What has the pandemic changed permanently for you?

Years ago I read Deep Survival, about how people get through really difficult endurance survival situations (e.g. shipwreck, or lost in the wilderness). And yep, he said something pretty much like that: the people who are able to survive, and even thrive, are the ones who can make a mental adjustment and adapt to their new circumstances. He specifically mentioned that, long-term prisoners often go through that same adaptation process. For adaptable types like that, prison isn’t much of a deterrent - it’s just another way of living.

As for what’s changed for me…my wife and I have discovered that grocery delivery is a big time saver, so we’ll probably be doing that even after the pandemic simmers down.

Telework is going to be more of a thing now too. I didn’t used to do it at all, and the nature of my work requires me to be physically present much of the time, but I foresee teleworking maybe a couple of days a week in the future, killing one or two weekly commutes.

Sadly, like others here the pandemic has stoked my disappointment at large swaths of the population. So very many people think in terms of vaccines and masking only in terms of protecting themselves, which is to say that the pandemic has revealed that these people think only in self-serving terms.

Thank you for those thoughtful comments on my sitch. That meant a lot.

It’s taken away my innocence in thinking that serious pandemics only happened long ago or in far away places. Even when (if) this one is over I’ll always know another one is possible in my lifetime.

I would say that going on a cruise is the biggest one. We used to go on a cruise every other year, and we planned to go on some very long cruises in the next few years, and especially after we retire. But now? We haven’t even talked about going on another cruise and I have serious doubts we ever will again after this. It’s hard for me to believe that people are still going on the things right now during this pandemic.

It definitely drove a stake through the heart of my notion that I didn’t like working from home, and that I’d prefer to work in the office. I think a lot of that was just that when I had done it in the past, my children were younger and not in school yet, so there was much more chaos during the day, and the tools weren’t there to work from home quite as effectively as now (I had a desktop PC, and couldn’t remote to it, etc…)

I also think that curbside pickup is going to remain a regular option for a great many things. We had used it some in the year leading up to the pandemic- usually for non-perishable, commodity type items we could buy from Wal-Mart, but we ramped it up for nearly everything once the pandemic started, and have been pretty pleased. It hasn’t been perfect, but it’s been better than we might have expected, and the actual shopping can be done “out of band” so to speak, in that I can add stuff to my cart at whatever store during lunch, before I go to bed, while I’m watching TV, etc… and don’t have to carve out any specific time except the pickup time, which is typically much less time.

I’m doing the same thing with toilet paper.

Maybe fake your death and run away to Panama?

(not serious)

Me too. I think I’ll be happier still when things are calm enough that I can be back in the office a couple days a week, but it turns out my dislike of working from home pre-pandemic was mostly the lack of a sufficient set-up. Working from home certainly makes recording people’s lectures easier when I merely have 2 cats to wrangle rather than trying to get my whole office full of people to stop being noisy for an hour.

One thing I hope is not a permanent change, though, is since the very first week of the stay-at-home order, I’ve been having migraines 3 times as often as I did before March 2020. I really really hope it’s due to the pandemic being stressful rather than my age.

So you think you’ll always feel “at risk,” no matter what the state of the world?

As for me, I actually learned that given my current life circumstances, going permanent WFH would/will/does drive me stir crazy.

For shopping, I always paid cash; that is, with paper bills and coins. Now I only use cash at the gas station (because those are notorious places for card-reader scams). Everything else is paid by the debit card.

After 46 years of working in offices, I went home on several hours notice and never went back. I’ll probably retire in a year and a half, and never go back again.

I once contemplated trying masks to avoid catching colds (which is very hard on chronic pulmonary patients like me). Now I will default to that at least for the foreseeable future, and maybe forever.

Some hoarding.

More online shopping.

Less strolling around in stores I like just for the pleasure of it – not sure how long this will last, but suspect forever, to some degree.

Shifting from thinking of Republicans as evil to thinking of them as evil killers.

Shifting from thinking of antivaxers as stupid to thinking of them as stupid killers.