Willing to share your personal COVID comfort zone?

I wondered if anyone would be interested in sharing your personal experiences as to what sorts of activities/interactions you were/were not comfortable with. Feel free to opine as to the responsibility/irresponsibility of anyone else’s choices.

I’ll go first. These are all for the past month or so. Interactions were FAR more limited in March thru early May.

I rarely shop - but when I do, I wear a mask and comply with all stated rules, distancing myself from others. I wear a mask in all public indoor spaces, but not outdoors.

I golf. I wear my mask in the clubhouse, but not on the course. I was quite surprised one day that a number of guys I had not seen in years came up as tho to shake my hand. I declined. My BIL picks me up and drives me to golf in his car.

I have socialized and eaten meals with max 2 other couples in their homes or ours - maybe once every other week - if that frequently.

I’ve had my daughter and grandchildren over for lunch in my house weekly for the past month or so.

I play music with 2 other people at least a couple times a week. Most often outside, tho occasionally inside w/ windows/screen doors open. No masks outside, 1 person wears mask inside in our house.

Pushing my personal envelope, last weekend my dtr hosted a 5th birthday party for my granddtr. Maybe 20 relatives, in the back yard. Only a couple of people wore masks. I did not go inside.

About a month ago, we drove to Denver to see my son. Stayed in his house. Went hiking and such, but ate no meals out. Stopped on the drive only for gas and rest areas.

Cancelled my health club membership. Can’t imagine when I’ll feel comfortable going to a movie, restaurant, play, concert, etc.

FWIW, I live in a suburb of Chicago, where the incidence of COVID is VERY low, and nearly everyone I have associated with is similarly situated.

So how about you?

We pushed things just yesterday, for the sake of family. My gf’s brother drove from Vermont to visit his mom in Pittsburgh. All the older relatives wanted to see him, but my MIL’s home is not ideal for that.

So, we set up an outside dinner party. Happily, the weather cooperated. We have two of those 8 foot long folding tables and we borrowed a third. We set them up in our yard, with just four folding chairs around each table. I set up a cooler with beer, iced tea, and water on ice. I grilled meat and we had plenty of sides; baked beans, macaroni salad, guacamole, etc.

It was great. Everyone stayed at least 6 feet away from everyone else, which worked for this group. Even the auntie who wore her mask for the first 30 minutes eventually took it off and relaxed. We had hand sanitizer strategically located and bathroom use was regulated so that only one person was indoors at a time.

It was great, and I can’t think of a way it could have been made more safe, other than not happening at all. With this group, yesterday may very likely be the last time we see many of these folks.

I’ve held my family hostage. Only one person is doing outside shopping. We order online at Wal-Mart and a large grocery chain. She picks up.
We are very careful with sanitizing stuff she brings home.

We have decided to let adult children come visit from both near and far.

Also, we have a lot of trade people coming by, as we have started a few projects on our home.

You live in a more rural area, don’t you? What is the incidence of COVID cases around you.

Not judging one way or another - just curious about different peoples’ situations and how they reach their different assessments.

South FL COVID Central here. WIth one very high risk & one middle-risk individual in my household.

Haven’t gone to work in months nor will I for months to come.

N95 mask on except when in the house or in the car.

Willing to eat out at non-peak times with outdoor seating only. Fortunately here at the beach outdoor is easy. Since restaurants reopened back ~1 month ago have had 4 restaurant meals total.

Happily hug close family who live nearby and use similar levels of precautions. Won’t knowingly get within arm’s length of anyone else ever.

Limit retailing to non-peak times and minimum stops. e.g. groc 1x / week at 1 store instead of 3 stops every other day. Have found groc delivery impractical but have switched to Amazon, et al, for almost everything else.

As to my local experiences …

I see two distinct populations with very little overlap.

The over 60s are mostly hiding at home & wearing a mask when out. The under 60s are the opposite; it’s mostly business as pre-COVID usual but with a half-assed mask.

The under 30s are simply enjoying 100% the same summer they did in 2019. But will do an eyeroll and fish a bandana from their purse / pocket when scolded in a store. Despite the local law that face coverings are mandatory, not just a neighborly suggestion.

The next month will be interesting here.

I’ve been most confused by several young families I know:

My daughter had a baby end of April - at first she wouldn’t even let us come over to look at the baby through the window. Then last weekend, she hosts a party of 20 w/ no apparent precautions other than disposable utensils. And for several weeks, we’ve been allowed to hold the baby.

A nephew and his wife were similarly cautious re: my sister, who was unable to visit to see her grandkids. They were all at the weekend party.

The family across the street previously told us they were sequestering delivered packages in their garage. Now, as far as I can tell, it is no-holds- barred in terms of visitors, play dates, etc.

I’m not criticizing them for either decision. As the rest of us, they are trying to come up with their best decision as to what is best for them (and society). Just sorta surprises and confuses me that their positions would have changed so drastically, as I have not perceived the overall situation to have changed that much.

@Dinsdale, you’ve had WAAAAY more contact with outsiders than I have.

Texas is one of the country’s hotspots right now, and my county is seeing COVID rates skyrocketing. I’m way over 60 and live by myself. I have not set foot in anyone else’s house since all of this started in mid-March. Only two people have set foot in my house.

The first one was about a month ago when AT&T sent out a techie to fix my internet. A young-ish guy, probably in his 30s. He walked up to the house without a mask. I stuck my hand out the door holding one and offered it to him. He said, “Oh, I have one in the truck,” and went back to get it! WTF? He was here for about 40 minutes and at one point came over very close to me at my desk to show me something on his phone re by connection. Again, WTF? His mask was on over his mouth but not his nose. :headsmack:

A couple of weeks ago, I started asking my cleaning lady to come back. When she arrives, we’re both masked, but even so, I leave almost immediately (I’ve always done that with cleaners-- not one to breathe, as it were, down someone’s neck). She’s gone by the time I get home. All the fans in the house are on to dry the floors.

I’ve gone to a coffee bar and sat outside on two occasions. I didn’t wear my mask. I’ve been to my hairdresser twice. Both of us masked the whole time. Also had a pedicure (both of us masked). I’ve been to the grocery store a few times, always wearing a mask. Our local fabulous grocery chain, HEB, has gone back to requiring a mask, and everyone in the store is wearing a mask. Doing synagogue services and book club on Zoom. Had several contact-free DoorDash deliveries (waiting on one right now). :pizza:

I had a mammogram a couple of weeks ago and then (RATS!) a breast biopsy last week-- that was loads of fun in a mask. (Still waiting on the results. Hope I find out good news tomorrow.)

So I’ve had very little in-person contact, no “social events,” and no contact without a mask. In summary, I feel pretty safe.

I work in a hospital, although I’m not clinical. We are required to wear masks at work. I am working 2 days from home now and 3 in the office. I have been in exactly one house since the end of March, and that was my sister’s. The carpet cleaner was in my house wearing a mask. The grout doctor was here for an estimate and didn’t wear a mask and I didn’t much care. The only places I go are work, the barn, and grocery shopping. We are required to wear masks at the store. Not at the barn. I have no interest in going to restaurants but even before COVID I didn’t go out much to eat. At this point I have no interest in rejoining society. The only things I miss are my friends and family, and my friends aren’t willing to get together and I respect that.

Yeah, I’m reminded of when I attended a UU church. Normally, as I go about my life, I’m predictably at the far left end of the spectrum on just about any social/political issue. It was really a pleasant surprise to have people act like we were John Birchers on the occasion that we didn’t predictably fall behind a particular social issue or another.

All along, I’ve happily greatly restricted my contact w/ people. But have been surprised at the eagerness of some people to characterize me as a “bad person” because of my choices.

I could easily go the rest of my life w/o going to a bar/restaurant, attending a movie/play/sporting event. Hell, my wife started cutting my hair, and thinks she does as good a job as the barbers, so I won’t be going to a barber (not to mention, a nail salon! ;))

I had my own biopsy experience - fortunately negative. Oh yeah - I went to the dentist. The appt had previously been cancelled. Just an exam/cleaning. Felt entirely safe.

The only thing I really miss is playing music at regular jams I used to attend at coffee shops and farmers’ markets. And our band used to play at retirement homes. We’ve got tickets for a David Bromberg concert which was pushed back to Sept - I’m not sure I’m dying to attend - even IF it is allowed.

I hope you tip her well! :smile:

Yeah - I told her not to take any wooden nickels! :smiley:

Arkansas is in a up-tick of cases and hospitalizations.
I’m in real fear of the virus landing on my doorstep.
My Mid-daughter needs to get back home. She been here since the last day of Feb, she came originally to help.me during my recupe from surgery. The lil’wrekker was here for that as well.
Her boyfriend showed up that same weekend. He lost his students. There’s no telling when/ if they’ll get back.

Son-of-a-wrek is back at work.
So.it begins…

I’m comfortable with most stuff since I’m not high-risk and live alone; pretty much all of the risk calculations I’ve been making involve trying not to put other people at risk. Like, I would be totally fine going into a store without a mask (heck, I did all through March and most of April before wearing masks became a thing), but I do wear one, because I figure it can’t hurt and there’s at least some evidence that it works. And I went to a couple of local BLM protests three weeks ago, but I did try to avoid contact with other people for two weeks after that, apart from one trip to the supermarket and occasional outdoor stuff like going to the farmer’s market.

Incidentally, being at a protest – and feeling like I had social permission to be not-quarantined for that one day – felt amazing. I hadn’t realized how much I missed being around crowds of people. I keep seeing social media posts from people (youngish to early-middle-aged people, so probably not super-high-risk) about how they get panic attacks going grocery shopping, or they can’t imagine ever being in a crowd of people again, or they get anxious seeing people touch their face or stand too close to each other in movies (!) and I just can’t relate to it on a gut level. I get, intellectually, that it’s a genuine fear, but it’s so alien to everything I personally feel that it feels performative.

Likewise, we’re probably going back to face-to-face classes in the fall semester, in a weird socially-distanced hybrid format with half the students Zooming in on any given day, and the thing I’m really nervous about is the technology part. I know that for a fact, because I’ve already had my first pre-semester teaching-anxiety dream, and it was about teaching a whole class while forgetting the Zoom feed was there, and coming back to find that some GamerGate-type troll dude had been flooding the chatbox with rude questions. Meanwhile, a lot of my academic friends have been freaking out, and I don’t want to be rude, but part of me wants to point out that grocery store workers and bus drivers and nurses have been spending all day face-to-face with strangers this whole time, and there is absolutely zero reason why having a PhD should entitle you to self-isolate forever. (Sorry, this seems to have turned into a rant that has nothing to do with the OP. Apparently, I need the SDMB so I can vent all my pent-up annoyance with Facebook :slightly_smiling_face:)

We are still self-isolating as much as possible - partly because we can, and partly because several of us are in higher-risk categories due to underlying heath conditions. We do wear masks on the rare occasion we need to go anywhere, though I won’t usually wear it while actively walking but I’ll put it on if I approach anyone.

We do go to restaurants for takeout about once a week. Not ready to try dining in just yet.

My son is the only one around others with any regularity: he’s been going into DC to participate in the protests. He’s sensible and wears a mask, and supposedly there have NOT been outbreaks tied to the crowds, but I admit I’m still a bit twitchy. The only time we’re within 6 feet of him is at the dinner table.

We have not been to a regular grocery store in 3 months. One of us goes to the local garden/produce place weekly to pick up a CSA box; if the lines aren’t too bad to get in, one of us might go inside and pick out other produce - but usually there’s quite a long line as they only let a couple people inside at once.

I went to the eye doctor last week, and am going to another doctor this week. We’re avoiding elective visits as much as possible but it’s foolish to delay things too long.

We are self-isolating as much as possible, too, partly because we can, and partly because I have crappy lungs (asthma). And partly because my stepmother, who had underlying conditions but was not exactly elderly (66) and had pretty darn careful, only going out for walks around the block and to the grocery store with a mask, died of COVID-19 in April.

We have done a mix of no-contact grocery delivery and curbside pickup (with masks and/or by having the groceries placed in the trunk with no contact). Since late March/early April, we have worn masks every time we have stepped further than our front yard, except for a couple of bike rides. We have gotten takeout a handful of times, which has occasionally required Tom Scud to step inside the restaurant briefly to pay. (With a mask.) We had one friend over to hang out in our backyard for a couple of hours. I went to one medical appointment - the provider and I both wore masks.

Next up: doing battle with Tom Scud’s employer so that he doesn’t have to go to the office in person half-time for absolutely no freaking reason, even though our state’s guidance is that anyone who is able to work from home should continue doing so. (Their Q&A basically said “no, you can’t continue to work from home full-time, even if you have been doing so effectively for the past 3+ months. Because we said so.”)

There has been discussion of getting together with Tom Scud’s family for a few days - it’s a few hours’ drive away, and we would stay with his brother and sister-in-law. His sister and family would also drive and stay on-premises. The trip would require one gas tank filling in each direction, and likely use of a public bathroom. The family is on the same page as us as far as precautions. I’m still quite on the fence about whether we should go.

Oh my. Did you tell us this at the time? I think maybe you did and I regret to say, I had forgotten. I am so sorry. :frowning_face: This crisis has really come home for y’all.

Stories about people who were so careful WRT contact who still came down with it and (some have) died is one of the things that makes this so incredibly scary.

I am very sad for you and your family. (Virtual hugs.)

We declined to attend a family memorial, and we are not attending a family wedding this month. We’re at home except

  • We’ve had a few people over for socially distanced visits with packaged snacks, and masks while we walk to the back yard
  • We had our house cleaner in two weeks ago; we left before she got here and stayed away for an hour after she left, then opened windows, sprayed Lysol, and spent the evening in a closed room she doesn’t clean
  • Curbside touchless grocery pickup, masked and as distanced as possible, 7 AM slot, or grocery delivery; all groceries are cleansed or left in the garage for 3 days, as is mail. Perishables are wiped down, washed and moved to a new container, or washed and put away
  • Unavoidable medical appointments that must be done in person, masked and as distanced as possible (for example, a sonogram), first appointment time
  • Unavoidable tasks that must be done in person, masked and as distanced as possible (for example, I needed new brakes), first appointment time
  • Unavoidable work-related activities that must be done in person, masked and as distanced as possible (for example, trip to the post office box and office building to water plants), Sunday 7 AM
  • Walks in uncrowded areas, with masks as needed

We’re having to sell our only rental to cover my loss of work, so we went to an open-air nursery on Sunday during dinnertime and will plant in the front yard Wednesday evening after other contractors have left, with masks and social distancing.

We’re doing yard work in our own yard without masks, but with a mask handy.

On re-entering the house after any concerning contact (such as the unmasked post office clerk who was wiping her nose with her hands and also handling my credit card), we go in through the garage, leave shoes in the garage and put clothes in the washer, leave anything we were carrying or picked up in the garage to sit on a table or to be cleansed (for example, a box of nails), enter the house and go immediately to the shower.

We’re both working from home. Nobody has been in the house since early March (air system maintenance) and some contractors have been outside.

All of this non sequitur is consistent with the initial messaging from the Feds. That was “Everybody hold your breath for 15 days and it’ll blow over & we can go back to normal.” Then 15 days stretched to about 45 and folks were turning very blue in the face, hoping each day was the day they could exhale & start breathing normally.

Once stuff opened up even a little there was a giant exhale and a vast number of people are unable to process the idea this is a multi-year marathon, not a 6-week sprint. Particularly for folks with kids or teens, they’re just not ready to reprise the Anne Frank existence. Once they start seeing folks on their block carried off by Nazis COVID they’ll get religion about this.

Also, we all don’t see the ones who are staying home. We only see the ones who are out and about. And the lower their personal precautions, the more they’re visible.

We drove to Northern Michigan (low Covid area) a couple weeks ago. 100% restaurant meals outside. Minimal shopping in small stores, always with masks. 95% of all shopping is online with curbside pickup. Working from home. Haven’t seen friends yet, hopefully we’ll see friends this upcoming long weekend. No masks needed outside. Not being so picky about sanitizing incoming groceries. Basically avoiding close contact with people