Of course, everyone has been adversely impacted by the pandemic. But my wife and I have not had our earnings reduced, and no one terribly close to us has died. To a large extent, the greatest we could say is that we have been “inconvenienced”, by not being able to do exactly everything we wish exactly when and how we wished.
And it struck us that a great many people we know are very similarly situated.
-I don’t wish to minimize the affect on people who have lost jobs and/or loved ones.
-Or frontline health workers who have born considerable stress, or infirm people who have been greatly isolated.
-I could probably even include public service positions such as bus drivers, teachers, and grocery workers who have had considerable stress from required social interactions.
-And likely a good percentage of school-age kids and their parents who have missed out on in-school classes.
But among the relatively healthy, relatively financially secure folk whom I interact with most often, a great many/most of their complaints seem to represent “boredom.”
Feel free to disagree with/clarify my terms. But I wondered what percentage of folk you would think have been relatively unharmed by the pandemic. 20%? More? Fewer?
Though that was mostly folks talking about their own personal harmed/unharmed factors, not speculating on larger-scale statistics.
Within my circle of friends and neighbors here in one of the biggest COVID hotspots during the summer, substantially 100% of them are merely inconvenienced. In some cases they’re sheltering pretty hard and eventually that lack of social interaction is going to take a toll on their mental or physical health. But so far that’s probably not an irreversible change for any of them.
That’s a small sample of roughly 100 households, and very un-diverse.
I think that if we were to rank order people by severity of impact, we’d have the dead, the crippled, a bunch of destroyed small businesses and shattered marriages, then a very long tail of people inconvenienced to greater then lesser degrees.
A fairly small percentage of everyone has born the brunt of the disease and born the brunt of the reactions to the disease.
I don’t know, but but this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot. I suspect it will take a few years for it to become clear just HOW massive the differences between well-off and poor people’s experiences have been on just about every front – likelihood of getting COVID-19 in the first place, likelihood of dying or having serious health effects, collateral damage from unemployment, lost schooling, etc. – and it will be appalling.
Likely minor facet, some lower wage folk might be less profoundly affected by layoffs than middle-upper wage layoffs, due to the increased unemployment and other benefits. Not at all suggesting that is enough to outweigh the multiple negative impacts.
My OP was motivated by a realization that of my friends/family (mostly adequately well-off) who have been complaining about how they have been “hurt” by things, most of their complaints impress me as pretty minor. And - if they were motivated - they could afford to seek out activities/distractions to counter their difficulties.
I work in the field of public school education, and we have been protected almost to the point of embarrassment. We were sent home on March 17 and were able to work from home with full pay. I showed up for work on June 1st on my own because I was so damned bored. I was “allowed” to work here half-days from Monday through Thursday with Fridays completely at home. That didn’t change until August. Since then, only administrative staff has been here with the teachers split into two groups that work here two days a week.
Anyone who did get Covid-19 and was not able to work at home didn’t even have to use sick days because of a special act passed by the Illinois legislature that didn’t expire until December 31 of 2020.
For my “suffering”, I have received two stimulus checks. I did my “duty” and spent them on myself to stimulate the economy.
Yeah - I find it so offensive that my wife and I have received 2 payments, despite having experienced no financial loss. In fact - lack of commute/drycleaning/recreation/etc has resulted in considerable savings.
I’m pretty far left, but it makes me dubious about some aspects of the proposed relief bill. My preference would be to see a clear record of the money spent to date with results, and specific proposed expenditures w/ specific desired effects. Instead of just spraying the firehose…
I understand but, if you are spending the money, you are still helping businesses stay afloat, which is part of the purpose. Even donating it to help people in need due to COVID-19 is helping to accomplish the purpose.
I’d be in the "inconvenienced"category, except two older relatives died, and my mom is currently hospitalized and i can’t visit her and the isolation may be contributing to the paranoia and psychosis she is developing. It’s certainly affecting me today, because she called me at 1:20am to tell me the nurses were torturing her.
I got laid off last March from my part-time job, which even at the time was something of a relief because of advancing poor health. I had surgery at the end of May which it has taken months for me to recover from. Through the end of September the federal bonus to Unemployment Insurance actually exceeded what I had been taking home from my job, and my living expenses are low enough that I could remain unemployed through the rest of 2021 on my savings. In short for me the COVID pandemic has essentially been paid medical leave.
I do miss socializing with my co-workers and being inactive and unproductive has not been good mentally, but much of that would have been the case anyway for medical reasons. Some minor inconveniences from places like restaurants and movie theaters being closed, but overall I’m doing little worse than I was before this all hit.
I’ve been mildly inconvenienced. Finishing up last years school year was a pain. Trying to teach hands on labs through video was stressful. Learning to video edit on the fly. Post 2-3 hours of content that took 6 hours to make and then immediately start on the next week. Labs are in-person this year so that helps a ton.
I have two young boys. I’m burnt out trying to keep things new, fun, fresh. This is especially true this winter. There are zero cool indoor things to do away from the house.
From a work/income standpoint, I’m relatively unharmed. I’m fortunate to have a job which can be done remotely, and I was already working from home two days a week, prior to COVID. And, while a lot of ad agencies have gone through major layoffs during the pandemic, our agency is doing well, and my job is, for now, reasonably secure.
The logistics of our life fall into the “inconvenienced” camp. We’re trying hard to not go to stores or any indoor places (lots of Instacart and food delivery now), and social interactions have to be online or on the phone. I’m still actively playing in several role-playing game groups, which we’ve now been doing purely online (Zoom or Discord).
Mentally and emotionally, that’s another story. I’ve only seen my parents (who live 200 miles away) twice in the past year, both times for maybe 8 hours (day trips). I deeply miss actual social contact with my friends, and while Zoom calls are better than nothing, it’s been getting progressively more difficult. I can tell that I’ve been fighting depression for the past few months.
I’m a retiree getting a pension and SocSec, so no negative financial impact. But, prior to all this, I used to meet once a month with fellow retirees. That’s gone. Once every few months with friends who date back to Jr. High. (One of whom will not be joining us when we’re once again able to meet face to face.) I did some tutoring with an educational program for teens. That’s gone. The wife and I would go to library sales. No library sales. No dinners out. I go to the gas station, the grocery store, the drug store and, very occasionally, the bookstore. Keep the money, I just want my effin’ life back.
This may be obvious, but people reading and posting here in the middle of the day are not likely to be the ones most devastated by the societal effects of the pandemic, especially strictly in terms of lifestyle.
EXCEPT (and not wishing to hurt or disrespect anyone) those who have lost a loved one.
I guess I personally consider in-person social contacts more in the “inconvenience” category. Sure, I’d LIKE to see my kid in LA, and I’d like to see my kid in Denver more than the 2x we’ve seen each other over the past year. And I sure miss playing music w/ the folk I used to play w/ regularly.
But those are pretty darned low on my list of priorities once I’ve got sufficient , food, shelter, and the /leisure to support any hobbies I want to pursue in my home. And - at least until the weather turned, I could meet people outside for distanced activities. Was golfing into early Nov. (My wife and I have also been occasionally visiting with a limited number of people in each others’ homes.)
I admit I am fortunate to live with someone I don’t dislike, and with whom I share many interests. I would imagine the isolation would be more severe for someone living alone - or horrible if living w/ someone you didn’t like or feared.
If those sorts of lost opportunities aren’t weighing you down emotionally or mentally, then I agree, for you, they’re just inconveniences. For me, I can feel how my mental well-being has been ground down over the past year by them. I have days that I can’t be arsed to get out of bed before noon, and that’s simply not how I was previously.
Sorry it is hitting you so bad. I guess I’ve intentionally developed an attitude over the years that if I can’t do exactly what I want to do, I figure out a way to be satisfied w/ whatever I am able to do. And rather than dwelling on what I can’t control, I focus on what I can.
No, I’m not a crazy happy guy, but that type of attitude has helped me be less cranky than I am.
One thing that made me post this was an email my wife got from someone she exchanged x-mas cards/letters w/. The guy said he was jealous of us playing our instruments (poorly!) It is only one of many instances in which it seemed folk seem to resent it if you say things are going OK. I thought, well, he doesn’t need to be jealous. He can pick up an instrument himself. Or pursue any other activity. Consider the extra leisure a gift instead of a burden.
I’ve always been a pretty upbeat, glass-half-full type of person. But, I also have a (irrational, I know) tendency to worry about things which are outside of my control. It’s been a banner year for those sorts of worries, and in combination with not being able to see people (particularly my family), it’s just put a serious crimp in my ability to cope and stay motivated.