Have you heard of this "COVID-19" business?

Posted by twisterghost on July 16, 2020, 1 p.m.

We're several months in to this pandemic and the world is in a very different place than it was just a few months ago. Obviously there's just a lot of shit going on, especially on the international scale. Between shutdowns, sickness, protests, and everything in between, just wondering how y'all have been affected.

Really interested in how peoples lives have changed, big or small. Things you've tweaked about your daily routine. People you've connected with over video chat more often than you used to, or perhaps connections you've lost that you miss. Have you been sick? Was it COVID-19? Have you picked up new hobbies? Have your old hobbies been disrupted?

I'll share some of my own stuff. My day-to-day was largely uninterrupted. I was working from home full time for about a year before this all hit. My work hasn't stopped even kind of - in fact, we're picking up speed more than ever. My wife is now working from home full time. Because of our incredible privilege, we are able to comfortably work from our house with a good internet connection, and where we each have our own dedicated offices, so we're able to close our doors for meetings and whatnot. No kids or whatever to care for, so it's just been us inside mostly just playing games and watching shows.

I thought I'd be doing more woodworking, but I really haven't been out to my woodshop in a while besides going out for yard work. The biggest hobby that got disrupted for us was rock climbing. We had begun seriously climbing at climbing gyms, both bouldering and top roping. Of course, those gyms shut down. We haven't done any outdoor climbing, and maybe that's the right call, but especially right now it's just too dang hot and thunderstormy - or at least that's my excuse. The climbing gym we belong to has reopened, but I don't trust going anywhere really.

My state, Maryland, has been pretty good throughout all of this. Our governor took the virus seriously enough (comparatively), and we had some major outbreak issues because of our proximity to major international hubs (DC, BWI + Dulles airports), but we got things more or less "under control" for US standards, which is not great, but better than, say, Florida. Of course, now we're seeing indications of another spike.

I've heard that bike sales have been through the roof during all of this. People are interested in non-enclosed, personal alternative transport. Myself included. Like I mentioned in my previous post, I picked up an ebike and have been biking all over since then. If I do go out, I try to make it somewhere I can bike. I got pannier bags set up to carry luggage to help me for shopping trips and whatnot. It's been a joy to be out and about and not worry about parking.

In short, I've not been too disrupted. I'm an introvert at heart, and having quiet time alone to focus on my hobbies like game development has been great. I miss going out for sure here and there, but I'm not about to run out the second that everything reopens. In the meantime, I've got some games to play and make, and my dog could use some playtime.

How about you?



Astryl 3 years, 10 months ago

South Africa had a pretty harsh initial lockdown, easing over the past few months.

My own daily routine didn't change too much, but several members of my family work in supermarkets and things changed up a lot for them.

The biggest one was the liquor store in the supermarket my dad and brother work in having to shut down for the second time (The government just banned alcohol sales for the second time since March). They managed to reposition everybody who worked there into other departments - my brother got moved into the Butchery under my dad (He's the manager and head blockman there). He's happy about this, since it amounts to a bit of a pay promotion and more interesting work (His position at the store was "merchandiser", a nice term for standing around most of the day waiting for shelves to need refills).

My dad got his monthly hours cut a bit, since for whatever reason the store he works in decided to short shifts by 1 hour every day (They justified this initially as expecting fewer sales or less volume in the store, but it turned out that their sales went up overall since more people were sitting at home, snacking, cooking, etc - hasn't changed their minds though).

That means a pretty mean chunk out of his salary, but we're making do.

One of the things that has changed for me is that it's a lot harder to motivate myself to go out for walks (There's a nice river a street down, with some great birdwatching, benches to sit at, coffee shops, etc). The main reason for this is that the road down there is full of people just refusing to adhere to restrictions (We've had 12 deaths in town to my knowledge, most of them traced to out-of-town visitors to the households of most of these people, with two of them being retail workers who were in "confrontational" situations with non-compliant customers).

I also haven't seen much of my one close friend in this town since March. He was able to lend a hand with the construction work on my cabin (It was "work"), but since Sunday they've clamped down harder on any unnecessary visits, even between family, so he can't come around unless he has actual provable official business here.

I've gotten sick a couple of times. Early on, just as our lockdown started. Mostly small colds (I think), though at this very moment I'm sitting with a few mild flu-like symptoms. I'd get tested if I could, but our healthcare system is prioritizing essential workers and the elderly in the tests.

On that latter note, I'm trying to convince my grandfather that going on a camping trip in a tiny (And entirely uninsulated) caravan at a riverside campsite (Which is operating illegally and quite brazenly, I might add) is an absolutely moronic thing to do given the circumstances: Aside from potentially getting caught and fined by the police while towing a very easily spottable caravan with a VW Polo, the temperature outside is currently averaging between 4 and 8 degrees Celsius at night, with a nasty wind-chill since the nearby mountain range is blanketed in snow - two nights ago we hit 0 degrees for the first time in a while.

Would be different if he had any proper camping gear or up-to-date knowledge, but he draws on his experiences from his youth (He was 23 if I'm remembering his story right) when he hiked along most of the length of the Orange River (Which spans over half the country) to attend some family gathering, camping along the way. This was in Spring, so the weather was more agreeable.


I'd like to get into woodworking a bit more, learn to do a bit of basic fitting. I spent most of my weekend with a small wood chisel, really old bench plane (Dates back to England, WW2 - we have a lot of old WW2 era tools lying around from my great-grandfather's old tool collection - the spanners use indecipherable markings (Pre-standardized sizes, basically), but we keep them anyway) and a sanding block working on my doorframe (It swelled shut in the rain - I spent most of two days on it, then my dad appeared at the end of day two with an angle grinder and a sander attachment he found somewhere in the garage and ruined my fun/solved my problem)

Jani_Nykanen 3 years, 10 months ago

Covid never hit too hard in Finland (compared to other countries, a lot of people lost their jobs, though), there are only 7,3K infections and only 328 have died this far. We had some kind of "lockdown" some months ago, restaurants and schools were closed and such, but people weren't forced to stay inside or anything (at least not by law, it was recommended for certain groups of people, though). Since I'm not super-social person my life didn't change too much. Now things have returned almost normal here.

F1ak3r 3 years, 10 months ago

In an odd coincidence, I moved from an office job to a work-from-home job shortly after the pandemic hit. The last few weeks at my office job were spent working from home, and sadly due to the ban on gatherings I didn't get to say goodbye to my co-workers in-person.

As Mega said above, South Africa has had a pretty harsh lockdown. During the first month, everything except supermarkets were closed. And because of that, all the supermarkets were packed. I started doing my shopping early in the morning to avoid that. I also had to cook for myself all the time, because all the restaurants and take-away places were closed, even for deliveries. I won't pretend I used the opportunity to learn exciting new culinary skills – mostly I just put stuff in the oven and took it out again later.

I started to really miss space, to the point that I'm now moving from my one bedroom apartment to a two bedroom one. I just want to be able to walk from the room with my bed to the room with my computer desk for a change of scenery.

My biggest hobby that doesn't involve sitting in front of a computer screen is ice-skating, and that got massively disrupted, with all the rinks closing and melting. Before the pandemic, that was something I did three or four times a week, and I had a small sideline giving lessons (luckily that wasn't money I depended on). At the beginning of this month, a couple of roller places opened, so I've been doing that instead, but it's not quite the same, and exercise is a bit unpleasant with a mask. But it's really made a positive difference to my mood to be able to go out and get some kind of exercise a few times a week. For the first month of lockdown, outside exercise was banned entirely, and after that it was restricted to an arbitrary three-hour window in the morning (for very spurious reasons) that I either slept or worked through.

Overall though, while I can kvetch about inconveniences, things have been mostly fine, and I could live with being locked down for the rest of the year. I'm lucky to be in a position where I can do all my work over the internet, and am young & reasonably health, making me unlikely to be seriously affected by covid if I catch it. So I can't really complain.

Quietus 3 years, 10 months ago

Alabama just hit +60,000 cases of COVID19. 1,232 deaths. Our governor Kay Ivey, aka Meemaw, FINALLY mandated masks like three days ago. But then we have people like my local sheriff saying he won't enforce the fines for not wearing a mask.

People on local facebook talk like it's a conspiracy to take away their rights. They refuse to wear masks and when Tr*mp finally put one on, people here started calling him a pussy. It's insane.

Our state never really shut down. There was the initial panic in March, but businesses were reopening by April 30. With the lack of testing, it's simply incalculable how many untested cases aren't being counted.

Our hospitals are already hitting full capacity. Montgomery ran out of ICU beds back in May. This was WHILE our lawmakers went forward with reopening the state. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicholasreimann/2020/05/20/dire-situation-in-alabama-capital-icus-full-coronavirus-cases-double-in-may/

Montgomery started sending patients up to Birmingham, my hometown. Birmingham and Tuscaloosa maxed out by late June, so last I heard they're sending people up to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Because there's no ICU beds for the sick people in Alabama. As of July, 82-86% of our 15,000 ICU beds are full. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/icu-bed-shortage-in-alabama-hospitals-after-coronavirus-spike

I stopped going to my chiropractor after March 3rd, and I don't expect to see him again until there's some vaccine. I'm mostly worried about my mom because she's high-risk from past heart conditions.

Scientists are realizing COVID19 is a vascular disease (attacks blood vessels), not just respiratory. That's why there are so many symptoms aren't what you'd expect from a lung infection, like "COVID toes" or other neurological problems. This article explains it well: https://elemental.medium.com/coronavirus-may-be-a-blood-vessel-disease-which-explains-everything-2c4032481ab2

Can't find Lysol but we have a supply and other disinfectants. The supply chain is weird and tenuous. Getting food delivered has been a lifesaver. Postal service still holding up, for now…

The insanity in this state is a perfect window into the disease of misinformation that's allowing COVID19 to spread like wildfire.

My state and country are handling this so badly that I feel like it's only a matter of time before our roommate brings it home. And he works fairly isolated at a printing press, but you never know. I've been encouraging mom to socially distance from him, which is the only thing I feel is in my power. Because everyone else in this state is completely unreliable.

Oh and speaking of unreliable - my father. He already seems to have caught COVID19 back in March or April. He seems to have post-COVID symptoms now. Sometimes he's fine but sometimes he's alarmingly short of breath.

142,833 deaths and counting. Donald Trump and his administration will be remembered as mass murderers for this.

Jani_Nykanen 3 years, 10 months ago

People on local facebook talk like it's a conspiracy to take away their rights
It's kind of funny that, if you tell people to do something that may save other people's lives, then they claim you are violating their rights. But what rights, really? Freedom to be a selfish jerk?

Quietus 3 years, 10 months ago

Yes. I think this facebook reply to our mayor urging people to wear masks perfectly sums up Alabama (and much of the US). https://media.64digits.com/users/Quietus/2020/strongly-wear-this-dick.jpg

I'm having to dig a bit to really explain how these people think. I'll use my roommate as an example - he's not been taking this seriously because he listens to right wing radio, which peddles crazy conspiracies about Bill Gates, bioweapon, 5G, microchips… my head hurts from reading this article. https://nypost.com/2020/04/24/the-top-5-coronavirus-conspiracy-theories-bill-gates-5g-more/

Here's another list that includes "COVID-19 doesn’t actually exist, but is a plot by the globalist elite to take away our freedoms". https://allianceforscience.cornell.edu/blog/2020/04/covid-top-10-current-conspiracy-theories/

And then there's the main arm of the US propaganda wing, Fox News. They pivoted in a matter of days back in mid-March. And I know someone here who was sick in February. They're now facing a lawsuit for calling COVID19 a hoax during this crucial period. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifKbwDf51bA

So this is an entire culture of people who aren't taking it seriously, because they believe all of this. And it's insane to be living in.

Jani_Nykanen 3 years, 10 months ago

It's always dangerous when global threats - whether it's climate change or a pandemic - become politicized. It should not depend on your political ideology whether or not you believe in something that can be proven with, for example, science.

Ferret 3 years, 10 months ago

Oh shit dude, I live in Washington DC right now!

Wild. I'm actually moving a in a bit, and normally this would be the time where I would do all the things I want to do in DC before I move away. I can take my hikes around the area (if it isn't deathly hot and humid) and visit monuments, but restaurants are pretty much off the table now. To me, the food is my favorite part of most places I'm at, so I feel like I'm going to be leaving DC without experiencing all of it.