Coronavirus check-in thread #4 April 8, 2020 12:40 PM   Subscribe

It is March 39th and time for the latest check-in thread. As previously ([3][2][1]) this is for actual news, updates, personal experiences, and more mutual support from and to people dealing with this virus in their daily lives. All hail the mods for continuing to provide this sanctuary for us, and good health to readers and commenters alike. How is one doing?
posted by Wordshore to MetaFilter-Related at 12:40 PM (571 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

I'm in Seattle and high risk, so I'm still staying inside 24x7, except for forays outside to get mail or talk to neighbors.

At the Supermoon viewing last night, I opened my mail. I let my New Yorker subscription lapse on purpose, and The New Yorker is trying to lure me back, with a $100 voucher for wine. I barely drink, and am allergic to all wine. However, my neighbor, who I met while moonwatching? She's coronaunemployed and LOVES wine; she took the voucher gleefully. Glad it could get some use!

I also decided that my next cooking foray is going to be into jiao zi, or Chinese dumplings. I'm also investigating ramen recipes. Because if I have a craving? I realized that I'm going to have to make it myself. Challenge Accepted. A friend of mine is picking up gyoza wrappers this week or next, along with more miso paste. And a couple of other friends are sending me masks.

I'm grateful for all of my friends and family during all of this, and also for these megathreads. Love you all.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:51 PM on April 8, 2020 [17 favorites]

Went for a walk today through a local cemetery in Edinburgh. At one corner there had been a tall, quite old hedge which had been cut down to reveal a not recently used corner section, this had now been freshly turned over and was no doubt awaiting grass seeding.

Presumably a contingency plan had been put into effect but it was a sobering and spooky thing to see.
posted by epo at 12:58 PM on April 8, 2020 [14 favorites]

Changed my mind - decided to dive full steam into Project Ramen instead.

Because food allergies aren't suspended during this crisis, and gyoza wrappers may contain preservatives. *shakes tiny fist*. *this is so unfair*
posted by spinifex23 at 1:14 PM on April 8, 2020 [5 favorites]

Uncle is slowly recovering from the virus. My aunt has made a full recovery, but my uncle is struggling with strength and shortness of breath. Thankfully, the fever is gone. It's going to be at least a month or two more before he feels "normal" with regards to his health. We're all feeling very blessed. He's in his 70s.

posted by Fizz at 1:20 PM on April 8, 2020 [71 favorites]

Jiaozi is a great idea. I might try that. (Why not make your own wrappers?) But the next project is parsnip cake, because it turns out that's a thing that exists and I love parsnips so I must try it.

Yesterday sucked. I was just extremely down all day. I think among other things I need to get more sun, which for me involves climbing a completely vertical ladder to my building's roof. I finally did it late yesterday afternoon and just having the sun on my face was so good.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:21 PM on April 8, 2020 [19 favorites]

The family is doing OK this week. Mom has dementia, and is missing her social daycare. But my sister and her son moved in (his college closed) and are a godsend helping with mom. The weather is good enough to us all to get outside once in a while, giving the dogs a good walk as well.

I'm going out once in a while for food, and the local stores are well stocked. For some reason there's been a run on Jello, who knows why.

But we've got clean running water, the power is on, the satellite is working, and the internet is good. I'm thankful we're better off than a lot of other folks.

I called around, NO ONE wants any volunteers right now. We scraped some cash together to donate to the local food banks.

I hope everybody is doing OK.
posted by Marky at 1:26 PM on April 8, 2020 [17 favorites]

This is not happy or upbeat. Please feel free to skip it if you just don't have the spoons!

Not doing super great, tbh. I had a Chronic, Gross, Painful, and Ugly medical diagnosis early in the year that put me well off my game with school to the extent that I just didn't turn things in and had to tell my profs the rough outlines of what was going on- they all just said to take my time, which was very kind. However, that means that I was already behind when The Situation started. Then I got very sick with tonsillitis. That cleared up rapidly with steroids and antibiotics, but the side effects of the antibiotics were so severe I got put on a new set of antibiotics to try to save my gut flora before I got full-blown C. diff. (Which seems to have been averted, thank god!) So now I'm playing catch-up hard. Usually I'm really on top of school because I love learning, and I love my new field, but it all feels daunting with only a few weeks in the semester left. I hate feeling like I'm letting people down who expect more of me. I'm isolated in isolation with just my two cats for company, and I think it's finally starting to bother me even as introverted as I am.

It does feel good to get this off of my chest. Thank you to all of the mods and Metafilter community members for being here for each other.
posted by Mouse Army at 1:43 PM on April 8, 2020 [70 favorites]

Yesterday I posted this Ask!

I also have a challenging translation project in front of me, and I'll be making a "Chilean curry" tonight with squash and potatoes as the local variants.

I'll be hosting a Netflix watch party of the first episode of "Unorthodox" -- if you're interested, MeMail me!

A MeFite kindly reached out to me earlier this week after I expressed some sadness about no one reaching out. This community is still a great one.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 1:47 PM on April 8, 2020 [17 favorites]

I'm in the middle of email with the local city government's renters peeps. And ATM it's a "yes the new owners can still kick you out" with a bit of "the law changes every day". (They're planning on kicking everybody out to to major interior work on all apartments.) But it's probably still until the end of the month when the 30 day legal stuff comes in the mail. PITA.

Found out that some of my cousins are in the higher risk category by having family that's nursing home / police sort of jobs. But my old aunts are both holed up and sorta bored. I don't worry about that side of the family much because they smart. On the other hand my mother still wants to go out all the time. After her husband passed this summer and the time spent homebound and efforts to get her out of the house... now she doesn't want to say home. The only silver lining is that she was an ICU nurse for most of her life so hopefully isn't being stupid. A couple of sisters are trying to wrangle kids being back at home. The other sister is old and pretty much holed up. I just hit 50 so we're all in the old zone.

I'm sorta wondering if I can manage a hail-mary and get the local government to put some brakes on the new property owners and their non-essential improvement shenanigans. At least for a couple of months.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:53 PM on April 8, 2020 [8 favorites]

Decided to do my taxes today, despite the extended deadline, might as well get it over with, and I have extra time due to not commuting and such.

Pro tip for those who have a side business: my self-employment tax literally doubled. And one can't deduct office equipment depreciation equipment anymore. Tax cuts, my ass!
posted by Melismata at 2:02 PM on April 8, 2020 [9 favorites]

The brother (slightly older, in England) is recuperating from it. It fair knocked the stuffing out of him. My parents, both in their 80s, are in a rather brittle "no no everything's fine" mode. They're doing okay, but none of us live close, and we wouldn't get let into their semi-sheltered building even if we did. ms scruss's mum lives in a US state with no shelter-in-place, but she's staying with a friend to keep busy and not lonely.

Since I work solo and the nearest colleague is five hours drive away, I'm getting more interaction through enforced Zoom standups every day than I would regularly. I've got the bike refurbed, the weather's nice, the groundhogs are out, we both have work and the electronic resources at home to keep doing it. We are, we realise, quite fortunate.
posted by scruss at 2:06 PM on April 8, 2020 [12 favorites]

Everyone I know personally seems to be as well as they ever are (crossing fingers) though some coworkers in other countries have been ill including some tested positive. I'm still a bit worried that mom and her siblings up in semi-rural WA are not taking this seriously but it's really hard to tell between her messed up phone line and the layers of sarcasm on everything she says.

We were able to put in a grocery order for delivery a few days ago, and we got everything we really needed (through not some things we really wanted.) I am trying not to do online retail therapy, but I did drive out to pickup a curbside order for cotton fabric for masks.

Our neighborhood is seeing lots of dog walking all day (actually pretty normal for here), a few hours parents walking children every afternoon, and one specific pre-teen on a skateboard goes past my window about every two hours all day long. About 50% are wearing masks this week. Just saw a woman walking her dog with a mask pulled down to her chin so she could smoke.

My younger cat has been limping since yesterday, he's still his athletic self and does a lot of leaping about (our floor is apparantly made of lava detectable only by felines) but has backed down from some jumps he'd normally take. We think he pulled a muscle in his shoulder so not likely a vet could do much anyway, he doesn't seem to be in pain or lacking in energy.

I have avoided all medical care for myself since my husband died in 2012, and was trying to work myself up get my hip looked at. This whole situtation has not helped with medical anxiety at all and I will probably continue to limp along (literally) as long as I can manage to walk well enough to work from home.
posted by buildmyworld at 2:12 PM on April 8, 2020 [16 favorites]

The mother of one of my daughter's friends sent us a text, proposing that if they all stay 6 feet apart, maybe they could come over for a visit. Fortunately, we persuaded her without much effort that it's not a good idea. I expect the four of them are rubbing each others' nerves, cooped up in their small house.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:30 PM on April 8, 2020 [8 favorites]

It is rainy season and my productivity levels have gone to zero. I can barely feed myself or take my medication. The fatigue I experience when it rains is unreal and I would really like to not have to deal with it while there's a pandemic on, thanks body. It rained today and yesterday and I can't even focus on things I enjoy because I feel like shit. Also, I developed a stye on my inner eyelid, which has never happened to me before so I spent ages trying to get what I thought was a bit of grit out of my eye, using a bunch of 2 year expired eye drops in the process before I realized what the problem was and also that I shouldn't be using expired eye drops.

I'm also very worried about the WI election and the spike we're going to see in cases. So I think I'm just not going to go out at all anymore. Not even groceries. I've been trying to focus on eating anything fresh or that will expire first, and slowly buying shelf stable things whenever I need to go out for more eggs or whatever. But I'm just going to go without fresh food for a couple weeks I guess. Not worth the risk. I'm grateful that nobody in my social network is sick, but that's probably largely attributable to the fact that most of them have lost their jobs. Which sucks but I hope that will continue to keep them safe. I also have a few essential worker friends and family that I'm worried about.

In good news, my cat walked across my screen a bunch of times during a meeting today, which just gave me an excuse to show her to every new person who hopped on the call.
posted by brook horse at 2:32 PM on April 8, 2020 [19 favorites]

I learned today via an email from a relative that my cousin and their partner are mostly recovered from the coronavirus. I'm not close to this cousin (there is roughly 20+ years age difference between us), but the virus has officially hit home. Both cousin and partner are back at work, but neither has gained back their sense of taste or smell.

Otherwise, still here. Schools are closed indefinitely, but the district has been transitioning to online learning for the past 1.5 weeks and intends to begin grading assignments beginning Monday. My office is also closed indefinitely.

I have to express how phenomenal the school district superintendent has been through all of this. Bi-weekly updates via semi-live streams, where parents and kids can submit questions and comments beforehand. Copious, detailed email updates and phone calls. All tempered with kindness and good humor.

Mr. theBRKP ventures out once a week to pick up basic supplies, as he is in the best health, not a kid and has several masks he can use for protection. My allergies are still torturing me.

Both kiddo and I have had breakdowns over the past week. Kiddo is more of an extrovert and misses his tribe. I'm more of an introvert but figured out a long time ago that I needed to get out of the house on a daily basis and interact with other people for the sake of my mental health. I've been texting friends and did a Zoom happy hour, but it is not the same as actually interacting with someone else in the same space.

I'm trying to mitigate the depression and anxiety by exercising every other day. I have been keeping a daily journal (Day One) and even created a basic template to use for the specific purpose to recording my time in isolation. I also subscribed to a daily journal prompt, but I have not been keeping up on that as much as I want to.

And I'm getting good at creating a crusty loaf of bread. Last night's success was a variation of Martha Stewart's Macaroni and Cheese made with a really good Irish cheddar. I think my next task will be to try to get that recipe to a point that it does not require 2 measuring bowls, 2 pots, a deep sauté pan and a casserole dish to make.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 2:54 PM on April 8, 2020 [9 favorites]

Can’t seem to kick this thing. I thought I was doing a lot better then had a coughing fit while on the phone with my mom that was so bad I couldn’t breathe and wound up throwing up. Now she’s super worried about me which I don’t have the energy to deal with on top of everything else.

However I have been enjoying taking the dog into the yard for sunshine. The only problem is it’s like a child lure for all the unaccompanied children outside. I get that parents are probably stressed but these children are NOT good at social distancing.
posted by corb at 3:08 PM on April 8, 2020 [50 favorites]

So, my husband's dad died (not coronavirus). In New Zealand. We can't go there. They can't hold a funeral. We can't even send flowers because NZ is not doing deliveries other than food and medicine and a few other essentials at the moment. His mother was alone for the first day after the death until her other son who lived a few hours away could finally get a permit to travel.

NZ is playing this lockdown game on the strictest setting. My guess is they will actually succeed at wiping the virus out. Which means god knows when they'll be able to reopen the borders. Years, maybe. This is not context I had when I chose to relocate my life across the sea. I used to always tell my family that it was just the same as living in NZ: flights were similar in price as internal NZ flights, and that it would take less time for me to get to them in an emergency than if I lived in some parts of New Zealand.

I read about historical situations of course where borders got shut and people got stuck away from their families for years. But I never would have dreamed it could happen on a global scale like this to all of us, with almost no warning it was coming.
posted by lollusc at 3:48 PM on April 8, 2020 [74 favorites]

I didn’t sleep last night. I am a small business owner with 25 employees and I had to let one go today. She has been with us for 5 years and it’s heartbreaking, but it had to be done given the many issues going on (related to and apart from the pandemic).

But it’s my birthday. I have an amazing husband who is preparing what I’m sure is going to be an amazing meal. We have the best dog in the world. We have our health and plenty of food and wine and toilet paper.

I’m rambling. But it’s gonna be ok, y’all. We’ll keep fighting, in all arenas. But it’s gonna be ok.
posted by Fritzle at 4:05 PM on April 8, 2020 [17 favorites]

Happy birthday, Fritzle! Enjoy that wine and toilet paper!

(That sounded terrible....)
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:20 PM on April 8, 2020 [7 favorites]

lollusc, I am so sorry for your loss. That sounds tremendously hard.

corb, best wishes to you in your convalescence.

brook horse, I’m worried, too.

One super weird thing about this era is the interruption to my kid’s education, which is this bizarre mix of blessing and curse. She needs some different stuff from other kids and we’re getting the opportunity to learn more about those needs up close, but we’re getting it in a context where we’re always supposed to be doing something else with most minutes of the day. Some days I wind up feeling like I’m doing everything badly.
posted by eirias at 4:23 PM on April 8, 2020 [12 favorites]

Also, I developed a stye on my inner eyelid,

Hey, me too!

I've been going on a couple of long walks each day. Today the weather was nice and there were multiple people who were doing the "walking together while socially distancing" thing, which is great, except that they couldn't figure out how to both stay apart from each other and not walk directly into me (hint: walk in file, not in parallel, when there are oncoming people). Being out in the sun was lovely, and it is interesting seeing how people are trying to navigate the situation.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:57 PM on April 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

Pretty sure I don't have the rona -- no fever, no trouble breathing, I can completely fill my lungs and hold my breath a long time, etc. -- but I *do* have what seems like a bad cold turning into bronchitis, so I can't go for a walk or grocery shopping or to the MakerSpace to help make PPE for healthcare workers without risking terrifying people with my coughing fits, so that sucks.

I ordered a bunch of stuff to sew face masks at home and while I wait for that to arrive I have been crocheting "ear savers" for nurses etc.

At least I'm sleeping 16~20 hours/day and thus fast-forwarding through all this.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:11 PM on April 8, 2020 [11 favorites]

I just got back from my nightly 3-mile podcast/audiobook walk and I saw 3 different groups of kids that didn't appear to be siblings running around, playing tag, and doing normal kid things that should not be done right now. Otherwise, the COD family is doing as well as can be expected I guess.
posted by COD at 5:12 PM on April 8, 2020 [6 favorites]

I've basically recovered, though my chest still feels tight. Today was day 19 since first symptoms. I was lucky as hell.

I want to share this excellent piece from Emily Maitlis (BBC Newsnight):

"You do NOT survive the illness through fortitude and strength of character, whatever the Prime Minister's colleagues will tell us. And the disease is NOT a great leveller, the consequences of which everyone - rich or poor - suffers the same [...] those helping on the frontline right now - bus drivers and shelf stackers, nurses, care home workers, hospital staff and shopkeepers - are disproportionately the lower paid members of our workforce. They are more likely to catch the disease, because they are more exposed [...] This is a health issue with huge ramifications for social welfare - and it's a welfare issue with huge ramifications for public health."
posted by Acey at 5:19 PM on April 8, 2020 [44 favorites]

Moving into a new apartment tomorrow, but all my stuff has to stay in storage another month because I haven't been able to find a mover that's working. (Residential moving services are classified as essential in our state, but so far all the ones I've called are voluntarily shut down.) So I have to take the money for things like getting internet set up, to pay for another month of storage I can't afford.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:41 PM on April 8, 2020 [10 favorites]

But, hey, at least I'm not homeless anymore.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:43 PM on April 8, 2020 [48 favorites]

+1 selfnoise. I read the medium article earlier this week and started to recommend it to everyone I talked to, to the extent that I started to think I was hyping it up too much. But I'm glad it's now made it to this thread. and rereading it, it's still so resonant.

I'm right now trying to work, while Big Purr is handling bath (edit: I was called in to enforce end of bath, and am now back trying to type/work)

Big Purr had to go into his building to get an official work laptop, and may have to go there AGAIN because the IT people signed it out to him, but neglected to tell him that he'd have to first log in while wired to the internal network. It's a big DUH in retrospect, but they have been handing out laptops all week, you think maybe it's because people are taking them right home! >:|

The days are beautiful, which is a blessing and a curse, because all I want to do is dump work and do outside things with little purr, but actually have to force myself to do work, because client needs are still time dependent, and I am trying to work in 30-40 minute chunks all day (which usually means I'm looking at this thread). And our team is good, but they keep piling on more and more accountability trackers (we have 2 week look aheads, the weekly meeting agenda, deliverables and meetings attended tracker, and now a DAILY individual work log) that I am now spending about 20% of my week just doing accountability and not actual work. No more trackers people!

And little purr has now up to 5+ hours of tv/tablet a day, and STILL interrupts me when I'm on a client call. /sigh/
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 5:43 PM on April 8, 2020 [14 favorites]

I'm sick. Not sure how, since I've only left the house for short walks around the neighborhood (crossing the street anytime anyone else was nearby). I lucked into doing the SCAN test today though, so I may find out if it's corona or not (if I did the swab correctly and all that). My daughter is freaked out and snapped at me yesterday to stop touching things. Her school is closed/virtual until summer and there's doubt whether it'll come back in the fall.

I've mostly been hanging out in the bedroom, while my spouse parents, does a full time job, and comes in to be with me several times a day. I don't feel very sick, but I keep getting so tired. I hope I don't get them both sick too.
posted by Margalo Epps at 5:50 PM on April 8, 2020 [13 favorites]

My uncle had COVID-19 and thankfully recovered, though it was the sickest he's been in his 60-something years.

I see a lot of "as long as you're not a senior citizen you'll be fine" nonsense going around; I'm in my mid-30s and I have no illusions. I could get sick. I could even die. I have high blood pressure and I could stroke out if I get this. My spouse has asthma and narrow bronchioles; she could die or face serious lifelong complications if she gets this. Mostly we're doing an OK job of staying safe, but the peak is yet to come in Prince George's County, MD, even as the toll rises daily.

We're taking it one day at a time. We have a 3 year old. We're a family of extroverts and huggers. Social distancing doesn't come naturally. The kiddo has started crying because she misses her friends. We do video chats with her friends, but they're hit or miss; sometimes they cheer her up, sometimes they're an unwelcome reminder that she can't see her friends in person. I'm proud of her, though--she seems to accept that it's important that we practice social distancing, but she's just miserable about it. Still, there are moments of grace peppered through the day. We're making art together. We're baking together. We're doing "make believe" together and making up stories and jokes. But I'm fucking exhausted at the end of each day, y'all.

We're religious-ish and we say grace before meals. Usually the kiddo says grace. The other day we got takeout from a local mom-and-pop that's been struggling. The kiddo thanked God for "the workers who made our food." My heart just swelled. I'll leave it on that note.
posted by sugar and confetti at 5:52 PM on April 8, 2020 [39 favorites]

Still here, still wfh, still can't get my head round what's happened and how quickly. Things are still weirdly quiet - we live about four miles from the city centre and there's normally that low drone you get as background music, of cars and factories and commerce and life going on, but not now. It isn't completely silent, but every noise sounds like it's coming from under a blanket a very long way away. The other thing that's conspicuous by its almost-absence is the noise of aircraft; we're not that far from Birmingham Airport and now whenever one goes over we wonder where to and why instead of just not registering them.

I am still up and down. The staying in is not a problem but I still recognise myself as a potential death waiting to happen if I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time - I'm the only driver and shopping / taking Dad MMDP his shopping falls to me (and I'm ok with that) despite the diabetes etc. It just can't be helped - Dad MMDP is being issued with face masks when he goes to dialysis, a new one every time, so he's going to hang on to one of his old ones for me. Better than nothing and I can have a go at sterilising it somehow (suggestions welcome - I have a few ideas).

I have never and will never vote Tory in my life, but I was unaccountably distressed by the PM going into intensive care. I think he's a person with some dangerously right wing ideas hidden under the jolly bumbling charm and blond mop but to be faced with the idea that the elected leader could die in the middle of this chaos and confusion was disorienting. I suppose it's what he represents instead of who he is but I found it upsetting.

And not for the first time, I'm glad I like my life partner as a person, as well as love him.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 5:55 PM on April 8, 2020 [21 favorites]

Strong chance that our rapid shift to telemedicine is going to do us in. It's the right thing to do to flatten the curve and protect patients -- and therefore it's the right thing to do, full stop -- but unfortunately our patients are either unwilling or unable to handle the shift, and everyone is just rescheduling in the misguided belief that this will be over soon. I have two patients on my schedule tomorrow, down from a usual 12. Some of my colleagues have none. Our research efforts are also frozen, which was a LOT of grant/pharma money that's now not getting delivered. And of course anything even semi-elective, like epilepsy surgery, is on hold.

We have some departmental reserves, so we should be able to make payroll for April, but after that? I suspect it's either pay cuts for the physicians (we're not going to cut staff pay, and I have heard nary a peep about administration taking pay cuts themselves) or working double for several months to make up the shortfall -- so effectively, a pay cut. I guess that's better than the alternative, which is firing docs -- which has happened already to several of my colleagues at other places.

I realize this is a privileged problem, when so many others are in the same boat, but ... I somehow never thought that physicians would be unemployed in the middle of a fucking pandemic.

Someone posted on facebook that this pandemic will have three waves: the one we're in right now, the second one whenever social distancing lets up, and the third one of all the chronic conditions that were left by the wayside while the world focused on a spiky-ball virus.
posted by basalganglia at 6:37 PM on April 8, 2020 [59 favorites]

basalganglia, that's awful! -- not just for you, but societally.
posted by eirias at 7:44 PM on April 8, 2020 [5 favorites]

I went to the triage tent today and had the test, because I have all the symptoms and the cough started today. But I might just have strep, I did have fever for the last few days, headache, fine. If Popeye's Chicken won't cure this, then this is not the life I signed up for. I have a stiff antibiotic, so that I don't have a couple of things going on, besides a virus. I am going to bed early. Both of the drugs I was given today can make symptoms exactly like Covid 19, that did not escape me. Ha ha ha. I am skipping the cough medicine of death. I will find some robitussin somewhere. Yeah, going to be OK.
posted by Oyéah at 7:56 PM on April 8, 2020 [29 favorites]

Stay safe, Oyéah
posted by mumimor at 7:59 PM on April 8, 2020 [7 favorites]

The hospital I work at does the first aid station for Fenway Park. Last week, on what was supposed to be opening day, instead of hanging out before the game in an empty park, helping them with their WiFi, I was instead on a call where we were preparing to get 1000 new infusion pumps into the ICU.

I am fortunate I can do my job from home, though as basalganglia pointed out hospitals everywhere are going to be really hurting. You'd think a lot of sick people would be good for a hospital but you'd be wrong. I hope my job survives this.

I hurt my arm somehow, I have no idea how, but I think I'm just sort of going to have to live with it for a while.

My kid is a senior in high school and everything is being cancelled on her. Things were kind of sucking for her anyway lately (for REASONS) and now everything is sucking even more. I won't get to see her walk down the aisle for graduation. Who knows if college will even start in the fall.

We might have Easter dinner with my mom, sitting on separate park benches.

I'm healthy, for now. I have a good family. I'm lucky. But this fucking sucks. Everything fucking sucks.

Be well, friends.
posted by bondcliff at 7:59 PM on April 8, 2020 [26 favorites]

Those pet rats that I was talking about maaaaaaybe getting to alleviate lack of mammalian cuddles while social distancing alone in the previous thread? I ordered a cage today, a really nice one, and confirmed with the local mom and pop pet store that they have rats in stock. So, uh, I'm getting rats sometime next week. I'm nervous about the part where I actually go to the pet store and get them, but looking forward to having them is really brightening my day. The pet store said there's not been many people in the store so social distancing won't be much of a problem.
posted by bridgebury at 8:01 PM on April 8, 2020 [25 favorites]

My sister reminded me today that the absolutely FLATTENING "flu" she had in late January actually came with her losing her sense of smell for 3-4 days, and we're wondering a little if she had it. She's been fighting hard at her "essential" (but not actually) state agency job to get her staff to be able to work from home as much as possible which they would be able to do more except they don't have laptops and the VPN is already overloaded. She's been responsible for tracking down scarce sanitizer and PPE and is absolutely livid that admin staff are basically going to be asked, by their boss's boss "Do you feel comfortable coming in to the office?" She is their boss and refused to ask them ("It's coercion!") and is basically coaching them how to say no if their real answer is no. (NB, if you know my sister IRL, please do not spread this story around, it's all somewhat touchy as you might expect)
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:17 PM on April 8, 2020 [50 favorites]

Here in Oregon, Governor Brown announced today that the school closures (previously set to end on April 28) are now extended through the end of the school year. I'm a speech-language pathologist working across multiple schools, and I found out about it while on a Zoom meeting with the same teacher I had been talking to the last day I was in one of my schools - at which point I was still saying I didn't think we'd really go so far as to close schools. Hard to believe how much has changed since that March 12, when even two weeks of closure seemed so extreme. We've all been working for about 2 weeks now to figure out how distance learning will work; that's going to start this Monday and I'll reserve comments until we've all - students, families, teachers, staff, and specialists alike - found our footing. It will be good to see people again, even if only over my laptop.

I know it was a decision that had to be made, but I think I've been in denial about it this whole time and it's starting to hit me now that I won't get to see my kids again this year. This is my first year on the job and I've loved working with these students. Some of them are seniors. Almost all of them are in special ed and many are medically fragile. I just want everyone to be happy and safe and healthy, but I want to see them all again, too. Maybe things will start to look up once distance learning starts next week - hopefully we can at least provide some sense of connection and structure for our students.

For any parents out there with kids who are out of school right now, know that your kids are missed.
posted by DingoMutt at 8:32 PM on April 8, 2020 [27 favorites]

Checking in from Seattle.

It's been beautiful here. Cherry trees blooming in a froth of pink, lawns freshly green, spring bulbs in flower, birds chirping and sunny days.

It's been exactly one month since I had any meaningful in-person social contact. My cat is the extent of my physical social life.

I am exhausted from being on Zoom meetings for work all day. Talking and talking and talking and staring into the camera.

I was supposed to be in London visiting my partner this week, and she was supposed to come over here next month. That obviously isn't going to happen. Thankfully we have both been in good health so far, but if something happens to her there is not much I can do about it from here and that weighs on me. We don't know when we will see each other again and that weighs on me too.

Pandemic be damned, I will have fresh fruits and vegetables so I go grocery shopping every weekend. It's weird. I mean, it's a normal weekend thing to do and the shops are the same, the foods stocked are the same (except for the shortage of bread flour I guess), the guy at the fish counter is the same, but instead of the busy crush of people we're all lining up politely and then scuttling away from each other like surprised insects. The bustling restaurants are empty. The sidewalks are empty. The roads are empty. It's all empty and quiet like early on Christmas morning except that the holiday never arrives.
posted by 4rtemis at 8:38 PM on April 8, 2020 [33 favorites]

I too had a side-swiping 'flu' at the end of Feb, a suitable number of days after I had flown through both Vegas, LAX and DFW (both huge airports) and also the same week there was fuss about how people had been flown through our local airport to be quarantined and that people hadn't taken isolation procedures seriously on the trip. I went through there 6 times in the time around that happening...

It was a BRUTAL illness. I was driving back on a four hour trip from a work gig and had to get a hotel an hour from home because I absolutely wasn't safe to drive. I went from 'fine' to 'HAVE to stop' and unable to focus on the road at all inside 90 mins. I had shortness of breath fever and the whole nine yards, but managed to finish the rest of the trip the next day (daylight was easier, some flu pills helped a little, went very slow) But it was SKETCHY and I collapsed in bed for a few days when I got back. I manage to bluster my way through most illnesses and giving in and going to bed at all is usually unheard of for me, so my wife was very worried when I didn't even get up for 2-3 days. It knocked me sideways and I have been looking to get involved in the antibody testing they are announcing in the Bay Area and near me that could be of use to people. I'd like to know. Especially if the information is helpful and the antibodies could be used.

I'm convinced it has been here longer than we realise, just unrecognised, and there is a growing feeling that is the case in California.

As for getting through the quarantine.... it will be rough. Every single source of income I could have had has been cancelled/postponed from 16th March until at least (at this point) mid June. Which is by far my busiest time. And more things are getting cancelled all the time. My industry is the first worldian of first world problems, so nobody is going to rush to have an event of the kind of size I work at and risk being a hotspot and a court case, I suspect. So I think I will lose a solid 4 months at least of income. That won't come back, because time to reschedule them is finite, and a set number of events will also evaporate because they will now be on the same weekends. So I think I will lose 50% of my income this year even if it all gets going again in July. Which is.... not certain at this point. Plus I am the sole breadwinner. Fortunately we had been saving for a lifestyle change (back to full time RV'ing!!!!!!) and had been on lockdown for costs for the last year, so I have a buffer in the business that I think will get us through as long as we spend nothing. At least, with my business, I have utterly minuscule costs unless I am flying to an event that I know I will be paid for.
posted by Brockles at 9:06 PM on April 8, 2020 [30 favorites]

The last time I went to a grocery I bought 40 limes and should have bought 80 -- I use them on much of what I eat, mix them in with much of what I drink. (Iced coffee and squeezed limes, I love it.) Also just in iced water, and/or electrolyte drink.) I did buy enough bananas, the fridge overfoweth, they look brown and weird but peel them back and they're perfectly ripe and firm.)

For literally ten years I've been "going to" sprout various things, I've even had a bunch of seeds in a plastic container, waiting on me. The wait is over. I started with broccoli seeds because Rhonda Patrick swears by them and I surely do trust her. (It's on the internet -- it must be true!) So I've got a mason jar under a grow light right now, it's ridiculously full of sprouted seeds, probably another day under the grow light and then into the fridge or even freezer maybe, as that would kill any lurking crap that somehow got into it. I've grabbed a couple of large pinches out of the mason jar, they taste like shit so probably good for me, right? It's been fun watching this happen, I love sprouts but never done it myself. But -- if this isn't fresh greens I don't know what is.)

It's gorgeous here, a million billion people are off work and out of school and they want sunshine and they want to run on the hike/bike trail I ride daily. Evidently they are all brain-dead, almost none of them wearing even a bandanna, much less any real protection. Six foot? It's like they can't read. I ride late, because I''m a night bird but also mostly because no one is respectful. I'm amazed at how cavalier these people are.
posted by dancestoblue at 10:10 PM on April 8, 2020 [7 favorites]

jessamyn, I hear that - I was sick as hell during December and January, lost my sense of taste and smell for a month and was constantly coughing for two. I went to urgent care twice, once with a high fever I chalked up to the gross sinus infection I got after a month of coughing. This involved a metric ton of mucus, so I've been assuming I had something else, but the taste and smell problem gives me pause. (I mean, I walked into a Lush store and didn't smell a thing, it was that bad.) A friend who's studied virology thinks I should get the antibody test when one is available.

The weather right now is Seattle's best self. The air smells floral and salty at night, and it's sunny but cool. My plum tree is blooming and my crabapple is thinking about it. My neglected community garden plot is bursting with delicious feral broccoli, chard and dandelion greens, which I'm eating raw with the zeal of someone missing an important vitamin or mineral. This would be a lovely early April if I had contact with ANY HUMANS besides my kid. I'm an introvert, but I'm not a hermit, and it's getting to me.

A friend had a Zoom Passover seder with attendees from three countries tonight. Hearing our overlapping stories was sobering. We all know people who've become very sick or died. We're all okay but worried. The things people were using in place of matzah were at least entertaining (in my case, stale saltines - in my defense I'm not actually Jewish).

My ex and I are doing custody exchanges three times a week, and it is the only way I (working from home, isolating, and pretty well stocked up) will likely be exposed. It scares me every time. Kiddo (age 5) really wants to have a play date with someone, she really can't, and she has to endure my half-assed teaching while I simultaneously work as part of the COVID mitigation team at the health department. This time will be her first clear memories and I keep wondering what will stick.
posted by centrifugal at 11:46 PM on April 8, 2020 [19 favorites]

Australia here. We'll see how we go at handling the disease, this next weekend will be a big test, as traditionally people get away for what is usually the last nice weekend before winter and gather with family. Especially looked forward to, this year, as holidays over summer were impacted by drought, bush-fires and floods.

People are definitely starved for social interaction- if I do venture out (say for a walk) anyone I see is a wave and a hello- across the street of course!

My big frustration at the moment is that I was a good citizen and did a big shop before the predicted Thursday busy day (prior to Easter) and stocked the house with lots of good things, trying to last as long as we can between going to the shops. I have since been diagnosed with gestational diabetes so feeling very frustrated that I have to not eat the chocolate that I bought, and have to weigh up whether the bread, rice and pasta that we have is low or high GI. Also we are just going to have to venture out more often so I can eat fresh veg. Although with working from home starting up, I won't be too inconvenienced with having to prick-test. I guess it's an excuse to bake up some sourdough.

basalganglia- yeah I had my midwife's appointment in person today (can't get a flu jab over the phone!) and both when I arrived and when I left older people had rocked up to reception, only to have the receptionist explain that the doctor is not in, doing phone calls now. "Oh OK so I need to go home". (It's hard not to eavesdrop when the volume required to explain this is a bit higher)

My next three medical appointments are tele-health, which is good, if a bit daunting!

My husband just left for a walk with his best friend who we haven't seen for probably close to a month, after we remembered that you are allowed to go for a walk as a pair as long as social distancing is followed. I waved out the window at them as they left. For mental health reasons for the both of them it's a real positive. I feel like we are at a stage with COVID that is mindful, not fearful- though I don't begrudge the extreme measures overseas!

I've been chatting to a friend who is in a real catch-22 situation- she has broken up with her boyfriend, but he pointed out that as a health care worker, she shouldn't really move in with her cousin & cousin's baby, nor with her other friends who have young kids or expecting them. She also can't go home because her parents are immune compromised. So she is staying with him (and his parents) a bit longer, but fingers crossed she gets a rental ASAP. Real life Ask.Metafilter, and I'm hoping my collected wisdom from mefi is being helpful- she says it is!
posted by freethefeet at 12:23 AM on April 9, 2020 [11 favorites]

centrifugal, reading your comment made me think of this poem by Inger Christensen (link to google book English translation):

apricot trees exist, apricot trees exist

bracken exists; and blackberries, blackberries;
bromine exists; and hydrogen, hydrogen

cicadas exist; chicory, chromium,
citrus trees; cicadas exist;
cicada, cedars, cypresses, the cerebellum

doves exist, dreamers, and dolls;
killers exist, and doves, and doves;
haze, dioxin, and days; days
exist, days and death; and poems
exist; poems, days, death

(it continues, though not through the whole alphabet)
It's an amazing poem and highly relevant: structured over the Fibonacci sequence, each element is the sum of the lengths the lengths of the two former. And while the poem begins with the apricot trees (that I always imagine are flowering), as it grows it includes more and more hints at the damage humans do to the world.
posted by mumimor at 2:28 AM on April 9, 2020 [35 favorites]

Today is the 80th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Denmark, and there's hardly a mention of it in the media. Normally it would front be page, since people love their WWII. I'd forgotten yesterday but if the flower shop is open today, I'll buy a wreath for my grandparents (shops here are normally closed today, tomorrow, Sunday and Monday because of Easter. Flower shops can be open, but nothing is normal).
It's also my dog's birthday. He doesn't remember, but I'll find a treat for him.

It's been another sleepless night, but it doesn't really matter: all university employees, and many other public employees, are on a forced holiday. I'll take it easy today and try to find a balance between needing sleep and not disrupting my sleep rhythm completely.
posted by mumimor at 2:46 AM on April 9, 2020 [7 favorites]

My quarantine has lifted and I continue to be just fine. I am indeed going back to my office - but only because my office is a five block walk in very empty streets. It's empty even when there isn't a pandemic, and even emptier now.

My boss has been there, and told me a couple days ago that it was a complete ghost town. We have a two-floor suite in a coworking space, with maybe fifty people there in our suite; we're down to maybe five people in our suite, and maybe two in the rest of the co-working space. Everyone who turns up at our office will get a mask or two.

I talked this over with my roommate and he's comfortable with this as well; I will hit a shower as soon as I get home each day for extra safety.

I'm actually more concerned about the grocery run I'm making on my way home after work (I work two buildings over from the Wegmans here in Brooklyn) because that may be a bit more busy. I'm hedging my bets there by going immediately after I clock off at 5 and planning to stock up for another two weeks. Wegmans is more spacious than the other market near us, and they've got more of a safety protocol in place, so that helps as well.

....I may also splurge and pick up one of the wild boar tenderloins if they still have them, because why not.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:59 AM on April 9, 2020 [7 favorites]

Guess what? I just got the swab (yech) and soon I'll be going upstairs to where Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson were. It's really amazing how clean they're keeping the emergency ward - even washing the ceiling after each patient is moved - whether discharged or up to the infectious ward. I guess i don't need to be scared about getting it anymore- I'll know in 48 hours. The staff are so lovely, and face blindness doesn't matter when everybody is gowned and masked. I'm Australian, so I don't need to worry about the cost. I just wish I would stop bumping my canula.
posted by b33j at 4:06 AM on April 9, 2020 [52 favorites]

eirias, thank you. In normal times, we are extremely busy as a tertiary referral center -- my average wait times are 4 months for a new appointment. But these are not normal times. And the challenge of working with mostly elderly people with a disease-induced tendency to prefer routine to change is that a sharp left turn to telemedicine isn't going over as well as we'd expected. I get a lot of angry calls about 'canceling the appointment.'

Central Admin just sent out the usual morning email from the hospital covid task force. Every day, there's an inspirational quote at the top. Today's was Henry David Thoreau "Goodness is the only investment that never fails."

Can I pay my mortgage with goodness???
posted by basalganglia at 4:34 AM on April 9, 2020 [10 favorites]

Oh, all the best b33j. The swab is gross, hey! (Had one several years ago for whooping cough.)
posted by freethefeet at 4:43 AM on April 9, 2020 [6 favorites]

I'm in Utah which has, in comparison, been doing fairly well overall. But it's still terrifying being disabled and chronically ill and just hoping. After last year's living hell for us (a major surgery each within 6 months), we were so ready to ring in 2020 and it feels like a cruel joke.

My spouse's work has so far been okay but he has trouble working from home. Not to mention sharing 900 sqft. (I know people have smaller. We have an office, but still cramped.)

On top of it, I sprained my ankle and had to go to the walk-in 2 weeks ago. (Luckily empty at the end of the night and they got me through quickly). But now I also have a decent sized ovarian cyst (2/3 the size of my ovary as of a few weeks ago) and I've had 3 days of sharp pain. If it were any other time, I would have already been to the ER to get it checked. But now, I'm waiting on a call from my GP to try to get into an ultrasound elsewhere and keeping my fingers crossed that it's not anything that needs treatment. It's the only ovary I've got left.

But even more than the fear I have now, I'm worried about all the difficulty we - especially disabled people like myself - will have just getting back into our regular or needed appointments. I really hope they start prioritizing people who need care rather than regular checkups.

Oh, and I'm still figuring out what's supposed to happen with my SSDI hearing. So far I think they're offering phone hearings, which we will likely want to pass on and reschedule. I've been trying to get through this system for 2 years after not working for 5. It's exhausting. I already had my hearing moved once. It's entirely defeating amongst everything.
posted by Crystalinne at 4:46 AM on April 9, 2020 [24 favorites]

I flew from FLL back to Boston on March 14th, but seem to have gotten nothing except a mild cold that showed up during my two week self-quarantine. I've been able to work from home, but not much else. I know several groups making PPE ranging from sewn fabric masks to plastic face shields, but I haven't managed to get my shit together enough to offer labor to help. When I get too freaked out, I throw money at a local food bank.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:56 AM on April 9, 2020 [4 favorites]

Went out for groceries this week. We've been shopping once a month thanks to my usually inappropriate fascination with bulk dry goods.

Couple of people threw trash at me and told me to go home. I don't think they meant to my apartment a few blocks away or even the neighborhood where I was born a few miles away.

Unfortunately, I married a white Midwestern woman who doesn't appear to understand how quickly this sort of thing can go south. She's already trying to get me to go out again for potatoes. We have months' worth of rice, pasta, bread, sweet potatoes, flour, oats, and crackers, but she really wants white potatoes. :(
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 6:15 AM on April 9, 2020 [79 favorites]

If you're looking for Good News -

There's a bar in Tybee Island, Georgia where customers used to pin dollar bills to the wall as a sort of "I was here" thing, and have been doing so for 15 years. That bar is now closed during the pandemic and the owner was sitting in it one day about a week ago wondering how she could help her staff. And as she stared at the wall, it hit her.

It took three and a half days, but she and a couple volunteers took down all 15 years' worth of bills stapled to the walls, and then spent another week sorting them into "useable" and "unusable" (and similarly doing so for foreign currency). In the end, she had nearly $4,000 in cash which she could distribute among her staff. Some customers heard what was happening and donated some money to the cause as well, upping the total $4,100.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:35 AM on April 9, 2020 [78 favorites]

I get a lot of angry calls about 'canceling the appointment.'

I wonder if this is why the person from my gynecologist's office sounded so relieved when she called me yesterday about my routine appointment next week and I said, "I hope you're cancelling it."

I have an infusion tomorrow, so the good news is that, as of right now, the cancer center still seems to be open. The bad news is I have to go hang out there for a few hours. They are as careful as it is possible to be, but it's hard not to be stressed out by it.
posted by FencingGal at 6:48 AM on April 9, 2020 [17 favorites]

We have little to complain about, thankfully. We're both healthy, most of our friends and family are fine (more on that in a sec), and we've been able to source just about any supplies we need. Still can't find toilet paper anywhere, but we had a decent enough stock before the hoarders hit so we're not desperate yet. Since they're not serving restaurants for the time being, the local food distributors have started selling directly to consumers at wholesale prices which has been interesting - we've been able to get some really good seafood straight from the dock, and we got a big box of produce delivered from the liquor store (along with a big order of beer).

We've still been taking the dog for walks at our usual place, but we may have to start rethinking that. It's usually a very quiet location (which we picked specifically because the dog is nervous around strangers), but since nothing else is open everyone has been descending on the park. The usual dog walkers are all gone, replaced with large groups of families and lots of other folks who obviously have never been to this place before. It seems like these folks feel that since they're outside the social distancing rules don't apply, so we end up standing on the side of the trail while big groups block the intersections or let their children try to run up and pet the dog. Between all the extra traffic and our newfound anxiety around being out of the house, the dog has really not been enjoying the walks she used to love.

We have a friend who's a doctor in NYC, and he and his girlfriend both got the virus. Luckily, their symptoms were mild-to-nonexistent, but they were quarantined for a couple weeks and are now back at work. He was telling us that the hospital is now simply assuming every staff member has the virus, but they still need to keep the facility running so everyone's working with the appropriate level of caution.

A family friend passed away recently. My uncle's closest friend was admitted to the hospital a few weeks ago; he was a smoker and asthmatic and developed a respiratory condition. This was all before people were taking the coronavirus as seriously as they are now, so my uncle and his family went to visit the guy every day in the hospital until he died. Then they all got sick. Luckily, all the family members seem to have recovered.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:53 AM on April 9, 2020 [18 favorites]

Reporting in from my office. I am the only person on the second floor of my aforementioned two-floor suite. I have only seen one other person all day, and he sits on the first floor of the suite. He's our safety coordinator and part of his job is now making periodic walks around the facility to make sure we're all practicing social distancing and such.

The fact that I'm the only one even up here turned his job into more of a social call (him standing in the hall outside my office, me standing 8 feet back inside my office) and we just talked about meatball recipes for a few minutes.

If it stays this quiet I may try to sneak out and do my grocery shopping during lunch, to increase my chances that it's less crowded. I may also do what I've done in other offices when I'm the only one there - put on "Time Warp" and give myself a dance party.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:59 AM on April 9, 2020 [11 favorites]

I developed a low-grade fever on April 1st. This was my only symptom until Sunday, when I started having shortness of breath and a dry cough. I couldn’t finish a sentence without gasping so headed to the ER on the advice of the CDC symptom checker. I was seen in a tent in the driveway in front of the hospital. My oxygen was good and lungs clear so they told me to go home and rest. I got the nose swab and the result was negative. But the email they sent me said to continue self-isolation because it could be a false negative. The fever comes and goes. I get out of breath if I talk or do anything other than lie down. I am very very lucky to have my partner here to take care of me (he has the same symptoms but milder) and a relatively secure job that I can do from home. Nothing I can do but give it time.
posted by fozzie_bear at 7:53 AM on April 9, 2020 [40 favorites]

meaty shoe puppet, I'm so, so sorry that happened to you. People can be so horrible. Hugs (internet hugs are already socially distancing appropriate!) to you, if you want them.

My BIL was sick recently (just a cold) but was talking with his doctor (via telehealth) and she (the doctor) thinks that the absolutely terrible flu-like illness he had in January could have been Covid-19. He slept for 20 hours a day for about a week, dry cough, lost his sense of smell, high fever. At the time, he just assumed that he had a lot of congestion and that's why he lost his sense of smell, but my MIL (with whom he lives) insists that he didn't sound congested at all. Really hoping for an antibody test soon. I'd like to reduce my worry-list by at least two people, if I can.
posted by cooker girl at 7:58 AM on April 9, 2020 [11 favorites]

I'm ready to destroy capitalism. They're so kindly offering 3 month short-term leases for my apartment building but oh the rent would go up $265 per month. If I signed for 13/14 months only $98.33 increase! Wow! Capitalism!

The apartment below me and one next to me are vacant. Yeah, enjoy having half of these hundred units empty, I guess.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:37 AM on April 9, 2020 [12 favorites]

I live alone, have worked from home for years, and in general am pretty used to not having much of a social life. I thought I would get through this without feeling lonely. LOL, said the universe, have a big bag of loneliness!

So I got on Tinder, thinking it would at least be an interesting way to pass time, and promptly met someone really interesting. Like, REALLY interesting. And he's available, and I'm available, and we live so close together, and I want so badly to just hang out in person with him, and... we can't. Even though we both live alone and have low risk profiles and have been minimizing time in public areas as much as possible and are both totally symptom free... we can't.

It feels like such a cruel joke, that I would encounter someone worthwhile (after years of staunch singlehood) right when I truly cannot be around them.
posted by palomar at 8:51 AM on April 9, 2020 [29 favorites]

meaty shoe puppet, that's awful and I'm sorry. I don't understand at all how people can see what's happening in the world right now and think abusing someone else is the answer. It's vicious and unjustifiable and I hate it.
posted by invincible summer at 8:56 AM on April 9, 2020 [15 favorites]

palomar, I keep thinking about that kind of thing every single time I see a "love in the time of corona" (BLECH) dating article. Like, wouldn't that make it worse?

My crush has basically done a couple of proof-I'm-still-alive texts and that's about it. He ain't feeling chatty. This whole "thing" between us, whatever it was, is highly likely to die under the circumstances. And maybe that's all for the best, because of this whole thing that might last years for all we know, and it might make it a lot worse to try to be close with someone you can't be close with. God knows we weren't on the level of communicating solo very often before and I don't think he is super comfortable with doing that as yet.

I debate about this in my head constantly. It's all so very stupid.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:15 AM on April 9, 2020 [9 favorites]

I miss childcare so much. Extremely much.
posted by beandip at 9:27 AM on April 9, 2020 [20 favorites]

Unfortunately, I married a white Midwestern woman who doesn't appear to understand how quickly this sort of thing can go south.

I hope she understands that she needs to do the shopping now. I'm ready to do it for my household (as soon as I'm well and any of us can leave again) if my spouse would like me to.
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:33 AM on April 9, 2020 [30 favorites]

meaty shoe puppet, wtf, that's awful and I'm so sorry. It's especially hard when the people close to you don't seem to understand.
posted by sunset in snow country at 9:36 AM on April 9, 2020 [7 favorites]

meaty shoe puppet, what a terrible experience. I am so sorry you are having to deal with people like that in addition to the stress of the pandemic and lockdown. Also sorry that your wife has not been more understanding and protective of you.
posted by 4rtemis at 9:50 AM on April 9, 2020 [6 favorites]

I’m sorry, meaty shoe puppet.
I stopped at a convenience store the other day for an emergency taco chip run - a treat after voting. I overheard a clerk telling her coworker about a customer who had poured an entire carton of almond milk on the floor. She had to deal with the rude (maybe drunk?) customer and clean up the spill. I felt bad for her and wondered if it was a sign of people starting to lose it. But then I thought, was that a crazy political statement? Since I’m in Wisconsin, it made me wonder if it was some angry person going nuts about non-dairy milk. I’ve noticed my conservative relatives are sometimes angry about non-dairy milk consumption in general, it’s a culture war tactic to pit liberals against “hard working, blue collar farmers” (who apparently never suffer from lactose intolerance. It’s also stupid because so many younger farmers are liberals & environmentalists). Anyway. A moment of appreciation for that convenience store worker and thank god I don’t work food service or retail anymore.
Unrelated, but I’ve been really sad about John Prine.

posted by areaperson at 10:15 AM on April 9, 2020 [13 favorites]

They are having to dump milk due to lack of demand. Dairies are shuttering at unbelievable speeds, especially in Wisconsin. So if it was a really angry, pissed off dairy producer... they would have a reason to be. Not that I'm agreeing with what they did, but the plight of dairy farmers is super real and bad.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:18 AM on April 9, 2020 [4 favorites]

I know that. That’s what made me think it’s more than just a drunk person, as she seemed to think. Of course that’s not a reason to take their anger out on a Kwik Trip clerk.
posted by areaperson at 10:23 AM on April 9, 2020 [6 favorites]

My girlfriend was already furloughed and I work from home. We think we will be able to make ends meet as long as my upcoming 2 week unpaid furlough isn't extended indefinitely (as hers was). Regardless we are more fortunate than most and that is a constant, humbling thought.

A little over a week ago I finally couldn't take leaving my 74 year old father at home alone. He has early Alzheimer's and was having problems remembering why he couldn't drive to the Senior Center a couple of miles from his home. We also couldn't be sure he would remember to eat, or to stay away from his daily trips to the post office, or grocery store.

We went over, picked him up (and his batshit crazy dog) and we haven't been off the property since. It has taken a bit to get him acclimated in the new environment, but it is infinitely better for us all to be together. The isolation was draining him, the worry was getting to us. Now we are closer than ever. They're starting a garden as I WFH and we're all trying new games, puzzles, karaoke (i'm the only one not tone deaf so that's interesting), etc to break the neverending netflix/news binging cycle.

Then yesterday we learn that my 20 year old son's room mate has all the C19 symptoms. Awaiting test results (up to 3 days). Not sure any amount of preparation will keep us sane if/when one of us actually catches it. Definitely a new layer of stress.

Stay safe, stay strong, stay kind.
posted by HyperBlue at 10:32 AM on April 9, 2020 [21 favorites]

meaty shoe puppet, that's awful and I'm sorry.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:32 AM on April 9, 2020 [8 favorites]

If anyone wants an uplifting story, my partner's mom just happens to be the scariest investigative reporter in my state who has front page columns three times a week. She investigates shoddy landlords and such all the time. Sooooo my little fun interaction with my landlord might be an interesting story in these wonderful times.

My friend works for the city I'm in and says their apartment complexes are being evaluated at low market value due to extremely low occupancy. I wonder why!

So yeah, I'm all for busting the fucking balls off these people.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:43 AM on April 9, 2020 [12 favorites]

I'm so sorry for everyone going through such awful things. You are all in my thoughts.

I'm in relatively good shape--my spouse and I both have our jobs still, we can work from home, everyone we know has been healthy thus far. And's hard. I just broke down because one of my husbands customers wants him to go do an equipment inspection for insurance purposes--and it's PROBABLY super safe. Nobody else would be around, etc. But...I keep reading about people who are sick and don't know how they got it, they've been doing self isolating, etc. And, national politics are a mess. A nd, I live in Wisconsin, so local politics have been going from bad to utterly awful since 2010. All these stay at home efforts may be for naught because of this election stunt on Tuesday. And, I'm starting to lose my focus at work, why am I posting lectures and assignments at this point? I know I have to, my students are expecting it, and my institution has been amazing, but it's just hard to even be motivated.

And my stand mixer died mid-batch of bread dough today.

All these are such minor, petty whines. SO minor, I know. Thanks for letting me vent them out.
posted by TheFantasticNumberFour at 10:54 AM on April 9, 2020 [15 favorites]

Yes, our very heavy use Hamilton Beach Toaster over gave up the ghost a day or so ago. Ordered that sweet thing Kenji was using to make that tortilla pizza in, so, if it ever arrives, should be good. But yeah, minor first world problems there...

And our mixer has also started acting weird.
posted by Windopaene at 10:57 AM on April 9, 2020 [4 favorites]

The mother of a friend of mine died yesterday after hospitalization due to dementia. I used to have "just walk in" privileges at the house where that friend grew up, and always talked with friend's mom in the kitchen.

My own parents seem to be doing OK. I just had a care package of food delivered to their home. My dad's birthday was last Sunday and I left the house to take a long scenic drive to deliver a package to their door and give my dad a birthday elbow-bump. Didn't get close to my mom at all, since she's been in and out of hospitals recently.

I'm disappointed about a letter I received from the Red Cross after giving blood a few weeks ago. They tested my blood for various things, and one test for HCV antibodies came up positive. When they tested again, it came up negative. They suggested I see my doctor for blood work, which I did, so I know officially that I don't have hepatitis C. But the mere fact that one test came up positive means I can no longer donate blood to the Red Cross unless I'm donating for myself. It has never come up before in past blood tests, and I have no clue how I even could have been exposed to the virus.
posted by emelenjr at 11:16 AM on April 9, 2020 [11 favorites]

So I was meant to go to a new job this Friday in AK, I called and they postponed me to next month. Fine. I'm staying with family in PA, my stuff is in NY in a Ubox pod thing. Great. The thing that is killing me is 1) What if they postpone me again? 2) What if they rescind my job offer? 3) What if my stuff ships anyway (it's not supposed to! But that specific Uhaul depot has not inspired my confidence so far!) 4) What if I also lose my NY job which so far WFH but only for sure through April? I really don't want to go back to retail and it's hard to imagine getting hired in another library if a big chunk of people from the tri-library system are all out of work at once.

We're doing WFH, and while I'd love to run virtual programs for patrons, my home computer is a potato running Linux and that's largely incompatible with what work wants. So there's the worry that because of my personal computing choices, I'm going to be out of a job....which is probably unrealistic, but it is frustrating.

My wife can't work (massage therapist, not something you can do from afar unless it's noncontact energy work and she's too honest and scientific for that nonsense.) So she's staying with family and it's...going. I mean, just when we get out shit together so we can live in the same state, this happens. Ugh.

My mom and her partner probably have the flu or the virus. They don't have insurance, they're on the opposite coast, and I can't help them. Mild so far, but it could turn. There's a unique powerlessness to that and I don't like it one bit.

The good news: I'm staying with my favorite aunt until I fly to AK in May or until I get to go back to my old, empty apartment to wait it out some more. We're having a fine time, I convince her to go on walks and eat vegetarian and do all the heavy chores while I'm here (vac behind couch, flip mattress, etc.) We got a sourdough starter and don't really know what to do with it other than feeding it-- I sense pancakes are in our future because we've had it a day, fed it twice, and it's already the size of my head. Needs a name!
posted by blnkfrnk at 11:16 AM on April 9, 2020 [14 favorites]

So, I work retail. On the Monday two weeks ago I woke up with a cough and a stuffy nose. No fever. Allergies, I thought. I went to work. Tuesday I was still coughing but still had no fever, so I went to work. Tuesday night my temperature started to rise. Wednesday (two weeks ago yesterday) I woke up with a low fever and called out of work. The next day my manager called me and said that I couldn't return to work until I'd had a test, so I called my doctor.

"I've been told I can't return to work until I get a test."
"You'd have to make an appointment."
"So, uh, when can I get an appointment?"
"Can you be here tomorrow at 9:30?"
"Well, I can't go to work, so sure!"

My doctor's office gave me a note saying I was out "until cleared by physician." For the next week my wife and I both had to watch every symptom either of us had, since she seemed to be about four days behind me, but with a higher (but still moderate) fever and a worse cough. My test results took a week. My wife did a telemedicine session during that limbo week and they ended up giving her the same prescriptions I had, plus an albuterol inhaler because her cough was worse than mine. But they didn't have her come in for a test because I'd been tested and my results would probably just extend to her. Last Friday my results came back: negative. My doctor cleared me to return to work.

Monday was supposed to be my first scheduled day back. Monday morning, though, my manager called and said store management wanted me to stay out a full two weeks from my first day out (even though both my doctor and CDC guidelines said I was OK to return). And also their version of "two weeks" runs fifteen days for some reason. I mean, that's all fine, you want me to stay home longer I'll stay home longer. The wrinkle, though, was that our store's HR person said that because I tested negative I wouldn't qualify for the special covid-19 paid leave and I'd have to use up my sick leave and accrued vacation days if I wanted to get paid.

This was incorrect, but it has taken me several days of calls and online form submissions to get an answer directly from the right benefits people (surprise, they're swamped). I will eventually get paid for the past two weeks, but for now, I'm just trying not to get too stressed out about everything.

The weird parenthetical to the waiting period was having multiple conversations with friends or relatives who expressed the hope the test results would be negative, where the better result would have been our relatively mild symptoms combined with positive test results. Then we would have had it and survived and earned whatever immunity to further infection. A negative test isn't considered conclusive evidence of a lack of infection, so now we still just don't know if we're still at risk. I guess if there's a reliable antibody test down the line that may give us an answer. The way my cough has slowly lingered I have to assume we really had it, but I can only assume. I can't know. Sigh.
posted by fedward at 11:18 AM on April 9, 2020 [26 favorites]

“they’re coming to take me away hee hee ha ha” has been a solid musical earworm for the past three days.
posted by pipoquinha at 11:25 AM on April 9, 2020 [9 favorites]

My local DSA, which was doing so fucking great organizing community pods for Covid support, has now completely splintered due to infighting over whether or not we should make official demands to state and local governments as part of our response effort. Fuck everything about this. I'm just gonna keep trying to get my neighbors to use their red and green flags on their windows and NOT putting anything into a spreadsheet. Fucking hell. This is probably better for privacy anyway. But idk what to do if someone displays red.
posted by MiraK at 11:36 AM on April 9, 2020 [13 favorites]

palomar, I keep thinking about that kind of thing every single time I see a "love in the time of corona" (BLECH) dating article. Like, wouldn't that make it worse?

I mean, what's the alternative though? If this is going to last, as we all seem to think it will, for several years...pretty unrealistic to expect that people will not seek out romantic connections.

(As someone who broke up her long-term relationship literally 72 hours before the lockdown started, I think about this *a lot*. Wonder what AskMe thinks about going back to an ex because it's the end of the world and you only brought 4 pairs of underwear with you...)
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 11:40 AM on April 9, 2020 [8 favorites]

I don't think this will last for years. I think it may last for a year, at most. Which does feel like forever, but it really isn't. Things will be different after, but I'll bet everything I own that we will find our ways back to romance.
posted by mumimor at 11:52 AM on April 9, 2020 [9 favorites]

Today's meaningless anxiety: I am wearing my 'good work pants' because all my comfy casual pants are dirty. This is what my mind is fixated on right now, I am 'wasting' the good clothes that should not be worn at home. Even knowing that I won't go back to the office for probably a couple months more, and I could in fact have been working at home for years for all my bosses care (I am the only member of my team in the US anyway) I am still anxious about not having a full week of nice clothes ready to go.

I had a dry cough for a few weeks at the end of Feb, but only one day when I was too exhausted to work and no fever or other symptoms. I have asthma so that kind of thing is common for me in the winter, but then my rommate had a similar cough starting a week later. So we might have had it? Anyway we informally isolated back then because we were sickos and too tired to go out. Just when we felt better everything hit the news in our city and we've stayed home since then because we're now Schrödinger's Typhoid Marys. We have gone food shopping wearing homemade masks every 2-3 weeks and drove through Starbucks once and that's it. Once in a while a friend or family member comes over to put a thing on our porch, then back away and have a shouted conversation from the street.

I don't feel any urge to see more people, which is normal as I only want to see any people once or twice a month. But I am feeling an increasing pressure to get away from my best friend who is always right. there. because her bedroom is three feet from mine and there is nowhere either of us can go that the other cannot hear them. Usually I get some time alone driving to work, and might stop and sit in the park for half an hour on the way home, and that's enough for my sanity. And she would go out with friends every week, which hasn't happened since February. Can't even sit outside on the wee patio because it's been raining off and on all week and the chair out there is soaked and forget setting up my hammock.
posted by buildmyworld at 12:20 PM on April 9, 2020 [9 favorites]

Last week, I got a call for a kidney.

The transplant programs here and elsewhere have pretty much come to a complete halt -- transplant recipients are pumped full of strong immunosuppressants to keep the new organ from rejecting, making these vulnerable patients all the more vulnerable. Like, even in normal times, after transplant you can't receive flowers at the hospital because there may be bacteria in the water. After transplant, they adjust the drugs accordingly but you still have to be hypercareful of lurking infections. You have to be scrupulously clean. Common colds can veer into pneumonia. Your dog has to start sleeping on the floor, and you have to wash your hands after every contact. If you have a cat, you can never ever be the one to clean the litter box for the rest of your life.

With corona out there, well. I'd said a couple of weeks ago that I was much safer without a transplant.

I've been on the waiting list for nearly four years, and in my state with my blood type, I likely have another 2-3 years to find a match. It's fine. In the meantime, you're tethered in to dialysis three days a week, which is an odd combination of physically brutal and terribly boring. It replaces about 10-15% of your kidney function, so you're alive, thankfully, but you're pretty tired all the time and your life is far from normal.

But they called me, asking how comfortable I am with risk. There was a cadaver organ they needed to have claimed and scheduled for transplant within a matter of hours. I'm an ideal candidate. I'm fairly young for a kidney patient and I don't have any other health issues. They're holding off on patients at the top of the waitlist for at least few months due to the obvious risks of surgery and full immunosuppression in the height of corona. But with me, they *think* that I'd be likely to survive the surgery and they *think* I could survive covid19. Surgery would have been last tuesday, with a hospital stay of unknown length and daily hospital checkups to follow. They gave me overnight to make a decision.

I thought of all the unknowns as of last week -- how much time I'd have to be in or near the hospital while the illness is peaking in my state, how very easy it is to contract, how kidney issues are a bolded/highlighted/asterisked condition for increased mortality, and how full immunosuppression makes everything so much more dangerous. I thought about my septuagenarian mother supporting me at the hospital, with disease vectors lying in wait in every corridor.

So I said no. And when I said no, the coordinator said she understood what a hard decision that must be, and she reminded me as kindly as possible that it would likely be at least another two years before they'd call me again.

I know I did the right thing for me, but last Tuesday night I couldn't stop sobbing. Big soggy globby ugly crying. Netflix and Wail. My dog, pure velcro.

Each day since then has gotten a little bit better, and I know I did the right thing, but I still catch myself second-guessing.
posted by mochapickle at 12:29 PM on April 9, 2020 [189 favorites]

Oh mochapickle <3 <3 <3
posted by wellred at 12:30 PM on April 9, 2020 [21 favorites]

A LOT of love and hugs for you, mochapickle. <3
posted by spinifex23 at 12:34 PM on April 9, 2020 [11 favorites]

mochapickle, what a choice you had to make, but I understand your decision. Lots of hugs for you and your pup
posted by mumimor at 12:36 PM on April 9, 2020 [7 favorites]

I mean, what's the alternative though? If this is going to last, as we all seem to think it will, for several years...pretty unrealistic to expect that people will not seek out romantic connections.

I've gone fifteen years without being able to find a romantic connection (I don't know whether or not to count the crush in this, but if I don't it's been over sixteen...and counting.) My judgment on these things is not like the rest of the world's.

I don't think this will last for years. I think it may last for a year, at most. Which does feel like forever, but it really isn't. Things will be different after, but I'll bet everything I own that we will find our ways back to romance.

I can understand that, I guess I just don't get looking for love *right now* instead of 1-2 years. But again, I come from a framework of not having any/getting any/being able to find any for a super long time, and I'm not gonna lie, it sucks, but you can live without love forever if you have to. And sometimes you just don't get a choice about it. It seems like this situation is that, if nothing else ever has been before.


And now I feel like a shallow asshole because I just saw mochapickle. I'd have made the same choice if I were you, but it's horrifying to have had to make it in the first place.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:36 PM on April 9, 2020 [13 favorites]

Oh mochapickle. I'm so sorry to hear. As a recipient of two kidney transplants to date I do think you made the right call. It's exactly what I would have done. I'm so sorry you had to make that decision.
posted by k8lin at 12:39 PM on April 9, 2020 [14 favorites]

mochapickle. You have a non-stalker online fan.
posted by pipoquinha at 12:42 PM on April 9, 2020 [8 favorites]

mochapickle, you did the right thing. Right there with you in the "this sucks" department though. jenfullmoon, you are not a shallow asshole.

meaty shoe puppet, it's okay to say "No potatoes" though I know it's hard.

buildmyworld, I am very impressed you are wearing pants at home.

If this is going to last, as we all seem to think it will, for several years...pretty unrealistic to expect that people will not seek out romantic connections.

I think most people are not estimating several years. I know this may depend on location and availability of vaccines, risk factors etc. Me and my long distance romantic partner celebrated our 12th anniversary on Zoom and... we're gonna be in "wait and see" mode for quite a while.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 12:48 PM on April 9, 2020 [24 favorites]

mochapickle, I'm so sorry. I can't even imagine. So much love and good vibes to you right now.
posted by brook horse at 12:50 PM on April 9, 2020 [4 favorites]

Hey mochapickle, hugs from here too. My stress is nothing compared to that.
posted by fedward at 12:52 PM on April 9, 2020 [4 favorites]

mochapickle, what a tough choice you had to make. I'm so sorry. Hugs and best wishes to you.
posted by FencingGal at 12:53 PM on April 9, 2020 [4 favorites]

nobody's feelings are shallow right now, i assure you, no matter what level of hard decisions you're having to make. these are weird times and we are all going through Some Shit. it is okay to be sad about whatever you are sad about. i see you and i love you and i am sending good thoughts your way, every last one of you.
posted by palomar at 12:56 PM on April 9, 2020 [23 favorites]

I am so, so sorry mochapickle - that is so hard. Sending internet hugs and love ❤️

Same to you, meatyshoepuppet ❤️

And everyone in here, all battling our own battles.

I'm holding up fine. I'm still working, but from home half the time. A lot of my to-do list has been pushed aside to deal with Covid-related tasks, mostly acquiring PPE and keeping up with new laws and recommendations, and communicating new policies, answering questions, etc. I haven't touched my boyfriend since March 13. We've seen each other a few times, dropping stuff off at our respective houses, but maintaining a 6' separation. The anniversary of our first date is 2 weeks from today, and that will not be celebrated the way either of us want it to be, and that stinks. But, neither of us have any direct links to people that are sick or dead from Covid, and we both want to keep it that way. Still. Blehhhh. It's hard.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 12:59 PM on April 9, 2020 [14 favorites]

I learned yesterday that crying while walking down the street with a mask on suckkkkkkkkkkkks. I had to walk to return our good friends mail key because they're moving back to Kentucky. They're part of the reason we moved to LA and they're my wife's main artistic collaborators and they're moving and it sucks. I was listening to the Besties podcast about Animal Crossing and Justin breaking down reading a letter about how Animal Crossing was the only way for the letter writers family to interact sent me over the edge. And I couldn't wipe tears because you can't touch your own fucking face. I'm just so sad and angry all the time. Work furloughed half of my department and everyone else gets a 15% paycut but at least health insurance is still being paid for the furloughed staff. Just to top it off my wife developed vertigo on Saturday and it made me so worried and furious trying to interact with our health insurance and everything is just so much. All I do is play Animal Crossing and stare into the middle distance. If anybody needs pears or apples or oranges and want to trade peaches or cherries please come visit my island.
posted by Uncle at 1:00 PM on April 9, 2020 [20 favorites]

jenfullmoon, our situations are actually quite similar! There's something we've been yearning for, something essential to our happiness that we've been waiting for, and this whole (*arm-wavey*) situation throws everything into ultrasharp relief and makes it so much more uncertain and difficult.

Big hugs to all of you if you would like them.
posted by mochapickle at 1:01 PM on April 9, 2020 [19 favorites]

mochapickle, I think you made the right decision based on what I saw married to a kidney transplant recipient. The immunosuppresants are a bitch and we spend too much time every year or so in the ER with flues that would just shut him down to where he couldn't even take his meds. This is not the best time to start that journey.
posted by buildmyworld at 1:37 PM on April 9, 2020 [6 favorites]

One good thing we did is drive a bag of cascarones and jelly beans over to some friends sheltering with 4 kids under 10. We sat across the street and shouted conversation while they ran around.
posted by blnkfrnk at 1:38 PM on April 9, 2020 [6 favorites]

I broke into the Coronavirus Lockdown Metafilter Donated Garlic, and OMG. I needed this.

Also, I'm glad I switched over to Japanese Ramen as my newest cooking obsession, for a couple of reasons: 1. With rare exceptions, I'm not allergic to the ingredients that usually go into a traditional ramen, and 2. I have a bulk of the ingredients to make one anyways, as long as it's a vegetarian or chicken ramen.

Last night, I made the ramen eggs with the 5 eggs that I have left, and they are curing now, in a soy/mirin broth. They're only cooked a *little* too long, but otherwise, they are awesome.

Today, I made the ramen tare (which is an extremely flavorful, concentrated broth) out of low sodium miso, sake, honey, molasses, sea salt, and both black and white sesame seeds. I then also made the aromatic oil out of the dehydrated garlic, some dehydrated onion I found in the back of the pantry, canola oil, and as a finishing touch? Sesame oil when taken off the flame. I may have, uh, heavily sampled some sake while cooking.

I cannot wait to put these together in a bowl, to boost up the store bought ramen I have. Later, when I get plain ramen noodles delivered from my friend, I'll make a chicken stock and I'll have a completely homemade bowl of hopefully yum.
posted by spinifex23 at 2:26 PM on April 9, 2020 [18 favorites]

Some good news today: Our small business was approved for the PPP loan! We will be able to keep our 25 employees on at 75-100% their normal salary, with benefits, and keep the lights on to boot! This will literally save our office (a specialty medical clinic that has seen 85% reduction in patient volume).
posted by Fritzle at 2:28 PM on April 9, 2020 [79 favorites]

Fritzle, that's awesome! So happy for you and your employees.
posted by brook horse at 2:37 PM on April 9, 2020 [3 favorites]

Oh mochapickle. I’m so sorry you have had to make that choice. It’s so unfair...this is all just horrible really.

And meaty shoe puppet, I’m sorry you are fearing for your safety right now. Hopefully your wife will take over the shopping for now.

I’m on tenterhooks right now waiting for my elderly dad to be discharged from the hospital next week. He had a paralyzing accident in January and has been doing amazingly well after surgery and rehab. He wasn’t supposed to go home till May, but he’s doing really well and also now they’re trying to get people out of hospital and back in their homes if possible because of the virus. Which is all good. But yesterday when we FaceTimed he told me that a hospital staff member tested positive for COVID, so now I really, REALLY want him to go home. I can’t stop worrying about him catching it.

And also, my mom has to go to the hospital for in person training on an aspect of his post-release care that he can’t quite manage yet, so I’m also terrified she’s going to get it from going on public transit and going in to the hospital. I know the hospital is taking every precaution, but...well, that staff member still got it.

My stomach hurts all the time now.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:41 PM on April 9, 2020 [18 favorites]

I didn’t expect to react as badly as I did to the news of the result out of the Eurogroup talks: no paradigm shift, not even in the face of this unprecedented circumstance for the entire continent. Big sums bandied about, but the same old vita mea, mors tua still undermining the concept of corona/eurobonds. The game is still “extend and pretend”.
We’re sheltered and fine, but I feel sick to the bone.
posted by progosk at 4:10 PM on April 9, 2020 [11 favorites]

New Zealand here, and comparatively very lucky. Things moved fast for me a few weeks ago:
Thursday: I think I'll try working from home Friday.
Friday afternoon: everyone at work split into two teams; each team to WFH half the week, and have no contact with the other. I'm told not to come to work until Thursday.
Sunday: PM announces the 4 Levels model of Covid-19 response.
Monday: PM announces we will go to Level 4 (full lockdown) on Wednesday. Work tells me not to go to work at all.

So I have my work laptop and I can WFH. I'm a government employee, and my usual work has completely, 100% disappeared due to the lockdown, so my job now is split between desk research support for departmental updates on the virus (time-bound, stressful) and catching up on old work that doesn't need to be done for months (....not stressful). Weird times.

My cousin has been in hospital with Covid. Unfortunately he's also got underlying health issues, a virus that weakened his heart quite considerably. He seems to be out of ICU, so hopefully things will go OK for him.

Like many I'm sleeping badly, having weird dreams and fairly strong mood swings. My neighbourhood vibe is really good - people generally smiling and saying hello to each other, and I've noticed so many more of my neighbours. At a national level, there's still support for a strong lockdown, with the hope that we can yet avoid a widespread outbreak. Touch wood. Love to everyone who is having a hard time now, for whatever reason.
posted by Pink Frost at 7:00 PM on April 9, 2020 [18 favorites]

A friend just texted to say she had gotten me a cake for my birthday next week to be delivered. With everything going on, I completely forgot it was my birthday, and now I HAS CAKE.

Our housekeeper is staying in with us and is so bored that she's taken to baking and spring-cleaning the house. The pets are less than appreciative and I'm trying to persuade her to take up a hobby. We are trying to do a Catholic Easter this Sunday and then an Orthodox Easter the next Sunday, and it will all be a Lot of Food.

Sounds wonderful except I am also doing home-based-learning (not the same as homeschool - so many frigging worksheets) with a very reluctant child so half of my day is taken up with staring matches and screaming, by both of us. Yesterday I had to sub in her more patient older brother because of child-caused migraines.

Here is a nice story about hawkers in Singapore helping out during the quarantine (we are being told it's a "circuit breaker" - part of me wants to know how long it took a room full of branding consultants to come up with that alternative to quarantine!).

Less nice, but a damn step better is the harsh spotlight the lockdown has shone on how migrant workers are treated in Singapore. They're falling sick fast because of over-crowding and poor health, and there's been plenty of social media leakage of photographs of their living conditions, interviews and enough high-level government support for change that they might just get better treatment.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:54 PM on April 9, 2020 [20 favorites]

Aw, mochapickle, I'm so sorry. <3
posted by ferret branca at 7:57 PM on April 9, 2020 [5 favorites]

Well, World of Final Fantasy subsumed a whole week, but I don't think I can take another JRPG right away, so I'll have to try harder to avoid refreshing the news every 5 minutes.
posted by Marticus at 8:48 PM on April 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

Okay, we can share recipies here right? Because I found this recipe the other day and I tried it just now and they're delicious, delicious peanut butter cookies, they're the best I ever had, and they're gluten free, effortlessly, gracefully gluten free, and I think I'm going to cry.

I really needed these cookies.
posted by MrVisible at 8:53 PM on April 9, 2020 [17 favorites]

Okay, we can share recipies here right?

There's been a request not to share recipes in general check in threads, as people struggling to get enough food are not finding it comforting. Might I suggest a recipe sharing metatalk, a baked goods debate, a home cooking thread on the blue, and a baking thread.
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:05 PM on April 9, 2020 [21 favorites]

wednesday was 3 days long and then i accidentally slept until friday

what is happen
posted by poffin boffin at 10:44 PM on April 9, 2020 [29 favorites]

On the one hand, I have no income and Tennessee still can't figure out how to manage the CARES Act provision for unemployment benefits for self-employed people. (On the 2nd, the state's Twitter account told self-employed people to go-go-go ahead and apply and they'd figure it out afterward. On the 6th, after so many of us applied, they put up instructions, like, "Oh, if you're self-employed, fill it out THIS way" which was, obviously, too late for many, and while I think I filled out most answers the way they want, I'm unsure about one.) They claim they've got expanded hours, but every time I call during their REGULAR hours, even, I get voicemail that they're closed. And they sent me duplicate letters in the mail to "employer" me asking why I let "employee" me go (fair enough), and to log into their site to report it. Except that I can't log in via my employee account because there's no access to that form, and they won't accept a newly-created employer account because all of the info (address, phone, email) are identical to employee me. Because I'm just one person. So that's fun.

On the other hand, I feel like I have no right to complain, because it's "just" money, and I'm taking umbrage on behalf of meaty shoe puppet and sending useless but well-meant hugs to mochapickle.

On the one hand, my almost-84yo mom hurt her back pulling the vacuum out to clean (oy) and I'm a two-day drive away and can't help, and on the other, her doctor loves her so much, he's calling her every day just to tell her jokes and see how she's doing.

On the one hand, none of my clients (or prospective clients) are remotely (no pun intended) thinking of organizing and time management (ha!) coaching right now, virtually or otherwise, so I feel useless. On the other, I'm not at all inspired to work on the second edition of my book, or a different book, or today, even a blog post.

On the one hand, John Prine. On the other, the Hamilton performance on Some Good News, the Fran Lebowitz piece in the New Yorker, and the Weird Al Yankovic piece in the New York Times.

Basically, I've got a lot of hands so just keep washing them.

I recognize my luck and privilege, and I guess I'm not that stressed...except I haven't fallen asleep before 6 a.m. in a month, and last Thursday I had to walk five miles (in circles around my parking lot) until 1 a.m. to finally halt the first panic attack I've had since 2001. I haven't touched another human being in 35 days. I need a real hug.

But I've got a lot of cheese in my fridge. So I guess I'm doing OK.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 11:02 PM on April 9, 2020 [35 favorites]

Having cheese makes things better. Hang in there
posted by Windopaene at 11:25 PM on April 9, 2020 [6 favorites]

Is it the right kind of cheese?
posted by Marticus at 11:31 PM on April 9, 2020 [19 favorites]

So I just applied for a job. It's the very last day one can apply and I've been overthinking it. How things have changed in short time. When I decided to apply, 6 weeks ago, it was a readvertisment, and I was pretty sure I'd get it, in spite of my very strange CV, because in a way it is a perfect fit and also it is a job a lot of qualified people would find less attractive back then in the distant past. I talked with my doctor about how working from home is not doing any good for my depression and anxiety and that I should try to find a job with more social interaction. Isn't that funny now?
Now, hundreds of qualified people have lost their good jobs and might be far less picky. I feel self-conscious about my life choices and the parts of my CV that are questionable.

I'll have to get out some books and see if that can lead to some public lecture gigs out there, on top of my teaching.

In good news, the dog really enjoyed his birthday present: a big bone. He got up really early this morning so he could get back out to it. He no longer gets big bones when we are in the city, because he tries to dig them down into the sofa. (Yes, we need a new sofa), and here he only gets them rarely because I do not like when he digs them down in the yard. So this one he has gnawed at continuously, no digging, because it's such a rare treat.
posted by mumimor at 1:48 AM on April 10, 2020 [11 favorites]

mochapickle, hubby is an intensevist working on the frontline, we've been married 30 yrs, he said if we'd had to make that decision (my cousin in London on dialysis became positive on the unit) he would URGE me strongly to not take the transplant.

HUGE virtual hugs
posted by Wilder at 3:45 AM on April 10, 2020 [19 favorites]

took a nap, woke up, still friday

i don't wike it
posted by poffin boffin at 4:06 AM on April 10, 2020 [10 favorites]

I'm feeling very dislocated right now. I'm a teacher in the UK (primary SEN), and right now it's theoretically the Easter holidays, but what even is time currently. I'm phoning my students' families to check on them and replying to emails but that's it, it's been the same for the last few weeks and it'll continue indefinitely. I'm autistic and I'm finding this lack of structure really difficult. I need the external imposition of it or else I seem incapable of managing my time.

Also I'm pregnant and I'm sure things will be ok but I'm having so much anxiety surrounding that right now, especially around how the actual giving birth bit is going to be. It shouldn't be until July so there's a possibility things will be a bit better then, but if I wasn't allowed my wife in with me... ugh. I hate all these unknowns.
posted by Cheerwell Maker at 4:53 AM on April 10, 2020 [16 favorites]

I keep forgetting to put lotion on my hands to counteract the frequent hand washing so the skin is all crackly. This morning, when I first woke up, I yawned and then reflexively brought my fists up to my eyes to rub the sleep out of them and then panicked and stopped my hands just before they touched my face. (Also, I recently had a dream in which I had to wrestle and 3 snakes to stay alive. )

I am privileged, lucky, and doing well but I understand why many if not most people aren't. Even though I am plenty okay, I haven't had a decent night's sleep for weeks, and I haven't had a day when I felt rested and fully awake for weeks either. To meaty shoe puppet, mochapickle, odinsdream, and everyone else here facing hard times: I am so sorry bad and/or hard things have happened to you. Thank you for sharing your stories here. I hear you. We hear you. You are not alone. <3
posted by Bella Donna at 6:20 AM on April 10, 2020 [19 favorites]

Okay, we can share recipies here right?

There's been a request not to share recipes in general check in threads, as people struggling to get enough food are not finding it comforting.

This is not an official policy as far as I know, and it has been heavily discussed and disputed on the MetaTalk thread, where I just posted the following:

I get that some people don't have enough food - and that is a terrible thing - but then should we not share work from home stuff because some people lost their jobs? Should we not share things about children because some people are infertile or have suffered miscarriages? Should we not share about relationships because some people (me) are alone and not by choice?

I don't think there's really been a consensus on this, though I note that my post saying that I like the mix in the check-in thread has gotten more favorites than I've ever gotten on a post in my life.

Edited to add: If mods want to delete this as inappropriate here, that's fine.
posted by FencingGal at 6:32 AM on April 10, 2020 [24 favorites]

I really am tired, I am typing nonsense. In my comment above, the parenthetical should have read: (Also, I recently had a dream in which I had to wrestle an alligator and 3 snakes to stay alive. )

Or a crocodile or maybe a caiman but the point is, it was one strong and toothy critter. Sigh. I have been unable to force myself to do any client work today at all and it is nearly 4 pm. Am lucky to have work but won't have it much longer if I cannot fucking concentrate.
posted by Bella Donna at 6:41 AM on April 10, 2020 [5 favorites]

I’ve been running a low fever for three days now. Got tested at the recommendation of a doctor friend and am now holed up in the attic trying to keep the rest of my family healthy.
posted by sciencegeek at 6:49 AM on April 10, 2020 [21 favorites]

Checking in from Portland Maine. We got snow yesterday, and a bunch of people lost power since it's one of those heavy spring snows. I feel for those people, especially the ones without wood stoves or generators.

My wife is on furlough, which is a comfort (she's a dentist, so close to so many people all day) and a source of stress (she was our sole income). I miss people at my volunteer gigs and my gym more than I ever thought possible. With my extended family all far away in Kansas, I wasn't seeing them frequently anyway, but the need to feel connected and know they're ok has really intensified.

I only know one person who has been badly sick, and he is recovering now, so I feel fortunate and also like I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop. All my sadness about the situation is currently funneled into grieving John Prine, sort of a compartmentalizing thing I do writ super large. So I'm inordinately sad about John Prine, but not sad otherwise.

I am holding so much hope for us all coming through this. These threads are keeping me sane, thank you to everyone who posts.
posted by donnagirl at 6:50 AM on April 10, 2020 [11 favorites]

sciencegeek, I hope it is just a normal flu or cold. Good luck, and keep us updated.
posted by mumimor at 6:58 AM on April 10, 2020 [3 favorites]

My elderly family member who was hospitalized has been moved to a rehab center in a more rural area instead of the hospital prime in the city where she was before, and the family is not reporting any Covid symptoms, so I am cautiously and tentatively hoping that she will be okay.

I'm trying to weigh-should I message my kid's teachers, which are still grading and trying to keep on like normal, to tell them that we were sick for some time and our kid was basically having to cook food and take care of the house at least half the time during that time because we were sleeping like zombies and couldn't realize we were only cooking one meal a day? Or do we think that colleges everywhere are going to be like 'oh, these are coronavirus grades, don't even really look at them'?
posted by corb at 7:52 AM on April 10, 2020 [13 favorites]

corb, most likely the latter, but it wouldn't hurt for you to drop the teachers a quick email. My friends who are teachers appreciate knowing extenuating circumstances.
posted by cooker girl at 8:03 AM on April 10, 2020 [7 favorites]

mumimor, I've never come across "Alphabet" before, and I am stunned. Stunned. That is beautiful, and so poignant and... and and and!

Thank you for sharing it.

I've never had "a favorite poem" before. Now I do.
posted by meese at 8:14 AM on April 10, 2020 [5 favorites]

Umbrage to meaty shoe puppet, and Jedi hugs to mochapickle and odinsdream. I’m so sorry.

Last night I heard from one of my oldest friends that her mom died last week. I’d missed the news because I’m not on Facebook anymore. She didn’t die of COVID — she had a chronic illness that made her susceptible to other things — but she died alone because of COVID, and i feel terrible for my friend and her family. I want to send cards, and I probably will, but there’s part of me that’s trying to mentally weigh the gesture against their likely anxiety about fomites. None of our norms work quite right now.
posted by eirias at 8:16 AM on April 10, 2020 [14 favorites]

All of this (waves hands around in the air) is just terrible but the fact that people are dying alone is just even more terrible. It's not how we humans want to operate, but we're forced to right now.
posted by cooker girl at 8:21 AM on April 10, 2020 [18 favorites]

A doc in a teaching hospital. No confirmed cases in my hospital as of yesterday. We work in rotating teams, half the team working in the hospital (doing some inpatient stuff and some telemedicine - like, calling twenty to twenty four patients a day) and half the team doing remote teaching via Zoom. It's weird. Like being in a dream.

My country has been under shelter-in-place for a while now and the cases are just beginning to spike. On the days I am not at the hospital, I am staying home and eating all the leftovers /pasta / stuff from the freezer.

One of my big worries are the approaching presidential elections. It's such a bad idea right now. The polls show that 70 to 80% are against doing the elections in May but the ruling party sees it as their big chance to grab even more power because their electorate will go to the polls no matter what. Even if there is only minimal turnout, the election still counts. And cases will spike. They know it will happen and they just don't care. They are just hungry for power.

They are forbidding people to go outside even to the park, the woods are closed to the public, there only allow two people at a time to enter grocery stores, one person at a time at the post office... but they want to do national elections where mail carriers bring you the voting card and then you physically deliver the card to the polling place. It's madness. It makes me so angry and so sad. The lies on national TV, the anti-EU propaganda is making me feel so helpless. It's like... even when it's over, the awful new laws they passed will be in place, increasing the powers of the police and prosecutors and limiting personal liberties. Had they just declared a state of emergency the emergency regulations would go away at some point but they preferred to just make new laws that - in theory - can last forever.

And then as I began typing this, a crew came from nowhere and fell down a big tree that has been providing shade to my apartment since I moved in ten years ago. The tree is gone and it feels like another punch in the gut.
posted by M. at 8:31 AM on April 10, 2020 [34 favorites]

And then as I began typing this, a crew came from nowhere and fell down a big tree that has been providing shade to my apartment since I moved in ten years ago.

Can you send that crew my way? The tree right in front of my apartment has been swaying dramatically every time we get wind, the roots are very loose, it's been diseased since I moved in three years ago, and it's a clear fall risk - but I filed this issue with the apartment management, and they just marked it "work completed", so they appear to have no intention of taking down this tree that's about to crush my roof.

It was already hard to focus on work, but now I also have this tree swaying wildly in the wind that's eating up quite a lot of my attention.
posted by pemberkins at 8:44 AM on April 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

My sister reminded me today that the absolutely FLATTENING "flu" she had in late January actually came with her losing her sense of smell for 3-4 days, and we're wondering a little if she had it.

Same with us, same time, but in Poland. We were knocked flat for about five days. Awful, awful stuff. If that wasn't Covid-19, the real thing will surely kill me.
posted by pracowity at 8:46 AM on April 10, 2020 [5 favorites]

The felling of the tree took three hours (I started typing and had to stop as it was hard to hear my own thoughts in the noise). I am sure they had the approval but it's still sad. I am sorry about the birds that lived there whom I recognized on sight.
posted by M. at 8:48 AM on April 10, 2020 [17 favorites]

M., my landlord insisted on cutting down a beautiful cherry tree in our yard shortly before the quarantine time (apparently it had grown "too big" for where it was or something, ugh), and I was heartsick about it. I still miss it. I miss watching the birds flit around in it, even though they do seem to have mostly adapted. I regret not getting to see it blossom. And having that tree outside your apartment for the ten years you've been there must make it so much worse. I'm sorry.
posted by DingoMutt at 8:51 AM on April 10, 2020 [13 favorites]

As I posted on the green, I've been experiencing lots of physical pain from working at home, and of course that's not helping my mental health, either. I've been sleeping terribly--staying up late and waking up frequently--and I've been having lots of anxiety dreams and it's almost worse that they are so BORING. Like, lots of dreams where I tediously wipe down all the things. Or stack soaps.

I've also realized that one of the other things I need to be better at is staying hydrated. When I'm up and about at work I tend to drink a lot of water and tea. Sitting at home I forget and I can definitely feel it in terms of my skin being dry and overall being headachy. One goal for today is to make up a big jug of herbal iced tea so I can have a brief fun distraction and better track how much I'm consuming each day.
posted by TwoStride at 9:26 AM on April 10, 2020 [10 favorites]

Closed on my house refi? Check. Celebrated with curbside donut pickup.

Buzzed own hair for the first time in my life? Check. Went better than I feared.

Now I need to completely reorganize my desk so I can get my keyboard and mouse higher so my wrists don't fall off in the next N weeks.

One great thing: last night lying in bed I imagined a product that allowed a monitor to slide up and down on an existing VESA mount. Turns out this exists and I ordered one!

Stay safe and happy thoughts, everyone.
posted by selfnoise at 9:31 AM on April 10, 2020 [14 favorites]

i'm grumpier by the day.
no significant developments to report (hoping for little lurk's lyme test results any moment).
yesterday, en route to commercial establishment to look for candy for little lurk, a homeless gent familiar to me requested foodstuffs to take to his family, so i brought him some eggs. dear reader: he hugged me!
(my decades of suppressing the urge to recoil, out of some misguided desire to not give undue offense, when approached has been so effective that i lacked the reflex when needed. grr.)
so the 14-day clock restarts for me, i guess.
don't really want to avoid my kid for that long. also don't want to risk little lurk's mother's health. confusion and quandary.
i, too, had a relatively severe probable flu at the beginning of march, as previously recounted.
now would be a great time to have available antibody tests.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:26 AM on April 10, 2020 [13 favorites]

We're sharing a house/garden in the uk with ms paws' parents (retired) who just got back from NZ. They have decided to self isolate enough to spend the next 2-3 weeks in their RV at the bottom of the garden, so we've got that much longer working two full time jobs, and doing the childcare, which is fine, a responsible choice and far less of a hassle than so many are bearing. But today they decided they were ok chatting to us in the garden at a distance of way under 2m, often walking past us close enough to brush against if there was something they wanted to get or a spot they wished to be, until eventually one of them just ran over and snatched up the toddler when he took a tumble in the garden - later cheerfully asking if we had "bleached him".

Anyway, I started drinking early tonight.
posted by ominous_paws at 11:30 AM on April 10, 2020 [19 favorites]

curbside donut pickup

Were they Holy Donuts? Please say yes and that you had dark chocolate sea salt.
posted by donnagirl at 12:14 PM on April 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

In this case, with the State’s ban on evictions that do not concern the health and safety of tenants that are exposed to a health risk in their units, the eviction notices that would possibly be served in reference to the cosmetic procedures the Management would like to perform cannot be served as long as the State’s ban on evictions is in place.

It’s okay if they offer you this incentive now, but an actual eviction notice cannot be served for the purposes described in the letter.
So they can make life annoying with their work, but can't evict people because they want to improve the property at least until the statewide eviction ban is lifted.

I'm in Glendale California if it helps.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:09 PM on April 10, 2020 [5 favorites]

Guardian UK government urged to investigate coronavirus deaths of BAME doctors

Indeed. It has been striking and, unless reporting is not comprehensive, massively disproportionate.

The head of the British Medical Association has called on the government to urgently investigate if and why black, Asian and minority ethnic people are more vulnerable to Covid-19, after the first 10 doctors in the UK named as having died from the virus were all BAME. (BLack & Minority Ethnic)
posted by glasseyes at 1:17 PM on April 10, 2020 [7 favorites]

Oh how I wish I had a printer right now.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:19 PM on April 10, 2020 [3 favorites]

Tesco just got a £585 million tax break from the government, upon which it immediately paid its shareholders a dividend of £635m. Meanwhile Clap for Carers is still going on: One Million Claps appeal urges public to raise £5m for NHS ... A new fundraising appeal is encouraging the public to donate to the NHS as well as clap for carers tonight.
snafu I guess
posted by glasseyes at 1:25 PM on April 10, 2020 [15 favorites]

The celebratory TV arrived today, and it is glorious. It's 43 inches, 4K resolution, built-in WiFi and media streaming capability (so I can pull video from network storage without having to go through the XBox), a built-in Freeview tuner...just the fact that I can now actually read the text in Borderlands 3 without squinting made spending the money worth it.

I feel kind of bad feeling this good about it when a lot of other people are having such hard times of it...but on the other hand, I'm really glad to have something to feel good about under the circumstances. I contain multitudes. :/
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:28 PM on April 10, 2020 [13 favorites]

curbside donut pickup

Were they Holy Donuts? Please say yes and that you had dark chocolate sea salt.

Indeed! We ordered a random half dozen and by the time I got to them there were only fragments left. There was a tasty chocolate coconut one because my daughter apparently thought the coconut was carrots... she clearly felt bamboozled.
posted by selfnoise at 1:34 PM on April 10, 2020 [6 favorites]

So they can make life annoying with their work, but can't evict people because they want to improve the property at least until the statewide eviction ban is lifted. I'm in Glendale California if it helps.

Yep. And even if they were to try to evict you on an improper notice, in violation of the moratorium, the courts aren't open. You can file things, but only a handful of 'essential' types of proceedings are actually happening, and unlawful detainer (eviction) isn't on the list. Which itself operates as a kind of de facto ban.

Oh how I wish I had a printer right now.

If this is so you can paper your property manager, they may have a fax number and electronic fax services are cheap (e-fax 14 day free trial).
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:47 PM on April 10, 2020 [3 favorites]

All i can ever think about is how my friends back home are getting takeout from all of our favorite places all the time while I have access to one (1) Wendy's and nothing else.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 1:49 PM on April 10, 2020 [4 favorites]

(yes, it's stupid, but since all of the advice out there is like "find the little things!" and all my little things are 50 miles away it's the thing currently gnawing away at me.)
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 2:04 PM on April 10, 2020 [11 favorites]

> Guardian UK government urged to investigate coronavirus deaths of BAME doctors

Link appears to be broken, this is the article.
posted by mrzarquon at 2:16 PM on April 10, 2020 [3 favorites]

My immediate family, who live in 2 separate households, have decided to have Easter brunch together. In one household is my brother, who works retail, and his girlfriend with a couple underlying health conditions. In the other is my mother, a 67 year-old lifelong smoker, and my sister, a healthcare admin, and her fiance, who works at a chemical plant. So both households already have one pretty high risk individual who lives with at least one "essential" employee who is still working with the public. But now, if anyone in either household is exposed, they're all exposed. Sigh.

They are adults. They know I do not think this is a good idea. They're going to do what they're going to do. They aren't in an area with a lot of cases. (Not zero cases, by any means, but not a lot.)

But I am so annoyed at all of them.

(Hugs to everyone going through way more stressful things than me. Y'all deserve better.)
posted by the primroses were over at 2:17 PM on April 10, 2020 [17 favorites]

My first ex-wife is, apparently, trying to convince my 21yo son to quit his current fast-food job (for which he's gotten no scheduled hours and no pay for a few weeks) and go to work at the grocery store or Home Depot, because he "needs money" and they need workers. Never mind that he lives with her and his stepdad and that she's SIGNIFICANTLY immunosuppressed from medication for her MS; now is obviously the time to 'teach' him not to be 'lazy'.

I am tired of making the >_< face all the time.
posted by hanov3r at 4:53 PM on April 10, 2020 [20 favorites]

My swab was negative. Thanks for all your support.
posted by b33j at 4:54 PM on April 10, 2020 [85 favorites]

Tesco just got a £585 million tax break from the government, upon which it immediately paid its shareholders a dividend of £635m.

posted by aramaic at 6:13 PM on April 10, 2020 [11 favorites]

Marticus, it's Seriously Sharp cheddar, so not only do I have the right kind of cheddar to eat, I suspect I can also use it to fight off zombies.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 6:46 PM on April 10, 2020 [12 favorites]

I’m at the hospital to give birth and have been told the pain management I had chosen, nitrous which works wonders on me and was what I’ve been focusing on when I’ve started to worry about giving birth, can no longer be used because of covid-19. They explained why but I was too busy panicking to listen. I’m not actually in labor either, my water broke early. So now I’m in a hospital in an area with an outbreak without my preferred pain management waiting to be induced. I’ve had to switch birthing rooms once because a computer was broken and there isn’t a spare anywhere.

My friends and family can’t visit, it’ll just be me and my partner doing our best.

I’m terrified.
posted by lepus at 8:04 PM on April 10, 2020 [87 favorites]

lepus, wishing you a safe and speedy birth.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:20 PM on April 10, 2020 [23 favorites]

you can do it, lepus.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:20 PM on April 10, 2020 [8 favorites]

I'm so sorry lepus, that sounds so scary. Sending you all the best wishes I have.
posted by bridgebury at 8:21 PM on April 10, 2020 [8 favorites]

Lepus, I'm so sorry you're going through this, especially at a time that should be so exciting and happy for you. I'm sure your doctors will do their absolute best to keep you and your baby safe and comfortable. We're all thinking of you!
posted by invincible summer at 8:22 PM on April 10, 2020 [7 favorites]

When I posted on the last incarnation of this thread, I was worrying about post-dental-work pain. Well, my dentist has now closed down totally (previously they had been doing some emergency dentistry) - but the good news is that I'm in significantly less pain than I had been; I'm down to 2-4 Advil a day, from 8-10. I'm still quite anxious about it, because it's more pain and longer-lasting pain than I had even when I had to have a root canal, but it's encouraging that it's going in the right direction.

I am being quite hypochondriacal about various physical symptoms that are more likely to be anxiety symptoms or symptoms of slacking off on self-care, but, well - this afternoon I posted this on Twitter, after being exhausted all day:

Me, to myself: Hey, if you ate better, or took your meds, or got some exercise, you might not feel like crap all the time.
Me: Noted.
Me: So...
Me: I'm going back to bed now.

...And this evening I have a fever of 100. I'm not especially worried, but even if I don't get any other symptoms anyone with a fever of 100 is barred from coming to campus for a while, which is kind of a pain; and I need to actually stop going out to the grocery store, because even though the grocery store has one-way lanes and social distancing spots on the floor, nobody seems to care.
posted by Jeanne at 8:33 PM on April 10, 2020 [10 favorites]

Can't imagine more pain than when I needed a root canal. Hope you can weather the storm until you can see your dentist. Ah,misread. Glad you are feeling better.
posted by Windopaene at 8:59 PM on April 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

Lepus, all of the most wonderful human beings I've ever known have a dramatic story about the day they were born. I hope the birth is as easy as possible, and I hope your child grows up to be strong and wise and marvelous.
posted by MrVisible at 9:04 PM on April 10, 2020 [12 favorites]

Sending so much love to lepus.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:15 PM on April 10, 2020 [10 favorites]

Oh lepus! Sending you much solidarity. You can do it!
posted by freethefeet at 9:33 PM on April 10, 2020 [8 favorites]

We will all be checking the thread for updates, lepus! You're going to do great!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:38 PM on April 10, 2020 [16 favorites]

We're (virtually) there with you lepus! Sending best wishes for a quick and uneventful birth ❤️
posted by Sparky Buttons at 9:41 PM on April 10, 2020 [10 favorites]

Everything will be fine lepus. You got this!

And from my dental experiences, not sure how giving birth on nitrous would be :)
posted by Windopaene at 9:43 PM on April 10, 2020 [5 favorites]

Sending you all the most peaceful vibes I can, lepus. Thinking about you and your babe.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 10:23 PM on April 10, 2020 [5 favorites]

Last night I had a virtual Seder with the family. It was actually pretty cool, especially since we're spread out all over the country. I'm not as prepared for Passover as I usually am - it was harder than usual to find Passover food at the stores this year, and a lot of the things I like weren't in stock at the stores that did have a selection of it. It's going to be more challenging for me to keep to the rules this year!

I got my first unemployment payment today, so I was able to finally pay some bills that have been sitting for weeks. That felt good.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:27 PM on April 10, 2020 [6 favorites]

update: little lurk's lyme test came back positive; antibiotic regimen begun. thank you for your express and tacit interest and concern.
on conference call my employers have lifted the limit on hours that may be billed to [unlimited], through some undetermined time next week, for myself and select others, all working from home.
i heard a choir and band rehearsing (?) in a church near where little lurk and mama live, last night. the windows were covered, but a light show was visible around the edges. i could distinguish three voices and at least two instruments... suppose it could all be done by one family. it was shocking. the church's website claims services are available online. i observed a(nother) passing pedestrian stop and gawk for a while before walking around to examine the church sign and then walk on.
my parents' birthdays are this weekend.
i received my "wherever two or three are gathered in my name there am i in the midst of you" superimposed on a drawing of a coronavirus postcards from cafepress today... not quite in time for the high holy day. debating whether to send one to devout sibling -- at whose son's recent wedding i heard the phrase "prayer warrior" and like jargon far more times than i was comfortable with -- or just to my atheist friends. hard to nail the right audience for the blasphemous black humor.
(also at that wedding, a bridesmaid squeaked at me: ooh! washington d.c. -- that's where the museum of the bible is! i dream of going there! oof. i did not browbeat her with facts of the forgeries and stolen antiquities.)
sympathy & solidarity, y'all.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:46 PM on April 10, 2020 [20 favorites]

Checking in from Wellington, New Zealand. Today was a lovely Saturday, not fully autumnal, sunny and sharp winds. I'm still not adjusted to WFH. My physical health is holding station; will try and pick up meds at the pharmacy next week, hopefully the line won't be so eye-wateringly long. Being an enthusiastic home cook and baker means I'm pretty well stock all the time. But this last fortnight or so has seriously depleted my flour stores. But I just found out that a local bakery is selling their 20kg bags. Bought and scheduled for delivery on Tuesday. The butcher is next door to them and doing delivery too, so I put in an order. We don't need it desperately but I want them to be open when the restrictions are lifted; time to put my money where my mouth is.

But I'm not as settled as I'd hoped. I haven't slept more 3 hours in a row since March 24th. My parents are old, live near Chicago, nearest child is 5 hours away, are struggling to get groceries delivered (happened once, harder to schedule now), and are frightened. And there's not a freaking thing I can do. I can't leave and go to them because I'm high risk. In fact, I will be WFH until all restrictions are lifted in NZ. And even if I said screw your health, lemon_icing, I'd be leaving my partner here and I wouldn't know when I'd be allowed to return.

Our neighbors think that Level 4 lockdown means time to trim the trees. So yesterday they broke our bubble by coming on our property, without permission, to pick up branches and leaves and knocking over our security cameras. In ordinary days, I'd just holler at them and let it go. But I'm clinging to it, grinding it in my head, and I know that is just a way to redirect my fears and frustration.

meaty shoe puppet, crikey, all I'm saying in my head is wat? seriously? I'm so sorry.
mochapickle: your graciousness with accepting your decision is a lesson to behold. this internet stranger sends positive thoughts half a globe away.
odinsdream: gods, that's awful. squishy hugs.
lepus: I'm sorry you're alone in the physical sense, but only there.....we're all there, silently wishing ease and comfort for you and your wee one. good luck.

and to everyone else . . . . hugs hugs hugs and a little squeeze, too.
posted by lemon_icing at 11:34 PM on April 10, 2020 [19 favorites]

metafilter threads exist.

lepus exists; and mochapickle, mochapickle;
odinsdream exists; and meaty shoe puppet,

mumimor exists; and inger christensen

some pages have been removed from this preview

(thank u all for existing here, right now)
posted by progosk at 1:07 AM on April 11, 2020 [31 favorites]

Hamilton, Ontario here. I have been laid off indefinitely since...March 16, when Trudeau announced that they were closing the US/CAN border to non-essential travel. I genuinely cannot remember when the “stay home” order came down, it’s all kind of a blur?

Despite that, I think I am still in pretty good shape here. I’m single but have a cat, so I have someone to talk to. I have books and crossword puzzles and people to check in with via text and phone calls. I have listened to approximately one million podcasts. I applied for (and received) emergency unemployment pay, so I can keep a roof over our heads.

But...It’s my birthday today. I was supposed to be in Toronto with my bff eating good food and listening to Laura Marling. Instead I made myself quarantine cupcakes from a boxed mix and hugged the cat. I will probably take him outside on his leash later, he likes sitting on the lawn in front of our apartment building eating grass very slowly one blade at a time. I wouldn’t mind becoming known as that neighborhood lady who walks her cat.
posted by janepanic at 1:37 AM on April 11, 2020 [32 favorites]

Checking in from South East UK. Doing A-OK personally - privileged and fortunate out the wazoo, because work pivoted smoothly (and early) to all-WFH without much of a ripple (although a lot of usually office-based non-IT colleagues are having a more .. interesting .. time of it); company is humane and supportive; plenty of supplies on hand, because that's normal for me; I do 90% of my socialising online anway... It turns out a lockdown is perfect for my mental and physical health. (More sleep; less stress; more physical exercise; less social exhaustion; the world is slower and quieter and cleaner.)

Along with others, I am feeling horrible about doing so well. Some of my closest friends work in the NHS (nonmedical areas) and are having a very bad time - I've never known an organization with so many boneheaded, petty and plain STUPID managers. At least two are required to keep going in despite their jobs being 90-100% doable from home, for no discernable reason whatsoever except "management wants you in". In one case that means a 2.5h commute each way (was under an hour before the trains got changed).

I have mild worry for my old, frail neighbours and relatives. I do not worry very much for myself. I have no particular terror of going outside, or visiting the supermarket, or encountering other humans - I don't do it much, because I don't need to, but even were someone to cough directly in my face there's nobody at risk from me. I live alone.

People in my area seem to be taking things seriously and not flouting any rules. There is cheerful resignation in the supermarket queue.

I popped some supplies round to a local friend yesterday, taking the opportunity to exercise the car which has been idle for a month. I confess a guilty joy in a (sedate! short!) drive on empty roads in brilliant spring sunshine, the world bursting with blossom and green.

I can't square my current serenity with the utter misery and chaos elsewhere. Maybe it's an illusion. I am horrified by the choices and experiences and privations so many are undergoing, right here on this thread and elsewhere in the world. I am appalled by the politics. All I can do is witness, and empathise, and send out love and support and some portion of my calm, if you need it, if you can use it, if it's helpful, here it is.

Thank you MetaFilter. Posters and lurkers and usual suspects, you're another thing I'm really grateful for and lucky to have.
posted by Ilira at 1:45 AM on April 11, 2020 [26 favorites]

Make that two neighbourhoods where you’re known as that lady who walks her cat. Happy birthday, janepanic!
posted by iamkimiam at 1:46 AM on April 11, 2020 [9 favorites]

Happy birthday Janepanic!!!
posted by M. at 1:59 AM on April 11, 2020 [3 favorites]

Happy birthday from Sweden, janepanic! I hope you are able to find a moment or two of joy however small. Resentment and grief also work; how sucky that you don't get to be in Toronto with your bff. Grrrrrr. I sympathize.
posted by Bella Donna at 2:55 AM on April 11, 2020 [4 favorites]

well, i'm back to work after a 14 day quarantine that may or may not have been necessary - but they're paying me anyway, so i guess ...

i have to have someone wave a thermometer at me every morning before i'm allowed to go to work - not just me, it's everyone

in the meantime, my poor kid's going crazy at times because we can't go places and do a bunch of stuff like we used to

maybe next month
posted by pyramid termite at 2:56 AM on April 11, 2020 [6 favorites]

mrzarquon, thanks for supplying that link.
posted by glasseyes at 3:02 AM on April 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

20 year lurk, glad that little lurk got diagnosed and got meds. (And I am apparently among the right audience for that card.)

lepus, all the best wishes to you! I’m looking forward to good news soon.
posted by eirias at 3:05 AM on April 11, 2020 [6 favorites]

Lots of virtual hugs to everyone who needs them.
posted by daybeforetheday at 3:07 AM on April 11, 2020 [3 favorites]

Happy birthday, janepanic!
posted by Don Pepino at 3:19 AM on April 11, 2020 [3 favorites]

lepus, I am looking forward to your next update, with baby. You'll be fine, I'm sure.

Happy birthday janepanic!

20 year lurk, keep an eye on that Lyme's! In my experience, children recover better, when treated, but still it can be a bugger to get rid of. Here in relaxed deer land, many in my family have had the disease, and I have had it come back in the middle of winter, where it had been hiding in my body for months. I don't believe in all the woo, but it is a fact that it reappeared in my own body.

Hugs to everyone. We are in here for a really long haul, and it will be rough.

Here schools for the smaller kids will reopen on Tuesday, most places. The children will be seated 2 metres apart, and the school day will be shorter than normal, I think. It will be interesting. Teachers will become a new group of "essential workers", and children potential disease vectors. On the other hand, families with young children are going crazy these days, all over the world, and it makes WFH very difficult for them. I don't know what to think. Will update as the news come in.
posted by mumimor at 3:31 AM on April 11, 2020 [9 favorites]

In the centre of the UK outbreak here in NW London. It is so strange the contrast between the calm and restful atmosphere of my cocooned domestic life (my wife is mildly hypertensive, mildly TDM, mildly asthmatic, and not so mildly immunosuppressed so we have been fully isolating for some weeks before it officially began here and will be after restrictions for others are lifted) and the absolute madness my friends who work in NHS clinical roles are experiencing.

My wife works for the NHS doing research and is likely to either switch over to remote admin tasks or to take over administrative parts of the rest of her team's research projects while they move into roles supporting the front-line.

Trying not to get frustrated by the unbelievably bad reporting by almost the entire British press and the even dumber comments that people have about every twist and turn on social media. Thankfully I either gave up on or heavily customised how I consume social media long ago but whenever I pop out of that bubble to have a look around I am stunned at how every half-wit now has an opinion on epidemiology, infection control & PPE, virology, immunology, and medicinal chemistry.

There is a strange and particular phenomenon where everyone in the UK is either convinced that ours is the best run response (dumb, but all countries have a strain of positive particularism) or that it is by far the worst (I think this kind of negative particularism is uniquely British but not sure). Both of those are very silly things to think but most of the people who think them consume only a very narrow slice of domestic-only media so not sure who is to blame.
posted by atrazine at 4:35 AM on April 11, 2020 [10 favorites]

i have been putting this off for over a week now but today i must Go Outside and Get On The Train and i am not looking forward to it one fucking bit, esp bc it's kind of nice out today and i assume it will be full of morons going to LAWLESSLY SOCIALIZE somewhere. i just want my medication.

however i am AWAKE and it is MORNING and my disgusting flesh prison appears to be behaving NORMALLY and that is pretty okay all things considered
posted by poffin boffin at 5:05 AM on April 11, 2020 [17 favorites]

No real update from my area but last night I apparently went to bed in my street clothes if that tells you anything about how I'm doing. And I can't even blame alcohol I think I have just broken down the barrier between pajamas and the rest of my wardrobe.
posted by muddgirl at 5:22 AM on April 11, 2020 [19 favorites]

Last week, I re-watched FF Copolla's 'The Conversation' and before posting it to Fanfare, I read about all the wonderful actors, including my favorite Allen Garfield. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that he is retired at 80 but was still alive.
Unfortunately he joined wikipedia's list of Coronavirus deaths, on the same day, 4/7/20, that John Prine and Hal Willner passed.
RIP "Bernie Moran"
posted by growabrain at 5:27 AM on April 11, 2020 [10 favorites]

janepanic, we may have both gotten a birthday present of a peak of a flattened curve.

How often do you get to hope it's all downhill from here on your birthday, eh?
posted by joeyh at 5:55 AM on April 11, 2020 [8 favorites]

There is a strange and particular phenomenon where everyone in the UK is either convinced that ours is the best run response (dumb, but all countries have a strain of positive particularism) or that it is by far the worst

I have occasionally found it comforting that official announcements that appear unconscionably stupid have been made in the morning and by evening course correction has occurred to render them manageable. There is evidence that there are some people in charge with an idea of logistics and practicality and that they are organising things even though they may not always be the public face of the covid repsonse. But I cannot stand the BBC all in this together community heros lets clap for the nurses our politicians are doing the absolute best they can and anything not working was someone elses' (some other country's) earlier mistake thing they have going on. Spouse has the bbc on by habit when he's home and I will not be in the same room so we are not really sharing space much during the day.

Today I have rage and nowhere to put it. People being called to volunteer for the health service and put in the face of being in danger of their lives due to government incompetence over PPE supplies; calls for lay volunteers persisting when it's evident doing so is both perilous and unsupported. BBC cheerleading this on with their all in this together nonsense when we are all so manifestly not all in this together. MPs and royalty pissing off to their second homes and people in dense cramped housing told they can't use the parks. BAME citizens - including health workers: were the deaths because nearly all the doctors were retired thus in a doubly vulnerable group? - having proportionately much higher rates of infection and death. The link between this and housing/income deprivation and general levels of health and the last 10 years of unnecessary austerity that disproportionately affected the very jobs now recognised as essential. What's happening to the homeless? Unreported. What's happening in poor areas of London and other cities? Unreported, it's not the journalists usual beat.

So the old rona shows us something about the workings of our respective societies and it's not at all compatible with comfortable ideals about the way it's supposed to be working. Today, this gets to me. Sorry for the rant, not in fit state for much else.
posted by glasseyes at 6:05 AM on April 11, 2020 [36 favorites]

Thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone! I think we are all set here.
posted by janepanic at 7:03 AM on April 11, 2020 [22 favorites]

lepus, continuing to keep you in my thoughts and wishing you the best possible outcome: a healthy baby and a healthy you.
posted by cooker girl at 7:33 AM on April 11, 2020 [8 favorites]

Thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone! I think we are all set here.

okay am I a bad person if I order Cat Crimes from Amazon, or is that considered an essential service? 🐱
posted by eirias at 7:45 AM on April 11, 2020 [7 favorites]

Too many here to list but sending hugs to so many of you.

I'm doing mostly okay but missing my girlfriend a lot. We live apart but had a full weekend together before things went to shelter at home, which really was a blessing. The introvert in me has held up pretty well but fuck, I could go for a good, long snuggle right about now.

My friends and family are staying healthy as far as I can tell - my folks had a 50th wedding anniversary (it's today!) dream trip to Europe that obviously got cancelled. So instead, they planned a trip up to the state park where they got engaged but THAT got closed earlier this week due to vandalism and too many people gathering together.

Minor compared to what so many are going through but still sad for them. Dropping off a cake and a card for them today, so hopefully that will provide a little bright spot.

Went to the grocery store for the first time in two weeks yesterday for essentials and saddened by how few people were wearing masks compared to how busy it was.
posted by Twicketface at 7:46 AM on April 11, 2020 [6 favorites]

I'm handling it as well as a newly-come-out extrovert can. Still boggled to learn how much I need other people.

This past week was sluggish at work -- week ... five? of working from home, I think? We were early to move out of the office here in Seattle. I'm lucky I can work at home, and that my partner is also home, and that we have enough space for separate offices on different floors.

This week we bought a staggering amount of premade meals from a local restaurant, parceled them out and stuffed our freezer for the days I feel too lazy to cook. Other plans might include such fun things as "putting cat litter in old paint" and "wiring up a new wifi access point"

Living the wild life here.

I try not to worry too much about my son, living in another state with my ex who if she had her way wouldn't have him with me at all. I'm lucky that WA has made it clear that custodial agreements are to be followed in this topsy turvy time, but given that the only reason our custody isn't 50/50 already is because of the aforementioned "other state" it would have been nice if she'd okayed 50/50 for remote schooling. I'm maybe a bit bitter about that.
posted by ChrisR at 7:59 AM on April 11, 2020 [8 favorites]

okay am I a bad person if I order Cat Crimes from Amazon, or is that considered an essential service?

Well, that is up to you. It is pretty fun, though - I’ve just left it set up and am casually turning over challenge cards when I get bored. Look at his little face!
posted by janepanic at 8:17 AM on April 11, 2020 [7 favorites]

Finally got some masks yesterday. Made by a weird tailor shop on our street that I have spent the last year or so wondering about because they didn't fit the neighborhood at all and seemed to have no customers. Now they are selling reusable cotton masks at 7 bucks a pop ( and climbing exponentially - it was $5 two days ago). The mask wearing uptake has been pretty pronounced in my neighborhood (Lakeview in Chicago). I'd say about 60-70% of people. Young and Middle aged men seem to be the bulk of non-adopters.

I'm getting increasingly anxious about the fact that the federal government isn't announcing any kind of actual plan at all for moving beyond mere reaction to actively working to get us ahead and then out of this situation.

I'm weirdly more social now via zoom drinking sessions than I was pre-covid. I started baking bread in December and my starter is still doing well. I've also lost 7lbs since the lockdown started because having my wife always around partially constrains my semi-secret food binging. I have also largely kicked my out of control diet coke addiction partly because I wanted to and started pre-covid crisis and partly because it would require just too much shopping to maintain my supply at the levels I was consuming. I now just have one small or medium bottle each time we shop which is about 10 to 14 day intervals now.

I'm still running regularly but have switched to my full heat of summer schedule where we would get up at 5am to run in order to avoid the heat. Now we do it in order to avoid the people in our very dense area. It was a ghost town out there at first but more and more runners are adopting the strategy now. I am not sure how long this opportunity will last as anti-runner sentiment seems to be really ramping up as the park and trail closures have pushed runners onto the streets and sidewalks and people are all really tense.

I previously mentioned in one of these threads about the closet Canada we built for our cat. Here is a photo of The Bean in her Closet Country.
posted by srboisvert at 9:14 AM on April 11, 2020 [44 favorites]

My coronavirus test was negative. I'm now assuming it's a sinus infection and treating accordingly. Not sure I've had one with low-grade fever and chills before.
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:38 AM on April 11, 2020 [24 favorites]

Made a run out today here in Portland for some essentials; probably half the people at the big supermarket were wearing masks, a *major* uptick from my last grocery run (which was a week ago, maybe?) Then I went to the fancy pet supply store (Mud Bay) to buy some of the fancy, high-buck cat litter that my little monsters prefer (every time as I put away my credit card and glare at the receipt I mutter "for you to POOP ON!"), and discovered they were doing a very cool thing--they'd set up a little portable handwash station at the entrance, like you'd find at a fair by the food booths, and everyone was asked to wash their hands before going in. I kept thinking why don't more places do this? and to be honest I don't know if it would scale to something like a supermarket, but man, I was so jazzed by having a chance to handwash. (My standards for delight have shifted considerably...)
posted by Kat Allison at 10:25 AM on April 11, 2020 [15 favorites]

Here is a photo of The Bean in her Closet Country.

she is perfect i love her
posted by poffin boffin at 12:32 PM on April 11, 2020 [6 favorites]

Hey all! Just swinging back through to say hi. We're bunkered in pretty well out in the sticks, and my wife's finishing up her classes remotely. We took the early word seriously enough that my gym buddies and I went in together on a rack for our basement, and that's been a sanity-saver, although they're not coming over for a couple weeks after one of them gave blood and my wife did a mutual-aid run to a grocery store (and then a run to the local paper mill and a tour as the small-town Toilet Paper Fairy. She's more popular than I am these days.)

I made my first mask today and will probably make a handful more, although I am a dreadful hand-sewer. (Also the bedhead lasts all day these days...)

Love you all!
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:44 PM on April 11, 2020 [27 favorites]

Frivolous and silly, but I have reached the Pink Gamer Cat Ear Headphones stage of quarantine.

If there's gonna be Life Indoors via Videoconference for the foreseeable future, I want comfy headphones to go with it.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:53 PM on April 11, 2020 [14 favorites]

Lemur, sending lots of good birth vibes and strength to you, baby, and partner.
posted by stillmoving at 2:19 PM on April 11, 2020 [4 favorites]

I've spent the past week on volunteer mask-making for a local drive.

Looking over finances, canceled work, etc., I've been thinking about making masks to sell but feeling oddly guilty about it. It still helps people to have masks available to buy, right? Time to set up an Etsy account, might sell some locally if I can figure out a safe way to deal with logistics.
posted by yohko at 2:37 PM on April 11, 2020 [8 favorites]

The good-
Had a virtual happy hour with friends flung far and wide last night, and for a couple hours it was just like we were all sitting around the campfire telling stories and swapping lies. This is the "found family" that we've built up over the years, and there's nobody that I'm closer to. I needed this more than I had realized.

The weather this last week has been the type that really shows off how beautiful Seattle can be. My morning rides to work down streets lined with cherry blossoms and across the 520 bridge with the Cascades standing tall under blue skies has been truly heartening.

The bad-
Some ass-knuckle has hijacked my online account with the DOL, most likely in an attempt at identity theft. Like I, or anyone really, needs this kind of headache on top of the rest.

The better than I expected it to be-
I finally got around to freezing my credit and it only took about 20 minutes.
posted by calamari kid at 2:47 PM on April 11, 2020 [4 favorites]

Up to 30% of negative covid-19 tests are false negatives. If you had symptoms the best plan is to assume you had it. The only problem is not knowing if you have antibodies and can’t get reinfected, or if you’re still at risk.
posted by fedward at 2:52 PM on April 11, 2020 [10 favorites]

restless_nomad: the bedhead lasts all day these days...

Not gonna lie: it looks dead sexy on you. And I normally don't even swing that way.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:04 PM on April 11, 2020 [7 favorites]

Stalker has chucked me into the national spotlight again. I’m miserable and I’m going to lose my job. How many sorries, wishes, hopes, and understands do I need to collect before someone actually does something? I’m hissy and spitty and I want to hurt something. Obviously I won’t harm anyone. What does sorry actually mean? I want people to fast or tear their clothes or light a candle or pray or something. I understand one of the reasons why people self harm now. Don’t delete my comment and don’t check on me for gods sake, mods, just take this. Take it, and let it be.
posted by The Last Sockpuppet at 4:03 PM on April 11, 2020 [24 favorites]

To clarify - I’m safe, I’m not going to harm anyone, and I needed a vent. And I genuinely do want to know what sorry actually means.
posted by The Last Sockpuppet at 4:06 PM on April 11, 2020 [5 favorites]

It still helps people to have masks available to buy, right?

YES! I mean we paid some dodgy dudes $7 a pop for off-white cotton masks.

There are lots of people with no access to masks at the moment who don't have the material, equipment or ability to make them for themselves.

Do some good for others and some good for yourself.
posted by srboisvert at 4:45 PM on April 11, 2020 [11 favorites]

It's Easter week for us coming up and that means instead of spending every day at church and then most of Friday and Saturday, we will be livestreaming. Easter floats in the Orthodox church because it's tied to Passover dates, so we are next week. About four months ago I had a serious disagreement in my local parish and stopped attending some services as regularly while things get sorted, and it has been good prep in that we have home church set up, but Pascha is sort of the turning point of the year for me because it's this big week-long communal celebration and now we are doing it remotely when so many of the rituals involved a crowd and physical presence - the passing of the holy flame, the receiving the red eggs, standing in a crowd outside at night and hearing everyone shout in different languages that Christ is Risen - afterwards, the overladen pot-luck table with people sighing in wonder at their first taste of meat again and the kids sharing chocolates and banging eggs together.

We will be boiling red eggs - if I can get my hands on more eggs - and making fruit breads and hopefully, there will be leftover chocolate from the others but it's very - I don't even have proper candles yet. Tonight we are having roast chicken and red wine for my housekeeper as she's Catholic to celebrate her Easter (she has to stay with us during lockdown). I'm 'lucky' in that I have a medical exemption from fasting, but this year, I miss the tradition even more. Church on a screen is - church is people.

As well, this will be the last Pascha with my children as one is converting to Islam, so he won't be participating the same next year. It's so bittersweet to have the traditions continue, but still so very different and lonelier.

(Also Singapore has introduced a $300 on the spot fine for flouting quarantine rules. I went to the corner store yesterday for batteries and only half the people were wearing masks, still crowds, so yay.)
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:03 PM on April 11, 2020 [13 favorites]

Something positive:

I enjoyed this Twitch DJ set where the commenters were so positive with one another and swapping IG handles. Like, just a nice slice of the internet and the disco tunes were a delight, and the DJ was so charming. And apparently she does this several nights a week so I can catch her again.

Hope it's okay to share a nice thing.
posted by too bad you're not me at 8:38 PM on April 11, 2020 [11 favorites]

I started working from home about a month ago this week. Two days in I started feeling chest pain. I figured it was anxiety, or acid reflux, or maybe even allergies appearing late in life, but it got worse and worse until one night I went to the emergency room, where they checked my heart and my lungs and declared I had some sort of upper respiratory issue, but they aren't testing here unless you're a health care worker, so it could have been *a* virus, or it could have been *the* virus (I never had a fever, and barely coughed). I don't know, but I was extremely careful to observe quarantine thereafter, and now I'm no longer experiencing those symptoms, but every time I cough a little, I wonder if I'm getting it for real this time, or if I'm just not getting enough fresh air, or what. I wear a mask even though the hair elastics I used gave me a headache and I carry hand sanitizer around with me to go grocery shopping, and I don't know if it's enough. I want to do this right, and keep myself safe and my loved ones safe, and I'm so stressed out by everything that I'm reading, and everyone treats me like if I just laid off Twitter it would be fine. Internet acquaintances, my therapist, doesn't matter. I know I don't have real problems yet. The people in the hospitals or who cannot leave the houses at all do. All of the people who have lost their jobs or will lose their jobs, they have real problems. My therapist is pregnant! What business do I have telling her how scared I am? I don't feel like I have any options.
posted by koucha at 8:49 PM on April 11, 2020 [20 favorites]

You are paying your therapist to tell her how scared you are...

If you aren't scared, regardless of your individual health situation, you aren't paying enough attention. This is crazy. No one has lived through anything like this in a hundred years. It's OK to be scared about this, regardless of how trivial and unimportant you can feel your feelings are.
posted by Windopaene at 9:42 PM on April 11, 2020 [28 favorites]

I've been thinking about making masks to sell but feeling oddly guilty about it. It still helps people to have masks available to buy, right?
I'm garbage with a needle and I still have a job. I traded gin for a mask but I would also pay cash money not to sew.
posted by Uncle at 10:42 PM on April 11, 2020 [14 favorites]

Rounding on week 3 of staying at home; didn't manage 24 hours between JRPGs (now on Dragon Quest XI per the gaming thread).

The weirdest part is how my usual depression can't grab hold since I've got a legit reason for staying at home alone, rather than the usual reason of just not enjoying stuff.
posted by Marticus at 6:11 AM on April 12, 2020 [8 favorites]

I took a walk this morning with the kids, Easter Sunday. Incredibly quiet in town, and the birds have finally arrived. It was lovely.

I'm not sure why, but seeing the Catholic church shuttered on this day made me choke up a little. I'm not even Christian... it's just depressing.
posted by selfnoise at 7:56 AM on April 12, 2020 [5 favorites]

If you had told me last year that in the midst of worldwide pandemic I'd watch simone biles take off her sweatpants while doing a handstand I would have thought that was pretty unlikely. I AM CONSTANTLY MAKING HUGE ADJUSTMENTS TO ALL MY BAYESIAN PRIORS.
posted by srboisvert at 8:46 AM on April 12, 2020 [17 favorites]

I have had a migraine for the past three days. On the plus side, it is such a classic migraine for me (crescent-shaped visual distortion in one eye, vertigo, eye-squeezy sensation, nausea, etc.) that I am 100% sure that it's a migraine and not some other kind of headache that would be indicative of Covid-19. On the minus side, I have had a migraine for three days.

I think that we all need to work on feeling less guilty about things. I am feeling guilty all the fucking time, and it is not helping matters. Do not feel guilty about dumping on your therapist: that is your therapist's job! Do not feel guilty about selling masks: many people can afford masks and don't have the equipment to make them! I should not feel guilty about the fact that I cannot fix my parents' relationship, either of of their mental health issues, or my father's deep and profound executive function challenges, which he has dealt with his whole life by finding the nearest available woman and insisting that she plan and organize everything for him. I probably should feel guilty about yelling at him when he calls me at 8:00 in the morning to ask me where his random possessions are, but holy fuck. Does he think that there's a tracking system attached to the second X chromosome?

So yeah. Everything here is a bit of a mess, which seems to be my new normal. One of my mom's medical providers emailed to say that he can't come anymore because he's been exposed to coronavirus, which is a little anxiety-producing. The last time she saw him was a week ago, so we've got 7 days to worry about it until we're in the clear.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:09 AM on April 12, 2020 [15 favorites]

I've been thinking about making masks to sell but feeling oddly guilty about it. It still helps people to have masks available to buy, right?

I don't have a machine and I dislike sewing in general, so I went onto Etsy to buy masks for my husband and I. There are a lot of people making them, but also many of the shops are taking weeks to ship so if you can get yours shipped out quicker I think you would find a grateful market. I ordered from a shop that said they were shipping in 3-5 days, only to get an email a week later saying they were running behind due to "equipment breakdowns". Not sure when I will be getting them at this point, so I picked up some sewing supplies when I went to the grocery and may have a go at hand-sewing my own.

Relatedly, an interesting thing came across my Facebook feed the other day. Someone has released a pattern for crocheting "ear savers" to be used with ear loop masks, basically a small bit of crocheted band with a button on each end to allow the ear loops to be fastened on, so they go around the back of the head instead of behind the ear. Here are instructions on how to make. I imagine these would be appreciated by medical workers, in case someone wants a non-sewing donation project.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 9:15 AM on April 12, 2020 [12 favorites]

Almost all of the daily conversations I have are with people in my neighborhood - strangers/retail workers/anyone. I'm sad because people cross the street to get away from me or turn their backs when I'm near them. Even if I try to say a friendly hello I get glared at suspiciously. I was out on my porch a few minutes ago thinking that I should yell hello to every person walking by and then I realized that that was too stalkery.
posted by bendy at 9:27 AM on April 12, 2020 [11 favorites]

The main thing I'm puzzling with is that most people around me seem startled and disturbed if I even say hello. Is there going to be a point where this pandemic brings us together?
posted by bendy at 9:30 AM on April 12, 2020 [6 favorites]

I'm sorry people are being glare-y and weird bendy (and others, above). In my community there's been a lot of "bringing us together" stuff but it's really been hit or miss, like the majority of people are very friendly,wave,hello and all that, and then there are clearly people either having a hard struggle or maybe dealing with paranoia or fear who seem to be retreating more into themselves.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:34 AM on April 12, 2020 [14 favorites]

Thanks Jessamyn. I have a gamer group that has replaced our Wednesday happy hour with a Wednesday video happy hour and that's awesome. I do have real friends that I should be talking with more. I probably rely too much on strangers.

I put this sign out on my porch in a five-way intersection. (I swear there are so many joggers out here that I think they're being chased):

to your neighbors
we're all in this

Walking down the empty streets,
we all need
a smile or
a head nod or
an eye roll. Or a
fist bump if you're brave.
posted by bendy at 10:00 AM on April 12, 2020 [6 favorites]

Lovely sign, not sure about he fist bump part though!
posted by Glinn at 10:02 AM on April 12, 2020 [12 favorites]

I'm sorry people are being glare-y and weird bendy (and others, above). In my community there's been a lot of "bringing us together" stuff but it's really been hit or miss, like the majority of people are very friendly,wave,hello and all that, and then there are clearly people either having a hard struggle or maybe dealing with paranoia or fear who seem to be retreating more into themselves.

I'm not stranger friendly at the best of times but it's quite difficult in my situation. Living in an extremely dense area I'm pretty preoccupied with making physical distancing choices for everyone in my proximity (it's like how I was taught to drive - Communicate your actions in advance and remove the opportunity for others to make mistakes that will impact you. You are actually driving every car on the road). I'm constantly judging and assessing people I see on the street with some sort of internal calculus/prejudice to decide who I think will and will not respect my space and working out what barriers can hem me in and take away my options and plotting what I consider my optimal route like I am working out a video game speedrun.
posted by srboisvert at 10:26 AM on April 12, 2020 [24 favorites]

I've been thinking about making masks to sell but feeling oddly guilty about it. It still helps people to have masks available to buy, right?

Yes, it definitely helps! I have a sewing machine and know how to use it, and I still decided to order some pre-made masks. Wading through the competing sewing patterns, finding material, and so on was just more than I felt like taking on. I appreciated being able to let someone else figure all that out and charge for their time.

As China fully ramps up industrial production, at some point cheap, disposable masks will become easily available again. But in the here and now, people need options and not everyone has the interest, time, or ability to DIY their own.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:31 AM on April 12, 2020 [6 favorites]

Relatedly, an interesting thing came across my Facebook feed the other day. Someone has released a pattern for crocheting "ear savers" to be used with ear loop masks, basically a small bit of crocheted band with a button on each end to allow the ear loops to be fastened on, so they go around the back of the head instead of behind the ear. Here are instructions on how to make. I imagine these would be appreciated by medical workers, in case someone wants a non-sewing donation project.

I made one for my wife just yesterday using plastic from a bottle. I just cut a long strip of plastic and then cut into it to create angled 'teeth' that could catch the ear hooks. I got the idea from seeing a post from someone who was doing them using fancy and expensive 3D printing and thought "I don't need to print that I can make that with just scissors and some garbage".

Next I am going to surprise my wife with a snood made from the leg of old running pants we were going to just donate.

I'm really quite the catch if you want pandemic presents made from garbage!
posted by srboisvert at 10:33 AM on April 12, 2020 [62 favorites]

I got a negative test result yesterday. That's good. But I sure wish I felt better health-wise and could actually take a break from working while sick. The most isolating part of this is having to keep redoing things because other people make mistakes - prescriptions that were promised but never got faxed to the drug store, prescriptions that were promised and even bagged but accidentally left at the store and not put in with the rest of the delivery, appointments that were scheduled but then my data either got deleted or not entered in the system so I got stood up.

I think a lot of people are under-functioning, and I can understand why. Everyone is under enough stress that they are only working on one cylinder. Someone decided not to bother with her cane when she went out and had a fall. She preferred to lie on the ground and yell at people passing by for forty-five minutes instead of pressing her lifeline button. This is not exactly best practices in social distancing, but now she knows a neighbouring taxi driver who picked her up and got her inside so I suppose it's a good thing because it's nice to make new friends. Someone else could not find something that fell off her little plastic bedside stand until I went to her place and moved a stack of books and sure enough, there it was under the little plastic bedside stand. Someone else has been treating a yeast infection with antibiotic cream instead of the anti-fungal cream for two and a half weeks because they would have had to fetch the tube from the bathroom instead of using the tube already in the bedroom. The antibiotic cream has been killing the healthy skin bacteria and made the yeast infection far worse but it never crossed their mind to use the goop they were told to use, even while they knew they were using the wrong stuff and were going mad with itching.

I know I am no smarter than anyone else and I make mistakes too, but ye Gods, it's like wading through waist deep molasses. I spend one day solving problems, the next day flat out unable to eat because I am so tired, and the third day starting over again on the problems that had supposedly been resolved on the first day, but which have ended up back in my lap again. I've had shortness of breath since March 13th. I don't wanna be solving stupid problems! I wanna be spending all my energy on making sure I take some nourishment and stop losing so much fricking weigh! *grumble *

You know that classic story trope about the hero who goes through a blizzard to fetch the medicine to save the lives of everyone in the village? It's like I'm doing that, only when I get back to the village (on foot after my horse dies) they greet me with the news that I've brought back the wrong medicine because they think they have the plague, not yellow fever. I'm just not feeling that sense of all-in-it-together-camaraderie...
posted by Jane the Brown at 10:46 AM on April 12, 2020 [26 favorites]

It's ok to want more connection with people in your immediate proximity, but it's also ok for them to just want to be left alone.

I totally get this. I say hi and then back off. We're all dealing with this however we need to, I keep that in mind.

I left my house this afternoon and there was a woman on the sidewalk gazing at the architecture. The house has an interesting story so I spent a few minutes telling her what I know and told her I'd email her some documents I have about its history.

We had a conversation and it was nice.
posted by bendy at 10:55 AM on April 12, 2020 [11 favorites]

I spent most of the first half of 2013 self-quarantined with my medically-fragile baby, and over the subsequent 7 years we’ve gotten quite used to canceling vacations, family reunions, field trips, and parties due to illness/hospitalizations. The first 4 weeks of COVID lockdown felt inconvenient but not unexpected; recovering from childbirth while catching the flu and having to keep a ticking genetic time bomb newborn alive was a much scarier, darker time.

So it came as a surprise last week when I finally felt deeply, unshakably sad. I don’t know what to say beyond that. My brain is fried from trying to work remotely while helping my kid adjust to constantly changing distance learning apps and minimal communication from his teacher, who is transitioning to this new teaching world while at home with her own small children. It feels so unsustainable. At least in 2013 I was mostly on maternity leave and could just settle into surviving day by day - having to do this while producing “deliverables” and sitting through back-to back conference calls during which I also have to help my kid through math fractions work just seems cruel.

On a different note, last week I was walking down the sidewalk with my son and almost got crashed into by a girl on a bike. Her parents were nowhere to be found, so I was quite annoyed, but my son turned to me and said, “Guess what? I really DO like girls now. I think they’re really beautiful.” It had been a month since my 7 year old was in close proximity to a girl, so I guess absence does make the heart grow fonder.
posted by Maarika at 11:39 AM on April 12, 2020 [35 favorites]

I am haunted by fear of the virus but also that my workplace will notice my low productivity and fire me. No one has given me any warnings but I am struggling so hard to care about my job while also terrified to lose it.
posted by emjaybee at 1:59 PM on April 12, 2020 [26 favorites]

Test negative. Cefalexin killed whatever made days of fever, and other symptoms. By now I feel better than I have in months. Low grade working its way to more unpleasant. Anyway, shopped today in a mask. Had a fabulous Easter brunch of 1 slice Winco combo pizza, 1 Popeyes chicken leg, 4 Winco hot wings, frozen lemonade. It was all that. Now I have to wash a lot of fruit and vegetables, cans, bottles, anyway.
posted by Oyéah at 2:01 PM on April 12, 2020 [25 favorites]

Good you are better, Oyéah.
Today there is another storm. It's not supposed to be as bad as the last one, where fallen trees blocked my driveway, but the horses are much more uneasy and the dog doesn't want to go out. The relaxed deer came all the way up to the house seeking shelter and ate all my budding herbs and the edible greens in the lawn frantically. It was quite something to watch. Maybe they all know something the meteorologists don't.
I've struggled with pain in almost all my body today. I'm pretty sure it isn't corona or even the flu, but sitting cramped at my dining table working, while being anxious. However, I realized at about 6PM that I had run out of painkillers. After looking through all drawers and cupboards with no result, I opened my last bottle of wine, a prosecco. It helps. But it is weird to drink something usually enjoyed with friends and delicious snacks in summer, and now just for pain.
Tomorrow is a holiday here, so the pharmacies and drugstores will be closed, but I can probably get a packet of paracetamol at the general store, priced like truffles.

Only about half of all schools will open on Tuesday, since the municipalities can't get them ready for the new situation, with much more space, more cleaning and more teachers. Some schools are going to have tents. Which can't be built in this storm. Storm season is usually over by May, but no one knows anything anymore, do they? And even before climate change, I remember building a snow house in late April when I was a kid.
posted by mumimor at 2:57 PM on April 12, 2020 [10 favorites]

This is just a note to myself that the friends I was speaking to today in the throes of utter, triggered, wild, enraged madness ACTIVELY consented to it, I was checking in with them LOTS, and that it is human and normal to lose your mind when your stalker pops back up and a bunch of literal actual fash are humiliating you on the internet and you might lose your job, and me sitting here feeling guilty about it means I’m adjusting, and that I’m actually not an evil POS, and I have the right to take up space and to be in pain.
posted by The Last Sockpuppet at 3:40 PM on April 12, 2020 [26 favorites]

I have the right to take up space and to be in pain.
If you need anymore confirmation, you have it from me right now. I wish I could help and protect you.
posted by mumimor at 4:26 PM on April 12, 2020 [5 favorites]

My daughter had diagnosed our malaise, it’s the same as long-haul flying on a plane that never lands. Time has little meaning, meals are delivered at random intervals, options are limited, sleeping is fitful at best, obviously can’t leave, you’re sick of the entertainment options, there’s not enough room to stretch out, you can’t see where you are going, no choice of seat-mates...
posted by gryphonlover at 5:18 PM on April 12, 2020 [50 favorites]

Love to you The Last Sockpuppet, Maarika , ArbitraryAndCapricious and anyone else who needs it

I think a lot of people are under-functioning, and I can understand why. Everyone is under enough stress that they are only working on one cylinder.

This is exactly it.
posted by daybeforetheday at 6:59 PM on April 12, 2020 [9 favorites]

In the state of New Mexico, the number of background checks for gun sales rose about 45 percent, compared with March 2019. Nationally and internationally, there are problems with the supply chain for groceries.

So besides worrying about people getting sick and dying from Covid-19, I also have some concern about possible societal breakdown.

But the authoritarian governments are here to save us from that.
posted by NotLost at 7:29 PM on April 12, 2020 [4 favorites]

Got a second 'opportunistic' infection now with extra! pain! in a super sensitive area (it's called a periductal abscess, don't image search that).

The thing that is making me the least OK is the interpersonal drama. I thought we were going to avoid this. Instead I get to feel unimportant & unwanted.
posted by saveyoursanity at 8:00 PM on April 12, 2020 [10 favorites]

I have a beautiful strong healthy baby, and I feel so supported by everyone here, thank you all so much. Knowing I wanted to post to thank people has become one of my healing goals, it feels so good to be able to feeling well enough to do it!

The birth did not go smoothly. Lots of “maybe this medication with work-wow nope, okay let’s try...”. I ended up with an epidural that somehow missed large areas, and then fell out entirely without anyone noticing, the team kept insisting that I was feeling a reasonable amount of pain. Eventually I needed an unplanned cesarean, which thankfully was handled by people who listened when I said something was wrong.

One strange moment of the times: upon being admitted I was tested for Covid-19. When my negative results came in the on call nurses came into my room singing “you’re negative!” and dancing, they told me getting to tell people they don’t have it is one of the best parts of their days.

Thank you all for being part of this community, and for posting here. Love to you all.
posted by lepus at 8:40 PM on April 12, 2020 [179 favorites]

Yay Lepus! We knew you could do it!!!

Now, the really hard part starts :)
posted by Windopaene at 8:57 PM on April 12, 2020 [3 favorites]

lepus, the joy and grace and relief in your comment brought happy tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Sending love.
posted by mochapickle at 10:07 PM on April 12, 2020 [13 favorites]

Congratulations on your new baby, lepus! Thank you for sharing this good news with us.
posted by 4rtemis at 10:20 PM on April 12, 2020 [7 favorites]

Congratulations lepus!!! I am so, so happy that you and your baby are healthy and safe. Brings me so much joy, thank you for updating us. :)
posted by fairlynearlyready at 11:28 PM on April 12, 2020 [6 favorites]

Congratulations lepus! And thank you so much for checking back in so soon.
posted by mumimor at 12:33 AM on April 13, 2020 [6 favorites]

I am haunted by fear of the virus but also that my workplace will notice my low productivity and fire me. No one has given me any warnings but I am struggling so hard to care about my job while also terrified to lose it.

Obviously this will depend upon your job and workplace, emjaybee, but putting on my manager hat for a second; I couldn't give less of a shit about my team's productivity right now. We're all dealing with completely insane circumstances, and staying alive and sane absolutely takes priority over the job.

I'm IT support for school, so we're doing important WFH trying to help teachers get prepped for remote teaching, but the core infrastructure is running, the key software is working and they've been using it for years to set homework, and most of the current problems are relatively trivial with people who don't know the first thing about IT (despite supposedly needing it to do their job) so most of what we're doing is really just trying to be kind - and that includes towards each other on the team.

But if someone is working 1 problem a day or 10 is absolutely bottom of what I care about right now, I'm much more concerned about their health and wellbeing so we're all still there when we eventually re-open.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 1:25 AM on April 13, 2020 [20 favorites]

I called a friend whom I know is struggling with isolation. I should call her more, because even though she has tons of friends and spends hours on the phone, I can hear they are like her: extroverted, outgoing, and also impulsive. And they are all going crazy. Near the end of our conversation, she was saying that she would rather die than remain in isolation.
I think this is going to be a problem soon. There are some people who can't deal with being alone, and far more people live alone today than just 20 years ago. There are some people who really need to get out and do stuff, and they need it even more when they are worried.
My friend is intelligent and well-informed, but I could hear she is beginning to believe stuff she sees on FB. The poison that is FB is getting worse because there are millions of stupid-smart people sitting alone with the internet, conjuring up hypotesis, or reading conspiracies invented by Russian and other disrupters.
I guess what I wanted to say is: call your extroverted friends, they are struggling. And also, thanks to the MetaFilter community for consistently providing solid information that I can forward to my friends when they heading towards the cliff-edge.
posted by mumimor at 4:31 AM on April 13, 2020 [19 favorites]

I had to go to the cancer center for an infusion Friday. I occasionally have moments when I feel like the person in a disaster movie who becomes completely hysterical and has to be slapped by the hero. But there isn't anyone around to slap me (which is super useful, as those of us with anxiety know), so I have to calm down by myself. I felt like that when I was about to go out the door. I have really cut down leaving the house to almost nothing because last time I went for a walk - in a pretty isolated area - joggers kept passing me as well as bicyclists on the sidewalk, unmasked and way too close for comfort. So I've been doing my 6000 steps in a loop around my living room while listening to podcasts.

The infusion center changes a bit every week. Now all the curtains are drawn around all the chairs at all times, so it's very private. The nurses were amazing as usual. Unfortunately, my hemoglobin was down a bit. I still refused the super scary drug. I don't know if I'm doing the right thing there, but the potential side effects are so awful that I just feel like if they give me an injection of this drug, I will become the hysterical person in the disaster movie for sure.
posted by FencingGal at 6:24 AM on April 13, 2020 [21 favorites]

Oh - the good news around here is that the plans for the field hospital in my city have been put on hold for now because things are not as bad as they feared they would be. Of course, some people on Twitter are already saying that this means the social distancing was unnecessary rather than that it's working. Our governor (Michigan) is being criticized for her most recent additions to the lockdown - she's having unnecessary items roped off in the big box stores and has closed gardening centers. People have pointed out that she's getting a lot more crap than the governor who poisoned Flint.

I'm an hour from Detroit, and it sounds like things are awful there. The death rate is higher than that in New York. And of course, African Americans are disproportionately affected - just like everywhere else.
posted by FencingGal at 6:31 AM on April 13, 2020 [19 favorites]

Congratulations, lepus!! Some great news is just what I needed this morning. I wish you many hours of sleep, a snuggly-cuddly baby, and all the best.
posted by cooker girl at 6:59 AM on April 13, 2020 [4 favorites]

So glad to hear from Lepus! Congratulations!!!
posted by areaperson at 7:09 AM on April 13, 2020 [5 favorites]

Congratulations Lepus!
posted by Dip Flash at 7:21 AM on April 13, 2020 [5 favorites]

Thank YOU, Lepus, for giving us all something to celebrate! Many virtual hugs for you (you’ve been through so much!) and your beautiful new wee one.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:32 AM on April 13, 2020 [5 favorites]

My therapist is pregnant! What business do I have telling her how scared I am?

Mine is: (a) in NYC, (b) over 60, (c) taking care of her 97-year-old mother, (d) out on the streets of NYC every day where people are not maintaining six feet of space, and (e) had to have emergency dental surgery last week. Hell, I'm scared for her too. is their job. And as someone told me on Crone Island, it helps them to be distracted from their problems by dealing with your problems.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:42 AM on April 13, 2020 [11 favorites]

lepus, you've been on my mind non-stop since your first post, I am so glad this mostly worked and, most importantly, you have a healthy baby and are okay.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:54 AM on April 13, 2020 [8 favorites]

As a therapist in nyc who is still having to go into the office to do televisits for no good reason, let me reassure you that you should feel free to fully express yourself to your therapist. That’s what you’re paying for and we are trained to manage our own feelings while supporting our clients. But also I can’t tell you what a comfort my clients have been to me during this time just by being themselves. Their distress has been validating to me, helped me normalize my own distress. Also having the familiar rhythm of my day and week in my therapy schedule has been enormously comforting as everything else suddenly became unfamiliar. I’ve appreciated communing with them over this and everyone’s situation is their situation and totally valid. It’s not your job to help or comfort your therapist, but we are all human in this and communing in it is helpful for everyone.
posted by Waiting for Pierce Inverarity at 8:54 AM on April 13, 2020 [41 favorites]

Wonderful news lepus. Big up to the strong brave woman. Congratulations on the birth of your child
posted by glasseyes at 9:00 AM on April 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

this is the bestest of the bestified best news, Lepus.
posted by clavdivs at 9:27 AM on April 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

Today, with the crazy intense windstorm in NYC, it was extremely hard to motivate myself to leave the cocoon of my bed and trudge over to my computer and get the day started. My one saving grace is that it's a bank holiday in the UK, so many of my early meetings have been cancelled. I didn't log on until 10 (usually on by 7:30ish-8).

Be gentle with yourselves. Today demarcates a full month of quarantine/isolation for me, and I am not really thrilled about how used to things I am getting. I don't like that I've gotten used to not leaving my apartment, or having 90% of my human interaction virtually. I don't like that every day I need to convince my mom to stay home, and not to head out (and god knows if she's actually listening, or just telling me she is). I don't like the need to constantly track the news and figure out what is going poorly. (it's part of my job, so I can't avoid it even if I really, really want too)

I am grateful though for many small things. a fluffly cat snoring to himself just slightly out of arms reach, a roof over my head, a tolerant (if very stir crazy partner), the ability to support businesses as needed, since I do have a busy (distracting!) job that is allowing us to actually be gentle to ourselves (and holy shit I recognize how lucky I am)!!!!

I worry about my city, I worry about my friends who are starting to see work dry up- the second order effects are starting to permeate through my family and friends. I worry about the friends in the medical field who are burning out, and I worry with my teacher friends who worry about their students. I worry about my cousins grieving the death of their mother alone.

Be gentle with yourselves.
posted by larthegreat at 9:32 AM on April 13, 2020 [24 favorites]

Congratulations, lepus!

It is now snowing in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A few days on each side, and we have highs around 70 degrees.
posted by NotLost at 9:37 AM on April 13, 2020 [7 favorites]

France has extended lockdown until May 11th at the earliest, with maybe some businesses open then, but not restaurants/bars/museums, and concerts and festivals cancelled till mid July. Vulnerable populations (me) will likely stay in lockdown longer.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:28 AM on April 13, 2020 [5 favorites]

Congrats Lepus! My other half is due to give birth in a couple of weeks, and we are in a weird space where we don't know for sure yet if I will be allowed to stay during labour, or even if I am if someone will be available to look after our other kids while I'm there (this will be our third).

Meanwhile our other kids start remote-schooling this week, which has begun with me needing to provide tech support for most of the parents since the school info said to use MS Teams but contained zero information on how to actually log in to Teams.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:56 PM on April 13, 2020 [7 favorites]

Checking in from Essex, UK. My heart goes out to all of you who are struggling, who've had difficult decisions to make, who are scared or in pain. I am so happy for Lepus and that baby Lepus is here and is healthy.

I'm pretty much 100% isolating at home, except for walks in the forest where I live. Since the car parks were closed off it's been much quieter. I avoided it over Easter weekend, as the weather was beautiful and I knew it'd be busier than I'd be comfortable with. I sat in the garden and read. I'm very lucky to have outdoor space.

On Friday while we were both sitting in our adjoining gardens, I overheard the woman next door talking on speaker phone with her daughter, who lives about 5 miles away. The daughter and grandson (aged 3) were planning on coming over for the weekend, despite the kid having a temperature and a cough and the daughter saying that she knew she shouldn't be visiting. "But I reaaaallly waaant toooo". FFS! This is directly in contravention of restrictions in place prohibiting travel to meet family or friends. They came over, and stayed the whole weekend. I made an online report to the local police (as did another two neighbours) but I don't think it's 'urgent' enough for any action to be taken.

I am so angry with them. I miss my friends, I want to go out and do all the things I used to do. But I also want to not die, so I understand the importance of staying at home. When we all go into the street on Thursday evening to applaud the NHS (now a weekly thing in the UK) I don't know how I will restrain myself from yelling at this stupid woman. (Luckily I do not have to come within six feet of her.) If we're in lockdown until Christmas it'll be because of cretins like her and her daughter.

My upstairs neighbour, a breathing specialist working in the ICU, told me (by text) the other day that she had to pull over to the side of the road on her way home from work to cry. She said most of the people in the ICU aren't old - they're aged 40-55 and are bus drivers, care home workers, teachers, delivery men, police officers, taxi drivers ... the people who've had no protection for weeks and who still are on the front line of giving service.

I've had a veg box delivery, and I'm shamelessly piggybacking on the kindness of neighbours who ask if I want something added to their online grocery delivery or if they're going to the supermarket. I am still too scared to go shopping myself.

I had a full-on dose of the 'flu in January which knocked me out for 3 full weeks, and was just about over it by the beginning of March (I always have a cough that hangs on after a cold or flu). But I've had weird continuing symptoms - a phlegmy cough (mostly in the morning), post-nasal drip, a couple of days of nausea and diarrhoea in early March, tightness in my upper chest and, today, the cough has just about gone but I can feel my heartbeat. Normally I have a slight arrhythmia, and a low resting heart rate of about 55bpm, but I can't usually feel my heart beating. I don't feel like my heart's racing, but I can just feel it beating. I feel ... 'not quite right'.

Ordinarily I'd have gone to my GP by now, but there's no access to GPs at the moment, only a call centre staffed by operators who aren't medically-qualified who just look up online what I can Google myself. So I will have to wait it out until either the symptoms have gone altogether or my GP's surgery eventually re-opens.

I'm working full-time still (from home) and that's fine and likely to continue for the foreseeable future. I realise I am very lucky and privileged to be able to seal myself into a bubble of isolation.
posted by essexjan at 3:27 PM on April 13, 2020 [32 favorites]

lepus, hooray!! Welcome to your little one! If they were born yesterday, they share a birthday with Beverly Cleary, who is, improbably, still alive at 104.

Today, a colleague with high access and somewhat less elevated discretion said that nobody is talking about furloughs or layoffs yet. That last word...
posted by eirias at 4:15 PM on April 13, 2020 [9 favorites]

On March 25th, after the WFM order came down from on high, I packed up a small suitcase, my work computer, and my very surprised cat, and came up the Coast to my partner's house in Roberts Creek. I can't tell you how very beautiful it is here right now, cherry blossoms and the whole garden coming alive; and yet how death-haunted everything is too. Fortunately my brother and sister-in-law live with my mother in Vancouver, and they are isolating, and my son and his girlfriend in Calgary are also doing well. I'm full of gratitude for this. Three weeks ago I was at home and life was more or less normal, but the storm clouds have rolled in and now it seems like years have passed. On one hand, hurrah, I get to live in the country with my partner for probably the next three months or more, spend time digging in the garden, and do a lot of cooking; on the other there's the world's despair magnified all the more for this crisis. On a more mundane front, there's also been a fair amount of drama with introducing my big ginger doofus to the exceptionally ladylike and demure resident cat. She has precedence, but he weighs twenty pounds, is ecstatic to have a yard to venture out in (carefully supervised, at this point) and he has.... bounce. Feliway is plugged in, there are multiple litter boxes, each cat has their own space, and there are lots of good hiding places... but several times a day we have yowling and swatting. I'm hoping they'll work it out. The best to all Mefites and family and friends near and far.
posted by jokeefe at 4:28 PM on April 13, 2020 [25 favorites]

I’ve been sick for two weeks despite being careful before we went to lockdown. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s Coronavirus, but if so it’s on the mild side - intermittent fever, fatigue, faint sore throat, coughing the first day but not since. The big issue is just how long it’s been going on, and the question: what if it’s something else? What if I’m not building immunity? Not that I can get tested here in the US, but I’d really like to know because I’m immunocompromised.

On the plus side, my friends have made very clear that they will run all my errands so I can keep my defective immune system out of danger as much as possible, which is incredibly kind and honestly super intense emotionally. It’s one thing to think your friends will show up for you in a crisis and another thing to have it happen, and I’ll be the rest of my (hopefully long) life paying it forward.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:38 PM on April 13, 2020 [18 favorites]

Congratulations lepus! I'm so glad you and baby are OK. And best to your partner and you, EndsofInvention...may your baby's birth go smoothly and be as low stress as possible at this time.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:47 AM on April 14, 2020 [6 favorites]

In honor of the newest member of the MeFite family (and also because I am avoiding work):

Yankee Doodle Lepus
All the states were nigh shut down
The problem systematic
When little lepus came to town
A riding a pandemic

Mother lepus keep it up
Little lepus dandy
Mind the distance and the news
And keep those wet wipes handy

Mother lepus raised the cry
That things were going badly
Her heathcare team did heed the cry
And got to work quite gladly.

Mother lepus keep it up
Hug your little loved one
Despite restrictions and grim news
Small lupus will be great fun!

Much love and congratulations to the lepus family for their newest addition. Sending my love and virtual hugs to all the other MeFites who are also doing their very best to keep their shit together and (like me), on occasion, failing. Hang in there everyone, including EndsofInvention!
posted by Bella Donna at 2:02 AM on April 14, 2020 [29 favorites]

putting on my manager hat for a second; I couldn't give less of a shit about my team's productivity right now

That’s a really important thing to hear these days. Thanks for that.
posted by bendy at 5:21 AM on April 14, 2020 [9 favorites]

not the case with my management. they have a deadline. funny language.
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:02 AM on April 14, 2020 [9 favorites]

I manage a department of 13, and in our weekly meetings I always tell them, do what you can and call it a day. A lot of our work can't be done remotely, especially for our public-facing team, and they are very clearly stressing about the logbooks our university is requiring us to fill out every week with our hours worked and what we did. I am completely OK with calling "email and database cleanup" an 8-hour day. As long as I can reach you if I need to during the core hours of 9-3 (within reason; you don't have to respond immediately, but at least the same day) I could care less how productive you are.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:17 AM on April 14, 2020 [16 favorites]

My main difficulty at the moment is trying to manage, at a distance, my father's anxiety and rage at the staff in his supported living accomodation. He has dementia and ongoing anxiety. The latter is usually fairly well-managed but like lots of people the current situation has made his anxiety go through the roof. He's very cross about things he doesn't understand. Another resident with whom he is friends went into hospital recently (not virus-related) and he was confrontational with the staff because they wouldn't tell him what was wrong with the other person. He doesn't understand that they are not legally allowed to.

Have had the accomodation manager on the 'phone today because my father told a staff member to piss off. The manager wanted to send my father a letter telling him this is unacceptable and if it happens again they will evict him. Talked through this with the manager for some time ... totally agree it's unacceptable, but because of his dementia, sending him a letter is a bit of a nuclear option. He'll keep finding the letter, not be able to remember the events, and get angry all over again. Finally agreed my sister will tell him off by telephone and we'll confirm that we've done so by email to the manager. Also I will send a card of apology to the staff member. But I suspect it's just papering over the cracks and he is likely to get evicted at some point.
posted by paduasoy at 7:42 AM on April 14, 2020 [9 favorites]

Yesterday was supposed to be the day my divorce became official before the court date was postponed indefinitely because of COVID-19.

It's such a little thing, we're divorced in every way but legally already, but I really really hate the fact that I'm going through this still legally married to him, having to use his last name as my legal last name. It makes me sick and I want it *done*.
posted by bridgebury at 7:50 AM on April 14, 2020 [34 favorites]

Our PM is speaking, and saying that the lockdown with be loosened carefully, but faster than originally planned because the numbers are really good. I hope she's right. But what is wonderful is that she is so good at answering the questions, because she is really well-prepared. Young women rule!
posted by mumimor at 8:06 AM on April 14, 2020 [13 favorites]

It would really be nice if my coworker wouldn't insist on scheduling a meeting during my therapy time, which is blocked out on my calendar. I can't tell anyone no in this job, so there goes therapy again for another week.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:11 AM on April 14, 2020 [4 favorites]

jenfullmoon, that sucks. Can't you reschedule the therapy?
posted by mumimor at 9:28 AM on April 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

posted by jenfullmoon at 9:32 AM on April 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

Jenfullmoon, that’s super shitty of your coworker. I would encourage you to ask to reschedule with your therapist if you feel comfortable doing so. As a (student) therapist I understand things happen outside my clients’ control and I am happy to reschedule when I am able to. Especially if I get an earlier heads-up. Best of luck.
posted by brook horse at 9:46 AM on April 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

My therapist is 3 time zones away and really booked, so rescheduling is difficult. She offered a few reschedule times, but we'll see if that actually works. Usually it has never worked to reschedule in the past, so I have low expectations there.

My coworker is driving me nuts with constantly asking me to help her all. the. time. I have to take over her workload in a few months so I can't argue the point and I canNOT say no, but I'm already overloaded without her work too and constantly asking me to help her on short notice. I literally can't get my own work done any more.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:52 AM on April 14, 2020 [4 favorites]

You can't suggest other times for meetings?
posted by cooker girl at 9:58 AM on April 14, 2020

Not really, no. Also apparently this one just HAD to be done today, right now.

I am sitting here while she shares her screen as to how to print something.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:02 AM on April 14, 2020 [5 favorites]

I straight up lost my filter just now and told this person I love so much that I was envious of his reckless flouting of social distancing (he's going in to work when he could easily be working from home right now). He knows I'm furious, and he knows how miserable and nearing desperate I am at four weeks since coming within six feet of another human (which was he!). It's all upsetting and confusing.

The good news is my older relative seems to have mostly beaten the virus at this point.
posted by wellred at 10:14 AM on April 14, 2020 [12 favorites]

Ugh that torrential rain yesterday morning was the first clue that my elaborate drainage system needed maintenance. Well, specifically the quarter inch of water on the basement floor.

A morning's hard work balanced between constantly monitoring the actual job is not my favorite way to deal with Monday. Although on the plus side under ordinary circumstances I'd have been trying to balance whether it was worth taking a whole day off.

Yesterday was also the day I'd set a reminder in my Google Calendar, right before we went remote: "if you're back at work, social distancing was successful."

That now seems painfully naive; I'll be shocked if half my staff ever go back to work at all.
posted by aspersioncast at 10:35 AM on April 14, 2020 [7 favorites]

Kudos to the managers on here who are cutting their workers some slack even when everyone is still employed per usual. By contrast, my internet went down (ish) today -- super slow when connected, losing connection periodically. There's some kind of cable down somewhere nearby, they're workin' on it. Nothing to be done. I slacked my team that I'd be doing my best in the brief periods of connection, and my boss responded:

can't you go to a cafe?

Now, ok, she obviously retracted that shortly afterward -- but only because there AREN'T ANY CAFES, not because it's remotely OK for me to work somewhat more slowly for a few hours.

Y'all we aren't working on a vaccine here, we're doing completely pointless shit. And apparently we need to keep doing it at breakneck speed no matter what.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:58 AM on April 14, 2020 [40 favorites]

Seriously, this was 2.5 hours of "we had to do this RIGHT NOW THIS FUCKING SECOND?!" It absolutely could not have waited until after lunch?!

I'm resentful AF and there is nothing I can do about it. As usual.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:50 AM on April 14, 2020 [14 favorites]

Someone sent my mother flowers, which is lovely in theory, but I don't want anything from an outside vendor in the house, and how the fuck are florists an essential service right now? The florist delivery person should not be making house calls! Who thought that was a good idea?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:37 PM on April 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

and how the fuck are florists an essential service right now?

I keep being reminded that lockdown requirements vary tremendously and that some places are still very much business-as-usual. (And if the delivery is done by a standard delivery service it's not as though FedEx is refusing "inessential" deliveries.)
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 12:41 PM on April 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

The flowers won't cough on anyone. They are like food, you can handle food.
I bought flowers for my grandparents' grave, but the wind is so strong, they'd just blow away. Instead they are brightening up my dining table. I did let them stand in the laundry room for a day.
posted by mumimor at 12:44 PM on April 14, 2020 [12 favorites]

I have a beautiful strong healthy baby, and I feel so supported by everyone here, thank you all so much.

Wonderful to hear, lepus! I have to confess I was reading a lot of posts before your update like "is this an update about LEPUSBABY" and I am thrilled that you came back and let us know everything is okay!
posted by corb at 1:51 PM on April 14, 2020 [8 favorites]

All industries dealing with living plants are taking a beating. We do plant tissue culture and if we don't take care of them, they'll die.

Due to the clonal nature, we can't grow everything up from seed all over again. Even in "storage" media/ conditions, they still require regular maintenance. Cut flowers are predominantly from plant tissue culture and, well, they grow and need to be processed-sold/ discarded in order to free up room for lesser developed plantlets to grow and mature, etc.

At certain production capacities, you're looking at hundreds of thousands if not millions of units of a particular variety and it can take months to a year to ramp back up to production capacity after a major culling.
posted by porpoise at 1:59 PM on April 14, 2020 [14 favorites]

It depends on how many people they are letting into the establishment, I think. People can certainly place online orders for flowers without having to go in to do their business, so that can run. God knows the Lawn Guys here making a racket every Saturday morning are still in business. I know of one store that's allowed to have 2 physical customers in at a time but otherwise are just doing curbside pickup and mailings.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:44 PM on April 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

It's such a little thing, we're divorced in every way but legally already, but I really really hate the fact that I'm going through this still legally married to him, having to use his last name as my legal last name. It makes me sick and I want it *done*.

So I keep coming up on the "it's just a small thing" complaints people have, and I want to say: I think that in many ways the severity of the pandemic is measured in the little things we have to give up in order to stay safe. It's obvious that the economy is tanking; that's to be expected. But the small stuff, the things we expected to be able to do because wtf they're not even a big deal? Those things are hard, and it's okay to be sad about them. Give yourself some space to have feelings and don't dismiss or diminish them, because these small things are valid to want and care about. Perhaps especially being free of your ex.
posted by bile and syntax at 3:02 PM on April 14, 2020 [30 favorites]

The incredibly small thing I'm mourning today: I'd been so looking forward to getting my hair cut when this was all over. Every morning, as I struggle with my hair, I've been thinking about how glorious it will be to indulge in one of my really great, only-in-the-budget-twice-a-year cuts. I've been going to the same stylist for over a decade. The shutdown has been the final straw for the owner, who's decided to retire. And for now it seems like my stylist might be taking this as a signal to switch careers. I don't want to have to search for a new stylist once we're all in public again. I'm bummed. It's another reminder that a lot of small businesses I love won't be able to weather this crisis.
posted by TwoStride at 3:28 PM on April 14, 2020 [12 favorites]

Well I found out belatedly that my boss's foot-in-mouth disease came from an absolutely horrific personal situation she is in. I still think it's ghastly that our corporate overlords can't cut us any kind of slack whatsoever, whether for pandemic reasons or any other tragedies that are still coming our way (because cancer and car accidents, like corporate overlords, are also monsters that don't give a fuck about pandemics), but I felt the need to correct the record.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 3:45 PM on April 14, 2020 [12 favorites]

Another week, another update, 5 weeks into Italy-wide quarantine measures...

The weather's briefly got cooler again, and it's been a weird Easter, which is usually all about eating and family gatherings here, so... A lot of restaurants are attempting to become deliverers, and there were Easter formulas from the very basic to the very high end. We made the southern-traditional pastiera, to act as our symbol/tribute for the occasion; it was poignant, and delicious. A lot of attention is being paid to the idea of "what comes after", now that there was some slight variation of which businesses are allowed to function (with bookshops and children's apparel and gear places now granted exception in some regions), and some politicians seem to be chomping at the bit to get back into the fray as usual (or, indeed, more so than before). The oddest though somehow quite logical idea/proposal I heard coming from one of the most stricken industries in Milan, the fashion houses: someone floated the idea of just... skipping a year of collections, with everyone opting for a do-over of the already designed and produced seasons next year again. One interpretation of looking beyond where we're at, so as to, erm, unfuck the future, resonated a lot, in part because it straddles theory with an interesting practical excercise: Bruno Latour's What protective measures can you think of, so we don’t go back to the pre-crisis production model?

Recent media diet: The Umbrella Academy (the series); 500 Days of Summer; Inger Christensen's Alphabet (here's an almost complete Google Books link; hat tip to mumimor); DOMi & JD Beck's Nord Live Session (hat tip to waxpancake); Bruno Latour's Down to Earth.

As regards current local COVID-19 numbers (same national/regional source as always):
- since our region-wide new-positives-per-day peak of 210 two and a half weeks ago, overall numbers - today's number was +143 - make it seem like we're going through a second plateau that's proving more stubborn than expected; but it's mostly isolated clusters (with just two hospital districts accounting for 94 of today's 143 new cases...), more generally the pace of new cases really is continuing to drop
- with just under 1000 new cases confirmed over the past week, those who were projecting 0 new daily cases to come somewhere between the third and fourth week of April... I think are reviewing that now
- the current regional case fatality rate (as per today's totals of 5,111 overall confirmed cases and 300 deaths) is around 5.9%, which is about one third compared to the 18% that Lombardy is reporting...
- just under 40% of the 4,022 active cases are hospitalised, with only 5% of cases now in ICU (199 total)

I'm finding watching as few politicians as possible a soothing exercise. I hope you're all as safe and as future-attuned as can be... especially mini-lepus & Co!
posted by progosk at 3:53 PM on April 14, 2020 [13 favorites]

Ugh, my dad was just admitted to the hospital for non-COVID reasons, he is in the very early stages of dementia (really hard to notice unless you know him), and of course my mom isn't allowed with him because of the virus. My mom can't be there for him except by phone and I can't be there for my mom except by text. His symptoms are exactly like my MIL who died of pancreatic cancer in February. This sucks this sucks this really really sucks.
posted by muddgirl at 4:25 PM on April 14, 2020 [31 favorites]

Harsh muddgirl.

Kind of glad my folks are already gone, so that's not something I have to be anxious about...

My in-laws though, who I think more of than my own parents, one with lung issues, and both in their mid-seventies... They have started behaving, but.
posted by Windopaene at 6:54 PM on April 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Starting to get the emails about pay freezes, furloughs, and possible layoffs. I've finally been feeling semi-stable in life after years of crippling depression and then just-keep-running during school and now.. yeah.

On the upside, I got all my COVID-19 cardswaps out today.
posted by curious nu at 7:15 PM on April 14, 2020 [7 favorites]

Good morning, when you get here.
Yesterday I didn't say, but I had a really bad anxiety attack, probably triggered because I tried to do some legal stuff for my mother and didn't really succeed. Helping my mother is bad for me, but if I don't do it, no one will, so I don't have a choice. At least she is confined, so I don't have to go there physically.
I did what would normally be good things for calming down anxiety, I took a walk, talked with my sister about nothing, cleaned up my living room, had a healthy lunch. But it kept on getting worse. I had physical pain. My stomach went crazy. I wanted to go out again, but it began raining a lot and the storm grew in strength. I watched some TV. I was afraid I had the virus, or was about to have a heart attack.
I spent too much time discussing in the Biden thread. I'm not going back there, it might have been part of why the anxiety accelerated, even though most of the physical symptoms toned down a lot.
I had a healthy dinner of left over minestrone. That soup smelled like Italy in a bowl, it was delicious, but I couldn't eat up. I was supposed to have gone to Rome next week.
I couldn't sleep. I laughed at the Bon Appetit video. I still couldn't sleep. I found out my dishwasher isn't working. I think I can repair it, but at the time I was too tired to remember how.
Finally I succeeded in falling asleep a couple of hours ago. And now I've woken from a terrible nightmare about a deadly pestilence.
Thanks for reading. Writing this has helped me forget the details of that dream, so I have some hope it won't just continue when I close my eyes again.
posted by mumimor at 8:47 PM on April 14, 2020 [37 favorites]

with the available overtime work from home the last few days i've been taking hour-long breaks to nap from time to time. today i dreamed that, while i was taking a break from work and walking through a crowded strip-mall parking lot i saw what appeared to be a (masked?) young woman and two children making off across the parking lot on foot with goods/articles stolen (at gunpoint?) from a group of burly tough guys who were somehow temporarily immobilized among their sports utility vehicles. that's weird, i thought, and, as i was on foot, discreetly walked toward the stoplight-governed strip mall exit, keeping my eye on the perps as they made their way to their parked vehicle, somewhat closer to the exit than those victims who were fuming and working of freeing themselves. i made it to the exit in time to see the woman and kids pull out onto the main thoroughfare and turn onto a cross street just as the victims got into the line of vehicles waiting at the exit's red light piloting a motorcycle and a rough-looking chevy-blazer kind of SUV, the motorcycle working its way up to turn right on the red. and my anxiety -- for the safety of the bandit woman and kids -- peaked, sure the 'cyclist could see them turn onto the cross street and would be able to follow, with worry for the perps and concern that i'd been away from work too long. whereupon i woke up and got back to work.

possibly relatedly -- yesterday i observed a fed ex guy struggle to deliver three very heavy wooden crates, say 6"x9"x3' to my next-door-neighbor but one. my first thought was gold ingots. but fed ex? so obviously, it was a delivery of a lot of bullets. later we had an awesome storm. my buddy 10 miles away took photos of the front passing over me from his balcony while i listened to the wind shriek, the torrent pound and the house creak around me.

little lurk & mama came last week and planted dill, kale, carrots, beets and beans in my garden plot (i got to help, mostly weeding and turning the dirt preparatory to planting, and later putting up the marginally-rabbit-discouraging fence). at the weekend we walked to a community garden not far from mama's place and climbed a hoary old tree, picked some wild mustard greens and dead nettle, and i gave little lurk their first lesson on positioning the hands to deliberately play notes on the piano, and we made some progress operating chopsticks. (little lurk does not love being instructed).

still here, reading with interest & sympathy. take it easy on yourselves: we're all counting on you.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:51 PM on April 14, 2020 [8 favorites]

We're actually doing pretty okay at the moment, fortunately--Mrs. Example and I still have jobs, we're able to access food and all that, and we've got a garden to escape to out back.

Mrs. Example is still having to go in to the office, though, and it's stressful for both of us. More for her, obviously, but I worry about her too. Also, the anxiety dreams have started up for me now. Not going to go into specifics because dreams are boring, but it was sort of a marathon of "Going to get fired" and "People are dying in the next house over" in rotation. I didn't sleep well.

I think I need to get out for a walk more often than I have been, and stop eating so much junk. :/
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:36 AM on April 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Fairly bland update from Yiwu, China.

Business is now somewhat back to normal, but in our house we are still voluntarily doing full quarantine for our own personal safety. In general there are a lot of health checks, and there is a phone app in place that confirms your travel history in order to make sure people are not coming into contact with potentially infected folks. A lot of stuff is still closed but not quite as bad as a month back when everything was full lockdown.

Chinese locals are happy to be back to semi-normal, but it kind of blows my mind how there are plenty of people now meeting in the courtyard, kids playing together, all without PPE. Seems people think "now it is OK" when really, it is just "now it will spread less quickly and hospitals will not be overwhelmed". It is far from over, especially when people just go back to normal life and do not take precautions.

My job at the moment is work form home, but really it is a bit of a potemkin village deal as the company circles the drain... and I need to find something else pretty soon.

It has been a huge hassle trying to gather all the needed documentation to get applications in for wife and elder son permanent resident travel documents, so we can get the family to Canada.

What am I going to do? Who knows...

Really it is like sitting in limbo.

Thankful it is just boring, and sorry to all of you having a tougher time of it.

Oh there is one interesting thing. Chinese social media is packed full of Trump and other US officials doing stupid stuff, as well as opposition politicians criticizing them. Pretty crappy to see it, kind of gloating and trying their hardest to distract from any shortcomings in China.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:11 AM on April 15, 2020 [22 favorites]

Oh mumimor- I have been having anxiety attacks again, too. Virtual hugs. So frustrating after having them mostly under control.

Working from home has been a challenge. I feel a bit left out as I only have 6 weeks left before my mat leave, and feeling that decisions are being made that I just don't have the ability to fix. Learning to let that go has been a challenge.
posted by freethefeet at 4:46 AM on April 15, 2020 [5 favorites]

I checked the status of our stimulus check on the IRS website and it appears that they deposited it to an old account that has long been closed instead of our current account from our most recent tax return. And I can't find anything on their website on how to fix that. So it's good the governor has forbidden evictions because we're waiting on that to pay our April and May rent.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:06 AM on April 15, 2020 [10 favorites]

I got back my cv test and it was negative so I am released from the attic and got to snuggle my family and then went outside into the springtime.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:24 AM on April 15, 2020 [53 favorites]

Yay, so glad to hear that, sciencegeek!
posted by ferret branca at 6:41 AM on April 15, 2020

Good to hear you are free, sciencegeek!
posted by mumimor at 7:12 AM on April 15, 2020

Annnnnd I am a part of the 45% of my organization's staff that's been laid off as of this coming Friday. Ugh. I am prepared for the financial part, but the psychological thing, staring down weeks of being home alone with no work to do...I'm gonna have to get a volunteer gig or something.
posted by wellred at 10:28 AM on April 15, 2020 [17 favorites]

Did any other US folk have the same nightmare I just did with the "Non-Filers Enter Payment Information" tool?
Instead of the simple list of questions and all the press releases told me to expect, I had to painstakingly fill in every blank of a form 1040 and e-file it through Intuit's Free Fillable Forms, and now I have to wait 24-48 hours to see if it's accepted or rejected. There was no mention of the stimulus payment whatsoever. It seems like it's just a means of turning Non-Filers into filers?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:37 AM on April 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Jacqueline - me, too! I just posted an Ask.Me about this.
posted by too bad you're not me at 11:13 AM on April 15, 2020

The Underpants Monster - I just registered out of curiosity and I don't see a form 1040. I see boxes to fill in my information, information on my dependents, and my bank information.

It looks like a form 1040 will be filed, though. "Free File Fillable forms will use the information to automatically complete a Form 1040 and transmit it to the IRS to compute and send you a payment."
posted by muddgirl at 11:36 AM on April 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Bizarre! I wonder what I did wrong?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:52 AM on April 15, 2020

And if there is a way to go back and fix it.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:53 AM on April 15, 2020

I think they need to do that to calculate your income, since if you make over a certain amount the checks start tapering down.
posted by corb at 12:42 PM on April 15, 2020

If you're over that amount then you need to file a return anyway and can't use the Non-Filers process.
posted by muddgirl at 12:45 PM on April 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

If you filed a 2019 1040, one way or another, I think you're OK and will get the stimulus payment. I don't get the feeling that people who use the Non-Filers form will get their payment faster. It's just a much simpler form vs. the 1040.
posted by muddgirl at 12:53 PM on April 15, 2020

Sorry to hear that, wellred.
posted by mbrubeck at 1:09 PM on April 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

I was supposed to get a new refrigerator today, which was obviously very nerve-wracking to deal with. I was super nervous about having these guys in my house, and I'd been told they may or may not even be willing to bring it in. I had told the salesperson that if they couldn't bring it in, I would have to refuse the order.

My old refrigerator still works, but it's 25 years old, and I've been extremely anxious, worried constantly that it's going to break down.

Well, they came in and moved the old refrigerator. Then they looked at the new one, and it had a big old dent in the door. I would have been OK with that, but when they opened the door, the seal was also severely damaged, so I had to reject it.

It was a big pain in the neck to take everything out of the old refrigerator and move everything in that general area so I could clean easily after they left. I have a fair amount of food in the freezer, and I had to move it all to coolers. I was anxious all day, not knowing if they'd actually bring it in. I feel like I have to disinfect that old area of my house, and I still don't have a refrigerator.

I know this isn't the worst thing to deal with - hell, it isn't close to the worst thing I'm dealing with - but I'm so close to just bursting into tears right now.
posted by FencingGal at 1:14 PM on April 15, 2020 [23 favorites]

Why didn't they move your old fridge back in?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:21 PM on April 15, 2020

They did move it back in.

I should have been clearer - I still have my old refrigerator with all of the accompanying anxiety. I still don't have a new one.
posted by FencingGal at 1:24 PM on April 15, 2020

I know this isn't the worst thing to deal with - hell, it isn't close to the worst thing I'm dealing with - but I'm so close to just bursting into tears right now.

Sorry you’ve had such a stressful day. It’s ok to have a little cry sometimes in these very strange times. Sending you positive energy through the internet.
posted by koahiatamadl at 1:25 PM on April 15, 2020 [7 favorites]

FencingGal, I'd be losing my shit over that too. Hell, I lost mine over thinking the hot water was out. All that work and stress and risk for LITERALLY NO PAYOFF??!?
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:33 PM on April 15, 2020 [8 favorites]

My job (which I just got in February) was supposed to be basically project management. For a labor union. So right now my job has turned into calling up laid-off members who have had problems filing for unemployment and trying to help them figure it out.

I'm glad to have a job and glad to be helping, but oh my god calling strangers on the phone gives me crushing nauseous anxiety. Once I actually talk to the person it's mostly fine, I can put on my customer service hat and power through, but right before each call is just... hard. I hope it gets easier.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:10 PM on April 15, 2020 [28 favorites]

I'd be losing my shit over that too. Hell, I lost mine over thinking the hot water was out.

We're all on the freaking edge right now. I wish I had a dollar for every time I've broken down in tears this week.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:26 PM on April 15, 2020 [8 favorites]

I generally cry at least three times a day.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:59 PM on April 15, 2020 [7 favorites]

I'm in British Columbia -- considered by many to have thus far done the best job in Canada of dealing with the virus. Around noon today, the Premier extended the stay-in-place state of emergency for two more weeks.

So yeah, here we still are. Time to start another big thick book.
posted by philip-random at 6:43 PM on April 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

Well, here in Seattle, pretty much where this all started in the US, the two local farmers markets are going to re-open this weekend, (U District and Ballard). Yes, we've done a good job flattening the curve, but, WTF? I've been doing the weekly grocery trips and picking up the takeout food, and social distancing requirements are already not being met to my comfort level. Told Ms. Windo, who used to go every week to the Ballard farmers market, that it was a terrible idea, thankfully, she agreed with me.
posted by Windopaene at 10:30 PM on April 15, 2020 [4 favorites]

Not really, no. Also apparently this one just HAD to be done today, right now.

Nope. You're entitled and protected under federal law to have accommodations to get the healthcare you need and any employer that's not a total asshole will give you time to deal with personal issues. As an employee you can add extra obligations to your calendar - "oh sorry, I have another phone call then." As far as I'm concerned, mental health is the same as physical health. Just tell your coworker, "that doesn't work for me, I have (a doctor's appointment)/(a personal call)/(another meeting) and I'll need to reschedule with you."

If you still have the same job you've had for quite a few years now your state organization knows that they can't touch you and won't bother.
posted by bendy at 11:07 PM on April 15, 2020 [6 favorites]

My therapist is 3 time zones away and really booked, so rescheduling is difficult. She offered a few reschedule times, but we'll see if that actually works. Usually it has never worked to reschedule in the past, so I have low expectations there.

My coworker is driving me nuts with constantly asking me to help her all. the. time. I have to take over her workload in a few months so I can't argue the point and I canNOT say no, but I'm already overloaded without her work too and constantly asking me to help her on short notice. I literally can't get my own work done any more.

Ooof, people like that can be the worst at the best of times. The problem at its root is that she sees her time as much more valuable than yours. She is not correct. *Manager Hat Time!*

"I canNOT say no". I'm going to be blunt here; she is your coworker, not your direct boss. You not only should refuse to be ordered about in situations like this, you must. Your health takes priority over her apparent petty needs.

"I am sitting here while she shares her screen as to how to print something." Just, Jesus Christ.

So, next steps. First, your existing appointments in your calendar? Blocked out. Non negotiable. You have something already booked, and if she doesn't like that, tough. Again, she is not your manager, she is your coworker, so you don't have to tell her why, and frankly, shouldn't. If it comes before the start of the appointment, just say flatly, "I have a prior appointment/meeting booked for then, and am not available until Y.". (Consider sharing your calendar in read-only mode i.e. so she can see when periods are blocked out, but not what for). If she tries to contact you during an appointment - ignore it. You are doing *something else*.

Second. You are to learn her job, not DO her job for the next few months. BIG difference. So schedule reasonable periods of your day where you have your own work to do, and she does not get to interrupt those at her convenience; see point 1. She is entitled to request a slot of time with you, as you are with her to cover something specific. She is not entitled to get you to down tools at any point that suits her; her lack of time management is not your problem to solve. If you're working on something less important/urgent, and she has something to briefly show you, ok fine, that's a judgment call as it would be in a physical office. If she wanders off into the weeds, you are absolutely entitled to cut short the meeting, citing other $Unspecified Urgent Thing to do. Again, you are not there to do her job for her - you already have one.

Third. Neither of these steps require the approval of your manager, as they are simple time management techniques all workers should be using. If it's in your calendar, only you or your management chain get to decide to blow it off, not *random third party*. Ever. They can *ask*, but you are 100% entitled to say no, you're already booked.

Fourth. There are two possible outcomes of this new regime. One is that she fumes a little, but backs off. The second is that she blows a bit of a gasket and complains to management. So I would advise also scheduling a meeting with your manager; one on one via vid conference is probably best.

A good manager is an umbrella. We're supposed to intercept shit that rains down on our staff so they don't have to deal with it. We're mainly there to look out for the mental and physical wellbeing of our team. We're also there to facilitate their work, and act as liason with other departments, and keep our eye further on the horizon to anticipate shit that's coming, and sadly sometimes apply the relevent prod to people that aren't doing their job (much, much, much less so right now, obviously). Rule 1 is look out for your direct reports; sometimes all we can do is provide an ear to vent to. But we can't fix stuff we don't know about.

I don't know if you and her share a manager, but either way, it's probably worth giving a heads up to your manager that you are having real difficulty with X coworker interrupting you constantly with non-urgent issues that aren't training, and this is impacting heavily on time for your own work. Then you can whip out the proposed solution, that you're going to stick to pre-booked appointments and politely refuse to be interrupted during them. If you go in calm and reasonable, lay out the issue and your solution, any sane manager will love you as you've just done their job for them.

If your manager is not reasonable, and this solution doesn't help, and you're still expected to cancel healthcare appointments (and work related ones!) then there other steps, but that depends upon your location and legal rights. In the UK, you aren't entitled to time off during your working hours for medical appointments, unless it's an emergency. However, many contracts say differently, and even without that, it's usually allowed on at least a time-off in lieu circumstance. So it may be worth bringing up that you're having to cancel medical appointments that can't be easily rescheduled, but that may open a can of worms depending upon how much your manager already knows, how good they are and your contract, so use your judgment on that point. A union may be able to advise. What you are entitled to expect your manager to do is have your back to protect your work time to do *your* job instead of hers.

If it's outside your normal work hours though? They have zero moral right to tell you what to do with your time. Zero. (contracts may differ on legal rights)
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 1:01 AM on April 16, 2020 [31 favorites]

Greetings from Denmark!
Today is the Queen's 80th birthday, and we are supposed to sing out of our windows for her at 1 PM. It will depend on my sense of humor if I sing at the neighbor's horses at 1. Or I might go to the village (I have to pick up a package and send one) at 1, to see if anyone is doing it. There is a lot about people singing in the media, but I don't know if it is a city-thing, or more widespread.
In other positive news, it seems social distancing is working much better than the health authorities here had expected, so small businesses will probably be allowed to open soon.
In bad news, illegal immigrants who are homeless have a very high infection rate, and they hide from being quarantined, rightly afraid that they will be deported when they recover. This can only end terribly.

Since this is The Original Socialist Paradise, I have just handed in my replies in one of the two online national surveys I get every week. This one was the one I volunteered for when my eldest daughter was born. The other one is supposed to be filled in by all citizens because of the coronavirus, so the officials can get an overview. (It is voluntary, though).

In honor of the Queen's birthday, I'm having café au lait, dark chocolate and banana for breakfast as I type. Such a feast. I'm also celebrating that I've slept well and I feel rested for the first time in ages. My dreams were good dreams. I hope it is the beginning of a turn rather than a one-off.
posted by mumimor at 1:08 AM on April 16, 2020 [16 favorites]

Oh, it seems that if anyone wants to sing for the Danish Queen, it is at midday, Danish time. She will speak from the palace afterwards.
Normally, she comes out on the balcony, waves, everyone sings and she leads a hurrah. It's a big thing for kindergartners and old ladies, and then everyone else sees it on the evening news. I remember going there with my grandmother as a child. We'd get a salute from the soldiers when they arrived (before the King came out, back then it was the King), because my dad was in the Life Guards. That way, it has a sentimental value for me. Just thinking of it, I can feel my itchy woolen winter clothes and hear my grandmother's lovely hoarse voice.
posted by mumimor at 1:35 AM on April 16, 2020 [7 favorites]

Absolutely No You-Know-What gave you a way better and more comprehensive answer than I did. Take care of yourself first lady-friend. A job is just a job. You'll always get another one.
posted by bendy at 2:30 AM on April 16, 2020 [3 favorites]

Slight correction, sorry -
"Consider sharing your calendar in read-only mode". I meant free/busy. This is an option in outlook and google calendar so specific people can see when you have appointments booked, but not anything about what those appointments are. We use it heavily to avoid meeting clashes.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 2:37 AM on April 16, 2020 [7 favorites]

Also, in terms of sort of keeping your manager in the loop I had a similar experience last year. A guy on my team was making sexist comments and I went to my manager and told my side of the story and told him I wanted to "put it on his radar." I said, "hey, this is nothing big, I just want to "put this on your radar" for something I might talk to you about later."

Sometimes it's just a matter of learning their stupid phrases and vocabulary because they don't understand anything else.
posted by bendy at 2:40 AM on April 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yay congrats on the Leveret, Lepus !!

No changes here in Southeast UK. In the last week or two, Frail Elderly Neighbour has twice had an ambulance to take him to hospital, and twice returned fine (for his normal values of fine), no CV19 involved. Life goes on.

Sending love and strong boundaries and endurance and emphatic agreement and sympathy for losses and delight in small wins to you all.
posted by Ilira at 2:50 AM on April 16, 2020 [3 favorites]

I ended up watching the song on the TV, and it was surprisingly moving.
People were singing out of tune and out of time all over the Kingdom, including Greenland and The Færø Isles. As a young woman they interviewed just said: we just really needed this right now.
posted by mumimor at 3:31 AM on April 16, 2020 [9 favorites]

One of the things about being home all the time is that I get a lot more insight into the lives of our cats. Today, for instance...on the up side, our oldest cat's arthritis doesn't seem to be bothering him all that much at the moment. On the down side, I discovered this because he did some kitty parkour off the patio furniture to get into the next garden over so he could stare down his cat nemesis.

(It happens from time to time. They sit there and growl at each other for minutes on end until one or the other slinks off or we intervene with the UTTER INDIGNITY of picking ours up and bringing him back into the house.)
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:09 AM on April 16, 2020 [17 favorites]

There was a big all-day rally in Lansing (the capital) yesterday over the Michigan governor's stay-at-home order. It's estimated that 3000 to 4000 people were there - not wearing masks or observing social distancing guidelines, of course. At least one ambulance couldn't get through because of the gridlock. There was a "lock her up" chant (Trump has called our governor "that woman in Michigan"). In addition, four sheriffs in northern Michigan say they won't "strictly" enforce the order. Are male governors dealing with this level of bullshit?

I try very hard not to wish coronavirus on anyone, but some people make it challenging.
posted by FencingGal at 6:00 AM on April 16, 2020 [23 favorites]

Are male governors dealing with this level of bullshit?

They are; we had a similar rally earlier this week in Columbus, OH. The photos of the protesters shouting and clamoring at the doors of the statehouse look like some sort of zombie apocalypse film.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:51 AM on April 16, 2020 [9 favorites]

There was a big all-day rally in Lansing (the capital) yesterday over the Michigan governor's stay-at-home order. It's estimated that 3000 to 4000 people were there - not wearing masks or observing social distancing guidelines, of course.
There are pretty shocking pictures in The Guardian - these idiots are carrying weapons. I wish we lived in a sane world.
posted by mumimor at 7:38 AM on April 16, 2020 [4 favorites]

Well, here in Seattle, pretty much where this all started in the US, the two local farmers markets are going to re-open this weekend, (U District and Ballard). Yes, we've done a good job flattening the curve, but, WTF? I've been doing the weekly grocery trips and picking up the takeout food, and social distancing requirements are already not being met to my comfort level. Told Ms. Windo, who used to go every week to the Ballard farmers market, that it was a terrible idea, thankfully, she agreed with me.

This could be good? The Portland Farmers' Market at PSU has been open through this, and they instituted social distance rules pretty fast -- all vendors had to prebag (or bag for the customers) all items, no tasting stations, and six-foot marks on the pavements. The next week they started limiting access at all entrances and not allowing group shopping, solos only, and they had safety officers wandering around enforcing the distance rules. Yesterday they posted info with many vendors allowing pre-orders for quick pick-up.

I don't know how it's going to hold up in a month; right now there are very few stalls, so keeping distant is easy. I feel like it's better that it's out in the open air, rather than in closed aisles, but I'm not an epidemiologist so I dunno. There's also the issue that oftentimes the produce is x1.5 to x2 the cost in the stores, and many people might no longer have the luxury of shopping there.

On the upside, they can finally enforce the no-dogs rule.
posted by curious nu at 7:49 AM on April 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

the farmer's markets have been given a go ahead here in BC as well -- considered an essential service. Which they are if you rate food supply high -- healthy food from the source, and a diverse number of sources at that.

Can't say I'm going to hurry on down this weekend, but it gives me a little hope for later spring and summer. Again, the good thing here in BC is we seem to have a govt and chief medical officer who know what they're doing -- not playing to populism etc.

I do think the most fractious time in all of this is still to come -- the so-called "return to normal", all the various vested interests and their propensity for confirmation bias ...
posted by philip-random at 7:58 AM on April 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

"I don't get the feeling that people who use the Non-Filers form will get their payment faster."

I assumed The Underpants Monster was a non-filer, like myself.

In my case, I'm disabled and receieve SSDI benefits deposited to my bank account each month—my annual income is below the filing threshold. The official word has been that everyone who gets an SSA-1099 yearly benefits statement will receive the stimulus payment, even if they are non-filers and without submitting any forms, and if they use direct deposit for their benefits it will be direct deposited to that account. That's the official line, anyway—but only after several members of congress complained about the IRS's initial statement that a return would need to be filed by non-filers.

I shouldn't be worrying as much about this as I am because my financial situation is no different than it usually is; it's just that I've been looking forward to the additional financial cushion as one bit of security during these otherwise very unsettling times.

My sister also recieves SSDI benefits, but my brother-in-law is the chief earner in their family of four. He lost his job. They ... are very anxious. My mother is sending her stimulus to them. I haven't heard from my sister in ten days and I'm a bit worried.

My mother is going absolutely insane being cooped up and I'm beginning to fear she's going to drive me to crazytown, as well. She's now meticulously cleaning out her records filing cabinet—yesterday she said she found a letter I wrote her when I was 19 that she wants me to read. I'm not that eager for a glimpse of my 19 year-old self.

I have food anxiety. It's difficult to get food. I should get a delivery of six boxes of Girl Scout cookies today. Yay!
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:59 AM on April 16, 2020 [6 favorites]

Still struggling with supporting my father (and his housing tenancy) at a distance. Housing manager is asking for an apology from him for telling staff member to piss off. As I said before, I totally agree that staff shouldn't have to put up with being told to piss off. But given my father's dementia and his level of anxiety in the current situation, trying to get him to apologise is not going to go well. He has told us, and another staff member, that he knows he shouldn't have done it, but also that if he does apologise he would want to go on to explain to the staff member what the staff member did wrong in that situation. The staff are not going to see that as an apology ... Argh! Parents! I thought about writing an Ask about this, but I think it's too intractable. Worried he's going to end up either being evicted or storming out, going to live on his ratty old boat and then we'll all be worrying about his exposure to the virus (he has lung-related conditions which put him at risk if he gets it). Or he'll have to come to live with me which has its own difficulties.
posted by paduasoy at 8:07 AM on April 16, 2020 [9 favorites]

Ex badgered me into filing our joint 2019 taxes a couple weeks ago (because I didn't trust him to do it) to ensure that we would get the stimulus money ASAP even though I told him it wouldn't matter, we had filed 2018 returns. I ended up doing the taxes just to have them done and shut him up. It turns out that may have confused the system and made it take longer to for us to get the stimulus money.

I should probably be more mad about this, but honestly I'm privileged enough that I can live without the money right now, and I'm... not mad... that this blew up in his face. This is what you get for not listening to me and continuing to blow up my email inbox to guilt me even when I've done research and can provide sources, asshole.
posted by bridgebury at 8:25 AM on April 16, 2020 [23 favorites]

My office is not reasonable. I am already a whopping problem child around here as is. There is no way on this earth I am going to speak up about this issue. I will only get myself in more trouble, written up yet again, etc. if I complain or stand up for myself. I cannot afford to lose my job under any circumstances. I will get reported on if I say no. I cannot afford to get into a legal battle over this.

I am not permitted to block out time to not be interrupted here, either. Well, I could TRY but it won't be respected if "needs of the office" happen.

You are to learn her job, not DO her job for the next few months. BIG difference.

That's not the case. I am literally supposed to be taking over everything in her job immediately after she trains me on it. She passes me things every other hour at least. I HAVE TO take over her job immediately, it is office policy, set by our mutual manager. She has the most complicated job in the group and I am going to have to take it over ASAP. They cannot let me have time to do my own job because training me on extremely complicated shit is the priority. I really cannot socially object to this.

it's probably worth giving a heads up to your manager that you are having real difficulty with X coworker interrupting you constantly with non-urgent issues that aren't training,

All of it is training issues.

Technically I am doing therapy during "lunch hour," it's not a medical appointment. I would have to use up my sick time if I didn't use lunch for that. They can certainly need me to move my lunch for the needs of the office. But either way, it is NOT socially okay for me to push back about this and I can't afford to fight back.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:42 AM on April 16, 2020 [7 favorites]

Jenfullmoon, it's such a shitty situation, but it has an end date (even if you don't know exactly when). Mine is shitty in a different way, and I keep dreaming up rewards for when I reach the end of it, going from having a cocktail in the afternoon to buying a lot of plants for my garden. I don't have to decide till I get there, do I? It's just a way of reminding myself that there is an end to it.

At the store today, I was standing in line, which is highly unusual. I noticed a sign saying PLEASE do your shopping as normal, otherwise we can't handle it, and the proof was right there in front of the line. An elderly tourist lady had bought a ton of food, as per government recommendations, but in a small store in a small village, you have to think differently. There were only two people at work, one at the cash register and one stacking and cleaning. Because it took so long for the lady to pack all her stuff, she was creating a line that was too long for keeping the safety distances properly, even though everyone did their best + obviously a longer line in a village where most people know each other meant more time spent with people coughing and talking loudly at each other. I can tell you that elder fishermen already speak loudly, old fishermen social distancing speak even louder, spreading particles in all directions. It just made me think that even people who want to do the right thing can cause problems if they don't think. I'm not blaming the lady, she was following government instructions. It just made me think.

There was also a surfer dude in the store, in shorts and on bare feet. That was just crazy. It was freezing two days ago, and it's not much warmer today. The surf's probably great, though.
posted by mumimor at 9:14 AM on April 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

The president of my public university just sent out an email saying while they haven't ruled out layoffs, the top admins are taking 10% pay cuts as if this is some kind of notable sacrifice. All of these people make between a quarter and a half million dollars. However will they survive.

I started reading the financial exigency parts of our union contract for the first time ever today.
posted by mostly vowels at 9:56 AM on April 16, 2020 [15 favorites]

Same experience here, MV. Supposedly our contract has seniority rules for layoffs, but it's not clear how they calculate seniority, and it feels shitty to be both non-productively worrying about that and basically saying "will it be me or Someone Else first?" Ugh.
posted by nakedmolerats at 10:05 AM on April 16, 2020 [4 favorites]

Mostly Vowels, we got a similar email a few days ago. If Corona doesn't kill me, hyper tension will.
posted by gc at 10:08 AM on April 16, 2020 [4 favorites]

Fuck. My circle of friends had been doing mostly okay but today I got word that one of my closest friends' mom is symptomatic, and other folks in that house are already immunocompromised. I couldn't even think of anything to say. Let's hope for the best I guess? Shit. Shit shit shit.

Myself, I apparently live in a hot zone over here, in between two nursing homes that both have clusters of cases and at least two reported cases in my own apartment building which has a fair number of older folks. I had been trying to get out for walks at least but last couple of weeks it just hasn't felt worth the risk. Still getting my walking in, just literally pacing back and forth for a couple of miles per day.

Still I'm super privileged here. I'm healthy enough, I have a safe place to isolate, I have enough food and a little savings. Been thinking a lot about how lucky I am to have what I have, how easily things could be different.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 11:05 AM on April 16, 2020 [18 favorites]

Loneliness has been getting to me this past couple of days. I miss my friend who lives down the street. Her dad died the other day - not of CV19, he was 88 and had cancer, he died at home with his wife and family around him. But I feel sad that I can't give her a comforting hug.

I've been finding it hard to switch off from work, as my usual distractions of going to the garden centre, the mall or the cinema aren't available, and TV doesn't have the same effect. But this evening I went for a long walk in the forest where I live. I saw ducklings on one of the ponds and bunnies frolicking about in a meadow.

I didn't see many people, but there was a man who kept his distance from me who had two gorgeous English bulldogs, about 6 months old. They came running over to greet me, chonky, lollopy, sweet-faced, trusting dogs. I had some treats in my bag from what seems like another lifetime ago but was just a few weeks, when I would go on walks with my friend and her dogs. I asked the man if I could give his dogs a treat and he said yes. They took the treats from my fingers with the utmost gentleness, and their muzzles were as soft as velvet. They let me stroke their heads and, honestly, it's the best thing that's happened to me in weeks.

I feel like I could cry now.
posted by essexjan at 2:27 PM on April 16, 2020 [42 favorites]

That sounds truly awful jenfullmoon. Not just a toxic coworker, but toxic workload and workplace culture, and management responsible for both. As my old union friend would say, it sounds like a constructive dismissal case waiting to happen. All I can offer is my sympathies, and suggest you start documenting management conduct for your own protection if you haven't already.

Any chance you could schedule therapy before or after work, given the timezone difference?

From bitter personal experience of staying at such a place for far too long and paying the heavy mental health price, I wish you luck in your future job hunt when the current worldwide horror show subsides.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 8:47 PM on April 16, 2020 [8 favorites]

Not much to add as every day is similar; but heed my advice - do not use wine as a mixer.
posted by Marticus at 1:09 AM on April 17, 2020 [11 favorites]

One of the few things keeping me sane right now is gardening. I have a decent sized balcony (it fits four Adirondack chairs and a grill, at least) and I now have four tomato plants, a bell pepper, at least a dozen strawberries, spinach, and every kind of herb I could find at the local fruit market (Vietnamese coriander! African blue basil! Lovage!) Just ordered more Alpine strawberries online- I'm phasing out all of my June and everbearing ones from last year and repotting them or maybe giving them away to a neighbor, because all they wanted to do last season was put out runners while my alpines were- and are- prolific! Also bought borage and shiso, which I'm excited about because I adore them both and it's not like you ever see them at the Safeway herb department.

My family and I are going for a picnic tomorrow. I made mini quiches in my jumbo muffin tin, and tomorrow morning I'm making French potato salad and fruit salad with mangos and kiwis and passion fruit. I even ordered a picnic blanket online that I'm stoked to use.

My stimulus payment arrived on Wednesday so that was nice as well. What a relief to pay off some bills.

I got an email from my community college's international studies department (apparently that's a thing at Washington community colleges?) inviting me to apply for study abroad, which I thought I had no interest in doing because I'm no longer 20 and have already lived and studied internationally. But they have a program in Australia and New Zealand where I could get credit that actually applies towards my major, and given my grades and the fact that I'm a low income non-traditional student, there's a good chance I could cover all of my expenses with scholarships. So I'm going to apply! It does feel weird to be thinking about international travel right now but I wouldn't leave until next January.
posted by mollywas at 1:15 AM on April 17, 2020 [21 favorites]

Mostly vowels, nakedmolerats and gc, I'm in the same crappy University-worker-looking-at-possible-job-or-salary-loss club. It sucks and the stress is making me sick.
posted by daybeforetheday at 1:33 AM on April 17, 2020 [6 favorites]

My dad's home from the hospital, and so far it's not cancer ("diagnosis" is enteritis, which as far as I can tell is just a description of the symptoms...). But I will accept small mercies.
posted by muddgirl at 2:30 AM on April 17, 2020 [13 favorites]

I'm very conscious that many people are in all sorts of trouble all around the world, but hope this comes across as a ray of positive not an insensitive post.
I've decided under the circumstances to crack into some of the wine bottles I have put away for a special occasion, on the grounds it would be a disaster if I didn't get to drink them :-)
Not that I think that it is a big risk, but I realised I have a couple of dozen really nice wines I have been saving to drink over Xmas/birthday dinners with my Dad, and he has the same - and we probably don't have a few dozen special occasions left together.

And with nothing happening in life except work from home or bad news, it is nice to be able to have a chat with him about something really good (even over the phone) as we can remember past dinners and trips to wineries and things.

It is quite against my nature, which is more inclined to save and put away for later, but it's been a nice thing.

I've also been chatting about gardening and little things like that with work mates and it is surprisingly nice to have conversations about little positive stuff that is just unaffected by coronavirus.

Work is asking people to take accrued leave, or a day a week of unpaid leave, but with the caveat that nobody is forced to do so, if their situation makes that a hardship. The owners have taken 20% paycuts. Nearly everyone has readily agreed, and there has been general good will about it. This is a massive difference to my past jobs in big companies where they just swung the axe on the less valued staff.
I don't feel anybody is out of the woods yet, but it is surprisingly refreshing to have a job where there is some concern for staff rather than a cut throat approach.
posted by bystander at 3:50 AM on April 17, 2020 [13 favorites]

I had my birthday and it was basically an introvert delight - a friend had cake delivered with breakfast, my kids made a second breakfast of bacon and cinnamon rolls and gave me a basket of snacks and then packed me off to play Stardew Valley all day. I am surprised at how much we still like each other after two weeks with no escape.

Cases have skyrocketed here thanks to overcrowding in migrant worker dormitories and 'mysteriously' the sympathetic profiles of patients have vanished from the press. People are starting to follow the guidelines, but now they're talking about some permanent changes to keep the virus at bay after we go back to work and school.

My son got his national service call up and we're trying to figure out if there will be time between the end of the lockdown and the start of his training to go visit family in Asia. It's a little weird to even be thinking about the future.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 4:59 AM on April 17, 2020 [13 favorites]

minor sparkle motion redux peeve: nursery school director, "kai winn" - whose communication has been unsatisfactory throughout these events - yesterday sent an email stating the city "has now set a possible return date to May 15," suggesting that local public health authorities have suggested they may reopen schools on that date. in fact, the mayor of the nation's capital _extended_ stay at home and related orders related to the ongoing and increasing local public health emergency to that date, adding more measures intended to mitigate the crisis. i don't rate this a harmless half-full/half-empty distinction, but am pretty sure i'd be the one who appears unreasonable should i push back on the misrepresentation. grumbling at babymama instead.
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:18 AM on April 17, 2020 [4 favorites]

I dont know what to do. I just found out last night my dad is still working. He's long retired, but does general handyman work for a 55+ housing complex family members have frequently lived in. He and my mom are both 70+ but my mom's health means, to be frank, this has as good a chance of killing her as not. If my dad understood the risk he was putting her in, going out to the world, bringing the virus home he wouldn't do it - I know that for a fact. He just doesn't get it. If it's the money I can cover it. Work wise, I have more work, not less, because of this situation and my entire 10,000 person company has pretty successfully transitioned WFH for the most part. I'm extremely fortunate and I can afford it, but he's too damn proud to let me help. And too unable to sit still to contemplate not doing something with his days, and wants to help where he can as well. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised to learn he's working for free at this point. I'm debating asking ask.mefi, because I dont know what to do. I know I cant make grown adults do anything they dont want to do, but I know my mom is worried as well.
posted by cgg at 6:49 AM on April 17, 2020 [17 favorites]

I'm so tired...
8-12 AM: teaching from home, exams are getting closer so a lot more activity than the first weeks of lockdown
1 -2 PM: my first zoom meeting, in an unheated summer cottage, because someone cut over my internet connection and I can't do video on my phone connection. Now it's 4:30 here back home wrapped in blankets, and I'm still cold, and it's the freezing that is killing me. It's like all my energy is dedicated to getting me warmed back up. I've tried to continue work, but my brain is dead.
The good thing is that I now know it was right of me to refuse to do a zoom conference last night, after sunset. At least today at midday it was about 15-16 celcius indoors, because of the sun. It's been below zero during the night, I would have become ill.
There is actually a wood oven in the cottage, so for the next meeting I'll bring firewood and heat it up in advance.
posted by mumimor at 7:37 AM on April 17, 2020 [5 favorites]

Any chance you could schedule therapy before or after work, given the timezone difference?

I actually was this time! Normally I can't, but someone bailed out of a nighttime slot for a change so I could take it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:34 AM on April 17, 2020 [7 favorites]

Glad you got a spot jenfullmoon. Hugs and good vibes to everyone struggling, and cheers for the small and big joys too.

I'm pretty worried about my teeth--I have a decaying wisdom tooth, and at least 1 other cavity. 2 got filled before lockdown but I still have pain in those teeth (which can be normal but I still worry) on and off. I've never had anything worse than a cavity before so I'm nervous how I'll handle it if it gets really bad. Just trying to avoid too much sugar and use salt rinses. Luckily I was already pretty good at brushing and flossing, hopefully I can hold everything at bay for a while.
posted by brook horse at 9:39 AM on April 17, 2020 [4 favorites]

I don't know if you'd be able to order this online or not, but clove oil works well on tooth pain. I used it back when I didn't know I needed a root canal.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:50 AM on April 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

Update! So the wound has finally healed enough to be out of danger - thanks again to everyone who offered support and bandages. I will undoubtedly have a very interesting scar, but at least I'll have a good story for it.

I'm a little bit nervous - due to COVID, former workplaces that were supposed to get back paperwork for my eligibility for a thing did not, and it looks like the adjudication is being sped up as a result. I don't know whether it's good or bad, but I'm pretty worried about it. I could see it going either way - and of course I can't go in to check on it, I just have to wait until the decision is mailed.

A different elderly family member that was not hospitalized has now died. Unsure if it was COVID or not - it happened at a nursing home, and I'm not sure if they're testing all deaths right now.

Other than that we are all well!
posted by corb at 10:59 AM on April 17, 2020 [9 favorites]

finally went Outside today and it was equal parts terrible and excellent. the terrible was 01) the stupid fucking white kids smoking weed on the 2 train and endangering every single poc who had to ride that train after them, and 02) the long line of morgue trucks outside the hospital when i got off the train. also i had a v small panic attack watching an exhausted emt crying in the front seat of his ambulance. did not like!

the excellent was seeing many cute doggos being walked, finally getting my medication, and the caribbean food truck playing very loud dancehall so all the properly-socially-distanced hungry lunch-awaiters could dance.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:11 AM on April 17, 2020 [27 favorites]

My boss has been paying lip service to self-care and this being a stressful situation, but every time I quote her a time frame for project completion she complains that that's too long. I had to suspend my workload for over a week to get the whole office remote (we were not equipped for it, and we're on a nonprofit budget so we did this on a shoestring, AND she was planning to have the two lowest-paid employees ride the damn bus into the office 4 days a week to check the goddamn mail before local government ordered us to stay the F home), which meant by the time I assembled my desk and got remote -- a week later than most of my coworkers -- I was behind.

Then my boss rearranged my priorities (over my objections), spent the last month micromanaging me (she's the type who gets anxious if she can't see you sitting at your desk), including sending repeated emails until she got the thing she wanted (you have to reply to the emails instead of working on the thing) and then yelled at me (email, but it felt like being yelled at) for doing the thing she put at the bottom of the priority list...last. When I finally broke down and told her how hard I was pushing myself to make her deadlines, she told me to stop being such a perfectionist and settle for adequate. (For finance and HR compliance, the bar for adequate is...kinda high?) She also keeps telling me to ask for help, but "asking for help" always means I spend a few extra hours explaining things that I've explained before, either in a painful meeting or a lengthy email no one ever has or will read. (Exhibit A: We needed to purchase a temporary monthly subscription for a remote work service. It was supposed to cost $15/month. I sent links to the right page. My supervisor insisted on "helping" me with this and somehow got shilled into purchasing a $1000 software license that we didn't want or need.)

It's so exhausting and humiliating, and I was going to look for a new therapist in December (health plan change) but didn't! have! time! because we were still in the throes of a cash crisis that nearly shut us down (I spent most of Q4 2019 juggling bills like a broke-ass college student, but the stakes were two dozen people's livelihoods and health insurance and gods help me we made it by the skin of our teeth), and I tend to work longish hours generally because this job really needs to be at least 1.5 FTEs, and it was the first anniversary of my father's death (workaholism ruined his health but I try not to think about that!), and we're in the middle of a goddamn pandemic but the construction next door will never be over, and my boss just wants wants wants and why haven't I finished that yet, it must be because she's not managing me tightly enough, so I'm stuck at home, still working 10-12 hour days, with no professional to counsel me and no time or energy to do anything to blow off any of this steam.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 2:09 PM on April 17, 2020 [23 favorites]

We had our first confirmed Covid case at my workplace today. It's been a flurry of shutting down operations, contacting people, getting a cleaning company in, etc etc. It was actually my day to work from home, so I've been scrambling to do what I can to support the execs, trying to figure out what to do with minimal directions over the phone from them. Whew. I'm ready for a drink tonight.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 2:27 PM on April 17, 2020 [14 favorites]

So my whole job thing has turned weird today. I don't mean to rub it in for people who are having a much tougher time of things employment-wise, but I have to talk about this somewhere, and I'm friends on Facebook with too many coworkers.

Some of you may remember my recent work situation. For those of you who don't, executive summary: I was offered another job at a substantial raise, current job offered me a slightly smaller raise and promotion to stay, I stayed.

Today the hiring guy from the job I didn't take called me and said the person I interviewed with was really super-impressed with me and was arguing vehemently for hiring me regardless, and they'd still like to bring me on. As for salary, he basically said "Name a figure that would make it worth coming over". Which...what? When does that happen? Ever?

I'm almost certainly not going to take it, though, because a.) it's a much less stable sector, b.) I really don't want to have to move cities, especially right now, and c.) I would feel like a massive dick if I got a promotion and raise out of my current job and then just bailed for another place anyway. Part of me wants to just say "No thank you" outright...another part of me wants to name a completely ridiculous figure and see if they go for it just to see what happens.

It's just...I feel like the dog that finally caught the car. Now what?
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:04 PM on April 17, 2020 [22 favorites]

We had to have the house treated for termites today, after they swarmed 2 weeks ago coming up via the air conditioner drain pipe that drains under the foundation. My wife was upstairs, and I was in my home office with the door closed, so it wasn't much of an inconvenience. However, I can't believe the two pest control techs are walking into and out of multiple houses every day with no PPE, not even a home made mask.
posted by COD at 4:53 PM on April 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

So two days after our university (and specifically, the lab I work at!) said that they would offer 250k antibody tests for the state, in additional to increasing the COVID viral testing capabilities, our university furloughed everyone to one extent or another. I'm at a molecular biology core, and we have a small clinical lab which normally just offers 3 different clinical molecular tests, in a very low throughput capacity with two permanent staff members. What they're trying to build in two weeks is insane, and while many of us are working even longer hours, a lot of the lower threshold salaried people are now positive time reporters and there's no eligibility of overtime, plus we're further reducing hours each time period for the furlough. Lots of confusion, lots of open door conference calls on speaker in the office spaces and lots of stressed people in lab coats with hand sewn face masks, which is a weird combo.

I should be incredibly thankful I still have a job, and that this is so they can still give all of us health insurance, but I just keep flashing back to when I graduated in 2008 and in the all staff town-hall zoom, they said they anticipate that the financial impact to the university will be 5-6X greater than in 2008. Sorry for rambling.
posted by lizjohn at 6:22 PM on April 17, 2020 [15 favorites]

I know I am in a better position than so many, and I need to acknowledge that before anything else. As the VP of my area said in our weekly update, he is feeling some survivor guilt for having it so relatively easy right now. Indeed, he is not coming on site when many of his reports need to.

I'm feeling some of that same guilt myself. Spouse and I are still employed. Roof over our heads. Fairly good access to food and we are even well stocked on tp and water. Hell, we even have yeast.

My heart goes out to all of you who are having it so much worse. I still think of all of my friends in foodservice who... they had no safety net to begin with. I worry about them.

*deep exhale*

I have been trying to read each comment in here within a reasonable time frame. I have been trying to witness, if you will. I shut down about three days ago and couldn't do that again until today. All of this. ALL OF THIS. It's not easy, is it? I am worn out. I am full of despair. Let me do the best possible example of a check-in I can. I know y'all are too.

I wish I could make it better for everyone.

Last week, Cheerwell Maker said:
I'm feeling very dislocated right now. I'm a teacher in the UK (primary SEN), and right now it's theoretically the Easter holidays, but what even is time currently.
Last week, that was exactly how I felt. Arguably for different reasons. I think last week started week 4 of work from home. I still have to go in because onsite is in my job title. Computer goes down in a clinic/hospital, it sometimes needs hands-on fixing.

The what even is time currently so struck a bell for me last week. The whole week literally felt like a Monday that was the longest Monday of my life.

Dislocated is a good way of talking about that last week, too. And, the week before. Just get through the day. Then, get home and just.... disconnect? .... until you have to do it all over again.

This week was as close to a normal week as possible, given the circumstances. Until about 3:30 this afternoon when we were unofficially told we have a 20% reduction in hours for the next 8 weeks. We can eat the pay cut or we can use vac time (since that has already been accounted for) to get our standard paycheck.

I know I can do the latter and I can probably do the former, so that doesn't affect me. But for the three in our super small department who sneaked in before the hiring freeze that also occurred when all of this madness started... ugh!

They will be able to go "into the negative" in order to keep their full paychecks. But, after their six month probation period, they will be two days short of having any vac time. After setting their sights on having even a single day off after six months, they now have to wait nine months.

And, yeah, we have it astonishingly good. One of the people who was affected was happy to have a job after his previous employer laid off 50k+ the day before.

Still. This is all fucking shitty. This is all fucking miserable. I have about a billion words to say to lawmakers to change the damn system.

I'll be ignored.

Be well, all. I wish nothing but the best for any of you.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:43 PM on April 17, 2020 [16 favorites]

I don't know if you'd be able to order this online or not, but clove oil works well on tooth pain. I used it back when I didn't know I needed a root canal.

I have tried this, to no appreciable effect. Oral pain is miserable. I suggest anbesol. (And q-tips for application.)

I don't mean to rub it in for people who are having a much tougher time of things employment-wise, but I have to talk about this somewhere...Part of me wants to just say "No thank you" outright...another part of me wants to name a completely ridiculous figure and see if they go for it just to see what happens.

As someone whose work situation is collapsing with no obvious solutions, alternatives or much in the way of benefits available, I say do it! And then tell us what happens. I'm ready for some surreal levity.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:07 PM on April 17, 2020 [5 favorites]

My oldest friend's brother died on the coronavirus earlier tonight. The family is spread all over the country. There's one older sister they've decided not to tell right away, because she has some mental issues and they know they won't be able to stop her from jumping in the car and going there.

Like my dear friend who passed away last week (albeit from causes they're mostly sure are unrelated to COVID -19), there were no hospital visits possible, and there will be no funeral. And I can't be there for my friend except via text and phone.

The parents are both in their 80s with underlying health issues. This is the second of their twelve children to predecease them.

When we're all allowed to gather again, I feel like we're going to be catching up on memorial services for a while.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:06 PM on April 17, 2020 [23 favorites]

It would be my birthday today, but I've moved it to 12th Sept. Things will be ok by then, won't they? (Won't they?) Presumably this gives me a new sign of the zodiac. I could be a whole new person!
posted by paduasoy at 10:00 PM on April 17, 2020 [26 favorites]

A good friend and I had been very carefully isolating and planning a little visit so I could bring a birthday cake and then the night before we were supposed to meet up he...broke isolation to see another friend. Who isn't isolating at all -- they're still taking mass transit and going into an office every day. I'm so heartbroken. I am sure he had his reasons but, damn.

Also I wasted a lot of eggs in this cake.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:48 PM on April 17, 2020 [29 favorites]

That's a horrible thing to have happen we put our faith, said person never deserves cake again, I can think of a few other things they don't deserve either.
posted by unearthed at 12:01 AM on April 18, 2020 [8 favorites]

After 12 hours of debate yesterday, the Legislative Council here in Hong Kong approved a salary-supplement scheme for the next six months today, in which employers will receive up to HKD 9000 (~USD 1160) a month per employee for six months to pass on to employees, instead of using their own money to pay wages, with the condition that they cannot fire anyone if they take the money.

Sounds great, right? Except that there's quite a bit of disagreement on the usefulness of it compared to a direct handout to citizens and questions about how companies like convenience stores and supermarkets don't need it at all. The package also only applies to salary recipients with Mandatory Provident Fund accounts - so retired people and people who don't contribute to MPF won't receive anything here. More from David Webb here.

In other news, the government thought it was also a good idea to arrest over a dozen high-profile pro-democracy activists today ostensibly for their role in protests last year. There's also been a louder-than-usual series of noises coming from the Liaison Office over the last few days, perhaps because Beijing is growing increasingly worried about the pan-dems sweeping the September elections and wants the anti-sedition law passed before then to make democratic opposition all but impossible forever after.

Personally I'm still social distancing but have gone out a couple times this week to buy food. The weather's been spectacular and pollution remains really low, so being in my house during this time has been rather agonizing.

Hope everyone else is doing as well as they can under the circumstances.
posted by mdonley at 3:00 AM on April 18, 2020 [18 favorites]

Are... are anyone else's toenails straightening out?
posted by Marticus at 4:11 AM on April 18, 2020 [12 favorites]

I have had several virus-letters from other UK and EU MeFites, which has been very pleasing - including a mask with cats on today from Luxembourg - thank you!

I have enrolled on a short free course on Victorian film as desperately need other stuff to think about. I've done other FutureLearn courses and would recommend them.
posted by paduasoy at 4:34 AM on April 18, 2020 [5 favorites]

So Denmark is opening up, slowly. I don't know if it's a good idea, all the contrarians are coming out from under their rocks and making life hard for normal people. One of them is our former PM, breaking with the good manners of not criticizing one's successor. Why would he do this? Maybe to prove once and for all that he is a shitty person and always was. Good riddance.

Today I'm mostly bothered because IKEA is reopening. How can they open when I have to work from home? Who needs Billy shelves now?

And apropos things coming out from under rocks, there are hundreds of clover mites in my window sills. After having googled and found they are harmless and will soon die, I rather enjoy looking at them milling about. (I'd like to help them out, but they are so tiny, I don't know how to catch and release them)
posted by mumimor at 4:59 AM on April 18, 2020 [5 favorites]

USA warehouse club report: I went to Costco and BJ's on Thursday. I went after the seniors-only hour, because my feeling is that it's more crowded during it. There was no waiting to get in. Costco had someone wiping the handle of each cart, then passing it off to a customer. BJ's had wipes inside, but you still had to pick up the cart outside before that. Many more people wearing masks, but still not 100%. Gloves on more people, too. Some of the unmasked were also not interested in distancing. These were not (based solely on their appearance) all Trumpists.

BJ's has closed most of its clerked checkouts, and replaced them with self-service ones. The conveyors and receiving counters are removed from the SS checkouts; you take your items out of the cart, scan them, and return them to the cart. Costco has big plexi shields in front of the checkout clerks, with a small opening where you hold your member card to be scanned. No contact at the exit-check; the associate just looks at your receipt from behind another plexi shield, then waves you through. At BJ's, the exit-minder still makes a mark on the slip, but doesn't take it from your hand.

There were no wipes, gloves, peroxide, or alcohol for sale, at either store. I went to BJ's specifically to get a bag of sunflower seeds, because we're nearing the bottom of the mixed-seed bag I bought last fall. No birdseed at all. Costco only let me buy one package of their canned chicken. They only had standard blueberries; no organic except for the frozen ones. Lots of ramen available, with no problem buying two big packs.

At home, we disinfected the stuff that had to go in the fridge, and left the rest in the garage to age. The next day, my wife went to Market Basket, and we did the same with her purchases.

Yahoo News is saying government lab experiments show that sunlight kills the coronavirus "very quickly," but they don't say how quickly. This directly contradicts strong assertions from last month that sunlight didn't kill the virus.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:54 AM on April 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

In a statement to Yahoo News, the DHS declined to answer questions about the findings and strongly cautioned against drawing any conclusions based on unpublished data.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:10 AM on April 18, 2020 [3 favorites]

We may move down to Level 3 tomorrow (or not - there's odd cases with no clear transmission path). I can almost imagine it might make site visits possible but a lot of thought and planning to make it safe and lawful.

Many things will stay closed but some of the school system may partially reopen. It is 'interesting' how covid response is daylighting social\class\race\money rifts (they have always been here) - depending on your side of the rift determines your safety from covid.

I'm getting all NZ news from RadioNZ as is non-commercial with no axe to grind.

We're really enjoying walking on roads we would never dream of walking, we often do a ~10km round trip including 4km of state highway, that would be unthinkable and near-suicidal. So that's a real silver lining
posted by unearthed at 2:21 PM on April 18, 2020 [5 favorites]

In New York City, there are just so many people, even on my edge-of-everything neighborhood, that I haven't gone out at all for weeks, except onto the balcony I have the immense privilege of having. I've been almost entirely at home for about a month and a half now, also an immense privilege. I started a raised planter garden on the balcony. I've been buying three households' worth of groceries every week and my partner has been distributing them to two other households. It feels good to at least be able to do something, even if the good feeling doesn't last all that long.

I have a lot of hate in my heart for the people who are protesting and flouting social-distancing. I cried myself to sleep for an afternoon nap today, thinking about how much I hate this virus. Even if we survive it, which is its own challenge, on the other end, so much will have changed. Everyone pretending that's not the case is just making it worse.

I was so upset when, over a slow several-year period, a lot of my favorite restaurants and businesses on the Delmar Loop in St. Louis shut down during the interminable construction on the now-defunct Loop Trolley boondoggle. Now I get to watch a whole new wave of small-business destruction in my new home in New York.

I was also so upset when I worked in newsrooms through the initial loss of like 50,000 journalism jobs during the recession. I lost my own newsroom job about 5 1/2 years ago (and was lucky to find work on the other side of the table). Now almost every day, another publication is in peril.

One best friend and her fiancé almost certainly had the virus, as his parents who had visited recently tested positive. It's possible my other best friend also had it, with a week of mystery fevers and chills. My ex is out of work. My partner is out of work. My partner's family is almost entirely out of work. My metamour is now likely out of work, which is where my partner currently is, comforting them.

I see the perspective of anyone who feels like the level of privilege I have means I'm not entitled to complain. But just like everyone else, I'm day by day mourning so many things, I'm lonely, and I'm losing hard-won ground in so many areas, it feels like. I feel as depressed as I ever have been; I only got out of bed for a few hours so far today, sat on the couch and watched a terrible movie with an unsympathetic protagonist, then crawled back into bed. I woke up with an upset stomach.

Like others, I worked so hard to extricate myself from a failed marriage, and now I can't in good conscience finalize the divorce either, because my health insurance keeps my ex out of the hospital and alive, and my credit card is a lifeline for groceries. I certainly don't wish my ex death or more illness. I just don't know when I'm going to be free. We were so close to finalizing things before this.

I had also worked so hard to both lose weight and gain muscle over the course of like two years, including the 3 months of being stuck at home and overall 6 months of physical therapy I did in 2018 when I broke my ankle. I had retaught myself to play tennis; I had tracked everything I ate through it all that year, through the burglary of my house, my ankle break and recovery, my father's death, the disintegration of my marriage... I did all that, moved at the beginning of last year, and made a new life here with a new partner.

Now all of that progress feels in jeopardy. I'm not walking and strengthening my ankle. I'm not playing tennis. Food is one of the only diversions right now, but I've gained back all the weight I lost, and even though I know that's very common across all people who lose weight, and very normal for people with my chronic condition, it still feels demoralizing and like another factor in my current relationship issues. I don't think I'll ever not wonder if things would be different if I didn't weigh what I do.

I'm also not immune to the financial complications this has caused. I spent a week working through an agonizing series of bank miscommunications and mix-ups and still ended up paying my credit-card bills late and bouncing my rent check. At least I can pay them, I guess. I'm sympathetic to the ideals of the proposed rent strike, but I don't know that I can bring myself to do that and imperil my living space. I'm afraid that makes me the enemy, or at least solidly on the other side of things from people who have no such choice. Thinking about it makes me feel bad.

But thinking about most things makes me feel bad right now. Some of that is my particular combination of OCD, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I'm definitely not one of those people with those conditions who is doing better right now, because I had worked so hard for many years of therapy to be more present. I don't want to go back to compartmentalizing and emergency triage mode. But. everything. hurts. I feel very raw and retraumatized all the time.

I have it better than so many right now. But it still hurts.
posted by limeonaire at 3:36 PM on April 18, 2020 [32 favorites]

Cats are a blessing, though. They've been curled up with me all afternoon, limbs entangled. Dolly just woke up and went from kicking Carmela in the head repeatedly to licking her face. They're the best. They give me a reason to get up.
posted by limeonaire at 3:49 PM on April 18, 2020 [18 favorites]

I had last week off of cancer treatment, so it was nice not to have to go to the cancer center, though I'm glad it's managed to remain open. This Wednesday, I have a telemedicine appointment with the PA to talk about how things are going (my doc is on paternity leave - hope everything is going well with that). Then Friday, it's back to treatment - always scary to leave the house.

The Y in my town is starting a session of online classes taught through Zoom. I signed up for a few, and some of my friends did as well. So it will be kind of like doing something with them. I'm really glad this is available.

I'm also really glad I have a Fitbit. I've been walking inside my house after too much close contact with joggers and cyclists, and I feel like I've accomplished something when I meet my step goal circling my living room.

I've been making general extremely vague plans for a while to move closer to my kids, who both live across the country, and this is making that seem more important. I might be putting up an Ask soon asking for suggestions for cities I might like in the western US, although it will be a while before I can actually move. I find the whole idea of moving really overwhelming, but this has really emphasized to me how hard it is to be away from family (even though I wouldn't be able to see them right now if I did live near them).
posted by FencingGal at 4:33 PM on April 18, 2020 [7 favorites]

Weirdly, watching this One World: Together at Home thing is vaguely comforting. I was worried it was going to be too overwhelming with all the PSA's. It's a bit like Live Aid for times of streaming and social distancing. Seeing musicians' home studios is kind of interesting!
posted by limeonaire at 5:22 PM on April 18, 2020 [4 favorites]

I wish I had their gear...

Still, I thrifted a Peavy Vypyr amp a while back, and am enjoying the hell out of playing it.
posted by Windopaene at 8:39 PM on April 18, 2020 [3 favorites]

I helped out at our state food bank on Saturday morning. Volunteering there used to be very popular; time slots would fill up three months ahead of time. But now, for example, the warehouse has 72 slots open for just next week. It is impractical to stay 6 feet apart while working, but some people didn't try. Most people did wear a mask. It was the first outing of the new geography alumni club of the local university.

I also work at the university. We are supposedly in a hiring freeze. But new deans are being hired. And nurses at the university hospital are being threatened with disciplinary action over protesting PPE problems.

On Sunday, I am thinking of joining the Corona Community Chorus online here.
posted by NotLost at 10:08 PM on April 18, 2020 [10 favorites]

Just made my first trip out in five weeks, to pick up a prescription. I was relieved to see the pharmacy seemed to have a decent social distancing protocol, and I went just as they were opening and I was the second person there, on a one-in-one-out policy, and it really couldn’t have gone more smoothly, but I have literally never been more anxious in my life, and that includes a six-hour drive in a sudden Michigan blizzard in a crappy old car.

On the upside, it’s a lovely day and my husband and I got a nice walk in at the same time, and I don’t have to do it again for 60 days, because the doctor’s office okayed a 60 day scrip, instead of the usual 30 day ones.
posted by skybluepink at 1:29 AM on April 19, 2020 [8 favorites]

Today, I decided I had to go for a walk. My whole body was hurting from sitting at the computer in a bad chair, and even though I have a lot of work to do, I can't work if I'm aching. Here, it is very much allowed to go for walks, there are even PSOs about where to walk so you can keep your distance. And the wind has finally slowed down.

It was really strange, I couldn't pinpoint it at first, because there were some other people out there, so it wasn't that I was much more alone than usual. Then I realized that normally, there is a constant din from the main road, 3 km away, and that is gone. It's really a huge change. When there's a storm, you don't notice that it's gone because the wind and the ocean make a lot of noise, but today it was so beautiful. It's not that you normally can't hear the birds, but it did make a difference that their song was free of background noise.

The kindergartens and schools for the youngest children have been allowed to reopen, but some places they can't because there isn't enough space. So now the Tivoli Gardens have lent out their playground to a kindergarten. The park is closed to the general public, of course.
posted by mumimor at 4:49 AM on April 19, 2020 [6 favorites]

I wish I could use this time like many of you to clean and declutter my house, but it is messier than it has ever been. Working from home while homeschooling means that my 7 year old has unearthed toys that haven’t been played with in years. The Little Tikes play kitchen has been returned to its place of honor next to the piano; he interrupts my conference calls with plates of disgusting fake food combinations and pretend beverages (eggshell tea is frequently on the menu). MagnaTiles have been repurposed for mockups of fictional Mario Kart tracks. Duplo trains have been resurrected and are squeakily chugging through the bedrooms.

We are healthy, we are employed, and my kid has yet to ask to go back to school. It turns out that spending extra time on the school iPad apps with frequent breaks for hugs, snacks, and toys is his ideal day. So at least one of us is happy?
posted by Maarika at 7:02 AM on April 19, 2020 [13 favorites]

Still shaky after my father's death, and it's hard to tell where the grief over that loss ends, and the grief over my city and routine (and job, work loss, and constant anxiety) begins. But we're here and we're bunkered in and we're managing.

I finally braved the lines and went to Trader Joe's for the first time since February. It was weird - people were respecting the 6 foot distancing in the line, but awful lot of people only did so for the people in front and behind them. People walking down the block to join the line weren't doing so laterally. I've seen that a lot in the city (especially in the park). Maybe we're just so used to elbowing through crowded sidewalks that people aren't seeing the people they pass as people rather than obstacles yet. Anyhow, at TJ's they were wiping down the carts and limiting entry, but still allowing couples/friends to shop in twos. So if a pair went in, that meant the next person had to wait longer.

The first song I heard over the sound system when I walked in was "Dancing With Myself", which I thought was pretty funny.

Then the next song was "Too Much Time on My Hands"
Then "I'll Stop the World and Melt with You"
Then "Since You've Been Gone" (the one from The Outfield)
Then the next song was the Stray Cats song that starts "I don't feel like going to school no more / Me neither. They can't make you go."

And since it's Trader Joes, I immediately started assuming that someone thought it would be cute to make a coronavirus playlist, and I couldn't decide whether to be amused or appalled. Then I figured out that that song was actually "Sexy and 17" and then the next one was "Strut," and I realized no, it was just their usual 80's mix and it's almost certainly all in my head but that's when I left.

Wake me when this new normal is over, is all I'm saying.
posted by Mchelly at 7:38 AM on April 19, 2020 [26 favorites]

I wish I could use this time like many of you to clean and declutter my house,

Before the lockdown I was going to Marie Kondo the shit out of my house and wardrobe, as I have far too much stuff. But nowhere is open to take it, so even if I did sort it all out, it would be taking up more space in boxes and bags than it does now by remaining in drawers and cupboards.
posted by essexjan at 8:26 AM on April 19, 2020 [9 favorites]

Before the lockdown I was going to Marie Kondo the shit out of my house and wardrobe, as I have far too much stuff. But nowhere is open to take it, so even if I did sort it all out, it would be taking up more space in boxes and bags than it does now by remaining in drawers and cupboards

I just this morning had the decluttering urge, so spent a couple of hours sorting and putting things to donate in boxes and so on... only to realize that of course no one is accepting donations. The joke is on me, because now it feels more cluttered than before with the donation boxes all stacked up in a corner.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:11 AM on April 19, 2020 [4 favorites]

It might be worth checking in with your local Mutual Aid group, if there is one: I donated a bag of clothing and some towels to someone who picked it up from my driveway to take to one of the emergency homeless shelters that opened in my city.
posted by TwoStride at 9:58 AM on April 19, 2020 [3 favorites]

So, I have a question about WA State UI, which people here might not be able to answer, but it's worth a shot. This may be long. This is in WA State, USA, specifically Seattle.

Last May, my contract Web Dev job ended. I got a couple of freelance gigs, did some travelling, and then opened my UI claim in August while I looked for work. In the meantime, my confidence as a Web Dev tanked, I took down my portfolio, and started looking for QA/SDET jobs. Which I was either over or underqualified for, so I didn't get any.

In the meantime, my depression and energy and general health also tanked. I went to a couple of doctors, and got diagnosed with iron Deficiency, Chronic Insomnia, and digestive complications from my gall bladder removal two years ago. Knowing that's a huge task to take on, I suspended my job search last early November while I got my health back in order. When I stopped, I have 2-3 months left in my claim. I didn't close it officially; I just let it lapse.

Since then: All of those issues are either fixed or are being fixed; meds and Iron/Vit C supplements for the ID and GB issues, and CBT for the Insomnia. I got a new part-time Freelance gig as Senior QA for a website, and am retooling my Web Dev skills and portfolio by taking online Pluralsight classes in Node.js, React, Redux, and no-SQL databases. Physically, I feel better than I have in years, and I'm currently retooling my online portfolio from scratch, in Node and React. I *love* React and Node! While all of this happened, the planet started to get eaten by COVID-19. Consequently, unemployment skyrocketed, and governments reacted by bolstering their UI benefits. My Freelance gig is slated to end in a month or two.

When I start looking for work again and reopen my UI claim, which may be in a month or two, what benefits will I get? Will it be the standard 26 weeks that I got assigned when I first opened my claim? Or will it be the bolstered UI benefits, with the extra $600 a week and 13 extra weeks to claim? (WA State UI is very swamped at the moment, so if this is something that could be answered here, that'd be great. If not, I can shoot them an email.) Thank you!
posted by spinifex23 at 10:51 AM on April 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

spinifex23, you can try to reach the Washington Unemployment Law Project's free Telephone Helpline, but it may take multiple attempts to get through, and in the meantime, ULP has published information and webinars about COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits on their website, and the National Employment Law Project has published an overview of how UI has expanded recently, as well as a FAQ and additional resources page on their website that I found via this article: How to apply for unemployment benefits after losing your job because of the pandemic (Michelle Singletary, WaPo Perspective, Apr. 16, 2020).
posted by katra at 11:20 AM on April 19, 2020 [3 favorites]

Thank you so much for those links, katra! I'll look into that, and reach out when I'm ready to file again.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:51 AM on April 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

I went to church (virtually, via Zoom) this morning, and our worship team has done a fantastic job recreating the standard service. We had a hymn (Blue Boat Home, for all the other UUs out there) pre-recorded by our music director, words on the shared screen, encouraging us to sing together, apart. Singing along by myself and watching other people do the same thing on mute hit a nerve, and I sobbed and grieved for really the first time through all of this. I miss people, and the rhythm and rituals of church. And the building, the smells and sounds of our barn in the middle of a restored prairie. Mostly the people.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 1:16 PM on April 19, 2020 [17 favorites]

only to realize that of course no one is accepting donations.

Our local Goodwill is closed but they have a sign on their door saying they are still accepting donations between certain hours.
posted by muddgirl at 1:27 PM on April 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

That resonates with me a lot, Sparky Buttons. My sangha has been doing the same thing, and I've been having the same thoughts. It's a sangha that practices Tibetan Buddhism.

They distributed through email to those signed up on the mailing list a booklet of prayers to chant along with at home, but it's not the same. There's no smell of incense mixed with old wood. There's no sitting next to someone else, and helping each other find our place in the chanted prayers, because the monks are going a million miles an hour and we don't read Tibetan. There's no drinking salted butter tea and nibbling on cookies downstairs in the Cultural Hall. There's no observing the children coming up from Dharma School in the middle of the service, to get a blessing and a piece of candy from our head Lama. There's no talking with visitors, both those who sought out the place, and those who live in the area and wandered in.

Though I did have a good Zoom talk with some fellow Parishioners, and we had a good conversation on different Buddhist pilgrimages. Hugs to you, and to everyone.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:37 PM on April 19, 2020 [4 favorites]

Mchelly, I love the idea of a Trader Joe's coronavirus playlist. That certainly sounded like it...or that they had one and it turned into the "Me So Horny" playlist!

Wake me when this new normal is over, is all I'm saying.

Yeah, I'm thinking something similar.

That said, I am actually having a good weekend:
(a) I did an all day storytelling workshop on Saturday "on the East Coast" (i.e. waking up way too early for me) with Matthew Dicks, and then watching his show afterwards.
(b) Watched "Phantom of the Opera."
(c) Today I am doing my first online conference (a hippiecon) in Florida, this weekend and next.
(d) I also did an online play again, reading the stage directions very dramatically in "The Importance of Being Earnest." That was great fun.

I am really liking that I have options to do things in other locations because everything is online these days.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:10 PM on April 19, 2020 [7 favorites]

I've been attending online Mass since this started, and it does make me feel more connected to my fellow parishioners - but it also makes me sad to see the sanctuary and not be able to actually be there. My church has had streaming services for a long time, so there wasn't too much to the transition - they did add a way to see the lyrics to the hymns. I'm glad it's available, but yes, I miss actually being there. It's hard.

My church is also doing drive-through confessions, but I haven't tried that yet. I picture shouting my sins at the priest from six feet away, and it just seems really weird.
posted by FencingGal at 7:04 AM on April 20, 2020 [11 favorites]

[garble garble]ur fathers and [crackle static]hail ma[garble] would you [static] supersize that? go for[crackle] si[garble]omore.[click]
posted by 20 year lurk at 7:18 AM on April 20, 2020 [5 favorites]

I'm... just leaving this here.
posted by destrius at 7:27 AM on April 20, 2020 [6 favorites]

(It got removed, but fortunately managed to get archived in its full glory before then.)
posted by destrius at 9:09 AM on April 20, 2020 [16 favorites]

posted by jenfullmoon at 9:18 AM on April 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

Singapore gov't hitting that 4/20 vibe?
posted by hanov3r at 12:06 PM on April 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'm also using this opportunity to shop for travel supplies - Osprey had a clearance sale on a teen size 50 liter backpack. I bought it at 50% off, and it fits me perfectly.

It reminds me that there will be an ending to this, eventually, and when there is? I'm taking a hike!
posted by spinifex23 at 12:11 PM on April 20, 2020 [4 favorites]

Conversely, I just bought a hot tub, to make staying at home much more pleasant.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:18 PM on April 20, 2020 [12 favorites]

Governor of Georgia has announced the state is reopening for business this Friday. Keep in mind we're 48th for testing, and the curve is still on the upswing. Just...damn.
posted by heathrowga at 2:45 PM on April 20, 2020 [6 favorites]

Happy to report that my local chapter of Standing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ -- it's a White-led org with a mission to educate and deploy White people for the cause of racial justice) is on the job: they just sent out an email asking members to speak up at the next County coronavirus Town Hall, about "Why doesn't the County locate a free drive-through testing site in [lower-income municipality that also happens to be mostly populated by People of Color]?"

A local paper quoted a County spokesperson saying that the County hasn't released racial breakdowns because in some zipcodes there aren't enough cases to protect privacy. So I sent my input to the Town Hall prep team: "Will the County put a free drive-through testing site in [that lower-income municipality]? If yes, you'll identify more cases (because so many lower-income people can't afford to stay home from front-line service jobs, and have living or work conditions that make physical distancing difficult or impossible)... & then the County can release racial breakdowns."

I dunno about y'all's local SURJ teams, but it's worth checking out. Mine didn't exist in 2016-17, but I found out in mid-2019 that it had been up & running for several months with racial justice book club meetings, movie nights, and cross-pollination efforts with the local chapter.

Elsewhere in the County, Bolinas, a coastal town with tech millionaire connections, is setting up to test everybody in the town (inspired by Vo in Italy).

My local farmers' market has physical distancing measures I'm happy with: triple the usual space between stalls & rows of stalls, only farmers handle the produce, the customers are distanced from the tables by tape, etc. When I asked how they were doing, one farmer said "Meh, ok enough," another said that he's seen a ton of new faces, "probably people who feel it's safer to food-shop out of doors," enough to make up for the cratering of restaurant orders (!). (EBT accepted at this market, yay for getting fresh veg/fruit to people who need it most.)

Speaking of helping local food producers, anybody who has some disposable cash & loves cheese, consider buying local small-producer cheese. (I know most small businesses are getting decimated now; I'm just really aware of this one because I have a cheese blogger friend who's acutely aware. She had an operatic cheese pairing recital at the end of Feb, which I have been listening to today for a mental break.)
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 3:50 PM on April 20, 2020 [7 favorites]

So, after sending about 10% of our workforce to get tested after our first confirmed case, one of the people who has contact with pretty much everyone tested positive, along with a few others. We're shutting down until next Monday and telling everyone to self-monitor. This sucks for me, my boyfriend's birthday is Saturday and our first anniversary is Friday, and we won't be able to see each other. Gaah. Fuck.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 4:36 PM on April 20, 2020 [12 favorites]

I don't know if you'd be able to order this online or not, but clove oil works well on tooth pain. I used it back when I didn't know I needed a root canal.

I have tried this, to no appreciable effect. Oral pain is miserable. I suggest anbesol. (And q-tips for application.)

By far the most effective oral pain killer in my thankfully passed but decades long tortured experience with aphthous ulcers is aspergum. If you can chew I cannot recommend it highly enough. Nothing else ever helped me as much.
posted by srboisvert at 5:27 PM on April 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

A couple other things that can help tooth pain:
* Anbesol.
* Orajel, and
* toothpaste for sensitive teeth (put it on the gums and leave it there).

But if you're in pain, I hope you can get in to a dentist.
posted by NotLost at 7:18 PM on April 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

(It got removed, but fortunately managed to get archived in its full glory before then.)

Apparently it got removed because (and who saw this coming) Liverpool Football Club supporters got upset over it....
posted by Brockles at 7:43 PM on April 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

after I had been sobbing over the finale of Picard for about 2 hours it occurred to me that I might not be crying solely about the finale of Picard. Probably should have saved that one for after the pandemic...
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:18 PM on April 20, 2020 [10 favorites]

Fuckity. Our "circuit breaker" has been extended to 1 June in Singapore. I didn't realise how much I was looking forward to the end on May 4th. Keeping up with homeschool feels like a slow collapse into failure with my kid because she has SO MANY worksheets and drags her feet on every single one.

This is really showing our reliance on migrant workers and hopefully they will win some serious ground for living conditions and treatment going forward.

But four more weeks!
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 2:27 AM on April 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

In good news, it seems that all the corona-infected people in Greenland have recovered and there are no new cases. I really hope it stays that way.
posted by mumimor at 2:53 AM on April 21, 2020 [17 favorites]

watched final three episodes of picard yesterday during some wfh downtime, my first tv since this thing began barring those shows little lurk watches, during which i usually doze off a bit in postprandial and child-snuggling bliss. more than a little bit ashamed how moved i was to see all those cameos through the series.
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:13 AM on April 21, 2020 [3 favorites]

I realized this weekend that my granddaughter coming to see me this summer is almost certainly off the table. I had been waiting for years for her mother to consider her old enough to fly out by herself, and she finally agreed. One of the things I hate about being so far from my grandchildren is that they never can come to my house (their family is so big, it's just too expensive for them all to fly here, so I always go see them). I used to love going to my grandmother's house, and I've never had that with my own grandchildren. It's a small disappointment, but a real one. I'm sure there are many such small disappointments happening now.
posted by FencingGal at 6:39 AM on April 21, 2020 [16 favorites]

Handling things okay all in all-- running a lot, cooking a lot.

The main stressor is my job, and my awful boss who cycles through staff members to target with his terrible behavior... and currently it's my turn (6 months ago I was supposed to be promoted). He has been straight up ignoring me for the last five weeks that we've been working from home-- no meetings, doesn't respond to update emails, doesn't give me new projects, and is apparently complaining to coworkers that "some of us are putting in more effort than others right now." At the same time he's giving extra work to the only one of my coworkers with kids at home and making noise about being "concerned" if she gives any indication of being overwhelmed.

They're going to be reducing our hours and putting us on partial unemployment based on how much work we have, and we have to come up with more projects that we can do. Which is all well and good except we've paused all of the actual on the ground work the organization does so there's very little to be done now that I've spent the last five weeks doing lots of the pie-in-the-sky "if I had time to fix/create this resource/system" kinds of things. Zero leadership in terms of helping guide what this time should look like or what they're envisioning our organization focusing on as lockdowns start to lift. If I'm going to be laid off, I just want to be laid off, not this passive aggressive bullshit of backing me into a corner and blaming me for it.
posted by geegollygosh at 8:19 AM on April 21, 2020 [12 favorites]

Oh hell. My mom was doing okay for a while, now her bronchial issue is ramping up and her doctor is going to see if they can get her in for a chest X-ray. It's been so up and down with her health - one or two days where she feels great, then plummets for another day or two. She has been in contact with all of her doctors throughout this, and we can't seem to get to the bottom of the issue. One of her doctors opined that she may indeed have the virus, but a mild (?) case. I'm so afraid that if I take her to the hospital for the x-ray, they will end up keeping her. Which I know would be for her own good but it's still scary because I wouldn't be able to be there with her.

Also, we are supposed to have very bad weather this afternoon here in CT (storms, wind, rain, hail, etc). My mom DOES NOT GO OUT in bad weather - it terrifies her.

My son, whose job in GA shut down mid March, may have to go back if that stupid governor opens everything back up. His contract runs through June 1, and if he goes back to GA, he may have to quarantine for 14 days - how will that work? He works and lives on the boat. I just don't know anymore.

The rollercoaster is not ending.
posted by sundrop at 8:21 AM on April 21, 2020 [11 favorites]

Last week, schools were officially closed for the rest of the school year and at-home orders extended through May 26. This isn’t a surprise, but was still a blow and it was really hard to tell my kids, who desperately miss their friends. They cried. My employer is considering furloughs, which is stressful and panic inducing, but also might be a relief if I could stop thinking about my work from home responsibilities for a bit. Husband still working both jobs outside the home. I’m really tired. Yesterday I tried to take kids for a ride to get out of the house. Maybe a car wash, maybe a walk in a different neighborhood, I thought. My car wouldn’t start. I cried. I let my youngest play in it this weekend and he likely left a light on. I was able to jump the battery later that night. I’m going to try a drive today. Are automatic car washes open? I guess we’ll find out.
posted by areaperson at 8:53 AM on April 21, 2020 [7 favorites]

I was able to use an automatic car wash a few weeks ago, since that didn't involve people.

I have also read online that you need to drive your car at least once every 2 weeks, for 10 miles, some of that being at over 50 mph, so that the battery won't die. I can't speak to the light being on, but that might have been it too.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:57 AM on April 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

Car has been driven a fair amount lately. But that’s good news if we can get a car wash today! Might be sort of fun.

ETA: geegollygosh, your boss sounds terrible! I’m so sorry!
posted by areaperson at 8:59 AM on April 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

I like sitting in the car while the soaping goes on. Did have anxiety about using a public machine to swipe a bank card in, brought the wipes, etc. though.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:03 AM on April 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

Today I cleaned the washing machine. I feel both good because I did it, and embarrassed because it is probably the first time ever for that machine in more than twenty years. Even when my grandparents lived, I would have been the one to do it, and I don't remember ever having done it. It was smelly and generally disgusting. Now it is nice.
posted by mumimor at 9:11 AM on April 21, 2020 [9 favorites]

All my dreams/nightmares have been about growing food. Last night it was potatoes. The night before it was celery.
posted by bq at 9:17 AM on April 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

So I've been experiencing some mild shortness of breath for a few days, no other symptoms (not even a fever.) I've also been dealing with anxiety and had a panic attack last week which is not normally something I have any issues with. I get slightly out of breath during simple things like squatting down to feed my dog, and when I take a deep breath I feel pain in my back. I have a telemedicine appointment with my PCP this afternoon and panic ordered two blood oximeters (one for me, and one for my mother.)

Fun stuff!!!!!
posted by Automocar at 9:25 AM on April 21, 2020 [3 favorites]

There are cranes on the field! I know there are places in the world where a few cranes on a field aren't very special, but here they are, so I am happy. They are going to dance and mate here and then retreat to the bogs where the foxes can't reach their nests. Their dancing is spectacular, but right now, they are just eating.
posted by mumimor at 10:30 AM on April 21, 2020 [16 favorites]

I heard yesterday that a woman named Belinda who I worked with for many years until she retired 4 years ago has died after contracting coronavirus. She had asthma and so was vulnerable to complications. She was 69, and her Facebook page was filled with her post-retirement adventures, travelling, grandchildren, lovely times. This is the first (and I hope only) person I know who's died of the virus. Belinda was too young and had too much life to live for this to happen. This sucks.

I've not driven my car for a few weeks. It's in my garage in a block about 50m away from my place. I started it up last week and it was fine, but today the battery was flat. Neighbours on our WhatsApp Group have offered to give me a jump start (there's no power outlet in the garage, so I can't use a charger on it). We'll figure out a way to do it by maintaining social distancing - I'll get my hood up, get the cover off the battery compartment and attach the jump leads. I'll get back in my car while my neighbour does the same on his car. Then we can do this without needing to have contact with each other outside our cars. After that I'll have to make sure I go out for a drive at least every couple of days.

On the upside, my lawn guy managed to find me a few sacks of compost so I can do some planting. And tonight is the apex of the Lyrid meteor shower. The sky is clear so I'm going to walk down to a plain in the forest at around midnight, taking my camping chair, and sit under the stars for a while, hoping to see the spirit of Belinda in a shooting star.
posted by essexjan at 12:08 PM on April 21, 2020 [13 favorites]

The car wash was open! We even went to a newer one that is sort of big for a car wash, and I paid for the more expensive wash so it took longer. We played some of my daughter’s favorite music and ate Easter candy. Best money I’ve spent in a while.
posted by areaperson at 12:11 PM on April 21, 2020 [15 favorites]

Fencing Gal: "I used to love going to my grandmother's house, and I've never had that with my own grandchildren."

Me, too! Both my grandmothers and the rest of my extended family lived in Albuquerque, 250 miles away from the small town I grew up in. But I spent large portions of my summers and other holidays in ABQ, mostly staying with my maternal grandmother and my aunt who is only seven years older than me (who was sort of like a big sister to me). I'd visit my paternal grandmother, too, and some other family. But mostly my mom's mom, who was less like a grandma and more like a globe-trotting wealthy aunt and so I grew up hanging out with her and her friends at country clubs and eating at nice restaurants (she refused to cook) and such because I was the sort of kid that was comfortable and well-behaved with adults. And my grandmother and I became quite close, even though her personality was kind of aloof (which is a little awkward between me and my mom, because in some ways I knew her mother better and was closer to her than she was). And her mother, my great-grandmother, lived until I was 22 and I spent a lot of time with her, too. She doted on me and was the most stereotypically grandmotherly of the three and I adored her.

Anyway, like you, this makes up a huge part of my best childhood memories.

And so I've been puzzled why my nephews haven't ever flown out and stayed here with my mom on their own. They are thirteen and eight. I've suggested it a few times, partly selfishly because I'd like to spend some quality time with my older nephew, who is a lot like me.

I've wondered if there's a cultural shift that's happened. Do grandkids spend less time visiting their grandparents on their own than they used to? Does it have to do with all the helicoptering and scheduled activities that kids have nowadays? Heck, in 1983 my nine year-old sister flew alone to stay with me and my visiting girlfriend in Dallas when I was only nineteen. (Her first question to us when she arrived: "Mom and I want to know if you guys are having sex?" My girlfriend was...nonplussed.)

So you should absolutely try to get your grandkids to come visit and stay with you! I guess it can be exhausting, depending on the kids, but surely it's worth it. I've never gotten to be a parent, much less a grandparent, so I really envy people that time they spend with their kids and grandkids.

jenfullmoon: "I have also read online that you need to drive your car at least once every 2 weeks, for 10 miles, some of that being at over 50 mph, so that the battery won't die."

A few months ago I bought a fancy "maintenance" battery charger for about $120 to just keep hooked-up to my rarely driven car. You can even mount it in the engine compartment and keep it permanently attached. Apparently, your car battery can degrade if you let it "deep" discharge repeatedly. This charger can properly maintain a charge and even somewhat rehabilitate a battery.

Automocar: "I have a telemedicine appointment with my PCP this afternoon and panic ordered two blood oximeters (one for me, and one for my mother.)"

You might find this NYT op-ed interesting. I think daily oximeter checks is a good idea, especially if one is easily available.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:24 PM on April 21, 2020 [6 favorites]

I'm also on about week 6 or 7 of a weird slightly phlegmy cough, sore throat, slight tightness in my upper chest, foul taste in the mouth, occasional upset stomach. No temperature or any other symptoms that would lead me to think it's Covid-19, but it's just weird.
posted by essexjan at 12:41 PM on April 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

Re grandparent summers, I see an argument for the opposite of helicoptering, actually. Women have fewer children and much more social media pressure to provide Super Magical Childhoods and "you only get 18 summers/birthdays/holidays." For all the pressure to make sure your kids also get grandparent time, I can see an equal pressure for "you're a bad parent if you give up this precious time!!" It seems like another double bind for mothers especially.
posted by nakedmolerats at 1:40 PM on April 21, 2020 [8 favorites]

With my own grandkids, I think it's really an issue of taking long flights by themselves.
posted by FencingGal at 2:16 PM on April 21, 2020 [6 favorites]

Both sets of my kids' grandparents have flat-out stated that they've done their time parenting. I have one special-needs kid, and they've shown no interest in watching the 2 kids for more than 24 hours So, yeah.
posted by heathrowga at 2:33 PM on April 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

Re: car batteries. I have apparently weakened the battery of my Subaru by not noticing that the lights were on while I waited somewhere and listened to music. Subarus turn the lights off when the key is removed, but I needed the key in to hear music. Now, the car barely starts after sitting for 4 days. Anyway, last year I bought this Type S Jump Starter and Portable Power Bank. It's very compact (6.6 x 3 x 1 inch), and has started the car a couple of times when the battery was flat. It's $60 at Costco. I think it was well worth the cost.

Trickle chargers from Black & Decker and Stanley cost about $20, if you have access to an outlet.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:39 PM on April 21, 2020 [4 favorites]

Re: children traveling to visit grandparents visits. I think you’re noticing a change in parenting and safety. It’s not helicopter parents so much as children are more regulated in general and that societally everyone is just more cautious. So kids flying or traveling solo is much less standard than it used to be. I was allowed to take a 90-minute greyhound bus ride to visit my grandparents starting about age 10. And my poor grandma, who didn’t drive, had to find ways to pick me up in a not great neighborhood. That seemed fairly ok in the 80s, but I can’t even imagine what would happen if I sent my kids on a greyhound bus ride alone. I think I’d be arrested.
I deeply agree time with grandparents is precious and I hope, FencingGal, you’re able to find a way to plan those trips eventually. One of the hardest parts about this isolation is keeping my kids away from my parents. We live close to them, but it’s not safe to visit them because my husband is working outside the home. I know I’ll cry when I get to hug my dad again, or see my kids hug him.
posted by areaperson at 2:56 PM on April 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

About the grandparents: for years, I'd go alone or with a friend to the main train station right after school was out the last day and take the 8 hour train hour train trip up here. And I wouldn't return to the city till the very last day before school started again, again by train, alone. I came here for all the smaller holidays as well, and in this agricultural nation they were scheduled for when farmwork needed to be done, so that was what I did. I don't think anyone would let a child ride alone on a train for 8 hours today. Or do farmwork. I was proud I could move 50 kilo sacks of grain when I was 14, but not so proud I would ever ask my own kids to do it.
Sometimes my parents would come for a week or two, but most often not. My cousin would be the same as me, but his parents, my aunt and uncle, would be here most of the time because they could work from home and they would all go together in a car. They and our bachelor uncle would work on the fields and fences and cut down trees, and teach us to make kites and general scout stuff. I wonder how this will work out with the next generation. Because of the lockdown, everyone will be spending their holidays here this year rather than going abroad as usual. If they pack a lunch they don't need to stop on the way here, and there is plenty of room for social distancing and even a couple of weeks of quarantine if necessary. Maybe it will help remind everyone of their roots. I could use some help with the trees and the fences. We all love it when the young spend time together. They like each other, but in the city, they have separate friend groups.
My grandson is not a year old yet, but I fully expect him to spend part of his holidays here when he gets older, and as far as I can tell, so does my daughter. Still, it will make a positive difference when there are siblings and cousins. My big dream is that the next generation will be as close as I am with my siblings and cousins.
I'm just thinking, the school holiday is much longer than what the adults have, so maybe if we coordinate I can have the kid(s) when their parents have to work. Obviously travel is a big issue, and you'd think modern times would offer better options than 8 hour train trips, but that hasn't happened. I guess I need to buy a minibus.
posted by mumimor at 3:18 PM on April 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

Trickle chargers from Black & Decker and Stanley cost about $20, if you have access to an outlet.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:39 PM on April 21

I don't have access to an outlet. I just ordered a set of 6m jump leads on Amazon to arrive on Friday so I can keep a safe distance from my neighbour when I get a jump start. I'll look at one of those power banks though. I have one for my phone/tablet, but it doesn't have a jump lead function.
posted by essexjan at 3:42 PM on April 21, 2020

A month and a half into Italy's quarantine, here's brief update of stats from Rome.

Current local COVID-19 numbers (same national/regional source as always):
- it's been 25 days since our region-wide new-positives-per-day high of 210, and it seems as though we've now managed to get off the second plateau (two weeks of 140ish new daily postitives), with less than 100 new positives confirmed for the last three days in a row, today it's +80
- the cases being found are still mostly isolated problem clusters (in old-age homes and covents)
- folks are generally expecting new government decisions on lockdown conditions this Friday, though whether they'll confirm May 3rd to be the day things start to change, as previously tentatively announced, remains to be seen
- the current regional case fatality rate (as per today's totals of 5,895 overall confirmed cases and 363 deaths) is around 6.16%, still about one third the rate that Lombardia is reporting
- around a third of the 4,402 active cases are hospitalised, with only 4.2% of cases now in ICU (184 total)
- new local age-record: a 15-year old was confirmed in intensive care yesterday.

We've found ourselves in more of a doldrum phase, and it's proving harder to find the pith in all this. So, with M.A. Heglar on the one hand, and R. Solnit on the other, let's keep keeping on.
posted by progosk at 3:50 PM on April 21, 2020 [7 favorites]

(Some of our media diet choices this week were less than brilliant, but Anthropocene - The Human Epoch was worth watching, Gli sdraiati was better than I'd feared, Emma was great confectionery, and Easy A was a lot of fun.)
posted by progosk at 4:23 PM on April 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

I can hardly fucking believe it but here we are, more than a month into this thing, and half the shoppers at H Mart are *still* blithely ignorant, not wearing masks, not making any attempt at self distancing, just fucking clueless.

I risked it today to try and get some fresh fruit and I immediately regretted it. I don't think I'll do it again. If people are not getting it by now, either by ignorance or by choice, they're just not going to fucking get it and they're going to continue to make it unsafe for everybody else indefinitely.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 4:41 PM on April 21, 2020 [15 favorites]

I've decided to forego fresh anything for the duration. It's not worth it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:50 PM on April 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

I haven't touched another person since March 6th and it's wearing on me. I *want* to touch or be touched so much. That's the whole update.
posted by bridgebury at 8:17 PM on April 21, 2020 [26 favorites]

I've been attending online Mass since this started, and it does make me feel more connected to my fellow parishioners

I did it once, but it’s been really hard for me as my husband is an atheist, which is normally not a problem when I leave to go to Mass, but is a problem when I’m singing loudly and calling out responses, which is ingrained enough in me that it would feel weird to not. There’s just nowhere to go that can be heard elsewhere in our place.
posted by corb at 8:42 PM on April 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

I don't have access to an outlet. I just ordered a set of 6m jump leads on Amazon to arrive on Friday so I can keep a safe distance from my neighbour when I get a jump start. I'll look at one of those power banks though. I have one for my phone/tablet, but it doesn't have a jump lead function.

I bought one of the jump start power banks a couple of years ago when my wife's previous old car was proving a bit unreliable to start, and it's been so handy. Probably only used about half a dozen times, but a flat battery always happens at the worst time when you can't easily get a normal jump, and I've helped several colleagues with it too, to save all that angling to get the bonnets together in tight parking etc. Plus it has USB on it for the phone.

I'm now eyeing up a solar panel trickle charger; it goes inside the car windscreen, and plugs into the cigarette charger socket (or OBD2 port if the cigarette port turns off when keys out) to keep it topped up - I too can't run mains anywhere near where I'm parked. My car has started the last couple of times, but it definitely wheezed first, having been sat for a week. Jump starting is doable of course, but letting the battery go flat repeatedly does cumulative damage to its lifetime - yet another cost of being stuck at home.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 11:53 PM on April 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

I lost my shit today for the first time since all this began - a couple of people I manage have made mistakes which will have a lot of fallout I'll have to deal with, another manager is making busywork for everyone (partly to make their job seem irreplacable), I've had other fallout from stuff which people who have now left didn't deal with properly, and we've been warned that there will be redundancies, and our division has already been running at less than half strength for over a year and I am JUST SO TIRED. I am finding it so hard to engage with people empathetically. I thought I was handling everything really well but today I just caved and all these things which would normally be annoying but not insurmountable turned into Mount Everest. I was in tears by 10 am, and had to self-medicate just so I could cope with the difficult conversations without completely losing it. And my job is a fundraising and relationship management one, but I don't feel like I can summon even the vaguest whiff of warm, concerned sincerity for our donors right now. Ugh ugh ugh.
posted by andraste at 4:23 AM on April 22, 2020 [22 favorites]

I'm so blue, I'm indigo.
posted by mochapickle at 5:26 AM on April 22, 2020 [10 favorites]

Today is my daughter's birthday. She's 20. She should be in Chicago, going to classes and hanging out with her friends, jumping on the L to go somewhere fun for dinner. Instead, she's stuck back in suburbia with her parents, not able to see anyone else. She's been taking this whole thing like the trooper she is but I know it's wearing on her. She'd had just enough freedom to appreciate it and to resent when it was taken away. Her high school best friend has organized a birthday drive-by for her; I can't wait for that to happen. I know she'll cry. And some friends of ours, who are basically like her aunts and uncles, have sent her some gifts. We're trying to make the best of it because we know that we're extremely fortunate in the grand scheme of things. My 50th happens in September. I don't think we'll be celebrating the way we intended by then, either.
posted by cooker girl at 6:27 AM on April 22, 2020 [23 favorites]

Happy birthday to your daughter, cooker girl. Mine is in a couple weeks. I had tickets to a musical one night of a work trip the week before, as an early present to myself, and I was going to take the actual day off work to go for a long day hike with family that was going to be visiting. Obviously none of that is happening now.

It feels really irrational to be upset about things like birthdays as an adult -- I haven't had a "birthday party" since I was 14 -- but I also haven't had a face-to-face conversation with another human being in over a month, so...

Someone told me the other day that they had gotten a bright red inflatable punching bag. I'm thinking of setting one up in the corner of my office. Maybe I'll stick little green spikes on it and just go to town.
posted by basalganglia at 7:07 AM on April 22, 2020 [11 favorites]

Yeah, I'm seriously debating if I want to try to throw an online birthday party or not since I don't think anyone would actually go.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:15 AM on April 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

I engaged with the world outside of my neighborhood for the first time in six weeks today. I had to get something from work, and yep, I've definitely turned feral. There were only 3 other cars when I got there, and I only saw one other person who was at least 10 yards away from me in the parking lot, but I still wanted to hiss at her.

Then I went to the grocery store. Many things had improved: they now have someone at the entrance regulating how many people are in the store at one. The aisles are now one way, and someone also regulates the check-out process, where the checker is behind a clear plastic barricade.

What's still not great? Other people. OMFG. People without masks--the store should just ban them from entering at all! Agressive dudebro who dithered forever halfway up the frozen aisle and then barreled down it towards me as soon as I reached for the pizzas like he was trying to chase me away from them. And the Instacart shoppers were also causing me tons of stress. They took forever getting every product because they were triple-checking the item. And then they'd stall out while they had to text and see if a substitute was ok. And then they'd try to backtrack, because one-way aisles meant nothing to them. I definitely felt like I was in a game of Pac-Man, trying to avoid the ghosts. I'm beginning to wonder if maybe, in addition to senior hours, stores should have instacart/shopping-for-others hours, too. I was pleased to see that toilet paper, paper towels, and most dairy items were back in full stock, but there was still very little pasta, soup, or produce (neither fresh nor frozen), and still absolutely no regular flour, hand sanitizer, or wipes.

And this was my first time wearing a professionally sewn mask, and I had trouble with it riding up to bother my eyes. The only thing that kept it in place without touching it was to sort of aggressively jut my jaw. I was so sore by the time I got back to my car!
posted by TwoStride at 9:12 AM on April 22, 2020 [14 favorites]

PS: happy birthday to those who have ones coming up. It's so hard to have to cancel any in-person plans. Hope you manage to treat yourselves nonetheless.
posted by TwoStride at 9:15 AM on April 22, 2020 [9 favorites]

My friends are incredible, everybody.

I use forearm crutches - and I need a new, lighter pair for travelling and hiking when all of this is over with. My every day crutches are awesome, but kind of heavy, and are a dark color. And health insurance won't pay for them. They'll only pay for steel ones, which are completely useless for me.

I whined on Facebook about this - and my beautiful friends, without me prompting, decided to crowd fund the crutches! After I got about $100 in donations, I have enough; I can pay for the rest out of pocket, and I requested that people send their donations to local food banks instead.

And now I'm in communication with the crutch company for a pair of light weight crutches in screaming bright hunter orange.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:10 PM on April 22, 2020 [50 favorites]

It's night here, and I've been working for 13 hours, almost non-stop. I'm very tired and I want to sleep. But for some reason, one of my neighbors is driving around on the field of his that is closest to my house in his tractor. In the dark. It's making the horses uneasy and the dog bark. The thing is it's not very close, but because everything is so extremely quiet now, it almost feels like he is in my garden. He is an unstable and unpleasant guy, so I'm not going to call him. But aargh. It must be worse for my uncle who lives right next to that field, but I gather he isn't making that call either.
Why is he doing this??? It's not like he needs to go into town for his other job during the day. He could be doing that now, and sowing during the day. I think he's sowing because the geese ruined his winter seed and I saw he plowed the field the other day. Today the starlings have arrived, so they'll eat the seeds he's sowing tonight. He's probably drunk.
I'm rambling. Maybe I'm delirious after that workday...
posted by mumimor at 1:47 PM on April 22, 2020 [7 favorites]

Today's level of struggle is that I did one set of one exercise and then spent the rest of my exercise time crying in child's pose.
posted by bridgebury at 2:31 PM on April 22, 2020 [23 favorites]

Bridgebury, great job doing one set of exercise! I've REALLY been struggling with pain and motivation and right now even one set has been insurmountable most days. Hope the next attempt goes better, but maybe today this is what you needed?
posted by TwoStride at 3:35 PM on April 22, 2020 [14 favorites]

On the balcony, nine floors up, jogging in place on floor mats. I can see the lake, through the high rises. It’s cool and sunny. Meds are holding. Ganbatte.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:53 PM on April 22, 2020 [9 favorites]

Today is the first day in over a month that there hasn't been a death in the Crown Heights Chabad community. Most days there were at least 2, some days as many as 5. There are still a substantial number of people in the hospital but the majority of people have recovered. There isn't a single family that didn't have someone in the hospital and everyone knows multiple people who died. In my extended family alone we lost my first cousin, my uncle's sister, my aunt's brother, my uncle's mother and my great uncle, who is arguably the most prominent person in this community to die. He was the personal secretary to the Lubavitcher Rebbe for over 40 years and at any other time his funeral would have been attended by thousands. Instead, his body was driven through the streets of Crown Heights, by men in hazmat suits, while people stood outside their homes and prayed as it passed.

I have an interesting relationship with this community, I was raised in it, my family and a lot of friends are part of it and I live in Crown Heights but I've been non-observant for close to 20 years, so I'm an outsider and it's been strange to engage with them through this, one foot in and one foot out. There's so much that I'm at odds with them about, and their initial refusal to take the virus seriously complicated that even more, but when people are dying it doesn't really matter anymore, there's no satisfaction in being right. At least once the severity became apparent they took decisive action and have continued to do so, even now when people believe they have been through the worst of it they are pushing strongly for complete compliance with social distancing and staying home and they think any plans to reopen states is absurd. This is a community that has long supported Trump and this is the first time they are questioning his competence and leadership. Better late than never, I guess.

On a happier note, my sister in law had a baby girl 2 weeks ago and with almost all the synagogues around the world closed they weren't sure she could be named by a Torah reading. But the Jewish nursing home in Johannesburg went into lockdown early, they are completely sealed off and have enough people for a Minyan. So she was given her name there along with another 11 baby girls from around the world. The residents are loving this new responsibility and all the attention it has brought them.
posted by doublenelson at 8:14 PM on April 22, 2020 [61 favorites]

Oh wow... I think I might once have known your great uncle, doublenelson, though not well. I'm sorry for all of your losses but the story of how your newest family member received her name brought a smile to my face.
posted by carmicha at 9:52 PM on April 22, 2020 [4 favorites]

Just wanted to quickly share a followup on China's Internet, saw that the NYT has run a story on what I was mentioning earlier. Basically pointing and laughing at how shit other countries are doing it, and puffing themselves up as the one responsible party in this mess. So parochial, sad.

All around the world this gives nationalists a chance to really boost hating on the others.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:15 PM on April 22, 2020 [4 favorites]

I've found out what my neighbor was doing last night: spreading manure. He could have been doing it out of kindness: at night we are indoors and our windows mostly closed at this time of year.
He could also be doing it at night because he is doing it wrong: the law says manure has to be turned into the ground if you spread it on black soil (where there are no plants yet to use it).
Regardless, the fact that he is doing it at all is not popular, when all the rest of us have committed to not using fertilizer in order to protect the water and the rare species here.

Today I went to the next village over, to buy some stuff I cannot find here. I felt it was better than going to a bigger town, but now I'm not so sure. There was a whole different attitude. No-one wore gloves or cleaned their hands when they entered the store, or kept a distance. People reached over to get produce right in front of you. A large family were shopping all together, the kids running all over the place and hugging other relatives as they entered the store. The cashier didn't wait between customers. Last time I went there it was the same, and I thought it might be because it is a more touristy place, and the careless people were from out of town, but that was during the holidays, now it isn't.

On the way back in the car, I speculated that maybe it is because we are in two different municipalities. Our major is a nurse, and has promised to return to nursing part time if it becomes necessary, she is also very often in the local media. Maybe she is better at getting the message across.
posted by mumimor at 6:50 AM on April 23, 2020 [10 favorites]

Hey all, I was wondering whether there was any resource to figure out which businesses currently have the best practices when it comes to keeping their employees safe, particularly for online shopping. At the moment, I'm trying to just not buy anything online and generally keep shopping to essentials only. But if there are businesses out there operating online that need my support and are doing a good job keeping people safe, or are just small and basically something someone runs out of their home, etc. I'd be interested to know so I can patronize them. My searching hasn't yielded much other than questions related to grocery shopping. Although I'd also be interested to know which food delivery and grocery services are treating their employees the best as well. Mostly what I can find online is advice on who has the best experience for the consumer . . .

Has someone already posted an ask like this, or know of a website tracking these things? Also good to know who's doing the worst job of these things so I can avoid them.

If it hasn't been asked on the green yet, I can post it.

In other news, when I opened this thread, my brain automatically scanned the first line of the first comment: "I'm in Seattle and high risk, so I'm still staying inside 24x7" and immediately parsed it as "I'm in Seattle so I'm staying inside high 24/7." Had to reread that one!
posted by robotdevil at 8:00 AM on April 23, 2020 [12 favorites]

I would love to know that, too, robotdevil.

One indisputably cool thing about the pandemic now threatening to wipe out humanity is that it gives me something to say to telemarketers when they call. This is my COVID-19 coldcaller response script:

telemarketer: Hi I have a once in a lifetime offer for a [homesecuritysystem/cruise/carinsurancepolicy/guttersystem] for Don Pepino, are you the Don?
me: Who's calling, please?
telemarketer: Hi this is Peter Parker Kent, is this the Don Pepino?
me: Peter Parker Kent, are you working from home right now or are you warehoused in a giant room with a ton of other people all talking all day long?
telemarketer: [every time so far] I'm home! I'm working from home! [I don't know if they've been coached to say this or what, but they've all sounded sortof surprised and happy about it so I think conceivably it could be true. I really hope it's true.]
me: Oh, Peter Parker Kent, that's wonderful news, and I'm so glad to hear it. Have a great day, and thank you so much for calling! >clik!<
posted by Don Pepino at 6:15 PM on April 23, 2020 [20 favorites]

I found a new way to give back.

I'm crap at sewing, I have a job that requires all of my brain power, and because I'm High Risk, I don't feel secure doing errands for other folks. I've donated to the likes of Planned Parenthood and the local food bank - but the main thing I do to help others out?

Go outside and play my trumpet badly at 8pm. That's when Seattle makes a joyful noise.

I can get about 10 notes out of the thing reliably, even though I can't exactly do them upon command - it's more a random selection of notes that I blare forth. And I got the valves to qork! But - that's really good for a $55 trumpet that I got from eBay! And folks have told me that they look forward to my trumpet blarings every night now. I'm glad to do it!
posted by spinifex23 at 9:37 PM on April 23, 2020 [21 favorites]

Nice! Doubt I have the watts to play with you from Olympic Manor...

Shine on you crazy diamond!
posted by Windopaene at 11:03 PM on April 23, 2020 [3 favorites]

I am happy to report that I finally have a new refrigerator. I detailed the drama with the last attempted delivery earlier in this thread.

However, one of the guys who delivered it had also delivered my washing machine. I mentioned that I sent him a tip, and he said he didn't get it. I sent the salesman a $100 check to give to those guys. He sent me an email saying he received it on April 11. I was planning to send another $100 check for the refrigerator delivery. Now I don't know what to do. Maybe I should post this as an Ask.
posted by FencingGal at 6:08 AM on April 24, 2020 [10 favorites]

Tell the salesman that the delivery guys left something like a sweatshirt at your place and ask them to call you. When they call you schedule a time for them to pick up a tip in cash. Tape an envelope to your front door if necessary.
posted by bq at 7:51 AM on April 24, 2020 [13 favorites]

I had a veg box delivery today and I'm so, so happy. I have wonderful English asparagus which is at its peak right now, thick green spears with purple tips. I have mushrooms, pak choi, peppers, lemons, salad, pineapples, peaches, berries, bananas, and lots more... all sorts of lovely fruit and veg. On Sunday I'll be getting a packet of linguine in my neighbour's supermarket delivery, so Sunday dinner will be linguine with mushrooms and asparagus. I'm going to make Chinese food, salads, aloo gobi, falafel ... Oh, this is a good day.

My bee hotels are buzzing with activity, and I have lots to do in the garden this weekend, moving things to bigger pots, planting seeds, potting on my veg seedlings. I love this time of year. Usually I'd spend at least a few hours at a garden centre. I'm not far from Crews Hill, which has probably 15 large garden centres, as well as smaller nurseries, and other stores selling antiques, clothes, furniture, etc. It's one of my favourite days out. The best nursery is a tiny little Italian place which you would drive past unless you know it's there. The cheapest and best plants, and such nice people, Nonna bossing her grandsons around and keeping me talking for ages. I love her. I fear for these small businesses. I know they will be tending their plants but no-one is allowed to buy them.

I upgraded my broadband today, so I've gone from 7mbps download and 0.5mbps upload to 36mpbs/12mbps (there's no cable or superfast where I live). I didn't think it was worth upgrading as it's just me, but I've noticed then when I'm streaming something on TV, as well as messing about on my laptop, it's been a bit laggy. This should be a noticeable difference.

On the downside, my bank contacted me today about three transactions on my credit card, all online, and all in the USA, which they'd immediately flagged as suspicious. I only use this card for Amazon, or in person when I visit the States (as the bank doesn't charge fees for using it overseas, unlike Amex, my main card). The card details must have been cloned from the magnetic stripe when I swiped it somewhere last time I was in New York (in Dec/Jan). The card's been cancelled and a new one is on its way, no loss or harm to me, but still a bit disconcerting.
posted by essexjan at 8:54 AM on April 24, 2020 [10 favorites]

Yesterday I speculated about the differences in attitude in our neighboring municipalities; today I saw the first statistic broken down into municipalities and lo behold, ours have zero registered infections and both our neighbors have a few. Only a few, and nothing compared to those who are seriously effected, but more than zero. It's too early to draw conclusions, but as said, I feel there is a clear difference in attitude. We have two bigger towns, and I've been to one of them, and people are extremely careful everywhere.
(if the link works, I'm at the top of the map).
posted by mumimor at 10:18 AM on April 24, 2020 [2 favorites]

One of my coworkers is reporting symptoms. We’re all work-from-home and have been for five weeks, but they’re a person I like and enjoyed talking with, and the idea of them suffering is not fun. The good news is they’re younger than me and in very good health as far as I know, so hopefully if it is the virus, they recover fully.
posted by Alterscape at 5:22 PM on April 24, 2020 [5 favorites]

at grocery store today it still looks like a crisis. got benefit from willingness to kneel and peer into the shadowy back of shelves several times. meat/cheese/eggs were all stocked. bread about half gone (except bakery section where there was plenty); i had to buy loaves of a disfavored brand. packaged carrots were sparse, but there were plenty of enormous loose ones. no garlic. no tomatoes (canned tomatoes were there but sparse). almost no (not decaf) coffee: i got two of the last three cans of store-brand then felt bad and put one back -- think the last one lasted a couple weeks. i got the last package of shin ramen (first time i've seen it there since time stopped), the last jar of peanut butter, the last can of kidney beans. there was a lot of pasta. there was no bleach (i have some, but was curious). very long lines at checkout.

management informed us yesterday that the job is on hiatus until the week of may 4, probably. not sure how much to credit that.

woke up well after 8 am today for the first time since telecommuting started. did not have (or remember) any dream. missed democracy now! & the hour of updated state covid figures. began rewatching the watchmen series, where those masked police now seem more prescient and less alienating than when it initially aired. those masks stay up so nicely too. wish i had some of that reflective fabric looking glass wears (and a talent for sewing).

little lurk is a week away from finishing antibiotic regimen for lyme; bawled when both mama and i agreed we'd like the doctor to order a followup diagnostic test, but proudly showed me developing fingering of major scale we've been working on at the keyboard. "why can't you just use any finger on any key" little lurk asked, jamming a thumb all over the place. well you can, i answered, and you will but it is important to be able to hit the intended key with the intended finger whenever you want to (or the music tells you to), and to do that you need to teach all of your fingers to know where they are and how to work together, and each finger how to reliably make that note sound with effect similar to that produced by any other finger. then i tried to demonstrate, but the last thing little lurk wants is for me to play anything. anyway, crossing the thumb under or the finger over is coming along apace.

still here. still reading with interest. take care everybody.
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:23 PM on April 24, 2020 [16 favorites]

My mom is in the hospital with something that doesn't look like Covid-19, but her oxygen levels are a little low, so they just tested her for it. Please cross your fingers for her (and the rest of my family, because if she has it, we probably have it), everyone.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:33 PM on April 24, 2020 [15 favorites]

All my fingers crossed
posted by daybeforetheday at 6:51 PM on April 24, 2020

My mom's test was negative! Thanks for all the crossed fingers, everyone!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:39 PM on April 24, 2020 [33 favorites]

Good news, ArbitraryAndCapricious!

For the first time today, I was able to order food online (there were no delivery spots before, I have no idea how people got them early). I guess others in our area have seen the same map as I did yesterday, and are going out to shop. So I put in a big order. The authorities are warning that we must still take all precautions and keep our distances and work from home if we can. I've mentioned, and I see it's been reported in international media that the kindergartens and preschools here have opened up, but I learned yesterday that it is a really gradual opening. To make sure there is enough space and enough staff, the children can only be there part-time, like 6-9 hours a week, because they have to take turns and then clean the spaces between the groups. This means that some non-essential workers can get a little more work done (essential workers have had access to safe childcare all along).
posted by mumimor at 2:09 AM on April 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

A tale of two stores, a tale of two counties:

It was the worst of times. It was the even more worst of times.

A judge in Harris County, Texas (where Houston is) mandated masks when out in public. It could be a shirt, bandana, whatever. Does not need to be surgical mask or N95. “We have to use every tool in the toolbox,” Hidalgo said

Seems pretty reasonable.

But, we're in Texas, so fuck that. This is now government overreach. It goes against what the Governor says, so it should be ignored. (County rights can be overruled by state rights, but state rights cannot be overruled by Federal rights... unless the states want to open back up for business... I know I am preaching to the choir. Rs are not acting in good faith, pretty much ever.)

Meanwhile, one county south (Galveston county, where I live) is ramping up to get back to business. Bars open Friday! They just have to close by 10 p.m., everyone gets hand sanitizer at the door and NO DANCING! oh, and 20 ppl per bar because everything is bigger in Texas, so we can double the CDC recommendation, I guess.

Restaurants get to open, too. As long as you can force 6 feet between patrons. Because that is going to work perfectly.

There is some sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek in the above. So, before you think, "does non mouse really believe that?" the answer is no, if it doesn't generally align with the idea of flatten the curve, reduce contact as much as possible (which sucks!), wear a mask when out and about, etc.

My sarcasm is out of frustration. I'm tired (aren't we all) and cherish these check-in threads as a place where I can just lay it out and not have to edit for... well, any reason.

Oh, so two stores. Two things broke in my life over the last two days. So, I got to go to Lowe's and Home Depot on consecutive days. Both of the things I needed, I was able to purchase online and pick up at the store.

Lowe's: had curbside pickup. Did not clearly explain how to use it on website or when you arrived. I went inside to grab the doohickey and holy cow! The place is swarming with people! Like, it was jam-packed like a mall in the 80s! And... it seemed like some people dressed for the occasion of getting out of the house?

Social distancing was not happening. No one in masks. NO ONE. It was a cluster.

Home Depot: Our microwave called it quits last night. After about 30 minutes of online shopping, Home Depot had the best microwave for our needs by far. We ordered and were going to go pick it up. Oops. Reduced hours. I was awake for the day about 20 minutes before Home Depot opened, which is about how long it takes to drive there.

Since this is about 6 a.m. when I get there (on a Saturday, no less), the crowd dynamic was definitely different. But, they had an isolated entrance with 6 feet marked off and they were counting people entering and exiting. Some of the staff was masked, but not many.

But, maybe they weren't masked up because I walked in at dark thirty? Regardless, they had a much better plan in place to reduce potential spread of CoVid.

I have grumbles about people walking shoulder to shoulder in a hallway in a medical environment, which I will save for another time.

As always, I wish the best for you all.

Good luck. We're all counting on you!
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:53 AM on April 25, 2020 [8 favorites]

I had a pandemic-related meltdown maybe a week or so ago. It wasn't major. I just felt kind of comatose. I did not want to do anything, it seemed so pointless. Other folks here have described similar things. But I woke up okay enough the next day. There has been a lot of controversy over the way the Swedish government has responded to the pandemic. Realizing that 1. I have no idea what should be done, I am no doctor or scientist and 2. I am not in charge of how anyone responds to this crisis has helped me calm down because I am powerless. For me, once again worry is not a productive activity.

Luckily, I have found a self-sooth groove by consuming copious amounts of house-renovation TV (shows like Home Town, Fixer-Upper, etc.) and YouTube home makeover videos. I have no idea when, if ever, I will get to move to the city where my daughter and grandchildren live, which is my most important life goal. While I wait to figure out how to realize that goal, I stay sane(ish) by planning the decor of an apartment that I do not yet have in a city where I do not yet live. Somehow focusing on the minutia of which furniture to buy and where to place it in my imaginary rental makes the current uncertainty more bearable. Sending you all virtual hugs from Stockholm. Hang in there.
posted by Bella Donna at 6:56 AM on April 25, 2020 [11 favorites]

I needed a repair done at home yesterday. It was the first time someone else has been in my house in two months. It was kind of strange and terrifying. The service person wore an N95 mask the whole time and gloves most of the time, and we tried to keep distant but it wasn't always possible. I tried to scrub down everywhere they'd been, but it was hard. And I guess maybe it's lockdown fatigue because nowadays I veer wildly between "must sanitize all the things every hour!" and "eh, I can't scrub all the things and I'll probably get sick anyway."

I worry about the prospect of keeping people socially distant once the weather really heats up, and the new vectors for spreading. It seems like a can't win: there are people who need to leave their homes to find cooler spaces if they don't have A/C... but there are also the findings suggesting that A/C spreads the virus.
posted by TwoStride at 8:13 AM on April 25, 2020 [6 favorites]

I FINALLY got my fridge and freezer cleaned out today. They've been jam-packed for weeks with so much miscellaneous stuff that putting anything into them or finding a particular item to take out was a minor ordeal. Taking everything out was like emptying a clown car. How did ALL THAT fit in there??? The oldest thing I found was a yogurt that expired in December (and several from January.) A jar with one pepper ring and another jar with one pickle spear hogging space on the top shelf. A number of half-used bags of freezer-burnt vegetables, etc. Now that all the bullshit has been cleaned out, I can see what I have, everything fits and everything is current. I feel so accomplished.

A thing I am less thrilled about: the bottle of tequila that was part of my last grocery pick-up order from Walmart came with a plastic alarm cap still attached. Now apparently I have to physically bring it to customer service for a refund (or alarm removal... not sure what they will do.) I'm annoyed that I have to go in there, the whole reason for picking up was to not have to go inside.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:38 PM on April 25, 2020 [4 favorites]

Hammer. Pliars. Screwdriver... You got this!
posted by Windopaene at 6:52 PM on April 25, 2020 [4 favorites]

I was doing better with my covid-based anxiety, I really was. A new normal was emerging for me, and it was ... not good, but ok? And then, very cautiously and carefully, I even left the house today — dropped off some masks for my parents and got to see them (me outside, them on the 2nd floor patio) and picked up groceries from a friend who took my list since he was going anyway. The sun was out, there was a nice breeze... it was a good afternoon.

And then i made the mistake of being on the stupid internet and the read the washington post story about covid causing “younger” people to stroke out. Well crap. Im in my 40s now but I’ve been a high stroke risk since my late 20s and already have one giant blood clot in my brain. Hence I have zero wiggle room left to possibly handle covid sending up a bunch of microclots.

I’m not leaving my house again. I shouldn’t have left in the first place, but groceries are still insanely hard to get delivered and i have a energy drink habit that gets me thru work but needs replenishing regularly. I didn’t really think of myself as high risk until now, and that was helping me getting me through this ... “it’s fine, you’re fine, it’ll be ok, it’s just the anxiety making it worse”. But now... well, it’s gonna be a lot harder to lie to myself.

So thankful to mefi for giving me a safe place to vent!!!
posted by cgg at 9:52 PM on April 25, 2020 [14 favorites]

The wagtails arrived yesterday, and the swallows today. Both bring luck.
posted by mumimor at 4:11 AM on April 26, 2020 [5 favorites]

Serene Empress Dork - Those bottle alarms are often magnetic. If you have a strong magnet at home you can remove it easily . Otherwise you can pry it off with a screwdriver. Don't go back to the store!
posted by donnagirl at 6:58 AM on April 26, 2020 [5 favorites]

My neighbor has been out barfing up a lung outside for an hour. Why the fuck can't you keep your coughs inside your apartment?!?!

Someone stole my copy of The Last Emperox, which was apparently delivered to my "front porch" (I don't have a front porch but I guess the post office thinks I do) and nobody knocked at the door to let me know that happened days ago. I thought it had been left in the mailbox, but NOPE. I don't know what to do. The last time someone stole a package (that got delivered during a 3-day weekend when I was gone) I filed a report with the PO and eventually got a replacement, but under the circumstances, that seems pretty asshole of me to harass the PO about.

Today is the day I have to leave the house to drive the car for 10 miles and get my mail (whatever wasn't stolen) and I'm terrified. I also ordered masks online that were supposed to show up by Friday and I got notified yesterday that oh, they're about to ship! And mask law here starts tomorrow. I'm only going out to physically get mail on the days when I absolutely have to leave so the car won't die. I unfortunately should be going out more often to get urgent mail, apparently, but I can't even deal with a casual trip to the box.

And I am going to have to go to my HMO for a shot this week. I have no way to get around that one. I don't want the side effects of not getting that shot to come back, but the HMO was all "no, just come in like normal!"

And I did not hear from my crush at all for my birthday. I think he's just going to be gone for the duration of this, to be honest. I'm really super bothered by this, but what can I do? If he wants to be gone and/or wants me to be gone, shouldn't I respect that and shut up and go away?
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:12 AM on April 26, 2020 [4 favorites]

there are also the findings suggesting that A/C spreads the virus.

If it makes you feel any better, to the best of my knowledge this was one CDC report about one restaurant in China. Which isn't to say it's not within the realm of the possible, but from what I can tell is not considered a serious vector (and masks would help, this was in a restaurant). This draft document by the Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations (a trade org, but still) outlines what was known as of a few weeks ago. Many non-trade publications kinda ran with the first document--as a "this could happen!" story--without really looking into other aspects of the whole system.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 11:19 AM on April 26, 2020 [8 favorites]

I just had terrible news. Can't write it here, but those of you who do the praying, please do for my close family. They believe.
posted by mumimor at 11:55 AM on April 26, 2020 [38 favorites]

I am so sorry, mumimor. We are rooting for you and your family.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:33 PM on April 26, 2020 [6 favorites]

Sending my best wishes to you and to your close family, mumimor.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:39 PM on April 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

on team mumimor.
posted by progosk at 1:18 PM on April 26, 2020 [5 favorites]

Prayers sent for your family, mumimor.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 2:47 PM on April 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

Thinking of you mumimor.
posted by essexjan at 3:36 PM on April 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

Sending prayers and caring thoughts to you and your family, mumimor ❤️❤️❤️❤️
posted by Sparky Buttons at 4:57 PM on April 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

Sending prayers and good thoughts to your family, mumimor
posted by daybeforetheday at 7:45 PM on April 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

Holding you and yours in light, mumimor. Wishing all good things.

Here, the cherry blossom is over but the lilacs are out, and birdsong is loud in the golden mornings. Municipal mowing is still happening and the house is full of cut-grass scent. Should be some rain this week, so I will look forward to the petrichor as well.

I was pleasantly surprised this morning by the frictionless online prescription refill process at my local GP - local pharmacy is a little Monty Python but I will venture on Friday and hope for the best. I am new to the world of daily meds, and still establishing routine.

I have finally found a sugar substitute that bakes well and has no weird aftertaste, so with that and my low carb flour I had actual realistic cake at the weekend.

Trying to be mindful of small joys, amid the everything.
posted by Ilira at 2:36 AM on April 27, 2020 [6 favorites]

The facility where my sister in law works had its first COVID case last week; by Sunday they had a full-scale outbreak.

My sis-in-law and brother are young and healthy and not in risk groups, and since kids aren't being hit as hard with this I'm not too worried about my nephew either, but it sure does suck. The part that sucks currently is re-explaining to my mother* that no, brother and nephew cannot come live here, because they have probably been exposed to the virus multiple times in the last 2 weeks and can't be tested etc., and because it's not safe to travel.

The minute this can happen safely I will 100% endorse its happening because if I don't move out of here soon I will absolutely have a full-on mental and emotional breakdown. But right now it definitely cannot happen. It sucks! It would be much better if it could!

*everything told to my mother past 6pm must be re-explained to her multiple times because after about 5:30 pm she is quite extremely drunk until the end of the night, and this combines very badly with her pre-existing memory problems, so that she can't remember things that were told to her even 5 minutes prior.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 8:46 AM on April 27, 2020 [10 favorites]

We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese, that is a really difficult situation. My mother has a drinking issue too, but happily she is locked up in a very safe retirement home. It's like a prison, but she doesn't even mind. I can't say how much I feel for you, I really can't. Before my mum got this home her behaviour and attitude brought me right back to being 12 and helpless and I went into a full depression.

Thank you all so much for your care ❤️ it means a lot to me. I haven't slept all night, but this morning I had a long talk with another family member and it was calming, if not actually soothing. I feel like we have suddenly arrived in a completely different age, one of catastrophe and death and it is disorienting and frightening. Looking at the statistics, I think it's fair to say that for most of us, the danger we are dealing with here is quite abstract. When it becomes real, it hits you in a different way. I know other MeFites are already here, like Mchelly. Hugs to everyone.

Unfortunately my daughter and our roomie probably have the virus. The whole reason I left for the farm is that I figured this would happen at some point and I worry I am in the risk population, but it still feels strange to be away from the girls when they need care. They are young and healthy and the roomie's mum is a relatively young nurse (where is where they probably got it from), and she makes sure they do the right thing. They are getting tested.

In good news, I got my first food delivery today. Now I probably have too much food. Mostly it is just good everyday stuff, lots of vegs and a big bag of flour for bread. I'd ordered lemons but they couldn't deliver. But I also bought frozen langoustines from a local place for when I need a special treat. I'm going to grill them with chili and garlic, I think.
posted by mumimor at 10:01 AM on April 27, 2020 [17 favorites]

Ask not for whom the langoustines sizzle. They sizzle for you.
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:36 AM on April 27, 2020 [8 favorites]

OMG, We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese. What a nightmare, I am so sorry. As it happens, Al-Anon phone meetings have existed for some time and now electronic (as they call them) meetings are also a thing should you or anyone else dealing with alcoholics or addicts find such a resource helpful. Anyway, hang in there. We are rooting for you!
posted by Bella Donna at 12:07 PM on April 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh man. Thanks, guys. It does seem like such a petty problem but with nothing else to fill the day except work problems, petty problems, and bad news, it does get overwhelming.

Mumimor: will be keeping your daughter and roomie in my thoughts. You're where you need to be, hard as it is. We both are, I guess.

The problem with phone meetings, of course, is the same thing that makes this a problem in the first place: that we're trapped in the same house together 24/7 with no privacy or space. But soon it should be warm enough that I'll be able to go and sit on the street corner for long enough to attend something...normally that would seem to defeat the "anon" part, but I guess since nobody's outside ever...
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 12:41 PM on April 27, 2020 [5 favorites]

So, yeah. I have a relative who's dying--not of coronavirus, and not really a surprise, but of course the virus means that I cannot visit and none of us will be able to come together to mourn. It's down to a matter of days. When I thought I'd mentally prepared myself for this moment it was always with the notion that I'd be able to jump on a plane to say my goodbyes or at least grieve with my people. I'm feeling pretty devastated.
posted by TwoStride at 1:03 PM on April 27, 2020 [17 favorites]

My sister is a health care worker at a facility near here, which recently had an outbreak that killed an employee. My sister tested negative, as have all the current staff and residents now. Meanwhile, in other parts of the country, one of my mom’s cousins has been hospitalized with COVID-19, and two other extended family members are recovering at home from it.

I feel oddly relieved that my grandmother died in January of this year, so she had friends and family with her, and we were allowed to gather for a funeral.

For myself, I feel relatively lucky and comfortable, sheltering at home with my family, but I’m getting increasingly bored just from being stuck in the same place for so long. I have never wanted a vacation so badly. I want to eat out. I want to know when we can start making plans again. (But I’m glad our state is doing the responsible thing and keeping people at home still.)
posted by mbrubeck at 4:41 PM on April 27, 2020 [8 favorites]

Two of the restaurants in my neighborhood seem to have reopened their patios. On one of them, people definitely weren't seated six feet apart from each other. No one was wearing masks, either. And we're in Seattle, not Texas or Georgia (or Snohomish County) so I'm not sure what the hell people are thinking.
posted by mollywas at 12:30 AM on April 28, 2020

Check in from Cape Town.
Been avoiding Metafilter for the last 2 weeks. Just tried to read through this entire thread but gave up, it's quite overwhelming. I hope you are all finding at least some small measure of comfort - things are tough all over.
Been under very strict lock down for - what is it, about a month now? Only allowed to leave the house for food. Lucky enough that my biggest challenge is just managing my own anxiety. Our government is going to ease the restrictions beginning in May and I'm caught between being relieved because people are literally starving and need ways to make a living, and on the other hand, can we really afford to ease the lock down?
We'll apparently be allowed to go out for exercise soon, but only one person by themselves. Which I totally understand but it does mean I won't be able to go out at all as our neighbourhood is not safe for anyone, particularly not if you are female.
Last night a plug tripped in the middle of the night. It showed me just how fragile my mental health was because I instantly spiralled from "OK, no power until we can figure this out" to "All the food in the freezer is going to melt!!!" to "The whole house will need to be rewired by strangers and we'll be exposed to the virus!!!!!!"
Of course, a bit of bumbling around with torches in the dark revealed the errant plug point and all is well.

Good things: Cocoa is a fantastic mood altering drug, and so is a fizzy magnesium tablet last thing at night, and I have access to both of those. I have been writing my book again and it's going really well. And after some bullying incidents, my budgies are getting on much better and having a big old singing contest right as I type this.
posted by Zumbador at 1:37 AM on April 28, 2020 [15 favorites]

The girls' tests have come back and they are negative. So whatever they have, it isn't corona. Such a relief.

From nature watch: In the middle of the night (2:30 AM) my dog crawled up to me in bed and patted me on the face. He is not a bed-dog, but he climbs up when he is scared of stuff. And given that he is a big dog with big claws, it's kind of cute when he retracts the claws to pat me in my face, and I'm OK with it. But he couldn't find peace, and wanted to go out. The next hour he kept running out to bark, and I kept taking him back in. At last I decided it had to stop and locked the doors, that now have even more scratch marks from him trying to get out. I couldn't go to sleep, because he kept on waking me up, but he seemed calmer when I sat up in my armchair and watched a movie. He lay in the sofa watching me. I guess in his mind, I shouldn't be sleeping when there was DANGER!!! I speculated if it was a wolf. He finally slept at about 4:30.

Now, I have checked the wolf tracking site, and it probably was! A big male wolf has been seen about two km from here. It's not a very unusual thing, because it's very remote here, good for wolves, but I think there are about ten wolves, including cubs, in all of Denmark, so it is kind of cool to be kept awake at night by one of them.
It's weird because I was just saying to a lady yesterday that I didn't think the wolf was here right now, and obviously I was wrong. It'll be fun to tell her next time I see her out walking (while more than 2 meters apart). She took a picture of him last year in her garden.

Now, I just wish I could get a little more sleep.
posted by mumimor at 2:19 AM on April 28, 2020 [27 favorites]

A wolf! OMG mumimor how awesome is that!
I'm going to be thinking of that wolf tonight. Will make me so happy :)
posted by Zumbador at 4:03 AM on April 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

mumimor, I am very jealous of your wolf. Like Zumbador, I am happy just thinking about it.

There are supposedly coyotes near me, but I never hear them. I think they tend to stay on the other side of the complex, where it's more wooded. But the other day, two geese walked by with a whole mess of goslings, and that certainly brought some joy to my life.
posted by FencingGal at 6:39 AM on April 28, 2020 [6 favorites]

That is awesome about your wolf, mumimor! How cool (and the thought of your great big dog climbing up and patting your face is adorable). And so glad your daughter and roommate don't have Covid.

The best nature-related thing we've got where I am (besides our very content couch wolf) has been all the wonderful birds everywhere. As an east coaster who has only been out in Oregon for the past few years I'm still learning about all the birds out here - one of my favorites is the scrub jays, which we don't have back east and which are just so cute with their little white eyebrows and their calls that sound like an interrobang. I've been putting out unsalted peanuts and I love watching them basically drill them into the yard for later - and then they always disguise the spot with a little leaf or bit of moss or lawn clippings, and that just never gets old. Working from home due to the virus has been getting kind of stressful for me lately, but watching the scrub jays and other birds in our yard is helping.
posted by DingoMutt at 8:18 AM on April 28, 2020 [9 favorites]

DingoMutt, send our regards to the lovely couch wolf and the scrub jays. Scaredypants has just finished off a dinner of leftover curry and reports that star anise is much better than you'd think. We are still both very tired even after napping. I guess fear of wolves in itself is very exhausting when you are a dog. For me it's more the challenges of working from home: I got a mail from my editor that strongly indicated he was day drinking (seriously, you would all laugh out loud), but still demanded I deliver something tomorrow morning. And since exam is on Friday I had several desperate mails from students.
Another observation from nature: when I was up during the night, I really got the feeling that the spiders have won in this house. I saw a lot of killings in real time and they were very active everywhere. It reminded me of an x-files episode that actually ended badly, where the agents where apparently eaten by spiders and I don't remember how they turned up good again the week after. It was kind of overwhelming because I knew I would be incredibly tired today, and I knew there'd be some sort of mails from the editor and the students and I haven't planned on cleaning before Thursday.
But in daylight the spiders are back to their cracks in the wood. I can live with that.
posted by mumimor at 9:39 AM on April 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

I had to go to my HMO to get my shot today.

I'd say they were doing pretty well on some things (very few people coming in, temperature check at the door, nobody touched any of my ID cards, spaced out chairs), but seriously, the entire front counter staff would literally only put a mask on when someone was wanting to be waited on, and the rest of the time they were taking them off, sitting right next to each other, casually chatting! Another pulled down her mask so it only covered her mouth but not her nose, another one had the top of her mask tied but not the bottom. I saw staff walking in the back door without masks. The nurse that called me in was all, "Oh, I don't have a mask" (OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE) and then found me an actual competent nurse with a mask on and who went out and got gloves before giving me the shot. I told her the front counter staff wasn't doing it at all and she said, "But we're all supposed to as of Monday" (county mandate), "you're not supposed to take it off unless you're alone in your office," and she said, "thanks for telling me" and said she'd report it to someone.

Getting a shot was the first time I've been touched since March 10, and probably the last time until I'm due for another shot in July. Too bad that's not a fun touch.

Now to wait two weeks. I had felt safe before this.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:10 AM on April 28, 2020 [6 favorites]

One of my cousins and some of her family have Covid-19. I'm getting occasional news through my mom, but they think the best way to find out how cousin is doing is to email her directly, so I don't really know how everyone is. (My daughter emails with cousin's son/her second cousin, but hasn't heard back lately.) No idea if things are going terribly or if games are really captivating and no one feels like emailing. Fingers crossed for the latter.

My dad and stepmom in France are going stir-crazy. They are looking forward to an easing of restrictions, such that they can move from their small city apartment out to their country house with its garden. I think their easing of restrictions will still be stricter than Seattle is under it's stay at home order. We've done a few video calls and almost always manage to do it so that we're talking when it's time to bang pots out the window. I've enjoyed getting to look out the window at their street, with them, their six neighbours, and the cathedral all making noise.

My mom continues to chafe at restrictions and interprets things at their minimum -- like, if you must stay six feet apart while shopping, that means I can walk with a friend if we're six feet apart. It drives me bonkers, but I've sent articles about how there is so much we don't know about this virus, and some of the theories on what is actually safe, and they aren't willing to restrict themselves more than they already are. They wanted to get together with me, six feet apart, and was disappointed when I offered to be inside and talk on the phone to outside. I'm trying to let it go; I can't make them be safer and their happiness is important too.

I miss family, especially my niece, who up until January we had been looking after one day a week. I haven't seen her in I think three months and at toddler age, I'm not sure she remembers us. With her in daycare and both parents working in medical facilities, I have no idea when we'll get to see her again.

I am back to working part time (student job), though my work is more nominal than ever. In theory, I will help out students who need it. In actuality, I have a zoom window open for four hours, two days a week, which no one dials into, ever. It isn't that different than last semester, except for being zoom instead of sitting in a room in which only one student ever came for help.

I went through our house return pile of books and picked out a few I might like reading. It gave a nice library feeling and makes my "books to read" shelf look a bit healthier. I keep reading five or six ebooks to each paper book, but it had gotten too low anyways. My daughter is reading more of my books than ever and I'm enjoying conversations over the ones she likes.

I'm starting to get the hang of work and class while having my daughter home and she's starting to get the hang of online classes. It's not what either of us would prefer, but it's working, which is nice. She recently had an assignment to do portraits for photography, which was amusing in being volunteered to be a subject. (It's not like she had many options there.) She's taken a lot of lovely photos lately and it's neat to see her different assignments, taken around the house and yard.
posted by Margalo Epps at 2:01 PM on April 28, 2020 [5 favorites]

Another week into Italy's quarantine - next week it'll be two months - another update of stats and stuff from Rome.

Current local COVID-19 numbers (same national/regional source as always):
- a month past our region-wide new-positives-per-day high of 210, the decrease in new cases has been in 10-day(ish) plateaus, of which we're now on the third, currently holding steady at 75ish new cases per day.
- the cases still being found are isolated clusters (in old-age homes and religious institutions)
- the region has done over 130.000 tests by now
- the current regional case fatality rate (as per today's totals of 6,467 overall confirmed cases and 414 deaths) is around 6.4%, the second-lowest in the country, it seems
- around a third of the 4,562 active cases are hospitalised, with only 2.9% of cases now in ICU (132 total)

On Sunday prime minister Conte gave a summary of the partial lifting of restrictions due on May 4th, and everybody's been having a field day quibbling over what his words meant - for example: who counts as a congiunto (to whom intra-regional visits will be allowed)? Jokes abound, as you might imagine. Surgical masks will not be obligatory anywhere (though they've become pretty much ubiquitous), and will be sold at a controlled price of €0,50. There's been a lot of theoretical concern about the Italian version of the contact tracing exposure notification app (after EU-level disputes, Germany finally conceded to the Swiss decentralisation hardliners - something Apple|Google seem likely to have the last call on anyway...) I don't see it breaking any download records here: it won't be obligatory, so the only real chance to force high adoption is to leave it to companies to discriminate/pressure people into showing they have it on their phone...

Media that's kept us afloat: Asif Kapadia's Diego Maradona; a couple of episodes of I'm Not OK With This, Sherlock, and Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories.

I'm slowly adjusting to the realisation that my profession seems to have been cancelled for the forseeable near future, so that's an interesting looking-glass whose depths to stare into. Hugs, all, wherever.
posted by progosk at 4:10 PM on April 28, 2020 [11 favorites]

Oh, and, there's now a first study (pre-print) that estimates the elusive R0 reproduction number for various Italian regions between February and March - apparently Lazio and Lombardia both reached nearly 3 at the height of the outbreak (though Lazio for much shorter, I guess). The numbers are now apparently down to something like 0,2-0,3.
posted by progosk at 4:23 PM on April 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

I now range from being annoyed and resigned to my new fate. Had to go out two separate times last week to get prescriptions (these used to be synced up so I only went once a month), and both times, I also got some staples.

Gov. Inslee also is poised to extend the stay-at-home order for WA State, and graphs are showing that the curve is curving downwards slower than I'd like. So, I'm realizing that any sort of travel that I was going to do this year is probably not going to happen. And while I have a few bucks set aside for that, I am bummed that I'm not going to go anywhere - even close by - for quite a while now.

However, I took that $$$ and threw it at a hand held radio that I've had my eye on for quite a while now; the Yaesu FT-3DR. And it's on sale! I look forward to using that to travel virtually, via RF signals, with that and my new antenna.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:45 PM on April 29, 2020 [7 favorites]

I don't know what positive feelings feel like anymore. This is very difficult, confusing, and unpleasant.
posted by k8lin at 3:17 PM on April 29, 2020 [14 favorites]

The FT-3DR is a cool radio! I almost bought one, but ended up going with a Kenwood TH-D72A instead for the built-in TNC. It seems like all the VHF/UHF traffic these days is confined to emcomm nets, though. (Ironically, though the world is current in a state of emergency, it's not the kind of emergency that ham radio emcomm is useful for.)
posted by tobascodagama at 6:03 PM on April 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

I don't know what positive feelings feel like anymore. This is very difficult, confusing, and unpleasant.

I'm sorry this is your experience, k8lin. When I talk with friends who are struggling like you, I keep on reminding them that this will end. It will. The world will change, in many ways, but we will get back to hugging and joyful parties and concerts eventually.

I was on the phone yesterday with one of my sisters who is an endlessly optimistic person, but is struggling with the isolation, and I suddenly realized that this is all helping me understand what I value. I'm not very extroverted, but I've always loved sharing a meal with good friends, or even just colleagues or my students. It's so sad to be isolated from that. During WFH we had a zoom meeting in a group that is always fraught with difficulties and arguments, but normally we are good at sharing a hug, and we always end our meetings with a glass of wine. Now it was strangely clinical.

I feel that when I get back to real life, I will be more appreciative of the things I love, and perhaps better at focusing on them, and saying no to disruption and disturbances.
posted by mumimor at 1:40 AM on April 30, 2020 [6 favorites]

Oh that is a cute Yaesu! The Kenwood TH-D72A is also slick looking. I haven't been active in radio much since, um, last century, and I'm impressed at the leaps the tech has been taking. Modes I haven't even heard of and everything.

And, yeah, this isn't quite the type of emergency where ham radio is needed, but hurricane season is coming.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:42 AM on April 30, 2020 [5 favorites]

It's Mayday, but it's a weird one. Where I live in Copenhagen there is usually a march of people from unions heading to the park where people gather. It's a special atmosphere, in a way quiet because the traffic stops and lots of people have the day off.
Here, it's quieter.

I need petrol and the car needs to go a bit further than it has recently, so I may combine that with a trip to a fish monger in the Big Town.
posted by mumimor at 2:42 AM on May 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

I got all excited about the idea of buying a new bike today and was kindly but firmly dissuaded from coming in by my local bike shop when I called to inquire - a much-needed wake-up call that, although things seem bizarrely normal for me now in week 8 of lockdown (I joke that I'd been cutting my own hair and baking bread and never going out before it was cool), that is very much not the case for many people in my community.
posted by btfreek at 12:09 PM on May 1, 2020 [4 favorites]

WA State is locked down until May 31st now, but some business may reopen as soon as mid-May. Gov Inslee laid out a 4 step phase plan for reopening.

Also, Happy May Day! I got solicited for a temporary job at a games store. I turned it down, stating in the text that "I'm not risking my health for games during this pandemic." Also - it would have been a behind the scenes job shipping orders, but how the hell is that games store even *functioning*?
posted by spinifex23 at 4:32 PM on May 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

Also - High Risk people like me are encouraged to stay at home until Phase 4, which would start, by my calculations, on the 2nd week of July or so. At the earliest.

Super glad I invested in that Yaesu radio now. I got it in the mail yesterday. It'll be a massive resource for both entertainment and communication.
posted by spinifex23 at 4:49 PM on May 1, 2020 [6 favorites]

Well, I've had quite a few game sales this last month, as many stores are closed, but my Geek market games are always up. I do have to not stay at home to get them out of storage sometimes, but storage feels a lot safer than the grocery store...
posted by Windopaene at 8:16 PM on May 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've finally-six or seven weeks or eighty-four years into this whole thing--invested in some bits for my work-from-home environment to make things a little more ergonomic and pleasant. I've gotten a cheap laptop stand so I'll stop wrecking my neck and back by hunching over the laptop, and a small USB hub so I can have my mouse, printer, USB keyboard, and phone all plugged in at once. I've also got a lamp clipped onto my desk so I can stop having my face in Bond-villain-esque shadow during all the video calls I'm doing these days.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:59 AM on May 2, 2020 [3 favorites]

I'm posting this to make me feel less as a failure. Today I have not achieved what I planned and it is bothering me. The day isn't over, and I'll probably manage to do a bit more, but, you know?
I have actually baked a little loaf so I could make sandwiches of the leftover trout from yesterday. It was a high-hydration loaf, and it worked out very well, though it could have taken a little more time in the oven. I love cold fish sandwiches, so that was nice.
I vacuumed a bit.
And I washed the dog's blanket that he lies on in the couch. This has already made our living room smell much better. When I woke up, it smelled like the tigers' den in the zoo.
That's all. It's Saturday, and I'm allowed to do very little, even though I am behind on my job, I think. And it isn't nothing.
posted by mumimor at 6:15 AM on May 2, 2020 [10 favorites]

I had to go to Home Depot today, and I thought they were managing things pretty well, including controlling how many people enter the store, cleaning cart handles, and most (but not all) employees wearing masks. I'd guesstimate that about 2/3 of the customers were in masks, mostly a mix of those paper disposables and homemade fabric masks, but with a few outliers like the guy in the full respirator with snorkling goggles.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:01 AM on May 2, 2020 [3 favorites]

Dip Flash, one of my friends saw that guy's relative walking in Boystown. Some in the neighborhood are well equipped fashionwise to handle this new era.
posted by heyho at 8:56 AM on May 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

Well now I've gone from not really thinking about actually getting a license and buying a radio since the last oil crunch more than a decade ago when I walked out to get the mail and there were no cars at all passing by on my busy street to browsing and thinking, "That is a lot of radio for $500." Which is not now I would have predicted my Saturday morning going.

As always, my condolences to hearts that grieve and love and peace to those that struggle with THE WEIGHT.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:35 AM on May 2, 2020 [3 favorites]

If one is interested in getting your USA Amateur Radio license, here is a resource for Ham Radio Remote Testing Sessions by Zoom. This same website is a wonderful test study resource, and they sell high quality handytalkie antennas that fund the site - and can be tied into knots!
posted by spinifex23 at 1:33 PM on May 2, 2020 [7 favorites]

If you are curious how Canadians feel about the U.S. response to covid-19 the polling numbers are not pretty.
posted by srboisvert at 7:52 PM on May 2, 2020 [3 favorites]

I am not sick now but I am just so exhausted. I wish shelter-in-place didn't make me want to sleep all day.
posted by ferret branca at 8:04 PM on May 2, 2020 [9 favorites]

Wish I could argue with those Canadians... We have some crazy cool places here, and I like Canadians.

But yeah, Trump, guns, all our shit...
posted by Windopaene at 8:04 PM on May 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

As a Canadian living near the border, those numbers make me happy, and that border scares the crap outta me right now. Ignoring the politics, the longer that border stays closed to non-essential travel the safer us Canadians are - at least then we're more in control of our own destiny vs dealing with the shrapnel of America's approach.
posted by cgg at 8:10 PM on May 2, 2020 [7 favorites]

in control of our own destiny vs dealing with the shrapnel of America's approach.

I'm kind of fascinated by how this will play out. Historically, the United States has been very heavy handed in forcing markets open using all the tools in the realpolitik toolkit right up to war.

Right now I see three different and incompatible strategies being pursued worldwide. The U.S. and Britain are now pretty much at "Let it Burn" while most of the rest of the world is trying to pursue mitigation with some but not great success and then there are the countries that got ahead of the virus and are pursuing elimination.

These countries cannot really as effectively trade with each other anymore. Canada is eventually going to have to tighten the boarder if they want to go from mitigation to elimination in the absence of medical miracle. You simply can't have American truckers going to every Tim Hortons in the country if you want to control a pandemic. And that will create a Brexit sized kind of mess if you are going to have to switch haulers at the border and quarantine freight flight crews and such.

I'm curious if it will get to this point or if the sloppy countries will just continually restart the pandemic in the countries that are trying to control it.
posted by srboisvert at 5:38 AM on May 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

Canada’s daily cases and deaths haven’t even started decreasing. Nor is Canada doing much more widespread testing and tracing than the US. Unless the next six weeks look very different from the past six weeks, I’m not sure there’s any real path to “elimination” on either side of the border, whether it remains closed or open. I worry a bit that the US being available as a scapegoat (however deservedly) will prevent Canadian politicians from fully confronting this.
posted by mbrubeck at 7:48 AM on May 3, 2020

I'm in/from the US and I agree with the Canadians - I don't feel comfortable or safe here, either.
posted by DingoMutt at 8:17 AM on May 3, 2020 [9 favorites]

My hemoglobin finally went up a fair amount. This is a big deal, as I'm trying to avoid a drug with dreadful side effects (like earlier death). My doctor wanted me to start this drug, but I just wanted to wait and see if my bone marrow would start recovering from the cancer and making red blood cells again, and it looks like maybe it has (apologies to medical people if I'm misstated how this all works).

Also, the infusion drug I'm on has just been approved by the FDA for subcutaneous administration. This could mean a lot less time in the cancer center for those of us who are on it. We've been waiting for this approval for quite some time.

In non-cancer news, I'm trying to figure out how to deal with less frequent shopping trips in terms of how to keep everything fresh from going bad before I use it. I froze some peppers, and tried light precooking of some vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms), hoping that will help them hold on until I'm ready to eat them.

I am wondering what's going to happen with all of these people crowding outside, not to mention the loons storming the Michigan capital. I assume there's going to be some people getting sick. It's hard not to wish that on people. I remember Michael Moore writing in one of his books that we needed to wish for bad things to happen to Republicans because that's when they understood that people needed help. For instance, Nancy Reagan became an advocate of stem cell research after Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. So maybe if some of these bozos start dying, they'll realize that this is a serious illness, is not the flu, and that we need to try to stop its spread.
posted by FencingGal at 2:12 PM on May 3, 2020 [17 favorites]

I just found out that one of my coworkers died from Covid-19. I was not particularly close to him, but he was one of those large personalities that you got to know very quickly. It's a significant loss.

On the business side of things , fuuuuuck. I'm already getting whines about how we're not doing anything , and also how the mandatory (company-provided) masks and face shields are overkill and c'mon, do we really need to wear these? We already shut down for a week and disinfected (we had a handful of confirmed cases), and then disinfected his area after we found out. I hope tomorrow is not a shitshow.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 6:53 PM on May 3, 2020 [9 favorites]

Sounds like your employer is already a shitshow.

I'm just consistently amazed by how clueless so many people are, specifically, older people. I'm 57, so getting up there, in Seattle, which has been pretty good with our restrictions. I have been not staying at home quite often, to go to my storage facility. Lots of sales and a chance to clear out my garage. Sometimes, too many people there, I just leave.

Today, arrive, see an older couple putting a mattress on a cart, call the elevator, go up to my floor. Hear a couple of minutes later, these folks coming to my floor, around the corner from my unit. Finish my drop-off, head back to the elevator, going the long way around to avoid having to walk past them.

I get to the elevator, push the button, and see them also heading back to the elevator. Neither were wearing masks, neither was I because I forgot, and there's almost never anyone here. I get in the elevator, and push the 1 button. Door starts to close. Old dude appears, grabs the door to keep it from closing, and starts to push the cart in...

I say, "what the fuck" bury my face in my sleeve, and get the fuck out. He seemed baffled by this. "Go ahead, not interested in being in an elevator with you", which again, he seemed baffled by. Just, WTF?!

And as this wears on everyone, I can only see it getting worse. Parks are crowding again, look at the So. Cal beach issues. Ugh.
posted by Windopaene at 8:03 PM on May 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yes, Windopaene. Farmers' market Saturday, I'm at the oldest, sweetest farmers' stall. My MO, I drop $20 on her table and back up right away, because she wants to come close and make conversation the way we used to, and we can't, now. Then I approach to just close enough to grab $20 worth of stuff and then back way up and wave and smile from behind my mask and jet. But as I'm at $12 worth of stuff from the right side of her table, a mask-free clueless dude comes up and starts fondling things on the left side of the table. So I back six feet away and wait for his interminable mumbling, way-too-close-to-her interaction to end. It finally does and I'm cautiously approaching the left side of the table when another customer who doesn't realize I'm there darts in. I split to the CSA table, where I maintain 6 feet from the person in front of me and again get stuck for ages as one person after another doesn't realize it's a line because it doesn't look like a line used to look and darts in front of me. I go back finally and get $8 worth of items from my favorite farmer and she insists on giving me extra beans and backing away would mean her standing there forlorn clutching her beans heartbroken, so I turn my head and hold my breath, then jump back and wave and jump up and down a few times to signal my love and then run away home and collapse. Nobody has the muscle memory, yet, to do this right. If it weren't so terrifying, it would be hilarious.
posted by Don Pepino at 3:47 AM on May 4, 2020 [11 favorites]

Checking in from Cape Town.
Several days into our relaxed lock down. We are now allowed out to exercise for a few hours in the morning. Some more businesses are opening, and cooked food deliveries are allowed now too.
I'm really worried about the fact that they plan to open the schools in a few weeks. My husband teaches at a high school. I don't understand why they want to open the schools so soon. It is going to be impossible to keep people safe. My husband has a weak chest and gets bad respiratory infections. Oh dear.

Good thing for today : I sent a recorded film review to the BBC Kermode and Mayo radio show and they played it! I can't express how much I love that show so this is really special for me.
posted by Zumbador at 10:06 AM on May 4, 2020 [10 favorites]

So, I was worried about trying to see a headache specialist during the pandemic (as I assume they'd want to do some testing that can't be done virtually), but good news, I guess, they can't get me in until September. So. At least I don't have to be anxious about that. Right now, I mean. I'm sure I'll still be anxious in September, because the pandemic is not going to disappear by then, but I get to put off the anxiety for a few months, at least.

I have to go in to see the dentist tomorrow, though, because I have a cavity that's been causing me pain and I don't want it to turn into something worse. I'm encouraged, though, because they said to call them when I am outside, and they will have me come in when they're ready for me, so they can limit the number of people in the building at one time. So, still anxious, but glad they're taking those precautions.
posted by brook horse at 10:50 AM on May 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

I just heard the cuckoo for the first time this year!
This is the eve of the Liberation from the Nazis after WW2, and the tradition is to light candles in all the windows, like people did that night when they heard the news on BBC. I'm going to do it for the deer and the foxes and the wolf and the big black feral cat and all the birds, including the cuckoo.

In spite of the above, this is not the best day. I think mainly I'm disappointed, because after I got through the initial anxiety, I've been feeling better than for many years. And suddenly a lot of the old anxiety-induced pains are back, and I have no idea what has triggered it. I'm telling myself that there are bound to be regressions and it's a process, but I think I'll need to find a good book and go to bed early today.
posted by mumimor at 12:39 PM on May 4, 2020 [14 favorites]

Haven't been around onsite, but just quickly posting to say me and mine are alright. Since it rhymes and all. Keep taking care everyone.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 6:42 PM on May 4, 2020 [11 favorites]

I'm really feeling devastated about this Dollar Store security guard who was murdered in Flint, Michigan, after telling a woman her daughter needed to wear a mask. The woman came back to the store with her husband and son, and the son shot the guard in the back of the head. He had eight children. I can't feel this is unrelated to the Michigan people who stormed the capital with guns, objecting to our governor's stay-at-home order. These protests normalize the whole idea of violent resistance. I feel sick about it.
posted by FencingGal at 6:20 AM on May 5, 2020 [27 favorites]

Yeah, you don't find out that outsiders frequently refer to that place as Militiagan until you move away. I never looked back once I got out of there. It's not the whole state, for sure, but it's a whole lotta that state. Gorgeous place.
posted by heyho at 6:41 AM on May 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

hi everybody. me and mine are well. little lurk -- who completed lyme-related antibiotic regimen (for now?) last week -- mother and i went over for a probably-ill-advised socially distant picnic with my parents yesterday. "probably-ill-advised" because grandmother and child just tend to nearer proximity notwithstanding constant reminders to stay away. i spent most of the time annoyed i'd allowed myself to be talked into endorsing and participating in the endeavor. there was some fine bike-riding though, little lurk's first sidewalk ride since very-early efforts with a parent holding the bike up: the child just ... went. down a long gentle slope two suburb-blocks long (with no intersections on the side of the road we were on), far outpacing my ability to keep up on foot. then back up. then back down, then back up. three or four times. big achievement: making the turn from sidewalk into driveway and up to the house. also a couple times veering into the grass and then recovering. guess i'm gonna have to get a bike to keep up.
over the weekend, riding big circles at the local playground (no longer guarded by public health agents, although still technically closed), there were plenty of other small family groups doing similar things: learning to ride, to catch, to dribble, practicing soccer. then we all got crowded out when twenty or so similar-looking guys (buzz cuts and beards) showed up to play soccer with no regard for social distance.
am given to understand that work, after a couple weeks' hiatus, may start up again this week.
i got pretty good at making chili; now it looks like i may have to stop buying meat in protest of bad policy.
still here. still reading with interest. and concern. still depending on y'all. stay well.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:02 AM on May 5, 2020 [8 favorites]

I seem to have moved from the "unsure of how to plan for future, scrambling with panic" phase into the "full recognition that this is probably not something I'm going to survive, calmly reconsidering what to do with my days and my funds in light of that timeline" phase.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 11:19 AM on May 5, 2020 [6 favorites]

Here's an update from a rural Illinois county with fewer than 5 diagnosed cases.

I went shopping last night at the local farm store and grocery store for the first time in a month. I went after dinnertime. The farm store (small box store) had about a dozen cars in the parking lot and the grocery store only had a couple dozen cars, so I was easily able to social distance. The grocery store had one way aisles with arrows on the floors. Nearly everyone was wearing masks (per state order) but some people were wearing them incorrectly - not over their nose or adjusting them constantly. Cleaning supplies and some groceries are low, but there was enough of most things. Meat and eggs were not much more expensive than normal (no fresh meat was on sale). I bought food for the next month and am going to stay put for at least another month unless I need to stop working from home. I drove past the Wal-Mart which looked like it had its normal crowd for that time of day (5-6 dozen cars).

I felt more optimistic for a little bit after seeing people complying with social distancing. Rural areas really do have a huge advantage if the people put some effort into doing the right thing but I think that is going to break down pretty soon. The news is covering the protests in Illinois and elsewhere and interviewing local mayors who are anxious or angry about not being able to open up. A nearby larger city is opening non-essential businesses. There is a nearby (not adjacent) county that is trying to do the same. A few businesses in the region are starting to openly defy the stay at home orders and the news reports it. The voices calling to open up are getting louder and getting more attention in the media. People in charge of enforcement in some cities/counties are openly saying they aren't going to enforce. So I think things are about to get stupid.

I also think that there are an unknown amount of people who are playing it safe and staying home, but they aren't getting media attention. Hopefully there are a lot of us.
posted by Blue Genie at 11:32 AM on May 5, 2020 [13 favorites]

Saturday evening we joined friends on Zoom as they renewed their wedding vows on their anniversary. The officiant offered the attendees the opportunity to join the ceremony, and that is how on in the 28th year and 257th day of our marriage, we renewed our vows dressed in Iron Maiden and Richmond Kickers t-shirts.
posted by COD at 3:37 PM on May 5, 2020 [25 favorites]

Two months into Italy's quarantine lockdown, new rules (that are not all that different, tbh), and another update of Roman data & stuff.

Current local COVID-19 numbers (same national/regional source as previously):
- since the end of March peak, the decrease in new cases has been in 10-day(ish) plateaus, of which we're now on the fourth, currently down to around 50ish new cases per day
- the fact that there's been easing of lockdown rules when only one Italy's 21 regions (remote Molise) has managed a string of days with zero new cases, means... we are going to be be doing the Dance from here on in
- the region has now done over 150.000 tests
- around a third of the 4,370 active cases are hospitalised, with only 2.1% of cases now in ICU (132 total)
- the current regional case fatality rate (as per today's totals of 6,914 overall confirmed cases and 534 deaths) is around 7.7%
- official state statistics comparing year-on-year mortality figures for March in all Italian cities came out the other day and confirmed that cities at the Lombardia epicenter saw their March mortality increase by 600%, other between 400% and 500%. The national average (though it doesn't really reflect how this pandemic was distributed) worked out to +50% general mortality that month. (Interestingly, Rome's March 2020 mortality figure turned out to be almost 10% less than last year's... so there are quite a few factors playing out, I guess.)

Media that's kept us company: the overrated series Upload; the underrated Cadillac Records, and the delightful Down With Love.

Hugs and sunshine all round, however undefined current horizons may feel.
posted by progosk at 5:21 PM on May 5, 2020 [10 favorites]

What I feared most has happened. Grief is so difficult under these circumstances. I don't know what to do with myself all alone.
I'm planning to drink everything in the house in the hope of getting some sleep after crying my eyes out, but everything in the house isn't much. I hope it's enough for some rest.
posted by mumimor at 2:55 PM on May 6, 2020 [29 favorites]

Oh mumimor. You must be dealing with something so difficult. ***hugs***
posted by yohko at 3:28 PM on May 6, 2020 [7 favorites]

I am so sorry, mumimor
posted by Mchelly at 7:03 PM on May 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

So sorry, mumimor. Hope you can rest.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 7:21 PM on May 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

see your grief, mumimor, feel for your anxiety, and infer. sorry. sympathy.
posted by 20 year lurk at 7:40 PM on May 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Sending caring thoughts your way, mumimor. Hope you were able to get some rest.
posted by DingoMutt at 7:44 PM on May 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

So sorry to hear that, mumimor.
posted by NotLost at 8:37 PM on May 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Warm thoughts for you and yours, mumimor.
posted by Alterscape at 9:31 PM on May 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Hope you got some rest, mumimor. After a long period of being pretty careful with my diet because I have digestion issues, I am on a chocolate binge. I just had a 200 g chocolate bar for breakfast. That was not my plan. I don’t like high-quality dark chocolate. I like milk chocolate with Oreo cookie chunks in it and similar things. Last night I ate a bunch of gross flavored chips. It’s not a moral issue; I have GERD. The medicine I have been offered does not help, and I still don’t know exactly what to eat to make it better. But I’m pretty confident that chips and chocolate make it worse. My brain tells me that I deserve a treat when, in fact, this is self-destructive behavior.

The pandemic is wearing me down. The only person I see on a regular basis, my quarantine buddy, has decided this is a good time to start drinking again. Which is up to them but it’s just one more thing to deal with in addition to sleeping badly and eating badly and not exercising. So of course I feel like shit. I know there’s some research that if you sleep badly you tend to eat badly as well. That is certainly true in my case. I feel trapped in a vicious fucking circle, and I’m sick of it. Worse, I am getting very little work done and my deadline is next week.

My dad died two months ago and I haven’t seen my grandkids or nearly anyone else in two months. I veer wildly between feeling sorry for myself and being grateful for the privilege and the good things I do have. (I really miss being touched but I missed that before the pandemic as well.)

Nothing is permanent; life is change. I just keep trying to remind myself that this, too, will pass. The good things, the bad things, the indifferent things. More than anything I truly want to be near my grandchildren again. I got to be close to them for a year and a half before my kid moved away for college. I’m working really hard for a place to rent near them. It’s not easy finding places to rent in any part of Sweden as far as I can tell. But I am working on it.

Here’s the thing about being around little kids: if you pay any sort of attention, you are forced to be mindful. Because they live in the moment. Living in the moment is pretty much all they know. That period does not last forever. I want to move to their town before it’s gone and also just to enjoy how wonderful they are. Ideally before I have a heart attack from eating all this fucking junk food. Anyway, hugs to all who want them. Stay as safe and as sane as you possibly can.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:01 AM on May 7, 2020 [10 favorites]

Thanks for all your kind words, everyone.
Bella Donna, I feel you. I ate some salted dark chocolate yesterday, to go with the half bottle of red wine I had, and I feel bad today. My trick is to not buy it, or in this case, to buy something that is too strong for me to enjoy. It usually works, but yesterday I ignored my senses because I needed both the sugar and the alcohol.
I too have a grandchild far away. My daughter is good at sending pictures every day, but it feels so strange not to be able to hold him.
If the link works abroad, there is a video of "my" wolf in this article. There are really a lot of sightings these days, and I hope he isn't turning into a "problem wolf" but I think there are several factors working together: a lot of deer roam among the summerhouses, and specially at this time of the year, when the kids are being born and the buck hunt is about to open. A newborn kid is a very easy snack for a hungry wolf, if he can find one. Normally, there are only few humans in the summerhouses at this time, and even now, they are relatively few, but just enough more who are isolating here who can spot the wolf. Summerhouse owners are more likely to see the wolf because they often have large windows that look onto nature. The farmhouses here have small windows that mostly look onto secluded gardens and farmyards, because they need protection from the elements in the winter. All of this year's sightings are from summerhouses, and only one of my permanent dwelling neighbors has seen the wolf, two years ago. Her house is right on the edge of the big nature preserve.
That said, if I didn't have the barking dog, I should be able to see the wolf, because I had to cut down my hedges some years ago, and they haven't grown back up yet. A small herd of deer shelters in the garden, a hunter told me that the house is probably placed where it is because of them: back in the very old times, people would settle where the deer sleep because the land will be dry and the shelter good there.
posted by mumimor at 2:11 AM on May 7, 2020 [6 favorites]

Mumimor, my condolences.
I had a dream about a home invasion last night and woke up thinking I heard someone walking to my kids’ room. Has anyone else been having dreams like this? I guess my home is so important right now and safety feels precarious, and it’s manifesting in these dreams. I’m looking forward to having a little 5th birthday party for my son this weekend. We’ve been carefully isolating for more than 2 weeks - my husband had to take vacation time to do so - and we’re going to be able to see my parents for a picnic. I’m really touched that he doesn’t seem to remember he was going to have a party with his school friends, he’s so excited about grandma and grandpa that it’s enough for him.
Have to do my daughter’s annual physical over telehealth soon. I don’t want to reschedule again because she has some needs I want to check-in with the pediatrician about. It feels bad not being able to get her optimal care, but of course we don’t want her in a clinic unnecessarily either. I’m hoping the video visit works ok.
Actually did some productive WFH this week. It felt surprisingly amazing to get some real work done!
I hope everyone is maintaining. Hot tip: re-watching Better Call Saul and drinking a good tequila is a fun, quarantine evening!
posted by areaperson at 12:51 PM on May 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

I am so sorry for your troubles, mumimor. Sending warm thoughts your way.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:17 PM on May 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

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