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

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Might be worth a separate thread for online teaching / learning and how that's going.

If we think that the UK situation is going to stretch into the next academic year, and it looks almost inevitable that it will, i can't begin to imagine the impact that's going to have on enrollments, particularly of overseas students.

ShariVari, Monday, 16 March 2020 08:20 (four months ago) link

My wife is well prepped for this they had to start with up to 40% of her students stuck in China. Part of the assessment for one of her classes is a group project and she made sure that each group had some overseas members (only one Edgelord in a different section complained about this). Online lectures won’t be as good as in person but the tech seems to work. Plus I’m booked as a guest speaker for a couple of classes and she’s trying to find more who will remote in.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Monday, 16 March 2020 08:26 (four months ago) link

i feel like a lot of the conflicting advice is because of the uncertainty, we don't know what will happen, and we can't prepare for every eventuality. the more severe the quarantine the more it will hurt people in economically and socially precarious situations, but the more likely it is to prevent an italy-type situation

in healthcare the overriding goal is to make sure as many people as possible have access to any sort of medical care they need to stay alive. hospitals are cancelling elective surgeries so they can better focus on giving people treatment they need.

differentiating between what's convenient and what's necessary isn't a decision a lot of people are used to making. hoarders buy things in quantities they are vanishingly unlikely to need or find useful, and by doing so prevent other people who need them more from getting them. "this could last for months", on the other hand, is sort of preparing people to deal with one possible way this could go down.

there are a lot of worst-case scenarios and it's literally impossible for them all to happen. everybody has different ways of coping with the uncertainty, and one of the ways some people do it is trying to imagine all the bad things that could happen and planning for every contingency. unfortunately other people hear about this and take this coping strategy as prediction. combine this with different people focusing on planning for different contingencies...

well, i ignore most of what i hear, and certain risks, like the risk of increased political instability for instance, i decide to define as out of scope, which is why i hang out in this thread and don't hang out in the other one.

Kate (rushomancy), Monday, 16 March 2020 08:32 (four months ago) link

Seems like either the guardian was wrong (whod’ve thunk it) or things are moving quickly because my wife’s classes are online from Wednesday as texted from the break in her current one.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Monday, 16 March 2020 08:36 (four months ago) link

A U.K.-based company, in collaboration with Senegalese research foundation Institut Pasteur de Dakar, holds out prospects of a 10-minute coronavirus test costing less than $1 https://t.co/VkjTOPbL37

— Bloomberg Africa (@BBGAfrica) March 16, 2020

ogmor, Monday, 16 March 2020 09:19 (four months ago) link

I haven’t heard anything here about how they are planning to feed the students in the halls. My friends who work in the kitchens are clueless. If you can’t run the cafeteria that could be three meals a day for someone on full board to be replaced somehow.

Bidh boladh a' mhairbh de 'n láimh fhalaimh (dowd), Monday, 16 March 2020 09:42 (four months ago) link

St. Andrews has two sources of income, and both tourism and the university are going to be badly hit by this.

Bidh boladh a' mhairbh de 'n láimh fhalaimh (dowd), Monday, 16 March 2020 09:45 (four months ago) link

my company is telling everyone to work from home and I think is going to actually close the office at the end of this week.

in practice, this makes no difference to me, I'm already in isolation anyway, was working from home almost every day to begin with, and don't leave the house very often. I did go out on Saturday to visit some friends, perhaps not the best idea but there aren't a lot of cases around here... yet. I went to the supermarket yesterday - tbh it wasn't that bad, didn't really seem busier than usual, didn't notice any empty shelves but then I wasn't shopping for pasta or TP (when I got home I thought I probably should've bought some pasta).

Colonel Poo, Monday, 16 March 2020 10:07 (four months ago) link

Walked to work today and stopped off in about seven shops along the way trying to buy some paracetamol - I found one lonely packet hidden at the back of a shelf in the very shop I looked in.

God gave toilets rolls to you, gave toilet rolls to you (Tom D.), Monday, 16 March 2020 10:17 (four months ago) link

...very LAST shop that is, no sign of any anywhere else.

God gave toilets rolls to you, gave toilet rolls to you (Tom D.), Monday, 16 March 2020 10:18 (four months ago) link

Banal at this point but local Sainsbury's comprehensively depleted of canned stuff, porridge / muesli, regular soya milk, bog roll, cleaning stuff etc., for the first time. I was thinking they would have restocked overnight and Monday morning would be a good time to get a few bits in. Plenty of broccoli though and got the last jar of sauerkraut so all was not futile.

Not a dancer by any traditional definition (Noel Emits), Monday, 16 March 2020 10:19 (four months ago) link

People are up at the crack of dawn to add 12 further rolls of toilet paper to the 64 they already have.

God gave toilets rolls to you, gave toilet rolls to you (Tom D.), Monday, 16 March 2020 10:23 (four months ago) link

It's fascinating to me how the supermarkets have been utterly denuded but the local shops have everything - toilet roll, rice, bread, etc. A woman in front of me at the cornershop yesterday was like 'now everybody's got to use the local shops - like they should have been doing anyway!' and I'm like go off king

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Monday, 16 March 2020 10:25 (four months ago) link

suggests it's a car problem - if people have cars there's a temptation to load them right up

ymo sumac (NickB), Monday, 16 March 2020 10:42 (four months ago) link

yes my Big Saturday Shop™ was limited by wheezy old me hauling the fkn shopping bags on foot, so i will have to go out again and get a bunch of smaller back-up stuff

mark s, Monday, 16 March 2020 10:49 (four months ago) link

otoh cars are great for social distancing, maybe supermarkets will just eveolve into drive thru bog rog roll depots

ymo sumac (NickB), Monday, 16 March 2020 10:52 (four months ago) link

One thing noticed yesterday at Tesco - there was a queue of about 25 people for self-checkout, while there were still cashiers free.

Wuhan!! Got You All in Check (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 16 March 2020 10:53 (four months ago) link

Yes this is a very good time to be using local shops, still loads of pasta, rice, painkillers in the standard Food & Wine type shop down the road from me. We have a butcher and a fishmonger and a few other things within walking distance as well which is hopefully going to be better than relying on the supermarkets as well.

The delivery system is really fucked though, they're going to have to find some way of getting deliveries to over 70s as priority rather than letting all the slots be taken up with panic-buyers.

Matt DC, Monday, 16 March 2020 10:53 (four months ago) link

there are groups organising like this - https://covidmutualaid.org/local-groups/ - but, incredibly imo, it's all on fkn facebook

ogmor, Monday, 16 March 2020 10:58 (four months ago) link

I, or my neighbours, will die in a ditch because I’m not on fkn facebook.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Monday, 16 March 2020 11:01 (four months ago) link

My supervisor said I should stay home and wait for the phone delivery that would enable remote work login.

Talked my sister off the ledge re my survival here last night. Just got a message from my best friend encouraging me to go live with sis in CT. :/

I can't stand this.

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Monday, 16 March 2020 11:09 (four months ago) link

xp our local fb groups are coordinating people to go out and put flyers through letterboxes offering aid & with phone numbers.

Paperbag raita (ledge), Monday, 16 March 2020 11:23 (four months ago) link

Sending best wishes and strength morbs

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 16 March 2020 11:35 (four months ago) link

DC-area Metrobus has reduced itself to "Saturday Supplemental" service on weekdays for now.

I had a dentist's appointment for Tuesday morning, but the office just announced that they are closing for at least the next two weeks.

Life is a banquet and my invitation was lost in the mail (j.lu), Monday, 16 March 2020 11:41 (four months ago) link

One thing noticed yesterday at Tesco - there was a queue of about 25 people for self-checkout, while there were still cashiers free.

Bit weird given all the prodding of those touchscreens that self-checkout involves.

Alba, Monday, 16 March 2020 11:51 (four months ago) link

perhaps I now appreciate why my bf was annoyed at me worrying at the weekend (which felt unfair as I felt like I was recently walking on eggshells re certain things he gets anxious about and then when I'm anxious I just get told I'm overreacting and to stop complaining), since I am in the office and a coworker has spent all morning monologuing eeyorishly about how bad things are/will get, and a wave of doom has settled upon me

it's not that she's wrong in any of her assessments, it's just the added layers of despair which are now crushing my poor defeated brain, ho hum

a passing spacecadet, Monday, 16 March 2020 12:05 (four months ago) link

No fewer than three people I know in TO have told me "a reliable source" informs me the city is about to "shut down", whatever precisely that means. Very strange.

brechtian social distancing (Simon H.), Monday, 16 March 2020 12:13 (four months ago) link

There is a Fairway supermarket in the upper west side that always has a long ass line winding through the store to use the self check outs, but the staffed registers have maybe 2 people in line. I think people just see the line and get in it.

Yerac, Monday, 16 March 2020 12:19 (four months ago) link

I guess you can control what you touch at self-check-in, then wash your hands - a cashier otoh will touch all of your shopping.

Wuhan!! Got You All in Check (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 16 March 2020 12:20 (four months ago) link

I never use self-checkout, in the spirit of "I don't fucking work here"

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Monday, 16 March 2020 12:23 (four months ago) link

my man

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Monday, 16 March 2020 12:29 (four months ago) link

I phoned my parents last night and felt a bit better that they are at least taking things seriously, cutting down on social activities and considering the risks to them and to more vulnerable attendees. some will say they should lock down more but there's a tradeoff and maybe in the end preserving some chipper-ness and quality of life is as important as taking every last fallible measure to keep it at the door

(totally patronising paragraph considering that out of a) staying as safe as possible in the circumstances vs b) staying as sane and cheerful as possible in the circumstances, it has to be said I'm falling well short of either)

I had thought they were safer there than my area might be and had worried about bringing germs to them, but the family 2 doors down have something bad and flu-like but couldn't get tested even though the daughter goes to school in an area with a known outbreak. fingers crossed for the family, but also worrying how long/strictly people who haven't been formally diagnosed will quarantine themselves once symptoms reduce...

a passing spacecadet, Monday, 16 March 2020 12:29 (four months ago) link

I don't use the self check out because people have meltdowns in front of them and I don't like that.

Yerac, Monday, 16 March 2020 12:29 (four months ago) link

(xp, sorry for monologuing to myself here after complaining about my colleague's monologue, ha)

meanwhile the o/h's dad + his new wife are still planning to go ahead with trips to Europe over the next few months, which seems... not great? the ferry for trip #1 was cancelled because it would've gone on from France to Spain and Spain isn't accepting ferries - so he just rebooked a different one even though we told him France was going into lockdown too and maybe he should leave it and claim on the insurance!

<grumbling about the generation which can afford to go on holiday constantly not wanting to be kept from its constant holidaying> <ok, not fair, stop it spacecadet>

a passing spacecadet, Monday, 16 March 2020 12:31 (four months ago) link

I can't use the self checkout at Target because those cameras make me look like a cadaver

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 16 March 2020 12:41 (four months ago) link

No, under the circumstances that's very fair!

Andrew Farrell, Monday, 16 March 2020 12:42 (four months ago) link

A bit of 'levity':

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcr83km7m5U

romanesque architect (pomenitul), Monday, 16 March 2020 13:01 (four months ago) link

lol the joys of working from home... trying to set up a call with multiple colleagues, one said he'd call us using teams, the other said teams didn't work on his laptop so could we use skype, to which a third said the same about skype, so how about we do the call on whatsapp

Jibe, Monday, 16 March 2020 13:04 (four months ago) link

I'm already dreading negotiating the VPN at home, especially as my internet connection fluctuates in speed a lot

brechtian social distancing (Simon H.), Monday, 16 March 2020 13:06 (four months ago) link

done a big shop at the local cornerstore. if there's one thing I went a bit ham on it wasn't toilet paper, it was Oreos

strangely hookworm but they manage ream shoegaze poetry (imago), Monday, 16 March 2020 13:12 (four months ago) link

Very glad I'm on fibre optic cable rather than some flaky DSL connection.

Also utterly blessed in having a back garden as spring arrives.

Alba, Monday, 16 March 2020 13:16 (four months ago) link

I think it's fair to predict that most cities will "shutdown," since that's what's happening. But shutdown does not mean everyone is locked in their houses. Restaurants are closed for eating in, but many or most are open for take-out, drive-through or delivery. Libraries and gyms and the like are (or should be) closed, but you can still go outside. In fact, I highly recommend, especially as the weather gets better, at the very least going for walks. You will see other people doing the same, kids playing in their front yards, people riding bikes, walking dogs, doing work. It's good for the brain to be reminded that you're not alone, and that life might be weird but goes on, at least in some form. And it feels good to get some sun on your face, too.

Things I would *not* do right now include traveling, especially to other countries, not because it is not safe, necessarily, but because I think the likelihood of getting stuck there is very high. And speaking of the gym, I know a couple of people that have continued going, but I have a feeling the right decision will be made for them imminently.

Heard Pennsylvania state liquor stores are closing, btw. That seems bad.

Talked to a friend yesterday, and she told me her sister, a nurse at the closest hospital, is already seeing an influx of infected patients. Oh, and had a great talk with my mom, who I have been speaking with daily. She's old enough to remember the "Asian flu" of 1957, which she (and a bazillion people) got, and which kept her home from school for a few days with what she remembers was the worse runny nose she's ever had. (I guess she was around ... 12 or so?). But she also told me about the flu pandemic of 1968, which she remembers inspiring more panic, because lines of communication were already much better by then. That late '60s outbreak she recalls is the one that eventually got everybody congregating in gyms for mandatory shots. Fwiw, it killed an estimated 1 million people worldwide, 100,000k in America. Sounds bad and is not good, but only bringing that up because despite that I don't think I've ever heard anyone say anything about the 1968 pandemic, ever. These things happen and these things eventually pass.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 16 March 2020 13:17 (four months ago) link

the other said teams didn't work on his laptop so could we use skype

been lots of problems with teams today:

https://venturebeat.com/2020/03/16/microsoft-teams-struggles-as-coronavirus-pushes-millions-to-work-from-home/

ymo sumac (NickB), Monday, 16 March 2020 13:18 (four months ago) link

I've got a head temperature of 96.0 which according to google may be a sign of hypothermia! I've proven the thermometer by testing it on my son who is a very normal 98.4. Although an ear reading was up to 96.8 - maybe I'm not going to die just yet and just am an abnormally cold blooded mofo!

calzino, Monday, 16 March 2020 13:37 (four months ago) link

lol I think I did read something about average temperatures trending down, for some reason.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 16 March 2020 13:39 (four months ago) link

I've been taking my temperature daily (and read the same thing), which is probably a stupid thing to do--the very definition of looking for an excuse to panic.

clemenza, Monday, 16 March 2020 13:40 (four months ago) link

I went to the large grocery store to see if they got back in stock one of our must items (they didn't) and it seems that people are finally hoarding here. It's Monday morning and I have never seen it that busy or the shelves so empty. I felt obligated to get a 4 pack of toilet paper.

Yerac, Monday, 16 March 2020 13:59 (four months ago) link

the other said teams didn't work on his laptop so could we use skype

been lots of problems with teams today:

https://venturebeat.com/2020/03/16/microsoft-teams-struggles-as-coronavirus-pushes-millions-to-work-from-home/

― ymo sumac (NickB), Monday, March 16, 2020 9:18 AM (forty minutes ago)


Yup. Back up now. Also wondering what happens to bandwidth when kids start distance learning.

Also:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_cImRzKXOs

Lipstick Traces (on a Cigarette Alone) (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 16 March 2020 14:00 (four months ago) link

the website that our kids are supposed today, by the Académie de Paris, is overloaded and not loading for anyone. it's fine, give everyone a week to figure things out, slow down, we're really not in a hurry w/ this whole online school thing.

Joey Corona (Euler), Monday, 16 March 2020 14:04 (four months ago) link

my forehead temperature is apparently under 35 so the forehead strip thermometer I bought which starts at 36 is no use.

(is this bad? it's been the case for both me and the bf for 10 days and we feel fine, more or less. we are middle-aged and the internet does note that your forehead temperature decreases with age, though the articles are mainly about elderly people, which we would like to insist we are not!)

I've started using a general-purpose IR thermometer on forehead and back of throat every day or two, since I figure all I can do is check it's staying level, but if it does go up by a few degrees then I'll still only have a "normal" temperature, so hopefully I won't need to urgently convince any medical professionals that I have a fever at that point

a passing spacecadet, Monday, 16 March 2020 14:08 (four months ago) link


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