Nick*Z

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For me, it's the paranoia which I find a genuine downer; everyone, walking about in zombie-like stares with masks, heads mostly down, fearing that the breath they are currently taking in may be their last. And indeed, for some - it might come to that.

The CDC guidelines haven't been helpful - I find - being rather laissez faire on the whole issue of masks at the outset (not necessary, so we were told), then, absolutely essential, while the shifted focus from contracting Covid as a primarily airborne carrier, as opposed to being spread by shared touched surfaces already contaminated with the virus (which, again, at the outset we were told could thrive on any hard surface well past 72 hrs. but now, it has been suggested, contamination is 'unlikely' to come from surface contact), has spread doubt, panic and fear where I am.

That, and of course, the continued mystery as to why some who contract it don't even know they have it, while others become deathly ill within the first week of exposure and then, on occasion, find themselves fighting for their lives, and living off respirators for weeks - sometimes even months - at a time - a thoroughly terrifying prospect. Nightly, we are shown stories on the news about survivors that continue not to add up to the guidelines as outlined by the CDC. In Canada, I point to the story of a man named Renee, and his wife, and their 3 children, ages ranging from 5 to 11. Here was a man who became infected in the early half of February.

As yet, unaware of his diagnosis or what was in store, he returned to the cramped apartment he and his wife and kids share, lazing on his sofa and by his own, and his wife's admission, spending a lot of time holding his children as they played X-box, and he read stories to them. So, no social distancing there. When, after a week of contamination, Renee suddenly lost the ability to properly breathe, his wife rushed him, first to a clinic, which misdiagnosed him with pneumonia, and then to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with Covid-19.

After 2 weeks on a respirator, Renee recovered. But the health organization were baffled when, upon arriving at the apartment and testing everywhere, they were unable to locate any sign of the virus lurking about. Moreover, none of Renee's children, nor his wife ever became sick or tested positive for the virus.

Now, according to the CDC, we are to social distance even if we do not feel sick, because to do otherwise is to put ourselves and others immediately at risk of catching the virus. How then, did Renee's wife and children escape a similar fate. You can tell a 5, 9, and 11 year old all you want to wash their hands and not touch dirty items around the house and guess what - they're kids. They're going to do it without even even thinking. So, you can't tell me they didn't do it in this case. And by the couple's own admission - unknowing as they were, and therefore blameless - they did not social distance from each other during Renee's infectious stage.

For me, then, I remain conflicted and slightly on edge about Covid and its ramifications. I don't want to catch it, but, as I am not entirely certain how exactly others are getting it, I am never entirely certain I am doing EVERYTHING I can to escape its wrath. That's been enough to put me off my mettle some days. That, and the fact, I require B-12 injections to keep me going, as the pills don't absorb, due to my failing pancreas, and haven't been able to get a shot since February when everything here shut down.
Ontario Canada has now reopened certain business sectors, including mine. I deal with the public daily, wearing a mask and gloves and spraying myself with sanitizer and taking baths more than once a day, all in an attempt to avoid Covid. But will I?

Yes, its true, in life there are no guarantees. But if we reconsider the common flu - as example - we find certain things that can be done to prevent one from contracting it; don't go close to an infected person, as example, and cover one's mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. But since many Covid carriers are not aware they are already infected and spreading the virus, how can we be certain we, who are trying to stay safe, are actually 'staying safe' as a result of our proactive measures? Worse, and I must say this, I find an extraordinary percentage of my fellow Canadians either dim-witted, or grotesquely confident this virus is something that happens to other people. I can't tell you how many grocery stores, banks, etc. I have frequently, bundled up like a mummy from horn to hoof, only to come face to face with someone in shorts and a tank top, looking at me as though I'm from another planet.

And true story, today, at my place of work I encountered 3 individuals who bear shaming for their audacity on this latter matter. The first was a couple in their mid-30's - she, obviously pregnant. Upon entering our work environment, they read our sign which offered them sanitizer, gloves and a mask for nothing before turning to me and asking "Is this really necessary?" When I suggested we could not impose the measure for their own protection, but with everything going on, firmly believed it would be prudent of them to partake of these measures, I was met with an indifferent shrug. "Then, no," I was told, "I'm not doing that."

And they didn't. The third individual was an elderly woman who came in carrying her own mask, strapped to her wrist. A lot of good it did her there! When I suggested she affix the mask to her face I was informed that she merely took it to appease others, but didn't feel as though she had to appease me. She then extended her hands and said, "As you can see, I already have Covid-fingers so what's the point?" I nearly swallowed my gum, thinking perhaps she was quite serious, at which point she smiled and said, "I mean I haven't been able to get to the salon to have them done!"

On the one hand, I suppose I ought to admire her chutzpah. But frankly, given the incredible loss of life incurred all over the world thus far, and the infectious rate rising in Ontario, even as our Premier continues to let down safety measures and re-open the province, I found little amusement in this woman's levity.

Personal opinion, of course, but I sincerely think it fool-hardy to re-open anything while the virus is still very much with us. While I can certainly appreciate the need to re-establish the economy, I sincerely wonder what sort of economy we will have if masses have to die - needlessly - in order for the survivors to make a buck - a very cruel price to be paid. I don't know how much clearer our elected officials can be about pointing out the obvious - that Covid-19 does not discriminate. It strikes a devastating blow regardless of age, creed, sex, etc. It claims those with pre-existing afflictions more readily - but not all. And let's face it, by the age of say 35, how many of us can sincerely say we have NO preexisting conditions that might allow the virus to thrive and help to fell us?

Now, having realized I have taken up far too much space with these thoughts and experiences, I will conclude and thank those who have indulged my reflections, simply by adding that my coping skills, while generally good in a crisis, have been pressed to the edge during this pandemic. Realistically, I don't see 'normalcy' coming back any time soon. Even if a vaccine is implemented as early as October of this year, we have already lost most of 2020 to the ages - a devastating setback as, in the grand wrinkle of time, none of us is getting any younger. And a vaccine is not fool-proof, folks. None are. Some are just more effective than others. That is all. How effective will this one be? And what will be its side effects? Again, more anxiety.

While I've read a lot and seen a lot of coverage on this virus thus far, virtually all of it is flawed reporting - the goal posts for outlining contamination methods constantly changing so that now no one can really say for certain how the spread is occurring. Why it claims some, and leaves other simply feeling lethargic, or perhaps, feeling nothing at all. It's a crazy virus - period. And even after it passes, its impact will long be felt in the modern world. Our very core has been shaken.

Cities around the world have been transformed from thriving metropolises into ghost towns, or worse, mass morgues where thousands have died. Personally, I don't think I ever want to go to Manhattan again. It's just too painful to remember it the way it was, and the way it likely can never be again - crowded, bustling, full of life, and, optimism - truly, the city that, until recently, never slept. Basic activities taken for granted - going to the beach, park, movie theater, etc. have been made either obsolete or, at the very least, a dangerous prospect.

I mean, do I want to sit on a bench that may have been contaminated by another just before me. And will I contaminate myself if I sit on it unknowingly. Taking hot showers after every outing to the grocery or drug store, washing hands until one's skin is raw, cracking and blistering, and wearing a mask (that is damn near impossible to breathe through for prolonged periods during any sort of physically exerting activity (sorry, but I still can't cut my lawn, jog or ride a bike wearing one of those things) is not an option. Forget going to a ballgame, having a pool party, or sitting comfortably at your favorite restaurant without a care in the world, enjoying a warm summer afternoon. It's not going to happen. The devil-may-care acceptability of a mostly stable world has been taken from us forever. Even when things reopen, will we really feel free to accept the crisis is over? And honestly, will it ever be over for some?

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Robert Crawford

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I moved a bunch of posts that were discussing Fiat 500 search, manual stick vs. auto transmission to its separate thread.
 

DaveF

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For me, then, I remain conflicted and slightly on edge about Covid and its ramifications. I don't want to catch it, but, as I am not entirely certain how exactly others are getting it, I am never entirely certain I am doing EVERYTHING I can to escape its wrath. That's been enough to put me off my mettle some days. That, and the fact, I require B-12 injections to keep me going, as the pills don't absorb, due to my failing pancreas, and haven't been able to get a shot since February when everything here shut down.
@Nick*Z I urge you to call or FaceTime or Zoom with some friends or family. It's clear you're very stressed by current situation. You've got a significant health condition which is directly impacted by the current crisis. I can't imagine how scary that is, but I have no doubt it's hard. Talking with someone could help work through the worries and even find a little more peace.

Perhaps you can find an advocate who can you help your work through the logisitics of your medical needs. Someone to throw in a little effort when you're too worn down to tackle it yourself.



So, I'm certainly not a medical expert. But I'm trying to keep up on what we know about the coronavirus, and follow along the guidance form my employer and my primary customer, which as an in-house medical doctor who briefed us last week. So, I'm trying to say the basic, simple facts as we know them, but of course check what I say against reputable sources...
In Canada, I point to the story of a man named Renee, and his wife, and their 3 children, ages ranging from 5 to 11. Here was a man who became infected in the early half of February.
I suspect that this "Renee" story is an urban myth, something spread around Facebook or Twitter.

Coronavirus has many mysteries. But it isn't a ninja assassin, sneaking in, killing someone, and sneaking out without a trace. That's not a thing I've heard about in the three or four months I've been hearing about this coronavirus. We also know this from the Diamond Princess and USS Theodore Roosevelt, that viral material (which arguably isn't infectious) can linger on surfaces for many days.


I mean, do I want to sit on a bench that may have been contaminated by another just before me. And will I contaminate myself if I sit on it unknowingly. Taking hot showers after every outing to the grocery or drug store, washing hands until one's skin is raw, cracking and blistering, and wearing a mask (that is damn near impossible to breathe through for prolonged periods during any sort of physically exerting activity (sorry, but I still can't cut my lawn, jog or ride a bike wearing one of those things) is not an option.
Very simply: you don't need to go to such extremes.

The consistent advice from the start, and given in flu seasons and probably just all around: wash your hands for 20 seconds. Want to be conservative? Use warm to hot water. Maybe wash your face if you want to go a little extra, if you're concerned you were touching your face while grocery shopping? I've not seen that recommended, but that's seems a fair extrapolation from the basic guidances.

But you don't need to talk scalding showers everytime you go out. If your skin is raw or blistered, you're taking it too far. You may be causing more harm than any good from such extreme bathing.

This isn't universal, but my view is that if you're mowing your lawn and you're alone in your yard, your nearest nieghbors is in their home (or at closest several meters away in their own yard), you don't need to wear a mask. Any virus is greatly dissipated by space and breezes. The latest guidance I've heard from both staff medical doctor and other reading is that it's close, prolonged contact that puts us at risk. Brief exposures, passing someone on the sidewalk even maskless is sustantailly not how the virus is spread. (We keep learning, maybe I'm wrong, but hopefully not.)


I'd urge anyone really stressed about everything (which, let's be honest, is all of us at some point or another) to talk with someone. MAybe even socially-distanced face to socially-distanced face. Maybe even to take advantage of the various teledoc mental-health and well begin services offered very commonly. There are professionals who can help us sort out our fears and stresses, and find ways to fix what's actually fixable by us and to work with coping with what's beyond our control. And I say that as someone who has see Psychologists in the past for my own personal issues.


I hope you can receive this in the way it's meant, which is supportive.
:)
 

Carlo Medina

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I can't highly recommend enough finding a hobby or passion that you're into to help pass the time. You don't have to go overboard like I did (buying two high end guitars during closure) but I will say I've enjoyed passing the time playing and learning new songs and styles. I'm still not "pro/stage quality" but I feel I'm significantly better than when the pandemic started. I know, small victories.

Between playing the guitar and learning songs, as well as making sure to get outside for walks and bike rides (obeying all safe distancing and mask rules) it's honestly been a godsend in terms of making it through what is an extremely trying time for all of us.

And I echo the advice to FaceTime, Zoom, GoogleChat [insert your tech of choice] here with others. I have a few friends that a couple of times a week we get takeout and sit at a park (again, safe distance from ourselves and others) and have a nice chat to feel semi-normal. And then I've got another group of friends and family I remote-chat with online. I always feel better mentally after each of those sessions.
 

Clinton McClure

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I can't highly recommend enough finding a hobby or passion that you're into to help pass the time. You don't have to go overboard like I did (buying two high end guitars during closure) but I will say I've enjoyed passing the time playing and learning new songs and styles. I'm still not "pro/stage quality" but I feel I'm significantly better than when the pandemic started. I know, small victories.

Between playing the guitar and learning songs, as well as making sure to get outside for walks and bike rides (obeying all safe distancing and mask rules) it's honestly been a godsend in terms of making it through what is an extremely trying time for all of us.

And I echo the advice to FaceTime, Zoom, GoogleChat [insert your tech of choice] here with others. I have a few friends that a couple of times a week we get takeout and sit at a park (again, safe distance from ourselves and others) and have a nice chat to feel semi-normal. And then I've got another group of friends and family I remote-chat with online. I always feel better mentally after each of those sessions.
A couple of weeks after the outbreak and stay at home orders began to be issued, my wife’s church began to hold parking lot services. Instead of everyone gathering inside the church twice on Sunday and Wednesday night, everyone drives up into the parking lots (there are three), facing the church and stays in their cars. The preacher, a deacon or two, the piano player, and the song leader all stay on the front steps adhering to the 6-foot rule and they hold a full hour-long traditional Baptist service. They have speakers set up so most people can hear out into the back parking lot. On nice days, people will roll down their windows. On hot or rainy days, you keep you car running and tune in to the short range FM radio station they broadcast on. If people want to gather, they will find a way. Some are just a lot smarter about the way they do it.
 
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Nelson Au

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Speaking of the smart way about it, today was the first day since March that I spent an hour outside on my driveway to wash my car. It wasn’t that dirty, but I wanted to clean it so I can start the process of polishing and applying paint protection.

Its a very warm and nice day here in Silicon Valley, so there was people walking past as I live next to a park. I’d say everyone was not wearing a mask. And I was, an N95. One guy had his mask pulled down. And a woman and a child walked past and I heard a sneeze. Now that was not cool as they both were not wearing masks. I walked back to the garage. The kid could have just been sneezing from something the air, but I didn’t want to take any chances.

This is why I’m sheltering inside and avoiding public places! I know everyone is itching to get out and not wear masks. but please, it’s not over yet.
 

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DaveF

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I specifically recommend this episode of The Osterholm Update. It talks about what we know currently on outdoor spread, the people who seem to be getting sick again a second time weeks later, and other things.

In this episode, Dr. Osterholm and host Chris Dall discuss the concept of smart testing, the risk of transmission outdoors, reports of children developing an inflammatory condition following infection with COVID-19, and the CDC's role in this pandemic.
 
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