Nelson Au

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Hey guys, As an adjunct to the Coronavirus thread, this is a separate thread to talk about how are we coping with living in this new reality. What’s your situation like? Are you shut-in and working at home? Do you have to go to work as an essential worker? How are you dealing with avoiding potentially contracting the virus? How are you dealing with cooking, getting and food? It must be challenging too helping the kids and elder family members, etc.

So I’ll start it off. I work in Silicon Valley in California, the first state to enact the stay-at-home order. And I’m in the heart of one of the harder hit areas. I work for one of the larger tech firms, not Apple or Google, our CEO very early on had employees in China work from home as the virus was hitting hard there in January. The US office in Silicon Valley started to give employees the option to work at home if we were uncomfortable in early March, but as of the week of March 9th, the CEO said our safety came first and all US offices are closed except for essential personal and the entire workforce is working at home and using Webex a lot. Then the mayors of San Francisco and San Jose and other Bay Area cities collectively announced on Monday March 16th for a shut down of all non essential workers. Then later in the week, California’s Governor enacted the statewide order for all but essential workers to stay home. Things changed super fast.

I used to work freelance so this wasn’t a problem as I have a room already set up as an office with computers and desks and a TV and stereo. I have all my CAD software and Adobe software for doing my job. The Windows PC is set-up to connect to the work network. And my own Mac’s are going too for other projects. Tech tools are making working remotely so easy now.

This past Tuesday/Wednesday was tough in that there was so much panic buying that the local grocery stores were left with no foods! Finally on Thursday I was able to get the basics, but still I need a few other things. I have plenty of toilet paper that I had already purchased a few weeks ago. So I didn’t need to worry about that.

Today, I actually started to feel the anxiety of the situation. I am not looking forward to going out. Especially to the grocery stores. I can’t help but fear that food containers are contaminated by other people handling them. Though it’s low risk likely, but you never know. I worry getting the virus and passing it onto my older parents.

There’s the dread of going to the grocery store and the uncertainty of finding what you need. And it seems so much like simple shopping for items is harder now. This must be sort of like in Europe during World War 2.

I can’t help but want to watch the news and daily news briefings, but I should probably take time away from that and find some balance. One of the nice things about working at home is I have time to work out. So maybe by the time we go back to work, I’ll be buff. Ha, ha!

One thing I’d started doing late last year was convert my blu ray and DVD collections of TV shows and films to MKV files and using Plex to stream them. That’s been nice and I’m still working on converting. So I have plenty of things to watch. I stream the new Star Trek series from CBS All Access. But no Disney+ by choice. I do have a free trial of Apple TV+ which I haven’t indulged in yet. Other things I’m going to do is use some of the time to cleaned up junk in the house.

I’m planning on trying to buy a instant pot. I don’t know how to cook, in that I haven’t had to really cook too much. If I have a recipe and can get the ingredients, I know I can cook. I just don’t do it enough to know all the tricks. So maybe I can get some experiences now. Any one have recipes?

Part of my anxiety is dealing with packages. If I don’t need to open it right away, I’ll let it sit in the garage for a few days. A friend suggested getting a UV light that kills the virus.

I’m living by myself for now, but I do go check on my parents. I text or call friends. So for me, cabin fever isn’t a big problem as of yet. More my anxiety is just trying to avoid coming into contact with potentially infected people or infected things. So I wash my hands a lot.

So I have a job and I hope that doesn’t change, and I can work at home. Luckily I really enjoy my work. I have time now to do more work-outs, something I’ve wanted to do. And I have some time to try to tidy up the house. And maybe learn to cook more. So hopefully the anxiety of this new life will be eased by these other activities. I suspect we are going to be in this lock down situation for a month or two at least. It feels like Charlton Heston in The Omega Man. Or Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I never imagined a pandemic would envelope the world.

I hope you guys are dealing with this well and things are going well for you.
 

The Obsolete Man

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Personally, I've been practicing what they're now calling social distancing and self isolation for the better part of a decade. Especially in the last 10 months or so. I've been training for this!

Of course, the whole "risk of infection for just going to buying groceries" bit... that was an unwelcome curve ball. But, it flipped my "shit, I don't want to go out" mentality from being a bad thing to a good thing, so hey, silver lining. Take your wins where you can find 'em at this point.
 

TonyD

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How am I dealing?


Not well.
M Y wife works away from home as a pediatric nurse so I’m home alone more then 10 months of the year.
I’m having heavy anxiety because my father is 79 lives near me but I can’t go into his house. He thinks it’s fine for me to come over and try to fix nonsense things around his house that he can do on his own

Example, he lost the photo that’s usually the background on his iPad.
Thinks it’s fine for me to come over and figure out where it went.
It isn’t.

Struggling because my wife is a nurse and is around people that could be infected all the time and when she comes home for a week I’m concerned that I may have the virus and I could give it to her.

My job is food delivery for Grubhub and a couple other similar groups..
I’m not doing that. I think it’s nuts to go out and handle food for people and interact with them.

If my wife gets sick and can’t work, like many people going through this we’d be up the creek. I don’t know what we would do.

I honestly feel a little panicky and I’m usually the one with the cooler head.

Anyway I’ve been knocking a bunch of shows off my dvr.
Tending to the yard a bit better then previously.

I dabble in bonsai. Just finished a new table for the trees and finishing up on a work bench.

That’s about it. Not much else to do here.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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I work for the New York State Education Department. Given that all of the schools have been closed statewide, there is a lot of uncertainty. I was burning some vacation time when everything started to spiral, so what was intended to be a long weekend ended with my entire office being directed to work from home starting last Tuesday. I did go into the office for a couple hours to retrieve some files and document a few things that were not accessible from my apartment.

I'm an education finance specialist, assigned to some unusual placements that are aided on a student-by-student basis. We are not permitted to have personally identifiable information about individual students on our home PCs, which greatly limits what we can accomplish during this period. I am able to remote into my work PC when needed, and can complete work involving PII that way. However, the licenses for the remote access are expensive and therefore limited and shared, so most of the time I'm just working on updating instructions and documenting procedures.

During my off-the-clock hours, I worked on adding shelves, sanding, staining, and finishing a new cabinet:
20200320_cabinet_closed.jpg

20200320_cabinet_open.jpg


I've been visiting my parents a few times a week, in spite of my reservations about it, under the theory that if I do have the virus, I already infected them. I worry about my mother, who is a lung cancer survivor. She had an entire lobe of one lung removed, and a lobe in the other lung was severely damaged by radiation. So she doesn't have a lot of lung cancer to spare. She was already hospitalized once this year for pneumonia. My father has COPD and a history of heart problems, both of which were common among those who succumbed to the virus in China, so he's not exactly low risk either.

Besides my parents, the only people I've come into contact with in the past week are the workers at the Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru, one worker at the local Panera Bread, and one friend who I'd hung out with before the numbers started skyrocketing. He had a scare with a roommate that came down with corona virus-esque symptoms. But fortunately, the test came back negative for his roommate.

I woke up with a weird neck/shoulder/upper back injury on the Fourth of July that I'm still dealing with. Months of physical therapy have significantly improved my symptoms, but the long hours stuck in my apartment are not helping things there. I've stepped up my home exercises to try and help compensate for that. It doesn't help that the current pandemic has increased my stress levels, and when I'm stressed I tense up, and when I tense up the injury hurts more.

The funny thing is that I've long been a bit of a homebody. But somehow, there's a difference between staying home because you want to and staying home because you're being forced to. The latter is a lot less comfortable.
 

Josh Steinberg

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The funny thing is that I've long been a bit of a homebody. But somehow, there's a difference between staying home because you want to and staying home because you're being forced to. The latter is a lot less comfortable.
That, right there, is the whole ballgame. It's amazing how much different it feels being at home by choice vs being at home because there is no other option, even if the daily routine doesn't change much between either scenario.

I'm in Astoria, Queens (part of New York City), so I'm right in the middle of the chaos.

My wife and I had twin boys in the fall; our only children. We're in a one bedroom apartment and ran out of time to move before she gave birth, and we were just looking for a larger place when everything started shutting down now, so we're stuck in our too small apartment for the foreseeable future.

It's hard to pick just one pressing issue. We're all at slightly elevated risks for the virus, so while we're far from being the most vulnerable, we're not in a position to be cavalier about it, and are strongly adhering to the "stay at home" order. I was still on parental leave when the crisis began. My wife had gone back to work, but this past week worked remotely.

Before the crisis took hold, my mother had switched from full time to part time at her hospital (she's a nurse) to help with childcare and was here 3-5 days a week. But with this crisis underway and my mother working in a hospital (and my stepfather too), we've had to put that arrangement on pause.

In many ways, being under a stay at home order for me hasn't been much different than the non-crisis part of my parental leave time. I've been more of a homebody than ever during it. The difference now is just that people aren't able to come see us. As someone from a tight knit family, that’s a hard one for me.

I am the family cook and one of the new things to juggle is trying to get more meals on the table in fewer kitchen sessions. It's a little weird for me to be thinking of a week's worth of meals at once to try to limit the trips out when going to the store used to be the one little trip out I'd take almost every day.

What I've found for food is that it helps to not try to make each component of the meal perfect. Now my plan is to concentrate on making just one of those things awesome, and having the rest just serve their purpose. So maybe you get a really delicious protein but some bland vegetables, but hey, you're getting all the nutrition you need. And also looking to get two servings or more out of every preparation so that it starts building up in the fridge; tonight's dinner can be lunch two or three days from now, so it's one effort to cook, two meals, but with a little time in between so it doesn't feel as repetitive.

Last night's dinner was a good example: I had gotten a beef eye round roast at the market, and cooked it in the oven in a single pan with some carrots, potatoes and onions. While the beef was resting afterwards and waiting to be sliced, I took the carrots and potatoes out of the pan, put it on the stovetop with the onions still in there, added some beef stock and let it simmer with the onions, and made a quick little au jus sauce that was both good with the roast beef for dinner, but will also be excellent for dipping roast beef sandwiches into tomorrow that I'll make for lunch with the leftovers.

I haven't had as much time as I've thought to watch movies or TV, and when there has been quiet time, I've probably spent too much time following the news, or just trying to clean up one day's mess to get ready for the next day's. I've been watching stuff that's more removed from the situation, all stuff in progress before this but stuff that’s taking priority now. "Frasier" reruns with my wife. "Married with Children" in the background when I'm doing chores. "Have Gun Will Travel" episodes when I want something that feels bigger than a TV show but don't have the time or the energy to commit to a full movie.

In the coming days and weeks, my wife and I have decided to try to reverse engineer some of our favorite meals (me) and baked goods (her) that we'd normally go out for, but can't get giving the current circumstances. I'd love to figure out how to make her favorite sushi roll, and she really wants to try making focaccia bread. Hopefully little things like that will be fun to try, will make the time go by, and will make our little space feel a little bigger.

I am also enormously grateful to all of you, here at my online home away from home. You all make me feel connected to the world and I am so glad that we have this place to get together. I think in the coming days and weeks, being able to log on here will save my sanity, as it did last year.
 
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jcroy

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I avoid watching the constant tv news. I don't even read the daily newspaper anymore. I avoid reading/watching stuff like cnn, fox, bbc, nytimes, dw, lemonde, etc ...Too stressful and very depressing.


To distract myself from video, I did other activities such as reading books + comics, playing a guitar and piano, more netsurfing while avoiding current news webisites, writing computer code, etc ... Unfortunately it is not doing much of anything to lower stress.


In spite of having a lot of free time on my hands currently, I find my stress level is still extremely high. For reasons I don't quite understand, I have very little to no interest in going through my tv backlog on the dvr, and have no desire to watch through my dvd/bluray collection. I tried watching through Star Trek reruns, which fell completely flat to me.

It is as if anything and everything "non essential" in my life, has suddenly lost any and all meaning to me.
 

jcroy

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I am also seriously entertaining the idea of stopping my coffee consumption altogether.

A few days ago I didn't drink any cofee all day, and found that my mind was not racing as fast and my anxiety level was not as high (relatively).
 

Dave Moritz

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I live in California and am still working for now but not sure how long my company will continue to operate as they sell clothes online so we do not deal with the general public at all. My brother and his wife are still working for now and my sister works for a university and is working more and more from home. I help take care of my mom so if it was not for me very few people check in and see how she is doing or if she needs anything. I am sure that if my job was to shut down that would mean I would have more time to watch movies. I do however find myself more and more not wanting to go to the stores because you do not know if you could end up contracting the virus. Little by little it seems stock is getting better at the stores but certain things are in limited supply. They have people standing in line to get into the stores and when they do that people are to close and I am getting very nervous about that. I miss being able to go to the theater already and can not wait to see a movie on the big screen. Since I am still working for now being at home is not bothering me as much as if work ended an I was always home. I have been hearing from a local post a number of people whos job provided them with a letter they are legitimately working if they get pulled over by police. Not everyone has been forced from there jobs and law enforcement should not be harassing people going to work, it feels like show me your papers type of situation. My father will turn 77 this year and I have a trip planned for May 15th to go see him and I am starting to stress out that they will shut down air travel. Also not liking the idea that everything could still be shut down and we will not be able to go out and do anything. I was planning on taking my father out for his birthday but if everything is still the way it is now that will not happen. My father is at an age where I need to go see him as I have not seen him in a long time so hopefully my trip is out far enough where things start to return to something resembling normal by that time.

But I do have many movies on everything from dvd to Blu-ray, 4K Blu-ray and even digital titles and Disney + as well so I have plenty to watch and not including Showtime on Dish Network and shows I DVR. I told myself I need to fix my turntable and get back to listening to my records so hopefully I will get that done sometime soon. But like many out there the uncertainty of my job and finances is taking its toll. Currently am staying away from watching the news because I am already sick and tired of listening to virus news all the time and the fear media is stirring up. Even before all this I was tired of the media and only tuned in once in awhile to watch the news as they seem to sensationalize almost everything.

Hope everyone is able to get enough food and supplies and keep your distance as much as possible and stay safe!
 
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Rodney

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There’s the dread of going to the grocery store and the uncertainty of finding what you need. And it seems so much like simple shopping for items is harder now. This must be sort of like in Europe during World War 2.

Not to be disparaging in any way, as this is an unsettling time, but to compare it to the rationing that Europe went through during and after World War II is a bit hyperbolic. I am extremely grateful that I don't really know what that must have been like for them, especially once the war was over. Remember that England didn't stop rationing until the 1950's. We are being asked to keep social distancing, and while a few things are not immediately available due to panic and hoarding, everything will still be able to be purchased.

I'm very concerned that the media has stirred up a fear beyond the virus. Yes, unfortunately there will be deaths from this virus, but I am extremely confident that science will find an answer to this.

To end this in the spirit of the Brits during the war: "Keep Calm and Carry On!"
 

TJPC

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We obviously are fortunate. We live in a roomy well stocked house (— my wife takes advantage of sales, so we are stocked up for weeks on everything). We are both retired with a good amount of savings. Our concerns can be petty, like not being able to go to the theatre, movies, or the US.

We are both in our 60s however, and afraid to go out at all. Apparently if things go “Italy” bad, and they have to triage, people over 65 will probably not get a respirator. I have been taking 4 or 5 prescriptions since having congestive heart failure ten years ago, and I am finding it difficult to keep my prescriptions up, since they are at Costco, which of course is a zoo. They need a separate entrance for the pharmacy!

We also find that constant contact causes us to bicker over the stupidest inconsequential things.
My wife has decided that she will only watch one news broadcast per day (our local). I on the other hand am addicted to channel surfing between the 4 news channels we get. It is probably not helping me!
 

dana martin

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Greetings from the Mid Atlantic to all of my friends here on the forum

i hope by the end of this i don't come off sounding like an asshole, since the beginning of this "current crises" i have watched silently by and read the different post here and and my wife has a facebook account so some of the stuff that gets posted there is just so beyond what it should be.
I did almost 25 years in the United States Navy, Gulf War vet 1 & 2, and have for the better part of the last 35 years lived in a very Hurricane prone area, so to say that i am a bit of a prepper might be close to the mark. Shelves in the garage and shed stocked, deep freezer full, probably need to cancel the milk man, as that company has not sent an e-mail as of yet.

How has my life changed or am i coping, hasn't really changed that much at all, i have faith, and my prayers will be answered, if you have faith, pray, My wife works in the medical field, so i do have the same issue as Tony, if you know someone in the medical field, thank them for all they do, they are the front line, in this war against a virus. What bothers me the most is situations like this bring out the best and worst in humanity. The best, an older generation, that have been through trials and tribulations in the past that understand sacrifices, and that by simply following some guidelines, that this can be somewhat limited in scope. And a chance for a younger generation to shine and follow the guidelines till this is over.

Given the time, and resources, the CDC, WHO and the Pharmaceutical industry will find a cure. ( Now that they are needed , are they still the bad guys everyone makes them out to be?) What they don't need is the twitter trolls continuing to constantly bad mouthing them because that haven't got it right now . I am living with the very possible fact that my wife and i could catch this virus, and that possibly many in my family as well, but that isn't going to paralyze me to the point of living with impending doom and fear. We hopped in the truck last night, called my daughter and scheduled a meet (social distance style) we drove to her house and spoke through the storm door 30 feet apart with a barrier , sorry by Grandpa needs to see his "girls" every-once in a while and Face-timed with the other out of state.

Coping 101, turn off the damn TV, obsessing about this is not going to make this go away any quicker, and i have no problem stating this on this forum, "WE' are all responsible adults "i would hope" , if you have to have a government entity to explain to you like a child you are behind the curve , make wise choices an be responsible for yourselves and wait for medical science to find a solution.

Turn on the radio or a CD of your choice (Sinatra, Bluegrass, Metallica) if you have a yard, or a workshop or a garage, walk into it and see everything that you have put off, or haven't gotten around to doing, and then do something. You would be amazed at how helpful that is, my flower beds are ready for spring, the garage is now half cleaned out and my storage shed is getting reorganized this week, my outdoor grill area is prepped for anything should the need arise. Adam, loving that cabinet, have a couple of older items that need a little work like that myself.

Subtle changes i checked my portable generator,since i normally work night shift , that has changed and i was moved to days because of voluntary people who took time off, so for the first time in 10 years i am having to deal with that aspect of my workforce, and realizing that they do a lot less productivity wise. But in my transit i did notice that i can get gas at $1.59 a gallon, so 10 gal later i am ready if i need it for the generator. Now planning my spring garden, and going through my heirloom seeds to see what i plan on putting out this year. And looking at a bunch of old Anne Rice novels that i need to catch up on. Next weekend weather permitting a different for of social distancing, kayak and fishing pole for a fresh flounder if i am lucky.

As others in this thread have stated, we will get through this, it is not the Apocalypse, one of the many words that get wrongly or over used anymore, be safe, watch yourself and others in your house, limit travel if you can, i understand essentials. But we are living in an amazing time, you can video call or face time with loved ones, keep it positive. :thumbs-up-smiley:

and again, to all of you, my friends, because this is really the only social networking i do, be safe, and God Bless. I hope i haven't offended anyone, everyone always says if i would have only had more time, the time is now, make the best of what you have, and don't waste it.
 
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The Obsolete Man

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Turn on the radio or a CD of your choice (Sinatra, Bluegrass, Metallica) if you have a yard, or a workshop or a garage, walk into it and see everything that you have put off, or haven't gotten around to doing, and then do something. You would be amazed at how helpful that is, my flower beds are ready for spring, the garage is now half cleaned out and my storage shed is getting reorganized this week, my outdoor grill area is prepped for anything should the need arise.
I spent the last couple of hours cutting grass and weed eating, so I get to spend the next couple of days with a cough and chest congestion without it being caused by a virus.

There was no winter, no snow, nothing, so all the allergens are out already. Yay!

If it weren't for the dogs, I'd just hack a path to the car with a machete when I went out.
 
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dana martin

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I spent the last couple of hours cutting grass and weed eating, so I get to spend the next couple of days with a cough and chest congestion without it being caused by a virus.

There was no winter, no snow, nothing, so all the allergens are out already. Yay!

If it weren't for the dogs, I'd just hack a path to the car with a machete when I went out.
i hear you, damn pine trees and others in full bloom, in the area, pollen everywhere, i walk out to a urine colored car almost every morning i rinse it off. The good thing is that my peach tree looks like i am going to have a pretty good haul this season.
 

Nelson Au

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Rodney, no hyperbole intended, that wasn’t my intention. Sorry if you read it that way. I was imagining what it could have been like during that period. Of course our situation is totally different. And yes, the constant news stories about the virus has amped up fear and anxiety.

Adam, nice effort on the cabinet project. There are a couple of projects like that where I want to build some home theater cabinets.

Dana, I did take up some of your suggestions. I’ve had a couple of projects I’m doing today for work and prepping for taxes and I’m also doing the laundry and such. All the while I’ve got the TV on MeTV with The Flintstones, The Brady Bunch, and MeTV’s 3 hour Gillian’s Island. That’s a pretty good run of sitcoms.
 

John Dirk

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I'm in metro ATL and, since we're so spread out, I doubt we've seen anything like some of the more densely populated metros. As of today my routine has not changed much. I already work at home for the most part so not much change on that front. I do actively avoid close contact with individuals and group settings altogether but I will go out for a ride on my bike or even a drive just to break up the monotony of sitting in the house. I'll also go to the store as needed. Sadly I've had to make several strategic trips just to get basic supplies due to all of the hoarding.

Like @TJPC I am finding that my wife and I are getting on each others nerves at times. She works primarily at home as well so it's not just that. We're used to being in the same house all day and have separate offices. Our issue is we have very different reactions to crisis situations. In my case I just wash my hands/face more often, avoid unnecessary social contact and then get on with my life. In her case she's watching the "news" and reading article after article which causes her to be in a constant state of panic. When she tries to pass this panic on to me it causes conflict because I don't deal in fear. My feeling is, once you take reasonable precautions, if it's your time it's just your time. Nothing will change that. Aside from possibly infecting other at-risk individuals and the mass hysteria we're already seeing I am personally not overly concerned at this point. I simply do what the medical experts advise, pray, and wait. What more can anyone do aside from offering assistance to others? When I see a safe way to do so I'll do that as well if needed.

I am intrigued and saddened by some of the stories I see here. This crisis affects people differently based on so many factors. I don't have to worry about work. My parents (and grandparents) are already in Heaven so I don't need to be in close proximity to at-risk individuals. I have room in my home to adequately stock food items and my wife and I can easily go to "neutral corners" when we start annoying each other. Reading this thread reminds me that others have different situations which impose limits and stress factors I would otherwise not have thought to consider.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone here and all over our world as we deal with this event that is unprecedented in our lifetime.
 

Dheiner

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As preface, I'm 61, single, diabetic, with a artificial heart valve.

I'm scared.

But, my life has not changed much. I work in a 1 to 2 person office, and the other guy took his family to their
Florida condo for a week+. So, my days are spent emailing and talking to my customers and vendors on the phone. We are considered a vital industry since we supply plastic manufacturers with the consumables needed to make medical tubing, among other plastic products. So I expect I will continue to sit at my desk 8 to 10 hours a day.

I'd work from home, but, a presence is needed to accept shipments, and ship to customers, so someone has to be there.

Otherwise, my cardiac rehab facility is closed, as is my gym, so I'm reduced to walking (or calisthenics) for exercise. BORING!

And, liker many of you, I am using my extra time to catch up on movies and TV.
 

Josh Steinberg

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My “make enough of each food to last more than a single serving” plan is starting to pay off. My wife and I had a busier day than usual (!) having some phone calls to make and appointments to schedule during the day in between watching the kids so I didn’t get a real meal prep time period. And then I opened up the fridge and realized that we had four different already prepared meals to choose from. We can eat a good meal that’s not the same thing we had yesterday and that doesn’t require any effort. That feels like a big win.
 

TravisR

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The basement of the FBI building
My “make enough of each food to last more than a single serving” plan is starting to pay off. My wife and I had a busier day than usual (!) having some phone calls to make and appointments to schedule during the day in between watching the kids so I didn’t get a real meal prep time period. And then I opened up the fridge and realized that we had four different already prepared meals to choose from. We can eat a good meal that’s not the same thing we had yesterday and that doesn’t require any effort. That feels like a big win.
No leftovers for me because now that I'm home all the time, the only thing I do is eat. I already exercise every morning but it needs to warm up a little more so I can get back to running in addition to what I already do.
 

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