An Opportunity to Commiserate

This post is dedicated to those of you who are finding it more and more difficult to deal with current events. Actually, I think we are ALL experiencing the stress of what’s going on in our world right now.

In any event, I thought it might be helpful to offer my blog as a sounding board where you can just let it all hang out.

I don’t know about you, but my circuits have been experiencing overload. I’ve noticed an increase in stress symptoms. My sleep patterns are getting more and more wacky. My jaw muscles hurt from grinding my teeth at night. I seem more susceptible to seasonal allergies.

It’s gotten so I dread reading or listening to COVID-19 news … yet I can’t stop myself. I ordinarily love reading blogs, but so many are focused on the state of disarray we’re all experiencing they end up adding to my discomfort.

(Yes, I know. My own blog posts are not exempt.)

My other-half and I have always enjoyed going out for cocktails and a nice dinner; however due to him being high-risk, we simply cannot justify taking the chance — no matter how many precautions the restaurant has taken. Home cooking is fine, but it does get boring after awhile. We have, on occasion, taken advantage of take-out, but dinner served in a Styrofoam container just isn’t the same.

Each summer we have looked forward to traveling in our motorhome, but this year we’ve had to cancel our planned trips. Neither of us are “into” outdoor activities, sightseeing by car has its limits, and souvenir shopping would be risky. What this means is we would end up spending our days trapped inside our RV … and believe me, that gets old in a hurry!

So now it’s your turn. What’s going on with you and yours? How are you holding up? Please feel free to use this post as a sounding board. Hopefully, sharing your experiences with others will alleviate some of the pressure and frustration we’ve all been experiencing.

I do request that everyone limit their comments to personal experiences and circumstances and avoid any “political” type discussions (e.g., mask or no mask). In other words, this is not the place to argue your POV on what’s going on in the world.

OK! Let the commiseration begin …

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Image by Justin Martin from Pixabay

46 thoughts on “An Opportunity to Commiserate

  1. For my crew the worst is having to sanitize everything when they shop – or when clients hand over cash – and the associated paranoia that comes with ”what did you touch”, and, ”Did you wash your hands?”
    It doesn’t bother me so much, but it drives them bonkers.
    The wife and I went shopping for flowers for two cakes this afternoon. I was the designated payer and chooser/toucher, she would just drive and thus, be relieved of all the associated stress.
    This set up lasted all of five minutes.
    After we arrived at the flower market, and before I could caution her, she accepted a bunch of roses from one of the blokes working at one of our regular sources.
    We tried the same set up later when we went to the supermarket. Similar story. Eventually, she just lost it and was reduced to a bag of nerves.

    We have recently discovered that many of the stores and suppliers we regularly use all seem to be turning to Home Deliveries.
    One supermarket chain claims that your order will arrive within two hours (if you live in the area).

    So we swap the stress of going pout with the stress of cabin fever!

    Liked by 3 people

      • Once home, I wiped down everything today, something we did not do pre covid, and I’ve come to realise just how dirty everything is.
        I have a feeling it will become a regular chore once the pandemic has passed and we return to normal.
        Ha … I can hardly believe I actually wrote that sentence. Normal? I don’t think so.

        Liked by 5 people

        • When you do get past pandemic restrictions (although in regards to the USA, perhaps it’s “if” rather than “when”), you’ll be surprised how quickly it’s all forgotten. Even promises to self about continuing with some precautions has gone by the wayside. One of those was cleaning items coming into the household.

          About all that’s changed in this household is that we now purchase fruit and vegetables online for home delivery. The knowledge that the goods have not been handled and picked over by all and sundry with who knows what level of cleanliness does give me some additional peace of mind.

          Apart from those involved in the tourism sector, the new “normal” feels very much like the old “normal”. In fact, I think we’ve missed the opportunity to imbed some changes that could have improved the life/work balance long term.

          Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m going even more bat-sh*t crazy than usual over this and the isolation it requires. Now, not only am I talking out loud to myself, I’m answering myself out loud as well. What’s that? Shut up! I’m writing something for Christ’s sake! I’ll talk to you when I’m done! God friggin’ darn it! I am one demanding self-talker!

    Liked by 7 people

  3. To be totally honest, Nan, my partner and I don’t bother worrying about being in lockdown. Both of us are high risk for acute symptoms, so we just stay home as much as we can. We actually just came back from a couple days in the big city, unable to ignore doctor’s appts any longer, but even in the city we were able to stick to social distancing, etc.
    We really can’t understand why everyone is making such a big fuss over not being able to get out. If you want to protect yourself and your loved ones, you do want you have to. There is nothing for the ego to bitch about. A bitching ego is a suicidal ego. I’d rather be alive…

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not so much that my other-half and I worry about the lockdown as it experiencing the lockdown. We are both retired and have never been “gadabouts,” but we do enjoy occasionally going out for a nice dinner or wine-tasting or visiting the local fruit market or just general shopping. And, as I mentioned in my post, we look forward to taking several RV trips in the summer.

      While all of these activities are possible, the constant concern over potential infection (because others are not taking it seriously) has kept us pretty much home-bound … and that is what has been difficult. Yes, you “do what you have to” — and we have. But I guess it’s like any restriction … it’s the not being able to “go and do” at will.

      Anyway, kudos to you and your partner for coming to terms with the situation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Best thing I can offer is to stop thinking of this as an outside-imposed restriction, but rather as self-imposed because it is the smart thing to do. Think of it from the viewpoint that you are choosing health and life over sickness and possibly death. And sing that old song, Keep on the Sunny Side, I think it’s called.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I don’t dwell on the situation … although it may sound like I do. More often, I just go about my usual routine, which includes reading (and occasionally writing) blog posts, playing computer games, and reading. I suppose it’s mostly the idea that I can’t go and do the things I would ordinarily do that gets to me.

          We all handle it in our own way, I guess.

          Like

      • we’re not social butterflies even at the best of times, and as a friend puts it, ‘we’re sociable, but not social’ which sums it up nicely. My husband has been doing the grocery shopping and iis getting quite good at it. He has three different stores he visits, once a week, in rotation. He makes his list, buys what he can of what’s on it, wears a mask and gloves and fusses about people wearing their masks on their foreheads or chins…

        I’ve not been off the property since March 1st, but I manage to fill the time nicely pretending to clean house but actually playing a new computer game (Elvenar), and re-reading Pratchett. Again.

        Im very proud of the people in this state (NH) for behaving like adults and not spoiled children concerning masks and distancing…

        The cats are fine, and taking this all in stride, as cats usually do.

        It could be a long year. Or a longer one.

        Like

        • HA! I’m also into playing computer games. 😁 Most of the ones I play come from Big Fish. I tend to enjoy high-end Match 3 (no “kiddie” ones) and straightforward Hidden Object (not the ones with story lines). After immersing myself in blogs and the news throughout a big part of most days, the games are a nice distraction.

          I think the odds of the year being “a longer one” are high. Things continue to appear pretty bleak. And with a “leader” who thinks it’s all a Democratic hoax that will go away in November … well, need I say more?

          Like

  4. Until last saturday that I had a fall, I have been riding almost every day of the week. I must have cut some weight. I go to the office once in a while when I have to but generally do my work from home.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. In all honesty I don’t find the precautions all that burdensome. I never used to go out a lot anyway, so it doesn’t much bother me staying home all the time except for short weekly grocery shopping. I can easily work from home and much prefer it.

    The main stress issue is the fear of actually catching the virus. I’m just a couple months short of 60 and my health isn’t great, so I’m at some substantial risk if I do catch it. With states re-opening and people increasingly cutting corners on precautions, infection rates are predictably exploding again, so it’s getting more and more dangerous to go out when I do need to. It’s obvious that, contrary to the common phrase, we are not “in the middle of a pandemic” — this thing is barely getting started. I’m not looking forward to spending another year or two in fear of hideous illness or death.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’ve been working pretty consistently at my job where I do background check services for the state. So, I’ve kept busy and I try to keep other outings to a minimum. Every store and public space in Harris County (where I work–doubt the county I live in has any restrictions b/c it’s Dump Country) has a sign on the door saying you must wear a mask or else don’t come in. I have seen some eye-rolling while people put the masks on, but probably 1/3 the time, they’re not covering their noses, and that’s not doing much good, especially with everybody cutting their grass and all the pollen in the air. I don’t feel like getting sneezed on.

    I have to break the 6 foot rule with my job because I have to physically touch people to get their fingerprints and background checks. I use gloves, which I stocked up on and bought myself for me and my co-workers. The owner’s a freaking cheapskate and got cotton cleaning gloves that you can’t sterilize, one pack, as if that was gonna last long at all anyway. I take all the precautions I can, but can’t afford to swap out gloves between each client, plus they’re snug and it takes a while to put them on (stupid fat fingers). But I have plenty of lotion sanitizer to put on them in between each client and they appreciate that. I wipe down everything that clients touch with disinfectant. I have gotten used to turning my head to the side when I’m talking to them, even with our masks on, because we’re in such close proximity.

    The difficulty is controlling the amount of people who want to come in and stay for their appointments. This week has been pretty good. Last week was nuts because everyone assumed we’d be shutting down so people were coming a week early (we operate on an appointment only basis). We have to take them anyway, and that slows things down. The tough part is now that people have to wear the masks, they’re letting social distancing slide. We only have three chairs in our tiny waiting room (used to have 7), and have signs up saying that when the chairs are full, please sign in and give your phone number so you can hang in your car or outside and we’ll call when we’re ready for you. Over half of them will just camp out in the waiting room against the wall anyway, which has alarmed parents trying to drop their kids off for reading tests in the back rooms. It annoys me because i have to stop what I’m doing and tell them, and half of them ignore me anyway (probably because they know I’m too busy–and with my back to them–to police their behavior). but when my boss comes out and tells them in her charming, pleasant way, they’ll listen to her.

    I’ve come home worn out from talking so much and due to stress, namely the awful behavior. My sleep cycles are messed up. I have headaches (but no fever) almost every day, usually hunger headaches because I can’t seem to get hungry when I should and don’t eat at the right times. It’s getting better. If I’m at home all day, part of me wants to sleep in the middle of the day. I’ve gotten around that by trying to work on other stuff, but if I’m really “meh”, then I have a 3,000 piece jigsaw puzzle I’m trying to put together. I did some chores this morning, which will help.

    It’s just feeling like I have all the time in the world and hardly any at all–all at the same time–that’s kind of making my stress go up and down. It’s the not knowing when this will end, or if it will.

    Honestly, because of the sheer bullheadedness of a big chunk of the American population, I’m afraid this virus thing will drag out for a year. I hope it doesn’t, but if it did, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised.

    Liked by 2 people

    • As I sat down to draft my list of “Hang Outs,” I realized I have a busy, busy day today with many tasks. So count your lucky stars Nan, you and your readers get a very quick, extremely truncated version of PT’s commiserating! 😄

      • I find it utterly berzerk that Anti-sciencers, Anti-safety’ers, Pro-wealthers, Pro-Christ’ers, and Conservative Evangelical Republicans find it near impossible to believe and accept an invisible LETHAL virus like COVID-19 and its lightening speed of contagiousness… and yet, still somehow find the logic and scant evidence to fully believe in an invisible God, Savior/Christ, and Holy Spirit that supposedly infects all of their lives and souls!!! 🥴🤯

      Riddle me that one Nan.

      Like

      • NO politics, PT! I wrote this post to give people an opportunity to share, not their political opinions on what’s going on, but how they are handling it in their personal life.

        You seem to stay very busy, so you may not be experiencing the depression or boredom or frustration that many others do. If this is the case, then you are very fortunate because I’ve heard from several people who are finding ongoing confinement quite difficult.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, apologies Nan for the “science/epidemiology” and religion crossing over by default into politics. 😉

          I do get very creative in how to stay home 95% of the time. We do what we MUST as a united (in theory?) people in community, state, and nation. We have to! I’ve mentioned it to you before, but when I remember America’s Greatest Generation during the Great Depression then World War 2—1929 to 1945 (’46?)… 15-years!—what they endured together in order to survive/win and compare that resolve to what we are miserably failing at today, we can’t even last 3-4 months, I have to say… that demonstrates a severe lack of creativity and resourcefulness to endure and survive/win.

          WABGA? On red baseball caps? “Will America Be Great Again?” Not this way.

          Like

  7. I am quite well, thank you. The restrictions are being lifted here in Finland, as we are fairly down in new cases of COVID-19. None of the restrictions changed my life very much, even though there are people at high risk among my closest ones. Some, both domestic and foreign events I would have otherwise attended have been either cancelled or moved to the web, so there is that. I am both sad, but also to be honest a bit relieved, because they would have also taken up a lot of work from me. Some of that work I had already done last year, but all of the events have only been moved to some foreseeable future, so they will be held at some point and the work done did not go to waste. Some events I have been working for are going to be held because the restrictions are being lifted, but it has been a trying time to wait how this turns out. The restrictions affected my work so that I have had more time home, but not much. I rarely go out to eat, so even the restaurants closing (though they are open again now) never really had any bearing on my life. I have been worried about my local pizza & beer place though, how the owners can cope with their economic strain, because it would be a shame if they closed, even if I do not use their services very often I am fond of the little place.

    Our healthdepartment never even recommended masks, so hardly anybody has been wearing them here. The concept of social distancing kind of happened all by itself here, as in our culture it is held as polite to keep about one meter distance from strangers in any case and we do not often hug even our closest ones. Showing emotions in public is not really the Finnish way, so we suffer from the stress that causes (mostly unaware of our ailment) at all times, but have benefited from it now during the pandemic.

    If cooking is becoming boring, I find trying and experimenting with some new or exotic recipies may help. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • It isn’t so much that cooking is boring … it’s more that it’s nice to not HAVE to cook. To be able to sit down, enjoy a cocktail and/or a glass of wine, and eat a meal prepared by someone else at an upscale restaurant. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea — many enjoy just hanging out at the local pizza and beer place like you mentioned. But for us, a nice dinner out is a treat.

      From much of what you’ve written, life there is almost difficult to imagine when compared to what it’s like in the states. if you don’t already, you should feel fortunate that you live where you do.

      Like

  8. Nan, one thing we must not forget, is the news tends to be biased toward conflict (this is an old quote from a editor). Yes, they do try to share a good news story as an effort to balance out, but the proportions are way off. There are far more good stories out there than the stuff that makes the news. Countless people are helping others, in spite of elected officials who forgot they are supposed to be leaders.

    I am a news junkie, but about three months ago, I measurably reduced my news watching. I still watch some, but do most of my news following from online sources that are credible. They are the ones who try to get it right and tell you when they get it wrong.

    I will say one thing political, but it will help people’s sanity. Do not watch the president or follow his tweets. Period. Trust me on this. It is a waste of time. I realize he is president, but I hate being lied to and would rather read what he said in a news article. My advice to the president, if you cannot add value, please stop talking or tweeting.

    Keith

    Like

    • Do not watch the president or follow his tweets. — Good Advice!

      As it happens, I rarely open Twitter. I do have an account and “check-in” MAYBE once a week. On these infrequent visits, I may encounter one or two of his tweets but I just read them and move on.

      I am subscribed to about a half-dozen email newsletters that usually provide me with as much info as I need or want on current events (political and/or virus-related). Occasionally I’ll click through to read a referenced article — and sometimes share the betters ones here on my blog. Actually a lot of my current events information comes from Scottie’s blog. 🙂

      Anyway, I do agree that TOO MUCH of anything is not beneficial.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well said. I like your last paragraph a lot. I chose not be on Facebook or Twitter. The former offers too much information and the latter an abundance of shallow information.

        Take care, Keith

        Liked by 1 person

      • And then there is the song,” Too Much of Nothing” by Peter, Paul and Mary —
        “Too much of nothin’ can make a man feel ill at ease
        One man’s temper might rise, while the other man’s temper might freeze.”

        Like

  9. i have agoraphobia so i am housebound a lot. in the beginning it wasn’t bad, it was hardly any change at all. watching cuomo every day reminded me of viet nam, with all the body counts on the nightly news. but as it progressed i seem more edgy. but the virus is bad enough but the over racism and hatred that is coming out is horrifying terrifing and outrageous and making me soooo angry. and sad. very very sad

    Like

    • You are definitely not the only one who is angry!! And sad. And scared. Things simply MUST get better … and soon.

      Thank you for sharing. Please visit again … and often.

      Like

  10. Ingesting all those cleaning products is a drag. They taste terrible.

    I’ve thought of following the good example of my late neighbors (I’ll miss them) and simply injecting the liquid variety. But I don’t much like needles, and the community doctor refuses to help.

    I’ll be glad when this hoax is over.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Burr! I think we’ll ALL be glad when this “hoax” is over! In the meantime, go easy on the cleaning products. 😉

      P.S. Hope you’ll visit again.

      Like

  11. Advantage Introvert. It’s not that I dislike being around and near others. I enjoy people. I also enjoy wearing a mask and trying to use my eye beams to get folks to move along in the store and to infuse guilt into the unmasked (as of today it’s all mandatory, so that should slack off).
    Keeping 6 feet between is often dance of chance.
    I am fine being home doing whatever. Retired. Daily walks. Lap pool by reservation 3x per week. I miss seeing my kids and their kids, but I am okay with it so far. Write, sketch, paint. Nap? Why not?
    I am also enjoying telling the governor of Texas on my FB page, “I told you so.” There are worse things. At least I don’t have to think about Vlad (formerly known as Igor) putting a bounty on my head. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Well, I’m feeling sad for the people who have lost their lives to this, and for the mental anguish and suffering, people who have lost their business and their dreams.

    For me personally, though, what I’m finding very personally frustrating, and I realize this is controversial…

    I feel like this virus is so contagious and widespread in the general population, that it is probably going to be very difficult to totally avoid even with social distancing and masking. I know these things help, but let’s face it, we can’t stay locked down for ever. Who can be certain if a totally effective vaccine will be developed or when?

    My thought is we should do what we can to protect the vulnerable, but I also think folks need to get serious about boosting their own health and immunity.

    I’m thinking primarily of much loved family members and certainly include myself in this.

    It is well known that exercise, vitamin D from the sun as well as the phyto-chemicals in fruits and veges play a major role. Alcohol depresses immune function.

    Obesity as well as things such as type 2 diabetes which can be very much lifestyle related are both known to lead to poorer outcomes for people infected with Covid 19.

    There should be a major get healthy incentive right now campaign being launched.

    I realize people cope with anxiety and depression in different ways, but this is not the time to surrender to junk food, and binging on Netflix, IMO.

    And, hey, as I’ve said talking to myself here as well. 🙂

    Like

  13. For me, in a way, the lockdown has come at the right time. My 90 years old mother, who was living in the appartment next door, was terminally ill and in January and February, her condition deteriorated. In the company I am working for (I am a programmer in an insurance company), I was allowed to work two days a week from home anyway. I asked my boss if I could work from home all the time. He allowed it for one week as an exception, then another week, but it was problematic. Then came the lockdown here in Germany and our company told us to work from home. I really would not have known how to cope without that. So I was sitting in my mother’s room with my laptop now, working from there through her WLAN and was able to take care of her. It was somehow a crazy situation, but it was good I could be with her that way in her last days. She died end of May and I am happy she was able to die at home that way. I am still working from home. Since I am a rather introvert person, I don’t have much trouble with it. I am allowed to do sports outside so I go bike riding and collect water an algae samples from the ponds of the area for microscopy (one of my hobbies) and I am reading and writing some philosophical stuff. I am sorting out her things and emptying the appartment bit by bit, so there is no bordom at all. I guess it is very problematic for young people, for extroverts and of course for those who have lost their jobs or are in danger of loosing them. I am fortunately not affected that way but I know people who are, although the social system here in Germany is relatively good. Those who have children also have or had difficulties since kindergardens and schools where closed ore are still not back to normal. But personally, I am quite relaxed.

    Like

    • nannus, condolences regarding your mother. Even though she was Terminally ill, losing our loved ones is never easy.

      Re: the virus situation, it seems as though it has actually worked out well for you. Many have not been so fortunate.

      Unfortunately, the pandemic is going full speed ahead in many U.S. states … and our leader (?) just doesn’t seem to care.

      In any case, I think we’ll all be glad when a vaccine is available so we can return to some sort of “normal” living … although I doubt anything will ever return to the way it was.

      Like

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