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  1. Well, I’m certainly at a low point. 2022 has been a bit difficult from the beginning, but at this point I’m barely standing, and when people half jokingly say I should see someone about this, they are perfectly right. Just the top of the list in no particular order that cripples me with anxiety: - my mum took a 3-night wellness trip - what if she got covid - while she was away I was at her house to dog-sit - what if I got it from her and I get too sick to care for her and the dogs while she’s sick too, who will care for her and the dogs then - while I was there my sister visited too because she was too upset about a breakup - what if she got it too and she fails her exam next week - meanwhile my father is going on various hunting trips - what if he gets covid - meanwhile my grandmother is ill with a cough that won’t go away - what if she doesn’t recover? - my father visited her on Monday - what if she has covid and he caught it? - it’s very cold and one of the dogs scratches at night to be let out - what if he gets ill and we all have covid and can’t take care of him? - two of the other dogs found a carcass today and proceeded to chew/lick it, what if they get ill and we all have covid and can’t take care of them? - a delivery man dropped my package at some hair salon I don’t know and I’m not even sure when I can pick it up, AND what if we all get covid and I have to go to my mum and embarrass myself at the unknown hairdresser by having her house my packing for who knows how long - I don’t even have a way to contact her - what if my job is not satisfied with me because I don’t talk enough and I’m not social enough and I lose the job - what if my parents get covid so bad that I have to provide for my sister and I even lose my job - sister’s kitchen counter is rotting out because it’s soaked, what if it breaks and the sink falls out and there’s pipe breakage or electric appliances are flooded or there’s a fire or electric shock hazard and anyway who, when, how and for how much is going to get that fixed - without getting covid from the repair people - what if someone in my family dies, or what if one of the dogs die (who how and when is going to get them cremated/buried if we have covid or without getting covid) - basically, what if everything that can go wrong goes fatally wrong all at the same time and I’m all alone to fix it- how will I be able to solve all that Don’t ask me why I feel that things will go fatally wrong all the time and don’t ask me why I think I’m the only person able and responsible to fix it. And don’t ask me why I can’t live with the fact that I have no control over the universe. I’m really not sure why I’m complaining because people have real problems and greater problems to actually figure out, while I’m just wasting away my life anticipating the worst case scenario that never really unfolds and the things I have to actually deal with and fix and really quite everyday and mundane. Why I can’t I enjoy the ride with all the ups and downs? Why must I be so obsessed with when a down is coming, how steep it’s going to be and how I will be able to get through it? I used to not mind problems and I used to know that I’m able to tackle most things just fine and if I’m not, I can ask for help. I used to be able to enjoy good days and not think about when bad days roll around again or why that good day may not actually be a good day. Why am I constantly looking for the impending doom? And sure I can blame the pandemic and the fearmongering it brought on, but at the end of the day, I’m the one that lets it incapacitate me. Maybe I just need rest. Sometimes, when I’m alone and I’m not looking for covid symptoms in others or listening to their problems, I’m able to switch this off and lean into the peacefulness of a moment. Maybe I need to be around people who are positive and cheerful and fun. And maybe I need to set serious boundaries for how much I’m involved in my family’s life. And maybe I need to reality check how much they actually need me - which I’m sure is not a quarter as much as I feel they do. And maybe I need to live and shape my own life instead of trying to control and bubblewrap theirs. And I’m so tired because stress makes you tired. And the holidays weren’t relaxing or particularly enjoyable, even though I’ve been looking forward to that two-week break for months. And now it feels like it never happened and I’m still months away from a break. If we get through this winter unscathed, I will book a ten day vacation somewhere and switch off my phone because I need a break and I need other people to deal with the real and imagined problems I obsess over. I’m sorry about this, I needed to get it out of my system.
  2. Oh I’m sorry, I never got back to you guys about the game. I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to do this game. If you will have me however, I’d be happy to give it a go next time. Thank you so much for tagging me again though.
  3. Yes, I know. The earliest I can get to is Friday evening. Will try to get it in as soon as possible.
  4. It arrived here around the holidays and turned the downward delta curve back up in the first week of January. Since then the majority of cases are thought to be omicron.
  5. The media is in quite the omicron frenzy and half my colleagues are either sick or direct contacts after weekend get-togethers/class quarantines of their children. The numbers don’t really reflect this though we have the same curve we did with delta and similar numbers (7000ish daily cases) to the upward tendency of delta. Of course one’s never going to get 15-20000 positive cases as we see in other countries, if one runs 15000 tests in total. I have a feeling that the majority of omicron cases will never show up in the stats (which only reflect PCRs). Curiously sewer samples don’t indicate an exponential rise in cases either. I don’t understand. Oh and the media is still publishing starkly contradicting headlines with a single day apart. If life was an HBO show, I might as well suspect that this is a conscious effort of sabotage. But life isn’t an HBO show so it’s just incompetence. I’m rather curiously watching UK covid news. is omicron really leaving as quickly as it came? whatever is the case, very happy for the UK.
  6. Secondary school kids here have boosters already. My cousin got it about a week or two ago. I think it’s the under 15 age group who only had two shots yet. But that’s a curious question. I have no idea if it’s 2 or 3 shots that exempt a student from quarantine. Oh man, I’m really sorry. Poor kids. And poor you, does this mean hybrid classes or full online or are they just missing school in this case? Did you get rapid tests or PCRs? I hope you will be fine and that the booster is doing it’s job. I got did two rapid tests on Saturday and Sunday both were clear but a part of me regrets not taking a PCR, as it turns out that a colleague is positive too, who I met at the office last Tuesday…. Maybe she got infected there, maybe later, but if she got infected there, we all had the chance to get infected from the same person/circumstance. She’s enjoying it, and she says the place is pretty empty, which is a good thing. There are about 6 elderly married couples aside from her, so going on a Monday proved to be a good idea at least. Yeah, I know, I’m just really paranoid about COVID in general. Too paranoid in fact. Ah I’m sorry about the shoveling. But on the upside, snow is beautiful!
  7. Ah see. We just erased quarantine for vaccinated kids a few days ago. Well, best wishes for the kids and yourself, try and stay safe! We have insane wind storms across the country. It isn’t cold, but we have up to 40km/h wind. My mum went to a wellness trip. Which I can accept and understand and respect but not really support. Well, she’s an adult and she had three doses of vaccine and she barely left her house for months and booked this when we thought delta would run out by the new year. Which it did, but then, a week ago omicron started gaining ground. I mean. It’s weekdays, it’s not international travel. And she is not more likely pick up omicron there than she is in the grocery store, at the dentist or running any errand. still, I’m anxious.
  8. This is really 21Q4 and a bit of 22Q1 and almost all audiobooks because my audible addiction seems to have flared. 12 Rules for Life was while most interesting and insightful, a tad bit too religious for me. And even though I agree with so many of Peterson’s ideas, the narration was so preachy it nearly triggered my reverse psychology. Still, I do recommend this book just be mindful what you are getting into. If you don’t like Peterson or are by principle an atheist, it may not be your cup of tea. MI6 by Gordon Corera was not what I expected but still shockingly fascinating. I never expected to find out so much about my own country’s history from a book about the history of the British secret service. I really liked this one, and even if you don’t share my obscure and intense interest in spying, it’s an incredibly informative read just for the historical perspective. Animal Societies is a lovely collection of knowledge about all classes of animals and their social organizations. As embarrassing and simple as it may be, I’m way more enthusiastic about mammals or reptiles than birds or insects. So I can’t say the whole book was equally interesting. But it’s a pleasantly interesting and peaceful listen. Factfulness was a fascinating must-read/listen. The core idea is that individual and systematic approach to understanding the world should be fact based, rather than emotional, instinctive and thus distorted. The perspective both strengthened some beliefs I already had and challenged what I already thought at times. It’s a fresh, beneficial book with incredible methodology. Absolutely loved it and highly recommend it to everybody. And then there is my Christmas present book collection, which aren’t really reading materials, but ingenious anyway. They made me so happy, best gifts ever. The Great British Sewing Bee Techniques is exactly the amazing, sewing for dummies book I needed. It’s very well structured, easy to navigate and easy to understand through short but focused descriptions and illustrations. Dinner with Mr Darcy is a recipe book inspired by Jane Austen novels. The recipes are wholesome and they come with both historical and literary context. It’s delightful. Even to just read without attempting a single meal. I will be bold enough to attempt some of the simpler dishes though. Snacking Cakes is a collection of dessert recipes that require no special ingredients or equipment. The claim is that they are able to be mixed in a single bowl, which should be great for people like me who kill their kitchen equipment like flies. I have yet to try it.
  9. IF you take flu shots, yes. I don’t know if that’s a common practice in some countries, where I live people don’t get annual flu shots by default. I never had a flu shot in my life and I don’t know anybody who regularly gets a flu shot. The vaccines I did have, for tick-encephalitis and hpv have a vaccination schedule of 2-3 doses that you are fully aware of before you get them (and they don’t change every 6 months - this being the key here). The covid vaccine was planned for 2 doses and later annual reminders should the virus stay with us in the long term. That’s not the same as taking an extra shot every 4 months because we hope that it’ll up the fading protection. The point is, like you said, that there’s no way of knowing. We seem to have an inkling that a third dose of the same thing is equally of limited use against omicron (and any future variant) as the first two were, but we don’t really know for sure. So what is the idea of a fourth shot of the same thing based on? Other than, we have developed a vaccine that’s no longer efficient because nature found a shortcut around it, but we have invested too much PR and money into it, so we don’t really want to backtrack ourselves. The point is not the number of shots needed, but the not knowing the number of shots needed and guessing in the dark and changing previous guesses. If 2021 rolled out covid vaccines saying that you’ll need 4 shots or quarterly reminders, nobody would bet an eye because we would have reason to believe this is supposed to be. It’s not, 2 shots were supposed to be and annual reminders. But the virus changed, the vaccine no longer works the way it should (not to say it doesn’t work at all, it does), so we aren’t proceeding according to a planned and tested schedule, we are bringing forward those annual reminders and hoping it’ll play out favorably, while we have no real idea if it will, or of the ramifications. That’s the problem. Not the vaccine, not the number of doses. And I know this isn’t how science works and I know miscalculation and inability to predict the future are part of science and I know science didn’t “lie to us” it just found out more and is trying to deal with it. But this is not something you can sell to 8 billion people especially not to the western half of it, because we have a pathological tendency to “know better” (as I’m portraying right now, as we all are) and distrust the media and authority, who contrary to science do lie to us, over and over and over again. and before I give an anti-vaccine impression (which I’m very far from), let me specify that I had three shots of Moderna and I’m not against the idea of a fourth/other vaccine - just not in 4 months and not necessarily the same thing.
  10. I don’t know who Djokovic is or why he is in headlines, and I don’t care, and it feels great. Maybe there’s hope for me yet if I apply this attitude to every other headline topic as well.
  11. Who isn’t? More and more experts are saying that it’s not a viable and sustainable (financially or otherwise) solution to vaccinate the globe every 4 months. With the same substance that just hasn’t yielded lasting protection. Either we need a new vaccine, or we should settle for yearly boosters, or go back to lockdown or develop better meds or anything. But am I really supposed to get the same vaccine for a 4th time within 12 months? I just don’t see why.
  12. The biggest news portal published two articles within one week, both are featured as top stories on the website now. One of the headlines says: head GP says we are in the hallway of herd immunity. The other goes as: chief health officer doesn’t think herd immunity is achievable. Quarantine days are down to 7 days for adults, unless you are asymptotic in which case a negative test can get you out in 5 days. For school children, quarantine time is 5 days, but only for the unvaccinated. (Whatever that means and implies) Protection IDs are now Vaccination IDs - which means previous infection doesn’t give you one, only 2 or 3 vaccines within 6 months. (We don’t know what happens when you got your 3rd vaccine in more than 6 months) I haven’t ever experienced Vaccination IDs’ being actually checked, so I’m not sure this will result in practical differences. But there’s certainly an outcry about this roundabout way of “technically mandating vaccines but not really”. All the while the government encourages people to take up a 4th dose as early as 4 months after the 3rd one.
  13. Yes, I get that. But I stand by my previous point. 6 months ago we all believed that a previous infection combined with whatever number of shots would protect you in the future. Then omicron came along. Nobody knows if something else comes along 6 months from now, against which an omicron infection will be equally of as little use as my previous (alpha?) infection is against omicron. I’m not trying to argue, the future is entirely unpredictable and we are once again pretending that it isn’t (entirely).
  14. There is a viewpoint that while having COVID previously doesn't stop you getting Omicron at all, having Omicron may make it much less likely that you get another dose of COVID. So if we get over this peak, there may finally be some daylight. (Especially if, as Impmk2 was discussing, the next variant isn't very different from what has come before). Well… there used to be a viewpoint that having covid previously and being vaccinated twice was the top level of protection one could possibly have against covid in the future. Later twice became three times. And yet I can still get omicron. So why exactly am I supposed to believe that if I have three shots of vaccine a previous alpha infection and then a hypothetical omicron one, I’ll be protected against the hypothetical epsilon variant of 2023 January? Nobody has any real idea, just as nobody had any real idea that two vaccines and one infection wasn’t enough against delta and even three vaccines and one infection aren’t enough against omicron. I don’t mean to be negative, it’s just a case of calling wolf one too many times. I just can’t find the faith in myself to believe that this particular viewpoint will hold up in 4-6 months’ time.
  15. So we are seeing a steady surge in number of daily cases and being warned that omicron is going to explode within days. We are at 30% positivity rate but it’s important to bear in mind that generally few tests are done. It was also announced that quarantine protocol has changed. It’s 7 days now, and you can leave quarantine after 5 days with a negative test if you are asymptotic. I don’t exactly get it, because on the one hand you are told that we are in the hallway of herd immunity and soon it won’t be absolutely necessary to know if you have a cold, regular flu or covid, because they will all cause similar illness. On the other hand, we are also told that even a sneeze can imply covid so rapid testing has become an ever valuable asset to make sure the basic healthcare system isn’t overwhelmed. So there’s that, whatever any of it means or implies. I certainly have no idea anymore.
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