm down to 1-2 grocery visits a week now (for me and mom). My local Stop & Shop is great but they really need to reconfigure some of the sections to accommodate distancing. The produce/deli/bakery section is like a maze and it's nearly impossible to maintain distance. I kept waiting for someone to yell at me for accidentally being too close. My lovely local wine store is now curbside only and they took my credit card number to keep on file, which is awesome. I'm definitely drinking too much in the evenings but I'm keeping an eye on it.

Virtual hugs to all of you.
posted by sundrop at 2:18 PM on March 31 [8 favorites]


sundrop, please see this excellent comment upthread if you're worried about being evicted.
posted by cooker girl at 2:39 PM on March 31 [4 favorites]


Thank you, cooker girl. This is good info.
posted by sundrop at 3:01 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


I'm so sorry Mchelly. I lost my mother-in-law to cancer in late February and it has been a strange environment to grieve in.

Reluctantly decided to take our 3 month old daughter for a monthly blood draw on the advice of her pediatric specialist. The clinic was screening at every entrance, appointments only, and the lab was thankfully deserted. My husband, who has bloodborn pathogen training, pointed out that the PPE for bloodborn pathogens is probably pretty protective from airborne viruses, too.
posted by muddgirl at 3:04 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


I am so sorry, Mchelly.

I have a few surgical masks I bought just as all this was kicking off. For anyone who can't sew (like me), this is a useful little YT video on how to make a no-sew mask from a large handkerchief and some elastic hair ties.

I think elastic hair ties might not be sufficiently stretchy and would be too tight, but you could cut up a pair of tights (pantyhose) into rings across the legs and use those instead, or buy some cheap sewing elastic and just tie your own elastic loops.
posted by essexjan at 3:11 PM on March 31 [8 favorites]


in case you haven't crossed paths with it yet ...

Family's lockdown adaptation of Les Misérables song goes viral


and I don't even like Les Mis
posted by philip-random at 3:16 PM on March 31 [11 favorites]


Thank you essexjan. Here in Austria our Government just issued a law on monday that as of tomorrow, Wednesday, supermarkets may only admit shoppers wearing masks. I have no objection. However, all day today, Tuesday, it emerged that the federal chancellor simply issued the decree but no one in our Government has considered the practicalities.
Supermarkets are expected to source and finance and distribute the masks. Now at least here in Vienna there are no masks to be had since at least 2 weeks, and the ceos of the largest supermarket chains where all surprised by the order and so are trying to get their hands on the millions of masks this new law will require. The law specifies they must be hand ed, out to costumers for free. Now media is full of contradicting info on if the masks, if any supermarket chains manage to supply them, can be used more than once, and, so far, no one addressed the issue of hundreds of thousands of used masks full of germs and virus (not only corona virus for sure) are then considered bio hazard waste. Will supermarket s be forced to also deal with the used masks???

I am just so angry about this. How can our Government be so thoughtless and stupid. I never liked our federal chancellor but this drives home really has no plan.
It is just one in a long list of new laws he forced through without thinking it through.
Dont get me wrong, i dont object to the masks but to the lack of Preparation before issuing such a law.
posted by 15L06 at 3:46 PM on March 31 [10 favorites]


Here in Amsterdam they've been limiting the number of people in grocery stores by requiring you to take a basket or cart in, and if there are none you have to wait outside until someone gets done and frees one up (so they only provide enough carts for the approved number of people at a time). But that means everyone is touching them, so they have to assign an employee to wipe them all down before recirculating them.

Although my local Hema today was making customers do self checkout and not cleaning the handheld scanner or touchscreen between customers.

I wish mask culture would catch on here. My knitting group had suddenly decided everyone should be wearing masks and they're sharing patterns to sew, so that's something.
posted by antinomia at 4:12 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


I want to knit a mask, but every time I look at the patterns Ravelry has a note saying that they are not at all suitable for protection from germs, or whatever it is....
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:29 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


I think the main benefit of homemade masks is reducing transmission by protecting other people from you (vs protecting you from other people). Like sneezing into your elbow but all the time. They're not 100% effective at that but anything we can do to slow/reduce transmission rates is good. But yeah, not very effective for protecting you-the-wearer from anything, which is why it's terrifying that some healthcare workers are having to use them due to shortages of proper PPE.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 4:55 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


This is a job for weavers, or mayyyyybe machine-knitters, not us ordinary normal-gauge-of-yarn folks.
posted by praemunire at 5:37 PM on March 31 [5 favorites]


Hand knit masks would probably work OK if designed to hold commercial filter media.
posted by Mitheral at 5:58 PM on March 31 [6 favorites]


Hand knit masks would probably work OK if designed to hold commercial filter media.

You mean like MetaFilter?
posted by valkane at 6:10 PM on March 31 [14 favorites]


Good point, Mitheral.

I was thinking of cutting up one of my Miele vacuum bags and seeing if I could successfully attach part of it to the inside of one of my cloth masks to increase its filtering power, at least for "special occasions." Maybe with some of that tape one uses to patch holes in down garments? But then I wouldn't be able to wash it. I need a removable option. Binder clips?
posted by praemunire at 6:17 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


I'm so sorry Mchelly. I lost my dad to late stage Parkinson's in February 2019, so I know exactly what you are going through and that it is horrible even without all the COVID shit going on. Sending you virtual hugs.
posted by weathergal at 6:19 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


Regarding DIY masks as a last resort, Hong Kong scientists say that you can make one from kitchen towels and achieve 80 to 90 percent of the filtration effectiveness of surgical masks. Here's a link. I hope it helps someone out there.
posted by far flung at 7:18 PM on March 31 [7 favorites]


babymama is now sewing masks from a pattern she got from some hospital website and which have a little flap for inserting a filter. she said hepa filter and wondered where people were getting them, and also said some people were using some part of vacuum cleaner bags, but she didn't know which part. little lurk's is adorable, with a unicorn on the cheek! makes my worn, fuzzy, weeks-old, blue quasi-surgical thing look like a very worn and fuzzy old thing indeed. little lurk reported the bike riding today was accomplished with no parental intervention at all, from dead stop mount through dead stop dismount and including that amount of loops determined by little lurk's preference or whim or mama's.

my day started with a text from a friend whose former husband and still best friend died, of causes other than sars-cov2 disease. words of consolation feel so hollow as one taps them into the glowing virtual screen. at least with the keyboard (i typed other words of condolence to a different party this evening on a real keyboard. also not covid, not directly.) you can really whack something that rattles and moves in response. (i type hard).

i worked. i ate. i listened to strident countercultural radio then a parade of governors' and mayors' briefings. took some misaddressed mail over to my neighbor's mailbox. worked and ate some more.

i encouraged pop to not go looking for his car or call the police about it or arrange other transport back to his boyhood home (i mentioned the dementia above: sometimes he will believe me when he doesn't believe mom so she sometimes helps him call me) because the governor had ordered everyone to stay where they are to avoid exposure to the pathogen sweeping the nation so a) he shouldn't go anywhere and b) police were otherwise engaged. he didn't believe me. but eventually he decided to humor me and rang off.

i listened to fela kuti's coffin for head of state.

friends, i relapsed, watching much of the two minutes hate today. the orange horror seemed a little chastened, for a little while at the beginning today. it faded. luckily philip-random posted that les mis thing so i watched it instead.

i've got two lists in mind. one of victims of coronavirus (i'm keeping those i hear on the radio and read here or on news websites but am sure there are better-situated compilers compiling more comprehensive such lists), the other of corporate executives who elect to appear on a podium with president horrorshow. i hope to be in a position to refuse to consume product manufactured, distributed, sold by or at the merchants operated by such persons, their board members and families of persons on that latter list at some future time. or to piss on their graves. maybe some combination.

whoops theres pop on the phone again...

stay as safe as you can, y'all. wish i could leave you with something beautiful or comforting tonight. i have this fragment i've not found a way to develop, and which is comforting only the very slightest bit, if at all. but it seems germane:
half of love is grief
it is brief
love means letting leave
posted by 20 year lurk at 7:40 PM on March 31 [11 favorites]


We're being expected to conduct telehealth at my student clinic and I am extremely not set up for it. I didn't even have a webcam until my gracious adviser let me borrow the lab laptop! I don't have a headset with mic. I don't have a way to plug into an Ethernet port without juggling cords daily. The only stable surface I could set the laptop on is in the dining room (which is part of the living room and open to the kitchen), which would mean kicking my partner out of half the apartment every day for however many hours. I don't have even a slightly comfortable chair to sit in--just a wooden kitchen chair. I don't have the money to fix any of these problems because I'm a grad student and almost the entirety of my (supposed, someday) stimulus check is going to go towards paying taxes. I tried to search Metafilter for affordable chairs and headsets and got a litany of "if you spend less than $300 it's not worth your money" so that's great.

I like working from home, but I don't like that I'm being expected to have a professional setup on $0 budget and without any planning. There's supposed to be some mysterious fund to help people get set up working from home but I don't know how to access it or how much they'll pay (given travel reimbursements are capped at $200 per your entire time in the program, certainly not enough for a decent chair). Some of it is also entirely logistical with how my apartment is set up and I just can't change that.

Fuck, my back hurts.
posted by brook horse at 7:43 PM on March 31 [8 favorites]


Well, good news after some experimenting: it turns out I can set the laptop on the PS4 in the bedroom. So, that's how I'll be conducting telehealth, I guess. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by brook horse at 7:53 PM on March 31 [5 favorites]


The entire vacuum bag (except for the collar, of course) is filter material. At least, on a canister.
posted by praemunire at 7:59 PM on March 31 [6 favorites]


...she said hepa filter and wondered where people were getting them, and also said some people were using some part of vacuum cleaner bags, but she didn't know which part.

There are inserts available for non-disposable masks, dunno what the availability is at the moment. I was looking at them to mitigate the wildfire smoke on my rides to work a couple summers back. As for the vacuum bags, the whole bag is made of hepa material and can be cut into useful shapes/sizes. (on preview, what praemunire said)
posted by calamari kid at 8:02 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


Sooooo, you know how you're not supposed to make any big decisions under significant stress....?

Oops.

When it grows back, I'm thinking maybe.... purple?

I told the fam I was "reasserting control over my environment" -- which is true, I suppose, if you consider the area on top of your head to be part of your environment.

I'm still "working" through Friday. I did a lot of housekeeping today (sorting emails, cleaning out inbox, deleting stuff I didn't need), and tomorrow afternoon I'll talk to my boss about transitioning whatever work is left. Mostly right now I'm hoping it is a furlough, and not a layoff-by-a-prettier-name. That's the big fear, though, right? Once I'm not there, I'm scared they'll decide they don't really need me back that much. I really like my job. I'd kind of like to keep it!

And finally, I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to do with myself while I'm not working. My housemates seem ready to dress me up as Cinderella and call it done (they've always wanted a housewife!) -- but I'd rather not measure my contribution to the household solely in lentils retrieved from fireplaces.

I'm willing to take suggestions both serious and silly! I can't really volunteer outside my house (immunocompromised), but maybe there's something I can do online to help people out. Or maybe it's time to dust off that novel I've never actually started... :)
posted by invincible summer at 8:05 PM on March 31 [19 favorites]


yessssssssss
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:09 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


I’m so sorry, Mchelly.
posted by clew at 8:13 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


invincible summer, your job was talking to old people about health care? It seems like that would currently be a very useful skill! Even remotely!

My dad has a fever and admits to feeling `punk'. Not 100F yet, his sensible wife is looking after him, and he's in very good health... for a 75 year old. Sufficient unto the day.
posted by clew at 8:16 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


Sadly, clew, my job was writing about routine health care, and all the routine has gone right out the window. So my area of expertise is basically paused until business as usual, or something close to it, resumes.

And yikes... I'm sorry your dad's not well, and I hope THAT turns out to be something deeply, boringly routine!
posted by invincible summer at 8:23 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


My old vacuum cleaner had a filter separate from the bag - you were supposed to change that when you changed the bag. That filter would have been about the right size for a mask.

However! I personally can't recommend putting vacuum cleaner filters up to your face. They're really not designed for that. That link that far flung posted with paper towels seems like a much better and safer idea, even if it might look totally ridiculous. And in fact that link warns against using things like furnace filters instead.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 8:57 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


I'm willing to take suggestions both serious and silly!
You could sew cloth masks. Whether you want to give them to somewhere asking for masks or sell them on Etsy is up to you. But WHO is considering recommending that everyone wear cloth masks in public. (To protect others, not yourself.)

My daughter and I have made some masks. We're not fast, but have a few now for a nearby nursing home. And one for my spouse to wear to the grocery store, where he goes once a week now, instead of three. I never go anymore because I have trouble telling the difference between the normal state of my body and sick at the best of times. I nearly always realize I've been sick for several days, never that I'm sick now.

You could make posters for your window. We're thinking of doing that, still debating our favorites.

You could draw the view from your window. I haven't done that, but I do spend some solid time ever day losing myself in the branches and clouds. I get excited at the squirrels and crows that stop by, and I dearly love the occasional hail and downpours.
posted by Margalo Epps at 8:57 PM on March 31 [4 favorites]


inkl is offering two weeks free access with no paywall on sharing. I've recommended it before because it stops me from anxiously checking the news by pulling it together in one place and having tabs for curated picks and one for Good News prominently highlighted. They've added a coronavirus tab that puts the news in one place.

I recommend making fabric masks. It's very peaceful and you can use weird fabric to amuse yourself.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:55 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


My state, New Mexico, passed 300 cases today, with a total of five deaths so far. The governor and her administration are proactive and doing a good job overall. For example, we have one of the higher rates of testing in the country. But I think the stay-at-home order should be more aggressive (narrowing down the list of what is "essential" and limiting gatherings at houses of worship). I had already written to the governor to tell her so. And tonight I submitted a letter to the editor to say so.
posted by NotLost at 10:03 PM on March 31 [9 favorites]


When the hair you wear makes you aware of what's out there... and you do not want to share....
Thinking of the hirsute-challenged by choice on the grey.
Nappily Ever After (2018) is currently on Netflix.
posted by TrishaU at 1:19 AM on April 1 [3 favorites]


Today, 90 people have died in Denmark in all. The hospital system have told the government yesterday that they are now ready for whatever comes at them, which I hope is true.

My mother just called from her nursing home, which is isolated completely. She's fine, and actually enjoys the isolation, but her care is noticeably reduced and she has an infection that isn't treated correctly. (The bacterial infection is probably because she hates to bathe and normally, the staff have to coerce her. So if they are overworked, they don't do it). She doesn't know where everyone is - I hope no one has the coronavirus - but generally people are staying home from work if they have any signs of infection, so they might just have the flu or a common cold. I think it would be in the news if the nursing home had coronavirus infection, and the admins texted me yesterday to get my mail, so I'm guessing they will send out mails if we should worry.

Since my eldest was born, we've both been part of a national research project. You signed on when your baby was born, and from then on any researchers can ask you to participate in a project. You can always say no to a project or get your name and data deleted from the database, but today I got a mail asking me if they could check in on me virtually every week of the pandemic. That's nice, I feel. I don't feel lonely, I'm on the phone all the time, but it's like I can now park my health worries with them. It includes both physical and mental health.
posted by mumimor at 1:42 AM on April 1 [20 favorites]


Oops.
As someone whose hair gets in my mouth three seconds after I leave the house and continues to pack in there the whole time I'm out (and try not touching your face under those circumstances, plus nevermind your hands, the hair itself is probably crawling with microbes of all description that it's picked up from the air) and furthermore someone whose baseball caps (at least the ones that aren't red, and you can't wear a red baseball cap anymore)--my method of choice for keeping my hair corralled--are all at the workplace where I am now afraid to go because my Typhoid Mary co-worker keeps coming in and plopping in her office for hours because she wants to get away from home thus deliberately didn't take her rig home with her and who (Typhoid Mary, not me) keeps being discovered lurking there by startled people who drop in on emergency missions to, say, turn on all the desktops that people didn't take home and that all shut down unexpectedly so people couldn't remote in from home anymore,

I am seriously considering this exact Oops.

It absolutely is asserting sensible control over your environment in a case where the hair's long enough to crawl into your mouth or your eyes and deposit its noisome viral load.

(Plus it looks great.)
posted by Don Pepino at 2:27 AM on April 1 [6 favorites]




Day 6, and I'm down to 3 spicy pickled onions (full size).

Soon able to work from home, but since the Aus govt is stuck in the 90s, I'll need to get a desktop PC from work, since VPN is a pipe dream.

Stuck with my healthy foods as the weekly calorie controlled meal service (Lite n Easy) is delivering, but the grocery store still isn't; however the boozateria does, limited to 2 bottles of spirits (sorry Tequila, but Southern Comfort and Cointreau win out this time). I still miss salami & cheese. Futurama continues apace.
posted by Marticus at 4:05 AM on April 1 [3 favorites]


We're at Heathrow. It's weird with all the shops closed and about a tenth the normal number of people. Also, we dropped the car off nearby and I was reminded of how much I hate the roads in English suburbs. I either hesitated at a green arrow or ran a red light, I'm honestly not sure.

Anyway, in half an hour we'll have a boarding gate and shortly after that we just have to hope nothing major changes while we're in the air for 24 hours and the "only" thing we have to deal with is two weeks of forced 24/7 quarantine in a hotel when we arrive.
posted by krisjohn at 6:11 AM on April 1 [6 favorites]


For those who can get flour but yeast is not so much, quick breads! I had bought buttermilk a few weeks ago and had frozen most of it in individual serving sizes for later cornbread batches, but there was plenty left over and it was just reaching its end date, so I made Irish soda bread, which uses a truly bodacious amount of buttermilk, but I fortunately had precisely enough left.

Serious Eats cornbread recipe

Serious Eats soda bread recipe
posted by notoriety public at 9:48 AM on April 1 [6 favorites]


I have a couple of spray bottles from the Dollar store. Then I found I had most of a gallon of denatured alcohol, so I filled one of the spray bottles with it. Also found that the spray-bottle cap fits the neck of a 1-quart hydrogen peroxide bottle. Now I have a couple of options for killing viruses. Alcohol for things that will withstand it. That doesn't include my N95 mask -- apparently alcohol will destroy the insides of it. Some hospitals are using peroxide to sterilize N95 masks, so that's what I'm going to do, too. After I use the mask, I'll spray it with peroxide, then hang it up to dry. Out of its bottle, the peroxide turns to plain water.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:09 AM on April 1 [1 favorite]


FYI, All-Ett (normally a wallet manufacturer) is selling washable non-clinical (not N95) masks made from their spun-bonded nonwoven synthetic material if anyone needs a few nonsurgical masks for general use.
posted by aramaic at 10:12 AM on April 1 [4 favorites]


For those who can get flour but yeast is not so much, quick breads!

And if you don't have yeast and also don't have buttermilk - you can "make" buttermilk by adding white vinegar to milk. (For a cup of "buttermilk" - drop one tablespoon of vinegar into the measuring cup and then fill the rest of the cup with plain whole milk. Let it sit for a couple minutes.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:16 AM on April 1 [11 favorites]


I made this banana bread recipe over from an ask. I'm not a fan of sweet stuff, but it does it's job (using ripe bananas. I don't want to waste food right now). I put in a bit of bitter dark chocolate, and it would have been better if I had put in more. No yeast in there, but baking soda.
posted by mumimor at 10:21 AM on April 1 [3 favorites]


So, another week on from the last update (as a preview of what the future might hold for those still climbing the curve), Rome's... pretty much unchanged, other than masks having become pratically ubiquitous with all grocery shoppers now (including us - it seems that Taiwanese thinking is slowly but surely pervading the general perspective among our circles of friends). Not much singing anymore, but the city held an official commemoration of victims (so far) yesterday, which had all the myriad churchbells ringing. After all of Mrs. Maisel and then Mozart in the Jungle, we're now back to movies: The Peanut Butter Falcon definitely scratched the "liberating" itch!

As regards local COVID-19 numbers (here's the well-detailled national/regional dashboard source):
- region-wide new-positives-per-day peaked at 210 four days ago, and have since been holding a decreasing rate of growth (currently down to just +5%), with today's new positives at 169.
- old-age homes (including those with in-house medical assistance) and convents are still the main problem-sites
- the current regional case fatality rate (as per today's totals of 3,264 overall confirmed cases and 169 deaths) is steadyish at 5.18%
- slightly less than half of active cases (2,758) are hospitalised, with 6,5% of these in ICU (177 total)
- hospitals seem to have weathered the worst of it here, but further IUC beds are still being organised, the new target being 700, which factors from a 10% worst-case rate for a potential-7,000-local-cases-scenario the regional health authority is apparently working by, for now.

So... please sit tight, however best you can, and: deepest sympathies and remote hugs to everyone who is dealing with an unfair share of suffering and/or grief. I feel kind of dumb saying it, but it will get better.
posted by progosk at 11:44 AM on April 1 [29 favorites]


Thanks for the update, progosk.
posted by mightshould at 11:47 AM on April 1 [5 favorites]


Oh and: we've just been officially dealt a two-week extension, until 13th April (at least), of the same tight lockdown conditions that are in place nationally.
posted by progosk at 11:47 AM on April 1 [3 favorites]


Thanks, Don Pepino! Though I do have to say, it's still occasionally winterish where I live, and now my head definitely knows it. Plus I can't stop poking at it, which would be a bad idea if I were ever to leave my house again! :D I've put on a knit cap to handle both issues.

Other than that, I absolutely do endorse the idea. I worried I'd instantly regret my life choices, but instead it keeps making me smile.
posted by invincible summer at 11:56 AM on April 1 [8 favorites]


Extended to May 1 here. Wither the Bay Area goest, my county goes the next day.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:07 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]


I nearly had a heart attack today when someone sent me a whatsapp notice with the bbc logo on (tho not the bbc url) saying schools will be closed until Jan 2021. For an April Fools.
Now I'm trying to get my daughter to click on it but she's not so green as all that.

Some course correction going on here thankfully:
UK police warned against ‘overreach’ in use of virus lockdown powers
Police chiefs are drawing up new guidance warning forces not to overreach their lockdown enforcement powers after withering criticism of controversial tactics to stop the spread of coronavirus, the Guardian has learned.

The intervention comes amid growing concern that some forces are going beyond their legal powers to stop the spread of Covid-19, with one issuing a summons to a household for shopping for non-essential items and another telling locals that exercise was “limited to an hour a day”... Senior police commanders are understood to have been concerned over how the unprecedented powers were being implemented in their first few days by some forces, with Lancashire police issuing 123 enforcement notices since Thursday and Bedfordshire police issuing none ...

The (official) guidance contrasts with local police actions that have ranged from Derbyshire Police filming dogwalkers in the Peak District with a drone to officers telling a shop to stop selling Easter eggs.


This follows criticism from former supreme court justice Lord Sumption on Monday who said that excessive measures were in danger of turning Britain into a “police state” ... “The behaviour of the Derbyshire police in trying to shame people in using their undoubted right to take exercise in the country and wrecking beauty spots in the fells so people don’t want to go there is frankly disgraceful,” he said.

“This is what a police state is like, it is a state in which a government can issue orders or express preferences with no legal authority and the police will enforce ministers’ wishes.” He said that the force had “shamed our policing traditions”.


Andy Marsh, CC of Avon &amp and Somerset said “I had a conversation with other chiefs and Martin Hewitt and we talked about the style of our enforcement and the engagement and explanation that went before and we all agreed that we wanted to see this done with the consent of the public. We’re not going to enforce our way out of this problem.”
posted by glasseyes at 1:38 PM on April 1 [3 favorites]


I shouldn't have looked on my local NextDoor. Of course they're all letting their kids play and do whatever to own the libs. Of course. "Just wash your hands" because kids do that so diligently.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 2:03 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]


Sorta looks like I'll have to move soon. New apartment owners want to do renovations that will make my apartment unlivable and are offering the legally mandated relocation funds and a bonus. Sadly ATM I don't qualify for the "OMG Covid Hardship" exclusions from eviction. Sigh. Caught in that little loophole where I can't say that I can't pay rent and be exempt from eviction for the duration for the duration. There's still that hole where they can pay relocation fees and stay within the law while telling you to get gone. Assholes.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:14 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]


"we all agreed that we wanted to see this done with the consent of the public. We’re not going to enforce our way out of this problem.”

Wistful from the US.

Tiny stay-home effects; am washing with the nice soap from my sock drawer, very fine. Also put a label `post-COVID' into my task manager so I can take the due dates off things that can't be done right now and not have them staring me in the face.
posted by clew at 2:15 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]


Distilled water required for CPAP out at all the local groceries/pharmacies. Was able to get a couple gallons at the auto supply down the block but was it twice the drug store price (not gouging, their regular price).
posted by Mitheral at 2:27 PM on April 1 [5 favorites]


Wistful from the US

The things is though, there were plenty of personnel on the ground willing to initiate the guidelines as a war on the recalcitrant public. Seems like we always have them with us, like the poor, only actively nasty
posted by glasseyes at 2:33 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]


Saw that glasseyes. I appreciated this intervention, even if it will end up emboldening those who continue to insist this is a hoax and a conspiracy and all that. My friend had to remove a sign in the park here that someone had posted that read "You can't 'catch' a virus. GOVERNMENT LIES. Basic SCIENCE." Always good to know there's unhinged maniacs in the vicinity.

There is a balance to be struck, as always. Yes, the police have been powertripping hard. Yes, this is like a wet dream for the jumped up crypto-fascists in the forces. But it's no hoax, it's real, and many hundreds of thousands of real people are in real danger. We knew this was a possibility. A certainty, in fact. Scientists have been warning us it would happen for years. The government failed to prepare and to react and now they've gone (in some cases) too far the other way. Apparently we don't do balance well, particularly in a crisis situation. And we have to be on our guard against overreach and all the other pitfalls that surround us.

But. I just wanted to provide a glimmer of hope to everyone whose nerves are shredded and who has been hit hard by this. I'm not trying to minimise the seriousness of the situation and I'm not trying to spread misinformation. But I have heard (again, anecdotes, not data) so many accounts of people having had the symptoms one, two, three months ago. My family, my friends' family members, various others. It's literally impossible to be sure until we have widespread testing (which means it might never be known for sure) but it's possible that far more people than we realise have already had this, survived it, recovered from it.

To be super clear: this does not mean you stop with the prevention measures. But if it turns out to be true, then it means that far fewer people are susceptible than we think, and that the mortality is much lower than we think. And it means that we are further along than we think. In other words, things will improve. Things might not get as bad as we feared. What's more, we are not powerless in the face of this thing. We are taking actions. Those actions are saving lives all the time. Our leaders may have dropped the ball - hell, kicked the ball into the sea and shot it for good measure - but we have got this thing. We're getting there. Don't lose hope. Don't despair.

This is a pep talk for myself and other people prone to depression as much as anything. Focus on the good stuff. Try not to be too disheartened by the bad stuff. And know that even though we aren't even close to being out of the woods yet, and that people we know and love and hold dear will die, it will get better. It has to. I have to believe that, even though I am at heart a doomer, I have to believe that. I have to believe that in the face of all this horror that some good will result from it.

For my part, that's been a renewed appreciation of friends and family. Cooperation rather than conflict. Compassion rather than destruction. A chance, in the words of a wiser man than I, to be the change we wish to see in the world.

It's trotted out too often and it's limited solace in the face of an industrial scale abrogation of responsibility by those who are ostensibly in charge, but nonetheless:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

― Fred Rogers
posted by Acey at 2:36 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]


I shouldn't have looked on my local NextDoor. Of course they're all letting their kids play and do whatever to own the libs. Of course. "Just wash your hands" because kids do that so diligently.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:03 PM on April 1


Yeah, on my local NextDoor people who are unhappy about all the kids playing out or their neighbours having visitors over to party have been told by others to mind their own business and stop spying on the neighbours. I've stopped looking at it because it's made me full of grar.
posted by essexjan at 2:44 PM on April 1 [2 favorites]


Cheers Acey. Comforting words.
posted by glasseyes at 2:46 PM on April 1 [2 favorites]


BC Hydro:
"Residential customers who have lost jobs or had wages reduced as a result of COVID-19 will receive a three month bill credit worth three times their average monthly bills over the past year, which will not have to be paid back."

[...]

Horgan said the BC Utilities Commission is in discussions with FortisBC — a private utility company that provides natural gas and electricity to B.C. residents — about what reductions they will be offering to customers, and that its program will likely mirror what is being done by BC Hydro.

posted by Mitheral at 3:19 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]


It's been a bloody rollercoaster. And not in a good way. Work called yesterday and asked why I hadn't returned already, I had to tell them (again) that I was still experiencing symptoms. They told me I had to get a doctor's note since I've been in quarantine for 11 days now. I spoke with a doctor, he confirmed that my existing isolation note that runs to day 14 is enough to cover me. I informed my employer (service/support staff at the hospital here) that the note I have quarantining me until the 3rd should be enough.

"And then you'll be back," she says.

"Well, I'd like to be but at the moment my symptoms haven't eased so at the moment I'm not feeling particularly positive about that," I said.

That's verbatim. I've started recording my calls now. I just know they'll try and screw me. I haven't seen a penny off them yet. With any luck I might actually get paid now, for the first time in nearly 4 years.

Doctor says I'm good to work just as soon as the fever is gone. I have no thermometer to confirm that. I've ordered one (from Amazon, much to my regret) and it should be here Friday. He also said that I really should be free of virus after 14 days so if I still have fever then there might be a different cause.

I'm hope he knows what he's talking about because the last thing I want is to expose the hospital staff and patients. I have to trust that he does. The official advice says that the cough/chest tightness can last for some weeks after, so perhaps I'm already in the clear. But I was sweating terribly last night, and I don't normally sweat. I'm not trying to avoid working. I want to be there, helping. They aren't making this easy. I mean, I get it, they are desperate for staff. But... jesus.

I probably shouldn't be speaking so frankly about this but I think it's important that we share our experiences at a time like this. NHS staff here have been sent home for complaining about a shortage of safety equipment. When the people in authority refuse to take responsible decisions it falls on us to protect one another.

They've tested just 2,000 NHS staff so far. There are half a million total. It's madness.
posted by Acey at 3:28 PM on April 1 [13 favorites]


Report from a Seattle grocery run today...

Had to hit 4 stores to find all we needed.

Overall, mask usage up about 700% since last weekend's trip.

Ballard market: Sheilds at the checkstands to protect the employees. TP other than Scott available. Self checkout shut down.

PCC: Empty, also new shields at the checkstands.

Trader Joe's: Limiting people in store. Employees not keeping six feet from other employees, nor customers, (hey there older lady getting eggs, maybe don't go right next to those two employees stocking?).

Safeway: Whatever. Self checkout not shut down, folks passing each other in the aisles with a foot distance. Arrrrrgh.

But, after being near the top of the cases list, we are now down to sixth or seventh, even though our state's reporting system hasn't reported since Sunday do to software issues... How hard is it to create a DB front end that isn't garbage?
posted by Windopaene at 3:52 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]


zengargolye:
Sorta looks like I'll have to move soon. New apartment owners want to do renovations that will make my apartment unlivable and are offering the legally mandated relocation funds and a bonus. Sadly ATM I don't qualify for the "OMG Covid Hardship" exclusions from eviction

Not sure what you mean by "soon," but nobody is going to be evicted in L.A. for the time being, based purely on court operations.

Independent of any City and County hardship provisions, the courts aren't setting unlawful detainer trials under the current emergency order, which lasts until April 16. (See Item 4.)

That order will likely be extended, and once it's lifted the unlawful detainer process is still 30 days to trial at its theoretical fastest (and practically speaking it will get clogged up even more than usual once operations resume).

The landlord can notice you and file a suit and try to serve you with it, but if you don't move out voluntarily they will not be able to get you out until they can take you to court, get to trial, win the trial, get past the time for post-judgment proceedings, and then wait for the Sheriff to actually show up to turn you out.

(You're shown as nearby other mefites in LA, sorry if that was weird.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:07 PM on April 1 [10 favorites]


Distilled water required for CPAP

Uh, YMMV of course, but I just use water filtered through a Brita in mine (which I would do anyway because even though Cleveland water is good, the pipes in my building not so much) and I haven't really had any problems. (I don't recall the doctor/med tech saying I should use distilled water, but it's entirely possible they did and I just wasn't listening.)

About every week or two I let some white vinegar sit in the water reservoir for a couple hours to get rid of any mineral deposits, and about every month I use the vinegar to clear up any deposits in the rest of the machine. (This is on top of the regular cleaning with dish soap or Simple Green.)
posted by soundguy99 at 4:17 PM on April 1 [3 favorites]


^is there no notice period in the jurisdiction where you rent, zengargoyle? maybe a more state or local emergency order or housing authority regulation, rather than the u.s. congress? that sucks to the point of borderline unconscionability. i am not your lawyer, but if i were i'd be elbows-deep in the regs and state/local emergency orders.

isn't nextdoor just comments-sections-you-know-better-than-to-read and nimby get-off-my-lawnery all the way down?

got a "poem exchange" chain-email from cousin today: send this person an inspiring poem, rejigger the listed addresses and send to 20 people. i wanted my cousin to get inspiring poems, and am not averse to them, myself, in general. so i sent some guy wendell berry's manifesto: the mad farmer's liberation front, racked my brain for people who wouldn't hate me for enlisting them in a chain-email, and sent it on. what did i get for my trouble? some pablum from marianne williamson. hey: point of order over here !!! in fariness, i also got the thing is by ellen bass, which i thought was lovely and a fair exchange, until i recoiled in horror at the "...then you hold life like a face / between your palms..." and i was like: what is life doing letting me put my hands on their face? so wrong.

walked to local mailbox. there weren't very many cars, but those there were were zipping along! several houses had little smiley faces in their windows. came home determined to put up some pleasant decoration to contribute my share and found a poster print by a friend. but, i dunno: am i doing this right? (it blocks too much of my view out, so i moved it to a less obtrusive window). received mom's latest graph of daily confirmed cases (and reported fatalities).

finally, had parent/teacher conference via zoom. little lurk is the best, which i already knew and i bet they have to say that about all the kids, even though they aren't the best. poor teachers, all isolated and bereft of their little joys.

i worked (kinda stupidly, today, thanks); osha would be horrified by my setup. and i didn't watch the two minutes hate! (but i did watch that jackass desantis; and was impressed by the many citations for child-endangerment the state police exec at the new jersey press conference reported having issued).
posted by 20 year lurk at 4:50 PM on April 1 [3 favorites]


Mchelly, I'm so sorry. Losing a parent is the worst. Hugs to you.

Here in IL, our shelter-in-place order has been extended through April 30. I've been feeling exhausted yet restless, if that makes any sense. I found out that three people with whom I went to school have passed away in the last week - one from coronavirus, one from cancer, and I don't know about the third. They weren't people I was super close to, but I knew them, and they were all much too young.

One good thing - a friend of mine will be doing a live comedy show online tonight! She's in LA and I am in the Chicago area, so this will be the first time I get to see her act.
posted by SisterHavana at 5:04 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]


Uh, YMMV of course, but I just use water filtered through a Brita in mine (which I would do anyway because even though Cleveland water is good, the pipes in my building not so much) and I haven't really had any problems.

Our water would probably be fine and in a pinch I've got a SS kettle and a couple hundred feet of assorted diameter copper tubing so not an actual emergency for our household but it is a lot easier to just buy and use what the manufacturer recommends.
posted by Mitheral at 5:09 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]


One good thing - a friend of mine will be doing a live comedy show online tonight! She's in LA and I am in the Chicago area, so this will be the first time I get to see her act.

One of those silver lining things is getting to see cool shows from elsewhere!
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:05 PM on April 1 [3 favorites]


Also, it's super weird that I keep having dreams where stuff is happening, and I'm like, "this crowding isn't ok, or others, where I'm thinking, "wow no one is here, because everyone is home because of the lockdown"...
posted by Windopaene at 6:18 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]


Distilled water required for CPAP out at all the local groceries/pharmacies. Was able to get a couple gallons at the auto supply down the block but was it twice the drug store price (not gouging, their regular price).

Basically the requirement for distilled water is so you don't get a build up of limescale in the water tank and reduce the effectiveness of the humidifer, plus you obviously need water safe for human consumption since you will inhale some of the vapour.

FWIW, distilled water is not widely available in the UK. I mean, you can get medical grade stuff from lab supply companies at a significant cost (ala several pounds a litre and good luck right now), but it's not like you can just pick it up on the high street. We do have cheap deionised water for irons and batteries etc, but the cheap stuff is not generally rated for human consumption as it's not guaranteed free of microbe contamination (unless you get much higher priced stuff, again from lab suppliers etc online).

So the recommendation we were told when we did the CPAP machine training in our hard-water area was to use a Brita-style filter jug (which I do), or boil tap water to help remove some calcium somewhat (it ends up stuck to the kettle!), or just use tap water in an emergency; UK tap water being safe to drink of course. The UK manual doesn't mention using distilled water, despite the manual for the exact same machine in the US telling you to use it.

Where I've seen this issues discussed before given the lack of distilled water availability here, some people use low-mineral spring water or low-mineral bottled water just fine (regulations of what is what differ from the same names in the US I believe; spring water here must come from an underground source, bottled water can be processed tap water, both must be consistent levels, safe to drink and have the mineral contents on the label)

You can always descale the tank later if necessary, or even replace the tank in extremis.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 6:22 PM on April 1 [5 favorites]


I've been waiting for the first shoe to drop. Well it finally happened - someone I know personally tested positive. She's a semi-retired nurse. I feel like I've been steadily riding up a tall roller coaster and now I'm just barely looking over the edge.
posted by muddgirl at 6:25 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]


I keep seeing people online, including friends in my city talking about going grocery shopping multiple times per week, multiple stores, etc. I feel like... am I going crazy? I thought we were supposed to stay inside and limit groceries to needs and shop in a big 2 week haul? I see people eating regular meals with fresh food and unlimited snacks. I’ve been limiting my food intake to make what I have last for almost 3 weeks now.

I’ve been self employed for roughly 17 years, so I know all about lean times and going months without work. I’m mentally (and financially, even though it will suck) prepared. But the part that has been hard is food. I don’t live in a food desert like a lot of Chicago, but it is a good mile walk to any sizeable grocery store. I’m not walking there on a whim. First of all, I don’t want to take food that other people need more. I also want to stay away to not endanger any of these amazing people working in stores right now. I also want to limit my exposure as much as possible. I’ve gotten one Instacart order so far (they didn’t deliver $30 worth of items and only gave me “store credit” for $19) and it feels wrong making someone else bear the risk for me just because I don’t have a car. I gave them a good tip, but the person who delivered it was very obviously not the person on the Instagram profile—will the person who took that risk for me get paid fairly? Living with a man who grew up in a home where he didn’t always have food has brought a whole new level of stress that I’m absorbing through him.

So, that’s where I’m at today. Overall I think that within the US at least, people are experiencing this very differently not only based on job, socioeconomic status, but also based on city vs suburb, car owner vs public transportation user, etc. I friend sent a video of his daughter on a swing in his backyard. I thought gee “it would nice to go outside. I wish it was that warm here. I wish I had a private yard. I wish I could walk down my street without a runner brushing by me every few minutes.”
posted by Bunglegirl at 6:26 PM on April 1 [21 favorites]


I haven't left home since the 16th and feel like I came late to the party, fwiw. I'm going to be forced out to buy cat food which feels like a dumb oversight, so I guess I'll do some other shopping while I'm resetting my clock, but I totally relate. I don't understand the people who are cavalier about their exposure at all. I've been living alone for roughly as long.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:44 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]


Acey:

I'm hope he knows what he's talking about because the last thing I want is to expose the hospital staff and patients.

I totally feel you on this one. What's frustrating for me is all of the talk of being asyptomatic for the first few days, but being able to spread the virus. I have a computer that I'm supposed to deploy to our Sterile Processing Department and I successfully dragged my feet long enough that I was finally given the directive to only deploy it if absolutely necessary. I am in enough areas in the hospital/clinics that the possibility of contracting it is much higher than most other employees. I would hate to unwittingly bring it in to SPD and essentially have it surge through the hospital, because of all the places SPD instruments touch. (I would hate to wittingly, too, of course.)
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:59 PM on April 1 [6 favorites]


Mchelly, so very sorry.

Re: trips to the store, we've been home for a while (got sick with long-lived colds before the real shelter order) and thinning on proteins and veg, and I'm still putting off an order for groceries. Been throwing stuff together as conservatively as possible and going with it. Happily, we started with a solid pantry. I've been reading on the local reddit that the cautious people are "only" going once per week. Once per week was our normal. I'm shooting for every 3 weeks top, with a wide variety of foods so as to not buy out any one thing. I'm also keeping other online orders to necessities only, and it is still feels like too much. Particularly when stuff gets sent unnecessarily in multiple little packages, no matter how I try to arrange things. Ordered various cloth supplies to replace paper; ran into serious price gouging on hand-held bidets and couldn't swallow it.

Is everybody finding fresh stuff a bit more stocked up? Maybe we'll have to do our own freezing.
posted by moira at 6:59 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]


I'm on a freelance gig, and our entire team just joined Slack.

One thing I learned from a coworker - set my 'online' hours in our Slack Chat, and then, when those hours are up? You are off the clock. Because I'm new to Freelancing, working from home, and Slack, this was an absolute revelation to me. Not only did it motivate me to get more done during that work time, but I managed to complete it during the day in one chunk, instead of just tinkering along at stuff realizing that whoops - it's now Midnight.

It worked out beautifully, and now I have a structure to my day - which helped immensely both my mood, and my productivity.
posted by spinifex23 at 7:00 PM on April 1 [16 favorites]


Shopping for food once a week is not our usual. Given my ADD tendencies, and that I'm the one that does most of the shopping, it has been a point of friction between me and Ms. Windo. I haven't seen the things that say you should only go shopping once a week. When something she needs runs out, or me, my first thought is, time to put on the mask, and go to the store...

But did a one time trip today, mentioned up thread to four groceries, for about $500... Hope I got all the right stuff.
posted by Windopaene at 7:28 PM on April 1 [2 favorites]


Just got an update from my boss, they've changed direction again on work from home; now you need to be immune compromised or past retirement age. Hopefully they'll change to something I can qualify for before the end of my leave next friday.

Since Aus is now below 10% increase per day, some people seem to be feeling that it's all but over, which makes me concerned that it'll jump up again when they start breaking group limits.
posted by Marticus at 7:44 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]


Bunglegirl, moira, I am on your bland-boring-food-to-stretch-it-out team. I have a long internal disquisition on how, because it is all a game of odds, the point is to do the least other-people-involving stuff you can and stay healthy, not to do the best job of sticking to your previous preferences without breaking the letter of the law or getting caught.

Most efficient grocery trips, least driving, so that a few fewer grocery and gas station workers are out. Less chance of everything.

Any individual person has I-know-not-what constraints on `stay healthy', so I am hardly ever annoyed by strangers -- it's people I know boasting about how much they can squeeze in that chaps my hide. But I don't think my long disquisitions will change their minds. (They evidently didn't set up adequate food supplies for an earthquake, frex.)
posted by clew at 7:48 PM on April 1 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I've been trying to go food shopping once every ten days or so, mostly because I have to shop on foot and can't carry very much more than that. I find I don't want to eat very much anyway, so I expect that will stretch to two weeks sooner rather than later. I'm quite privileged in that I can go when there aren't very many people at all, and my local grocery has been generally quite amazing about...everything, really. So I'm hoping that all balances out.

HOWEVER. I just got back from a walk in a nearby park and let me tell you I will NOT be doing that at this hour again, jiminy christmas. I had gone before around 8 am and it was nearly empty and everyone was incredibly respectful and watching the space around them and it was so peaceful and nice, and I had a vague idea that it might be the same just before sunset.
Reader, I was so wrong. Good God. At least two joggers swerved around me with about three inches to spare which would freak me out normally, let alone right now. I did see a few folks like me -- cutting away from the paths and trying to stay six feet away from everyone else, and felt I had found my kin. Everyone else....you wouldn't know there was a pandemic on, honestly. Probably not helping was that there were seals out in the Bay and look. They're cute as hell. But if one stops at the edge of the path (which is essentially the edge of the water, just some feet up), that means that everyone going past them has to describe an arc to stay six feet away, and with people going in two directions and the path probably not quite six feet wide, you can figure out where this is going. Just. Christ. I love my sunset walks through this place, it's all beautiful views of everything, but I'll be sticking to early morning walks, if I go back at all.
(And this is on a rather chilly evening. I don't want to think what it'll be like when things warm up next week. I desperately don't want Inslee to close the parks, but honestly, I will not be surprised at all if that's next.)

Well, I suppose it's a dose of normalcy. When I go on walks lately, usually on quiet back streets, multiple people have nodded and said hello to me, which is intensely warming and wonderful but also kind of surprising! Good to see that a few Seattleites retain the blissful ignorance of the existence of people around them even in these difficult times, I guess.
posted by kalimac at 8:06 PM on April 1 [8 favorites]


I shop a lot because I can't carry too much due to physical impairments and, frankly, because I don't want to buy out the store of any one thing and then have someone older or immunocompromised miss out on it on their one trip.

Different people are doing their best and hopefully we can remember that in here.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:12 PM on April 1 [14 favorites]


(I just realized that it could be read that I was calling out a seal above. The seals stay in the water, because they are smart. It's people who stop at the edge of the path and gawk. Uh, just to clarify.)
posted by kalimac at 8:13 PM on April 1 [13 favorites]


(Somewhere, a mollified seal deletes a carefully-worded comment defending her behavior, grateful once again for the Preview button.)
posted by MrVisible at 8:25 PM on April 1 [46 favorites]


I am on your bland-boring-food-to-stretch-it-out team.

Represent! I have a freezer full of english muffins and gardenburgers (from before the storm really) and a fridge full of homemade applesauce and cheese (thank you Cabot contest) and some instant lemonade and I am basically SET. Rice and beans and various add-ins for dinner. Lentils. Pasta. Some soup. I really feel like my job is to just ease into sameyness and not leave the house. I'm lucky in that I CAN leave pretty easily, go walking, not see people, whatever. I also found out today that while my (small-town, rural, no delivery, no pick-up) supermarket is out of flour and sugar for the most part, the farm stand has both of them, in bulk. They're closed to walk-ins but you can call, they fill a bag for you (literally while you are on the phone), you pay on the phone (or bring a check), you pick it up. Contactless. So I got a few pantry staples, which I could do without getting into the car. Tossed in a butternut squash. Felt good about supporting the local store and also schlepping ten pounds of stuff up the hill in a backpack.

I have a few friends who are out and about more than me (different risk assessments, different jobs) and they always offer to pick things up for me which is nice. I cook extra for my landlady who is likewise bored of Meals on Wheels. She's 96 and I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who has been in her house since this started, and only when she was in another room (so I could put Zoom on her computer so she could chat with her family).

I mentioned in another thread, I found out that I had some good masks in the house and I walked them over to the local hospital which is just up the road from my house. I just walked in and the woman at the front desk didn't have PPE on or anything which just kind of tells me that we are waiting and it might be a while yet.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:27 PM on April 1 [10 favorites]


Different people are doing their best

Yes! I totally understand that people may have to shop more often, etc. for many reasons. All of the people I’m referencing are “healthy” with cars and also no physical or financial reason to not change their normal behavior. I know that many folks can only buy food when they have the time, means, and ability to do so. I’m talking about the others.
posted by Bunglegirl at 8:33 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]


Made it 2.5 weeks between grocery runs, which I'm calling a success given that I usually do weekly trips plus eat out once in a while (and have no car). Planning a trip for tomorrow, which in my head has become a weird sort of game - to figure out a list of compact/carryable, nutritious food in a wide enough variety I won't go nuts, and order my grocery list according to the store layout for maximum efficiency. We all gotta make our own fun in a pandemic, I suppose. Also installed a basket on my bicycle, which drops its already middling cool factor down to rock bottom but should also boost my carrying capacity significantly in addition to my big rolltop backpack. I would like to start wearing a mask to help normalize mask-wearing for all, but I don't have any yet (bought a few off Etsy and other places - if any Mefites are sewing masks to sell please drop me a line! I figure we're in this for the long haul so I might as well try a bunch of styles to see what fits my weird face best)

Parents seem to have dialed back the exhortations to travel 1000 miles by plane to stay in their house, thankfully. I asked my (extremely pragmatic) brother to tell them to cut it out, and he said, "Well, obviously, from a public health perspective you should stay put - but to be honest I would feel better if you were here too" which is about as close to "I love you" as we get in this family 😭
posted by btfreek at 8:40 PM on April 1 [9 favorites]


Those with various limitations, I totally get it, and apologize for not being clearer when I posted and coming across as judgy toward you. I have miscellaneous physical issues, and if I had to shop myself, I'd be in the same boat. I'm privileged to be able to outsource right now, with the hope that it makes space for others who need it for a whole host of reasons. I feel frustrated by those who aren't taking things seriously, but am under no illusions that everybody can totally just hermit and send somebody out for weeks' worth of food supplementation.
posted by moira at 8:48 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]


In other news, our governor has said schools will not reopen for the rest of the year, but the district's response is that if there's no executive order, they will open if at all possible, if only for a week. Because graduation ceremonies are that important.
posted by moira at 9:02 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]


All of the people I’m referencing are “healthy” with cars and also no physical or financial reason to not change their normal behavior. I know that many folks can only buy food when they have the time, means, and ability to do so. I’m talking about the others.

What may help us all support each other best is if we give each other the benefit of the doubt; maybe some of those "others" have an inability to wait that isn't visible.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:43 PM on April 1 [13 favorites]


There's also the fact that if you consume your stocks til you're nearly out and then get quarantined, you've got a problem.
posted by praemunire at 9:53 PM on April 1 [8 favorites]


There's also the fact that if you consume your stocks til you're nearly out and then get quarantined, you've got a problem.

Oh for sure. We happened to have a largish, previousIy purchased quantity of rice, beans, and flour, so we can get away with longer waits, mostly to pick up veg and protein. It just isn’t as nice. Also we have the option of delivery drops here. So yeah, privileged AF right now, and I very much haven’t been in the past. I don’t ever forget it.
posted by moira at 10:29 PM on April 1 [2 favorites]


A cross post from FB:

There is a bird outside making a brief 𝘧𝘦𝘦-𝘣𝘦𝘦 call every minute or two.

I believe it is a black capped chickadee because it sounds close to a chickadee song, which is a mournful 𝘧𝘦𝘦-𝘣𝘦𝘦-𝘣𝘦𝘦 in a minor key.

This is a very abbreviated two note version of that sounding more like a call than song.

It does this all night -- which is unprecedented in my experience. I have heard robins sing into the wee hours in the spring, making their 𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘶𝘱 𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘶𝘱 𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘰 -- but only on a bright night with low clouds lit up by city lights.

Nights of late are clear and cold.

But then the new condos across the driveway outside my apartment are well lit, so there is that.

And then there is the fact that there are not people out there except on the rarest of occasions.

It is so strange to hear a bird going all night.
posted by y2karl at 10:38 PM on April 1 [10 favorites]


I'm privileged AF too - living by myself, next to a 6,000 acre forest (which has been busier at times than I'd have expected, but I can understand why people feel the need to get out into the open ). Working from home hasn't been a problem as I was doing it before all this 4 days a week. I'm probably in touch with people more at the moment than I have been for months.

I'd been going out early morning with a neighbour to walk her dogs. But I've stopped that now and only go out alone. My neighbour has been on essential errands (pharmacy), and had to go into the school where she works a couple of times. That's too much contact with potentially infected people for my comfort level. I miss our chats and I love her dogs, but I also don't want to catch this virus. I'm 60 and have no close family, so if I became ill there is no-one at all to take care of me, and if I had to go to hospital I would not be a priority for an ICU bed or a ventilator. So, I'll keep to myself for now.

Food-wise, I'm doing fine. I had a stock of pantry items ready for a no-deal Brexit. I've had a veg box delivery, and neighbours have picked up a few things - including tofu!! - for me. I wipe all the packaging down with a mild bleach solution and I'm leaving mail and non-perishable deliveries untouched for a few days.

I saw a meme which said that this is Shroedinger's virus. We must assume we have it and can pass it on. And we must assume we don't have it and therefore are not immune to it. So at all times we need to act as if we both have and do not have coronavirus.
posted by essexjan at 12:32 AM on April 2 [26 favorites]


On a lighter note, of all the "Important message from our CEO" emails I've had in the last ten days, my absolute favourite so far is the one from the CEO of the People's Postcode Lottery explaining apologetically that for the time being, because of government restrictions, they'll be unable to turn up on the doorstep of the weekly big winner with a film crew, a minor celebrity and a giant cheque.
posted by essexjan at 12:34 AM on April 2 [15 favorites]


If we're doing complaints: For our permitted daily exercise, I often take my son to the park where he can ride his bike up and down. There are signs posted all over saying playground closed, stay 2 meters apart, keep dogs on leads. Every time there are 5-10 dogs being exercised, and they are almost never on leads. The dogs bound joyfully up to each other, rub against each other, rub against other peoples legs, jump up to people with their paws on them, are petted.

Even if dogs can't carry coronavirus, they're being sneezed and coughed and breathed on and touched by their owners, and are then touching everyone else. The dog owners might as well be French-kissing every other dog owner in the park for all the isolation they're doing.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:07 AM on April 2 [8 favorites]


I feel like the birds in my neighborhood have become... bolder? as the car traffic has died down to almost nothing. On my last walk I saw a hummingbird perched on a tree. This is how I discovered that at some point, I osmosed that hummingbirds don't ever perch and must continually fly like the aerial equivalent of sharks. This is apparently not true.
posted by muddgirl at 2:57 AM on April 2 [12 favorites]


We've been ordering our food from restaurant wholesalers who have pivoted into home deliveries. Minimum order sizes are big, usually £40+ for the specialty suppliers (greengrocers, butchers etc) that have to deliver in person, less for things like cheese and wine suppliers which can go through the normal courier chain, £100 for the generalist suppliers who try and do everything.

The inability to get yeast has gotten me to get a sourdough starter going for the first time.

Obviously we're lucky that we have the space and money to buy food this way but we're in the 12 weeks absolute isolation club so going into shops isn't a safe option for us. Apparently there are government programmes coming online to deliver basic food parcels to vulnerable people but we're going to keep those available for the poor old things living by themselves.

Since we live in the green belt, we can go out for a lengthy walk while staying far away from people.

It's a good point about how different people will remember this time very differently. On the one hand, medical reasons mean that we are and will be extremely restricted and in very real danger (asthma, hypertension, diabetes, and immunosuppressive drugs are not a great combination right now) on the other hand we've never eaten or exercised so well. Meanwhile there are people working in critical care medicine who are living through hell right now. There's people on low incomes who had worked in hospitality jobs in tiny London flats who are miserable.
posted by atrazine at 3:10 AM on April 2 [8 favorites]


I think they have got bolder, or in some cases, more desperate. We have a few sleek pigeons who mooch at our bird table, and in the last few days, some strange, skinnier ones have showed up. We live about a mile from the town centre, and I can only think that the pigeons who congregate in the shopping district are probably hurting from the lack of foot traffic and branching out in search of food. I have a weakness for garbage birds, so I only chase them off if the little songbirds are trying to feed, other than that, they’re as welcome at my feeders as any other bird.
posted by skybluepink at 3:24 AM on April 2 [5 favorites]


y2karl > There is a bird outside making a brief 𝘧𝘦𝘦-𝘣𝘦𝘦 call every minute or two. I believe it is a black capped chickadee because it sounds close to a chickadee song, which is a mournful 𝘧𝘦𝘦-𝘣𝘦𝘦-𝘣𝘦𝘦 in a minor key.

We have black-capped chickadees too, and I’ve always thought of their call as a perky chicka dee dee dee.

Chickadees are cavity nesters and sometimes take over unfinished bluebird nests in the spring. They did this in one of our BB nest boxes last year, and built a soft, surprisingly neat nest of lichens and moss on top of a rough pile of ponderosa pine needles that a pair of bluebirds laid in previously. I put up another nest box for the BBs about 50 feet away, and they moved in within a few days. Both sets of parents got along ok and successfully raised broods.

BTW, the Sialis.org website is a great resource for bluebird lovers, and they also have a nice page All About Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus).

In times like this, it’s nice to see birds going about their lives in the usual way.
posted by cenoxo at 4:21 AM on April 2 [7 favorites]


If we're doing complaints...

We're doing whatever people feel like, within the usual guidelines.

WRT birds: It's Spring. They get a lot more active this time every year. It's possible that the reduced level of human activity* has emboldened them somewhat. It's also made things quieter, so the birds' activities are more noticeable. Woodpeckers definitely perch; sometimes they do it on our birdfeeder. They seem to like sunflower seed, as a lot of the better birds do.


* I note with some dismay that today's AM rush hour seems to have resumed its normal level of traffic. It was noticeably diminished for a while. Today, there are a lot more people who've decided they have some essential activity.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:23 AM on April 2 [1 favorite]


WRT birds: It's Spring. They get a lot more active this time every year. It's possible that the reduced level of human activity* has emboldened them somewhat. It's also made things quieter, so the birds' activities are more noticeable.

We also have more time to notice.

I've always been in the habit of having an early cup of coffee while sitting in my favorite chair in the front room (I'm sitting there right now, in fact) - the sun comes up through that window, and there's a tree just outside. Usually the only birds I notice out there are those ubiquitous little brown house sparrows you see everywhere. But lately I've been seeing more - the other day I saw a pair of cardinals, male and female, checking it out a bit before flying off to another tree. One or the other or both have been back in subsequent days, so I'm kind of hoping they're exploring real estate and considering this location.

The day before yesterday I also saw a bluejay out there, struggling to tear strips off a plastic bag that had been blown up into the branches; every so often it'd turn around and holler at one of the house sparrows that was flitting around as well.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:46 AM on April 2 [2 favorites]


Hey does anyone have a link to that short fic someone wrote in the comments years ago about a post-apocalyptic AskMe queue?
posted by Jacqueline at 4:52 AM on April 2 [2 favorites]


Cardinals are one of the birds that like sunflower seeds. I ran out of the seeds last fall, and when I went to buy more at BJ's, they were also out. I think it was bear-hunting season, and the hunters bought up all the sunflower seeds to bait with. Anyway, I bought a bag of mixed seed, which is very popular with the sparrows, but not so much with the cardinals, jays, finches, woodpeckers, etc.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:54 AM on April 2 [1 favorite]


I've decided that the odd little cough and very slight chest tightness I'm having are probably symptoms. I'm staying inside (not that I wasn't). If this means that I'll be over it in a week or so, and somewhat immune, I welcome that. Still it feels a bit weird.
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:01 AM on April 2 [7 favorites]


Jacqueline, I think you're thinking of this comment/tale from Ian A.T.?

In the sub-basement of what was once an industrial park, the server continued asking questions to the void.

I've been reading every comment here, trying to keep the panic at bay and reminding myself that this is the very best time to be an extreme introvert. Stay safe and well, everyone.
posted by vers at 5:06 AM on April 2 [12 favorites]


On a lil nature hike yesterday afternoon in the nearly deserted nature park with my 81-year-old mother. I say nearly deserted because there was at least one asshole there. We're toddling along staying about 10 feet apart when I hear "Between you!" from behind us and a shirtless dickhead comes pounding hell for leather up the path between us, destroying the social distancing for all three of us. You couldn't jog in place for thirty seconds to let us get far enough off the path to let you huff on past? You couldn't have chosen one of like fifteen other routes freely available to your pigheaded bitch ass? Doubled back? Anygoddamnedthing at all of the nearly limitless things you could've done to enjoy your jog without killing my mom? I hope he stepped on a canebrake rattlesnake.
posted by Don Pepino at 5:12 AM on April 2 [15 favorites]


Just heard on the grapevine (!) colleague has tested positive and is in icu. person who told me does not know when the colleague was tested. I last had physical contact with the colleague on 3 March. On 12 march my son developed a high fever, for several days. Pediatrician who saw him at home ruled out covid as lungs were clear. I developed low fever and what i assumed was seasonal cold around same time but saw no doctor of course.
I am more angry than anything. I just cannot believe our employer has not told us.
I am speechless. I have been home since 12 march, first to nurse son and then from 16 schools closed so i went into home office.
But nevertheless i would have wanted to know and would have told pediatrician etcetc. So absurd.
posted by 15L06 at 5:15 AM on April 2 [14 favorites]


I'm feeling pretty selfish because

a.) I've been feeling pretty good about my brand-new promotion when so many other people are struggling or outright out of work, and

b.) in the absence of being able to go out and celebrate my promotion with anyone, I'm wanting to use my store credit card* to replace our aging TV, which is creeping up on a decade-plus now and doesn't really handle brightness very well any more and keeps losing its audio coming out of streaming applications.

It's not a very practical thing to do and there's much more important stuff going on right now and I shouldn't be so frivolous...but I want to do something nice for myself. :/

*It's one of those no-interest-for-six-months things. It's actually not a bad deal.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:27 AM on April 2 [9 favorites]


Having a working TV that handles streams well seems like an eminently practical purchase while we're all shut up in our homes. My TV has probably seen more use in the last couple weeks than the previous six months. If it feels like a treat, so much the better.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:34 AM on April 2 [9 favorites]


The rest of one of my D&D groups have decided to merge households for the duration of the pandemic so I'll be the only person video calling in to that D&D session this weekend and I'm unreasonably grumpy about it and feeling left out. But I'm also not going anywhere near them in person because I know at least two of them are still seeing other partners outside of the ones they live with on the regular and my risk tolerance is obviously much much lower than any of theirs.
posted by bridgebury at 5:41 AM on April 2 [5 favorites]


>cenoxo -- I know my birds and their calls and songs and the chick-a-dee dee call, too.

Our top songbirds here are robins, Bewick's wrens and house finches in ascending order but chickadees and Anna's hummingbirds sing, too, and it's a mournful fee bee bee for the former and a wheezy zzt! zzt! zzt!, not unlike a very high pitched starling, only it is a song and they sing all year long.

Their battle cries are angry loud and indescribable rewind tape squeals and one hears that a lot. They fight fight fight like Itchy and Scratchy over feeders and flowers. The Peterson Bird Guides list them thus -- Temperament: Pugnacious.

We used to have nighthawks in Puget Sound and one would hear their skree!'s all night but I have not heard them for at least twenty odd years. I wish they were still here.

The one bird I wish we had here are mourning doves. I miss their sad crepuscular coo-ah-coo coo coosfrom my Idaho childhood. A lot.

I am certain the bird I have heard the past three nights is a chickadee from the sound of the fee bee but it is not the song. So, I label it as a call by default. It was startling at first to hear it every twenty seconds until three in the morning.

But I am happy to hear any bird at any time. Not so much my neighbors -- the looping liquidescent and impossible to mnemonicize arias of the house finches especially drive some to distraction in the mornings. But not me. Their songs are the most beautiful of all here -- truly glorious.
posted by y2karl at 5:52 AM on April 2 [5 favorites]


As for the hummingbirds, their battles are grandiloquent corkscrew Star Wars bat wing and X-fighter cosplay acrobatics mixed with hovering beak to beak swordfights over feeders and flowers from dawn to dusk year round. Their battle cries are angry reel to reel rewind tape squeals. The males attack any hummingbird of either sex save for females with whom they have mated and their offspring therefrom. The Peterson Bird Guides list them thus: Temperament: Pugnacious. Indeed. They are warriors.
posted by y2karl at 6:15 AM on April 2 [16 favorites]


I see I could have proofread my comment before last more closely before making an addition. In the word of Homer Simpson: D'oh!
posted by y2karl at 6:39 AM on April 2 [1 favorite]


I've decided that the odd little cough and very slight chest tightness I'm having are probably symptoms. I'm staying inside (not that I wasn't). If this means that I'll be over it in a week or so, and somewhat immune, I welcome that. Still it feels a bit weird.

Part of why I have been so rigorous on isolation is that I've had a very slight, on-and-off dry cough and a teensy-tiny bit of chest tightness for a couple of weeks now. It probably is just seasonal allergies (though I usually get sniffle-type symptoms rather than coughs, but it is still within the range of normal for that) and there are no other symptoms that I have noticed. Without easily-available testing, who knows, so I'm defaulting to staying home and leaving only to go on solitary walks.

Antibody testing can't come fast enough. Someone in another comment called this a Schroedinger's situation, where you have to assume you have it (ie, you are infectious even if you have no symptoms) but also assume you never caught it (ie, you have no immunity). Being able to actually answer one or both of those would remove so much uncertainty and stress.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:55 AM on April 2 [17 favorites]


I've worked like a crazy person since 6 AM (now it's about 4 PM). There was a deadline at 2 PM that six of us were supposed to be working towards, but none of the others did anything until I sent them the finished document. They did say thank you, and I'm grateful for that. I made it in time, and then there was all the finishing phone calls and revisions.
In the morning, I only walked the dog for five minutes or so, and then promised him we'd do a good long walk later. It's a good thing he doesn't understand what I said because now there is a huge storm. My neighbor wrote me a message that my driveway is blocked by fallen trees. I can't get out, and I won't walk the dog in this weather, he'll have to make do with the yard.
This reminded me that I saw somewhere that they are expecting a bad hurricane season this year, because of warm waters building up. 2020 is going to be a truly apocalyptic year.
posted by mumimor at 7:09 AM on April 2 [5 favorites]


Too-Ticky, Dip Flash: You should assume you have it. I had the same and I'm on day 12 of quarantine. Don't panic though. Get plenty of fluids and rest.

What prompted my comment yesterday was speaking to my younger brother (aged 23) who has been working in a petrol station through all this. He said, "how's the cough?" "Oh, I've not had a cough, just chest tightness really." "Oh, I've got that," he says. Holy fucking christ.

What can you do. The information isn't reaching people. Only about 80% get fever and around 60% get cough. So that's why I'm almost certain he and all my family have had it already and recovered. Hell, my mum had the symptoms in January, they went to Florida and back. We didn't know any better then.

I can't confirm for certain that I have it or that you have it. For my part, I just know my body and I've never experienced these symptoms in my life before, and I was a heavy smoker, which might be the only reason I became aware (I'm 33). It would have to be a mad coincidence otherwise.

On the other end of the scale, I'm seeing people here panicking. Please try to remain calm. You are vanishingly unlikely to acquire it if a jogger passes closer than 6 feet for a split second, for example. That's not to say that the precautions aren't essential. But it's a function of distance and time and countless other variables. Play it safe, of course, but don't freak out either.

Take care, stay hydrated, eat well, rest up. Above all don't panic.
posted by Acey at 7:15 AM on April 2 [11 favorites]


Count me in for also really wanting the antibody test already. Since my last post March 23 where I was worried about some shortness of breath I talked to my doc - I wasn't getting a test of course, but he told me to self-quarantine for 14 days starting from the 22nd, and I have 3 days to go. I'm feeling much, much better now but for a few days there I was convinced I had covid (i couldn't walk up from my basement to 2nd floor without getting winded and had a cough) but was somehow one of the amazingly lucky ones where it didn't get very bad. I would really, really like to know if that's the case so I can (cautiously, masked, excessively socially distanced) see my 70+ parents again in the forseeable future without putting them at risk. Plus if I have the antibody I really, really want to go grocery shopping for all the people who need it.
posted by cgg at 7:15 AM on April 2 [5 favorites]


You and me both cgg, I got it the same day as you too. Because of all the coverage we all (understandably) fear we'll get it bad. But I want to reassure people that only a very small minority do. I won't deny that I've feared for my life at times in the past week. But panic exacerbates the symptoms and slows your recovery. Not minimising the risk here, it's worse than flu for example. But it's not a death sentence. This guy has kidney disease and he recovered.

I want to briefly address another concerning bit of misinformation that appears to be going around, which is that once you've had it you are immune and you can behave as you normally would have. This is dangerous and wrong. Aside from the fact that we don't know we're immune or not until tested, even then you can carry it on your hands, your clothes, etc, and continue to be a vector. And - again, not to frighten people - it could and probably will mutate. I'm concerned that once a large portion of people believe they are immune we'll get a second wave.

There's some very good guidelines here from the NHS.
posted by Acey at 7:31 AM on April 2 [8 favorites]


You are vanishingly unlikely to acquire it if a jogger passes closer than 6 feet for a split second, for example. That's not to say that the precautions aren't essential. But it's a function of distance and time and countless other variables. Play it safe, of course, but don't freak out either.

This got me to thinking, in a good way, and I thank you for that. I think a lot of what's driving my annoyance in the sense that we're all in this together, but that so many people are behaving as if that's not so. It feels like doing a group project back in school again, where at least a quarter of the group is letting everyone else carry them, because they're specialer or something, and can ignore the guidelines the rest of us have adapted our lives to. It makes the most vulnerable even more vulnerable and generally...I guess, destroys the feeling that xkcd comic gave me. That we're Team Us as humanity, and we take care of each other, because that's what humans have done since we first started being humans. When I'm so isolated, it feels good to be part of a larger human family.
Ho hum. I know it's not everyone, and I even sort of know that the best I can do is to be the best I personally can be. But when my heart's aching for a long ramble in the forest or to hug a friend, it gets harder. So it goes.
posted by kalimac at 8:13 AM on April 2 [10 favorites]


I keep seeing people online, including friends in my city talking about going grocery shopping multiple times per week, multiple stores, etc. I feel like... am I going crazy? I thought we were supposed to stay inside and limit groceries to needs and shop in a big 2 week haul? I see people eating regular meals with fresh food and unlimited snacks. I’ve been limiting my food intake to make what I have last for almost 3 weeks now.

Oh god, yeah, it sounds like literally everyone is going to the grocery store every few days! And finding no food! They give people shit about hoarding, but we were told to get enough food to not leave the house for weeks!

I went around to various stories in the days before shutdown (the last time I went grocery shopping was the 12th) and I think I have enough to last at least a month. I am hoping to not need to get food again for as long as I can stretch it out. Maybe in another month food will actually be in stores again (HAHAHAHAHAH). I have no fresh food except for apples, but that's fine. As a single person, it's not like I can finish the entire bag of fresh anything eating it by myself before it goes bad. I got tons of nonperishables. We're not supposed to leave and I am not leaving.

I would slightly be more into leaving the house if I had a backyard (just a patio) and didn't live in the heart of the burbs. My neighborhood is pretty deserted these days, but it still seems too risky. Fresh air and sunshine and exercise is just not worth it compared to the risks.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:14 AM on April 2 [3 favorites]


Acey: Too-Ticky, Dip Flash: You should assume you have it. I had the same and I'm on day 12 of quarantine. Don't panic though. Get plenty of fluids and rest.

Sure. If it wasn't clear, that's what I'm doing.
posted by Too-Ticky at 8:29 AM on April 2 [4 favorites]


The lockdowns presumably vary a lot by country. Acey already posted UK guidelines for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

Those are not the same as the UK general guidelines for all households. Those say
You should only leave the house for very limited purposes:
  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home
  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
There is no specific statement of how often you should go shopping.

I think a lot of people get confused about the difference between the general guidelines, and the stricter ones for people with coronavirus symptoms.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:31 AM on April 2 [4 favorites]


I had to nope out on the Covid-19 thread on the blue. I get that people need to be informed but my god it was constant, never-ending doom and gloom.
posted by cooker girl at 8:43 AM on April 2 [7 favorites]


Our shopping schedule is about 1.5 weeks or so (need milk, and limited to 3 cartons a visit), and Big Purr reported that the selection of food was much better this time- 10 lbs of sugar instead of no sugar, and more pasta, probably because there were purchase limits for that too.
no peanut M&Ms for me though :c

and after my optimistic post earlier this week, I had stomach upset yesterday, and little purr is going on a learning strike. So I guess we just need to focus on one day at a time.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 8:45 AM on April 2 [5 favorites]


I guess I am a little late to bird talk but:

One of the highlights of being stuck at home has been noticing the neighborhood birds more. I can hear a woodpecker from my living room; it seems to be working from home quite diligently. Yesterday I saw a crow or something, a big black bird, which I have never spotted over here before. Plus the regular array of robins, starlings, sparrows, sometimes a blue jay. I hope the monk parakeets fly back my way; there's a couple of colonies not too far away. One time when I was holed up inside after surgery about 15 of them landed in the tree right outside my window, which was awesome.

I also like seeing the neighborhood feral cats (more than the birds do, I'm sure). I have been doing quite well at my favorite walking game of cat bingo (you win if you see 5 cats in a row). One curled up in the sunshine on a wall in my back courtyard last week and watching it was the calmest I've felt since all this began.
posted by ferret branca at 8:52 AM on April 2 [8 favorites]


Almost a week on national lockdown here in South Africa. Been on personal lockdown for a week longer than that.

In case it helps anyone, here's something that really helped me manage my anxiety. It's something I figured out earlier this year while preparing for surgery. Basically, something I was scared of and had no control over. Obviously this is probably not going to help everyone so ignore if needed:

I picture myself standing waist deep in the sea. A big wave is gathering force and moving toward me. I know from past experience that waves like this one are much stronger than me. If I stiffen up or try to fight it it will dump me hard into the sand and I'll end up being whirled like a rag in a washing machine. So I bounce in place, watching the water, appreciating its beauty, and when the time comes, I know I will take a deep breath and dive underneath, not fighting the force of the water but letting it sweep me along. After a certain amount of time holding my breath and letting the water take me where it will, I'll bob up behind the wave, where the backwash will sweep me along. All I need to do is to keep calm, keep swimming just enough to keep my head above water, and eventually the current will sweep me back to the beach again.
Reframing the thing I'm scared of as something beautiful seems to help me - and I love the sea so this works for me.

When I had to undergo a uncomfortable medical procedure, I pictured an enormous white tigress who came padding into the room. She nosed me, breathing warm all over me, and then got up onto the bed and curled up around me protectively. Then she just lay there, purring loudly the entire time I needed her to be there, sometimes growling a bit at the doctor just so he'd know to be careful.

I find these kinds of visualisations really helpful. Maybe you can adjust them to fit your needs.
posted by Zumbador at 8:55 AM on April 2 [37 favorites]


I've been giving my fruit trees more attention then they've had in years. A couple I'm embarrassed to say haven't been pruned in two years because of weather/work conflicts and so they are needing quite a bit of time. While out yesterday I had a magpie come and nick a branch the size of a pencil and three feet long. Large enough I'm not sure he could fly with it as he just hopped along with it balanced in his beak not touching the ground. I watched him until he turned the corner five houses down and wished him good luck.
posted by Mitheral at 9:12 AM on April 2 [6 favorites]


Update: my uncle's case was mild enough that he has been released home. His overall health has been worse over the last month, so while they were waiting for him to come home my aunt & cousin arranged for hospice care. Hospice is not going to be visiting every day, as they might normally do, and they have taught my cousin how to do basic care. His end of life will happen at home, which is honestly the best outcome.

My takeaway, apart from being really sad that he is dying, is that even immunocompromised people (he had chemo 10 days ago! he's very very sick!) can have a mild case. I am so glad that he is home with family.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 9:13 AM on April 2 [19 favorites]


we'll get a second wave.

according to the healthcare types I've discussed it with, this is not an "IF" scenario. We will get a second wave. It's the nature of the beast we're dealing with.

I spoke with our local homecare administrator a few days ago. She likened the situation to a war, not to be confused with a battle. A war is comprised of many battles. Some you win, some you lose, some just grind down into stalemates. And in a world war, and this is definitely a world war, the battles are happening all over the place.

So in the context of her particular situation (looking out for at-risk people in a few small, comparatively isolated communities), she was viewing what's happening now as the first phases of this war. The enemy invasion has begun. Certain places have been taken by surprise with disastrous results. Others have so far been spared, either due to preparedness or just luck. But even if these early battles don't affect us directly, trust that subsequent ones will. This thing will reach everyone everywhere eventually ...

Which doesn't mean we can't improve our defenses, upgrade our various supply lines, update our various tactics (social distancing etc) ... and otherwise mitigate things until we have a vaccine etc. There will be an end to this thing but, like something like a drought, good luck knowing when exactly that will be.
posted by philip-random at 9:14 AM on April 2 [6 favorites]


I had to nope out on the Covid-19 thread on the blue. I get that people need to be informed but my god it was constant, never-ending doom and gloom.

Yeah, I now have a policy on FB of immediately unfollowing anyone who posts, “Such and such happened. We’re fucked.” I get that people have different ways of dealing with anxiety, but I don’t see how that helps, and it certainly doesn’t help me deal with my own anxiety.
posted by holborne at 9:33 AM on April 2 [9 favorites]


Found out last night that my mom has been making her walks and such (in which she is carefully keeping her distance from people) without so much as a travel hand sanitizer. Excuse me while I go bang my head on the floor a few million times.
posted by praemunire at 9:52 AM on April 2 [1 favorite]


Speaking of birds, I live in a high-rise and seagull traffic has almost completely replaced late-capitalist helicopter traffic. I have had mixed feelings about moving to this place, but thank God for its view of the big blue New York sky.
posted by praemunire at 9:58 AM on April 2 [4 favorites]


Praemunire, if she can avoid touching her face while she's out and about, and washes her hands when she gets home, there wouldn't really be much that the sanitizer could do to improve things. Keep your head in one piece, please, you're going to need it (to say nothing abut the floor).
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:04 AM on April 2 [18 favorites]


Praemunire, if she can avoid touching her face while she's out and about

This is the problem--people touch their faces, unconsciously, all the time. It's natural and so unconscious that it's quite difficult for people to really train themselves out of it (especially if you have glasses!). So periodic use of sanitizer if you're out for more than a few minutes seems a simple precaution without a high cost. She's a retired nurse, so I'm sure her handwashing technique is spectacular, but she can't carry a sink with her.

This is new construction so the floor is probably worth more than my head, even if it is, uh, "luxury" vinyl plank.
posted by praemunire at 10:34 AM on April 2 [1 favorite]


Also, it's super weird that I keep having dreams where stuff is happening, and I'm like, "this crowding isn't ok, or others, where I'm thinking, "wow no one is here, because everyone is home because of the lockdown"...

Last night I had a dream about visiting Target and Goodwill for various clothes and furniture shoppings, and during the dream kept touching things and thinking, "I shouldn't be doing this, I'm either going to get infected or infect someone else." But dream-me kept doing it!
posted by brook horse at 10:36 AM on April 2 [7 favorites]


kalimac: I think a lot of what's driving my annoyance in the sense that we're all in this together, but that so many people are behaving as if that's not so.

This is indeed frustrating, I know what you mean. But the measures are taking account of that. Don't feel like if one person breaks the rules then it's all been for nothing. Certainly that would be the case if we were in the containment stage but that ship sailed months ago. Now we are in the delay/mitigate stage. This means that any actions anyone takes are helping, however small. It's implicit that not everyone can meet them, but everyone who can helps to counteract that.

For instance, medical treatment cannot be carried out from 2m distance. But if that medical professional has had their exposure to the virus reduced by others doing their bit, then that all helps to shift the probabilities of transmission in the right direction. It's a similar story with PPE. It doesn't have to be impenetrable (unless it's a full hazmat suit and respirator of course). It just has to help to shift the probabilities in our favour.

Of course this is a complicated and nuanced thing and people don't really get that so it's just easier to say "keep away from each other, wash your hands", etc, because every little helps, and we perceive no drawbacks. Except that there are drawbacks in the form of panic, fear, confusion, etc. It's all a calculated risk.

Anyway, in the interests of keeping it light, I will leave you one of my favourite quotes of all time:

"You take a chance getting up in the morning, crossing the street, or sticking your face in a fan."
-- Frank Drebin, Police Squad

posted by Acey at 10:39 AM on April 2 [11 favorites]


Oh god, yeah, it sounds like literally everyone is going to the grocery store every few days! And finding no food! They give people shit about hoarding, but we were told to get enough food to not leave the house for weeks!

It's just a shitty, unwinnable balancing act. Buy enough for ages and people call you a hoarding piece of shit; buy what you need for a week and people call you a pestilence vector piece of shit. One thing I've found helps is just not fucking telling anyone shit about shit at all. I know what precautions I have taken, I do the math on taking my evening run, I'm doing what I can do and if anyone has a problem with it, they can try and kick my ass from 6 feet away.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:56 AM on April 2 [44 favorites]


My best guess for the happy medium is to buy 2-3 of everything, not buy the entire stash of any one thing so nobody else can get any?
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:08 AM on April 2 [2 favorites]


i mean, sure, but at our local store 2-3 is the entire stash of anything.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 11:09 AM on April 2 [8 favorites]


Ventured out today, for the first time in mumblety days. Two stops, the vet and CVS. I had to pick up some anti-itch meds for an itchy, super-fat cat; some flea/tick meds for a dog who persists in going out into the yard on a regular basis; and a human with regular med needs. I would rate both a nearly contactless process.

At the vet, I was able to call from the parking lot and give them my name/credit card info. Someone then brought out the meds. She came to the driver's side door, when I would have preferred the passenger side, but she was wearing a mask so it wasn't a big deal. Her mask looked home-made, which made me feel bad for the whole vet staff, and at the same time kind of proud of them. I suspect they've handed over their "real" mask supply to local human medical personnel.

At CVS, I used the drive-up window. The pharmacist took my credit card (which I wiped down for her before handing it over; she thanked me) and handed it back almost immediately, then the meds came through in the drawer. She was wearing a mask and gloves. There was a sign and a menu on the window - some items you can't usually get at the window, you now can. Mostly these were things like cold and flu meds, pain meds, fever reducers, but there were also some lotions like aquafor, cetaphil, etc. Nice idea.

Overall, I felt safe enough through the entire trip that I didn't even feel the need to strip down and shower when I got home (though I did of course wash my hands and face immediately because, germophobe).

I hope the vet tech and the pharmacist enjoyed their visit from the masked, shades-wearing bald chick in the bright blue nitrile gloves... :D I felt like all I needed was a ray gun and an evil laugh to complete the picture....
posted by invincible summer at 11:50 AM on April 2 [16 favorites]


i mean, sure, but at our local store 2-3 is the entire stash of anything.

My local store has pretty much all the staples and nonperishables set at "you can only take two," which is confusing in a lot of ways because I don't know if it's two of the same identical item or broader? Can I buy two of every flavor of soup from every brand? Only two soups total? I usually buy the mini cans of pears because I can't eat a whole can in one sitting and don't like getting a container dirty putting the remainder in the fridge. Can I only take two of those, even though that's only equivalent to one larger can?

It's not really a big deal and this is people rushing forward a system to solve hoarding problems so I don't expect it to be super clear or precise, but it does leave me doing a lot of ??? in the aisles. My normal haul is 8 mini cans of pears. I swear I'm not hoarding. Pears are just the only fruit I can eat. Please, let me have the soft goodness.
posted by brook horse at 11:53 AM on April 2 [5 favorites]


One thing I've found helps is just not fucking telling anyone shit about shit at all. I know what precautions I have taken, I do the math on taking my evening run, I'm doing what I can do and if anyone has a problem with it, they can try and kick my ass from 6 feet away.

Yeah, I do think one of the more delightful aspects of doing this in the social media era is that (a) everyone has an opinion about everything, and often they're sublimating their (very understandable!!!) fear and anger into how they express it and (b) somehow people still care about randos' opinions, even when they don't actually directly affect them. Thus we get this hall of mirrors effect of reactions to reactions to reactions to reactions...It's not helpful.

When there are a lot of grey clouds but there's still indirect light, the Chrysler building looks etched in silver against the sky. Even the ugly supertall behind it can't ruin that.
posted by praemunire at 12:05 PM on April 2 [8 favorites]


The problem with the anti-hoarding policies is when they are set by computers and no human has the power to override them even when they cause actual suffering.

So: I have a wound that is the size/depth that normally would be taken care of by the wound clinic. But because of COVID, they’re telling me to manage it from home and giving me advice. But what they can’t give me is supplies, which means I have to get them outside.

Except that the drugstores don’t stock what I need, because usually if someone has a wound the size I do, they go to their doctor and their doctor patches it up. They’ve got smaller supplies, but not the bigger ones I need.

I order on Amazon, and they’re limiting me to 3 boxes. Each box contains 3 dressings. I have to change the dressing at least twice a day, often 3. I ordered two last time and it got me a few days. I try to order again, and nope, they meant 3 boxes total, for the foreseeable future. No one is able to override it. I offer to show them pictures to prove I am in genuine need. Nothing.

I cry for about half an hour and then get the smaller ones. Which pull on the edges of my wound when I remove them and leave me in an upsetting amount of pain.

Tl; dr, I am a mess.
posted by corb at 1:06 PM on April 2 [22 favorites]


Corb, can I and possibly others here help you get a supply in? That is so completely unreasonable.
posted by vers at 1:11 PM on April 2 [24 favorites]


Trying to stay positive and be more alert after just finding out that a member of my household recently started experiencing symptoms and he said not a word to me or the vulnerable family member (diabetic mom) who also lives with me. And he's just continued going about the house and out into the world as if nothing has changed. ... I'm trying to remind myself that this person had/has no ill intent. But I can't lie: this feels like a fucking betrayal, and about 80% of me doesn't give a shit if he claims innocence for his actions. To hear, "It's just a sore throat" as if news sources haven't been detailing the symptoms for damn-near a month... really?!? For weeks on end, we talked as a household about what we need to do to keep my mom safe and then today, I find out it was just for shits and giggles. I mean, weeks ago I explained why I was canceling a business trip, and at that time this person said he understood my reasoning and was aware that diabetes places my mom at higher risk.

For now, I'm just watching and waiting and trying to figure out a plan to keep my mom safe, but I feel like so much power has been snatched away in the past few hours because of...hubris? Ignorance? Not caring enough? I just don't get why he didn't say anything. And today (before my mom and I found out about his symptoms*) we begged him to put on a mask (just in case) before he went out to the shopping center, and he simply ignored us. So now I'm enraged at discovering that this (literal) motherfucker is fine with harming more people. I swear, I've seen red flags for years that this is a selfish person, but to see it in such stark relief in such a dire time. I can't remember if it was this MeTa or another where someone explained that "apocalypse" means a time when things are revealed. I know it's not the end times, but I still feel blindsided and I'm trying to figure out just what the fuck I do with all the shit that's being laid bare. What do you do when you're the one living with the inconsiderate asshole who refuses to self-quarantine for the sake of others?

*Mom was cleaning and saw medicine for relieving cold symptoms on his desk and asked him about it after he returned to the house - that's when he said he wasn't feeling well but that it was "just a sore throat."
posted by neitherly at 1:30 PM on April 2 [9 favorites]


Oh my goodness corb, what happened? I'm very far away, but I hope closer mefites can help. It looks like you need stitches?
In general, we all need to boil our old underwear and sheets. I can't say I did this consciously, but I saved a teared sheet from our home recycling (before it went to the public site) and washed it at 90 degrees celsius for stuff like this, and now I can use it for masks.
Much of we need to do now is what our grandparents did. I had a great aunt who was nurse who trained before antibiotics and she was a mean old lady. But she imposed a lot of rules on our family that are useful now.
posted by mumimor at 1:31 PM on April 2 [6 favorites]


corb, I have a lot of First Aid supplies and live in the same general area of the world as you. What do you need?
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:34 PM on April 2 [4 favorites]


Corb, I'm sure the major drugstores are useless, but are there little neighborhood pharmacies near you? It's not necessarily that they'll have them in stock right away, but they are much more likely to be run by people who care and will try to meet your needs and can probably place orders. (Especially since I doubt oversized bandages are a vital supply in direct demand because of COVID, as opposed to being caught up in some general medical-supplies rationing.) I would try calling any nearby and asking.
posted by praemunire at 1:37 PM on April 2 [5 favorites]


My God, corb would it be possible to order some to be delivered to you? Memail if that sounds like something that would help.
posted by neitherly at 1:39 PM on April 2 [6 favorites]


Not sure of the size we're looking for but 8" x 8" dressings? Many more options from this decent company. No affiliation, just have ordered from them in the past.
posted by vers at 1:42 PM on April 2 [6 favorites]


You are all saints and I adore all of you. I clearly should have just gone to Metafilter immediately. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everyone offering to just mail me some themselves and also for finding other places I can get them from. I don't know why I was somehow fixating on Amazon as the only supplier of this stuff, probably because freakout. The website vers listed definitely has it and the surprise suggestion of Walmart online also did. You are the veryvery best, it looks like I can have stuff here by the weekend, and I've got enough to last me until then.
posted by corb at 1:56 PM on April 2 [53 favorites]


I've actually made the deliberate choice to avoid Amazon where possible these days because a) the smaller businesses need love right now, b) they're not doing the best job at keeping their employees safe, and c) Jeff Bezos is a tool. Glad you've found what you needed, corb!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:03 PM on April 2 [8 favorites]


That's a relief, corb -- and the offer still stands. Really hoping your self-treatment of the wound leads to quick and complete healing. Also agree with EmpressCallipygos' points on the Amazon front.
posted by vers at 2:19 PM on April 2 [3 favorites]


And may I vent for just a sec? I've been out of in-person treatment for my hand injuries for a few weeks now due to providers very wisely switching to telemedicine early in the COVID curve and it is fucking me right the fuck up. I need PT, OT and aquatic therapy for injury and pain management. I'm still doing all I can from home but it feels like a whole lot less than what I was getting before. It's not life-threatening, but it's not being able to use my fucking hands and being in pain. If the one computer I have here that has all of the assistive software goes down (looking at you, Windows update), I am screwed.

I am and always will be grateful to all of you. A long time ago, someone told me, find your tribe. I found you.
posted by vers at 2:33 PM on April 2 [23 favorites]


Corb! I also have a well stocked household first aid kit and am near enough to drive to you today. If not waiting til the weekend would let you relax a little, that’s medically useful, after all.
posted by clew at 3:10 PM on April 2 [3 favorites]


Well, fuck. I just got some really bad work news. TLDR: still employed but much less money. I thought I was one of the lucky ones.

I just wish I could sit with every person here and offer wine and a hug (if wanted)
posted by daybeforetheday at 3:14 PM on April 2 [10 favorites]


Wine and hugs all round. Sitting across the table from each other, merely. Heck, I miss handshakes.
posted by clew at 3:23 PM on April 2 [4 favorites]


Corb and others needing supplies - check eBay!
posted by gingerbeer at 3:34 PM on April 2 [3 favorites]


My father died a few hours after I posted last. The funeral was today - a day later than normal, but getting a site and the funeral home and the permits and opening the cemetery all took more time because some of the essential people involved weren't "essential workers", and to ensure everyone's safety. I couldn't say kaddish because they weren't allowed to have a minyan. I couldn't see the coffin because the person running the zoom didn't point his laptop that way. I couldn't hug my mom or my uncle or my siblings. If you were a visitor from outer space, based on all the words spoken you'd think the guest of honor was Purell. He's gone, and we're all bereft in different parts of the country, and there's no closure.

Sitting shiva on zoom is 30% people talking over each other and and 30% people talking about coronavirus stuff and 20% people trying to figure out how zoom works. Which doesn't leave room for much more. I'm trying to see the bright side - people were visiting in from other cities and even other countries who would never have been able to come in person. But I'm sitting here in a low chair with a torn shirt and everyone around me is going about their lives. Which is normal for a shiva house, but usually you're sitting with other members of the family who are also mourning. Here it's just me.

We were supposed to go to my in-laws for the seders next week, like always, that's gone. My mother was supposed to fly up for the rest of the holiday and the following week, like always, and that's gone. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law were planning on coming from Jerusalem for the holiday, that's gone too. And my other siblings-in-law in New Jersey. We all waved at each other across the zoom channel and that's all we're getting.

And it's 7:00 now and everyone is out cheering for medical and essential workers and each day it gets louder. It sounds like a carnival outside but it's a ghoulish one. It's all just so, so lonely.
posted by Mchelly at 4:19 PM on April 2 [83 favorites]


Mchelly, I'm so so sorry for your loss, and what you're going through, and that you're going through it alone. Please know there are a lot of people out here you don't even know, thinking of you and your family tonight, and wishing you all better days ahead.
posted by invincible summer at 4:24 PM on April 2 [13 favorites]


Mchelly, may his memory be for a blessing.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 4:33 PM on April 2 [13 favorites]


Mchelly, I'm so very sorry. That sound just so hard in so many ways. I hope you are able to be with the people who can bring you the comfort you need soon. Sending you love and hoping you find peace.
posted by FencingGal at 4:35 PM on April 2 [4 favorites]


Mchelly, deepest deepest condolences.
posted by Acey at 4:36 PM on April 2 [3 favorites]


Mchelly, my heart goes out to you. I am terribly sorry that your huge loss happened during all of this and that nothing was even close to "normal" though nothing is ever normal when one of us loses a parent. Please treat yourself gently, OK?

Wishing deep peace to your heart and may the love you shared with your dad bring comfort to you now. It's what he'd want.
posted by vers at 4:37 PM on April 2 [3 favorites]



I'm sorry to bring a question at such a moment, but my partner is sick - not with coronavirus but with a recurrent gastro problem that we've seen before. They're feeling pretty crummy and haven't been able to eat for a couple of days.

We're in Minneapolis, my partner would really like to have activated charcoal to take for the stomach problem but we don't have any, we overlooked it when stocking up. I feel like I can't go out - my partner is very high risk for the virus and I have a health issue too - and it's going to take days to get anything delivered. I've tried the mutual aid network and not heard anything.

Is there anyone local who is either planning a grocery run anyway or has activated charcoal they could drop off? I would gladly pay for your time, the charcoal, etc. We're in near S. MPLS.
posted by Frowner at 4:44 PM on April 2 [7 favorites]


So sorry for the pain you and your loved ones are going through Mchelly.
posted by neitherly at 4:47 PM on April 2 [3 favorites]


My condolences, Mchelly. Such strange and difficult times we are experiencing. I hope you can feel some comfort in the support we offer from afar.
posted by TwoStride at 4:55 PM on April 2 [3 favorites]


I'm so sorry Mchelly. My heart is heavy for you and your loved ones; I can't imagine what it must be like to go through this process so curtailed by a global crisis. I don't know if this would be a comfort at all, but if it would bring you some small flicker of light to have a piece of art in memory of your father, please message me.

Frowner, I'm not in the area, but if you don't hear from anyone, I checked Prime Now and they would deliver activated charcoal to my location as early as 10am tomorrow (though I had to put 3 bottles in my cart to hit the delivery minimum). It probably varies by location, but that might be another option. I am assuming you need Amazon Prime to use Prime Now? If you don't have that, let me know and I can use my Prime account to send you some if someone else can't get it to you sooner.
posted by brook horse at 5:11 PM on April 2 [5 favorites]


brook horse, I sent you a a memail
posted by Frowner at 5:16 PM on April 2 [1 favorite]


I’m so sorry Mchelly. I know nothing can ease it. This is the worst time for grief.
posted by corb at 5:29 PM on April 2 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry to keep coming back to the list but sadly brook horse's plan didn't work due to the quirks of activated charcoal distribution (!) so if anyone has any options, I would still welcome them.
posted by Frowner at 5:50 PM on April 2 [4 favorites]


If anyone can be helped by a little laughter, I would like to tell you that I walked into the kitchen to talk to my partner about troubleshooting aforementioned activated charcoal distribution problems, watched them put biscuits in the oven, walked back to the computer, spent 15 minutes troubleshooting, came back in to the kitchen to see them pulling biscuits out of the oven and said in complete and total surprise: "Oh! You made biscuits!"

Sorry it didn't work out, Frowner. I hope someone else can help, and I'm sending you biscuits and activated charcoal in my heart.
posted by brook horse at 6:04 PM on April 2 [6 favorites]


Hey, Metafilter friends: I've been reading but not posting at all. However, tomorrow my PCP is making special arrangements for me to have a thing in my mouth "looked at" and probably biopsied. The effort they're making to do this is scaring me almost more than the thing itself, because clearly they feel it is urgent enough to do this.

If you can think happy benign thoughts for me and my stupid tongue tomorrow I'd greatly appreciate it.
posted by anastasiav at 6:11 PM on April 2 [39 favorites]


Will send good thoughts, anastasiav! I hope everything goes smoothly.
posted by ferret branca at 6:14 PM on April 2 [6 favorites]


Be 9

Not being totally silly. Just be 9.
posted by vers at 6:15 PM on April 2 [3 favorites]


anastasiav, wishing you a quick, painless visit and good results. Sorry you're dealing with this now.
posted by FencingGal at 6:26 PM on April 2 [2 favorites]


Baruch dayan emet. May your father's memory be a blessing, Mchelly. Sending love to you.
posted by Ruki at 7:07 PM on April 2 [5 favorites]


anastasiav, my ex had a tongue thing that he had biopsied and it turned out to be the scariest thing, and he had it operated on and was in unimaginable pain for a while and slurred his words for months and also nearly died because he couldn't pee after surgery and refused catheter and lay there writhing and moaning and listening to his nurse talk about how we will soon all be disarmed because Obama shut down the lead mines and now we won't be able to buy bullets. They sent him home with fantastic drugs that allowed him to take a blissful, monthlong vacation from being human or even really a mammal. He was the slow and silent floating whale shark of painlessness for a whole month. He slurred for three or four months, then figured out how to talk again and is now... fine. Completely fine. Well, his tongue is fine. He has unrelated problems that he's had all his life that make him fundamentally unworkable. But the point is that his tongue is fine. IT IS FINE. So even if it is the worst thing your tongue, too, can be fine, so it will be fine. I am going to will it to be fine with all my might.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:24 PM on April 2 [17 favorites]


Thinking of you any your family, Mchelly.

Without making any presumptions about your level of observance, if you would like ten of us to join you on Zoom simply to say Kaddish, I am here for that.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:33 PM on April 2 [8 favorites]


hey josh et al based on this thread and also the one about the humble bundle where people were asking for and receiving game codes, i think that something very cool we could do as a community in extraordinary times might be to add some formalization / structure to resource sharing among mefites.

because our members kick fucking ass i think it's gonna happen organically more and more in the coming weeks / months / year and while happening organically is amazing (and so are all of you) that does kinda restrict access to Super Users in the grey and we could do more.

Maybe some copy paste of code from the mefi xmas shop thing could be repurposed? i'm basically envisioning a gifting subsite - no money changing hands, just mefites offering up stuff they have (and not just goods but also services? offers of conversation connection, sitting shiva, anything really...) and others having a place to see and ask. just a thought.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:35 PM on April 2 [11 favorites]


implementation details aside, as that's just the nuts and bolts, as an abstraction is that desirable and/or workable with our resources?
posted by lazaruslong at 7:37 PM on April 2 [1 favorite]


We could probably use IRL for that? Although it is a really horrifying shade of brown.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:37 PM on April 2 [2 favorites]


I’m so sorry for your loss and that you can’t be with your family, Mchelly.
posted by areaperson at 7:38 PM on April 2 [3 favorites]


I’m so sorry, Mchelly. May memories of your dad bring you peace and comfort.

And count me in for the Zoom minyan to say Kaddish, if you need it.
posted by SisterHavana at 7:57 PM on April 2 [3 favorites]


Likewise Mchelly. I am so sorry.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:02 PM on April 2 [3 favorites]


anastasiav, sending you all my most benign wishes and boring tongue thoughts. Why does all the scary have to happen at once?
posted by invincible summer at 8:05 PM on April 2 [1 favorite]


Don Pepino, please memail me the name of the drug that can turn me into a slow and silent floating whaleshark of painlessness for the next month.
posted by invincible summer at 8:05 PM on April 2 [8 favorites]


I think it's called scotch.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:16 PM on April 2 [9 favorites]


lazaruslong, I appreciate the underlying impulse in your comment but my first-blush reaction is that whether people do this ad hoc in Metatalk threads or in a dedicated MefiMall-like space, it's a pretty super-user thing either way. I'll kick it over to the mod list and see if other people have thoughts. Whatever it is would need to be pretty self-regulating, because we have no bandwidth for adding stuff that needs moderation input, we're backed up on important projects already.

There was this Mefi Mutual Aid post a little bit ago which is still open. Doing a series of those would be ok I think.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:17 PM on April 2 [5 favorites]


Well, I've realised the perfect way to pass the time, a Final Fantasy game I haven't yet played (World of FF in this case).
posted by Marticus at 8:28 PM on April 2 [1 favorite]


hey right on. thanks for the reminder of the mutual aid post too. might be users could do something more with that, be it a series or spinning up something simple based around that kernel. no rush on feedback from team btw - i know y'all are busy, this is not urgent.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:28 PM on April 2 [1 favorite]


I'm so, so sorry, Mchelly.
posted by cooker girl at 8:31 PM on April 2 [2 favorites]


Frowner, have you been able to source the activated charcoal? I was wondering if you could go to a drive-up pharmacy and ask if you could buy it that way? If you explain that you're high risk, etc.?
posted by cooker girl at 8:32 PM on April 2 [1 favorite]


At the risk of overlooking something obvious, pet stores carry activated charcoal for fish tank use. So that might be an option.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:36 PM on April 2 [2 favorites]


Mchelly, I'm very sorry about your dad.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:37 PM on April 2 [4 favorites]


Mchelly -- so very sorry for your loss, and for all the ways in which a hard thing is made even harder in these times. Be kind to yourself.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:37 PM on April 2 [5 favorites]


I too was thinking about the mutual aid thing - I think maybe a dedicated MeTa thread would be the optimal solution right now? We just have to self moderate and keep it as a last resort I think. Mods are already doing hero stuff over here.
posted by Acey at 1:43 AM on April 3 [2 favorites]


Listening to the Singapore announcements - looks like we are getting a lockdown of 1 month I think, with school closures. There was a meltdown on the mothers chat groups over Wedneday's school at home, so this seems guaranteed to make our nation of tiger parents into overdrive.

We're getting issued reusable masks for every household and they are allowing essential workers and essential visits like to the hospital.

My kids and housekeeper are freaking out over how boring it will be, but what's the choice. I will have three relatives doing essential work during the time. Now I am arguing with my ex over whether taking our youngest out for custody visits counts as an essential excursion. Given he already has someone sick in his household, I'd rather trade time later.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 1:50 AM on April 3 [5 favorites]


At the age of 53 I have finally discovered I am flappable.
posted by srboisvert at 3:33 AM on April 3 [18 favorites]


I'm so sorry Mchelly.

anastasiav, I'm thinking good thoughts for you
posted by daybeforetheday at 4:00 AM on April 3 [3 favorites]


I'm so sorry, Mchelly. It's so deeply unfair and fucked up. I'm thinking about you and your family. I'm thinking about you and your family and hoping that you find community and support in any way possible.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:00 AM on April 3 [1 favorite]


Frowner, I am seeing activated charcoal available on CVS.com -- if you can't make that work for you in your region I can order and send out to you
posted by Mchelly at 6:12 AM on April 3 [2 favorites]


....help and encouragement for all; offered from all over....

Dang, this is a wonderful community!
posted by mightshould at 6:27 AM on April 3 [3 favorites]


Checking in from Cape Town. So far I'm impressed with how our government is handing this crisis. There have been some bad mis steps as well, but they're taking it seriously with this lock down. Apparently there are going to be teams of people coming to our homes to do nation wide testing. Makes me feel nervous as they might be vectors but they've got their protocols too. Not allowed to come into our homes etc.
Thing is, if the virus takes hold in our townships or informal settlements things are going to be really bad. You cant do social distancing in a shack with multiple people, no electricity, no water except for a communal tap.

If you guys have any mental space to spare, please beam some good vibes in our general direction. South Africa needs all the luck we can get.
posted by Zumbador at 6:30 AM on April 3 [21 favorites]


Going to the cancer center today for blood tests and an injection. Really hoping that my hemoglobin has stayed the same or gone up. Last week, it went up slightly for the first time in over a month, so it's possible. I'm not at transfusion level yet, but because of the blood donation crisis, my doctor wants me to take a drug to boost my red blood cells in case I won't be able to get a transfusion if I need one. They gave me the fact sheet for it last week, and it's the most frightening fact sheet I've ever seen. The company doesn't even recommend the drug for people who can get transfusions instead, and they say you shouldn't take it if there's a good chance your cancer is curable (mine isn't - currently - but the fact that they say that scares the shit out of me). I contacted my pharmacist friend, usually my calm in a drug anxiety storm, and he told me there was a study of this drug that they stopped after four months because of high mortality rates. So I'm feeling very fucked if my hemoglobin isn't up.

I also want to say that so many MeFites have really stepped up on blood donation. Some have even PM'd me to tell me. I've just been super touched. Even if it doesn't help me personally, you folks may absolutely be saving a stranger's life. This is an amazing community. My roommate has said she will give me blood if she can (we're the same type). She says they usually don't allow that, but maybe they will, since these are extraordinary times (she's a doctor).

Supposedly, I am getting a washing machine delivered today, but I'll believe it when I see it. Wednesday's delivery did not pan out.
posted by FencingGal at 6:41 AM on April 3 [21 favorites]


I walked through the forest yesterday to a lake because I wanted to see if there were any ducklings, cygnets, goslings or baby coots on the water (there were none, it's still a little early). As I walked round the lake I saw two people sitting about 10ft apart at the end of one of the jetties. As I got near, I realised I knew them - two sisters that I hadn't seen for a couple of years. I stood at the land-side end of the jetty about 15 ft away from them and we chatted for a while, catching up on each other's news, talking about the virus, bemoaning the state of our over-washed hands and wishing we'd bought stock in L'Occitane ...

God, it made such a difference to my mood to have an actual f2f conversation with someone. I'm not a big phone talker and for the last week or so most of my communication with people has been online. It made me realise I should perhaps pick up the phone more during this lockdown.
posted by essexjan at 7:43 AM on April 3 [11 favorites]


And the washer is installed. I'm going to contact the store and see if I can tip the installation guys. I didn't want to try to hand them cash.
posted by FencingGal at 7:50 AM on April 3 [12 favorites]


There are so many people here needing care, it is hard not to be able to provide it. This is a hard time to live through. I hope we all make it, and our loved ones. I wonder if someone more creative with words than me can come up with a way to deal with loss when we cannot congregate. I'm afraid many of us will need it.

Today, the number of deaths here is 139. It's frightening, when it was 90 just a couple of days ago. But at the same time the number of hospitalizations is flattening out, for the fourth day in a row, so the lockdown seems to be working. Today the Easter holiday starts, and all non-essential public employees working from home are required to use their holiday time. At the same time, there is a new law making it possible to block the bridges (Denmark is made up of mostly islands and a peninsula, so if you block the bridges, no one can go anywhere). There is a huge fear that people will go to their holiday homes and spread the virus. People were talking about it at the local store today, and it makes me jittery, because while my immediate neighbors have welcomed me home, others may hear my Copenhagen accent and think I'm a disease vector.
posted by mumimor at 8:02 AM on April 3 [5 favorites]


Hong Kong today:

- The city closed its bars for 14 days, though it seems a bit unclear on how places with both alcohol and food licenses will operate; obviously the hospitality sector is devastated. As I mentioned earlier, this was inevitable once the returnees from places with worse public health than here arrived en masse in mid-March.

- Businesses have said they'd like an exemption from paying their share into people's Mandatory Provident Funds, despite most people's MPFs taking a major hit recently, and help from the government to pay wages.

- The exams that allow students to obtain the city's school-leaving certificate, the Diploma of Secondary Education, may be postponed again or just cancelled outright, with students' school marks being used for uni admissions instead. The universities are worried that no international or Mainland students will be able to come here, but that would also, of course, allow more Hong Kong students to gain admission; we only have around 30% of the university places we'd need to accommodate every university-admission-eligible secondary school graduate here. Of course, this is a crisis created by the universities making international students pay much more than locals.

- The Chief Executive received a pay rise. She earns HKD 5.2 million annually, about USD 670,000, making her one of the best-paid leaders in the world.

- Most worrying of all, there may be new restrictions on Hong Kong truck drivers entering Shenzhen right over the border from the city starting next Saturday, leading to supply-chain issues for the basic food and groceries we require, the majority of which, of course, come from China. Apparently there's some sort of medical certification they'd need, but it's unclear how they'd obtain this - the Department of Health doesn't issue them, and there's only a week for 10,000+ drivers to get this done, presumably through private clinics? Only Hong Kong-registered vehicles can use our roads (though some trucks have dual registration with the Mainland); you can't just have Mainland drivers (in Mainland vehicles that don't meet our safety or emissions standards, earning Mainland wages and undercutting locals) dropping off choy sum and tilapia at the local market. Not sure how that's going to shake out.

A bit further afield, the advice to wear a mask that Hong Kongers (and other folks around the world, but especially those here in Asia) have been shouting from the rooftops got some endorsement from the prime minister of Singapore today, who announced a policy change: their government will be providing reusable masks to all households. Wherever you are, I urge you to stay home and wear a mask, even a homemade one, if you go out.
posted by mdonley at 8:07 AM on April 3 [5 favorites]


I know that this isn't the baking thread, but I have clearly perfected a recipe I saw a while back for making a single scone and this morning I made it with bacon and cheddar cheese and DAMN it is helping that I know how to do this because it takes very small amounts of things and the payoff is huge so if anyone wants that recipe let me know and I'll post it because let me say again HOMEMADE BACON AND CHEESE SCONE FOR JUST ONE PERSON.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:11 AM on April 3 [15 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: I have clearly perfected a recipe I saw a while back for making a single scone

Please post it! I live alone and will EAT twelve scones if forced to but would rather just make one.
posted by mdonley at 8:13 AM on April 3 [10 favorites]


Here's the recipe as I make it; I've changed it a tiny bit from the original recipe, and I'll add those notes at the bottom.

Preheat the oven to 425.

Assemble the dry ingredients:

1/3 Cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar (omit if you're making a savory scone)

Combine those in a bowl. Or, if you have a mini-chop food processor, dump that in the food processor and pulse a couple times to mix.

Get a tablespoon of butter straight out of the fridge, cut into small bits and dump into the bowl. Using your fingers, rub that into the flour until the whole thing resembles coarse cornmeal. (Or, dump the small bits into the mini food processor and pulse a couple times until it looks like coarse cornmeal.)

Add a tablespoon of cold milk and mix; add in another teaspoon or two of cold milk and mix again. If it seems too stiff add another teaspoon of cold milk.

If you want to add in extras like raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, etc. mix them in now; about two tablespoons to a quarter cup is enough. I just use my hands to gently fold things in.

Pat dough into a disk about a half an inch thick. Bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes or until risen and golden brown. Done.

--

NOTES:

The original recipe calls for two and a half tablespoons of cold milk, but that gave me a stickier dough than seemed workable for me. Feel free to add more milk if your dough is too stiff.

The original recipe also says to bake for only 8-10 minutes. I find I need a full 15 in my own oven.

Two tablespoons of things like nuts and chocolate chips seems about right; this morning I did bacon and shredded cheddar, and that took a scant quarter cup of freshly-grated cheese and a slice and a half of crumbled cooked bacon and that also seemed about right.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:29 AM on April 3 [42 favorites]


I can't take people being optimistic at me this morning about "you're all going to be back at work on Monday, right?" and "we're going to be back in the office by June, right?"

Um, no, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and have been reading horrifying pandemic news since I got up about how talking at all spreads virus. NO, WE WON'T BE BACK ANY TIME SOON. THIS NIGHTMARE ISN'T ENDING.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:37 AM on April 3 [7 favorites]


My god, cats are assholes.

This comment brought to you by my housemate's cat deciding after I went to the vet yesterday for his meds that now was the perfect time to have a surprise urinary tract blockage with bonus pancreatitis!

(There is good news at the end of this comment! Please relax, pet lovers!)

insteadofthreewishes had to take him in, hand him off to the vet, wait 20 min for a blood test and exam, and then decide - in the middle of a pandemic, when I've just been furloughed - if she could afford to have him sent to the emergency vet to have him unblocked and then monitored for 2 days. Given that it would have been something on the order of $4000, we opted to cut that cost approximately in half by letting the regular vet do her best unblocking him, and leaving him there overnight - even though the regular vet would have no one there overnight to monitor him on his internal catheter.

It was tough, and a very stressful night. He's 9, and he's our extremely fat little boy, nothing we have ever been able to do has been able to help him lose weight, so he's not in fantastic health as it is. But we love him, despite how monumentally stupid he is. (I know, there are dumb cats everywhere, but trust me: he is their king.) It's just that there was no way we could justify a $4000 vet bill in this weird and unpleasant new world.

However, he has come through it all fine so far. He's still at the vet, but he did great overnight, and this morning the vet pronounced him to be much better (though still a very very dim bulb of a cat). We can probably bring him back home tomorrow.

Luckily it was, again, a largely contact-less process - instead of waiting in a waiting room, there was a lot of waiting in the parking lot and talking to vets on the phone. So even though it felt like a lot of extra potential exposure... it really wasn't. Just a lot of extra stress.

Really, 2020 can just stop now. It's just grinding metal!
posted by invincible summer at 8:52 AM on April 3 [22 favorites]


You're a benefactor to humanity, EmpressCallipygos.
posted by praemunire at 9:04 AM on April 3 [6 favorites]


I've been having a weird craving for smoked herring. Actually it was worse, my craving was for sildepostej, an industrial product where smoked herring is mushed with tons of margarine and additives and tubed, that has inexplicably /s gone out of sale. Anyway, today there was smoked herring at the supermarket. Normally, I don't buy smoked herring at the supermarket, because it needs to be fresh out of the chimney. But I did it today. And what I want to tell you is that while tired old smoked herring is not good, sprinkling it with dried cranberries is genius. You heard it here first.
And I think it is healthy, too.
You could put it on rye bread with a generous amount of butter and an egg yolk and some chives, and it would be even more delicious. But from now on, I'm going to add the cranberries.
posted by mumimor at 9:07 AM on April 3 [6 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos, praise be to you. I'm going to try that recipe later today. This recipe falls in the same vein for me: very simple, even for someone with 0 baking experience, with amazing payout. We've made them twice in the past five days because damn. They're great for breakfasts with apples or cheese or yogurt, great for midday snacks, great for dinners. (And yes, these are the aforementioned biscuits I totally failed to notice my partner making.) They make about 10 biscuits, which seems like a reasonable number for one person to eat before they go bad, too. Unless they eat significantly fewer biscuits per day than me, which is possible.
posted by brook horse at 9:23 AM on April 3 [5 favorites]


mumimor, I once had a weird sour cranberry "jam" that originated as the strained-out pulp of a batch of cranberry sage shrub. I can't remember what possessed me to try it on a smoked salmon sandwich, but it was an absolutely amazing combination. I ran out of the jam eventually and haven't made anything like it since. But I do have craisins, and smoked salmon, so thanks for the tip!
posted by slenderloris at 9:32 AM on April 3 [2 favorites]


Thanks, all; actually, I found that "scone for one" recipe through a source that I somehow turned up in the wake of an AskMe I posted about "sources of recipes forsingle-serving baked goods," so I'm just paying MeFi back for what it has given me.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:39 AM on April 3 [4 favorites]


(sc)one
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:41 AM on April 3 [22 favorites]


Breaking out the funny moment in a separate comment -

So the backstory is: I'm working from home because of second-hand exposure; someone at my office tested positive and there's a chance I was in contact with them; I'm on self-quarantine until this coming Wednesday. (I'm feeling absolutely fine so I think I escaped.) My boss has also been working from home on self-quarantine because of second-hand exposure (someone his wife worked with tested positive and she's quarantining, and he realized he should too). He's back at work on Monday. In the meantime the boss and I have been doing all our communication via email and text.

Our office just reopened today after having been deep-cleaned. I got a text from our mailroom guy that he brought two packages for my boss into my office, because Boss's office was locked. I texted back my thanks and asked who they were from. While I waited my boss and I had the following conversation in email:

ME: I just got word that there are two packages for you; they're on the credenza in my office and you can get them on Monday. I'm finding out who they're from.

BOSS: Thanks, I'll check your office when I get in.

ME: Perfect. Oh, and I just heard that they're from [company 1] and [company 2].

BOSS: Oh, [company 2] sent a package? Can you open it?

ME: ...Unfortunately my telekinesis skills aren't quite that well developed....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:48 AM on April 3 [5 favorites]


I would really like to refill my allergy prescription at some point but I will live if I don't. To get the meds, I'd have to take the subway 2 stops (or take a Lyft, I guess). Can't decide if this is morally defensible. FWIW, I suspect I did have a mild case of the virus a few weeks ago but who knows if or when I can ever prove that. What a time to be alive.
posted by ferret branca at 11:15 AM on April 3 [3 favorites]


I need to get a shot at my HMO the end of the month and I have absolutely no idea if I would even be permitted to do so. It won't kill me not to get it, but it will cause me problems I don't want to have to deal with to stop getting them, either, and I am pretty sure if I interrupt treatment I won't be allowed to restart it again later. My old doctor who prescribed it retired before this and god only knows who they assigned me to. I have no idea how to handle that.

Like seriously, I could inject myself just fine, I think, but I doubt they'll like, let me do that...
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:24 AM on April 3 [2 favorites]


I would really like to refill my allergy prescription at some point but I will live if I don't. To get the meds, I'd have to take the subway 2 stops (or take a Lyft, I guess).

I don't know about other pharmacists, but CVS is delivering free nationwide.

In any case, going to pick up meds necessary for breathing would certainly qualify as essential both legally and morally.

If there is some other reason you can't get delivery and don't feel safe leaving your house, try Invisible Hands, which seems to have a surplus of volunteers here in NYC.
posted by praemunire at 12:01 PM on April 3 [8 favorites]


I'd have to take the subway 2 stops

yeah im gonna have to go all the way downtown for meds p soon and it's A Lot right now
posted by poffin boffin at 12:38 PM on April 3 [2 favorites]


Good call, thanks, praemunire! They are not CVS but seems like they will deliver, once I got some stuff sorted out. I really should have thought of that. I feel you, poffin boffin.
posted by ferret branca at 12:55 PM on April 3 [1 favorite]


Some of what y'all are expressing are identical to the thoughts that some of my friends in Seattle have.

Like - if I want my favorite rotisserie chicken, and my favorite ice cream, I'll have to travel all the way from Capitol Hill to Queen Anne on a bus, to go to the fancy grocery store. That just seems too far and scary right now. So, I'll just stick to the places I can comfortably walk to.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:11 PM on April 3 [2 favorites]


I really, really miss baseball. And working.
posted by cooker girl at 1:15 PM on April 3 [5 favorites]


Sweet Alchemy in Seattle is delivering their awesome ice cream...

Bit pricey, but good.
posted by Windopaene at 1:22 PM on April 3 [2 favorites]




UK doctors' coronavirus deaths highlight crucial role of BAME medics
BAME: Black and Minority Ethnic.
As tributes were paid to the first four doctors who died from coronavirus in the UK, it did not go unnoticed that, profession apart, they also had another striking similarity – they were all from a BAME background.

Dr Alfa Saadu, 68, Amged el-Hawrani, 55, and Adil El Tayar, 64 and GP Dr Habib Zaidi, 76, had ancestry in regions including Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

...The fact that the first doctors to die were all from BAME backgrounds is less surprising when placed in the context of the makeup of the NHS workforce. As of March 2019, 20% of the more than 1.2 million staff employed by the health service were BAME, compared with 14% of the general population of England and Wales (based on the last census). The proportion increases to 44% when it comes to medical staff. The latest figures show that 43% of senior NHS doctors and 47% of junior doctors were BAME as of March last year.


I must say I found it shocking the first 4 doctors reported to have died were minorities, it was easy to have some very cynical, depressing thoughts about that. 3 of them retired. Absolute heroes. It's appalling and disgraceful medical staff are being put at risk of their lives not only through having to fight a virulent epidemic but also through the sheer incompetence and complacency of this government of wankers failing to make sure they have even basic protection. As the article ends:

It was a far cry from the language of the now abandoned “hostile environment”. Just over two years ago, during a four-month period, more than 1,500 visa applications from doctors with job offers in the UK were reportedly refused as a result of a cap on the number of tier two visas issued to workers from outside the European Economic Area.

Despite their contribution, ethnic minority medics have often struggled for equal treatment. Doctors from BAME communities are too often viewed as outsiders by their NHS bosses and peers and not given the support they need, according to a report published last year, which was commissioned by the General Medical Council to examine why they are twice as likely to face disciplinary action as white doctors.

posted by glasseyes at 2:24 PM on April 3 [17 favorites]


On the one hand, this is all good in the immediate needs for social distancing right now, but I am also a bit alarmed by how unreasonably terrified I've become of venturing outside for any reason at the moment. Like, I can't handle the thought of going for a scenic drive, or walking in nature by myself much less making a needed run to a store. I really don't want this to turn me into a shut-in over the coming weeks...
posted by TwoStride at 2:34 PM on April 3 [7 favorites]


Meanwhile in another report quoting a house of lords person saying it's inevitable there will be a public enquiry into the coronavirus response, that article ends by listing Downing Street's re-recruitment of 'trusted people' - that is, PR people formerly in charge of Brexit/election campaign planning.
posted by glasseyes at 2:36 PM on April 3 [3 favorites]


Just returned from Lynnwood Costco north of Seattle...things seemed pretty civilized there. About half of ppl had masks, entry controlled for reasonable # of shoppers, and everyone was pretty good about keeping their distance. Saw a staffer wiping down freezer door handles. Inventory looked normal, including TP.
posted by sapere aude at 2:44 PM on April 3 [4 favorites]


I am also a bit alarmed by how unreasonably terrified I've become of venturing outside for any reason at the moment. Like, I can't handle the thought of going for a scenic drive, or walking in nature by myself much less making a needed run to a store. I really don't want this to turn me into a shut-in over the coming weeks...

Too late for me! Between the "droplets at 27 feet" and "speaking at all splatters coronavirus" (new today!) and the entire masks argument.... I'm not leaving unless I absolutely have to.

I guess a scenic drive wouldn't be that bad, but I don't want to waste the gas and then not have it in the event of emergency, plus I'd have to lay hands on things to buy more gas....

In other fun news, there's good news and bad news: my giant org has pledged to try to rehire people who have lost their jobs due to coronavirus. Great!

However, as of two days ago (way to let people know in time to announce this on April 3!) they are halting all in-process hiring and unless you've made someone an offer, it sounds like an entire committee has to approve who you hire now and it sounds implied that it needs to be a current employee who's losing their job. And we were close but not close enough to hire people for my extremely short-staffed unit. I'm sure they didn't make an offer before April 1 because god forbid, they wouldn't have had their shit together enough for that.

Which is to say: my unit is down to two people and one of them is retiring in June and the odds of hiring replacements before she leaves is now extremely goddamned slim now that the people in the top slots are going to get thrown out...and have to be approved via committee...and HR was difficult enough as is before this...
Also screws one of our temp employees who wanted to apply for another permanent job here, which only just got listed.

So, fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck there.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:55 PM on April 3 [4 favorites]


Saying this truly with all understanding and sympathy, let's try to avoid general catastrophizing in this thread so we don't all work each other up.
posted by praemunire at 3:11 PM on April 3 [16 favorites]


hey there's dr. redfield!
posted by 20 year lurk at 3:33 PM on April 3


I've been sewing cloth masks recently (25 so far) and was flagging a bit (my lower back and the spot between my shoulders are really not happy with me right now), but the article gingerbeer linked to has me reinvigorated.

Excuse me, I've got a couple of king-sized bedsheets to go cut up and turn into masks...
posted by Lexica at 4:16 PM on April 3 [8 favorites]


It is so tiring to be continually reminded that I am the poorest person in my academic program as people make assumption after assumption about the tech I have available. Not everyone has Surface pros and fancy tablets with styluses that makes writing on PDFs quick and easy. The people involved in this particular tech issue are super sweet and I know for a fact are going to be totally understanding about it, but it is exhausting just to have to send that, "Sorry, I'm too poor to use this new technique you're so excited about," e-mail.

(But shout-out to Alterscape who reminded me that iPhone earbuds have mics and I had an old, never-used pair lying around, so at least that part is solved!)
posted by brook horse at 4:29 PM on April 3 [16 favorites]


Excuse me, I've got a couple of king-sized bedsheets to go cut up and turn into masks...

Thank you so much for doing this. I bought a few on Etsy the other day and am eagerly awaiting their arrival. It is super fucking cool that people with sewing machines and the skills to use them are stepping up to help the rest of us. My building just announced a mask & gloves policy when entering the common areas/leaving our apartments, and I'm very much on board but, of course, couldn't find masks in a store.

Must remember to order the building-management team lunch soon; man, they're on top of it. This place is likely the cleanest it's been since it was built in the 1960s.

Personally, as much as I'm hating the pandemic, I'm digging the Era of Clean Hands and Surfaces.

Lexica and others, if you need a little donation to get even more fabric to continue your work, you should absolutely speak up in maybe a new thread? I'd be happy to throw some money into that sort of work, and I strongly suspect others would too.
posted by heyho at 7:09 PM on April 3 [7 favorites]


Lexica and others, if you need a little donation to get even more fabric to continue your work, you should absolutely speak up in maybe a new thread? I'd be happy to throw some money into that sort of work, and I strongly suspect others would too.

I have actual fabric I could probably donate to a cause like this as well. (Just....could I get a mask of my own in exchange?)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:54 PM on April 3 [2 favorites]


I have been thinking about how, from the outside, the multitude of these deaths seem like one big mass – but that shouldn’t be the case. They are individuals, but in many cases, their loves ones couldn’t tell them goodbye and can’t grieve together.

My wife reminded me of the AIDS Quilt. One thing both sets of victims might have in common is the lack of funerals. Also that the government could have prevented many deaths in each of these pandemics.

What is different between the two is that the AIDS victims were part of a community. They were victims of bigotry before they were victims of disease. But they had common friends, who started the quilt.

As with AIDS or any pandemic, the Covid deaths and disease is beyond tragic. But it’s also disturbing that the victims are not appropriately honored.

I wish I could contribute to that in some way. Anyone have any ideas?

And also to a salute to all the front-line workers, the medical, grocery and delivery workers, and so on …
posted by NotLost at 9:55 PM on April 3 [6 favorites]


I've been gradually getting caught up on this thread over the past few days. It's weirdly comforting reading everyone's stories and not feeling quite so alone in all this.

Since I last posted here (11 days ago), a lot has changed but also nothing has changed. The last time I left the house was 10 days ago, when I went to work and scrambled to assemble some projects to physically take home with me, then stopped by the grocery store for a scheduled pick-up where I got maybe 70% of the items requested, which lead me to three different stores to compile the missing 30% to the best of my ability. The most difficult was getting dishwasher tabs -- now that we're cooking every meal at home, we're using the dishwasher more. Yes, we can hand wash, but I spent the last ten years of my life hand washing and I want to enjoy the modern perks in the new house now that I'm washing more than ever!

All my attempts to put in an order at various stores kept failing, until in annoyed desperation I scattershot with whatever random options were available -- only to have all of them accepted and mailed to me in a couple of days. Whoops. So now I have a year's supply of a random assortment of dishwasher tabs.

I stopped at Target to get some nonfood items, but I went in the food aisles "just to see" and was shocked that they had some mac'n'cheese -- the one item my mum really wanted but is impossible to find right. They had about a dozen boxes of the "thick and creamy" kind. It's not as good as the OG kind, but just seeing any boxes at all seemed like a miracle. I grabbed up the eight boxes I was allowed (based on the limit signs posted on the nearly-empty shelves) and struggled my way to the check-out. I hadn't thought to grab a basket since I was only there to get a couple of items, and didn't anticipate actually finding food items in a non-super Target, so it was a precarious balance of my two items plus eight boxes of mac'n'cheese.

Apparently, I can only handle two items and seven boxes of mac'n'cheese, since I kept dropping one. Some kind soul saw my plight and offered her empty basket to me. Yes, yes, there was a mild "social distancing" panic, but between the joy of being able to finally give Mum her comfort food and the kindness of a random stranger, I nearly burst into tears in the middle of Target.

So that was the last time I was out and about and interacted with other human beings in person other than my mother. We've still been having weekly staff meetings online, and it's weirdly refreshing seeing everyone's face in a tiny "Brady Bunch"-esque display on my computer screen. Makes things seem almost "normal" again.

The next time I plan to leave the house is next Tuesday, when I've scheduled another grocery pick-up. I'm trying to stick to the idea of leaving only every two weeks. Hoping we'll get most of what we've requested, although my excursion two weeks ago revealed that Sprouts was a pretty good back-up for missing items (not detergent, though!). I've also realized that I've not had any food that wasn't prepared in my house for 15 days -- the longest I can remember, tbh, since even when I was a little kid my parents would go out or get takeaway at least once a week. While I appreciate everyone supporting the local restaurants with takeaway and delivery, I'm being extra cautious since my mum is super immune compromised right now. So now we get to realize how small my repertoire of go-to recipes is. At least I make the best fried rice and Mum has declared she could eat it a couple times a week.

As for the Denver/Colorado area, while it's distressing continually seeing the numbers tick up, I'm so deeply relieved we have a governor who's being proactive and looking at data to make decisions. As of today, we're requested to wear homemade masks every time we leave the house (since the disposable ones should have already been donated to the medical community) -- my mum is a quilter, but her machine and fabric are still packed away from the move, so I splurged on some homemade ones on etsy yesterday when I could see the writing on the wall. I got the notice they shipped today, and when I went to check the seller's page again, she was completely sold out of masks -- all in less than 24 hours.

The schools are now physically closed through the rest of the academic year. Since I work at an education-related place, this means that our activities are also closed. The office is moving to "indefinitely closed" as we continue to work from home, since it seems the end dates for the "stay at home" orders keep moving -- as it should, but it's getting harder to plan for the summer, which is generally our busiest time.

Tbh, I haven't been as productive as I would like -- between caring for my mum, my general insomnia that has come back in the last month, the constant underpinning of anxiety, and sudden surge of allergies, it's been all I can do to check emails, cook, and clean. I took a shower for the first time in five days this morning because I wanted to feel human before the online staff meeting. I even put on "real" clothes and makeup! I think it helped -- I have some plans to get some projects around the house done this weekend that I might actually accomplish. But we'll see.

Thanks again for all your voices in this thread, and thanks for putting up with my ramblings. I'm trying to be the brave one at home so all my mum has to worry about is recuperating from her surgery and focusing on the next steps to be cancer-free, and there aren't a lot of people I can vent to right now.
posted by paisley sheep at 10:53 PM on April 3 [16 favorites]


METAFILTER: So now I have a year's supply of a random assortment of dishwasher tabs.
posted by philip-random at 11:02 PM on April 3 [4 favorites]


Jenfullmoon, I hope you can get your shot.
posted by NotLost at 11:34 PM on April 3


Snopes, Jordan Liles, updated 4/2/2020 – List of Grocery Stores with Special Hours for Seniors, the At-Risk, and Pregnant Women: We've compiled a (A to Z) list of major grocery chains offering dedicated hours set aside for members of vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time this article was published, no additional information was available on when these hours may end, and some of the details above may be outdated. Contact your local stores to confirm special hours.
posted by cenoxo at 1:20 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


American Red Cross Mobile Apps – Download FREE Red Cross Mobile Apps today, in the Apple App Store or Google Play (links on web page):
  • Hero Care – Whether you’re the parent of a child joining the military or a member of the military/veteran communities, Hero Care will connect you to important resources that can help you through both emergency and nonemergency situations.
  • First Aid – Get instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies.
  • Blood – Schedule and manage appointments, complete your RapidPass®, get notified when your blood is on its way to a patient, view results from your mini-physical, and more.
  • Pet First Aid – Be prepared to help your furry friends with veterinary advice for everyday emergencies.
Other apps available for Emergency, Tornado, Hurricane, Earthquake, and Flood alerts.
posted by cenoxo at 1:53 AM on April 4 [8 favorites]


I got my Spice House order <3

I am putting garlic on EVERYTHING tomorrow.

Also realized that in this time of need? I don't have a decent handled coffee mug - so I rectified that. I keep on dropping my handleless ones, and I don't need to spill coffee on my only decent laptop while I'm working from home for the foreseeable future. Impulse bought 20 Japanese food erasers as well - if I can't eat sushi readily, I can at least look at it while I use it to correct my mistakes.
posted by spinifex23 at 2:02 AM on April 4 [10 favorites]


My brother's wife went grocery shopping and she took my junk food request and dropped it off; I have never enjoyed doritos as much in my life.
posted by Marticus at 2:41 AM on April 4 [10 favorites]


It is super fucking cool that people with sewing machines and the skills to use them are stepping up to help the rest of us.

After spending a day fiddling with our machine to polish our maskmaking chops, we came across this altogether different, lo-fi suggestion that might help tie over those who are less equipped. (Some more details, such as on filter in-lay, here.)
posted by progosk at 3:25 AM on April 4 [14 favorites]


My county public health department just announced that they are asking members of the public to wear reuseable, cloth masks when doing essential activites (like grocery shopping) so I probably should make a few for MuddDude and me this weekend. Our local maker space has announced that they are producing cotton masks and scrubs for donation to hospitals, cottage industry style, so I'm going to donate my quilting cotton and elastic. The idea being patients can wear the cloth masks and leave the PPE for hospital workers.
posted by muddgirl at 4:22 AM on April 4 [3 favorites]


Thanks, progosk! I have a sewing machine, but I don't know where it even IS much less how to thread it or what to do after that. Home ec class was some years ago. Meanwhile, I saw that same no-sew method on youtube but it was lightning speed and hard to follow; your link is easier. I have a billion hair ties, too. I'mna make one out of a pillow case. I figure I'll wear it to the farmers' market just because it's somewhat offputting, which could help my beloved farmers to resist the urge to try to engage me in conversation while standing in my potentially lethal exhalations.
posted by Don Pepino at 5:43 AM on April 4 [4 favorites]


On Tuesday at 1 p.m., my 80-year-old mother fell during her daily walk. At 6 p.m., she calls me and says the nose bleeding won't stop, I think we need to go to urgent care. I checked the web site, and it says they're open until 8, she says.

Fuck, we both said, going to a hospital is something we really, really don't want to do right now.

We go to the local hospital. The door near urgent care is blocked off. We go to the main entrance. There's a red line on the floor that we must not cross. Two greeters are a little tense, ready to spring at us if we cross the red line, but are otherwise evenly polite. No, urgent care is closed, they say, you need to go to the ER. Mom starts to argue like she always does, but I cut her off, this is not the time to argue with hospital greeters.

We go to the ER. It is actually deserted; with no one playing soccer or getting alcohol poisoning at bars, there's not much business. A nurse greets us by the red line, has the same tense attitude, says that I cannot stay in the building, not even in the chair on my side of the red line, I must either wait in my car or go home. Mom starts to argue again, I cut her off again.

It's annoying, of course, that I can't be there to interpret, because mom is hard of hearing and even when she asks people to speak clearly, they forget, and she can't even lip read since everyone is wearing masks. Can't have everything, I guess.

The upside, of course, was that she was out of there in half an hour, by far a new record. Diagnosis, broken nose. Thank goodness there's no church, she says, I look awful. That's where the masks come in handy, I say.
posted by Melismata at 5:44 AM on April 4 [37 favorites]


I have now learnt that Friday, the day I teach online, I will end up being totally exhausted. Last week I was so depressed and anxious. And I don't even do zoom. Yesterday I let the dog out when I went to bed, thinking that I'd read a bit and then get up and close the door when he was back in. But I must have fallen asleep (at 8 PM or something like that), and woke up to find the front door open at 4 AM. And of course the whole house was icy cold. Luckily the dog doesn't stray, he'd just climbed up into the sofa, in the warmest corner of the house.
I couldn't fall back to sleep because I was so cold. I sat in the living room drinking hot blackcurrant cordial and looking at YouTube videos. Then finally at 8, I felt tired enough to get back into my bed, thinking that I could sleep as long as I like on a Saturday. But at 10, my neighbor came over in a huge tractor. I didn't go out, but the dog barked so no one could sleep. So now I'm really tired again.
I just saw Larry David in a PSA saying now is the time to stay in and watch TV. I wish it was. I know I've already said it before, but working from home is not all its made out to be, when the work doesn't work that way. I work from home most of time already, so it's not that I don't know how.
posted by mumimor at 7:13 AM on April 4 [9 favorites]


The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has a searchable (by state or Zip), map-based Directory of Local Health Departments.

2019-nCoV Disclaimer: The contact information in this directory is for the ‘primary contact’ at each local health department and may not be the best point of contact for Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) response activities. While you can still use this information, note that you will likely need to be redirected to a more appropriate contact person at the agency.
posted by cenoxo at 7:35 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


I am putting garlic on EVERYTHING tomorrow.

worth noting: in my rather isolated community, raw garlic (along the with expected toilet paper etc) was one of the first things to disappear from the local store's shelves. I realize it's good for the immune system, but how much do we really on hand? It's a virus we're facing, not a vampire invasion.

posted by philip-random at 8:28 AM on April 4 [8 favorites]


It's a virus we're facing, not a vampire invasion.

So far.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:36 AM on April 4 [28 favorites]


i've still got a handful of those walgreens "surgical" masks (blue earloop) -- using to mitigate fragrance exposure in public these years, and returning it to my pocket once in clear air, i don't discard them until the blue fibrous stuff on the outside becomes fuzzy enough to become confusing in my perpheral vision or get in my eyes, or they start smelling unpleasant -- and babymama has been sewing some (though little lurk's, cute as it is, doesn't fit too well). for keeping fragrance vapors out of sinus, a scarf does not work as well; i have tried. but fragrance exposure isn't a huge issue if i don't report to a workplace or ride public transport to get there (except for the flowers and the tree pollen). so, with the recent guideline encouraging wearing cloth masks, and lacking elastics materials, a sewing machine or a talent for hand-sewing, i've been thinking of my supply of handkerchief/bandannas.

my make-shift solution is pretty easy -- the old-school train-robber facemask plus coffee filter!

i fold the the bandanna corner-to-corner into a triangle, placing one of those round, pleated basket filters -- pressed flat and folded just a bit so that it had a flat edge to butt against the bandanna fold -- in the middle of the hypotenuse. then i fold that edge over, about 3/4 inch, to hold the filter in place and be a little thicker over the bridge of my nose, and tie it behind my head. easy peasy. the filter seems to cover the area from about my cheekbones down to below my chin. i guess for best coverage i might tuck that corner hanging down below my throat into a high collar.

i am doubtful of its efficacy, but no more so than the paper-towel, the scarf, or the bandanna-with-hairband-earloops offered by progosk above (which, in fairness, has many more layers of cloth over the face). but it might be better than nothing. thought i'd share. someone -- can't recall if it was fauci or TWiV -- noting the size of the virus compared to the larger size of the pores on some medical-grade masks, recently compared the protection to that a normal-sized doorway would provide against three linebackers trying to get through it at the same time.

still here. still reading. still sympathizing with the suffering and anxieties noted by many.

no significant complaints on my end, but that pop's delusional need to find his car, go home, and contact his parents/sisters/wife to let her know he can't get home tonight, round about "sundowning" time -- increasing in frequency and duration -- is really starting to wear on mom. i'm powerless to help (but by talking to him down on the phone, which sometimes will, for a little while), and trying to vet and introduce some new in-home caregiver doesn't feel advisable or even possible at this time.

stay as well as you can, everyone.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:46 AM on April 4 [8 favorites]


vampire invasion.

A week next Thursday, according to the schedule. It would be sooner but setting up the memetic plague for June is proving harder than expected.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 9:47 AM on April 4 [7 favorites]


For uk mefites, The COVID Symptom Tracker was designed by doctors and scientists at King's College London, Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals working in partnership with ZOE Global Ltd – a health science company.

The app is downloadable from the link, where there is info about the parties involved and some of their findings to date. When you sign up it takes a history of where you are healthwise combined with the first half of your postcode. You don't have to have any symptoms to sign up.
They say: Take 1-minute to self-report daily, even if you are well.
Help our scientists identify:
High-risk areas in the UK
Who is most at risk, by better understanding symptoms linked to underlying health conditions
How fast the virus is spreading in your area


My feeling is, thank god someone is compiling this info, which is bound to contribute to any subsequent official tracking system
posted by glasseyes at 9:55 AM on April 4 [10 favorites]


I had a moment last week when I was walking the dogs and saw a stake lying in the road. Just an ordinary short swooden stake, suitable for a garden or a slayer, either/or. The first thing I thought was well, that’s what left after the vamp has dusted and then the second thing was what if this isn’t actually a virus? What if it’s . . . vampires? And I actually got a little spooked, on the deserted street. But then I realized that there would be a much stronger stay at home at night message going out.

They closed the last beaches yesterday. I am really sad and my poor dog is going to be miserable. On leash walks are just not the same and there is now nowhere safe I can let him run. Luckily we went for an hour yesterday very early in the morning and I guess it will just have to hold us. As they close more and more outdoor spots the open ones get more and more crowded and I don’t really think this is achieving social distancing. When all the beaches were open it was easy to avoid people. When just one was open it was doable but harder. Now all the parks are closed even my neighborhood is clogged with people and keeping 6 feet away is nearly impossible.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:01 AM on April 4 [4 favorites]


For uk mefites, The COVID Symptom Tracker

Note that when I signed up a few days ago, there was a bug where if you used autocomplete to fill in your email address, sign up would fail because autocomplete usually sticks a space on the end - so make sure to delete any extra spaces in the sign up form. This might have been fixed already as they seem to be updating the app pretty frequently.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 10:30 AM on April 4 [2 favorites]


Yes, i think it's been fixed, i didnt have issues
posted by glasseyes at 10:39 AM on April 4 [2 favorites]


I went to the cancer center yesterday, really worried that my hemoglobin was going to have tanked again, resulting in needing the extremely scary drug. Well, it went up by a fair amount. In fact, it hasn't been this high for six weeks - at which point I would have still had some blood from the last transfusion in me. So I refused the scary drug again. I'm really hoping it's just taken a while for my bone marrow to get its shit together and start producing hemoglobin again. Theoretically, as the cancer cells die off, my bone marrow starts working again, and maybe that's happening now. I'm over the moon happy about it.

The center itself is such a different place. They seem to have new protocols in place every week. Last week, they told me I wouldn't be able to have anyone with me, but there were lots of people with friends, chatting away, and it was impossible to maintain a six-foot distance. I tweeted about it and included the cancer center, and they responded and asked me for details so they could deal with it, which was cool. This week, they had a big sign saying only patients were allowed, and they seemed to be sticking to it. So I was able to maintain distance in the waiting room. The nurses were, as usual, super cheerful and amazing. I admire them so much and am so grateful for them. I told the nurse that I wanted to let her know how much I appreciated her, but I felt reluctant because I'd heard that service members get tired of "thank you for your service." She said she doesn't get tired of it because she mostly hears complaints. That's really unfortunate. I've had exactly one slightly bad experience with a nurse there in the 3 1/2 years I've had cancer.

She also told me that they're building a field hospital on campus. I am still concerned that they will have to shut down the cancer center, but so far, they're keeping it open. I'm trying to focus on what's happening now and not get too far ahead of myself. I'm a worrier by nature, so it's a challenge.
posted by FencingGal at 10:58 AM on April 4 [31 favorites]


Listen, for those of us who eat normal (enormous) amounts of garlic, keeping the stuff on hand is actually proving pretty challenging. I keep finding myself sadly groping through the aromatics bin looking for loose unspotted cloves.

Mt. Sinai is doing a similar symptom tracking project for its patients. I feel a little more comfortable, privacy-wise, with them acting as intermediary.
posted by praemunire at 11:00 AM on April 4 [3 favorites]


Garlic freezes well. Every time I buy it, I peel all of it and freeze the cloves.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:03 AM on April 4 [6 favorites]


By the way, here's the latest science on cloth face masks.
posted by praemunire at 11:06 AM on April 4 [3 favorites]


If I'm honest I hit my limit sometime last week, but the local kid asking about the big Easter egg hunt she's been to for the last few years — as long as she can remember — sent me over the edge just now. I've added Easter candy to our grocery order scheduled for next week although I feel like I'm speaking into coconut and straw radio.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:11 AM on April 4 [5 favorites]


The way my parents (street cred, Korean) keep garlic in the freezer is by first mincing the garlic (or garlic pressing) and then freezing them flat in ziploc baggies. It's a lot of effort up front, but omg it makes actually using garlic so much easier for me. That way you can break off the chunk you need for whatever you are cooking. I am a lazy and sporadic cook, so I often use the jars of minced garlic (meh) and powder (meh meh) because I almost always have sprouted garlic or dried out garlic instead of usable garlic.

It's so nice to think about garlic instead of everything else...
posted by spamandkimchi at 11:12 AM on April 4 [9 favorites]


fencingal, that is such good news! I'm very happy for you.

Martha Stewart has the garlic lovers covered: How to Grow Garlic Indoors
Since I'm all alone, I just ate a lot of raw garlic in a delicious salad. But I hold it back when I teach in person. Not everyone loves it.
I made a dressing of garlic, ginger, white pepper, lime, sesame oil, and light soy sauce. Let it rest for an hour or so, then poured it over pointy cabbage cut in very thin strips and carrots in very thin coins. Let it rest again for however long you can wait. In my case 90 minutes.
Today I just ate that. But from experience I know it is a good thing to mix in with a serving of noodles.
posted by mumimor at 11:16 AM on April 4 [8 favorites]


(Some more details, such as on filter in-lay, here.)

Instagram: "Login to view this story"
Me, with no Instagram account and no wish to get one: :(
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:18 AM on April 4 [6 favorites]


So, because I am one of those "well, I might be able to find a use it for something someday" kind of people, I have an entire fitted bedsheet (torn in two places, but otherwise quite intact) that I could turn into a lot of masks with elastic. I have a sewing machine. Does anyone know what are currently considered best practices for making masks? I've seen a lot of tutorials with slightly different instructions, and I'd prefer to go with the safest version, especially if I'm going to give them out to people in the community. I remember seeing that it's best for fabric to have different colors on each side so you can tell which was to your face, is there anything else like that?
posted by brook horse at 11:24 AM on April 4 [5 favorites]


BTW, here there is no longer a shortage of hand disinfectant. The bottles are weird, but the prices are normal and they all have official approval stamps. I think it's because all the nations alcohol producers have shifted from drinks to sanitizers.
One of the local restaurants have been selling it for 20 $ a (small) bottle, and now I know I will never, ever go there.
posted by mumimor at 11:25 AM on April 4 [6 favorites]


You want it to fit your face well. You want to minimize needle holes and maximize layers as best you can, which is one reason for the pleated styles, but the style my partner made for our two roommates going out yesterday is unpleated. This is because in their experience--they're a nursing student, they wear a lot of pleated surgical-style masks--the pleats tend to shift over time and need adjusting, and you want to minimize that as much as possible. I suspect this varies person by person, so perhaps you might use a few different patterns and see what works best. You need a wire over the nose that can be adjusted to the wearer; we've used twist-ties successfully, but you could also use paperclips or pipecleaners to generate something workable. Ideally you want bendable, but not too bendable.

For my part, I have worn a lot of n95s and have been fit tested on them. My experience is that versions with strings that can be tied rather than versions using elastic are more likely to be comfortable over long periods of time, as well as being obviously much more washable as elastic will degrade in washing machines. If you choose to use elastic, styles that hold the mask behind your neck and head are infinitely more comfortable than those which hold the mask in place by looping behind the ears. (I have a tiny head; I imagine this is worse for people with large heads.) And yes, you're right about the different colors on each side part of thing. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to distinguish "safe" from "contaminated" sides. If you wear glasses: a quick and dirty fit check to make sure that your wire is positioned right over your nose is to blow warm air up towards your nose once the mask is in place. If your mask can stop your glasses from fogging, your wire is well placed and fitted correctly.

Not so much useful for you, but generally you do not want to use knit fabrics for this if you can--you want the tightest woven fabric you have access to. Sheet material is fine; jersey t-shirt material isn't ideal except perhaps on a liner directly against your face.

It may be worth making multiple styles which can go to people based on their own preferences, honestly.
posted by sciatrix at 11:40 AM on April 4 [15 favorites]


I forgot to add on that fit test thing: if your glasses are still fogging, pinch the wire over your nose and try again. You want the wire to fit your nose and upper cheeks as well as possible to fit over your face.
posted by sciatrix at 11:47 AM on April 4 [3 favorites]


FWIW my local maker space is asking for only new woven 100% cotton fabric, no recycled fabrics (I think due to concerns about fabric wear and tear if they are bleached and industrially washed).
posted by muddgirl at 11:50 AM on April 4 [2 favorites]


In case it is helpful, Business Insider just published an article about a couple of very resourceful women who have tested multiple materials for mask-making, and they found polyester hydro knit shop towels to be one of the best -- and those might still be pretty available at auto part sh