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01 April 2020

How's everyone doing? 3-point quarantine update [More:]
1. I'm doing alright, although I've retreated into 100% isolation, not even walking with my neighbour any more. I miss our walks and chats, and I love her two dogs. But the more I read about the importance of not co-mingling and instead staying within your own household, the more I felt I needed to do this. If I get ill I have no-one - absolutely no-one - to take care of me. If I end up ill enough to have to go to hospital, there will be nobody to advocate for me. The odds on me being denied a ventilator, should it come to that, are very high, as I'm over 60. So I want to avoid that possibility by any means available to me.

2. Work is shit. We have new managers and they are treating us appallingly, in the hope that we will either leave voluntarily or they will find some excuse to sack us. Fortunately, UK employment law is largely in our favour and we are (mostly) united in our intention to resist and not be browbeaten by them. I've been in my job for 20 years, but many of my colleagues who joined within the last seven or eight years have had extensive experience as lawyers in senior roles covering equality, discrimination and employment rights. As far as the managers are concerned, I don't think they know who they're dealing with...

3. We had our book group meeting via Skype the other night and it was fun. Other than the person who chose it, we all hated the book (Purge by Sofi Oksanen). It was lovely to catch up with everyone. Webcams make everyone look even worse than they usually do when sitting at home, no makeup, braless, old comfy clothes. So we all looked like crap - all except for one woman, who is so naturally beautiful that she looked as if she was on a model shoot.
Good idea. We haven't 3 poibt updated on too long!

1. My main source of income is gone (weekday drafting) so now it's only the weekend retail hell. Which is horribly dangerously managed per 6 foot and PPE matters. I am avoiding thinking about it.
2. I've been spending time on Facebook, surprisingly, and keeping a sense of connection that way.
3. It's mostly beautiful weather here so I've worked on my garden shed, pulled weeds and made a dent in tyding up.
4. I lost both my yoga class and strength training session so have instead wistfully hoped that yardwork is a substitute (it's not.)
5. The kitchen floor has been deep cleaned and I'm tackling those little projects that are annoyances but so nice to have off the mental checklist.
6. I think I'm prone to depression so am trying to keep active and out of my head. I still cannot settle enough to read which is a usual retreat. Maybe I haven't found the right thing yet or it's the call of outdoors that's causing it. The local libraries are only offering e-reading loans and I am old schooled and don't have that technology.; but I do have a huge stack of books.
7. Been making meals pretty consistently; I've also indulged in way more sweets than normal which isn't optimal.
8. The hummingbirds are back around here so that's been a fun pastime in bird watching.
9. I am keeping my mom stocked up with 3 weeks worth of supplies. She is finally starting to understand that a virus is impacting things but doesn't see the enormity. That's not a bad way to get through this...
posted by mightshould 01 April | 17:51
Hang tough in that job, senyar, don't let the bastards win! Just a few more days, weeks, go.
posted by mightshould 01 April | 17:52
All is much the same. We are keeping low and not going out except as must. Finding a pulse oximeter is proving harder than I thought it would be. It seems our whole just in time no stock global economy does not do pandemic well.

I am on the phone a lot with people I know who have no or little access to Internet. Trying to get money moved around or finding out if stores or banks or what have you are open at all and what times they are. The city closed all public transit so for people without a car, food and other basics can be a real pain in the ass.

Hanging with the cats indoors and out. Pan seems to have taken the social distancing thing to heart. For years she has disappeared for a day or two or three at a time. I have never found out where she went on those jaunts. But by last fall she pretty much stopped leaving for more than a few hours. For the last few weeks she has been staying in the yard pretty much always. I think it's just that she is feeling her age.

Hoping you stay well Senyar and mightshould.
posted by arse_hat 01 April | 18:40
Hugs back to you, arse_hat and mrs. (and kitties.)
posted by mightshould 01 April | 18:46
WooHoo! Sourced an oximeter without having to resort to Amazon.
posted by arse_hat 02 April | 17:52
A co-worker at my big box store has died of it. He was older and had a heart condition but was hospitalized because of covid complications. The store is calling it a heart attack (maybe it was technically???) Did he contract it at work? We will never know.

He was such a good person.....

Sorry. I just needed to tell someone. Thanks for being here.
posted by mightshould 02 April | 21:01
So sorry mightshould. And don't feel bad about having to say something. Just saying it out load or writing it down for someone else to see or hear can be a big help when dealing with stress/fear and/or loss/grief.
posted by arse_hat 02 April | 22:29
I am so sorry, mightshould. Take good care of yourself. Are you allowed to wear a mask at work? Use this YouTube video for no-sew masks. I've also ordered some vacuum cleaner HEPA bags, which can be cut up to line the mask and provide an extra layer of protection.

The lack of human f2f contact is getting to me a bit. But yesterday on my walk I ran into a couple of friends, sisters, who were sitting (10ft apart) on a jetty at a lake I'd walked to (so I could see the birds). It was really lovely to see them and to have an actual conversation with another person rather than 'talking' online.
posted by Senyar 03 April | 02:24
Thanks arse_hat and senyar for the kindness and support.

It's hard going it alone; I'm pleased to see you had some distant social time senyar!
posted by mightshould 03 April | 08:29
Ugh. I can't say I'm dealing with this situation very well. I've become grouchy A.F. and it seems my ever-present depression has decided to take a steep downward turn.

Yesterday, the garage door opener decided now would be a great time to start malfunctioning, and I'm (literally) beating my head trying to figure out, and fix, the problem. This ends up feeding the depression and all I want to do is crawl back in bed and tell the world to fuck-off and leave me alone.

I'm too old for this crap.
posted by Thorzdad 03 April | 08:50
Thorzdad, I've been stuck with depression my whole life and I would like to think that would give me good words to offer in support but it really doesn't. So I'll just offer offer virtual hugs and an 'I hear you'.
posted by arse_hat 03 April | 12:40
Air hugs to y'all. My omly balm for the tendency is to force myself outside.

I hope ya'll have something that can mitigate it a bit because these times are sooooo difficult if you have depression along with the rest of the mess that's happening. Burrying head sounds awfully nice right now.
posted by mightshould 03 April | 14:28
Sorry to hear about your coworker,
Dealing with this unimaginable event the best I can myself. I'm not a very social person, but the zero personal contact is really making me feel depressed and ill.
posted by buzzman 04 April | 03:54
Yes, buzzman, it's getting to me too. I had a f2f conversation with a couple of people I met by chance the other day, maintaining about a 10-15ft distance between us. I really needed it.

But then today an idiot cyclist, who could not have failed to see me walking across a clearing in the forest, passed just 2ft away from me when he could have left 50ft or more between us. So I feel I have now had to re-set and go back to Day Zero of avoiding people.

I managed to log in to my Tesco account (it was under an old email address) but there are no delivery slots available for the next three weeks. I have a veg box coming on Tuesday and a few things on a neighbour's supermarket order on Saturday. Neighbours who are going shopping have been getting me bread and other odds and ends.

At weekends I love going to garden centres or outdoor markets. I am so missing that. I'm glad I have my small garden to potter around in, but my next-door neighbours are continuing to have visitors, and sit right by the fence in their garden (which is 1/3rd the size of mine) so very close to me, and I don't feel that it's a safe environment for me when they are all outside.
posted by Senyar 04 April | 19:00
Had to go to a grocery store yesterday because it has been 3 weeks since the last time. Standing in line at the marked 2 metre distance a woman, late 60s I'd guess, had to share her thoughts. I am a big white dude with a shaved head and dark glasses and Doc Martens but that does not mean I want to hear your brain dead opinions on race Becky. I have enough on my mind without being provoked by idiots.

Shit is getting worse every day. A couple years ago we talked about death and we both want direct cremation and no funeral home. This week we talked about the actual act of dying. If one or both of us gets sick and gets severe do we want hospitalization or ride it out at home and at least die with someone with us.

Yup. Fun time.

I am getting a bit stir crazy too. I told my wife, going out to the grocery store I felt like a dog 'OH OH OH! A CAR TRIP! OH OH!'
posted by arse_hat 04 April | 19:45
I ventured out into the stores for the first time yesterday (with my wife) and it was so weird. I'm normally hesitant to go out into public, anyway, so this was an especially nervous venture for me.

First stop was our local coffee shop to get a fresh bag of beans. It was great to see how the place was being supported by the community. The shop has gone to online ordering only so no-one enters the store. You wait in your car and they bring your order to you, carrying it on these long paddles (with cutouts for the cups) They were super busy.

We've decided to try and grow some grape tomatoes in a pot this summer, so we went to the nearby Lowes (the only place nearby area with anything like a garden center) and it was a madhouse. People with carts piled high with big bags of mulch and plants and stuff. And us, with our single little tomato plant. I was simultaneously impressed and dismayed by how many people were/weren't wearing masks.

Then we hit the grocery store for a few items. The bare shelves were startling. I managed to grab one of the last jars of yeast they had. Again, impressed/dismayed by the mask situation.

It was weird to see the mix of stores that were closed and stores that were open. I swear the Best Buy was open. The front door was open and there was a small line of cars in front. Are they doing online-only, and bringing your purchase to you?
posted by Thorzdad 05 April | 07:15
Yeah Best Buy has drive up pick up. The Lowes and Home Depots only have pick up here too. In Ontario only places with liquor or grocery are open anymore. Anything else is pick up only.
posted by arse_hat 06 April | 02:32
Hey Senyar; yeah; I'd joined a gardening group for dad's and kids a few weeks ago. Well that is shut down too.

I am just so basically sick of this, it has to end soon; I find myself uttering the 'God make all of this go away' mantra several times a day; I'm just sick of it.

The gym helps (which is supposed to be shut down; on the other hand; of five visits; there has only been one other person there. Naturally like a fool they hop on the exercycle right next to the treadmill I'm on. Jesus give me a flamethrower...) but getting started is like moving through glue. I know it will all pass; and I find myself doing super light stuff just because. Overhead military presses? Well; 50lbs no way; hello chipper 30lb bar. Still loving the little 5lb barbells too.

Sit and read; bounce off the walls; try to sleep; unimaginable dystopia. This crap has to pass soon.

Ah, extreme boredom level 9000+ ... wait for it.... I find myself watching/studying the Scientology channel. My soul is doomed. lol.
posted by buzzman 06 April | 20:22
Air hugs to you, buzzman.
posted by mightshould 06 April | 22:14
On a humourous note (or not...) the ~supposed to be closed~ shifty massage place down the street from where I am is still open despite the news media even doing a segment on it.

"Free COVID with every rub". Probably not a funny catch phrase for what could be going on there. .
posted by buzzman 07 April | 18:23
Leave something, get something...
posted by arse_hat 07 April | 19:41
Damn. || Went out to feed the cats.