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Old 04-06-2020, 09:06 AM
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A thread for/about those who are sheltering completely alone, i.e. no other human beings with you


Pets, yes... or maybe no pets either? But no spouse, roommate, parent, child, no other person living (or most likely, visiting) in your home.

What is this like for you? Do you have any kind of self/other-imposed routine/schedule? What are you cooking/eating? How's your sleep? Financial worries? Health worries besides CV)? How are you staying in touch and who are those people (in general)? What's the hardest/easiest thing about this lockdown? Not meant to be a questionnaire-- just things I'm wondering about others in the same sitch as me.

For myself, no one has set foot in my house since the last visit of my house cleaner three weeks ago. TBH, she is just about the only one who does come in my house. I have no family at all. Thank God my 93-year old mother did not have to go through this.

My sleep is absolute crap. I often wake up at 3 or 4 and can't get back to sleep. Had a bad night last night with disturbing anxiety-ridden coronavirus dreams. So I treated myself to the Breakfast of Champions: two ibuprofen and a xanax. I feel okay now...

I get out of my nightgown and into (sort of) clothes-- sweats and a tee. No makeup, but I do wear earrings. I walk most mornings listening to audiobooks (The Water Dancer is THE BEST book I've ever listened to), and then make an espresso and sit down to peruse the interwebs and esp the SDMB. I've been doing intermittent fasting for many months, so I don't think about lunch until eleven-ish. Low carbing, so no sandwiches, but I make soup, beans, have a few frozen things on hand. I've gotten a couple of grocery deliveries, and a friend brought several large, commercially frozen entrees last week. I was very touched. Someone else sent me a flower arrangement.

I'm retired and thank God (and my late H) I have a modestly secure financial situation. I'm not "productive" and really don't make any effort to be. I kind of piss away the rest of the day. Maybe that will change, but I've always been pretty lazy and very bad at setting goals for myself. I've reached a point in my life where I'm only "striving" for one thing: to be contented. I've been getting sleepy around 9:30, so no reason not to go to bed-- and at least even if I get up early, I've gotten a few hours of (restless) sleep. I use sleep apps to help me get to sleep-- Headspace and Calm-- and I do a meditation from one of those as soon as I wake up and before bed, too. Both apps have "bedtime stories" to help you drift off-- they're fairly aimless narratives that sooth without engaging. A recent one added to Calm is "British Shipping Forecast," which is a guy reading from a roster of ships and their destinations. Another one on Calm explains the rules of cricket. Seriously. Calm has one of Bob Ross (of blessed memory) for those who always found his voice sleep-inducing. But I digress...

I have two cats and a dog, and I live in a major dog-walking neighborhood. So when I walk Sweetie, I always see other dog-walkers. We give each other a wide berth and wave and shout good wishes from half-a-block away.

I'm Jewish but I also sing in an Episcopal church choir. To go through Easter without choir and Passover alone-- yikes! I always light my Shabbat candles-- never fail. Don't know what I'm going to do about Passover...

How about you other live-aloners? How are you doing?
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:53 AM
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I've been working at home, which I think has been good for my mental wellness. Not only because I don't have to worry about the tedium of getting "presentable", but I can surround myself with comforting things while I work. Good music, cozy lighting and climate control, and cat companionship. I start the day off with an energetic hike in the woods (or sometimes a not-so-energetic stroll around the neighborhood) that shakes off all the residual anxieties from the night before (my dreams have been intense lately...no corn fields yet, though). Once I sit down in front of my computer, I'm in the mindset of being productive and staying on task (she says as she dicks around on the SDMB!)

To be honest, all of this appeals to my reclusive nature . I think I'd be in a sour mood if I were locked in with another person. I miss being able to go to the thrift store up the street on the weekends, and I miss the hot bar at Whole Foods. But if you exclude all the sadness and fear happening in the background, the upsides of the lockdown have outweighed the downsides for me.

Every day I give myself something to look forward to. Like, I will be planting my zinnias this evening. Later on this week, I am expecting a wall hanging to arrive in the mail so that I can beautify my metal shed (a good Samaritan removed all the ivy that was covering the side facing the alley, so I'm going to show my gratitude by covering it in artwork). I'm not a good cook, but I try to make myself dishes that I know I will love (no experimental stuff for me!) And I shower my cat and houseplants with lots of love and care. I also dance and sing a lot since no one is around to judge me. Doing so makes me happy.

I also text and talk to people on the phone. I reach out to coworkers through IM, and I talk to my parents weekly (whereas before all of this I would reach out to them once a month).

I am very fortunate to not have to worry about financial stuff at this time. No job is absolutely secure, but I do enjoy some security. I also have a decent amount of savings. I would be a nervous wreck right now if I had to worry about money.
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Old 04-06-2020, 10:35 AM
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I live alone. My dog passed in August so it's just me now. I really miss her.

I'm doing okay, though. I speak and text with family members regularly. I'm a teacher and an introvert, so typically I would come home from work socially fatigued and the solitude of my house was quite welcome. During normal summer breaks, I often go weeks without much face-to-face social interaction. To steal a line I saw elsewhere, I feel like I've been preparing for this situation my whole life.

Our school has been closed for a month now, and will likely not reopen before summer break. We are doing online instruction, of a sort, but it's a much-reduced workload from what I'm used to. So I've got a lot of time on my hands. Been watching a lot of TV, playing some video games, spending too much time on the internet.

I've only left the house twice in the past few weeks. I probably won't need to leave again for a while, except to pick up a prescription in a couple of weeks.

My sleep schedule is all messed up, too. I keep trying to get back to a routine, but no success yet.

I really need to do some yard work, but it's been raining here every couple of days and my yard needs a few days to dry out or the mower will bog down. Looks like I might get a chance to do it this week.

Also looking forward to cutting my own hair at some point. If I mess up I can just shave it all off. I may just go ahead and do that anyway.

My biggest personal worries in all this are for my parents, who are elderly and in high-risk categories, and my siblings, who are thankfully still employed but that could change any day.
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Old 04-06-2020, 11:02 AM
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I've been working from home since March 12th. Just me here and the cats. Maryland's been locked-down since the beginning of the month, with no unnecessary driving.

I have jammies for my work-from-home days, which is every weekday now, and only get dressed if I'm going out for supplies, maybe once a week. Aside from that and a couple of food deliveries I don't suppose I've spoken to another person in person. I do phone conferences with co-workers most days, and talk to or text my mother regularly, and I've been on the phone to my doctor a couple of times since I had some strange aches in my lower chest (which seem to be stress related than anything to do with my lungs; I'm breathing fine). Since I'm still working full hours during the weeks, I don't have a lot of nothing-to-do time, but I've been binge-watching a lot of TV while I work. I'm sleeping in a little bit later than usual, since I don't have to go farther than downstairs to go to work, but I'm not staying up later than I used to. Like Thelma Lou, I've woken up in the early hours of the morning a couple of times, and wasn't able to get back to sleep before daybreak when all the birds start chirping outside the windows.

It feels less closed in if it's warm enough out to have the windows open and a breeze coming through the house. On nice days, I go out to stand in my tiny, fenced-in front yard for a while to get out of the house. There are things I was planning to do to fix up the yard this spring, but I'd have to go out to buy paint, flowers, etc, and that's just not doable right now.
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Old 04-06-2020, 11:03 AM
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I have no job. My church gave me some toilet paper, I play cards by myself. When I want Dunkin, my neighbor down the block has to drive me cause I can't walk in and he just got over bronchitis. No I am not making him, he was bad to go out. I go on dope and facebook. That's it. ��
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Old 04-06-2020, 11:25 AM
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I'm not alone (husband, son, housemate who rents the basement) but popping in to suggest that anyone who *is* in such a position have a way to check in somewhere on a daily(ish) basis - just so someone knows to look for you if you do get sick or are otherwise incommunicado.
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Old 04-06-2020, 11:29 AM
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I'm not alone (husband, son, housemate who rents the basement) but popping in to suggest that anyone who *is* in such a position have a way to check in somewhere on a daily(ish) basis - just so someone knows to look for you if you do get sick or are otherwise incommunicado.
I agree this is important. I have a handful of people with whom I exchange texts every day-- all of them singles, too.
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Old 04-06-2020, 11:40 AM
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I live alone with my 2 dogs. I do keep in touch with my sister and my father regularly. Things aren't too bad for routine wise. I am generally keeping a regular sleep pattern. I have most everything I need right now, but it is something that bothers me- knowing that a quick trip to the grocery store is not quick or easy at the moment.

I find that I am also worrying about strange things. For instance, I've been eating a lot of popcorn in the last week. I have enough kernels to last a year or so at my current rate of consumption. However, I am low on oil for actually popping it. I've now ordered too much coconut oil....

I must say that having a backlog of video games and movies helps. Still I miss going out for lunch or to the pub to grab a pint.
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Old 04-06-2020, 11:48 AM
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...I find that I am also worrying about strange things. For instance, I've been eating a lot of popcorn in the last week. I have enough kernels to last a year or so at my current rate of consumption. However, I am low on oil for actually popping it. I've now ordered too much coconut oil....
....
OMG! Me, too! I am eating popcorn like there's no tomorrow (and there may very well not be). I'm sitting here at 11:45 in the morning asking myself, "Is it too early for popcorn?" the way I used to wonder, "Is it too early for Jack Daniel's?" But if I make some now, then at 3:00 this afternoon (which is my regular popcorn time), I'll want some more, and is it too much to make popcorn twice in the same day? Just like I used to be with booze in My Drinking Days... This is probably a hazard of having no one on the premises to talk to. But the upside to that is I don't have to share my popcorn!
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Old 04-06-2020, 01:16 PM
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But the upside to that is I don't have to share my popcorn!
The doggies love popcorn. I do have to share it with them.
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Old 04-06-2020, 01:24 PM
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The doggies love popcorn. I do have to share it with them.
I have refrained from sharing with my dog Sweetie. BTW, I gave in and made some popcorn after I read your post. When 3:00 rolls around will I be able to resist making some more?

One thing that keeps me from overindulging in snacks is (1) I just can't keep any really good snacks* in the house, (2) it's problematic to replenish your supplies of anything these days.







* Like Ruffles sour cream & onion potato chips.
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Old 04-06-2020, 02:36 PM
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It's been great, frankly. My sole companion is a cat. I have been working on a regular schedule, with surprisingly little disruption in my productivity.

My overall schedule hasn't changed at all. I still go to sleep and wake up at the same hours, still take a shower in the morning and get dressed. I try to eat meals at regular times, though I'm less consistent there (just my nature--work imposed a pattern because the cafeteria was only open at certain times).

I have a Dungeons and Dragons game going over Skype, which I had already been doing since my gaming friends are remote. But now they're all remote from each other as well, and so there's less of an odd man out feeling and everyone is communicating better.

Simple tasks like cleaning the kitchen are easier now--instead of doing it at the end of the day when I'm tired or waiting until the weekend, I can interleave it with work-work and get something done when I need a break. It actually works really well interleaving menial tasks with intellectual ones; each is a break from the other.

Most likely, I will start working from home part time even after this is over. It's always been an option, but I had doubt about how well it was going to work. I know now that it's not a problem and has significant advantages.

I'm very lucky in that my financial situation is solid, I have a strong family and friend network, and that I'm naturally introverted. So I try not to take too much joy in the current situation, but I also can't deny that things are feeling pretty good for me personally.
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Old 04-06-2020, 03:23 PM
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Only mildly different than my regular routine honestly.

Just me and two cats at home, but I have some retired family no more than a quarter mile away that have been nice enough to pick up stuff for me at Costco and leave it in front of my door - reduces trips out. I'm working light hours every other week, but getting paid the same so zero financial stress. I'm a skilled worker in a 'critical services' type job, so my workplace has gone to paid skeleton staffing to try to reduce exposure.

I am quite obviously cooking a whole lot more and getting takeout a lot less, though I have tried to support my local restaurants at least a little. I'm used to doing many small grocery trips during the week and that is another things that has also obviously gone by the wayside. I probably have more food stuffed in my fridge and freezer than in any point in the last ten years. I really hate wearing masks, but I have an old, little-used p95 I picked back in the local Camp-Fire-smoke shrouded days that I've started tolerating to be a good citizen while on shopping excursions.

So I'm still working, financially stable, feel fine, and nobody I know real well has been seriously ill yet. Also I'm a natural loner, a fatalist and not particularly prone to anxiety generally. So stress has not been a significant issue - yet. Mostly I while away the hours surfing the net, playing computer games( feeling very retro with Pathfinder Kingmaker right now ), watching the tube and occasionally reading( Princely Brothers and Sisters: The Sibling Bond in German Politics, 1100-1250 ). When it isn't raining I try and get a little air around my condo complex/adjacent park and amuse myself with my very amateurish bird photography( lesser goldfinches, house finches, hermit thrushes, northern mockingbirds, bewick's wrens, and anna's and allen's hummingbirds the other day ).

All in all things are going fine for me. Which makes me feel only a little better as I watch the partial disintegration and panic all around.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 04-06-2020 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 04-06-2020, 04:42 PM
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I live alone and work from home already so it's no skin off my nose. I've got 2 dogs, who don't care about this virus thing. They want to walk every day just like usual!

I've done 3 group video calls, two with friends and one with my cousins. I have also had 3 video tai chi classes with my instructor, live, and did one night of kickboxing lessons from videos he uploaded to YouTube.

I've gone grocery shopping once a week every week for my parents and myself. Mostly for my parents. They seem to eat a lot! I just eat cereal and sandwiches.

Anyway, nothing's really changed. I'm alone all the time anyway. I kinda wish I didn't have to work so I could be chillin' with everyone else who's on the couch watching tv but I'm glad I'm working, as I'm my only source of income!
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Old 04-06-2020, 07:13 PM
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I live alone, but I do have my cats.

I'll often work from home, so in some ways, it's not unusual for me to spend days working on my computer, making and getting phone calls, and so on. I'll also meet clients when and where necessary.

In other ways, things are very unusual. Often, at the end of the business day, and especially after spending the day working from home, I need some face-to-face time with others. So, I'll often head down to the local sports bar, where I can have a couple of beers, watch a game on TV, and BS with the other regulars. On weekends, I might head for the local race book, where I can wager on horse races from various North American tracks. But now, the sports bar is closed, the race book is closed, and pretty much everywhere else I might want to go to is closed, and I have nowhere to go.

My world has become small. The weather is a factor; winter is just dragging on here, and while spring is definitely on its way, we had snow last week, and there is more snow in the long-term forecast. That's preventing me from getting started on the yardwork. I do try to get out for a walk in the local park, which helps; but I'd really like to get my bike out for a ride and I'd like to practice my golf swing in the back yard, although the snow is preventing those activities for now. All in good time though--I just have to be patient.

A local friend is calling me on the phone every few days just to make sure that I'm okay. We have a good chat, and even though it is not face-to-face, it is nice to speak with somebody. I sometimes call my sister in another city also--more often than I normally would, so we're in better touch, and that's a good thing.
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Old 04-06-2020, 07:36 PM
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I've worked from home for 22 years, so this is more of the same. I have a son in college, but we just check in once or twice a week. That said it's just so weird how much cooking I'm doing now since I don't want to go out more than once a week, so I'm getting creative there rather than my usual sustenance of weight watchers frozen dinners. And I'm probably gaining weight because of it. My usual exercise was to hit the state beach 1/2 a mile from here, there's a paved path that's about 1/2 mile long so I'd walk it round trip. But now they've closed the parks to vehicle access, so I manage to hit a different entry point to that same beach a but I'll admit I'm not doing it as often as I should.

Meanwhile I woke up this morning with a horridly upset tummy and chills. It's 73F in my office and I've freaking freezing! Ugh, hopefully a 1 day thing and not, well, you know. :|
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:37 PM
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Hope you're OK, squeegee! and can you make sure somebody will check in with you every day while you're feeling crappy?

The main difference in my life to this point, in practice, is that all those meetings and non-urgent medical appointments I had to go to have disappeared (though I had to pull off a farmers' market meeting by calling everybody up individually on the phone, which took longer from my point of view than our usual dinner meeting and was less fun.) My schedule's always somewhat erratic, being somewhat controlled by the weather. Most of my work is at home and I often cheerfully go several days without talking to anybody in person. And usually when I can manage to pull off a stretch of a week or so when I don't have to go anywhere that makes me happy --

but more than a week or so is another matter. And not having to go anywhere and not being able to go anywhere are not the same thing, and don't feel like the same thing. So I'm kind of in this odd mix of being relieved at not having to go anywhere and being antsy at not being able to go anywhere. And then even antsier when I really do have to go somewhere and can't avoid it.

And I have a very good friend coming over to pick something up, and I can't hug her. That's not fun. I'm not going to even have her into the house for tea, we're just going to talk out in the fields carefully staying more than six feet apart.

There are however four cats. So a need to hug doesn't go entirely unsatisfied.
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
What is this like for you?
Not much different than when I go a couple/few weeks between gigs, to be honest.
Quote:
Do you have any kind of self/other-imposed routine/schedule?
Not really. I do try and eat dinner and go to bed at the same time, but for me that means "within this 2-3 hour window".
Quote:
What are you cooking/eating?
I'm slowly gaining weight because I'm fully engaged with cooking 7 days a week now. When I work, I typically work anywhere from 10-16 hours, so I don't do much fancy cooking. Now it's a new tikka masala or a new korma curry or a new butter masala or tossed gnocchi dish every day. I'm a fairly good cook and I like food, so I tend to eat a bit more than I should right now.
Quote:
How's your sleep?
Pretty good most nights. I prolly get up early one day a week (say, 4am instead of 6am) but I also sleep in more than normal too (7am or 8am instead of 6am). I also really really enjoy napping, so I'm not hurting for sleep.
Quote:
Financial worries?
Meh. I'm okay for now. September might be a problem if this keeps up, tho.
Quote:
Health worries besides CV)?
Nope. Got plenty of BP meds.
Quote:
How are you staying in touch and who are those people (in general)?
I text every day with family and friends and co-workers and union brothers & sisters; I have prolly 20 people that I'm in contact with regularly.
Quote:
What's the hardest/easiest thing about this lockdown?
Easiest thing is staying home: I love my house because I've filled it with things I like and like doing. I have multiple guitars, a couple of bass guitars, a drum kit, a saxophone, various tribal drums and percussion instruments, etc. I've also been able to play Rocket League to my hearts content.

And I've been able to research a bunch of stuff and still keep up with the Covid-19 news; I like doing that kind of thing.

The hardest thing is reading the news and seeing just how fucking stupid and hateful some people are being, but that happens every day anyway.

Oh and my cats Tina & Leon (aye: they're siblings) are stoked that I'm around to brush and pet and play with them.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:47 PM
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Working from home, now starting week 3. Software, so easy to work from home.
Skype meeting with the team every morning. Goes for about 15 minutes. Skype other colleagues as needed, maybe one or two times a week.
Cat for company. Critter is pretty good. Mostly says off the keyboard and comes to snuggle up at bedtime.
I get out about every second day to get stuff. Try to keep one of my favourite local Cafés going by ordering a takeaway lunch and coffee every couple of days and driving out to pick it up.
Keep a daily routine. Get up, get dressed, don't work in pyjamas. Worried about putting on weight, but have started to exercise more. Trying for 30 minutes a day on the rowing machine.
Working long hours, because there is not much else to do.
Far too obsessed with the virus as it plays out across the world.
Slowly going stir crazy.

Last edited by Francis Vaughan; 04-06-2020 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:48 PM
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It's just me and some tropical fish that barely notice I exist here. I've had to work from home since 3/17 and I haven't been any farther than the mailbox in 15 days.

What is this like for you?

I'm really tired of this. And I get angry every time I see pics/videos of people who are not in the least taking this seriously. I have mild asthma but that's not a serious risk factor so I'm primarily staying home to keep others safe.

Do you have any kind of self/other-imposed routine/schedule?
Still working 8-4:30, so yeah

How's your sleep?
Ok. I'm sleeping more, mostly because I'm not driving two hours a day

Financial worries?
Nope

Health worries besides CV)?
Not particularly. Allergy symptoms ebb and flo, and I'm keeping up with the PT exercises while the rehab center is closed

How are you staying in touch and who are those people (in general)?
Texts, emails, and we do a virtual lunch over zoom every day

What's the hardest/easiest thing about this lockdown?
I really, really don't like not being able to just go out and shop and visit friends. It's been very quiet since my dad and the cat died but it was more bearable before the lockdown. The fact that there is no end in sight to all of this is depressing. There is no easiest thing.

Last edited by elfkin477; 04-06-2020 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
...So I'm kind of in this odd mix of being relieved at not having to go anywhere and being antsy at not being able to go anywhere. And then even antsier when I really do have to go somewhere and can't avoid it.

....
I can relate to this 100%!
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Old 04-06-2020, 11:04 PM
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For me, not much different from an average February or March.

I work from home, and live alone. Many days in winter I never leave the apartment. So the only difference for me has been not having any evening meetings or bar trivia to go to. As the days get longer and warmer, I'll do more early-evening reading to take advantage of the natural light.

I don't have any work at the moment, but I'm not yet panicky about that. I've been using the extra time to do some filing and sorting, and to work on some "round tuit" projects that should benefit me in the long run.
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Old 04-07-2020, 02:30 PM
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Retired and living alone with my two cats, so no serious changes in my regular routine. Fortunately, I was already well-stocked with food and toilet paper (and cat food) before the panic hit. I'm used to cooking for myself, and can get to the store and farmer's market for perishables as needed.

I keep in touch (figuratively!) with a friend and several neighbors, so there are people who are aware of my situation and will check up on me if there's any sign I'm in trouble.
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Old 04-07-2020, 02:55 PM
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I'm retired and have vision issues. The biggest change so far is that the gym is closed. 5-6 days a week, I walk 1.5 miles to a steep hill in town and go up and down that 5 or 10 times. I have a group of friends in other states, and we check in with each other daily. But I don't really have a routine. And Easter is going to be pretty meaningless with no church services and my son and his wife unable to visit.

I'm very concerned about what would happen to me if I got COVID-19. I'm used to taking care of myself when I'm sick, but COVID is a whole different animal, according to a friend who's had it. I'm over 60 and have lupus, so it wouldn't be pretty. I've read people who have COVID and get bad enough to need a ventilator get bad fast. I guess I hope I'd be able to call an ambulance.

What are your plans for if you get it?
  #25  
Old 04-07-2020, 06:18 PM
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(Tried to post this before and of course screwed it up, although I have no idea what I did wrong. aparently it went to the moderators...)

Woo-hoo, my very first post, after lurking for a couple of years.

Truth is: I'm loving this!

It's exactly the same as my weekends but stretched over a longer period of time. I have three chihuahuas but live alone other than that, and have for over 20 years now. I get along fine with folks at work, and in many other places, but prefer to be alone. I'm not good company in the long run, get tired and grouchy too easily, and I really do need time by myself (there seems to be no limit to how much I can handle). I don't do Facebook or any other social media , and not just because I wouldn't know how. I'm not antisocial, just unsocial. I talk to my parents every few days, and I hear from my sister occasionally.

The dogs are trained to use pads, so they don't normally go out. With the warmer weather coming, I might take them. Hard to walk three at once though. Been there, tried that. They don't care as long as they get fed twice a day. And they are loving having me at home al the time.

No financial worries. Was thinking of retiring in fall 2021, so I see this as retirement practice (although I'll have less money then).

Workplace has gone to minimum manning, so I've been home for three weeks + now. Spent at least 60 - 70% of that time asleep. Not kidding. I always needed more sleep than most, but this was ridiculous... and FUN! Now I sleep all day and stay up all night -- it's almost 1 am here, and I'll be up until light. Eventually that'll change I guess, but I'm not worried about it.

Had to get dog food mid-March, and although I did buy a big load that is what I always do. I went grocery shopping the following Friday, just got a usual load, added a few thing here to make up for things I couldn't get there. Only two cans of soup allowed? Sounds like an extra pack of sausages to me. I have enough for awhile. Twice a week - Wednesday and Saturday - I make my Tim's and Tickets runs. That's lotto tickets and Tim Horton's, bought at the same gas station. I've done this for years, so they know me well. Still have to go in for tickets, but have to use the drive thru for Tim's (after seeing me in the store, they have my order ready by the time I get to the ordering box). Other than those times, I haven't been out anywhere except for the drives I go on during my Tim's runs - I like the really scenic route with the radio blasting.

I watch TV (usually news now) or movies I've recorded. I read. I sleep. I snuggle with the dogs. Eventually I'll clean up or exercise or do something else, but it won't start tomorrow. Maybe I'll get my motorcycle out for the first time in years.

I haven't felt this good in years.
  #26  
Old 04-07-2020, 06:40 PM
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I live alone and have been working from home since March 16th. I do have a specific task I have to do every morning at work before everyone else can do their jobs so if I didn't get that done and I wasn't scheduled for a day off someone would be looking for me. I don't have any days off scheduled any time soon so the longest I'd go before someone missed me would be from Friday to Monday.

I keep the same work hours I did when I was going into the office but I do get to sleep a bit later since my commute involves walking from the bedroom to the living room. I do still get dressed, more like casual Friday work clothes but I'm not staying in my PJ's all day. I get bad night sweats so I have to shower in the morning or I feel gross all day!

I've never been the type who likes being in a crowd so I do get anxious when I do have to go out. The thought of grocery shopping makes me queasy now and no stores deliver to my home. The closest store that does pickup is halfway across town.

To make things worse my cat passed away last week. I did adopt two kittens this week thanks to my vet's office looking out for me but those days between him passing and me getting the girls were awful. Very thankful for kitteny distractions now.
  #27  
Old 04-07-2020, 06:42 PM
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Same as it always is and I LOOOOOOOVE it. I've been working from home for over one year, so no real being at home alone problems.

What DOES get me is, since I already work from home, I really look forward to happy hour and seeing my regular miscreants around the neighborhood. Or eating in an establishment other than my car or home.
  #28  
Old 04-07-2020, 07:12 PM
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To make things worse my cat passed away last week. I did adopt two kittens this week thanks to my vet's office looking out for me but those days between him passing and me getting the girls were awful. Very thankful for kitteny distractions now.
I always have to live with more than one cat because a) the cats clearly prefer having feline friends and b) the thought of there not being any cat at all around is . . . daunting, to say the least. Especially while grieving.

I'm very sorry for your loss. And cuddle those kittens (not that I need to tell you that, the kittens will tell you that.)
  #29  
Old 04-07-2020, 07:22 PM
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....
To make things worse my cat passed away last week. I did adopt two kittens this week thanks to my vet's office looking out for me but those days between him passing and me getting the girls were awful. Very thankful for kitteny distractions now.
Oh my goodness... I'm so sorry about your cat. That's tough. Kittens can definitely be a distraction. What are their names? (A picture would be nice, too... hint-hint. )
  #30  
Old 04-08-2020, 08:57 PM
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… To make things worse my cat passed away last week. I did adopt two kittens this week thanks to my vet's office looking out for me but those days between him passing and me getting the girls were awful. Very thankful for kitteny distractions now.
So sorry for your loss, but glad to hear you're self-helping. Kudos to your vet.

I've lost (too) many little ones in the past and it breaks my heart every time, but I keep going back for more. My world just isn't right without them.

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"Stay the blazes home" - Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia

Last edited by Sean the Dog; 04-08-2020 at 08:58 PM.
  #31  
Old 04-08-2020, 09:22 PM
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I'm a pretty solitary person, get my fill of in person contact at work every day. This whole Covid 19 thing has had almost zero impact on my life, other than not being able to buy everything I want at the exact moment I want it.
  #32  
Old 04-09-2020, 06:40 PM
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Oh my goodness... I'm so sorry about your cat. That's tough. Kittens can definitely be a distraction. What are their names? (A picture would be nice, too... hint-hint. )
Thanks Their names are Calliope (calico) and Tabitha (gray tabby). What's a good photo hosting site that works well with the boards? I've actually never posted a picture here in nearly 9 years!

I had one of my awful anxiety dreams last night. I dream I'm back at my old bank teller job with a lobby full of people and I'm the only teller in the building. This time I kept yelling at people to quit crowding around me and to stay behind this line I had drawn on the floor.

Last edited by Dr. Girlfriend; 04-09-2020 at 06:41 PM. Reason: forgot how long I've been here
  #33  
Old 04-09-2020, 07:56 PM
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imgur is good. You have the option of keeping your photos hidden, but you can get a link to post here. I can upload photos directly from my android phone. Be aware that when you upload them is when you make the choice about them being public or hidden.

Those are great names-- they lend themselves to highly corruptible nicknames.
  #34  
Old 04-09-2020, 09:31 PM
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Thanks Their names are Calliope (calico)
Good grief. I've got a calico cat named Calliope.

I have no idea how she got the name; she arrived with it. I could ask her original human, I suppose; we're in occasional email contact.
  #35  
Old 04-09-2020, 11:56 PM
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I'm alone half the time, and have my daughter half the time.

I find this very tough. I miss my friends, and the rest of my family. My wife and I separated in January, which doubles how tough this is. We still love each other and wanted to date and start over a little, and now we can't see each other.
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  #36  
Old 04-10-2020, 06:43 AM
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Good grief. I've got a calico cat named Calliope.

I have no idea how she got the name; she arrived with it. I could ask her original human, I suppose; we're in occasional email contact.
A cat with powers of bilocation? Naturally.

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I'm alone half the time, and have my daughter half the time.

I find this very tough. I miss my friends, and the rest of my family. My wife and I separated in January, which doubles how tough this is. We still love each other and wanted to date and start over a little, and now we can't see each other.
Oh, I am sorry. How sad for y'all. I hope you can work it out when this is all over.
  #37  
Old 04-10-2020, 07:13 AM
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I've been working from home, and, as I am an essentially friendless man in my community, not much difference.
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  #38  
Old 04-10-2020, 07:39 AM
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I'm alone half the time, and have my daughter half the time.

I find this very tough. I miss my friends, and the rest of my family. My wife and I separated in January, which doubles how tough this is. We still love each other and wanted to date and start over a little, and now we can't see each other.
Christ, I'm sorry. I moved cross country this January and rented myself a shack tiny little house in the ass end of Buttfuck, Michigan because my I.T. Guy and I were just absolutely done-o with each other and I didn't want to live anywhere in that whole region anymore. (Plus other reasons.)

But we didn't really, uh, break up totally all the way completely and will be seeing each other soon.

Otherwise, my introverted ass is loving the whole "leave me the hell alone" thing everyone is forced into right now. I have my cat, and my ratties and snake (and will inevitably allow some other critters into my life soon, no doubt) and part time cashier at a grocery store so I still get more than enough SocialPeopleTime (tm) than I'd like, to be honest. But I actually had the mental bandwidth to *call my mother* the other day, which is a sign of a well stocked emotional bank account, so to speak. I had enough mental energy to spare a bit, in other words.

Don't have a nickel to spare in my actual financial bank account, but .. eh. Better than the reverse, for me.
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  #39  
Old 04-10-2020, 09:31 AM
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It's just me and the axolotls here, who are pretty oblivious to basically everything. I'm in the last few months of finishing off a BSc, so the major impact has been all my classes moving online, which hasn't made much difference really, as we were all but finished with the teaching, and everything was supposed to be submitted online anyway, except the exams. Officially I'm doing my part time job, at a college, from home, but I don't have any actual work to do, so I'm effectively furloughed on full pay, which I can't complain about. I'm trying to keep to roughly my normal schedule, but I am having a lot of trouble sleeping (probably due to lack of exercise) and I tend to sleep late.

I don't know many people around here, I was only intending to live in the area while I was studying, but all my friends in other places are now meeting online, so paradoxically I'm possibly actually being more social, especially as all the neighbours are all stopping to chat when I see any, when they used to just say 'Hi' if that. I haven't yet arranged for anyone to check in daily, but I have friends who would if I do start getting sick, even if they're not local.

I am missing exercise, especially as this is the most glorious time of year here, when spring is sproinging everywhere and all the roadsides are covered in flowers; although we're supposedly allowed to go for a walk once a day, we're not supposed to go far from the house, no driving to a nice spot, and the area I live in is right next to the main town dog walking area, so it's really busy and a bit covered in dog crap. I do have a hive of bees which are about 5 miles away, and I am allowed to go out there for necessary checks, but that's just once a week. I am wishing I had a proper outdoor space, rather than a 1/6th share of a parking area and small square of gravel, but it's not so bad. I have a nice view, great light and lots of houseplants, so I can do indoor gardening at least.

Oh, and BTW, the shipping forecast is a specialised weather forecast for ships, not a report on where ships are. That made me giggle. All the names are regions of sea round the UK, always ritualised in the same order in a highly coded form, basically going clockwise from Scotland, though I'll admit I haven't the foggiest where most of them are without checking. I do suspect the number of people who listen to it to relax far outnumbers the people listening to it to find out the weather, at least for practical purposes. Most of us listen to aid in imagining boats way out at sea battling the winds, while we're all snugly tucked up in bed. Ooh, there's rain and gales in South Utsira, wherever that is; glad I'm not there.
  #40  
Old 04-10-2020, 11:04 AM
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A cat with powers of bilocation? Naturally.
The Calliope living with me is three and a half, and I gather that the one living with Dr. Girlfriend is a kitten. So not the same cat . . .

unless, wait. Could she have not only powers of bilocation, but also powers of rejuvenation?

With cats, almost anything is possible!
  #41  
Old 04-10-2020, 11:55 AM
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I have my kitty Skittles, so I honestly don't feel hugely alone. I was always a bit of a homebody, though I do miss my occasional outings to the theater or restaurant. My birthday is the 14th and I'll be eating with my parents at their house (ordering in whatever sounds good to me, lol). I do still go on solo walks when it' nice out. Apart from working at home, my routine hasn't really changed all THAT much? I do feel a little stir-crazy not being able to go out every couple weeks, though.

I made a post a bit ago about going through alopecia. Well, a recent blood test came to the conclusion that my protactin is really pretty high. While not likely, since I'm not exhibiting most other symptoms, this could mean a tumor or other mass on my pituitary glance, so my doctor is scheduling an MRI.

Guys, in general, I'm a naturally very healthy person. I've never had so much as a broken bone or even the flu. Blood draws are the worst medical experience I typically have, though, and I've developed a fear of them since I had a particularly traumatizing draw as a 6 year old. Suffice to say, the idea of lying there for 45 minutes with a needle in my vein is TERRIFYING the shit out of me. The tight space and noise I can handle, but a needle sitting there in my arm is another story. My appointment is about 3 weeks away, depending on COVID-19 and other scheduling issues, and I'm already breaking into a nervous sweat just thinking about it. Mind you, I don't even know for sure if I'll need the contrast dye. But I hear it's common for scanning the pituitary gland, so I'm bracing for the worst. After all of this, assuming there's no issue such as a tumor (again, not anticipating that), my doctor can start me on something to help lower my prolactin level and maybe, finally, that'll help with the alopecia. I'm hoping so hard it will.

Also, if the MRI really really sucks, maybe blood draws will seem super tame in comparison, and freak me out less in the future. I can dream!...
  #42  
Old 04-10-2020, 12:20 PM
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Ok guys, I started a thread over in MPSIMS with a kitten pic. Didn't want to hijack this thread.

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=893859

Sending good thoughts to everyone going through sucky stuff right now.
  #43  
Old 04-10-2020, 12:22 PM
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Kovitlac, talk to your doctor. Some people get sedation for MRI's, even without needle issues. I didn't need sedation; but if I'd reported claustrophobia I'm sure I could have gotten it; they told me it's standardly required for MRI's to have someone else available to drive the patient home in case sedation's needed. I would think you could get it for phobia about injections.

Have the discussion in advance; I got the impression that they wanted you to get your primary care physician to order the sedative before you came in, though I don't know what they would have done if I'd freaked out in the equipment and had to be pulled out (they gave me a panic button.)
  #44  
Old 04-10-2020, 12:22 PM
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...
I made a post a bit ago about going through alopecia. Well, a recent blood test came to the conclusion that my protactin is really pretty high. While not likely, since I'm not exhibiting most other symptoms, this could mean a tumor or other mass on my pituitary glance, so my doctor is scheduling an MRI.

Guys, in general, I'm a naturally very healthy person. I've never had so much as a broken bone or even the flu. Blood draws are the worst medical experience I typically have, though, and I've developed a fear of them since I had a particularly traumatizing draw as a 6 year old. Suffice to say, the idea of lying there for 45 minutes with a needle in my vein is TERRIFYING the shit out of me. The tight space and noise I can handle, but a needle sitting there in my arm is another story. My appointment is about 3 weeks away, depending on COVID-19 and other scheduling issues, and I'm already breaking into a nervous sweat just thinking about it. Mind you, I don't even know for sure if I'll need the contrast dye. But I hear it's common for scanning the pituitary gland, so I'm bracing for the worst. After all of this, assuming there's no issue such as a tumor (again, not anticipating that), my doctor can start me on something to help lower my prolactin level and maybe, finally, that'll help with the alopecia. I'm hoping so hard it will.

Also, if the MRI really really sucks, maybe blood draws will seem super tame in comparison, and freak me out less in the future. I can dream!...
Unless I'm misunderstanding you... you won't have a needle in your arm during the whole MRI. They'll probably give you a shot of the contrast substance. I've had two MRIs and while I wouldn't want one every day of the week they're only about 1% as distressing as the average root canal. (UGH! People working inside your mouth for hours many long minutes... ewww!) There is no pain involved whatsoever, just a loud, clanging sound.

When I had the second one, I asked the technician to let me know when we were halfway done. That helped. Lie still and keep your eyes shut or wear an eye mask. I was very anxious before my first one, but it turned out to be a classic case of the worry being a million times worse than the actual event. Look at it this way: it's 45 (or less) minutes out of your life, and millions of people have gone through them. If they can do it, you can do it.

Don't think about it so much ahead of time, and certainly don't brace yourself for the worst. (Unless you've found that that particular strategy works to calm you-- it wouldn't work for me.) You might think of some very nice place you'd like to go for dinner after it's over and focus on that. The appointment will be here and over with before you know it!
  #45  
Old 04-10-2020, 02:51 PM
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I've been reading the many interesting replies here and want to thank ThelmaLou for starting this thread.

Maybe my question is a foolish one, and if so, I apologize, but I'd still like to know how others plan to care for themselves of they do catch the virus.

Obviously someone who gets only a very mild case would be able to do self-care without any issues. But there are a lot of people--I know one in particular--who have been quite ill and too weak to care for themselves but not sick enough to be admitted to the hospital. The person I know lives with her family.

This is my biggest concern about COVID.
  #46  
Old 04-10-2020, 04:45 PM
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I've been reading the many interesting replies here and want to thank ThelmaLou for starting this thread.

Maybe my question is a foolish one, and if so, I apologize, but I'd still like to know how others plan to care for themselves of they do catch the virus.

Obviously someone who gets only a very mild case would be able to do self-care without any issues. But there are a lot of people--I know one in particular--who have been quite ill and too weak to care for themselves but not sick enough to be admitted to the hospital. The person I know lives with her family.

This is my biggest concern about COVID.
Thanks, nelliebly.

This is my biggest concern about ANY serious health problems I might have. I don't have a plan and frankly don't know what I would do.

A friend drove me to the hospital when I had a lumpectomy. (He is now deceased.) I drove myself to all my radiation appointments and all other doc followups. My neighbor took me both times when I had cataract surgery. Those are my major medical events. I've never needed "care," and a damned good thing, too.
  #47  
Old 04-10-2020, 08:03 PM
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Unless I'm misunderstanding you... you won't have a needle in your arm during the whole MRI. They'll probably give you a shot of the contrast substance.
Hate to say this, but unless I'm remembering entirely wrong, I did have a needle in my arm the whole time. (I wasn't bothered by this.) They set it up before I got into the machine, and told me they were going to be adding the contrast partway through and I might feel cold in the arm when they did it (which I did, briefly.) [ETA: nobody was in the room with me when they put the contrast into the line; it was done from outside.]

I don't know whether they always do it that way.

Last edited by thorny locust; 04-10-2020 at 08:04 PM.
  #48  
Old 04-10-2020, 08:15 PM
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Hate to say this, but unless I'm remembering entirely wrong, I did have a needle in my arm the whole time. (I wasn't bothered by this.) They set it up before I got into the machine, and told me they were going to be adding the contrast partway through and I might feel cold in the arm when they did it (which I did, briefly.) [ETA: nobody was in the room with me when they put the contrast into the line; it was done from outside.]

I don't know whether they always do it that way.
Yikes!

I know I got an injection of the contrast stuff, but not a continuous i.v. That is definitely freaky. Maybe it depends on what part of the body they're aiming at.
  #49  
Old 04-10-2020, 11:12 PM
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It looks as if MRI for pituitary tumours does use contract media. Gadolinium. So, from a wide point of view it sounds a little scary. However, in knowledge there is power, and of course, in reality, there is nothing to be worried about, it is just a rather freaky experience.

I would hope they explain in detail what will be happening. Years ago I needed an abdominal CT with contrast medium. What sticks in my mind was the warning that most people react in a very peculiar way when the contrast medium was injected for that procedure. There is a feeling that they have just shat themselves. So I was warned explicitly to expect this, and to keep it in mind. No, really, when it happens, I have not disgraced myself. It was uncanny. It wasn't super strong, but the sensation was exactly as described.

MRI's are a bit different to X-ray CT, but overall there is more in common than differences. Perhaps the most important thing about an MRI is that the damned machines are noisy. They are unavoidably basically a large loudspeaker - make up of a huge magnet plus electrically energised magnetic coils. When the machine is scanning, the coils bang and thump in a most disconcerting manner. For head scans they like to wrap a close fitting antenna around your head so that they get the best possible signal.

Knowing ahead of time what will happen, and importantly why, is often a great start to ameliorating any anxiety. There is always the underlying anxiety about the reason why you are having the procedure in the first place and where to from here. But the actual scan, whilst a bit impersonal, full of weird tech, and not something you would be choosing to do for the fun of it, can be something of an adventure if one puts one mind into that frame.

Best of luck anyway.
  #50  
Old 04-11-2020, 01:06 AM
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I've been both stupidly pessimistic and stupidly optimistic about Covid-19. I am sure I'm going to get it (although I'm not going out of my way to do so), but I don't think I'll get very sick from it. Absolutely no realistic justification for either belief. I just don't seem to care, which is really odd for someone who is usually a big worrier. I'm more worried about passing it one to somebody else.

Back in 2012 I got deathly sick, so much so that my joke "I do pretty good for a dead guy" isn't the cool brag it seems. After two weeks of flopping around the hose, I ended up in hospital for three weeks. During that time, my father came by the house twice a day and looked after my furbabies. And cleaned up some (the bugger). When I got out of hospital, I stayed at the Olde Folkes home for a few weeks while Dad kept my babies healthy and the house going. All went really well. The dogs were almost his by the time I got back home.

But that was eight years ago. Nowadays my Mom can't walk anymore so Dad and homecare are taking care of her. It's a fulltime job. They are both in their 80s. My sister has her own family to take care of. So unless things got really bad, I'd say I was on my own. Wish me luck.

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"Stay the blazes home" - Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia

Last edited by Sean the Dog; 04-11-2020 at 01:08 AM.
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