How are you doing? Are you ok? May 18, 2020 10:18 AM   Subscribe

How are you doing? Are you ok? Just wanted to check-in. Be kind. Stay safe.
posted by Fizz to MetaFilter-Related at 10:18 AM (223 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Are you alright?
posted by valkane at 10:44 AM on May 18 [3 favorites]


Still sick. After days of trying, I finally snagged an appointment slot for Thursday for testing for both active c19 infection and the antibodies, since I've been sick for two months now and antibiotics for a suspected sinus infection didn't do shit. I'd assumed my illness wasn't c19 because I've not had a fever but this cough is just not going away.

Even just minimal exertion like getting out of the bed to use the toilet causes a horrible coughing fit, so I spend most of my time lying in bed playing Stardew Valley. I'd burnt out on it two years ago but the "Stardew Valley Expanded" mod adds enough new content that it's holding my interest again.

We're making more thanks to enhanced unemployment benefits and spending less thanks to the lockdown, so we've been able to pay down some debt and buy a few things to help us make better use of space in our tiny studio apartment. That's nice.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:10 AM on May 18 [20 favorites]




I’m... mostly OK. I’m used to living alone, and a fairly hectic schedule doesn’t leave me a lot of time to sit and dwell. The cats are good company. I can do most of my necessary errands on foot, although the few that I can’t are kind of a burden. All in all, I am very lucky. I hope everybody stays healthy and happy.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:16 AM on May 18 [5 favorites]


I'm still kicking. Or at least, still flailing around in a generally "alive" manner. I reduced my work hours (my company is offering us the chance to voluntarily reduce our work hours while still getting full pay because they know everyone's stressed to the max and I am lucky enough to work for a company that gives a shit about that) to 75% recently, which isn't so much changing how much I get done as reducing how guilty I feel about not getting things done quickly.

I've been cleaning my office today and have reclaimed a couple feet of floor from the mess monster. Also, during cleaning I rediscovered three lost knitting projects, a notions tin, and a travel clock (?!)...and freed a LOT of dust in the process, so I expect to be sneezing the rest of the day. But it means I did an adulting, so I'm ok with that!

I'm still healthy other than a tooth that's been bothering me, for which I get to go visit an endodontist next week. I'm wearing a mask whenever I leave the house, which is very, very rarely - I've been out exactly twice since mid-March.

Both my sisters are pregnant - one due in June, one in November - and I feel so sad for them for losing out on things like baby showers and hospital visitors and then just...having to give birth into this version of the world. They're both coping and upbeat though, so maybe my worrying on their behalf is saving them the pain. And I'm excited about getting two nephews, my very first niblings! Already finished one baby blanket and am waiting for the yarn to arrive for the other.
posted by Hold your seahorses at 11:27 AM on May 18 [7 favorites]


I'm not okay. I have a panic disorder from PTSD which is totally ruining my life. I no longer just exist, I spend every moment of every day in a body which is fucking with me in various ways. I'm exhausted from the effort of being aware of living all the time. I'm still working because I'm somehow "essential" but my work situation is fairly safe as far as COVID goes so I'm not freaking out about that. But holy christ I'm so tired of (at a minimum) being on edge and easily startled and (at worst) shaking so bad I can hardly walk normally or write and also sometimes panic vomiting.

This is just my daily life right now. I have pill I take that help (including lorazepam for when I really can't take it anymore, but that's a scary drug). I can't find a therapist that I can work with who is in network and is taking new patients.

So, yeah, I'm surviving. I'm getting out of bed every day and doing my job and sort of maintaining my life. But I'm not okay at all.

I did get a new iPhone SE though which is probably the nicest hand computer I will ever touch. So, yay for the small things.
posted by hippybear at 12:08 PM on May 18 [54 favorites]


I'm OK. We just started the first full lockdown in Santiago, Chile. I've been in self-quarantine for over 2 months, and have left the house like 3 times, but it's different when you can't leave if you want to.

My son is who I'm most worried about, it sucks to spend 3 (or 4 (or 8)) months locked up with your parents at 12 years of age. I'm concerned about when he'll be able to go out, hang out with his friends, make mistakes, have adventures, fall in love, etc. He has a zoom birthday party today for his best friend. Not the same.

On the plus, I did buy a bass over the phone last Friday and they delivered it that same afternoon, 3 hours before the quarantine went into effect. I'm thoroughly enjoying it, hadn't played bass for 20 years, and it's a lot of fun to just learn to play along with simple songs, which is something I never did back when I had my first bass. Also, my son is picking it up, and he declared 'bass is my instrument', and is already playing along with I Don't Know How But They Found Me songs (he's fairly musical, already plays piano and ukelele). The bass is a Squier Racecar Red PJ, and I'm in love. Posted something I made with it on music.
posted by signal at 1:13 PM on May 18 [13 favorites]


I had a semi local mefite reach out to me and offer to help with supplies if I needed any. I am astonished. And terribly grateful. I am always the competent helper person so nobody offers to help me.

THIS is an amazing example of what the metafilter community is. I'm still floored by the kindness and generosity of this person. (Not outing them, but they are awesome.)
posted by mightshould at 1:54 PM on May 18 [21 favorites]


My company's HR director called me today to make sure I was doing OK. Nothing personal, she's calling everyone in the company one-by-one but I thought was a nice touch.
posted by octothorpe at 2:10 PM on May 18 [15 favorites]


I'm... actually pretty good. This period has been a serendipitous opportunity to step away from major stressors in my life (commuting, office culture among others) and re-learn what being contented feels like. My relationship with my wife has never been better in a lot of ways, we've grown a lot closer over the last few weeks and have really gotten to experience day-to-day married life. We were intercontinental long distance for 2 years before getting married and moving in together and it's deeply satisfying to have normal-married-people-problems not scary big immigration and geopolitics problems.

Nothing is perfect - the world is fucking scary, we drink way too much and my physical health isn't spectacular. I made a major career change last year that's been a professional and financial quagmire I'll need to find my way out of soon. My parents are older and living in a place getting hit my covid pretty hard, that's a major worry.

But I'm feeling a lot of gratitude for how lucky I've been. I hope when and if things return to some sense of normalcy I can hold onto this thread of highly uncharacteristic positive thinking.
posted by misterdaniel at 2:14 PM on May 18 [5 favorites]


Trump just admitted that Pompeo was allowed to fire Linick and nothing will happen at all. LOL ORANGE MAN SAID HYDROXYCHLORQUINE AGAIN!

I swear to god this country doesn't deserve democracy. Any other president and any of the sort of scandal that has been coming out of this administration would fucking end it. If Obama let Clinton or Kerry fire Linick the Republicans would be apoplectic and demanding a fucking military junta.

I'm so livid right now I'm sorry everyone.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 2:28 PM on May 18 [24 favorites]


Thanks to everyone who is sharing--both OK and not-so-OK.
It feels as if time is both sped up and slowed down.
I wonder what the imprint of this experience will be on the newer adult generation...
Will it be a 'lost spring' in their life's timeline or have a much larger impact?
posted by calgirl at 2:54 PM on May 18 [6 favorites]


I'm good. Work just said that we're working from home through September, maybe January, but at least I have work. Feel bad for my kid, due to graduate high school in a week but no chance of a reasonable ceremony right now. We're compensating with fun graduation presents that lend themselves to the current world (fishing rod, a moped), but there's an underlying sadness here that I feel bad that I can't fix for them.
posted by jenkinsEar at 3:00 PM on May 18 [3 favorites]


Oh I'm terrific for values of the plumber has been here twice today already terrific. Social distancing was sort of observed but not really. Nobody wore a mask. Well when he showed up he had a mask on under his nose. The second time he did not have one at all. Then he handed me his phone to talk to his boss and I did and now my son is like "Plague phone! Ring ring! Coronalalkjjklakj;lkjblargh!!!! (insert horrible monster noises here)" and I think I am laughing much, much more than I should be. I'm not good at this stuff anyway but when the drains are going glargle glargle and there's suddenly 3" of water on the bathroom floor I kind of panic, ya know?

I don't know, I'm doing the best I can. I got laid off, that's kinda awesome, my last day of work was on Thursday. So far this morning I've had phone consultations with a health benefits specialist and my doctor and many, many people at the plumber's office. The benefits specialist got me onto OHP - Oregon Medicaid - so that's actually great and my doctor can now run the expensive tests he's been wanting to do to find out just why I had a pulmonary embolism out of the blue with no risk factors in late February. He's pleased. I can probably have my gallbladder surgery soon, like within the next month, and now it will not cost me $12,000 over and above my shitty insurance. I'm pleased. And the plumbing company is going to be pleased because first off they will be sending me a big honking bill for today, then I have to dig a big hole in the yard to find the sewer pipe and then they're going to come back and put in a clean out and run a camera and that will be another big honking bill and then I get to find a contractor to tear up the fucking street and replace it so the plumbers can repair my main sewer line where it meets up with the city main sewer. So everybody is pleased except me, who is going to have to pay back the home equity line of credit and how I am going to do that, I have no idea.

Is it too early to start drinking?
posted by mygothlaundry at 3:14 PM on May 18 [20 favorites]


It's never too early to start drinking when plumbing adventures are involved, honestly.
posted by hippybear at 3:24 PM on May 18 [20 favorites]


Mygothlaundry, I had an experience like this, hiring an excavator, saved me thousands of dollars. Some excavators have master plummer licenses and they know what they are doing. Sometimes just digging up the whole thing is cheaper than the hunt and peck method.
posted by Oyéah at 4:06 PM on May 18 [4 favorites]


I AM NOT OKAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

However, there is not a goddamned thing anyone can do about that.

I wish people I know IRL (work, my mom) would stop asking me this because I am completely out of ability to lie about it or try to sell the lie that I am okay, but will only get myself into more trouble if I give an honest answer. And again, there is literally nothing that anyone can do about it to improve the situation. Especially since I got told today that we literally can't hire anyone else to help me out with the workload.

If I openly say that I am NOT OKAY, what happens? I get into more trouble, that's what.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:34 PM on May 18 [19 favorites]


"So so" is another answer, I'm just so so. Doesn't trigger a call for an invasive local wellness check, but gets the message across.
posted by sammyo at 4:52 PM on May 18 [8 favorites]


It changes from hour to hour, to be honest. Sometimes I am good with a volunteer project and music and books and my cat, and sometimes I remember it's been 62 days since I last touched a human being. I've lost my job, my band can't practice, my friends are far flung and I am carless so even if I were up for driveway visits or suchlike they'd be difficult. My neighbourhood is crowded, a lot of people in my building are unclear on distancing or perhaps don't care, and I feel unsafe going outside (I do it anyway, because not doing it would be worse, and just play human Frogger).

Today I did good work on my project and my music and I've read an entire 500-page novel since last night around 10. Yay/shit.
posted by wellred at 5:25 PM on May 18 [9 favorites]


Not only do I get a lung biopsy, I'm going to have a tongue biopsy as well. I call this a very slow way to lose weight. I'm grateful that this is free in Australia, and that welfare (seeing as I'm not working) can be applied for online. I'm grateful too, that whatever the diagnoses are, this is a reminder to delete the naked self-portraits I took to encourage me to lose weight, and I'm glad I have AskMe to lean on, and lift me up until I'm ready to share my situation with my loved ones. I'm so happy it's autumn, it's one of my favourite seasons - even though there's no deciduous trees around. Thanks youse guys, you've been a massive part of life and education. I really really appreciate threads like this where I can be a little bit scared, a bit wistful, honestly grateful and comfortably truthful.
posted by b33j at 5:29 PM on May 18 [27 favorites]


I feel a little ungrateful. I still have a (well paying) job; the kids are coping admirably well going into their third month of home schooling; I can get most of my groceries delivered etc. In the absence of anthing else to do, my running is improving quite well and my body is holding.

But I'm over Singapore's lockdown. I want to go to a restaurant, or shopping, or outside for anything other than going to the pharmacy and going on runs. Getting my stomach medication here is difficult, so I've decided to see how I do without it; it's been a mixed bag, I was up literally all night on Sunday night courtesy of some oily dukk booki I had. Sleep has been a mixed bag lately, I decided to try some medication for my anxiety - it worked great for the anxiety! But the insomnia, oh my lord, I had to stop it after my fifth night of <4>
I'm worried about my family, especially my mum back in Australia. It's to focus on work at the moment.
posted by smoke at 5:32 PM on May 18 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty good.

I just spiked the remainder of my afternoon coffee with the Irish cream my friend gave me for St. Pat's before shelter in place. Between this and nog at Christmas, he's sold me on dairy booze as a concept.

I started playing Breath of the Wild again and am getting better at stealthing my way around / outrunning enemies because I can't fight for shit. It's so pretty.

Also, I'm buying a house! I wasn't sure this would happen for me financially, ever, and I'm so stoked. Guest room! Being able to make improvements! A considerable amount of work that needs to happen before winter to distract me from the likely lack of hiking and camping this summer! A couple friends made me a video advertising their drywall services and it's hilarious and I feel very loved.

I have been a very mediocre employee these last months, but I'm getting done what I need to. Have been going into work a couple days a week for stuff I physically have to be there for, and it's a nice change of scenery.
posted by momus_window at 5:45 PM on May 18 [5 favorites]


The sun is helping me a lot. And I no longer seem to have random waves of panic when I'm still, and not doing anything.

I also had a large amount of success in making my first batch of soymilk; while the actual milk was more 'soy' flavored than I'd like, it does go well in a nie cold brew. And the leftover okara/soybean solids were turned into a soup that I'll be eating off of the next couple of days or so.

Last but not least, I finally started on a React project I feel good about, for my portfolio. It feels good to get started on that, instead of just doing seemingly endless class exercises. Though those did make me understand React and Node a lot more, so I'm glad I went through with them.
posted by spinifex23 at 5:51 PM on May 18 [4 favorites]


I’m ok-ish today but wasn’t ok yesterday, when I found out my 84 year old dad needs an inpatient heart procedure in about a month. Next week he goes for an outpatient “procedure to get ready for the real procedure “. My mom has a lot of memory issues so I will be handling a lot of the details. I have no siblings and there is no other family nearby.

I would be concerned anyway, but all of “this” just adds extra layers of stress and worry. We won’t be allowed to stay in the hospital while he is having either procedure. I understand why but I hate it. I feel better than I did yesterday, but I still feel really anxious and overwhelmed about this.
posted by bookmammal at 6:24 PM on May 18 [10 favorites]


Not really OK, but I really appreciate someone asking, Fizz et al.

COVID has been pretty much the last straw in a series of recent life-changing events. Still trying to keep moving forward, but good fucking goddamn was I not ready for this series of turns.

For reference, this is my actual comfort song at present.

Hugs and heartfelt empathy to you all. And those of you finding the upsides, please keep posting -- someday an idea might find roots.
posted by vers at 6:36 PM on May 18 [6 favorites]


And the plumbing company is going to be pleased because first off they will be sending me a big honking bill for today, then I have to dig a big hole in the yard to find the sewer pipe and then they're going to come back and put in a clean out and run a camera and that will be another big honking bill and then I get to find a contractor to tear up the fucking street and replace it so the plumbers can repair my main sewer line where it meets up with the city main sewer.

I don't know your exact situation, so you might well actually need to do all this. But just in case - we got told this needed to happen at our place too, and they were pretty convincing, and the estimated costs looked pretty scary. Ask Metafilter convinced me to get a second opinion, which I did, and that guy was all "meh, worst case if you don't do that now, your pipes will back up again, and if it happens regularly then sure, dig it all up and replace it. But it might NOT happen, and then you won't have to spend all that money". We went with his suggestion and now it's been five years and we never had any more problems. YMMV.
posted by lollusc at 6:48 PM on May 18 [5 favorites]


I've had 10-15 migraines this month and I can't even be seen for treatment until September. But honestly, it's fine, other than me not getting done some of the stuff I wanted to. I've been home in the dark and quiet so it's not been horrible. My brain also just... tunes out a lot of pain, eventually. I can't focus on anything, but I don't really "feel" it the same way, you know? And I should be fine once it stops fuckin' raining.

I've also been more social lately, joined a few Discords and it's helping me feel less lonely. Occasionally I get weird messages from people but haven't had anything too bad. I've also been surprisingly good at dealing with the anxiety. It helps that the thing I'm being told to do is "STAY THE FUCK INSIDE!!!" which is the thing I normally do when I'm anxious anyway, so I've already built up the (admittedly likely false) belief that inside = safe and everything is fine.
posted by brook horse at 7:29 PM on May 18 [2 favorites]


Unfortunately this IS the second opinion. :(
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:29 PM on May 18 [5 favorites]


I'm not okay. It's just been confirmed that I will be getting a significant pay cut as soon as it passes the vote. I won't be able to pay my rent or bills.
posted by daybeforetheday at 7:30 PM on May 18 [16 favorites]


I am worried. For your sakes I won’t list the multitudes of concerns cycling through my brain on a daily basis, but I will say that they even extend toward the teeny tiny kale seedlings I planted in my garden tonight (why did you grow so poorly this year, basement seedlings??).

I will say that the pit of visceral, bowel-disrupting fear I felt when things first shut down is gone, which is good. It will come back on the inevitable day the virus hits my household, though.
posted by Maarika at 7:44 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I don't know if I'm ok or not. I'm not in a dire situation and am safe. But I'm also not even remotely where I want to be (literally and figuratively) and I don't know how long I'm going to feel trapped here (not specifically due to quarantine). I want to get a job and my own place and begin the next phase of my life. I want to meet new people. I'm tired of potential employers ghosting me after interviews. I'm tired of being lonely and single but unable to make connections (again, not actually due to quarantine). I wonder if I will ever not be sad. But I have a safe place to live and food to eat. So whatever form of ok that represents, I guess that's what I am.
posted by acidnova at 7:45 PM on May 18 [16 favorites]


I'm okay and my family is ok (although my oldest brother had to lay off 150 people, so...), and my niece "graduates" from her master's program tomorrow. Work is mostly working okay, although one of my biggest project looks like it's going down in flames for a variety of reasons -- none of which are my responsibility, yay.

My county isn't "opening up" much, which is good.

But I'm so worried about, well, everything and everyone. I lay awake at night worrying about having our entire country collapse in strife because of politics, incompetence, and corruption. It's just... a lot.
posted by suelac at 7:48 PM on May 18 [6 favorites]


I thought my mother was dying from a stroke ten days ago. It was sudden and unexpected. I flew across the country to be with her and my family--say what you want, I could not leave my father alone. We are all so, so lucky that she not only pulled out of it but is doing very well, due to not having a stroke per se but a head injury from a fall because of etc., etc., none of which involved COVID-19.

Now I am in a much better, sunnier place to quarantine, helping her. We are all pretty sure we do not have the rona but there are a few more days to pass before we can be certain. I do not know what to do with myself after that. I need to go to Place and do Thing but is it Safe and if I do not go to Place will I be forbidden to do it Later because other Places cannot Sit Down and Behave and are going to have Spiking Death Rates in about ... well. And how can I get back to trying to handle projects when--well.

In sum, I am very lucky and grateful to be where I am and I have to figure out when and how I can leave again.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:10 PM on May 18 [7 favorites]


I'm so sorry, daybeforetheday.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:10 PM on May 18


Yesterday was not a good day, with leaks springing up in both my basement and my roof due to the staggering amount of rain we have gotten over the past few days in Chicago.

Today was not very productive, but a bit more even keeled. The basement leak has yet to be diagnosed, but the roof may only be a matter of doing some sealing around the chimney, which will at least kick the roof can down the road for a little while.

I made some soda bread and a nice salad for dinner, which was a bit of a morale boost tonight.

If I can just find some way to motivate myself to get a little bit of JOB work done, that would be great.
posted by notoriety public at 8:40 PM on May 18 [3 favorites]


I have everything I need and feel very grateful and yet also very closed in. The Animal Crossing Metatalk thread started by Fizz and the Discord set up by divabat have been a great treat for a little regular, low intensity socializing. I would otherwise go days without interacting even remotely with anyone except my husband ( and I know I’m already lucky to be able to shelter with him). Anyway it’s a small thing I could survive without but it has really helped the mental space....
posted by Tandem Affinity at 8:51 PM on May 18 [2 favorites]


I am okay. Some days I’m not great. But most days, I’m okay. My husband and I are both working from home (he always does), my son is practically thriving. We haven’t killed each other yet. Still putting food on the table. If there’s anyone in Central NJ who needs some help, please MeMail me. That is a sincere offer. I am here.
posted by lyssabee at 8:56 PM on May 18 [8 favorites]


Even in the midst of all this stuff, the new Brian Wright and the Sneakups album and the new Fiona Apple album are both sources of joy for me.
posted by hippybear at 8:59 PM on May 18 [4 favorites]


I'm not really OK, but thanks for asking.

A lot of things are OK. I have a job that I can do safely (working from home) and am probably not going to lose. I'm healthy and so are my loved ones. It's tough to juggle my job along with the kids but my situation is better than many and in many ways my kids are actually thriving more in lockdown.

But... I'm not OK. I'm severely depressed. On medication, with therapist, etc, but still every day I feel basically like Sisyphus carrying a giant rock of hopelessness that I can never put down. I have bad insomnia and frequently vomit from emotional distress. I had a relationship last year that was a total mindfuck and which I'm not even close to over. Like a fool I keep following my ex on social media and getting my hopes up that they'll come back to me sometime. It was an unhealthy relationship that my rational mind tells me I'm better off without, but I can't get my emotions to believe it. I know in any case that my ex doesn't have it in them to make space for me in their life or give me what I need -- even if they wanted to, which is doubtful -- and yet I cannot get over them. I am so fucking pathetic and I wish I could erase all memory of them, but I can't, and I feel so stuck and so desperate and so despairing. I've just now tried yet again to block everything on social media, but I hold out no optimism that I'll be able to make this stick anymore than I've managed the previous times.

And the shit topping on the shit sundae is that this is just the tip of the iceberg of my psychological fucked-up-ness. I've also got major issues around gender and sexuality and my living situation that weigh on me every hour of every day. And yet I'm so distressed about this stupid relationship that I don't have the energy to deal appropriately with those other things.

Whew. I actually feel a little better for having written all of that, though. Thanks for asking, and thanks to Metafilter for being there.
posted by Babbling Blatherskite at 9:02 PM on May 18 [24 favorites]


Thanks to the pandemic, it looks like I'm going to graduate six months later than I had planned for. Which sucks. I've been out of work since the beginning of March- I started losing work in January due to coronavirus, which back then was a nuisance and then eventually escalated to "Oh shit, this thing is actually going to ruin my career." Funny looking back now.

I'm not doing okay. I'm so, so emotionally burnt out on caring for my family. It feels right now like all I do is make sacrifices and serve others and I wish I lived on my own. I miss all of my friends, though I did get to hang out with one today for the first time in three months so that's a bright spot. We went hiking and it was so crowded and full of huge groups of teenagers who made no effort to social distance. People here, like everywhere else, seem sick of being careful and are acting like it's back to normal life once more.

I miss being on antidepressants. I wish I could get a new therapist. I wish I could go to the gym, or a restaurant, or shopping. But not till July.
posted by mollywas at 10:06 PM on May 18 [6 favorites]


I'm not really okay. I started quarantine feeling like it was a dream come true, but now I've got pretty severe pain in my shoulder and neck that keeps me from doing the exercise I need to stay sane and makes it hard to work for more than about 30 minutes at a time. It's been years since I've been depressed but I think that's what this is.
posted by HotToddy at 10:12 PM on May 18 [6 favorites]


I’m struggling with accepting a new level of chronic illness symptoms that came from 2 months of out physio and other treatments, being in this much pain every day is hard to come to terms with, but then so is every new ‘loss’ with long term illness. I am glad that France is opening up enough slowly that I can get non emergency medical care.
posted by ellieBOA at 10:55 PM on May 18 [8 favorites]


I had a long-scheduled pto week, which was much needed for exhaustion. Work's been insane, panic causing, so I needed that. But now the cats are fighting again after two months wfh which had caused a lull in the fighting that I haven't found a fix for since Nov (behaviorists, training, meds). Now I have to finally face rehoming one, while keeping them safe and sane while trying to work. Very not ok about that. Not covid related but compounds the depression and isolation, feeling out of control, feeling that I am losing something really vital to my well being. Losing someone; my little Spike. :(
posted by soakimbo at 11:01 PM on May 18 [4 favorites]


I've been better. A lot better. I'm having massive feelings of imposter syndrome, trying desperately to seem competent at online teaching, yet terrified that if I ask my colleagues for help, they'll point their fingers and Donald Sutherland scream at me, realizing that I'm not doing enough, or that I'm not the teacher they thought I was, and it's taking so, so much more work and time than it ever would if I was just. at. school.

Yesterday, after a long and ultimately frustrating day of work, of trying to at least competently use online teaching tools I only started using a couple weeks ago, I said to myself, “I want to go home,” and then realized I was sitting in my room, the one that’s turned into my makeshift office and classroom, where I’m shut off from Mrs. Ghidorah, the cats, and pretty much the whole world. And I feel terrible because me being locked in here makes life even more boring for Mrs. Ghidorah because her job has been gone for over a month now, and she's just trying to find ways to stay busy on her own and I can't be there for her as she's dealing with cabin fever.

What would have taken me twenty or thirty minutes to make for my students took me hours of checking to see what form of google software could mimic the things I can do in my sleep in Microsoft. I ended up working from 8:30 in the morning until about 10pm with breaks for meals only, and today, I ended up wolfing down half a bowl of Kraft mac n cheese that I didn't have time to finish before heading back upstairs to do two more classes and hold office hours, where I’ll act like I know what I’m doing when I try to provide tech support for frustrated students that can’t seem to use the apps we’re relying on, that in turn, I barely understand. I've currently got support tickets running with Epic Books and Quizlet, and those will take forever because right now everyone is trying to get in touch with them.

I am deeply unsettled by the current relaxing of restrictions here in Tokyo, and I full on think it's insane to start classes up again (especially for private schools like mine, where most students spend around 20-30 minutes on the train to get there), but I'm realizing a part of me is desperate for things to go back to normal, not because I want to go out to a bar with friends, or have a big barbecue to celebrate every birthday that's been missed, but because even after the two hours plus of time I spend commuting on an insanely packed train every day, good lord, I’ll have more time, and be able to actually leave work at work.

(edited to add: Sunday night was essentially filled with panic dreams about work, angry students, assignments not working, other teachers being angry/disappointed in me, and I was waking up nearly every hour from another dream. So that was nice)
posted by Ghidorah at 11:14 PM on May 18 [16 favorites]


I’m paying too much rent for a tiny apartment in los angeles, a city I won’t be able to enjoy for the foreseeable future, so why am I here again? proximity to friends I can’t see?
I am 36 and single. I live alone. it’s been 2.5 months since I’ve touched another human. (my momma. whom I also can’t see.)
I am mostly okay. I have what I need for now, even though my creative career was a struggle anyway, & now even more so. I am self-sufficient. I am used to being alone.
but sometimes the loneliness just knocks the wind out of me. I’m a tree falling in the forest with nobody around. I am stuck this way. there is no end in sight.

thank god I have a dog.
posted by changeling at 11:21 PM on May 18 [21 favorites]


I am not well. My partner can’t get their medicine to prevent heart attacks and fuckers are deliberately trying to stress them out on purpose which I am trying not to read as intent to murder but am having an extremely difficult time doing so.
posted by corb at 12:04 AM on May 19 [13 favorites]


Thanks, Fizz.

I am not ok either. I realise it's ungrateful of me to hate my job at a time when people are losing theirs. But I fucking hate my job! I hate the fact that everything bad about it has become worse since lockdown: the meaningless pressure to handle our boss's anxiety, the ridiculously hierarchical way in which things operate (we can't get a thing signed off until 1 billion people have looked at it), the constant meetings which are a waste of everyone's time and means that no one has time to actually do anything. There is also so much empty lip service paid to mental health - "take care of yourself! Remember to take breaks! Remember to maintain boundaries!" - when no one is actually doing that and the workload will not allow for it.

I think we could power down for a bit with no ill effects. I mean, so much of what we do is economy-dependent. But try telling that to our boss, who's all "We need to justify our continued employment! We need to be giving 200%!" I kind of get it, but he needs to take into account the human/emotional cost of pushing your people to give 200% in the middle of a global pandemic when people are isolated and anxious about their loved ones.

Jobsearch was going well prior to lockdown... I actually got offered something and turned it down because I was all 'I could do better!'. Lol... Now my sector and the sectors-adjacent are all in recruitment-freeze mode.
posted by unicorn chaser at 3:53 AM on May 19 [15 favorites]


Mostly ok, from an objective point of view, at least for now, but a pandemic accompanied by constant exhortations to wash your hands frequently and correctly is the biggest trigger in the world for someone with hand washing OCD, and it’s doing my head in.
posted by skybluepink at 4:11 AM on May 19 [5 favorites]


Mostly ok, from an objective point of view

I think this is how I would answer also, though it is hard to figure out what is "ok" in such a terrible situation and when so many people are struggling.

The one genuinely positive outcome I have noticed is how all the stereotypically emotionally-stunted men I know (myself included) are all of a sudden reaching out to each other to check in and ask "are you ok?", and people are mostly giving honest and emotionally vulnerable answers to that question. (Since most of us aren't doing ok, when it comes down to it.) Small as that is, it is a positive shift that I hope lasts beyond this situation.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:07 AM on May 19 [10 favorites]


No.

Thank you.
posted by prismatic7 at 6:09 AM on May 19 [9 favorites]


It … goes, I guess? My work still pays me, we all pretend to have things to do on the daily standup. ms scruss's college tutoring dried up when the college admins realized that CERB was more money than any tutor could ever hope to make. Both of us have elderly parents in different countries. We talk as often as possible, but there's nothing we can actually do.
posted by scruss at 6:18 AM on May 19 [3 favorites]


Lousy. Evenings are the worst. Last night an Ask led to a cheerful bingewatch of the good natured Potter's House hoarder house YouTube videos. I love the Canadian accents because everyone on US television speaks the same monotone broadcast English. Then I watched one video too many and learned that Dave the father-in-law died of coronavirus a month ago.
posted by jointhedance at 6:25 AM on May 19 [2 favorites]


Ask me at various points throughout a day/week and you will probably get a different answer every time. I'm ok one minute and crying the next.

One thing I've done which does help relieve some of my anxiety is to create daily rituals. I go for a walk before work and during my lunch break. I take a shower immediately after work (I work from home but still) to sort of wash off the day and relax my muscles. Then dinner and a cocktail and hang with my partner.

It helps to have this kind of daily structure, at least for me. But if you need to go outside and scream, do that too. Whatever works.

Sending love to all of you.
posted by Fizz at 7:09 AM on May 19 [15 favorites]


Eh.
posted by bondcliff at 7:10 AM on May 19 [10 favorites]


I have a headache and feel lousy and today will have not even minimal schooling for my children because I just can't.

At least the charade that my kids are learning anything will be over soon.

Actually I just got my daughter to draw the letter F so there you go. Education complete.

Am I OK? No idea.
posted by selfnoise at 7:15 AM on May 19 [8 favorites]


I am doing ok, marginally better than I was before.

I am making my way through my fabric stash, which makes me very happy.

Don't have to commute, saving a fortune on gasoline.

Don't have to take my mother to church every week, and listen to her gripe about her life (which is way better than mine will ever be).

Don't have to direct my church music group every week, and have to be on when I don't feel like being on.

Don't have to be sociable when I don't feel like being sociable. Don't have to argue with people who insist that I see them anyway, who claim that they don't mind my sulking over being single and yet spend the time telling me that I really shouldn't mind being single, when I do.

Don't have to worry about being stood up or rejected by first dates, since that was the only outcome in the Beforetimes.

Not particularly looking forward to going back to the way things were.
posted by sockerpup at 7:23 AM on May 19 [4 favorites]


I'm physically doing well. My partner still has a good income with health benefits that extend my way (in the US, even, remarkably). My job is usually in painting or fixing a zillion busted things in peoples' apartments or else working closely with other people on sets for theatre or television. So my job is only question marks. I'm a really good certified handyman and will be ready the moment serology tests are accurate and once we know how I can not spread a virus in trying to wallpaper a place or fix a doorknob. Also, I almost for sure had covid in mid-March, when tests were nowhere and people got bored of me drinking lemon juice on video chats for hilarious funsies. Will someone tell me when the antibody tests mean anything?

I'm mentally doing not that great, mostly because a big part of my being is in South Dakota, USA, a state that has mostly betrayed people I like. Also, I have no job at the moment and am therefore slowly losing my mind. To burn off this energy, I've resorted to just jumping up and down in the kitchen, where I hope the neighbors won't mind. But the South Dakota part? I've tried to write letters to editors and I've carried on like some kinda lost niece on Facebook, but there's no leadership there. I don't even know what thing to target, to convince people about germs and spreading and the like. It's doing my head in. I have contacts with high people in state government (it is a small, big place), but I can't even think of what to write. It's awful feeling like your words could actually save lives and then be lost for them.
posted by lauranesson at 7:33 AM on May 19 [3 favorites]


I'm doing okay. I have been feeling pretty down but am feeling a bit more hopeful after reading biogeo's comments in that other thread.
posted by JanetLand at 7:34 AM on May 19 [8 favorites]


I've been up and down lately. Living in Wisconsin and the political toilet fire we're mired in is exhausting. I'm safe and (mostly) secure and I miss so many people and things.

I sincerely wish everyone here was way better than okay and also want to acknowledge that having a place like this where folks can be honest without repercussion is really helpful. Sending love to each and every one of you.
posted by Twicketface at 7:48 AM on May 19 [4 favorites]


I took three days off Metafilter and actually felt like almost a human being again, ate a couple of meals even. Then went back on this morning and after just a couple hours have cratered entirely and ended up back in suicidal ideation. So, much as I love you, Metafilter, and as much as you are full of wonderful people who would only like to help, I think you are actually literally killing me? So I guess this is goodbye (hopefully only for now?).

Good luck and good health to everyone. See you on the other side of this, if there is one.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 8:32 AM on May 19 [36 favorites]


My favorite (and last living) grandmother is dying of congestive heart failure. She has about two weeks to live. She was like my other parent and the world, in general, will be a darker and shittier place without her. COVID prevents anything like a normal way to say goodbye, though I was able to finagle a way to say goodbye in person yesterday for a moment without breaking lockdown guidelines (which I'm sure people on the site would still find ways to judge me for. I really don't care).

I've been wildly depressed, careening about, for the the past few months. I'm an extrovert. I'm single. Though I write for a living and work from home, I do not handle not being around others very well. About 70% of my friends(most in hospitality, tourism, and the arts) have either lost their jobs, their livelihoods and any promise of those things coming back in any real way any time soon or are still struggling through underpaid essential jobs, taking endless amounts of shit from a customer-based that feels increasingly willing to treat them like a servant class.

I live alone. My house is nice and I'm still getting paid, for now, but I feel like every day is another panic-drenched episode in which I wonder if I will ever see my family again (four members have been diagnosed, they've recovered, but still) or how long my savings could theoretically hold out (not long) before I myself have to start driving for Instacart or whatever. Then I get online and see the 30% of my social network who is in no danger of losing jobs or money complaining about how slow Instacart is and how irresponsible the workers in the supermarkets are being but how great and peaceful the quarantine has been for them to reconnect with themselves and learn yoga or some shit and it makes me want to scream. We all handle things differently, etc. etc.

I would love a hug more than just about anything.

On the other hand, some nights the deck is beautiful, and there are musicians that have been standing in the pond in my neigborhood playing on the dock on Sundays and I do get to see my friends on Zoom and on walks and . . .
posted by thivaia at 8:52 AM on May 19 [10 favorites]


We’re kind of okay. I got laid off in late Feb but continued to get paid for a couple of months. Not working and hunkering down meant those checks went a lot further. I was originally planning to retire this week, so that was okay too.
Obviously retiring into a pandemic upset some of those plan a bit (travel ain’t happening for a while). I turned 67 on May 3rd, and two days later things changed dramatically in one breast, and now I’m diagnosed with breast cancer. So..not okay. I’ll know a lot more come my Friday meeting with my medical team, and come out of it with a treatment plan. Thankfully my doc got me some anti-anxiety meds that are working brilliantly. I’m not generally anxious, so that weird shaky feeling was troubling and depressing.
I’m fortunate to have very fine friends in my lovely community, a great husband, and an amazing vegetable garden.
It’s gonna be a weird summer.
posted by dbmcd at 9:24 AM on May 19 [16 favorites]


My boss is absolutely adamant that I will be graduating in August, come hell or high water. I have a daunting and frankly kind of terrifying amount of work to do to make that happen, and he is also engaging in increasingly petty weird skirmishes like trying to insist that I should attend lab socials at the same time as he's holding a hard line that international pandemic or not, I will be leaving his lab in August--finished or not.

I think I can do it. I'm doing my best, and according to everyone who I've shared the whole mess with, I'm doing everything right for managing the situation. But I'm certainly not feeling like I ought to invest a ton of social energy into this lab, and I kind of want to never look at my PI again, so the pressure to pretend that I'm super invested in the well-being of the lab as a collective unit is just salt in the wound.

It's so hard to do this kind of purely cognitive work under this much stress, and god knows what my employment prospects will be after I graduate. I have a standing offer to teach under the woman I'm currently TAing for, assuming we still need TAs in the fall, but...fuck. Who knows what will exist this fall in Texas?

And I want to reassure everyone because expressions of solidarity and sympathy make me feel like a liar, and I hate saying "I'm not okay." I want to be okay so, so, so bad. I want to be standing up and supporting other people. I want to be laughing and cheering and loving everyone around me. And I'm not, and it fucking sucks.
posted by sciatrix at 9:48 AM on May 19 [20 favorites]


I keep trying to write something in these threads, something supportive, keenly aware of my current security and certainly uncertain future, not wanting to make others feel less than because of my abilities and resources. But knowing I'll be judged whatever. Best of luck, hugs, and wishes to all, but no, I'm not ok.
posted by winesong at 9:54 AM on May 19 [4 favorites]


We're okay-ish. I teach at a community college. My wife teaches fourth grade. We have three school-age kids. This transition to teaching all our students online while also supervising our own children's work has been exhausting. I'm grateful that we both have steady paychecks but it's a non-stop hustle from morning until night just to get everything done. One think that helps is we made a daily schedule and meal plan at the very beginning and we follow it closely. It helps bring routine to our lives and keeps everyone on track. Even so, there are time when there are three Zooms happening at once and things are a little chaotic.

Also, I really miss my office. It's hard for me to think when I can't have quiet, uninterrupted time. And I have discovered that everything I like about my job happens in person. Having all the student interaction and colleague banter stripped away so I do nothing put planning and assessment absolutely BITES. Grading and lessoning planning is supposed to be the price I pay for the fun classroom time. Now it's all there is.

Two of my offspring are handling things pretty well, but it's awfully hard on my 11 year old son. He's cranky as heck and increasingly irritable. Sometimes he overreacts to something, realizes he's overreacting, and then yells "I HATE THIS STUPID PANDEMIC!" He misses his friends badly, and he's grieving that he'll never see his school or teachers again since he's transitioning to middle school next year. It's a fraction of the loss that high school seniors feel, but it's real. To make matters worse, we're moving soon and he'll be in a new district next year, so he's losing friends without a chance to say good-bye, too. It's rough.

Overall, I guess I'm glad that I'm homebound with four other people, although managing everyone's needs and anxieties is a task in itself.

But we're okay-ish.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:41 AM on May 19 [11 favorites]


Sometimes he overreacts to something, realizes he's overreacting, and then yells "I HATE THIS STUPID PANDEMIC!"

Honestly that's something that I need to get better at doing too, rather than just stewing over things for ages. Kudos to your 11 y/o for being able to recognize it.
posted by btfreek at 10:55 AM on May 19 [22 favorites]


Sometimes he overreacts to something, realizes he's overreacting, and then yells "I HATE THIS STUPID PANDEMIC!"

Honestly that's something that I need to get better at doing too, rather than just stewing over things for ages. Kudos to your 11 y/o for being able to recognize it.


I was at the grocery store the other day and for some reason I said to the cashier "You know, I hate this whole situation and it's stupid and I wish it was over" and like every other person waiting in the socially distanced line basically said the modern equivalent of "hear hear".

I think it's something that needs to be said out loud. It's okay to be living in a thing and doing the right things and still want it to be different.
posted by hippybear at 10:58 AM on May 19 [25 favorites]


I sailed through the first six weeks of being stuck at home -- our jobs are secure, and my job was already about 50% WFH, so it wasn't a big transition. We even got through the life-and-death drama with the cat okay (he is, I am glad to say, quite alive and very well again). But about three weeks ago, the despair and the depression and the anxiety kicked in, and it feels like trying to swim through glue. I think it's just pandemic fatigue more than anything else. Massachusetts will begin its slow reopening next week, and I'm in no hurry to go very far, but I don't see any endgame yet. If I felt like I had a point in the future to look toward, I'd probably feel better, even if it were a long way out.
posted by briank at 11:12 AM on May 19 [5 favorites]


I haven't checked in here in a while - most of which is because I've been being careful and laying low.

All things considered with everything going on and the rapid changes and challenges I've been going through - I am doing surprisingly ok.

I no longer live at my friend's place deep in the woods and I'm effectively homeless again - but I was already thinking about leaving before the pandemic hit because I realized I wasn't happy with the arrangement, the general state of mental health of myself and others out there - and that the physical and social isolation was getting to me and holding me back.

My friend had another friend move in during the start of the pandemic. They started making nesting noises immediately - which has been kind of a repeating and stressful pattern - and this new friend/partner basically side-talked and campaigned against me to make me the scapegoat for the very lack of positive momentum that's been bugging me for most of the year, the very momentum I've been struggling against. It was super lame and really unhealthy and bad communication skills with a lot of side-talking and not a lot of actual direct communication.

During all of this stress got very sick back in April before I left and spent over ten days camping on the property in a quarantine camp to isolate until I got tested. The test was negative, but I have some doubts about that negative result and I am looking to get an antibody test.

At this point I'm sheltered in my friend's closed restaurant/bar business being a security guard and tech helping get a lot of random work and upgrades done. This has been weird and less cool than it sounds because a bar without people in it is just noisy, smelly and kind of depressing but, hey, I have access to a full commercial kitchen and a full bar. Which is less appealing than one would think it is, but it's also nice.

I basically have a guaranteed job here once it can reopen at least for takeout and to-go, which right now includes cocktails being legal to go. There may even be the real opportunity for partial ownership in my future, which is both exciting and terrifying but I'm in to it. It's basically my favorite place and I love it.

If I can start working again I have the opportunity for a healthier place to live that's still out in the woods but closer to town and much less isolated.

Another thing I'm thankful for is I'm very well fed. I have regular access to a kitchen, refrigeration and even plumbing and even hot water for the first time in, oh, 5 years?

And I've even been able to somewhat scratch that itch of being able to go to a real restaurant or something by cooking something nice and setting up a table for myself. It's not quite the same but it's nice. It's certainly an upgrade over mostly eating out of a backpacker's mess kit.

Ironically my alcohol consumption is actually much lower now that I've moved on from a fairly stressful and isolated living situation even though I have access to an entire and still mostly stocked bar. I've also been so bored that I've taken to sprouting random things from my stock of dried non-perishables for easy fresh vegetable-like objects and even bought a sprouting jar.

And on the boredom side of - I'm also really thankful I'm mostly an introvert and know how to deal with a lot of alone time just fine. Except for the stress and worry with everything going on I feel pretty well equipped emotionally to deal with social distancing and quarantine.

In some ways it's actually been a blessing and a sort of weird vacation from social expectations, and I know I'm not the only introvert I know that's felt like this.

But even as an introvert even I'm starting to go bonkers and missing real socialization. I've completely forgotten what day it even is more than once in the last couple of months. Everything feels like a bad Twilight Zone or Black Mirror episode, and this isn't the weird science fiction story I signed up for. Oh well.

Additionally, my bike is in better shape and tuned then ever. This is the same bike that gman's brother bought for me when I ended up in the hospital about 8-9 years ago. Every time I get on it it is an absolute joy to me, the feel of how perfectly it fits me now, how solid, sure footed, swift and quiet it is - how everything actually works and nothing at all rattles or squeaks because I take care of it.

I remember when I first rode this bike at the bike shop and how I wasn't entirely sure if I liked it or if it would suit me, how different it was compared to the clunkier and softer mountain bikes I was used riding. It felt too delicate and fragile to me, too much like an uncomfortable road racing bike, too tall, perhaps not a good fit.

I grew up with that bike and it grew up along with me. At this point about the only original parts left is the frame, brakes and derailleurs. I've had to replace the wheels like 2-3 times over now, 4-5 chains, I don't know how many tires and tubes, and all of the parts have been upgraded or replaced. Now I can't imagine my life without it or even really owning any other bike at all and fits me like it's part of my body, and it's the perfect blend of utilitarian and sporty and fast for me all int he same bike.

Every time I ride it, it makes me happy, and I think about how many miles it has carried me, now, all of the touring I've done on it, all the things I've seen and how it has effectively saved my life and sanity more than a few times, how it's even been my home when homeless.

And every time I ride it reminds me of this place and the amazing people in it. Every time.

My camping gear and skills are top notch and well practiced, and I find security in this. It was very useful for when I was self-quarantining to the point it was mostly pleasant outside of the expected stress of the entire pandemic and moving out scenario. If it wasn't for the pandemic and having a function to serve here and an opportunity - I'd probably put my stuff in storage and I would be out there bike touring or something.

I have also had the absolute gift and luxury of having both access to the outdoors and nature, so I've been biking a lot and appreciating being able to sit on mostly empty beaches or forested trails and be outside.

Even more important and cherished is that I've had a couple of close friends as pandemic buddies, so ironically I've been (carefully!) more social in the last few weeks or so than I was in the previous year.

Even more valuable to me is that these friends are all women who see me and accept me, and a major part of what I've valued about this is that they're all fairly recently single from toxic relationships - stay with me, here - so we've been able to be friends and have had plenty of time to get to know each other without the weird stress and noise of their fragile/possessive ex-partners questioning anything at all about our very real friendships.

I feel like I have a squad, and it's amazing and welcomed.

And these are all people I've been good friends with prior to all of this, but we've never really had the time or freedom to hang out like this and be friends without that weird relationship stress, and this lack of relationship stress is something we've individually or collectively discussed at length and have expressed mutual appreciation for and about.

I'm very thankful to have these people in my life right now. It doesn't make any sense in these times but I'm actually feeling less lonely and isolated now then just before the pandemic when I was withdrawing and self-isolating at my last place.

I am taking it one day at a time and taking joy and feeling thankful for the many large and little things and the friendships I'm fortunate enough to have right now.

I am doing pretty ok all things considered. Could be a whole lot worse.
posted by loquacious at 12:19 PM on May 19 [35 favorites]


Thank you to every single person who said they weren’t okay. I hate that you’re not. But I’m not either. And until I read this thread I didn’t realize I could admit that. I’m so sick of putting a positive spin on things. I’m sick of having to work and being asked by every client how things are going and not being able to answer honestly. I’m sick of hearing how much fun their weekend was and how much they missed their hairstylists (note the past tense because lots of them have gone to their salons recently) and not knowing how to really set up boundaries when I can’t afford not to work and have had new job search prospects disappear for obvious reasons.

My best friend is dying of cancer across the country and she might have lived longer if not for COVID making it nearly impossible to get the care she needs. My partner has been sick for two months and now I’m sick too.

I’m also exhausted with all the rampant fatphobia happening both in my personal life and the world at large (Nancy Fucking Pelosi, I used to admire you).

I don’t think Metafilter has been good for my mental health lately either and I’m considering that it’s better if I don’t engage so much but not sure how to do that. While I grapple with that, I do want say that everyone who posts about having a hard time is someone who I’ve been holding in my thoughts. I don’t often feel up to replying individually and this feels like the best I can do.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 1:23 PM on May 19 [24 favorites]


I'm ok today, but there were points last week where I wasn't ok. When the 4 weeks of working 10-14hr days every. single. day. including weekends was really starting to get to me.

I would just announce to the SO that "I'm going to the shower to dissociate for a bit, bug me to get out if it's like an hour and I didn't notice". I started calling the corner of our (450 sq ft apt) where my computer lives 'the bad corner' and trying to avoid it as much as I could. (difficult, because see 450 sq ft apt).

But I'm better today, and there's a tiny bit of reprieve on the horizon, and maybe things won't be so bad in the medium term.
posted by larthegreat at 1:24 PM on May 19 [8 favorites]


I’m also exhausted with all the rampant fatphobia happening both in my personal life and the world at large (Nancy Fucking Pelosi, I used to admire you).

Oh Jesus, this. True story: Last week, a perfect stranger in stopped me in my local co-op parking lot and told me how she thought I was being particularly irreponsible leaving the house during COVID times because I was clearly at risk of developing serious illness due to the fact that I am "clearly obese."

Thanks, world.
posted by thivaia at 1:51 PM on May 19 [20 favorites]


I think the fact that being asked if I’m ok just made me cry may signify that I am, in fact, much less ok than I had originally thought.
posted by hilaryjade at 1:57 PM on May 19 [12 favorites]


I can only give you digital hugs, hilaryjade but here's a hug if you want one.
posted by hippybear at 2:09 PM on May 19 [5 favorites]


thivaia, SO many dimensions of WTF in that single sentence. I'm sorry that happened to you, and sorry that there are such shitty people out there for good measure too.
posted by btfreek at 2:17 PM on May 19 [13 favorites]


Im SIP with my husband and we are both healthy. I know I am very lucky. although I am currently unemployed I have no financial worries. but oh my, I am so moody and needy and I never know from day to day if I can be productive or just lie around and read or watch horror movies. we are drinking way too much. I want to hug people again. (I want to see my other sex partners again but feel selfish and shallow to complain that the biggest hit to my personal life so far is my sex life, but there it is...). I'm worried about the people who are at risk from C19, I worry about those suffering mental health/stress crisis, I worry about the sooo many people in USA who will fall through the cracks of our disintegrating 'system'. whatever new 'normal' we go forward into is going to leave a lot of people behind. GOOD THING WE'VE GOT SUCH COMPETENT FEDERAL LEADERSHIP RIGHT NOW...
posted by supermedusa at 2:41 PM on May 19 [2 favorites]


I’m not really ok, though I do a decent job of faking it most of the time.

On the work front, I’m relatively very lucky: my job is pretty safe, the company is adjusting well to WFH, and our management is doing a decent job of supportive. But I’m having trouble staying engaged. I’ve had a lot of “email and staring into space” days. If someone actively needs something from me I can do it, but proactive isn’t happening.

Outside of work it feels like I’m in hibernation. My partner and I are managing the basics of life: we keep ourselves and the cats fed, the home is relatively clean, etc. We’re not yelling at each other or anything. But it feels like I’m doing everything in a fog, and I can’t focus on the simple activities I normally enjoy like reading, games, or silly tv shows.

I feel horrible complaining because we’re safe, or as safe as we can be in this nightmare. But safe isn’t the same as okay. God, I’d love to feel human again one of these days.
posted by a device for making your enemy change his mind at 2:45 PM on May 19 [10 favorites]


I also want to say thank you and I hope things get better to everyone being vulnerable and sharing that they're not ok. This is also important, too.

On the less positive side of things I know I'm struggling with depression a lot and on some metrics my anxiety is off the charts again but that has less to do with my personal day-to-day and more to do with just the general state of the world, but that's not really new, either and is relatively normal and tolerable.

On the more positive side of things I had some other things I wanted to mention, and this is not in contradiction to anyone not being ok. I think it's also important to share any possible good news.

One of the things I was really worried about with local underhoused population and the huge exponential spike in new food bank clients is that it looks like it's being well managed. Food bank is stocked, clients are mostly back to normal or well managed. I know a lot of local people have applied for and are now getting SNAP benefits for the first time in years and that's helping. I also just got back from helping out at the food bank and we have plenty of volunteers because of the SIP and people suddenly having too much free time.

The local shelter is closed, but the local hotels and motels stepped up and there's a fund for hotel vouchers. I've been making the rounds trying to find hungry people to feed or help and - remarkably - everyone that I know who is normally at the shelter looks like they're housed and well fed. If anything we've had a drop in people sleeping rough outside as well as regular food bank clients because of delivered meal programs and other individuals stepping up to the plate to help, including businesses with mobile kitchens getting involved.

Also my community is taking social distancing and curve-flattening seriously and we have been since the very beginning, and it's paid off with very low reported/tested cases. Almost everyone has and wears masks now. It's very rare I see someone with no mask at all. There's been a local campaign to make masks for basically everyone that's been so effective that I hear we're exporting DIY masks.

To be honest I'm surprised I'm doing this ok and keep having to check in with myself to make sure I'm not just being avoidant, and thankfully I don't think I am. I feel very fortunate about a lot of things.
posted by loquacious at 3:09 PM on May 19 [7 favorites]


I'm not doing well and have started drinking heavily again. I have been thinking of suicide but not every day, actually only a few times in the past few months. I'm not supposed to be drinking because I cannot do so in moderation. I have gained a lot of weight and cannot wear my clothes and I am not interested in exercising. My work from home has been very little although there are random days where I manage to do 3-5 hours of computer work, although many days I do 0 hours. My middle schooler is doing pretty well being more independent and her school is doing a great job of keeping the students learning. They use an online system for organizing the coursework anyway and if anything, my kid is doing better because I am paying a lot more attention to her assignment deadlines and keeping track of what is overdue. I was doing that rather half-assed before so this is good. I have very occasionally needed to press her to spend time on her work but mostly she gets up (around 10) and gets at it right away, but that was a difficult transition for her, as she tends to put things off. I've given up on tv and phone limits, mostly. She doesn't have many friends and I feel bad that she may be quite lonely. She seems in good spirits most of the time. My husband has been supportive and has agreed to be with her one day a week while I do other things around the house or in the garden. He is a medical professional and works full-time+ at the clinic. This break helps a lot. A month ago I told my pysch Dr that I need to go to an inpatient hospital or I would not be able to stop drinking to blackouts and I was worried about wanting to kill myself. She said to "call around" and that she wouldn't be renewing my Rx since the facility would be taking that over. Well, I ended up not going and have managed to improve some. I ran out of Rx and called the Dr to let her know I didn't go to the facility and I needed a refill. No response. I called again and was told this Dr was transferring to another city, so a new Dr will see me online later this week. My experience with inpatient and outpatient treatment has been universally horrible over the past 20 years, so going back in just didn't seem like a helpful solution anyway. I'm in AA but it's not helping me and my sponsor is being pretty shitty because I relapsed. I am looking for another but am not optimistic, but there seem to be no other answers at the moment.
posted by waving at 3:09 PM on May 19 [17 favorites]


I’m healthy and able to work, and my family is a team and we all like each other, so on balance, I’m okay. Thanks for posting, Fizz. I hope you and nightrecordings are okay today.

This week’s brainworms are all about logistics and how the unwinding of mandatory social distancing is going to affect the landscape of choices Mr. eirias and I have for work and childcare. All three of us are worried about this, but I’m the chair of the “obsess over problem until there is a watertight solution” department. Happily, my county yesterday released its own rubric for decision making in COVID times, which I actually like better than I liked the state plan (RIP), and my guess based on that is that we will have some latitude, assuming our respective employers comply. We are still going with the plan where we keep our names in the ring at camp knowing that it may well result in us setting the already paid tuition money on fire (because we were given a deadline, ugh). I just don’t believe a decision made six weeks out is likely to be a good one under the circumstances. We can make a real decision when the time comes and use the burning cash to make s’mores. 🔥

This weekend I finally took out the old jogging shoes again. For years every time I did this Mr. eirias would make a big show of jealousy (it used to be something we’d do together, before kid) and it just wasn’t worth the guilt trip to go. But my body has just been feeling wretched with all this sitting, and on Sunday I just said eff this, I’m going to do it, and I went out yesterday and today also, and not a peep but encouragement so far. Bonus - I wake early enough that I can run without coming within 100 yards of anybody.
posted by eirias at 3:51 PM on May 19 [3 favorites]


I want everyone here to know that you don't need to qualify your pain with "I know things aren't THAT BAD for me", etc. Feel your pain. Let it out. It's real, it's valid and I hate that we're all in this shitty situation together.

Anyway, I guess I'm as okay as anyone can be right now. Some days I wish I knew a lot less than I do and that my entire plans for the future and a meaningful life hadn't imploded spectacularly right at the second I felt finally solid. Kinda sucks.

My work has gone back to pretending everything is fine, and while I've had the past two days off, my friend who is the company's easy best and most dedicated employee said he's feeling extremely isolated already because he is not going back into the office because that would be ludicrous. I knew the social pressure would be awful, but I didn't know it would start instantly from those who want to go LA LA LA ALL IS NORMAL LA LA LA and be in a small office with 40 people for no reason.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 3:55 PM on May 19 [16 favorites]


I am not OK, but I have taken up drinking black coffee, as my incarceration leaves me with not enough caloric output to metabolize the sweet and creamy. I am so not OK I went out and pulled the weeds out of the gutter, where they took root, because my neighbor's dog patrols the fence and knocks dirt clear across the sidewalk and into the gutter. Because I turned my wheel into the curb, just as I blew the water pump, the dirt backed up and made a 30 foot long weed bed, now it is all better. I am getting kooky like the other old people here and there picking up single leaves on their imaculate lawns. Hell I bought new shoes, then was shocked to see my own old lady feet, in them. I am never going to be OK again, except I am still alive to remember when I was OK. Watching the coverage of the executive branch of our government, pushing pharmaceuticals that he certainly is not taking, but taking profit from is mental nails on the blackboard. Now the couple across the street have not been out for two days, and I am worried about them. Anyway, not OK, but have a garden this year.
posted by Oyéah at 4:19 PM on May 19 [9 favorites]


I'm not great. I was very sunny to my desperate boss when he dropped off some plants a few weeks ago: "early June I might be back!" and I regret that now. Luckily in the same trip he saw how frail my dad is and he's not a ghoul so I think I won't have trouble on that score. It seems a couple of mishaps happened at work to the new hires (including a burst appendix!) So it's not hyperbole to say that my boss needs me. Problem is- The center is BOOMING. Mask protocols are good, but SF isn't mandating kids younger than 12 to wear them, and I know from experience that the kids at work are the worst. The Mayor even gave my workplace a shoutout in her televised talk today... OOH BOY.
Dad's mishigas is very much tipping from "inappropriate anger" to "oh gosh he can't help this". As predicted laying down and enforcing boundaries has made home life more harmonious but for sure not perfect. The San Francisco Weather is not cooperating either. We've had random wind and rain storms, bright bright HOT sunny days while raining and without rain, muggy heat- all in about 3 days. May in SF can be weird but this year it's extra weird. I sometimes get sunstroke so it was so bright that I couldn't really garden safely. Couple that with one night where it was boiling and I couldn't get to sleep without an ice-pack on my head... my mood was just garbage a few days ago. There's also the fact that a few days ago I cracked my Switch screen- but that was very much a blessing in disguise because dad remembered he had a really good monitor gathering dust downstairs and now both my computer and permanently docked switch are in 1080p. It's made even just browsing the internet more pleasant so I can feel my mood lifting. Then late at night, having a shaking panic attack, I remembered that night time my time was early afternoon AU time and I asked Divabat if I could jet over to their Island on AC. They let me and wow was that a mood booster. Just chatting with Divabat over the nintendo voice chat app and spending 20 minutes fishing in the balmy afternoon Autumn sun at 1080p was panacea for my soul. So I suppose this is also a shoutout because damn I needed that. The weather has improved today and I've been able to get out and garden. So much of my ability to regulate my mood is based on gardening or physical activity that just 3-4 days worth of bad weather is enough to put me in a spiral in the best of times- now of course if I can't garden in my yard I also can't go to work- so there's no escape from my brain. I'm struggling to keep the house running and keep my brain from going to bad places regardless. So I'm both Ok and not ok. But I'm coping.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 4:20 PM on May 19 [14 favorites]


I'm not really okay. Work is stressful, and I'm very lonely, and what I thought was a promising new potential romance turned out to be a really weird, hurtful attempt by a unicorn hunter to turn me into a unicorn. So on top of all the terrible feelings I was already full of thanks to this fucked up situation, I've been sorting through feelings of worthlessness and stupidity. Loving this journey for myself.

But I bought a bike this morning, so maybe that will help.
posted by palomar at 4:21 PM on May 19 [12 favorites]


I'm not okay, but I'm much okayer than I could be. Raising, entertaining, and caring for a sweet, sensitive, outgoing, and energetic four-year-old throughout all this has been... challenging.

"One day at a time" has been my mantra throughout, as well as my reply to neighbors who ask how I'm doing. Unfortunately the days are seemingly getting much longer, and the weeks... what even is a week?

HN, I'm so sorry for everything you're dealing with. Virtual hugs from Trash Island.
posted by sugar and confetti at 4:27 PM on May 19 [8 favorites]


I've been feeling worse for the last couple days than I was before, since I've been confronting the fact that things are going to begin to reopen, but not for me, since I can't walk or bike to them. I miss my physical therapist; this is the longest I haven't been in years. I worry about the future of my city, and myself, if mass transit doesn't come back strong.
posted by ferret branca at 4:32 PM on May 19 [6 favorites]


I, personally, am alive and not sick, as are the rest of my family. So that's another winning Tuesday. We've been doing a family whatsapp call every evening. My dad mainly asks about lawncare, my mom wants to know whether we're eating right, and my brother has all the latest covid stats.

What's not okay, though, is that there have been several workplace exposures in my department and yet as of Monday we're still plunging forward with "business as usual except now with more masks." Luckily I can still manage to work from home 2 full days and 2 half-days a week.

I did go in on Monday, discovered an empty of the Kirkland Signature Portuguese Red Blend in the shared office recycle bin. Don't know whose it was, but good on them for recycling!
posted by basalganglia at 4:51 PM on May 19 [8 favorites]


Just wanted to add that in addition to being not OK myself, and endlessly dwelling on this old relationship, I am so so worried about my ex. I've so far managed to stay away on social media but one of the reasons it's so hard is that I care for them very deeply and they're struggling so much. The only thing keeping me away so far is the deep knowledge that I'm no longer helping (if I ever did) and I'm doing damage to myself every time I try.

But man I'm worried. Their family life is the essence of a sick system. They are deeply sexually incompatible with their current partner and their partner won't either address the incompatibility, permit an open relationship, or let my ex go. The partner is emotionally controlling and does not acknowledge my ex's emotions or needs, and rewards them with attention or affection only when they manage to stifle their needs up sufficiently. My ex walks on eggshells trying to keep "peace" at home and they have boxed themselves almost out of existence in order to do so. For instance, both them and their partner have full-time jobs yet during lockdown my ex is the one that has become the full-time primary caregiver, being "permitted" only around half a day off per week to work. Their job situation is a significant source of stress yet they blame themselves, their employer, the coronavirus, everything but their partner and home life for their inability to keep up with the work.

My ex doesn't have good boundaries with the kids either -- the kids are tweens, yet still wake my ex up every morning at 5am, and my ex spends almost all their time entertaining the kids or cleaning up after them. My own kids are years younger yet far better at letting me sleep in and have time to myself, as well as take care of and clean up after themselves.

My ex is even more depressed than I am and blames themselves for everything, including how things went with me. I have told them I don't blame them but they still see themselves as fundamentally a bad person instead of someone doing their best in a sick system and impossible situation. And they are so exhausted and overwhelmed, without enough sleep or time to themselves or space for thinking and healing and being, that I don't know how they will get out.

That's why I had to -- have to -- walk away. I was just adding to their overwhelm without helping anything, and I was hurting myself too much. But oh I love them and oh I'm so worried about them. It makes it really hard to leave. I hope they are alright.
posted by Babbling Blatherskite at 5:01 PM on May 19 [5 favorites]


How I feel is very variable, some days are fine, other really aren’t. I have enough flexibility at work so that it doesn’t really matter that my sleep schedule is shot, I keep the sort of hrs that would make a lot more sense if I lived in a time zone approximately -6 to -9 hrs from where I am. Afternoon naps help when I have to get up after 3-5 hrs of sleep because the day has long started here, even if I was up most of the night. On the upside, I am getting some home projects going and tackling a boat load of life admin, now that restrictions are being walked back here. So that gives me joy. I might bake a cake tomorrow.
posted by koahiatamadl at 6:08 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]


I sorta laid most of it out in this comment two posts below. I'm doing all right in the day to day, but not really overall. I'm exhausted, I feel like I'm behind in everything (work, home, church work), and I have this underlying anger about people not following social distancing. I've had a few of my employees (who are now sick) tell me that "oh hey, a family member I was at a party with last week and tested positive for Covid. What should I do?" I've had to unfollow friends on FB who are adamant that things should re-open right now, or constantly complain about wearing masks. The constant "creative" skirting of the rules gets me riled up. Seeing people tailgate in parking lots, letting their kids run around and play tag football together. So. Mad. All. The. Time. So much anger. And helplessness.

And, I've tweaked my knee and am hobbly. I'm on Day 2 of RICE , and am crossing my fingers that it gets better, it doesn't seem to be making any improvement which is scary. I have a PT friend who said to see a doc after a week. I'm fucked if I have to do crutches. 2-story house, 2 dogs, 2 cats and I live alone. My anxiety brain is having fun with that.

So, overall, not great. But things could certainly be worse.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 6:14 PM on May 19 [26 favorites]


Oh! I'm happy to see Mefites chiming in that haven't been around much (loquacious! I was thinking about how you were doing!) And, I understand the need to step away and respect that. I'm sending good thoughts out to all of you as I read through these, and there's definitely something cathartic to group suffering, even though the circumstances are all very different.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 6:16 PM on May 19 [11 favorites]


Sending you all the good knee vibes, Sparky Buttons! I know just how you feel.
posted by ferret branca at 6:19 PM on May 19 [3 favorites]


I am....annoyed.

Got supplies to make homemade tofu, except for the coagulant. So, I made my first batch of soy milk instead. I don't think I cooked the soy milk enough, as it had a very heavy 'soy' taste - but I drank it the past couple of days, in my coffee.

Now I'm off and on itching all over for the past couple of days, and today? I had a low grade fever. This is exactly the same reaction when I took a medication, and had a systemic reaction to that. I dumped the rest of the milk, and am keeping myself isolated until the fever is gone for 72 hours

It's important to note that I've been eating miso and shoyu nearly every day for years now, and I've had no reaction to those fermented products. Nor have I ever had a reaction like this to soy milk/unfermented soy like tofu before. Here's hoping it's some fluke reaction due to undercooked soystress, and not a permanent soy allergy. (I saved the okara, and made a soup out of that, where I cooked it for hours.)

It's also giving me farts from hell, which has also never happened before, so I'm glad I live alone. And that makes me think that I undercooked the milk.

This is....annoying. I'm not a vegetarian, so I can live without tofu. But dammit - I like it!
posted by spinifex23 at 10:26 PM on May 19 [7 favorites]


Also not getting rid of the soy beans; I want to make my own miso. That stuff is expensive in the stores, and I have 6 7/8 lbs of dried soybeans left!

I'll return the tofu coagulant though; I can use that $10 for something else.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:32 PM on May 19 [2 favorites]


After four days of a totally fucked-up sleep schedule, I'm better as of this evening. I hadn't showered in five days and something in my kitchen sink smelled really bad. A friend posted on FB "at least I shower daily," and I had a brief moment of shame but then I loaded the dishwasher, queued up the next load, showered, water-pik'd, sonicare'd, put on clean clothes, and as soon as the dishwasher stops I'm gonna make a meal with real ingredients.

I've been staying completely home for the last week or so, eschewing my daily trip to the liquor store which has been mostly OK but I'm a regular there and missing the only in-person contact I've had in forever.

Working from home is awesome. I can take five- or thirty-minute bites out of the workday to nap or unload the dishwasher or take out the recycling. I really don't want to go back to an office especially as "just" a contractor.

I guess I'm "lucky" in that I don't have a lot of social interactions in general. Isolation is pretty normal for me and I mostly don't hate it.
posted by bendy at 10:44 PM on May 19 [9 favorites]


Ugh, I read this in the Wired link above:

It turned out that lower-quality health care, not high BMI, was responsible for the increased risk seen in people with BMIs in the “obese” category.

Yep. That makes sense. In other news, I'm still awake. One of my cats wishes I would stop being awake and go to sleep; she's covering her face in annoyance and threatened to kick her sister in the face when she woke up and came over to groom her hello. I'm just not that tired yet. I've been having trouble getting up early or in a timely manner for work, but it doesn't matter. It just means my wakefulness is kind of shifted. Aww, the other cat finally figured out that she could just give the cat next to me a few loving licks on the head and let her be, and they both seem content with that.

My partner hasn't been here for a day and a half, so ... I forget my train of thought. It's not new or anything and doesn't really matter. I can't get too worked up about it, 'cause they're with their family, some of whom they won't see for quite some time once they move due to this pandemic. Oh right, I've had their music in my head all day, Junior H's "A Los 19" and later Frankie Cosmos' "Fool." I was listening to the Junior H album for about an hour, which is what was annoying one of the cats.

It turns out, everyone—me, my partner, my best friend—all had the same idea this afternoon to drink beer and cider in our respective locations. I sat on the balcony with Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale and leftovers for dinner, then ended up going to a Zoom trivia night, which was nice. We came in second. I had an extra three brownies today. It really really doesn't matter. I Zoomed with another friend on the balcony yesterday afternoon, which was nice as well.

What's currently annoying me is that since I gave to a GoFundMe for Chinatown businesses, all the ads on YouTube are for GoFundMe, with a subtly obnoxious voiceover. It doesn't matter, but it is annoying. What does matter and is more than annoying was finding out yesterday that passport issuance and renewal was almost entirely suspended in the U.S. a month and a half ago. I'm fine on that front, but I increasingly think that feeling in the back of my mind in January and February, before the virus even was a widely known thing in the U.S., was a correct one—that it's past time to make plans to get out of this country, even if only for a while. I don't identify with the many people of vast privilege who have left the city, and as glad as I am about anything, I'm glad to be here, witnessing this time, riding this out in this moment with millions of others. But if I'm ever going to do some of the things I've hoped to do beyond living in this city, it's time to at least start formulating vague plans now for when this situation relents.

I'm thankful to have learned today that we definitely are not continuing to rent this multiperson coworking space I was supposed to inhabit with a few colleagues starting earlier this spring. That feels like a realistic and appropriate response, recognizing that we don't need to go anywhere and won't be going anywhere as much as possible for the rest of the year, because we have the privilege to have been able to go back to then continue working from home indefinitely. I also spontaneously started being a next level of real with people in recent days. I told my ex where I want to move (though not precisely why), and he was actually kind of excited about the idea. Of course, that's because he wants me to take him with me, but eh, there are many months before this idea could come to fruition anyway, and we'll deal with that eventually. I went to a work meeting about a new idea and was completely honest when I said that I've been bored and disillusioned and this was one of the few things that have interested me in a while. I was completely honest with my coach at work, too, when I said much the same, that I'm bored and disillusioned and I want to find more ways to connect my work life with what matters to me. Conversations with a couple other folks went that direction as well, and I was increasingly honest about moves I think would make sense in my future.

There was no conscious decision, except to embrace the fact that all of this is making me really deeply evaluate what I want and on what time frame, and that's good. I had my first telehealth appointment today as well since all of this started, for a check-up.

I'm not OK—I'm still crying about something an average of once or twice a day—but I'm OK. I'm in a place of terrible equanimity right now, at least. My balcony garden is growing. I ordered a hopefully subtle wind chime and some sparkly stars to add to that space I'll probably be spending a good bit more time on in coming months. And now I'm finally falling asleep.

I'm not OK, but I'm OK. Much love to everyone else who's not OK.
posted by limeonaire at 11:09 PM on May 19 [10 favorites]


I am tired and one of the perimenopausal symptoms I am experiencing is an extra sensitivity to barometric pressure changes, triggering more migraines in the past several months than I have had in years. The last 24 hours have been hell on my head. I've been rationing my doses of sumatriptan for the really bad episodes since my last two HCPs have essentially refused to give me more than 10 pills a year and no refills.

If my journal entires are any indication, my life has been taken over by work in the past month. I'm working longer, weird hours and weekends and it is ridiculous and has to stop.

The only good news I received is that it was deemed safe to open day camps starting June 15 as long as the rates of infection continue to decrease, so I am making a calculated risk to send kiddo because he needs to spend some time amongst his tribe.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 3:15 AM on May 20 [6 favorites]


I'm okay-ish. Still lucky to be employed and receiving regular pay, to live in a nice house with plenty of indoor and outdoor space and a person who loves me lots of access to nature during quarantine, not to have been ill myself or to have known anyone I'm really close with who's had it, not to have lost anyone from it, to have the joy of riding my bike a lot.

Most of what's keeping me not-okay is the stuff that was not-okay pre-pandemic.

There's been a big uptick recently in some of my social circles in people talking openly about their serious mental health stuff, which is great, but it hurts my heart on some level to see other adult AFAB people openly talking about ADHD and autism diagnoses and there's some part of me screaming inside, "how did you even get diagnosed with that stuff, and how come I can't?". My experience of seeking formal mental health treatment here in the UK from 2008-2018 was uniformly, abjectly terrible. I came out of that process with more trauma than I brought into it, an incorrect diagnosis that now means I can't get life insurance, repeated refusal to refer me to adult autism assessment services etc. (I've written more about the pain and shame of being an undiagnosed non-neurotypical person here, and I still feel like the world's biggest fraud for even hinting that I think I might be on the spectrum without the piece of paper to prove it).

When I attempted to get the incorrect diagnosis rescinded I got stuck in a referral doom loop where only a psychiatrist could assess the diagnosis but they wouldn't refer me to a psychiatrist because I wasn't actively in crisis right then, including a horrible interaction with a psych nurse who seemed pruriently curious about me in a way that made me feel really gross who also tried to imply that she thought I was borderline (which, while I've had some of those traits in the past, I really don't think is a good diagnostic fit for me as an adult and I have a lot of strong negative feelings about the ways that diagnosis has historically been used against AFAB people). So watching other people being able to talk openly about the shit that is wrong with them, having been able to successfully navigate a system to get someone professional to agree that that is indeed wrong with them and now being able to wear the word, the badge, and tell other people that that is what is wrong with them in ways that help understand behaviours etc., just twists the knife inside me that has "you're not as real as other people and you don't matter in the same way they do" carved into the blade, as a person who has completely failed to do the same thing and feels in consequence that they're not allowed to talk about the ways those same challenges still have an impact.

My creative work is going better than ever (I finished the novella and got it to a point where I've felt comfortable sharing it with some friends, the novel still needs another edit but it's getting close to shareable too), but the more I complete work the more my total panic about trying to engage with publishing it more widely in some way begins to paralyse me. It's getting to the point where I can't really read about other people's successful publishing experiences (or even engage with fiction where the characters are writers or those articles that look like personal essays but turn out to be an extract from someone's forthcoming memoir or whatever) without getting a big spike of panic. I know I need to deal with this somehow but I've just been shuffling around it internally for the last six months or so, hoping it will go away. I think part of the problem is that I want to succeed as a writer possibly more than anything I've ever wanted in this life (to the point where I spent five years in my twenties purposely not writing to try to crush the desire out of me, because I couldn't deal with the prospect that I might not get something I wanted so badly that it seemed easier to try not to want it than to confront those feelings). I grew up with a parent who counselled me never to want anything too badly, because then I wouldn't be disappointed; that strong message that disappointment is the worst thing in the world, unsurviveable to the point that it should be avoided at all costs by never wanting anything in the first place, is so profoundly baked into my makeup even though I know it's wrong that it's actively getting in the way of me achieving my goals. I hate it.

Work has also been frustrating (even though I'm glad to still be employed) as they decided to do a restructure in the middle of a pandemic that both directly impacted my job and required me to do a lot of work to support the change while feeling more than moderately annoyed about it. A friend who went through a breakup right before lockdown said something along the lines of, "I could have dealt with a breakup OR a pandemic, but not both", and that's pretty much how I feel about pandemic + restructure. The good news is that I had a positive meeting earlier with the person who leads the department my team has moved into, and I think there probably will be green shoots from this whole change overall, but the process has been frustrating and demotivating at a time when my motivation was not all that high to begin with.

I feel intensely grateful right now that I can't really feel proper emotional empathy. Empathy has always been cognitive or intellectual rather than emotional for me, like I can understand the reasons why thing x might be difficult or painful for person y rather than that I can actually feel their pain (and yet everyone refuses to even have a conversation about giving me the autism piece of paper, even when I will openly admit in public that I can't really feel empathy in the way that I think I understand neurotypical people experience it!). In the past I've sometimes felt sad about this, like it was yet another way in which I was only half a person at best, but right now it's a blessed relief. I can understand why this is a huge, painful deal for billions of people. I can perceive that pain and feel bad about it and hope that things get better for them, but I can't absorb and live the emotions of all of the lives that are being impacted by this thing right now, and I'm thankful for that, as I'm not sure I could still be here if I was able to feel it all.
posted by terretu at 3:59 AM on May 20 [9 favorites]


I'm okay. I'm struggling, but I'm okay. I keep loading more projects onto myself and offering/agreeing to take on tasks - not for work, for friends/fam - and while I've been making free masks etc, things like housekeeping and bill paying have lagged behind. I know I'm doing this in part because the projects allow/create connection with the outside world, as opposed to sweeping the floor. And I'm really bored and lonely and more aware of my moods than ever before.
posted by bunderful at 5:11 AM on May 20 [3 favorites]


I forgot to say that my best friend growing up's dad is dying, at the "could be a few weeks, could be a few days" stage. Their house was a place of refuge for me as a teenager when my own home wasn't a safe place, and it hurts that I can't be there in person for friend/his mum, and feels weird that I'm unlikely to be able to attend the funeral. I hope there'll be some kind of in-person memorial later when times are less strange, and I plan to write the friend & his mum some letters to let them know what the relationship with their family has meant to me, but still. Oof. It's stirring up a lot of memories. I just want to give my friend a big hug and take him out and fill him with tasty food, but we can't. They're less than two hours away from where I am now by train or car...but we can't.
posted by terretu at 6:01 AM on May 20 [7 favorites]


In the "I don't need this" department, I'm being forced to find new workspace before June 15th. The industrial building where the art collective I work out of is raising the rent by 17%, and most of us can't afford to stay.

Also I'm losing sleep from shoulder pain and a giant crevice in a molar my tongue can't keep away from. Blaargh.
posted by scruss at 6:03 AM on May 20 [4 favorites]


I am tired and one of the perimenopausal symptoms I am experiencing is an extra sensitivity to barometric pressure changes, triggering more migraines in the past several months than I have had in years. The last 24 hours have been hell on my head.

One of the "advantages" of staying at home and stopping all activities is that I can now easily assess whether my symptoms are due to outside stressors or internal body crap. Seems to be the latter: yesterday, out of absolutely nowhere, I got a headache from hell (along with the usual hot flashes), which led to panic attack-like symptoms, and I went to bed at 6 p.m.

Woke up this morning at 8 a.m. with headache gone and absolutely refreshed. It's good to know that my previously similar episodes were not due to the fact that I'm lousy at dealing with people, but the fact that oh goody, it's that time of life. I'm not as much of a loser as I thought. Yay me!
posted by sockerpup at 6:29 AM on May 20 [7 favorites]


I had to take a COVID-19 test yesterday, for very nerve-wracking and frustrating reasons.

Early last week, our upstairs neighbor left the water on in his bathroom and water leaked into our apartment. I called our property manager, who called the maintenance guy, who called me to ask for permission to come inside. I assumed that he would be taking proper precautions entering my apartment because....y'know, we're in the middle of a global pandemic.


He wasn't wearing a mask or gloves, he proceeded to pet my cats with his unwashed hands (after being in our upstairs neighbor's apartment), and he wandered around the apartment looking at other things besides the leak. I tried to keep my distance but he kept walking towards me and did not realize that I was very uncomfortable. At one point, he started coughing (!!!!!) and walked out of the apartment, but he left the door open.

When he finally left, I tried to find my cats so I could wipe them down, but they were nowhere to be found. Fearing the worst, I ran around the building trying to find them. I did eventually find them, but I was so traumatized by the entire endeavor, I just...gave up.

This past weekend, I started to feel a bit warm and feverish. I've been taking my temp pretty regularly since this all began, and it's consistently hovered around the 96-97 range. This past weekend, it went up to 99.1. Still in the range of normal, but definitely higher than I was used to.

I hoped it would just be a temporary spike, but it stayed above 99 for three days, and I started to feel some other symptoms so I went and got tested. Results come back tomorrow or Thursday.

I'm so angry because I've taken so many precautions to avoid contracting this. I'm drowning in hand sanitizer, masks and gloves. I haven't been in a grocery store or any building for two months. I've worked out a deal with my boss to work from home for the foreseeable future (which is amazing for my mental health, let alone my physical health). And now, if I contract COVID because of some covidiot after working so hard to stay safe...I just...I really really broke this weekend.

The good news is that my temperature is slowly going back to normal, but in the meantime, I have to behave as if I have the virus, without telling anyone that I have it. It's been a weird time.

P.S. I did inform the property manager about the maintenance guy's behavior and she was piiiiiiiiisssed at him, especially since they bought him several N95s to wear on calls. Apparently, he hasn't been taking this whole thing seriously and they've had to reprimand him in the office too. Oy vey.
posted by chara at 7:07 AM on May 20 [21 favorites]


I'm maintaining, but I'm sleeping too little and drinking too much. I'm more or less getting by, but work is stressful, and little things keep happening that individually aren't that terrible, but they add up.

Like yesterday, for example. I got a big scary letter from some collection agency claiming I owed them over a hundred pounds on behalf of PayPal. My PayPal balance is zero, PayPal has never sent me any reminders or demands for payment, there are no late payments on my credit report for the last six years...I have no idea why they think I owe them this money.

I've been trying to get in touch with PayPal for the last two days, but their support is currently all working from home and the delays are godawful. I still haven't talked to a human being to verify whether or not this is a real thing or a scam I can ignore. In the absolute worst case, I'm lucky enough that I can afford to pay it in the current circumstances, but hnnnnnnnngggggh. I'd be losing my hair if I had any left.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:18 AM on May 20 [4 favorites]


Nope. Not doing well at all. It seems like every day is another small step down a hole. I'm far more agitated and moody now. My normal (usually severe) depression is running in turbo mode right now, and it's really grinding me down. It's pretty much negative noise in my head 24/7 now.

I got a call from my counseling center yesterday. They're not physically opening as of yet, but they are going to take a shot at telehealth sessions, if I would be interested. It's been about three months since I last saw my therapist, so I jumped at the offer. It won't start until the first of June, though. I'm not sure how well it will work, though. I'm definitely someone who responds to in-person work. We'll see, I guess.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:28 AM on May 20 [5 favorites]


chara, that is terrible, I'm so sorry that happened! It's good to be reminded that if we have someone over, they don't get to come in unless they are taking the proper precautions. I'm sure you were caught off guard by the guy. Damn that sucks. And leaving your door open! With cats!

To everyone, you are being heard.
I am doing fine pandemic-wise and like many, less so life-wise. Thank goodness for dogs.
posted by Glinn at 8:02 AM on May 20 [5 favorites]


I am the reflection between the "not ok" and "ok" mirrors. Glad to have a job. Frustrated with the job. I am essential and go out every day. My family has been SIP since March 11. I have been sleeping on my back porch in that time. I would be the main driver of an exposure in my family. It sucks. I modulate between punching the air and just wanted to sit down and close my eyes.

Trump has made the shitty even shittier, generally. Everything is 50% worse. My anger and sadness are at a medium hum daily.

I try to take a moment at a time while being present. It's been tough though.

I wish moments of peace and calm for you all today. Thinking of all of you.
posted by zerobyproxy at 8:28 AM on May 20 [5 favorites]


I am grimly ok in that this whole situation is giving me a lot of both time and impetus to think about what really matters to me and who I want to be going forward.

I am breaking down and crying a lot and occasionally punching things and I can feel this changing me, but it feels more like a purifying than a corruption. The world left me alone in a studio apartment for two months and I found out that I like and trust myself. The world is still shit and getting shittier, but I trust myself. I'm not taking things for granted anymore. I'm going towards what feels right instead of what the world says I should do.
posted by bridgebury at 8:53 AM on May 20 [13 favorites]


Follow-up: The cats got their revenge for my keeping them awake until 2 a.m., 'cause they woke me up and kept me awake between 4 and 5 a.m. Now I have a migraine again. Aagghhhhhh.
posted by limeonaire at 9:08 AM on May 20 [5 favorites]


Random follow up. The unstable relationship (and individual person) that was the trigger and impetus for me to leave and move in a hurry has suddenly blown up in a super ugly way with what sounds like verbal domestic violence and threats of physical violence and followed the same predictable pattern of unstable/unhealthy roughly described in my main comment above.

I am not surprised about this news. I'm surprised it lasted this long and didn't happen yet.

It also kind of fits the random, chaotic pattern that it would happen within hours of me I finally checking in here and shared my troubles about it.

What the fuck, man?

Anyway, glad to be here, now, and not there.
posted by loquacious at 9:56 AM on May 20 [14 favorites]


Wow loquacious. Glad you are out of that situation. Especially as it was an isolated locale. So happy you are safe.

My heart breaks for all people and especially children trapped in abusive situations.
posted by biggreenplant at 10:02 AM on May 20 [5 favorites]


I cope by going into the country twice a week or so (It's easy to get there and not too far away in my part of the world) and taking photographs. I like graveyards. The ultimate in social distancing.

Both of my jobs went away, but I have early retirement which is about 70% of what I need to get by on; adding in the stimulus check I should be able to make it for a few months if I'm careful. Who knows how long this will drag out?

I started reading Stephen King's Stand (unabridged--1400+ pages paperback), almost as a joke, and liked it so much I got the DVD. I do have 500 other books to read and the library, after closing, arranged for its patrons to reserve on-line and pick-up curbside, with no real return date--the ones I already have only read "Later". Hah!

I have a chance to work on my second manuscript, and I zoom (usually weekly) with my mom, my sisters, and whatever nieces and nephews are available. I'm kind of an introvert so this solitude isn't bothering me.

By the way, I think I already had the covid-19 at the beginning of March, I got pretty sick for four days and it was a sick like I'd never had, but I stayed in and drank water, etc. and now I feel better.

I just met one of my neighbors--at distance, of course--(he has a very distinctive sculpture in his yard and I recognized the artist). I'd waited two years to catch him outside. We had a very pleasant conversation.

The orange atrocity notwithstanding, I feel fortunate.
posted by intrepid_simpleton at 10:03 AM on May 20 [4 favorites]


My health, and the health of everyone I know, is fine, and that’s the most important thing. My wife and I still have jobs and haven’t experienced any financial problems. So I’m objectively fortunate and grateful for that. But yesterday I ventured out to run a few errands (with a mask on), and everything I experienced was such a grotesque funhouse-mirror version of regular human interaction that it really drove home how far away we all are from a normal we’ll probably never see again, and mentally it was one of the worst days I’ve had since the lockdown started.

This kept me up all night, but on the plus side I watched a couple of great movies.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:03 AM on May 20 [3 favorites]


Also today is Giving Day here, so I get to mull over which non profits I should give a token amount to. I think of giving as magic, and it seems to be. So there's that distraction.
posted by intrepid_simpleton at 12:04 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


And until I read this thread I didn’t realize I could admit that. I’m so sick of putting a positive spin on things. I’m sick of having to work and being asked by every client how things are going and not being able to answer honestly.

I hear that.
Them: "I hope that you are doing well and staying safe and healthy!"
Me: (no response)

chara, I would have lost my fucking mind on that. My apartment manager (the onsite one, anyway--her boss is fine) is a complete moron at doing her job and I freak the hell out every time she wants to come into my apartment. So far I have not HAD to have her come in, but I know darned well she isn't taking any precautions and hell, even tours other people's apartments! I dreamed last night I had leaks in the apartment and oh my god, I can't even.

I realise it's ungrateful of me to hate my job at a time when people are losing theirs. But I fucking hate my job! I hate the fact that everything bad about it has become worse since lockdown

Yeah, that too. Also knowing that I have NO options for leaving the job when there is a hiring freeze and even people who need jobs can't get one now. I wanted to slap people the other week who told me to quit for my mental health and that I could find another job. What reality are they living in?!?! Also, I got told this week that not only can we not keep our temps longer, once they are gone we can't even get replacement temps. They just cannot do anything to improve anything.

But I can say that my online acting career is going well, and I got cast in a play yesterday! It's the first time I've ever been cast in anything outside of my local theater group that takes as many people as they can squeeze in, and it's a small play, no less. So, score there!
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:37 PM on May 20 [11 favorites]


Jesus, weaving. Hope you get the love and help you need to get through this. Same to everyone who's struggling now.
My hand is still stiff, and painful at times. I'd like to get it looked at but doesn't look like that will happen for a while yet. Also my glasses are old. I can see little scratches when I clean them (not noticeable when actually wearing them) and the nosepads have turned an unsightly shade of green. But no optometry appointments at Kaiser yet either.
Our office had a teleconference yesterday. No official word on a reopen date yet. Mgmt and the union are trying to figure out how to social distance once we do reopen. No testing being offered onsite, which I guess shouldn't surprise me given what an utter waste of carbon compounds the alleged leadership back in D.C. is nowadays. Yes there is local testing being done but it's still pretty chintzy not to have it.
I did have a nice encounter with an enthusiastic Internet tech the other day in the ongoing saga of getting actual WiFi in my house. He declared my house "dope." No, his name was not Jason Mendoza--and I still have no WiFi because reasons--but it's nice to know that there's cheery, upbeat guys like that out there.
The rain finally let up so I'm back to making homemade weed killer from vinegar and salt. And trying to tweak the mixture so that I don't gas myself and the cats.
Virtual hugs everyone.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 2:49 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


I'm almost done eating this entire batch of raw cookie dough so that's what I've got going on
posted by schroedinger at 3:43 PM on May 20 [17 favorites]


Illinois is going to start opening bars and restaurants. I am so afraid. We were making progress with most people staying home.
posted by tiny frying pan at 8:11 PM on May 20 [9 favorites]


tiny pan, I work in a restaurant/bar/bowling center and we have been doing curbside for two months and I do not want to get open. what we are doing works. We are the only business on our street so we have roughly 100 yards or more of room for people to stay in their cars. Opening the dining room would be unproductive and risky.
posted by vrakatar at 9:00 PM on May 20 [7 favorites]


Oh yeah, and it's like the universe of this time, does not want me to be so blasé about it. So I have a solid ceramic fire grill, that is like a Tuscan column, it is solid, with a wooden top, that is bungeed to the column with a table cloth. No part of this moves, and on it was a crumpled napkin, and I put my 4 day old Samsung phone on the napkin, easily 2 inches inside the circle, and while I looked the other way doing something, that phone took a 5 minute silent slide off the table and broke the glass back. When I bought this phone I had no idea the whole thing was glass, or I would not have bought it to begin with, I mean really. The kicker is I set up a corner of my front porch to be behind a plant stand, so I can sit out, without staring at the house across the street. I cleaned the rain gutters of leaves a few days ago, and swept the porch before sitting down this morning. So, in the silence, I hear this sweeping sound, and then leaves start falling on my head, after all my preparations, because a blue jay is hunting bugs up there and is looking down on me as they drop stuff on my head. Okay then but still I am not going to go out of my mind, just yet anyway. I'll get a cover for my fay new fone and never mind the imperfection, as imperfection seems to be my lifestyle.
posted by Oyéah at 9:02 PM on May 20 [7 favorites]


Every time I hear about a blue jay being an asshole I think about Sammy Jay from the Thornton Burgess books. Such a clearly delineated character for books that couldn't use the word "asshole".
posted by hippybear at 9:14 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


I am having good and bad moments, both in terms of Pandemic Things and in terms of the continuation of Life Things. My grandfather seems to be doing well! A great aunt died; another is sick. Some people really care, some people are fairly callous.

Lots of people I know have had babies in the past few weeks - my cousin, friends from high school and college, grad school friends, even someone I used to babysit for. It's highlighting the ways that my current life, which is hugely oriented around work, feels unrewarding and unimportant in ways that I find uncomfortable and upsetting. I spent most of March and April in a weird job limbo - my current position was extended a year but the paperwork wasn't submitted before my institution decided on a hiring freeze, and I was offered a position in a place I didn't want to move to. I have lots of frustrations with my current position - my boss, my tasks, my scientific productivity - but I love my boyfriend and Boston and my life here outside of work, and I'm pushing through the work stuff. The other job would have been academically great, but was in rural Ohio and the thought of moving back to Ohio for a temporary position and then starting all over again in two years was ... more than I wanted.

I decided to prioritize life things and fortunately, my petition to circumvent the hiring freeze passed. My two closest academic friends made it clear they thought I was making a stupid decision and haven't really spoken to me since then. So that's been upsetting and cut out my consistent source of both academic commiseration and social interaction (we were doing happy hours a few times a week). BUT I am feeling confident about being here for another year, even if I occasionally really hate my boss and the sort of mindlessly dumb things I am being asked to do that definitely don't require a PhD. I'm still working from home, and I've managed to convince her that I will not go into work to do lab things until we a. have purchased appropriate personal protective equipment as mandated by work, and b. actually have something that needs to be done in a lab, that can't be done by me at home on my computer. And hopefully this year will give me the time to think about how I can work towards some of my non-academic goals, like having a family and being more self-sufficient.

Otherwise, I'm trying to balance fun things - runs! Walks! Admiring ducklings and other birds! Baking! with ways to support my larger community. I have no kids, so I'm zoom-tutoring a second grader (we're working on adding two-digit numbers using Current Curricular Approaches which are different) and have signed up for a program where I can help do the annoying time consuming bits of scientific publication for people who are caregiving and have better things to do than, say, format references. I'm donating what I can where I can, calling my grandparents, and trying to :smize" at everyone from behind my mask!
posted by ChuraChura at 6:18 AM on May 21 [14 favorites]


Chill on the outside; fractal freakout within. Like having a nice meal on a solid table but the room has a glass floor of unknown thickness and is high above a gorge full of spikes.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:30 AM on May 21 [18 favorites]


A tiny good-news update: Two different PayPal customer service people have confirmed that I owe them no money whatsoever. (I've been advised to send the agency a "Prove this debt is actually mine" letter by registered mail if they contact me again.) It's a load off my mind.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:50 AM on May 21 [11 favorites]


I had been feeling okay for a while. My mom's health has improved somewhat, but I am still on the rollercoaster of highs and lows, based on her health and the declining mental state of my brother on the opposite coast. The lovely spring weather we are finally now enjoying in New England has presented my mom with a whole new host of problems (allergies, continued breathing issues), and now she has trouble being outside and even keeping her windows open. Her strength is low from being inside since March 12, although she does try to exercise in her apartment. I am still doing all of her shopping and errands, which I am fine with. I just wish she could get outside and get fresh air without it triggering her breathing issues.

My brother is a home caregiver to a very challenging man with developmental disabilities. All of his client's activities have been suspended due to the lockdown and they have been home 24/7 since mid-March. Client does not sleep very much and therefore my brother does not either. He cannot seem to find quality respite providers who can spell him. Brother calls me 2-3 times per week, ranting about the state of mental health services in WA, the Trump government corruption, evil corporate oligarchs and the AK-toting fuckheads. Sometimes he is in a good mood, but that seems to be rare. I never know what mood he is in when he calls, and I end up shouting at him in frustration because I cannot help him from here. After last night's call, I am in a state of depression, wondering if I just need to give up my job, apartment, throw it all in storage and move out there to help him manage his life (this is exactly what he wants me to do, by the way). I cannot leave my mom here and she won't make the move with me. I am so torn with putting the metaphorical oxygen masks on my mom and my brother that I feel empty, and at the same time, feel like I'm not doing enough.

I have tried limiting my news viewing but it is evident that this country is in grave danger and I just can't see it improving. I don't even know what to do anymore. So, yeah, I'm not okay at the present moment.
posted by sundrop at 7:57 AM on May 21 [7 favorites]


I've been advised to send the agency a "Prove this debt is actually mine" letter by registered mail if they contact me again

Send it now. If you don't respond to a validation letter like the one you received within thirty days, the collector is (speaking very generally) entitled to begin (and continue) pursuing collection efforts as if you are not disputing the debt. Responding to the validation letter doesn't help a lot, but does impose certain additional requirements on the collector before it can proceed.
posted by praemunire at 7:59 AM on May 21 [2 favorites]


tiny frying pan, they started opening bars and restaurants (and haircut places, and retail stores/malls, etc) last week where I live in Oregon, and it's made me feel so uncomfortable as well. People seem to have taken it as a sign that everything is fine now so traffic is markedly up, parks are more crowded, and there are just a lot more people out and about. My wife and I have been continuing to stay home other than dog outings and food pickups, and I feel fortunate that we can do so.

In restaurants, they're making employees wear masks but not customers (which I can understand why - can't eat/drink with a mask on - but I don't understand why this is part of Phase I reopening), and it just feels foul the way customers' safety is being prioritized over that of employees. When all this started I'd joined a "Support local restaurants" Facebook group and it's been pretty handy, but I'm afraid to post a question asking what restaurants are only doing takeout/delivery because I don't feel like dealing with people who are outraged at the implication that sitting inside a restaurant isn't okay. I'd really like to only patronize places that are looking out for their employees, though (fortunately I did learn that one of the few Thai places I really like is sticking to takeout only for now, so I guess we'll be going there this weekend).
posted by DingoMutt at 8:19 AM on May 21 [2 favorites]


With everything reopening here in the US I just have this overwhelming feeling of dread. Back in Australia my old home town of Perth has successfully beaten back COVID-19 so at least I don’t have to worry for my parents and my grandmother who is up there in the “it’ll be a miracle if she survives” age group.

But back to the dread. I see all the people so sick of quarantine that they’re willing to take risks. But they’re not just risks for themselves. It’s going to fall yet again on the shoulders of underpaid essential workers. The ones that have to roll the dice on every person they interact with in order to keep some semblance of society running. It’s just so utterly unfair on them and I feel a lot of survivor’s guilt.

In the lockdown we have done close to nothing. The testing numbers are abysmal, even conscientious states are taking a lot of time to ramp up numbers of everything because of an organizational structure that’s just so utterly hostile. It’s so frustrating to me because I feel like we’re putting the cart before the horse. We’re just plodding towards oblivion. Smarter people than can see it, I can see it, and I can’t do a damn thing to stop it.

So many people are going to die who don’t have to.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 8:48 AM on May 21 [5 favorites]


America Is Officially in ‘Fuck It’ Mode: When doing the right thing is too hard, we give up and let fate run wild.
"So yeah, I guess that’s how it’s gonna be. We’re pivoting to a classic “fuck it,” virus be damned. That’s how America rolls, no matter the specific menace. Stop washing your hands, start going on Tinder dates, take your preferred dose of hydroxychloroquine. You do you. Either the death rate will meet and exceed the bleakest projections, or it’ll be bad, only not quite as bad as it could have been."

I'm told that my work will be open in fall, our county opens at the end of the month, my dentist opens next week, and students are partying heartily on campus!

I have absolutely no temptation to go outside and get sun n' fun and fresh air, no cabin fever, nothing. Y'all are going to go out and have fun and then die for weeks on end because we just can't behave ourselves any longer and people need to make money by only having 15% of their usual clientele dine in a restaurant. Awesome!

We are not even a tiny bit close to ready to be open and I am now super disappointed in Newsom for going along with everyone else and reopening, reopening, reopening. I figure this will all be shut down within another two weeks, but y'all go have your fun now! Hope it's worth ventilator death!
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:38 AM on May 21 [8 favorites]


I'm.... ok, and then not ok, and then ok again, and then not ok again. I was actually mostly ok until a few weeks ago. 2+ months into isolation with no *real* end in sight. So far this year I have...

1) Lost my job. 2) Been forced into isolation. 3) My girlfriend broke up with me. 4) My very-elderly cat started getting sick. 5) Previous job has filed an appeal on my unemployment.

So yeah, personally, I'm losing sight of any "silver linings" or "bright sides". No creative energy left for papercrafting. Passing the time watching old anime, Dr. Who, and Star Trek. Trying to remember to shower *before* I can smell myself. Talked to my psych-provider the other day, and while I may not be "ok", few people are, but I seem to be handling things "as well as possible given the circumstances" or "reacting reasonably, all things considered". She's also submitting a letter to unemployment to support my claim.

Still avoiding most news surrounding the pandemic, mostly just watching the local numbers, holding my breath for a really bad spike here in Austin. Never seen local leaders seem so helpless as now that the governor has removed all of their ability to protect the lives of their people. City and county "ordinances" are basically pleas from the mayor and the county judge to "please ignore our idiot governor and do these things", with no ability to enforce such things. I'm already seeing throngs of people not distancing and not wearing masks, on the rare occasion I leave my house.

Started working with a career coach, who's helped me understand just how badly underpaid I was. Trying not to be too angry with myself for tolerating that place as long as I did. Responses to applications, and interviews, have slowed down considerably, and relevant job postings are seemingly drying up. I did have a pretty good interview the other day; the owner seems like such a nice guy, and the company actually Does Good Things with its profits.

I just called my mom as a method of procrastination. My baby sister is pregnant with her second child. This will be my fourth nebbling! I'm.... kinda ambivalent. Nothing new, my initial reaction to all four pregnancies has been bit of disappointment. That will shift to excitement soon, as my sisters are happy, and that's all I really want for them is to be happy. But damn, do they have to follow so closely in my mother's footsteps? Can any generation of my family have siblings that share fathers? I'm also quite thrilled for my mother, who will have 4 grandchildren close by, and I don't have to feel bad about not giving her any!

Mostly? I'm just.... tired. Tired of job hunting, tired of being in the house, tired of not being able to hang out on the porch of a coffee shop, tired of failing Excel assessments, tired of all my social interaction being text on a screen, tired of worrying about the world and the pandemic, tired of feeling guilty about actually having it better than a lot of people, and tired of being tired.

So yeah, thanks for asking, but the answer is much more complicated than it should be.
posted by MuChao at 11:16 AM on May 21 [11 favorites]


Another person in Wisconsin, and I'm also going back and forth with okay and not okay. My family is safe and healthy, we've both been able to work from home, and my kids have been amazing champions. They are 14 and 11 (soon to be 15 and 12!) and I am honestly cherishing the fact that we have way more time together than we normally would.

But...I'm in Wisconsin. Our state is being completely insane, and it's scary. My parents, in their 70s and former hospital workers (nurse and technician) have decided to go back to their volunteer jobs and to start socializing again. And are now hinting that they should be able to come visit us for a "social distancing visit", and I just...no. Our younger son has elevated risk I'm an only child, so I hold huge amounts of guilt over saying no, but no.

My job has not said what will happen in fall (I'm at a university), but rumor is I'll be doing face to face teaching whether I like it or not, and that there won't be a policy on masks, etc, for students. If we don't feel comfortable, we're supposed to go to our HR department, which I've learned is difficult to work with. On top of that, our System president has decided now is a super time to roll out a very destructive plan for the future of the university campuses.

Friends are, for the most part, being cautious (They are not the people in those awful bar photos/videos!), but are starting to ease up and let their kids hang with friends. I feel bad all the time that I'm the outlier parent who isn't saying that's ok. They're also starting to ask for "socially distant driveway beers", and I'm not ready for that.

I'm worried that our family is going to lose all our friendships...and for what? So we can be cautious all summer and then go back to work/school and likely get it anyway?

So I'm pretty much distressed and confused all the time, but there are moment where I can let that go and take pleasure in little things.
posted by TheFantasticNumberFour at 1:02 PM on May 21 [13 favorites]


Well CBS/Viacom have licensed Some Good News and now it'll only be behind a paywall.

SGN was one of the few things that I could look at and let myself just have the guilty pleasure of feeling good about stuff that was going on in the world and now it's just going to be another corporatist crap factory.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 2:45 PM on May 21 [4 favorites]


No way in hell I'd go to a bar - WI is only 30 miles away - but I am fairly close to fuck it mode. Emotionally exhausted, physical and emotional loneliness is awful, and even the smallest levels of work stress will now tank my day (like today). I'm furloughed the first week of June and I need it. I'm going to find backwoods camping somewhere and alternate between deep breaths and crying, probably.
posted by MillMan at 3:13 PM on May 21 [5 favorites]


I'm also in Wisconsin and very much feeling concerned about the easing of restrictions here. Thankfully my family has generally been taking it seriously. But a friend of mine (who also has been taking it seriously) just got a covid test (still waiting for results) and is deeply concerned over potential exposure to a relative who is in bad health. I'm hoping for all involved that my friend is ONLY sick with some other virus, instead. :(
posted by acidnova at 4:15 PM on May 21 [6 favorites]


Migraine then migraine and migraine and today's my bday which started with migraine and now I have another. Ugggggg. Stress
posted by mightshould at 4:27 PM on May 21 [6 favorites]


Happpy B'day mightshould best to you.
posted by Oyéah at 6:47 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]


Last night at the library I took a phone call from a woman who ranted at me about how we (the library staff) do not understand that there is a worldwide pandemic going on—because her library card had expired. I took this call while wearing a mask and gloves, sitting in a library that was closed for 8 weeks and is now open only for curbside pickups.

On my way home today I passed a nursing home and saw two adults peering into one of the windows. That’s what visiting is now. Seeing that IRL broke me.

My 84 year old father goes to the hospital next week for a procedure under general anesthesia and I cannot go inside with him at all. I need to drop him off at the entrance, and then when he’s discharged I have to pick him up from outside the building.

It’s been a rough couple of days. I hate this.
posted by bookmammal at 7:49 PM on May 21 [18 favorites]


Happy birthday mightshould! Hope the migraine eases.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:32 PM on May 21 [2 favorites]


No, I'm not doing well. I have multiple autoimmune diseases, one of which has caused lung damage, and I'm immunocompromised. This part has been my norm for the last 11 years or so. I'm clinically depressed and have major anxiety issues that mostly manifest when trying to jump through the hoops the life insurance company (that pays my benefits) puts in front of me.

So yeah, hunkering down during the pandemics has been a no-brainer. But.

Last November, the 3rd metatarsal in my right foot spontaneously fractured. On went the moon boot and restricted weight-bearing. Then two months later the 4th metatarsal also just snapped. I've been wearing the boot for six months and I'm sick of it. I had SPECT/CT scan last Friday to monitor healing and to start looking at what could be the underlying cause. I got the report back this week and both bones are clearly still broken. It's possible that I'm having a delayed or non union. But almost certainly means I'm likely to wear the boot for another few months.

My AI conditions have been flaring, both hips are showing degeneration, the damn foot remains broken. I'm stuck inside, in pretty much constant pain, depressed and anxious.

Damn this sucks.
posted by michswiss at 12:15 AM on May 22 [13 favorites]


We are not even allowed to renew the contracts of our temps or hire more temps, or anyone else, come summer. Big Boss is no longer even allowed to have an assistant of her own, that's how severe it is. We were denied for 90% of what we asked for and I bet the 10% they are supposedly allowing will not happen.

Supposedly we only have permission to hire one person but HR/Lucy has pulled the football away/ended recruitment like 4(?) times now on that in the last few years and I no longer believe At All this can happen.

I spent tonight drinking, crying-- I lost track of how many times I burst into tears but it has to be over double digits and broke my previous record of 8 times in a day-- and googling for "signs of a nervous breakdown." And I cried during training again and seriously debated with my departing coworkers what will happen when I am the only one left and then inevitably can't stop crying during a public meeting and have to go on leave for a nervous breakdown.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:08 AM on May 22 [13 favorites]


Thank you for this thread. I've been trying so hard to act like I have it together but I am not doing well at all

Two of my dogs keep fighting. I got bit the first week of quarantine. A couple weeks later, one of the dogs needed 10 stitches at the vet. The breeder is helping me rehome the "victim", my service dog in training, because the instigator is my heart dog and I can't- I just can't rehome him. We are trying to coordinate that as safely as possible.

Ontario's P1 is pretty much everything and I feel like it's WAY too early. I have no intention of going back to my in-person self-employment, and my in-person contract work has cut staff by 50% due to social distancing regulations so my PT job is now nothing. My landlord of course messaged me less than 3 hours after the P1 announcement to ask if I'm back to work yet, as we had negotiated a rent reduction during lockdown.

I applied for disability this winter because I was already struggling. Let's just say that I'm doing much much worse now. My understanding is that applications have not been processed during lockdown, which is understandable, if highly personally inconvenient.

I hit my breaking point two weeks ago (howls of despair are actually a thing!!! who knew!!) and plan to move off-grid as soon as it is safe to do so. It won't be easy or pretty but it has to be better than this. (This was my 5 year plan anyway, it's just sped up now.)
posted by buteo at 9:42 AM on May 22 [6 favorites]


I keep thinking I'm doing fine. My job was remote before all of this started, my company is doing just fine financially, and I don't have kids, so my daily routine has hardly changed at all other than masking up for grocery store trips.

But I had a plan for this summer. I've been figuring out my whole gender situation for a few years now and made the social transition to a gender neutral name and they/them pronouns a while back. I finally worked up the courage to take steps towards legally changing my name and starting medical transition. I literally had an appointment to talk to a doctor about starting hormone therapy, but it got canceled after things started getting bad. This is something I've been preparing for and thinking about for such a long time and now it's on hold for who knows how long.

It feels like such a minor problem - how dare I be upset about not being able to change my name when people are literally dying - and I haven't talked to anyone about this IRL because it just seems so monumentally selfish in the midst of everything going on. But it's so hard knowing that another piece of the answer to this problem that I've had for literally my entire life was within my grasp and then just evaporated.
posted by Basil Stag Hare at 12:28 PM on May 22 [23 favorites]


I don't think that's a minor problem at all, Basil.
posted by praemunire at 3:25 PM on May 22 [12 favorites]


I'm right there with you, Basil Stag Hare. Not quite so bad -- I'm still pursuing the steps toward a full transition -- but everything has slowed. Partially because my own mental health is shaky (part pandemic, part other stuff) and I don't trust myself to make permanent major life decisions under such conditions. But partially it's that Covid has delayed things. So many doctors not taking new patients, so much life chaos getting in the way of finding time and energy to take the steps I need.

It's frustrating to say the least, and not a trivial complaint at all. Hugs to you. I know we'll both get through this.
posted by Babbling Blatherskite at 5:19 PM on May 22 [7 favorites]


When I was younger I could fall asleep crying and I'd wake up the next day fine and feel better, but if I do that now I wake up all congested, get a nasty sinus headache, and feel swollen all day.
posted by Dynex at 7:51 PM on May 22 [7 favorites]


This is something I've been preparing for and thinking about for such a long time and now it's on hold for who knows how long.

I'm not trans, but I have my own version of this. We probably all have something we've been going to do and now can't, maybe ever.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:09 PM on May 22 [9 favorites]


As if my bipolar cycling needed *another* trigger. At least this was an up-swing!

I FOUND A JOB!!!!!!!!!!

While it does mean going into an office well before I think my local has this pandemic under control, I'm not super worried about it. It's a HUGE building that's currently under renovation. Only 4 employees on site right now (I'll be the fifth), everyone's in masks and keeping distance. Also, I'll have my own office. Even the construction crew is in masks and keeping to social distancing, and I won't be near any of them. So... maybe not *ideal* in the current circumstances, but still an exciting relief.

Thank you, Metafilter, for basically keeping me alive these last 2.5+ months! I wish I could give each and every one of you a big hug!
posted by MuChao at 10:07 AM on May 23 [34 favorites]


I'm sporadically dropping by Metafilter after a long time away, and it makes me terribly sad and quite guilty to read about all the hardship being experienced by MeFis I remember with great fondness (and people new to me who sound great.)

As I mentioned in the thread a couple below this one, I'm actually really busy with my job, and astonished that telecommuting is so intense. We are trying to keep up while working on planning for re-opening in a real way, and we don't want to get it wrong. I do fear erring.

Speaking of my job, I was delighted to file for re-election and draw no challenger. This is going to be my last term, as I'll be 65 when it ends. I'm feeling so gratified to be able to plan for retirement while trying to make a difference for the future for all the people that will be around after I step down. And I'm really happy not to have to campaign given the current state of things.

I love being at home with my beloved Bear and our remarkable cats and Australian shepherd. I am going to miss that a lot when I'm back at my office. My husband has been my chauffeur on my weirdly deserted commute on those rare days I'm there, and that's been fun too. I'm seriously thinking if he tires of it, I'll be a full time bike commuter for real.

On the negative side, I am pretty sure I had a (mild) case of the virus in late March, and I'm worried about long term consequences. My weight is up, my exercise is nil, and I keep putting off addressing that. The White House denizen is an endless source of stress, though I feel this pandemic and economic disaster is going to finish him and, I hope, the R majority in the Senate. Anyway, I can't complain to this crowd, because I know how fortunate I am overall.

I am thinking of all of you facing big challenges and sending you virtual hugs. I hope they help. As usual it's inspiring to see how engaged and caring you all are.
posted by bearwife at 3:07 PM on May 23 [9 favorites]


octothorpe: "My company's HR director called me today to make sure I was doing OK. Nothing personal, she's calling everyone in the company one-by-one but I thought was a nice touch."

I mentioned that I dropped a monitor stand on my foot when I was getting my stuff out of the offices and two days later HR sent me an edible arrangement with a note saying "hope your foot is feeling better".
posted by octothorpe at 8:23 PM on May 23 [10 favorites]


I mentioned that I dropped a monitor stand on my foot when I was getting my stuff out of the offices and two days later HR sent me an edible arrangement with a note saying "hope your foot is feeling better".

That's so sweet! I dropped my desk chair when moving it out of my office (with permission) and kind of broke it, and two days later the university sent me an email informing me that their insurance would not cover it and that I now had to buy my own chair.
posted by lollusc at 8:54 PM on May 23 [12 favorites]


An update to my previous comment, my friend got the results and does not have covid! Great news as far as that is concerned however that means that they don't know what's wrong with them. I hope a diagnosis can be made soon.
posted by acidnova at 10:16 PM on May 23 [5 favorites]


I'm doing okay, and about to be more okay, after I submit the last of my grades for the spring semester. Summer goals include getting my median number of Zoom meetings in a day down to 0, doing some relaxing stuff like reading books and doing jigsaw puzzles, actually using my rower, and making my home office corner a lot more ergonomic, as I fully expect to be teaching my large classes from home in the fall. With no travel on the horizon, I hope to get a bunch of prep work done over the summer. (I always intend to, but stuff usually gets in the way.)

As an extreme introvert with perfectly affectionate cats, I'm not having trouble isolating by myself, but I am frustrated about being surrounded by fools. Neighbors all around me have been having guests and random workers in and out this whole time, and I just don't feel safe about it, so I pretty much don't leave my apartment.
posted by ktkt at 12:50 AM on May 24 [2 favorites]


I'm marginally OK, but the other day I told people "I'm one spilled glass of water away from a nervous breakdown."

I am working full-time at the hospital. I don't have direct contact with Covid patients, but last week I was exposed to a co-worker who has since tested positive for Covid (they are sick, but not hospitalized). I haven't told family or friends about this because they will freak out and I can't deal with managing their stuff.

My mother has multiple medical issues and is on the other side of the country.

I'm making lots of small mistakes and don't have the ability to focus on anything.

I do have my cats, and I love them, but their claws are OUT OF CONTROL and it takes two people to clip them. And one of the cats barfs a lot.
posted by shiny blue object at 7:11 AM on May 24 [12 favorites]


I had my first drive-by birthday party today. Honestly, it's fucking weird. She's the only one that went to my birthday party from around here, so I was going to return the favor, but the whole idea is strange and weird and kinda sad.

I ended up parking across the street and attempting to drop off my present from a distance. It was a karaoke party--the birthday girl's dad is a karaoke DJ, which is how I know her--and I had to decline being offered the mic, given the horrible things I've read about how singing in public is over forever unless there's ever a vaccine. I brought my own mic, which refused to work as advertised, so I just kind of danced around. I was hard to hear between the distance, the music, and practically eating my mask while trying to talk.

I saw two other drive-bys: one drove by and threw some kind of poppers out of her car and then chucked the birthday card out the window. The other pulled over to drop off the gift on the sidewalk and then the mom or grandma or whoever got out and attempted to take a socially distanced picture of the two of them six feet apart. Other folks, presumably neighbors, stood around on the edge of the lawn.

I haven't seen anyone I know in person since shelter-in-place started. It was very weird to do from a distance. I'm not sure if that makes anything better, honestly. I hope she had a good birthday.

I swear I lose 50 IQ points every time I leave the house now. I had a hard time finding her house even though I've been over there a few times, and feel like i am slightly drunk (even though I lay off the drinking on car-driving days) while driving because I'm just kind of off and out of it and not processing everything correctly. I'm really surprised I haven't hit anything yet while driving. People bitch at me to leave the house, but I just don't feel mentally together enough to handle house-leaving very well. The level of paranoia I have to maintain while outside is very difficult and I feel like the CPU is overloaded.

At least I saw more people with masks on today, albeit this was at the birthday party of someone who is immunocompromised, so one would bloody hope they would have 'em.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:45 PM on May 24 [7 favorites]


My neighbors on my block have discovered karaoke, and I'm utterly, unironically, delighted about this. That they are passing the time by belting out '80's pop hits is wonderful.

Another thing that is wonderful is that I may have found the root to an underlying medical issue that's been plaguing me - the soy intolerance! In the Before Times, I ate out a lot; probably more than is healthy or affordable, but that's what I did because it was more convenient. Because I was also trying to eat more low fat and healthier, I ate a lot of soy products, like soy milk and tofu.

But during the Plague? Not being able to go out to eat + a weirdly specific run on tofu at the local grocery stores + homemade oatmeal milk at home means that I have to make everything; none of those dishes included unfermented soy since late February. I have felt significantly better, to the point where I have a lot more energy. (Miso and soy sauce don't bother me at all). When things open up, I'm going to continue this, and avoid unfermented soy products, like tofu and soy milk.

So, that was an unexpected highlight to all of this.
posted by spinifex23 at 9:57 PM on May 24 [5 favorites]


I am not okay. I feel like I should be okayer than I am, because I can work from home and I live with a great partner, and so far (knock wood) we and those close to us have managed to keep clear of the virus. And we live in a place that is in less of a hurry to reopen. I am thankful for all of these things.

But I hate my job and none of my applications for new ones have elicited any response. I feel overqualified for the jobs I could get and underqualified for the ones I want. I hate working from home. I'm an ambivert and I miss my coworkers (who were one of the best parts of my job before I got stuck at home with all the worst parts of my job). A new apartment is going up next door, and the construction is basically a sensory assault all day six days a week. I can't hear myself think when it's happening, and sometimes I can barely hear on work calls. When it's finally quiet, as it is today, it feels like my brain is trying to have all the thoughts it couldn't have during The Noise, and winds up having none at all. This probably doesn't help my job applications.

I changed my health plan at December, so I need to find a therapist who's on my new plan. But first I was too busy keeping my workplace solvent, and just as the financial situation stabilized the pandemic hit, so I went from long hours working on the money to long hours working on remote operations to long hours catching up on everything that had to wait while I was working on remote operations. (I scaled back to 8 hour days, but now even that feels like too much.) So now I have no idea how to get a new therapist on this new insurance. I know telehealth is A Thing but my insurer's website is impossible to navigate.

My father would have been 80 today. He died last year, just shy of his 79th birthday. Given the combination of his respiratory issues with his consumption of Fox News, it's probably better that he didn't live to see the pandemic. And we hadn't been close for a while when he passed, but it was still really unexpected and today was still supposed to be his birthday. Is his birthday? I still don't understand what's supposed to happen to verb tenses when someone dies.

I'm tired. I am so tired.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 10:34 PM on May 24 [13 favorites]


I am okay. Despite having had a flu vaccination, I caught flu which hit me on 5 January, lasted three weeks and has left me with chronic post nasal drip. I bought a cool mist humidifier a couple of weeks ago and I'm taking an anti-histamine (loratadine) and a generic decongestant (phenelyphrine hydrochloride) every day, which seems to be helping. I still have that need to swallow though, and a bit of a phlegmy cough.

Other than that, things are mostly fine. I was 80% working from home before all this, so switching to 100% hasn't been a stretch. To ease the burden on our servers, we can fix our own hours to suit, so I've been working 6am to 2pm, taking 6.30am-7.30am as my 'lunch' break so I can get an early morning walk in the forest where I live.

I miss my friends. The UK rules on lockdown have eased so I'm now allowed to meet one person at a 2m distance. This means I've been able to resume walking with my friend who lives down the street, and her two little dogs who I love and really missed when we were on full lockdown. On Tuesday evening I'm meeting another friend I've not seen for months so we can go for a walk. But I'm missing meeting friends for dinner, going to the cinema or theatre, wandering round the farmer's market.

I've been getting grocery and veg box deliveries, so I've not needed to go the supermarket. I will need some orientation training once I have to do anything other than online shopping again, as I'm used to meandering round the aisles for ages, but I understand that's not allowed now.

I've not touched another human since 16 March, when I hugged my friend, Ashley. Other than missing physical contact, the isolation hasn't been too bad for me, but then I know I'm so lucky compared with most people. I have a nice home with a garden and I live in a forest. I can be as selfish as I want to be about how I live in my own home as I don't need to take the feelings of anyone else into account. But I'm also conscious that I can easily settle into this forever, and I worry about how anxious it's going to make me when I have to re-emerge into the world once this is over. The thought of getting on the Tube into London fills me with dread.

It was my birthday on Friday and neighbours in the street festooned banners from their windows and balconies for me. I had some lovely, thoughtful gifts where people had remembered me saying I liked something (a particular snack, a special flavour of cake) and made sure I had them. I had lots of cards and friends sent me gifts in the mail. It was lovely. I often have the feeling that I'm never in people's thoughts, ever, at all. But this showed me that my perception is skewed.

I decided to treat myself to a fancy take-out birthday dinner, so I placed my order online, and walked over to the restaurant at the chosen time slot. They had a table across the doorway, the guy was there with the card reader and the food was brought out when it was ready. Other people were waiting too. I was the only one who was masked, gloved and maintaining a safe distance.

I have to take my car in for a repair on Wednesday. I'll be phoned on Tuesday with a time to bring it in, and I have to drive it into the service bay (where I'll wipe down all the parts I've touched with anti-bac wipes) and leave it with the keys on the seat. They'll call me later when it's ready to collect. This will be the most interaction I've had with people in more than two months.

I stopped watching the news a while ago. I have friends who watch the full 2-hour BBC afternoon broadcast of the Government briefing every single day, and then end up ranting on Facebook or Twitter about it. I just catch up with the headlines in The Guardian or the BBC instead, and I'm resigned, rather than angry, about the utter failure of this Government to put the welfare of its citizens above its own interests. Nothing I say or do will change anything. I live in a Tory stronghold with a 25,000 majority, so my vote doesn't even count towards anything. So instead I think about how I can be kind to those around me.

What worries me more in the long term is Brexit, which is going to be even more of a shitshow than we could ever have imagine, and as a direct result of the pandemic. Many businesses have had to use up their Brexit stockpiles of goods, so when the end of the year comes and we're imposing, and subject to, import and export duties, I think things are going to get a lot, lot worse for the British people than we could ever have imagined.
posted by essexjan at 2:07 AM on May 25 [14 favorites]


I'm frankly astonished that people have neighbors who know their birthday. I'm not that close to any of my neighbors, even the ones that I "know". And I'm living in sort of a prototypical "American small town" of like 10K people and we should all be close knit and like the town in The Music Man or something.

It's great and beautiful that your neighbors are celebrating your birthday. I hope you realize that's special.
posted by hippybear at 4:38 AM on May 25 [20 favorites]


I am unable to see any light at the end of this pandemic. It seems the only way forward in the US is to just end the lockdown and let people get sick, which means a lot more people are going to die or have permanently lower lung function. As a society we have completely failed. Maybe there was no chance of success? In all likelihood the fiction of competence was just that. But for all intents and purposes the life we've been living is over and joy is a fading memory. We are completely and irrevocably fucked. At leas we have Animal Crossing.
posted by grumpybear69 at 5:45 AM on May 25 [13 favorites]


Sorry, that was hells of dark. Some mornings are just tough. I do think things will get better.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:24 AM on May 25 [10 favorites]


grumpybear69: you're just saying the quiet things out loud. I've been reminding my coworkers "just because we're opening up doesn't mean the virus is gone, and it means we have to be MORE vigilant with our PPE and sanitizing practices". I think they're hearing me, but I don't think most of the US is thinking the same.
posted by hippybear at 9:26 AM on May 25 [11 favorites]


It's okay, grumpybear69. There's no way to stay 100% positive and optimistic even in the best of times. When I'm feeling especially gloomy, I try to remind myself that this too shall pass. All of it. Good and bad.
posted by cooker girl at 9:40 AM on May 25 [3 favorites]


I agree with you, grumpybear.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:06 PM on May 25 [1 favorite]


My parents texted me a photo of themselves dining in at a restaurant last week; I just got off a call with them, apparently right after they came home from the badminton gym, my mom says she's getting a haircut tomorrow and my dad's having his friends over for band practice (!) on Thursday. They are in BC, which is probably as safe as anywhere in North America to be doing these things, but I worry, I worry, I worry. I don't even have the energy to argue with them about it anymore, I just quietly worry.
posted by btfreek at 4:24 PM on May 25 [8 favorites]


Coronavirus Hack! I was driving myself mad with obsessive doomscrolling all day every day and while discussing this with a beloved friend having the same problem, I proposed the following plan: Tomorrow I monitor the news and tell you only what will actually affect your life. Not what an informed person "should" know--only news that is actionable in some way or will affect your actual, real, physical life. You don't read the news at all. Next day we switch.

Well, we have been doing this for a full week now and it is GLORIOUS. The best part is when you're the one who's on because you read everything asking yourself, "does it matter?" and the answer is almost always no. It's like a refresher course in media literacy. And of course the days off are so good for mental health, for showing your brain that it is possible to step away, and it's way easier to step away from the news knowing someone will tell you if there's anything you need to know. I give this scheme my highest recommendation.
posted by HotToddy at 5:11 PM on May 25 [44 favorites]


Today I am not doing well. I did a socially distanced thing with friends yesterday and it only made me feel worse, because it was so awkward and unrewarding. And because what I want more than anything is a hug and I cannot ask for that from anyone in good conscience. I am being responsible and not putting anyone else in danger and it is breaking me. Today I broke down crying because I just couldn't, anymore. I just want to put down some responsibility for a bit and have someone else take care of me. Have someone else make the shitty decisions for a bit. But I can't have that. There's no rest and no relief in sight.
posted by bridgebury at 9:12 AM on May 26 [8 favorites]


I suffered a sudden end to a promising relationship under unclear circumstances. Her preliminary death certificate said “atypical pneumonia,” which I’d expect for a traveling nurse who had been in Santa Clara during the early Covid-19 cluster. When toxicology came back a month later, the cert was updated to “accidental overdose of heroin and methamphetamine,” which... well, the questions I and her family have for her will never be answered.

Divorce, as a direct consequence of said promising relationship. Made only more certain and less amicable by my lover’s death. I left the marital house right as quarantine started because it had not felt like home for months. I wish I’d done it sooner, for both our sakes.

Couch-surfing with a friend from college. Not what either of us thought 41 would bring into our lives. Gone on a bit longer than expected due to quarantine. His beanbag is surprisingly comfortable to sleep on.

Possibly the worst, because the least expected: a close friend, when told of my misfortunes, revealed herself to be a cold and selfish person, an opportunist and manipulator I had never seen through her brown eyes before. I still grieve for the person I thought she was.

Despite all of this... I’m okay.

I know what I want out of life, and I know what I don’t want out of life. I’m in the best shape of my life, and am literally turning heads, which is a new experience for me. My family and friends have common sense and wisdom that they share with me and use to keep themselves safe. My job relies on me even more than before, if such a thing is possible.

I don’t know what the future holds, but throughout February and March I was not convinced that I had a future. It’s abstract, it sounds trite, and it can’t wrap its sweaty arms around me as we drift off to sleep... but it’s sooooo nice to feel like me again.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:20 AM on May 26 [9 favorites]


I was not great yesterday. While I'm ok today, I'm distracted and procrastinating. Yesterday I was feeling blank and scared about starting work again and like I was ripe for a classic escapist midlife crisis were I a dude: hair plugs, a fast sports car, an ugly divorce, quitting my job impulsively. I guess what I'm craving is escape. I'm turning 45 in a couple of weeks, and although I didn't think I was worried about it, I think there is something underneath it all that was enhanced by my surprise at how fast June arrived. And in general, I've had an "easy" quarantine as my husband and I tend to be homebodies and my state wasn't ever really much locked down anyway.

Instead I'm sitting around thinking things like "what good have I ever been?" and "I don't want anything, just leave me alone to play with my phone and not think" and feeling useless. I have a therapist and will see them soon, but I'm new to therapy and still figuring out how to "do" it, and last session I was so scattered that I could barely speak in legible sentences. I think I'm getting dumber.

Anyway. Take care, all of you guys out there.
posted by PussKillian at 12:25 PM on May 26 [7 favorites]


I've been more okay the last stretch than I have been in a while, getting stuff done pretty consistently and making progress on a couple personal projects and just kind of feeling steady and functional. Which is very welcome, but it's hard not to end up devoting some significant share of my brainpower to worrying about when that's gonna somehow collapse out from under me any minute now etc. Constantly minding the pits is better than being in them, but what if we just like filled in the pits instead? I'm willing to pitch in on renting a backhoe.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:10 PM on May 26 [7 favorites]


So yesterday the high in SF was 86 degrees. I think I've mentioned once or twice how badly I react to heat. Not that this would have been a pleasant couple of days at work were I working, but I could always hose myself down there. Yesterday my mood was in the goddamn toilet. Just BAD. This morning I got up- nearly 70 by 8:30 am and has only gotten hotter- and I guess something in me snapped? And I've been just cooking and marinating and pickling and baking etc all day long. It's so stupid, but it's really helping my mood. So like yeah everything is bad and terrible but tonight i'm gonna have some of my famous German Apple Cake (baked in the morning when It wasn't as hot) and now I'm gonna make some salmon croquettes out of leftover salmon and potatoes and maybe I'll hardboil some eggs in the instant pot, that doesn't make much heat- mom is baffled, but happy that i'm not a grouchy asshole like I was yesterday I guess. Two more days of the heat wave. At least my tomato plants are happy about this- nothing else is.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 3:47 PM on May 26 [8 favorites]


My kid was in a car accident today. She was rear-ended in a fucking hit and run. Thankfully, she only has whiplash, which I am really so grateful for because my car was totaled. It could have been so much worse. So, so much worse. My car is just a thing that can eventually be replaced. My baby is irreplaceable. On the outside, I'm mom in charge, comforting and consoling, but y'all, seeing my car and knowing that my kid was in that, was just, I'm not okay inside.
posted by Ruki at 3:55 PM on May 26 [31 favorites]


Today I went to do take-out at the pizza place we used to go to every week and we've been supporting with a weekly take-out pizza, and they were actually open and I was a bit taken aback. I was only there long enough to pick up and purchase my pizza, but I guess I wasn't expecting that, really?

We're not really to go out to a restaurant yet. We're not That Okay yet. That kind of lingering around other people is something neither of us have done in ages and it's something that none of my coworkers have done either so we're all sort of in each other's bubble. That's been okay.

Sitting in a pizza joint / bar, even with social distancing... Not Okay. Not yet. I need to see what things look like at the end of June. And I'm not optimistic.
posted by hippybear at 7:48 PM on May 26 [8 favorites]


Someone on a Buy Nothing group posted that they had a lot of extra packaged restaurant meals from work, and I got 4 of them handed off to me with proper social distancing and masks.

It was *so* needed, and *so* good. I got 4 Halal meals that contained: steamed vegetables in a light citrus sauce, black beans and rice, and chicken kebabs with a heavier garlic onion pepper sauce. The meals came from a local Cuban restaurant.

Now, I can cook pretty well - but having some dishes that were prepared by professional chefs/cooks, featuring foods that I don't have at home, and cooking recipes for a cuisine that I'm not familiar with but have wanted to try for quite a while? It was absolutely, wonderfully, mind blowingly amazing. With the exception of one order of takeout sushi and a couple of slices of pizza, this was the first restaurant food that I've had since late February.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:50 PM on May 26 [10 favorites]


Now, I can cook pretty well - but having some dishes that were prepared by professional chefs/cooks, featuring foods that I don't have at home, and cooking recipes for a cuisine that I'm not familiar with but have wanted to try for quite a while? It was absolutely, wonderfully, mind blowingly amazing.

I've gotten about one takeout meal per week, and if I was being honest, objectively each one has been mediocre to at most low-decent (they aren't doing a bad job, just that not all food translates well to being packaged up in a box and carried around before eating). But subjectively, each one has been wonderful. Just eating food that I didn't have to make, with flavors and ingredients I might not have thought to use or don't have, is so nice in exactly the way you describe.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:28 AM on May 27 [16 favorites]


I guess this is the place for this? I live in the neighborhood where George Flynn was killed, where police were tear gassing the fuck out of everyone last night (well, there and further east of me - it was admittedly worse at the 3rd precinct). And I guess in a week or two we'll see how tear gas and covid interact with each other.

This is all to say that I was doing much better until yesterday.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:53 AM on May 27 [17 favorites]


After two and a half months of just hunkering down in my house but otherwise living as normal (both of us are fully working from home, no COVID scares, we have masks and a supply of TP, etc) reality finally came calling. A close friend just lost his father suddenly and nobody knows for sure if it was the coronavirus or not -- he had a massive heart attack and stroke on Sunday night, both of which are potentially COVID symptoms but also run in the family. Regardless, that means my friend is in Oklahoma with his mother, his wife is back here with their daughter, and we're stuck in our house unable to do anything but send messages of sympathy. I hate this.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:56 AM on May 27 [10 favorites]


Spouse's parents have lost their collective minds and have subjected spouse to a now week-long tantrum which included multiple, extended phone calls on how we are the crazy ones for not attending a weeknight pizza party in honor of spouse's nibling, who is missing walking in their graduation due to the current pandemic.

We live an hour away. Both spouse and I have work the next day and kiddo has online schooling. We have to cross counties to attend and both counties are still under modified at home orders and restrictions for private gatherings (which we know will be violated). They have not been following any of the recommendations for distancing for weeks anyway and I'm considered high risk due to asthma.

I knew this was going to happen once the restrictions started to relax, but holy cats, it has been brutal.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 11:08 AM on May 27 [14 favorites]


I was doing pretty good until monday. I woke up to my neighbor across the hall yelling down to my landlady (they have been having long conversations with no masks in the hallway this entire time. Landlady is a loud steamroller) to not touch a package and to put on a mask because she’s sick with ‘something’ (I guess she’s waiting for test results.) So yeah, right across the hall now. So I pulled the covers over my head and went back to panic sleeping in a ball. So I started having this dream that someone was talking on the phone about cable installation really nearby. It wasn’t a dream. Yet again, my landlady has sent workers here without any notice. I walked into my kitchen and dude is leaning in my window, talking on the phone for over 10-15 mins, INTO my apartment, not 3ft from my kitchen faucet. So yeah fuck all this fucking shit to hell. I took a 30-hour sleeping-pill-fueled ‘nap’ and I’m still pissed off.
I went and got an antibody test today (walk-up, no appointment necessary, free, 2 blocks away. Go Jersey City. A hot zone with amenities.) ...I can’t do living in fear with my door taped shut for two weeks or more unless I absolutely must. Just can’t. Results in a day or two. A friend wished me positive results...I said me too, this is weird, "I hope u had a horrible disease" lol.
The first thing I’m doing with a positive result is laundry. (Don’t worry, if I did have it it was early march. I’m not the contagious one, you are!)
Excuse me while I go shave my head.
posted by sexyrobot at 1:50 PM on May 27 [10 favorites]


A dear friend shared what appears to be a video of another dear friend over at her house via a group chat. This is technically not against the rules in our area, but is definitely not in the spirit of what we're supposed to be doing. I... I don't know what to do. Speaking up won't be taken well. Do I care? I don't even know any more. I don't know if this is fighting the good fight or not.
posted by Rora at 4:39 PM on May 27 [5 favorites]


An old friend from school called me the other day. We were best friends for a long time but she grew up into someone very religious and conservative, and I did the exact opposite. It’s painful to talk to her now because we see the world so differently and I can’t help but be angry every time we talk. She is literally expecting a miracle and I am just holding onto hope for a vaccine.

It’s finally hit my kindergartener that he won’t be seeing his school friends again anytime soon. We had a year-end conference call with his teacher and she cried and my son cried and it was all just a lot to handle there for a few minutes.

Also, I haven’t gone anywhere in 10 weeks and being home with the kids while also working is so hard. I’m really not OK but have to fake it for my kids. I mean, I try to be honest about my feelings but in a reassuring-mom-using-my-words way and not in a curled-in-a-ball-sobbing way. Some days it’s so hard.
posted by beandip at 8:35 PM on May 27 [10 favorites]


We're coming up on the last week of school here, and as crazy and exhausting as things have been, I am deeply sad about not getting to see "my" kids again for a while and I wish I could tell each one's parents how special and awesome and unique their kid is, and how much I've enjoyed working with them. Going in to the year I didn't know a lot about working in Life Skills (this is my first year out of SLP grad school) but I love it so, so much. It will still be a rough ride to the finish line, though - we're now furloughed one day a week but still have the same work load, and every time I think I'm on top of all of my paperwork yet another meeting invite happens to me and topples the whole precarious house of cards that is my extensive to-do list. Ah well.

On a wholly different note, I've been surprised to discover that I inexplicably enjoy watching myself talk on camera in Zoom meetings. I am not attractive by even the most generous standards, my hair looks all straggly and strandy like a certain kind of cartoon character, I can't find a good angle to keep my chin from overflowing its banks, I apparently pull all sorts of goofy-ass faces when I'm talking and lately I've been emoting a lot more with my hands ... but that's me and it's fascinating to watch myself in real-time action. After 45 years of bumbling around in this face and this body I now have a better sense of what I look like to other people, and I kind of like me. Go figure.
posted by DingoMutt at 9:14 PM on May 27 [16 favorites]


A dear friend shared what appears to be a video of another dear friend over at her house via a group chat. This is technically not against the rules in our area, but is definitely not in the spirit of what we're supposed to be doing. I... I don't know what to do. Speaking up won't be taken well. Do I care? I don't even know any more. I don't know if this is fighting the good fight or not.

I have the same issue with my coworkers and their revolving doors of relatives constantly coming in and out of their homes, which I see daily in Zoom meetings. Just today: "oh, my daughter's here, my son's here, his girlfriend is here, his friend is here, it's Grand Central Station." Another one has her kid go stay with grandparents and then with her dad on the other end of the state, with grandparents driving the kid down. Her boyfriend's in and out, her siblings are in and out, she's getting coffee and meeting people every day. And then I read the mailing list for a store I patronized in the Before and they had to move locations recently. They didn't really get a choice about that one since they knew their lease wasn't getting renewed before the virus. They would post updates about how they had curbside service, were wearing masks, etc. But they posted pictures of the moving process and I saw five people in shots at a time, probably not six feet apart, not wearing masks. i realize that both limiting the amount of people physically moving heavy shit and being able to breathe are issues, but still. But there's nothing I can do about anything now, right? Too late now. The avalanche has fallen, it is too late for the pebbles to vote.

The only place I have spoken up at is my HMO (see other threads mentioning the lack of masks there). There is not a damn thing I can do to save my coworkers who I will never see again, as they are no longer working with me after another month or two. Even if I someday go back to my office, they won't be coming with me. The fact that these people are constantly going in and out of their homes for two months and yet nobody has gotten even a sniffle is not going to help any argument I might make either. There's really nothing you can goddamned do about most people, especially ones you can't see and will no longer be having physical contact with again. Why should they listen to me when they're all still fine?

*waves white flag of surrender, hums "Let It Go," gives up.*
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:47 PM on May 27 [2 favorites]


I don't know if I'm allowed to post this, feel free to remove if it's not appropriate, but I feel like my friends are dropping like flies around me. One friend died (not of Covid) early on in the lockdown and another is in hospital asleep (again not with Covid). I'm losing people and can't do anything about it. I check in remotely every day with people who I know are also alone, and then the WhatsApp stops showing as read and the phone gets switched off and you get that horrible sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. I'm in tears several times a day.

Constantly we're being told, often by privileged people in big houses with happy families and lots of social contact, to stay at home, completely isolated, for month after month with no end in sight. We need a more nuanced approach, a better conversation on this. No one wants the virus to spread, but it's also a very big ask to tell people who are isolated and struggling with mental health to remain completely alone for "the foreseeable future", to coin the horrible phrase. I'm exhausted and clinging on, everyone I know in the same situation is either just about clinging on or can't any more, and I don't know how much more of this we can take. A single, non-virtual hug from someone who cares would go a very long way, but even though half the world seems to have constant streams of houseguests we're told that's the one thing we're not allowed to do and we're horrible people if we even think about it.
posted by winterhill at 3:34 AM on May 28 [17 favorites]


I'm at the office, because we aren't able to work from home any longer, and someone down the hall has a hacking cough and is sneezing every 5 seconds. So much for "everyone is screened at the door."

Fuck everything.
posted by basalganglia at 5:14 AM on May 28 [9 favorites]


Oh heeeeeeeeeeeeey, coworker 1 ("Grand Central Station") is planning on going to a family reunion! And taking her mother who lives in a facility! Coworker 2 is gonna go with family and kids to Capitola this weekend! And hit Margaritaville!
Oh well, at least I'm not sharing an office with her any more, right?
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:41 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Per the "Social Q's" column in the NYT: "But we may have reached a point in the pandemic when trying to reason with people who disagree with us is useless. Unless your friend has been living under a rock, she has likely made up her mind about masks and social distancing."
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:29 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


Maybe there was no chance of success?

Had you the good fortune to live in a country where government was prepared to take heed of medical/scientific advice, and follow up with decisive action and clear communication, and the population was prepared to go along with that, then yes, there was a chance.

Otherwise, no - there was no chance.

I write from a country where restrictions are easing because we now have just 1 active case in the whole country. I expect I'll stop WFH soon and be going back to the office.

And yes, I'm OK. Very sad to read of all the others here that are less fortunate.

I'm just a little sad that lockdown is ending - I enjoyed it.
posted by HiroProtagonist at 8:40 PM on May 28 [11 favorites]


WTF is going on with the social breakdown in Minneapolis? I am very not okay with what I'm reading both in the news and on my twitter, which is generally very friendly and not full of bullshit but this evening it seems like society is breaking down and there's a lot of tomfoolery being reported and it feels like something is suddenly shifting.

and I am very not okay with all this.
posted by hippybear at 9:02 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


I'm with you, hippybear — something is unraveling there, and it feels ominous.
posted by jamjam at 10:18 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


I've retreated into listening to Yes' Tormato album. That's how bad this feels for me right now. I'm resorting to THAT.
posted by hippybear at 10:21 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


whatever you do, Don't Kill The Whale
posted by philip-random at 10:26 PM on May 28


Release Release is a ridiculous track because of how it builds sonic tension and tells you that's what it's doing than it gives you resolution and it sings "release oh release oh".

I mean, the song literally narrates itself.
posted by hippybear at 10:37 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


I mean honestly, it's a really good album. It's much maligned but it's great. There's a reason it's a "retreat when feeling upset" album for me.

But it is a rather extreme end of the spectrum choice of media in that catalog.

I am not okay. WTF is going on with our police and our populace and how far is this going to spread and this is all awful.
posted by hippybear at 10:41 PM on May 28


I LOVED Tormato when it was new (and Release Release is the essential track).
posted by philip-random at 11:00 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Woke up this morning, checked the news, called in sick, got a to-go bag ready and brought up the cat carriers, texted family and friends, then had breakfast while the current played "This Is America".
posted by dinty_moore at 6:26 AM on May 29 [7 favorites]


I just wanted to thank all the kind mediates who reassured me about getting two kittens in our 1BR - we ended up with two bonded 10 month old rescued strays who we got juuuust before lockdown and have been the most wonderful company for my WFH/high risk spouse. I'm so so glad they've been there with us during this time and brought so much joy as well as vigorous attempts to climb into our kitchen bin and eat the contents.
posted by MarianHalcombe at 6:33 AM on May 29 [14 favorites]


Coronavirus Hack! I was driving myself mad with obsessive doomscrolling all day every day and while discussing this with a beloved friend having the same problem, I proposed the following plan: Tomorrow I monitor the news and tell you only what will actually affect your life. Not what an informed person "should" know--only news that is actionable in some way or will affect your actual, real, physical life. You don't read the news at all. Next day we switch.

Well, we have been doing this for a full week now and it is GLORIOUS. The best part is when you're the one who's on because you read everything asking yourself, "does it matter?" and the answer is almost always no. It's like a refresher course in media literacy. And of course the days off are so good for mental health, for showing your brain that it is possible to step away, and it's way easier to step away from the news knowing someone will tell you if there's anything you need to know. I give this scheme my highest recommendation.


So the only "productivity" writer I've ever bothered with is Cal Newport. Mostly because he actually has a real job as an academic and isn't just a professional writer about productivity.

I've long been extremely tempted to take up his idea which is to just subscribe to a print newspaper, read that once a day and be done with it. There is no information that I actually need liveblogged, I'm not in a control centre personally running the economy. Nobody is waiting for me to express my opinion in an open letter.

It also makes me think of what Knuth said about email:
"Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration."

My job tends to be a mix of both which is complicated but I do at least schedule blocks of two hours where I don't check email every day.

Anyway. I'm ok here, happy that my wife persuaded me to move to an inner suburb from the city proper. I've never been mega worried about the effect of the virus per-se on us even though she is in a very vulnerable group because we can just stay at home nearly indefinitely. Quite worried about the potential economic effects. Every time a new bit of forecasting comes in about a v shaped recovery I devour it but I think I know a little too much about macroeconomics to really suspend my disbelief.
posted by atrazine at 6:47 AM on May 29 [4 favorites]


My husband taught for many years at a high school in the neighborhood in Minneapolis where everything's going down. The segregation and corruption he's seen have been horrifying and enraging. Black kids there have been shown how little they are valued by society every day at school.

(I should clarify that everyone at his school itself was great and doing all they could with the resources they had, but the school district decides what resources go to what schools, and for decades the district has bussed poor kids to poor schools and rich kids to rich schools. Distance learning hasn't been happening because most kids don't have computers at home, and the laptops the school was supposed to have for them to use were literally taken out of the poor schools and delivered to the rich schools.)

Society was already broken for those kids and there's not going to be justice until the school system is reformed at the district level.
posted by beandip at 7:22 AM on May 29 [10 favorites]


Welp...this week’s for bullshit. I just got time-travelled back to march. Not only did my landlady send a cable guy up a ladder to my open window to talk on the phone into my kitchen, and the lady directly across the hall sick, she failed to mention that a guy in the building DIED. Of covid. I found out last night from another tenant who’s cat is now trying to get in via the eaves. Cats can get covid and I’m NOT amused. AND the landlady has sent the tenant on the other side of the wall from me (the one who’s kitchen vent connects to my bathroom vent in a way that hasn’t been legal since tuberculosis (bldg ca 1890) and has been taped shut since march) INTO the unit to start cleaning it out last week/week before (like..that is so so so many kinds of illegal.) I overheard parts of the conversation she was having loudly in the stairwell with no mask of course (like the long conversations she’s been having in the stairwell with my now sick neighbor every day or two) and I got the impression that he split town with no notice...they seemed surprised that everything had been left...but maybe relatives had come by to pick stuff up and left? Dollars to donuts she’s been in there too.
I duct taped my door shut.
Oh, and also she only accepts cash and it will be a huge fight no matter what when I refuse. There’s no way in HELL I’m going to an atm 3 days row to reward this insanity. I’m writing a fucking check. Fuck this bullshit.
Yes I’m still waiting for test results.
I sound a lot more freaked out than I actually am. Mostly I’m just angry and numb, but still...literally boxed in on ALL sides, even my fucking windows.
posted by sexyrobot at 12:45 PM on May 29 [9 favorites]


sexyrobot, all I can do is mentally scream AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU ​UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH on your behalf.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:49 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


welp my daughters going to the uprising in oakland. please let her return safely.
posted by Space Kitty at 3:15 PM on May 29 [11 favorites]


I'm not doing okay.

What a time to be physically isolated from everyone you care about. I'm so fucking depressed and lonely. The last time I hung out with someone in person in Japan was last fall, despite attempts to make plans otherwise, and now there's a pandemic and I'm working from home on reduced pay (60%) until at least August. My company isn't doing great because most of our business involves international travel to the US, and my boss was frank that things will be "very bad" if relief doesn't come within the year.

I don't feel at home here, it's always felt temporary, but is it really too much to ask for some semblance of human interaction? My partner is a 30-hour plane ride away, and the closest friend who still wants to hang out lives in another fucking country (2.5 plane ride, but still). And it's not like I can just go out now and socialize. Just what the fuck.
posted by lesser weasel at 8:01 PM on May 29 [6 favorites]


Oh, and my neighbor cut down their very pretty tree that I was using as scenery (and privacy into my apartment) while I work at my desk. I just saw a bird in that tree yesterday. And now I see their porch.
posted by lesser weasel at 8:03 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


I've officially hit the ugly-crying on the street stage of being not-ok. We start our super-busy season at work next week, and for various Covid-related reasons, it's going to be even worse than usual. And that means that I won't be able to help out with my Mom at all until after 5:00, even if I start work at 8:00 AM, and my father is overwhelmed about having to pick up stuff that I have been doing, so he's expecting me to do basically everything after 5:00 and on weekends. (I've been sleeping over on Saturday nights so my father can go back to the house and take a break. So I'm here straight through from Saturday morning until my mother goes to bed on Sunday.) And I don't think I can do it. I need some time to, like, do my laundry and clean the house, but I also just need some time to not be working or taking care of my Mom. I feel so selfish for that, but I literally don't think I can do it. I went to the grocery store after my Mom went to bed last night, and this morning when I was bringing the groceries to my parents' apartment, one of the bags broke, and a big glass bottle of pasta sauce exploded all over the sidewalk. And I just stood there with tears streaming down my face while various passers-by gawked. Add to that that the world is a dumpster fire, and I don't even have the time or energy to figure out what I could be doing to help. Last night I caught myself looking up where the protests were and then realizing that I can't go to a protest, because I can't do anything but work and take care of my mother. (Also, I can't violate social distancing and risk getting sick, and I can't get arrested, because of the aforementioned taking care of my mother. So even if I could take a break from working and taking care of my mother, no protesting for me.) I need to stop feeling sorry for myself, but there you go. I'm wallowing a bit. I will pull myself together in a minute.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:40 AM on May 30 [15 favorites]


In a wonderful turn of events, I got my blue apron delivery today! We were scheduled for our giant three week grocery run on Friday and I honestly had written FedEx off. Having 3+ (usually have leftovers) more meals without figuring out groceries is a wonderful relief.
posted by dinty_moore at 10:26 AM on May 30


(She got home safe, thank everything. My heart goes out to those who didn't. Now we wait to see if she was exposed)
posted by Space Kitty at 10:29 AM on May 30 [6 favorites]


Alright, my mom is taking a nap, and I mopped the kitchen floor and it's spotless, and now I feel a little better. Cleaning seems to be my happy place. I'm not sure whether I should consider this a sad statement on my current state of mind or a happy development that I should embrace. Or both. Maybe both.

Now I'm off to do the bathroom. It's going to fucking glisten, I tell you.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:36 AM on May 30 [6 favorites]


We got our test results back and we don't have either active c19 infections or the antibodies, so my 2+ month disabling cough is something else.

On round two of antibiotics as per the theory that it's post nasal drip from a sinus infection.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:32 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


night is always darkest just before the dawn
posted by philip-random at 12:00 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


This isn't so much how am I doing, just something silly.

It always makes me weirdly emotional when I'm doing some university work, I search the university library systems for something and among the journal articles and academic papers, it shows me a physical book that would be really useful and gives me the exact location and shelf number where I can find it. All those useful, interesting books sitting in dark libraries, unread and unloved. I don't know why it makes me feel so sad, they're only objects, they don't know they've been sitting untouched since March.

I miss those libraries. Searching online for academic resources is amazingly useful, but just not the same. Invariably, you'd go down to the library to find the book you'd searched online for and next to it would be something just as relevant that you'd never have thought to have looked for yourself. I always used to end up with three times as many books as I went in for. We had all sorts of older works that had never been digitised, and it's a big miss.

I've still got a couple of their books (that I no longer need, the work I needed them for is long since submitted and marked) because I'd checked them out a week before they suddenly shut down the campus. I want to help them get home, but the university have said "please keep them until further notice, don't try and get them back to us". I want you to be at home with your friends, books!

I might be starting to go slightly crazy in isolation.
posted by winterhill at 4:49 AM on May 31 [7 favorites]


You know, sometimes it turns out to be a Really Good Day.

Yesterday a local artist and neighbour held a pavement art exhibition of the work she's done since the pandemic. I walked over with my next-door neighbour, and it was lovely. Beautiful paintings and sculptures which touched my emotions and fed my soul. I go to a lot of galleries and museums, and although there's a lot of art to look at online, it's not the same as seeing it in person. This was such a tonic for me.

Later on I put my headphones on, and tuned into Time 107.5 (a local station - also online - which plays soul, dance, and funk. Paul Hardcastle is one of the DJs). Saturday evening is all about 80s dance music, and while I cooked my dinner, I danced and danced and sang along, and I can still remember all the words. I'm a pretty crappy dancer, but in the confines of my four walls where nobody can see me, I'm the greatest fucking dancer who ever lived.

I made crispy tofu with mixed vegetables in a Szechuan sauce (all from scratch), over rice, and it turned out perfectly and tasted amazing. I ate it while I watched an episode of The First 48 I'd not seen before. Then I watched, for about the 100th time, Benihana Christmas, which I ate with a microwave chocolate mug cake that took me 2 minutes to make.

Most days for me have been okay, some have been not great, I've not yet had a really bad day. But yesterday was a Really Good Day.
posted by essexjan at 5:32 AM on May 31 [6 favorites]


For a while, I've been offline, or just lurking. I had to go to Copenhagen for surgery (nothing bad), and it was a huge shock to my system. There is no social distancing. And my home has become a collective of 21-y-o's who have made a corona bubble here, and they are great at it, they are totally in control with sanitizer in every very clean room, but it just isn't my home anymore. I'm the weird lady in the attic. I live in my study, where they have stuffed in all my art and everything else they don't need.
And then my car died. Which means I can't get back to the farm before I get a new car, and since Monday is a religious holiday here, I can't even begin talks with the bank before Tuesday.
At the farm, my plants are dying and the contents of the fridge rotting.
I'm feeling feverish, but I forgot to bring my thermometer. It might just be the stress of all the unknown.
My dog is stressed out too. He has had a great time living on a farm during isolation, and now he is confined in a third floor apartment. Every day since we arrived he has stolen stuff from the kitchen counter (what he does when angry at humans), and every day he has been sick. (He steals stuff no sane dog would steal, like a bag of muesli). So one day I spent cleaning up the mess he did in the apartment, and several nights I have been up every two hours so he could go down to the street and do his thing.
I live opposite a beautiful old cemetery, and now I walk the dog there. Because I have an app where I register wildlife wherever I am for science, I noticed that there are almost no insects there, even as the cemetery is maintained to encourage insect life. Remember that the climate crisis is much worse and deadly than the corona crisis.
All of that said, this past week I certainly reached rock bottom, and it is clear to me that I have no other choice than climbing up. So in a way, I'm OK.
posted by mumimor at 7:28 AM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Hugs to everyone struggling
posted by mumimor at 7:28 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


Like most parents in the world atm, I've been feeling guilty about how much screen time the kids have been having, and also how I've been fobbing them off cause I'm tired.

I made them a "menu" today with six activities; they got to pick three, and I spent the whole day with them doing: Dungeons and Dragons, making origami and playing with it, cooking bialys, and then finally watching Cutthroat Island, which they enjoyed as much as I did as a kid!

It felt good. Also, I'm exhausted.
posted by smoke at 7:48 AM on May 31 [5 favorites]


“ WTF is going on with the social breakdown in Minneapolis? I am very not okay with what I'm reading both in the news and on my twitter, which is generally very friendly and not full of bullshit but this evening it seems like society is breaking down and there's a lot of tomfoolery being reported and it feels like something is suddenly shifting.

and I am very not okay with all this.”

The social break down has been going on for literal decades and centuries. White people should have been very not ok with it for a long ass time. That it is suddenly becoming visible to white Americans how fucked up and unacceptable it all is ... well, goody for you.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:00 AM on May 31 [9 favorites]


Friend in Ohio is about to be homeless during a pandemic. Been told they have a month to get out of the house (but it may be less, owner of the house is extremely volatile). Panicking trying to figure out if we can get them to Wisconsin to stay with us but we don’t really have room and the idea of having someone else come into the home is terrifying for obvious reasons. Nowhere they could self isolate. But also not going to let them be homeless during a pandemic?? Fuck.
posted by brook horse at 9:40 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


There’s still less ambulances but they are SO CLOSE! 2 within a block or so yesterday, then at 3am about 12-15 ambulances and fire/rescue (it wasn’t a fire...i think the fire dept is just deeply involved in covid response here (my AB test was at fire station)) pull up at the end of the block (the shorter N-S block). One fire rescue SUV pulled up in front and the guy was putting on full ppe in front of my building while I watched and prayed he wasn’t coming here. New cases here are up to 40/day from 10/day last week.
Still don’t have test results.
Possibly running a fever.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:52 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


And then I saw someone hock a giant loogy on the bike path. 😱
posted by eirias at 12:14 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


Today is horrible almost completely unrelated to pandemic stuff, but I have discovered that caramel m&ms pair very nicely with chianti.
posted by wellred at 3:46 PM on May 31 [8 favorites]


After a main course of liver and fava beans?
posted by Marticus at 6:08 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


wellred, the wrapper for caramel M&Ms is ghoulish as heck :-D
posted by sugar and confetti at 6:18 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


mmm stretchy insides...Marticus and sugar and confetti, it all flows!
posted by wellred at 5:04 AM on June 1


I'm down on caramel because of the stick-to-teeth factor. Reese's Pieces are the best in the genre, with Peanuts M&Ms just a half step down. The chocolate M&Ms are okay; (Canadian) Smarties are better in that department. I'd like to see more variety of fillings though, like mint and berry and whatnot, without the gumminess of Skittles.

Though I know people have used the various flavours of Skittles to infuse vodka.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:57 AM on June 1


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