Monday, March 16, 2020

Life In The Time of Covid-19

A flock of geese during a 22 degree halo moment
Our world has gotten very small, even smaller than usual if that's possible. We're still taking our daily walks weather permitting, but are trying to limit our food shopping to just once a week. We're starting to worry about food shelves going empty. And, suddenly there's an insane shortage of toilet paper. How is this possible? Why are people going crazy over TP? Did we miss the message that said you have to have enough to last a year, if you want to be safe? Did some malevolent prankster start some crazy hyped up toilet paper hoax just to watch people buy a thousand rolls at once? What has become of us in such a short time? Is this who we always have been as humans? Is this a survival mechanism kicking in or just insanity? I have no idea.

So here we are... two old adults in the age group most at risk. A global pandemic with such chaos is not something I ever thought we'd see in our lifetime. This was simply not on my radar at all. Couple that with an absolute incompetent ignorant buffoon in the White House, and I worry all the way down to my bones. I wonder what it's like in other countries facing the same pandemic crisis but with a reasonable smart thoughtful and competent leader. Is it still scary, but less so? Are there any leaders anymore anywhere that fit that description?

Roger and I have always been hermits. We are quiet. But somehow self-isolation feels different. There is an undercurrent of fear now. How long will this last? How much worse will it get? Will we get sick? Will we die...

How are you handling this? Please share your ideas and coping mechanisms. Thank you. Stay well, friends.

After I wrote this and scheduled it to post Monday morning, the governor of California made some big announcements. Here is a bit of what's happening here. Yikes!

LATEST, March 15, 2:15 p.m.: California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced all "bars, nightclubs, wineries, brewpubs and the like" must close temporarily due to the threat of coronavirus.
"We are directing that all bars, nightclubs, wineries, brewpubs and the like be closed in the state of California," Newsom announced Sunday afternoon, calling them "nonessential" businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.
"We have absolute expectation this will be socialized in real-time today," he said.
The directive does not apply to restaurants, which are still considered essential, as Newsom said some individuals cannot safely prepare food in their homes. "We don't believe this is necessary at this moment," he said.
However, all restaurants will be required to halve their occupancy in order to achieve appropriate social distancing.
In addition, Newsom asked the state's 5.3 million residents who are 65 or older to self-isolate at home. Seniors and those with chronic illnesses are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
"We recognize that social isolation for millions of Californians is anxiety inducing ... but we need to meet this moment head-on," he said.
Newsom said 335 cases of coronavirus have been identified in California, a 14-percent increase from Saturday.
So now I wonder when we'll be able to go shopping. I really have this thing about food. I like to have it everyday. I'm an addict.

37 comments:

  1. Robin I am sure you will still be able to shop for food. If governments banned that it would only cause more issues - they can't let people starve and social disorder would be too much for them to manage, especially in the current circumstances. I think in most countries the policy is that you can shop for food and go to the chemist, just keep your distance from people as much as possible. I expect that will be the position the US and Australia takes as well.

    We have an idiot for Prime Minister here in Oz. Not quite as bad as your idiot though. Our government has been slow to act - the Aussie 'she'll be right, mate' attitude is really not helpful in this scenario. What's worse is that our PM is a charismatic Christian, his church announced recently that 'no plague shall overcome those who believe in Jesus' (or something to that effect) - which means Morrison won't be taking things seriously and basically thinks all the heathens deserve to die anyway. His real beliefs were exposed only afew months ago. Now, thankfully, he is being forced to manage the situation by sensible public servants and health officials.

    If you get the virus you won't necessarily die from it. I understand your partner has health issues and yes, that will make him more vulnerable, but people DO recover. I personally would love to hear from those who have - just so we know what we are in for and provide hope that there is life after this epidemic. If you meditate, this is probably the time to do it and yes, enjoy walks etc. I think a healthy mind is going to be really critical.

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    1. Dr Michelle-- This is becoming an ongoing unfolding nightmare scenario here. Our prez is a seriously crazy idiot and is endangering lives with his utter ignorance. At least he doesn't fall back on Christian values, but rather believes that the stock market will somehow rescue him. I think my biggest concern is our little area up here far from the big California cities running out of food. We're trying to stay sane and healthy as this pandemic unfolds. You stay well and healthy there too.

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  2. The BBC did a wonderful, presumably unconcious, juxtaposition on the radio the other evening. First Mr Trump announcing his travel restrictions from Europe. Next up, Boris Johnson saying that old people need not panic and should listen to the advice of scientists. Was the latter talking about the former?
    To answer Dr Michelle's question: Nadine Dorries MP (age 63) had the virus and said she felt awful but soon recovered from the virus. Mikel Arteta (age 37, a professional soccer coach) said that he had the symptoms and was confirmed as having the virus, but in normal circumstances he would have taken some Paracetemol and gone to work.

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    1. Thanks for that info John. It's really helpful to be able to cite this example to people who are are feeling overwhelmed by this.

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    2. John-- Thank you for the stories. It's important to balance the insanity with this.

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  3. So here I am suffering from sciatica which at times I find debilitating but now after taking painkillers it is easing a bit. I watch the TV and see all these idiots panic buying, I think it is called self preservation or just I'm a mindless idiot an do not care about you, I'm ok. My wife is worried sh**less over the virus I just take one day at a time. The media are the big problem causing widespread panic. During WWII they were not allowed to do this so why not now? I do not use social media even though I have of the latest iPhones I do not need to see what other people do with their sad little lives.Today my oldest so went off up north to install some sensors, my wife will worry about him,(he has MS) he is a bit like me and takes life as it comes and he has bee dealt a s**t load of problems with is disease. Just thing what are all these idiots going to do with all that loo paper when it all blows over.
    I saw the interview with that Doctor John mentioned this morning, she may be a little younger that me but older than my wife and she was OK. Don't worry your more at risk from the flu killing you. Mind you I do thin a few of those idiots need to get it and the Clown. Keep Calm and don't worry about it.

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    1. Billy-- Mindless idiots... I think that sums up what we're dealing with here. We're trying to stay sane and carry on as best we can. We hope the same for you and your family.

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  4. I went to my usual grocery store last night (I shop as near to closing time as possible, because the store is almost empty then) and saw row after row of empty shelves. I don't know what people have been stocking up on, because I bought the basics - veg, fruit, meat, cheese - and those shelves were fine. But there were no cookies and the spices and sauces shelves were bare. Do people think they're going to survive on spiced cookies and frozen pizza?
    I stocked up on basic canned goods last week. I can last a month, if need be, without shopping.
    Current worry: if I'm to get out of the house at all, and with transportation, I can; I've got miles and miles of empty forest to explore; but the car needs work first. So: do I accept the shuttle home and back, sitting in a car with a staff member who may or may not be carrying the virus, or do I sit for two hours in the waiting room, breathing in who knows what? Life is suddenly complicated.
    At least the weather will only get better, so we can get out to the beaches and the forests. And you've got skies to watch!
    Hang in there; we oldies are tough. We'll make it through. And we know what to do when the TP runs out.

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    1. Susannah-- We're heading out to the store early tomorrow morning (7:00 am) and hoping to find the store empty and shelves full. I think I would avoid the shuttle and the waiting room. A car ride seems less dangerous, especially if you can open the window and breathe the air from out there. I don't know what I would do. Oh yes, there are definitely good things about being old these days.

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    2. About that car repair job; I broke down and made the appointment, and they phoned me back; they're going to pick up the car at my place, and bring it back fixed. They would even let me leave the key outside; no human contact needed! People are so helpful!

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    3. Susannah-- I love how the car repair place handled this. So thoughtful and smart. Well done!

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  5. I honestly don't get the whole toilet paper thing.

    I kind of regret not stocking up on certain things when I had the chance a couple of weeks ago. I'm reluctant to go to the grocery stores because lately they have just been a complete madhouse, from before they open up until closing time. I ordered online delivery, and I've ordered from Amazon, but even online delivery from the grocery store is backing up now, and Amazon is out of many things.

    As far coping mechanisms, well, I try to watch a lot of funny movies, TV, YouTube videos. I take the dog for a lot of walks. I drink a lot of tea. I also stress cook and bake. I try to limit how much I look at the news. But like you, I never thought I'd ever see anything like this in my lifetime.

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    1. Sharon-- We regret not stocking up on food as well. We thought a few cans of stuff and some extra rice and pasta would do it. We weren't planning on this lasting as long as it probably will. We're hoping that the store will be stocked well early tomorrow morning when we venture out.

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  6. The TP frenzy is absurd. Around here, there's also a shortage of bananas. I have to think it is a distribution issue? We are doing much the same as you and Roger.

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    1. Ha! My son in law grocery shopped for me today and my big ask was for bananas because I use them in my morning smoothie. He called from the store: absolutely NO BANANAS. First TP, now bananas. We are going, well, *bananas*, aren't we?

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    2. Colette-- I have been wondering if we were going to see a shortage of bananas. Yikes. We're going to the store tomorrow morning and hoping to find some then.

      Tara-- We are definitely going "bananas!"

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  7. The TP thing is really weird. My tiny town still has tons of food on the shelves but no TP or water. Don't get it. I am sure the panic will ease a bit and the stores will restock.
    I am high risk so I will be staying close to home and will figure out how to entertain myself safely.
    So glad you will still be able to enjoy your walks and communing with nature.
    Stay safe and well.

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    1. Glad to hear you are staying close to home. Do you have someone to do food shopping for you?

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    2. Patti-- I am utterly baffled by the TP thing. I had a thought that perhaps some Russian bot spread some rumor online about TP and then amused himself watching so many people in our country go crazy. Yes, stay home and find wonderful ways to entertain yourself. Please stay safe and healthy there, Patti.

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  8. Hang in there Dharma Bums after all everything is impermanent right?

    Last winter we were snowed in for about 6 weeks (although we were able to get out twice on supply runs). That was bit unusual, but we did just fine. Stay physically and mentally active and remember to "enjoy every sandwhich. Namaste.

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    1. def59485-- It is so good to hear from you. I was just thinking about you the other day and wondering how you are. Oh yes, everything is impermanent. One of our favorite bumperstickers is NATURE BATS LAST. Just last night we had a revelation. Perhaps this virus is just nature taking one swing with the bat. Somehow that made me feel a little better about it. Namaste.

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  9. right now I'm listening to Bob Marley. Very uplifting. Great music for cleaning house, and cooking up some chicken broth, which I am about to start in my pressure cooker. I had a nice FT conversation with my daughter and grand daughter -- thank Goddess for FT! I'm also watching West World (season 2) on HBO on demand. A brutal dystopian story, just the thing for these times! (It gets overwhelming so I'm not binge watching) It may be weeks or months before we know the full extent of this. I love that so many already know and understand the term "Flatten the curve." Sending you love, as always.

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    1. Tara-- We're listening to mellow music that calms our spirits. Trying to get in at least a two mile walk everyday... weather permitting. This morning it was 30 degrees here! Elena offered to shop for us and drop off food on our porch, no hugs and no kids. We felt so grateful for that. We are living in such interesting times. Mind blown! Sending you love back, dear friend.

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  10. I've been recommending that people find something to binge watch in between sucking in the news. Succession on HBO is distracting. It feels like some power decided to rebalance the world, take our human house back down to its studs. May we all be safe and whole, may we all be bathed in love. Hugs, friend.

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    1. 37paddington-- We turn the TV on at 6:00 pm to watch PBS Newshour. That's it. Then we watch something on Netflix or Amazon as a balance to the madness of these times. Yes, may we all be safe, whole, and bathed in love. Hugs to you too, friend. Thank you.

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  11. I'm coping by not watching any news, by listening to my music and audio-books and by reading. I have been confined by chemotherapy and a weakened immune system for quite a while now, but still this virus makes me feel more trapped. Fortunately, my husband is a news junkie and shares anything vital for me to know.

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    1. NCmountainwoman-- I have been thinking of you and wondering how you are doing there. Glad you have ways to balance that madness. The only news we watch is the PBS Newshour, but we have online subscriptions to the NY Times and Washington Post, and read them all day long. It's a nightmare. Take care there and stay safe and healthy.

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    2. Thanks for the thoughts. I'm doing fairly well. My oncologist is optimistic for another remission. So I remain more positive but still realistic.

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    3. NCmountainwoman-- Positive and realistic is the best combination. Stay well, my friend.

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  12. Things are just as crazy here in NH, Robin. I really don't comprehend all the stockpiling especially of paper products and other items too numerous to list. We are doing fine and can entertain ourselves and also getting outdoors as much as possible is very good. I'm even muting my cell phone to eliminate any text dings, but I will check it just in case there was an important message.

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    1. Beatrice-- We learning how to live this new self-isolating way now. I just wish I knew how long this chaos will last. But we'll just have to take it one day at a time. I'm so glad that you are doing well there. Stay safe and healthy.

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  13. Buy Spam. The Hawaiians know. But, seriously, as the comedians say, we shall overcome. Or not. It little matters anymore. Do I sound silly? Only time will tell.

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    1. Catalyst-- Hah, spam! My first thought was, I don't need to by spam, my email filter just puts it in the junk mail folder. We're just waiting to see how this all unfolds.

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  14. I don't think this was on ANYONE's radar -- certainly not the toilet paper thing. Someone on some blog said it's people's way of trying to control the situation, which I thought was a very astute observation.

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    1. Steve-- It's going to be interesting watching this whole thing unfold. We have no idea of how long this will last and what the dire consequences will be. We're just going to limit our shopping to one day a week and the rest of the time hunker down, hoping we don't run out of toilet paper.

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  15. Be well, dear friends. Our restaurants are closing, except for take-outs. So today I went to 2 of my favorites here and got 6 meals (well, I get 2 out of each of the 3 which I put in the fridge. I will run out of fruit and veggies next week sometime. I also wore my mask to sit in the car repair waiting room. They were most kind. My legs are getting weaker without walking, so I'm going for a walk.

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    1. Barbara-- We went to our co-op today and bought a reasonable amount of food to last a week. We're planning on going back again in a week. We're hoping that will be the right way to handle this crisis. Yes, keep walking, Barbara... it's good for the mind and body. Take care there.

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