Mostly Apolitical Thread for Discussing/Venting our Rational/Irrational COVID-19 Fears and Experiences in 2020

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We have an outbreak thread but this one is meant as safe space for commiserating along the lines of "My bodega is out of toilet paper" or "I hyperventilated in the shower today because I'm afraid it's all over" or "I'm genuinely scared for my grandmother" and/or - god forbid - to be upgraded to more serious problems as necessary.

Personal experiences welcome, geopolitics are not. Please be kind.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 9 March 2020 03:50 (four months ago) link

One of the elementary schools that’s a feeder to mine just had its first confirmed case. I’m not looking forward to the finger-pointing and speculation that’ll ensue tomorrow.

― rb (soda), Sunday, March 8, 2020 10:49 PM

I still do occasional supply/substitute work at my old school, including two days last week. They just had a family return there from two weeks in Rome. None of the teachers seemed visibly concerned, although who knows. At some point, I have to believe school closures will be widespread.

clemenza, Monday, 9 March 2020 03:55 (four months ago) link

I went to the Museum of Natural History in NYC today and when i asked the friendly lady manning the non-existent line at the butterfly exhibit "is this a REALLY light turnout for a Sunday," she laughed and said "Oh absolutely. But it's like 55 degrees out and daylight savings so it's not too surprising" and then both of us apparently agreed to not say "and also the pandemic."

I'm getting a Wile E Coyote feeling that the moment of tuna tartare tacos and free jazz at the club on Sunday night may be only allowable until i look down and existential dread and fear of a panicking metropolis is starting to gain steam. Called my mom to tell her she was going to hear a lot of scary things in the next few weeks but that I would do my best to keep it together and not to worry and she suggested I get toilet paper and lentils.

for those stressing, I'm hoping you will please take a few deep breaths (from six meters away) and strive to be human and i will try to do the same.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 9 March 2020 03:58 (four months ago) link

I don't feel excessively stressed, but every time I try to talk to my wife and kid about this they seem worryingly nonchalant about it all. Not sure how to convince them to take it seriously without coming off as a crackpot.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Monday, 9 March 2020 04:00 (four months ago) link

You could try telling them that the point of taking precautions like extra hand washing isn't about them saving themselves from getting sick, because kids and young adults tend not to be drastically ill and you aren't so worried about them. Tell them it is about being responsible for not making others horribly sick, like old people and people with chronic health problems - who tend to be kind of invisible in society, who could die or suffer lasting damage from this virus. It might work.

A is for (Aimless), Monday, 9 March 2020 04:53 (four months ago) link

Anybody having any luck not touching their face? A friend who used to be a model says she had to learn it to avoid ruining her makeup but that's not really an option in my line of work.

Fetchboy, Monday, 9 March 2020 05:19 (four months ago) link

it's hard! I just have a habit of doing it and I don't even notice when I'm doing it.

sorry for butt rockin (Neanderthal), Monday, 9 March 2020 05:38 (four months ago) link

When I do feel stressed it's salutary to remember EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THE PLANET has pretty much the same reason to be stressed about it, and I am not special or especially threatened.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Monday, 9 March 2020 06:53 (four months ago) link

I am really struggling with the not touching my face thing. A Doctor friend said one of the biggest benefits of wearing a mask is to make it much harder to touch your face, or at least the nose and mouth. (although I feel like its going to take a full face motor bike helmet to stop me from touching mine)

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Monday, 9 March 2020 07:11 (four months ago) link

30 cases in Portugal, which while low is I think higher than average. No shortages of toilet paper or sanitizer or anything else. Doesn't really seem to be registering in the same way as in US/UK.

I went to a coding meetup last thursday and there were maybe fewer people than expected. It didn't occur to me turnout might have been coronavirus related until yesterday.

cherry blossom, Monday, 9 March 2020 07:17 (four months ago) link

further cases of desperately needing to scratch an itch on my nose have resulted from not being able to touch my face

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Monday, 9 March 2020 08:21 (four months ago) link

Have been wondering if any of the arts festivals this year are actually going to happen. There have been some cancellations of opening events because of the weather and now this may mean large gatherings aren't allowed later in the year.
So maybe the 2 events last weekend are going to be about it. I volunteered for the opening of Tulca which was on as part of several events over Galway 2020 when it's normally a festival in November. Then went to am opening that was part of the actual Galway 2020 set up or at least had volunteers with I'd saying Galway 2020 not the gallery name.

Just seen the headlines for an article in the irish independent repeating some of the myths including some of what Trump has been saying. Not sure how good that paper ever is as a news source since it seems to follow it's owner's agenda.

Stevolende, Monday, 9 March 2020 08:42 (four months ago) link

after about the 10th attempt I've finally learned how to pronounce the word "epidemiologist" properly, now got my chat authoritative sounding shit bout COVID-19 card.

calzino, Monday, 9 March 2020 08:49 (four months ago) link

hell of a time to have a really intense sinus headache

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Monday, 9 March 2020 08:50 (four months ago) link

A Doctor friend said one of the biggest benefits of wearing a mask is to make it much harder to touch your face, or at least the nose and mouth.

My buddy is an ER doc and recommends against wearing a facemask. He wrote a really good article, "As an ER Doctor, I Need You to Know These Things About Coronavirus":

davey, Monday, 9 March 2020 10:12 (four months ago) link

good article davey, i'm already planning on sharing it with one of my more fearmongering friends

the beginning of last week was tough, not because of the disease itself, but because of the panic. i'm a bit hypochondriac, have some fairly nasty paranoid tendencies, and have panic disorder. this has been hard for me. on the other side of it i do work for a healthcare organization, though not in direct patient care, so i do have access to reliable information. i've also shut off most forms of social and other media (years ago) and, at least when it comes to stuff relating to my profession, am decent at understanding what is reliable information and what isn't.

the panic comes in waves, and though i try not to let it affect me i feel like it's important for me to at least acknowledge what i'm feeling, acknowledge what's going on around me. the way people are talking, the nervous jokes (deflecting with humour)

i fairly quickly concluded when shit got real that i was probably going to get COVID-19, probably sooner rather than later, and i was probably not going to die from it, and while i still take safety precautions the idea that we could effectively halt the spread of this in it tracks never struck me as particularly plausible.

there's a certain balancing act going on here - on the one hand not giving in to the panic, which is for me personally probably a greater threat than COVID-19, and on the other hand not working on diminishing what is absolutely a global public health crisis. human beings aren't necessarily good at dealing with crisis, aren't necessarily good at differentiating "ok this is a serious and major thing and we have to address this seriously" from "OMG we're all gonna die".

on a personal level, i'm going to be fine, most of the people i know are going to be fine. i have one co-worker i worry about; she's young (barely sixty) but is in pretty poor health and has a lot of trouble breathing. that's part of "taking this seriously", thinking about the very real possibility that a person or people i care about will die from this. on the flip side maybe nobody i know well will die from this, it'll just be musicians i like and whatnot.

i'm weirdly enough more inclined to leave the house since it's started getting serious. i can and often do work from home, and i figure it's only a matter of time before the company i work for starts asking me to. i'm expecting cabin fever, and leaving the house while i can will hopefully minimize it.

Kate (rushomancy), Monday, 9 March 2020 10:59 (four months ago) link

honestly as a data analyst i'm really worried about that 3.4% number i see going around, and i'm not sure darragh does a great job on that front - he cites a number of 0.06% but then later on cites an overall mortality rate of 2.3%. this is some pretty wonky stuff, the difference between case mortality and overall mortality, and it's tempting to get into an extremely wonky argument about statistical methodology, but i don't see that argument remotely being productive. statistics, in a situation like this, seem mostly totemic in nature, either a ward or an excuse for panic. i don't cite numbers or percentages when talking to other people.

Kate (rushomancy), Monday, 9 March 2020 11:11 (four months ago) link

Find it very hard to avoid touching my face. Have taken to tying my hair back on the way to/from work to avoid needing to put my hands near my face, also less keen on using self-checkouts & other people seem to do the same. I don’t go to Starbucks but other people have told me they won’t accept people’s own cups anymore, so I’ve stopped bringing my folding cup with me.

gramsci in your surplice (gyac), Monday, 9 March 2020 11:16 (four months ago) link

Toilet roll thing is hitting here. Panic buyers clearing teh shelves. Hope it is just a temporary thing but not sure exactly where the supply levels lie wherever they're getting them from. I assume it is going to return to normal and not be blocked by international exchange somewhere down the line. people not trading the necessary commodities that go into the production etc.

I mean if society is going to collapse i would hope it would be with clean bums. Maybe we need a rise in bidet production?
THink somebody I know had a hose bidet substitute tehy got cheap in Dublin on Facebook last week. Maybe that's the future?

Stevolende, Monday, 9 March 2020 16:56 (four months ago) link

Luckily I’m already obsessive about not touching my face with unwashed hands / not touching other things after touching my face.

honky wonk badonkadonk (crüt), Monday, 9 March 2020 17:00 (four months ago) link

What’s with the toilet paper thing?

honky wonk badonkadonk (crüt), Monday, 9 March 2020 17:00 (four months ago) link

Panicked people incessantly shitting themselves, I assume.

Waifu-ed Around and Fell in Love (Old Lunch), Monday, 9 March 2020 17:03 (four months ago) link

As a person with a chronic lung disease I am:

- increasingly worried that this will hit me hard and at best will further damage my lungs and shorten my life
- pissed off with people growling at me because I cough a lot and they think I'm part of the plague
- a complete hypocrite who growls at everyone else with a cough as I'm scared that they have the plague
- thinking about the benefits of self-isolation in terms of reading and video games :)

Non, je ned raggette rien (onimo), Monday, 9 March 2020 17:04 (four months ago) link

xpost The best I can tell it's people worried they'll be stuck inside with ... not enough toiler paper to last two weeks?

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:04 (four months ago) link

Def. have noticed places out of hand sanitizer, and signs limiting purchases. Also other signs, like the one at the vet this morning declaring it a "no handshake zone." Proactively and helpfully, all of our doctors, dentists, etc. have sent out texts and messengers saying, please, if you're sick, stay home. (And affirming that that is always appreciated).

I'm a little annoyed because my kids were both sick last week with mundane stuff, and now, when I want to be at my sharpest and most vigilant, I have a stuffy nose.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:08 (four months ago) link

my spouse hesitated about kissing me this morning and I was like "dude, you've stuck your dick in me, I am pretty sure you've got whatever I've got."

Yerac, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:09 (four months ago) link

Yeah, but maybe not covid.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:13 (four months ago) link


Josh in Chicago, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:13 (four months ago) link

we have not been touching our top faces. only our bottom faces.

Yerac, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:15 (four months ago) link

now is the perfect time to invest in a bidet

avellano medio inglés (f. hazel), Monday, 9 March 2020 17:16 (four months ago) link

have a wedding planned in june and an out-of-town bachelor party planned for april 2nd. not gonna lie, i'm slightly nervous about that second thing. hopefully, the panic will subside by the time june rolls around, and i'm going to that party unless the faa grounds flights (sorry, not sorry colorado). but covid has been a fun additional source of stress during an already-stressful time.

ooga booga-ing for the bourgeoisie (voodoo chili), Monday, 9 March 2020 17:16 (four months ago) link

The Bidet: like a wet kiss for your bottom face.

Waifu-ed Around and Fell in Love (Old Lunch), Monday, 9 March 2020 17:17 (four months ago) link

cancellations are really bumming my kids out - mariachi performances, purim celebrations, soccer games, etcx.

Οὖτις, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:18 (four months ago) link

Been thinking about life and mortality today. I’d rather die gloriously in battle than from a virus. In a way it doesn’t matter. But it kinda does.

— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) March 9, 2020

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:18 (four months ago) link

if they don't get their Disneyland trip at the end of this month the tears are gonna be epic


Οὖτις, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:18 (four months ago) link

Disney hasn't closed or anything yet, right?

So far not much here has changed, as far as I can tell.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:20 (four months ago) link

my work is definitely going to close when the virus picks up steam here and I can't do most of my job from home as things stand (and this will not be remedied in the near future). this is going to definitely create an "interesting" time for me, probable extra paid holiday from work followed by "too much fucking work" when I get back

frederik b. godt (jim in vancouver), Monday, 9 March 2020 17:20 (four months ago) link

it's a good thing that Paul Gosar was a dentist then.

Yerac, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:21 (four months ago) link

Disney hasn't closed or anything yet, right?

they closed Disneyland Tokyo (different situation, obviously)

Οὖτις, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:22 (four months ago) link

definitely create an "interesting" time for me

Maybe you'll finally get to watch "The Irishman" in one sitting.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:22 (four months ago) link

JUst seen it confirmed taht teh St patrick's day parades are bing cancelled. Heard Dublin, Cork, sligo so far.
BUmped into someone i know this morning who was coming from a meeting about the local one and told me taht our local community centre had definitely pulled out but the town as waiting for the decision from teh council.
I thought it was pretty likely that if there was a panic over the last week a large close crowd event like that next week may not be likely to go ahead.

Stevolende, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:23 (four months ago) link

Pretty sure the St. Patrick's Day response here will be to drink *more*.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:24 (four months ago) link

They won't need to dye the river, it'll just turn that color from all the covid.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:25 (four months ago) link

Went to Costco and the big asian grocery store in town. Costco seemed to be out of toilet paper but didn't notice anything else weird.

The asian grocery store was pretty cleaned out though - 90% of the rice was gone, all of the dried chinese noodles were gone except the very thin ones, and like 75% of the all the huge chinese preserved vegetable aisle was empty.

I'm kind of fascinated by what was gone and what was still around - I imagine some of it is supply issues for chinese products, the fact that the vast majority of customers are chinese, etc. There was still lots of thai/vietnamese rice noodles, korean sweet potato noodles, kimchee, pansit noodles, and some stray bags of basmati, sticky, sushi, and brown jasmine rice. My son and I were also the only people there not wearing masks this time.

joygoat, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:26 (four months ago) link

I'm not very observant, so on Saturday I learned that brown basmati rice is a thing.

Andrew Farrell, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:28 (four months ago) link

that's interesting, I shop pretty much only at Asian grocery stores (south but mostly east) here and I haven't yet seen anyone in a mask, nor any shelves unusually out of stock.

Joey Corona (Euler), Monday, 9 March 2020 17:29 (four months ago) link

Probably also touching my face the average (160 times an hour, I've read). Yesterday I donned one of my dog's neck bandanas inside the apt, so at least I noticed each time I rested my chin on my thumb. I imagine I'd get habituated to that, too.

Sanpaku, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:32 (four months ago) link

I've long been in the habit of touching my face with my knuckles, or the back of my hand. Like "The Thinker."

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:34 (four months ago) link

I have a work trip that I spun into a vacation for my spouse and I (me?), heading from SF to Paris then Amsterdam next week. We are both wondering aloud if this is a good idea or not.

As for the workplace itself, we are extremely deadline-driven in my dept and if we close it will have an enormous, unpredictable impact on them. it's definitely making me anxious.

justice 4 CCR (Sparkle Motion), Monday, 9 March 2020 17:43 (four months ago) link

I'm slightly nervous about flying this week: first to Raleigh (for a Destroyer show lol), then NYC. But other than sanitizing the airplane seat table, what can ya do?

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 9 March 2020 17:51 (four months ago) link

Sorry if I derail the valid discussion here, but this seems the most appropriate thread to vent in. I'm feeling so overwhelmed and depressed these past few months and I KNOW I need to take some time to disconnect and recharge, but my attempts at self-care are just blowing up in my face left and right. I haven't had a single day off in 2020 and since the pandemic began I've been working (albeit from home) even longer hours than usual. I planned to take last Friday off to go do some hiking (ish, or at least the nearest approximation thereof) but shit blew up at work and I had to scratch that. In the regular 2020 timeline, I'd be flying to Denver tomorrow to spend a much needed long weekend with friends to go see some concerts. Obviously that's not happening. So those of us that were supposed to go were going to stream a show together tomorrow night, drink some beer and try to make the best of it. Well, my brother-in-law decided on a last minute trip and will be passing through town tomorrow night and is coming to see us - at the exact same time as the streaming show I'm supposed to watch with friends. Obviously I'm not going to say no to my wife seeing part of her family for the first time since December, so I had to back out of the streaming thing.

I know it's selfish, but I'm feeling really frustrated at the attempts to schedule something for myself blowing up. I'm historically terrible at prioritizing self-care and felt really good about forcing myself to actually put two things on the calendar, but after having both of them blow up I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out why I should bother. Yeah I can probably reschedule the hiking thing (though we've been told not to plan on any time off until after mid-August, depending on how reopeining goes), but getting this group of friends together is notoriously hard and not like I can just snap my fingers and make that happen again next week.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 9 July 2020 21:25 (five days ago) link

That's tough to hear. fwiw, my wife needs to manage people through her job, and two things she imposed, months ago at this point, were 1) everyone needs to step away from their computers for an hour, 90 minutes each day, if possible. Read a book, go for a walk, just sit outside. The feedback she got has been nothing but positive. And 2) everyone needs to use their vacation days. She (and others with her) were concerned that people were just sitting on their time off, and that should anyone see a light at the end of the tunnel they would just all ask to take vacations at the same time, which of course they can't do. But she also recognized it was important for people to have some mandatory downtime where they don't have to be on or engaged. So now everyone is strongly encouraged to take a day or two off now and then, as possible, to just ... do anything else. Watch a movie. Listen to music. Read a book. Invite a friend to have a beer in the backyard or sitting nearby on chairs or wherever. As for schedules and conflicts, I think people are generally understanding. For example, we're always here, at home, but not always here *together,* if that makes sense. One person might be working, one might have a friend in the backyard, someone could be watching TV. These connections to other activities and other people, however and whenever we can find them, are vital in the best of circumstances. Might your BIL want to hang with you and your friends?

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 9 July 2020 21:42 (five days ago) link

you definitely should find a way to get yourself those personal moments of self-attention or resentment is going to build up quickly and will wind up manifesting in some other, unintended way (like for me, that would be "exploding randomly at somebody who isn't the target of my rage").

I obviously can't tell you "blow work off" because I have no idea what your work environment is like or how much hell they would make your life if you asserted your own self-care. but PTO is PTO, and it's only fair to actually be able to take the PTO you plan to take, even if shit blows up at work, because shits going to blow up at work everywhere now, with how crazy life is, and bosses can't expect that you're not just going to burn out.

Hell...the burnout will still happen even if you do take time to yourself. I took a week off last week and I still am struggling mentally, but it did help cushion things a little bit and help me siphon out some of the negative energy.

I get being frustrated about the in-law thing - right now planning virtual get togethers takes more effort than just seeing people in person during quieter times of year, so it's frustrating to put in that kind of effort only to have to back out.

I hear that sometimes Satan wants to defund police (Neanderthal), Thursday, 9 July 2020 21:43 (five days ago) link

Why not just fake being sick if they won’t let you pto

Not like suspicion of covid sick but a good old ‘something I ate was bad, can’t start barfing, see you guys tomorrow’

gnarled and turbid sinuses (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 9 July 2020 23:18 (five days ago) link

STOP barfing rather

gnarled and turbid sinuses (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 9 July 2020 23:19 (five days ago) link

"I got the 'Vid Shits"

I hear that sometimes Satan wants to defund police (Neanderthal), Thursday, 9 July 2020 23:20 (five days ago) link

I’ve got a burnout-fighting plan that involves invoking the death of my 94 yr old grandfather in March — my mom needs to take care of his apt and I’m her only child. Gotta help mom, sorry, need time off.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 9 July 2020 23:27 (five days ago) link


gnarled and turbid sinuses (Jon not Jon), Friday, 10 July 2020 00:35 (four days ago) link

LL i legit almost did that twice this year because my burnout was very bad. lost 2 grandparents, one from COVID. instead i got a new job and never mentioned it to anyone but it was nice to have it in my back pocket. i did take two separate fake sick days when i was feeling the worst. i can't even say they were all that fake. burnout is a real health problem.

contorted filbert (harbl), Friday, 10 July 2020 00:39 (four days ago) link

I legit slept for the last 3 hours of my shift today.

I hear that sometimes Satan wants to defund police (Neanderthal), Friday, 10 July 2020 00:48 (four days ago) link

because I haven't slept well in 4 months and I was so tired that when I was training in the morning (to help someone who had lost their voice), I was actually forgetting how I began my sentences and had to keep stopping myself from losing my train of thought.

I hear that sometimes Satan wants to defund police (Neanderthal), Friday, 10 July 2020 00:49 (four days ago) link

ever since I bought me a turntable and started collectin' rekkidz in the last week, that's been a reaaaaaaally therapeutic activity. just puttin on metal records in my room and watching Whose Line Is It Anyway reruns (the newer Aisha Tyler ones) have been pretty calming

I hear that sometimes Satan wants to defund police (Neanderthal), Friday, 10 July 2020 00:51 (four days ago) link

I haven't had a vacation longer than two nights since 2010 and I'm kind of glad I got past my 'gonna crack from it' stage pre-COVID.

My ADHD and tendency to have a bunch of hobbies that I'm shitty at has been a boon. I can't sit still and watch a movie end to end but I can find a way to amuse myself. Bummed I didn't get around to buying a MIG welder in the Before Times, though.

Donald Trump Also Sucks, Of Course (milo z), Friday, 10 July 2020 00:57 (four days ago) link

My ADHD and tendency to have a bunch of hobbies that I'm shitty at

me irl.

i have definitely hated the shutdown/quarantine/whatever for various reasons, and it has been bad for my mental health in many ways, but also if it didn't happen i truly don't know what would have happened to me. i needed the time to fake working at home and sleep until 10:30 instead. in my new job i have to be available to answer emails during the day and i'm annoyed at it because i can finish all my real work in 4 hours, but i'm very fortunate still.

contorted filbert (harbl), Friday, 10 July 2020 01:11 (four days ago) link

Teaching and facilitating from home has been weird and frustrating, but having cancer last year really prepared me for spending a lot of time alone, communicating mostly through texting and letters and stuff--.

I do highly recommend a daily practice of doing something you enjoy, or even something that makes you feel 'productive' outside of your job. Tbh, I'm going to emerge from all of this with at least three poetry manuscripts, because I spend at least an hour or two writing every day

blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Friday, 10 July 2020 01:33 (four days ago) link

i wish i could have that relationship with writing but i guess it’s never too late. i will however emerge from quarantine a much better drummer

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Friday, 10 July 2020 01:36 (four days ago) link

Whatever else, quarantine has been fantastic for (a) reading (b) writing

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 July 2020 01:39 (four days ago) link

I haven't had a vacation longer than two nights since 2010

what?? is this your choice, or your circumstances, or some combination of the two?

putting together enough vacation days in a row to truly forget about my job completely is an essential target for me, at least once a year.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Friday, 10 July 2020 08:19 (four days ago) link

I've been far less productive on every front during this, for all sorts of reasons.

One thing I've been wondering about is how we will look back on this period in the near future. It's been a long time since there's been a truly shared world-changing event that literally affects everyone. At the same time, the way we process information (including history) seems to be so much faster than ever. So in the end, will this pandemic, with all its death and illness, tragedy and stress, feel like a blip? A bump? Or will it have an impact (emotional, economic, whatever) proportionate to its scale? I guess we'll find out. My younger daughter looked at me the other day and said "I feel bad for anyone studying history in 50 years, because good luck explaining any of this."

In other news, I know the post office is a mess, but ... the post office is a mess. I waited in line for 15 minutes yesterday behind one old guy talking to the single clerk working the counter. The man was complaining that he hadn't received any mail in 6 days, even though he has seen the mail carrier (or a mail carrier) on his street during the same period. Over at a window where another clerk was working, there was another man complaining about the same thing, more or less. Both clerks (unfamiliar to me, despite this being the smaller satellite post office I go to regularly) were apologetic, saying how there were so many substitute carriers, and that things were slower and more chaotic than usual. My own daily carriers have rarely been the same person twice, and occasionally they've barely been wearing anything that identifies them as a mail carrier, though I suppose driving a US Mail truck does some of that heavy lifting; no one is going to steal a mail truck just to deliver the mail.

(Adding insult to injury, by the time I got to the clerk myself my reward was learning that the $5 book I wanted to send to my brother in law in Australia would cost me $74 - $74! - to send, which is almost O. Henry like in its outcome, because I bought the $5 used copy knowing that a new copy in Australia would cost me I think $45 US dollars and I figured, ha ha, I'll show them, they'll charge me an arm and a leg to mail this but it will still be cheaper than buying it new in Australia! I guess I expected to be charged $25 or $35 and still come out ahead, but no. $74!

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 10 July 2020 13:18 (four days ago) link

I waited in line for 15 minutes yesterday behind one old guy talking to the single clerk working the counter. The man was complaining that he hadn't received any mail in 6 days, even though he has seen the mail carrier (or a mail carrier) on his street during the same period.

Are you sure you're not in a time-loop movie and you were watching an older version of yourself?

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Friday, 10 July 2020 13:55 (four days ago) link

I hope not, the old guy had one arm. The darkest timeline!

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 10 July 2020 13:56 (four days ago) link

Re teachers unions

Leaders of the Los Angeles teachers union today will call for campuses to remain closed and for distance learning to continue when the school year begins on Aug. 18.

— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) July 10, 2020

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Friday, 10 July 2020 14:02 (four days ago) link

Chicago post offices are one of the less mentioned levels of hell iirc, they're truly stunning places

rob, Friday, 10 July 2020 14:07 (four days ago) link

Post offices are like ATM machines where the people working there are the same as the people you are inevitably stuck behind at the machine. No hustle meets no clue, how little can I do over the longest span of time.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 10 July 2020 14:18 (four days ago) link

looking for a national teachers strike tbh

mookieproof, Friday, 10 July 2020 14:44 (four days ago) link

One thing I saw someone point out is that if a student tests positive, all of their teachers have to quarantine for 2 weeks. If that's the case, we'd run out of teachers pretty quickly either way.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 10 July 2020 14:55 (four days ago) link

Again, pro sports can’t even figure this out with their stadiums & fans bursting with dollars.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Friday, 10 July 2020 14:59 (four days ago) link

the GOP aren't trying to dismantle pro sports like they are with public schools.

Yerac, Friday, 10 July 2020 15:01 (four days ago) link


Joey Corona (Euler), Friday, 10 July 2020 16:17 (four days ago) link

there's a way to open schools in a lot of places but it requires money and for the issue not to be turned into a culture war, neither of which seem likely so ... schools in 2021 is my guess.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Friday, 10 July 2020 16:54 (four days ago) link

my friend's wive pissed off a whole bunch of teachers by basically saying the teachers that are "high risk" (PLEASE STOP USING THIS FUCKING PHRASE - people who aren't your arbitrary definition of "high risk" are dying from this!) can stay home and teachers that don't feel comfortable can get another job. I'm sympathetic to you being stressed out that your soon to be kindergarten kid might not be able to go to Kindergarten in fall and you may be on the hook for childcare again, believe me....

but fuck, it's not fair to shuffle a much bigger burden onto someone else.

I hear that sometimes Satan wants to defund police (Neanderthal), Friday, 10 July 2020 17:03 (four days ago) link

Schools here in Wales are opening fully in September with limited social distancing for the kids as "Children, especially younger children, don't seem to transmit the disease to one another, or to on to adults". Yeah, that seems very fucking scientific.

chonky floof (groovypanda), Friday, 10 July 2020 17:27 (four days ago) link

went to laundrette this morning for the first time since lockdown started. didn't feel safe despite there only being 2 people in there and i didn't do the usual thing of waiting inside (walked home, had breakfast, walked back to pick up stuff, walked home again, 10 minutes each way)

anyway, it's the first time i've been that way since saturday and there's a newly burnt out car 2 streets over. i had no idea.

(white city rave / riot also passed me by, although i did hear the helicopter)

koogs, Friday, 10 July 2020 17:28 (four days ago) link

I'm actually surprised that my child's been back at school for 5 weeks and there haven't been any cases there or school outbreaks that I know of anywhere nearby. Had assumed he'd go back and it'd have to close at some point. Only one week left before the summer break now.

kinder, Friday, 10 July 2020 17:55 (four days ago) link

i have recommended emily oster a bunch here. i haven't read this interview but she's been good on this stuff on her own blog

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Friday, 10 July 2020 18:15 (four days ago) link

My union negotiates our salary and benefits with the city. Other than that, they don’t have much say in our day to day working lives — which is driven mostly by administration. Our local handles grievances, and other workplace complaints, though what they can do is constrained by our workplace contract, which is very preferential to the administration. I say this with no disrespect, because I owe my job to the union, but a large function of theirs seems to be reinstating people who have been laid off (usually with just cause).

Virginia Plain, Saturday, 11 July 2020 06:08 (three days ago) link

Yeah, that's the downside. Unions do often protect toxic people with seniority.
That said I've been out in the wild so much of my life that I hope to never have a non-union job ever again, when there isn't one... God help you, because the mythical American "small business owner" won't give a shit about you. Most of my union experiences involve my reps fighting protracted, years-long contract negotiations fighting for inches.

Nhex, Saturday, 11 July 2020 06:57 (three days ago) link

Post offices are like ATM machines where the people working there are the same as the people you are inevitably stuck behind at the machine. No hustle meets no clue, how little can I do over the longest span of time.

We got the Blue Collar Comedy tour up in here

Donald Trump Also Sucks, Of Course (milo z), Saturday, 11 July 2020 07:42 (three days ago) link

That post is vile, IMHO. Postal workers have to deal with totally insane shit all the time, including customers threatening to kill them nearly every day, so fuck off with that shit

blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Saturday, 11 July 2020 19:56 (three days ago) link

Not to mention they're the victims of decades of underfunding and lack of support from the Federal government

I hear that sometimes Satan wants to defund police (Neanderthal), Saturday, 11 July 2020 20:13 (three days ago) link

My mom was a postal carrier back when it was a really good job. She got a good retirement and everything. I feel bad for anyone that works there now, it got run into the ground.

Cow_Art, Saturday, 11 July 2020 21:01 (three days ago) link

I love the post office! Give them more money. It's a bargain and an invaluable public service. I just meant that when I go to the Post Office, like going to the ATM machine, I'm often behind someone taking a long, long, long time (per the comedy cliche), and they are often being assisted by an overworked staffer also taking a really long time, probably for different reasons, certainly under less than ideal conditions, even in the best of recent times. I think if they were better paid and supported, maybe the experience could be better for all involved. (Or maybe not. You want hoary comedy routines? What's the deal with the DMV? My local DMV is *packed* with employees, and they behave exactly how they've been portrayed in pop culture for years.) Anyway, even if there are reasons, I think it is totally fair to complain when, even in the pre-covid days, there is one person behind the counter with three empty stations and 15 people ahead of me in line. And that's in the off hours. Hell, once I got to the postal worker behind the counter and they were out of all regular stamps except Christmas and collectible stamps. Stamps! Maybe it's just my local office, I dunno, but if you don't think it's ok to complain about waiting in line, I don't know what to say.

I do love my regular mail carrier Tim, but he hasn't come since this covid stuff started. I hope he's OK.

Speaking of not ok, I'm beginning to seriously think that reopening schools in person to any extent is just a bad idea. I do understand the burden it places on families - I have kids in school - but as long as the country is going in the direction it's going in (which is to say, no direction) it just doesn't seem prudent. I think it would make more sense to have to school from home until at least January, planning on contingencies in the meantime. Maybe a new president will make a difference. Maybe a vaccine will appear. First and foremost, maybe we will finally learn *why* kids appear less susceptible to covid than adults and take that into account. There are lots of countries that have reopened in person schooling, to some degree, but many have done so with a baseline that their national governments at least somewhat give a shit.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 13 July 2020 16:38 (yesterday) link

Speaking of not ok, I'm beginning to seriously think that reopening schools in person to any extent is just a bad idea.

Hey, remember that famous right-wing boogeyman, the All-Powerful Teachers Unions that control the Democratic Party? Where are they on all this shit?

but also fuck you (unperson), Monday, 13 July 2020 16:58 (yesterday) link

trying to figure out how to get back to work but also not die

rb (soda), Monday, 13 July 2020 17:18 (yesterday) link

people now in Florida trying to deny we're in bad shape because some sub-news blog that calls itself "" reported the shocking, controversial fact that the 15,000+ some odd cases reported yesterday might have included some late reported positives. which even if true, happens frequently, and is why 3 and 7 day rolling averages are more useful to look at than a single data point (not to mention - there were accusations that the FL Dept of Health was retroactively manipulating data and "spreading out" cases reported in a single day amongst multiple days).

or pointing out that we have plenty of hospital capacity cos some of the capacity has returned after looking bleak a few days ago - of course neglecting the fact that there's always an ebb and flow to those numbers as people get discharged and new patients are waiting to be admitted, and that hospital capacity is undoubtedly spiking (, and if they routinely exceed discharges, we'll continue to face bed battles. 25% capacity during a pandemic isn't the same as 25% capacity during a normal time of year, either.

I'm so sick of arguing with these assholes that are going to get us killed.

They had a panel of 4 or 5 doctors on one of the nightly newses last night, all of them were totally comfortable sending their kids back to school (provided implementation of effective social distancing measures) bcz of lower transmission rates among young kids. benefits of having in-person class said to outweigh (again, reportedly smaller) virus risk. I don’t know if most schools have the cash to implement effective social distancing measures though *shrug* #wtf

brimstead, Monday, 13 July 2020 17:44 (yesterday) link

I think I mentioned it upthread, but our local K-8 district said it would cost $11 million alone just to hire extra teachers to staff the extra classrooms to house the newly spread out, socially distanced kids. The best outside the box solution I heard (which would still cost money; everything costs money) is to hire college kids not returning to campus to serve as auxiliary teaching staff/assistants/support. But as I've heard countered, the teachers unions likely wouldn't be happy with districts spending piles money to hire temporary support staff to help them after so many years of dealing with staff cuts and stagnant salaries. Though who knows.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 13 July 2020 18:41 (yesterday) link

And also those college kids become a third potential disease vector.

What proportion of the various Chads and Brookes, hastily pulled into schools each day, are spending their evenings at trendy bars and shouting at one another over bad house music and worse cocktails?

LinkedIn Park (Ye Mad Puffin), Monday, 13 July 2020 18:55 (yesterday) link

Back at the office for the first time today. I must say it's kinda nice to work in what used to be a 100-ish person office, now capped at a potential capacity of 30 but in reality there are maybe....8 people here? arguably safer than my house.

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Monday, 13 July 2020 18:58 (yesterday) link

oh! it's almost like all the things teachers were asking for all along were actually important?!!?!?!??!

also, again, please stop erasing nontraditional college students from the discussion

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 13 July 2020 19:00 (yesterday) link

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