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Zorral

Covid 19 and Your Life #2: It's Personal

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The first, previous Covid 19 and Your Life is 22 screens.  So here's #2.  Continue to share your experience(s), what you see, what you do -- and please, if possible, you and yours, continue healthy!  If It caught up with you, we all hope you and / your loved one(s) recover.

 

 

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My best friend here in Chicago just moved away. The move was in the works for a while, but the stay at home order came along and basically meant we didn't get to see each other for the last 2 months. Didn't really get to say good-bye or go out for a last hurrah or anything. I know it's a small thing, but it still sucks. I'm an introvert who doesn't make friends easily, so I'm basically out of friends now (a common occurrence in academia--people move a lot).

Oh and going on 70 days separated from my boyfriend with no end in sight.

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11 minutes ago, Starkess said:

My best friend here in Chicago just moved away. The move was in the works for a while, but the stay at home order came along and basically meant we didn't get to see each other for the last 2 months. Didn't really get to say good-bye or go out for a last hurrah or anything. I know it's a small thing, but it still sucks. I'm an introvert who doesn't make friends easily, so I'm basically out of friends now (a common occurrence in academia--people move a lot).

Can very much empathize.  Basically I've only had one academic friend left in town for the past year or two.  He's from Manchester, and is not sure if he's going to be able to renew his visa which expires in August.  Ironically, he usually goes back home over the summer to make some money, but he's effectively stuck here in the states right now because he can't find work here nor there (neither can I, btw).  So he's stuck alone in his tiny apartment - I really feel bad for him - and I haven't seen him since the first week of March.  Told him to let me know if he does go back home, but no idea if I'll be able to see him again.

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3 hours ago, Starkess said:

My best friend here in Chicago just moved away. The move was in the works for a while, but the stay at home order came along and basically meant we didn't get to see each other for the last 2 months. Didn't really get to say good-bye or go out for a last hurrah or anything. I know it's a small thing, but it still sucks. I'm an introvert who doesn't make friends easily, so I'm basically out of friends now (a common occurrence in academia--people move a lot).

Oh and going on 70 days separated from my boyfriend with no end in sight.

You know, both of these really suck!  I mean really.  And I, for one, do not think this is a small thing, whenever in one's life this happens.  I grieved over losing my undergrad and first grad degree friends for years, due to the necessity to move away - on.  I just have never understood why we all couldn't still stay in contact. 

Loss of boyfriend f2f is terrible.  I mean it.

Which is why, if it's not being made political, I'm quite a bit more understanding and sympathetic to those some decades younger than I am about losing it about Distance and Isolation.  Really.  I think of me at say age 24-25 -- I'd be insane by now.  Really.  Hormones, life, future, people, it's all together, and the YOUNG of whatever generation are being denied all this in these weeks and months.

But it is still possible to move out of that without overtly putting other people who are at deep risk at risk -- and themselves too.  Yikes, not meaning to lecture -- this was not a lecture!  Just thinking about what it is like to be 24 etc.

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5 hours ago, Starkess said:

My best friend here in Chicago just moved away. The move was in the works for a while, but the stay at home order came along and basically meant we didn't get to see each other for the last 2 months. Didn't really get to say good-bye or go out for a last hurrah or anything. I know it's a small thing, but it still sucks. I'm an introvert who doesn't make friends easily, so I'm basically out of friends now (a common occurrence in academia--people move a lot).

I totally sympathize.  My best friend here in Chicago is unexpectedly moving away in two weeks and I won't be able to see her before she moves.  Obviously I will be able to see here someday again but it won't be the same as her being here since she was one my friend in Chicago who liked all the same things I did and was my go to partner for all things fun. She could be counted on for bookstore runs and gelato crawls and all things Harry Potter and Star Wars.  I know I'm lucky that this is the worst thing to happen to me during this pandemic but I'm still incredibly sad about it.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks everyone. I know we're all just doing our best!

Also to be clear, my friend moving away is not a small thing, that's a shitty thing that I'm really bummed about, but that was unrelated to COVID--the small thing part was losing out on a last few hangouts together and not knowing that when I saw her in March it would be the last time (at least for a while).

Many hugs to you, narcissa. It's so hard to find that right friend and such a loss when they go!

ETA: Oh and I've started therapy again. Had some bad matches with therapists the last few times I've tried, so really hoping this one will be okay. I've also seen a psychiatrist and am considering medication for the first time in my life. So no I'm not really OK but I'm not in danger either--I'm handling it.

Edited by Starkess

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40 minutes ago, Starkess said:

Thanks everyone. I know we're all just doing our best!

Also to be clear, my friend moving away is not a small thing, that's a shitty thing that I'm really bummed about, but that was unrelated to COVID--the small thing part was losing out on a last few hangouts together and not knowing that when I saw her in March it would be the last time (at least for a while).

Many hugs to you, narcissa. It's so hard to find that right friend and such a loss when they go!

ETA: Oh and I've started therapy again. Had some bad matches with therapists the last few times I've tried, so really hoping this one will be okay. I've also seen a psychiatrist and am considering medication for the first time in my life. So no I'm not really OK but I'm not in danger either--I'm handling it.

*offers hug*

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Yesterday my company's CEO said that the new policy was to encourage us all to work from home for the rest of the year, even after local governments allowed our offices to open again (currently only Shanghai and Korea are partially open) and having a maximum of 30% of capacity in the office. They had done a survey of employees and found that many people were worried about the difficulty of physical distancing, sometimes with regard to being in the office but particularly in regard to commuting by public transport.

It seems a sensible policy in the circumstances but it's still a sobering moment realising how long that's going to last for.

In some ways I would like to be back in the office environment at some point and not having to rely so much on Zoom for communication but I'm not sure I'd feel much benefit from going back if the office was mostly empty and everybody was having to keep their distance.

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41 minutes ago, williamjm said:

In some ways I would like to be back in the office environment at some point and not having to rely so much on Zoom for communication but I'm not sure I'd feel much benefit from going back if the office was mostly empty and everybody was having to keep their distance.

That's literally what my skiplevel manager said to me yesterday as well. Even when we can all be going, we're still going to have a lot of people just not going, and if you're just calling into meetings from your office what's the point? 

There's a lot of talk at MS about the future of work environments and how often people go into work. While there were a lot of people who wanted to WFH, I don't think there was nearly as much consensus on whether or not people could do so and be productive and present enough. This has shown a lot of interesting data - both in how productive people are and what people miss the most. 

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Sorry @Starkess to hear that.  Having recently relocated from Chicago to CT, we left behind a good network of close friends after it took us years to accumulate following our move to Chicago.  Friendships come a bit slower in adulthood, especially when you have kids. So relocations are a big set back socially (we’ve done three in thirteen years).  And of course we’re not making new friends during lockdown.

@williamjm I also expect to continue working from home at least through the summer and possibly through end of year.  And I doubt we’ll be on international flights for client meetings until next year.  Even if lockdown restrictions are eased, employers are wary of bringing people back into a crowded office, especially since productivity has held up very well.  Perhaps things will recover sooner than that, but the likelihood of subsequent waves of infection encourages caution. 

Some of the big financial employers in NYC are already speculating about long term less physical presence in the city.  The crowded offices and public transportation for employees means they’ll stick with WFH until there is an effective vaccine.  If that takes a couple of years, companies will have shrunk their office space and just use it for specific meetings and projects.  The realtors here in CT are flooded now with people trying to buy houses and leave the city, but still be within an hour of the city for the occasional days when they might go to the office. 

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@Starkess,

Nora, I would have never guessed you would be an introvert. Sorry about not getting to see your friend off, but the day will come again when you two can see each other. 

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It was a very nice day, and I really enjoyed my walk.  Though stupidly when getting ready to do it, I forgot to put on my mask! and had to immediately turn around and get one, seeing a bicyclist wearing his.

I spent the morning writing the first original thing I've done since These Times started: a short piece about John Quincy Adams and his expressions on "the melancholy madness of Poetry without the inspiration" in his Diaries.  This is in March and April of 1831, after his humiliating loss of the Presidency to Andrew Jackson.  His escape was a production he titled The Tale of Dermont, clearly inspired by Sir Walter Scott's enormously popular historical poetic Romances. JQ always wished to be a poet of power and passion . . .  but he wasn't.  He merely made history, observed history and died on the floor of the House. He may not have been a poet of power and passion, but Puritan scion that he was, he practiced politics with all passion and power. Perhaps the only person Andrew Jackson ended hating more than JQ was John C. Calhoun.

~~~~~~~

Some of the people we know, who vewy quietly got out of the City in the first week or two of March -- even before quarantine -- and only communicated they'd done so, a few weeks later -- are moving back. 

Sometimes it's because they were sheltering in big family summer homes on the LI Sound, in the Vermont woods etc., and now the real owner, parent, who is too elderly to live alone, is insisting on doing the usual Memorial Day weekend removal to The House, and so other family members will be living there.  Also The House is, obviously, set up for very large numbers of inhabitants.  These people do not all believe in wearing masks, etc.  So ... let's go home where we can control who comes in and who does not.

Sometimes it's because the younger generation can no longer stand living with the parents and have come back to their apartments.

And some got It, even relapsed, but are now free of it.

In the meantime in my nabe, it's weird, because this isn't legal -- there are retail stores, meaning clothes -- that are open today: 3 customers at a time! the signs shout. But I'm not seeing anyone in the store.  But then, people weren't going into the stores before quarantine either.

But all the bars and restaurants and etc. are taking over all the sidewalks.  It's like Bourbon Street here.  Summer is going to be -- loud.  And dangerous.  I would never have wanted to live on Bourbon Street.  I never even liked walking there.  Ugh.  Though the fringes of the French Quarter are great!

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2 hours ago, Kalbear said:

That's literally what my skiplevel manager said to me yesterday as well. Even when we can all be going, we're still going to have a lot of people just not going, and if you're just calling into meetings from your office what's the point? 

There's a lot of talk at MS about the future of work environments and how often people go into work. While there were a lot of people who wanted to WFH, I don't think there was nearly as much consensus on whether or not people could do so and be productive and present enough. This has shown a lot of interesting data - both in how productive people are and what people miss the most. 

From what our CEO is saying I suspect even if the crisis gets resolved there will be more flexibility for working from home but he was emphasising that he realised many people would prefer not to in normal times. He did say that they survey results showed people often saying they felt more productive but he was a bit sceptical that it could be due to them working longer rather than being genuinely more productive. They also announced two bonus company wide holidays in June to 'allow us a break from Zoom', I think they might be worried about people burning out and I suspect most employees aren't choosing to use their vacation allowance due to not being able to go anywhere right now and hoping that might change later in the year.

1 hour ago, Iskaral Pust said:

 

@williamjm I also expect to continue working from home at least through the summer and possibly through end of year.  And I doubt we’ll be on international flights for client meetings until next year.

I think business travel will also be pretty much shut down for us for the rest of the year.

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Posted (edited)

Spoke with our (indie) publisher today. The good news is it was able to hold on to all the employees, including the warehouse through the black days of March when there was NOTHING, and amazilla also quit shipping books for 3 weeks in favor of essentials. And even then publisher was able to get out the royalty chex -- despite their booksellers' accounts being frozen due to lack of funds.

Everybody is back at work now, though some office people (not warehouse) are still not full time, but they are working (from home). Warehouse people are filling orders since April!

And somehow, university seems to believe it can have a fall semester -- with lots of hotel rooms . . . and particularly believes it can have a J semester.  It's really counting on its overseas campuses, particularly in the locations where virus was contained (though it seems to be second waving already, once they opened again).  Considering the 1-2-3 blows to the chops and gut that US prestige is taking, one must wonder how long Asian and Middle Eastern parents are going to want to shell out the buckolas for this US institution's degrees.

Edited by Zorral

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@williamjm I think the firm I work for will likely go for a similar route in terms of working from home. Certainly seems like there will at least be more of an option to do so. We are currently getting a lot of surveys and such to see how people feel about WFH long term, whether they would like a blend of office work and WFH etc. On my part I think I would appreciate a blend of office and WFH (probably a 2/3 split for me). Seems like our office should be able to manage. Our utilisation was down slightly for April as we all adjusted but it's picked back up again. 

Interestingly, management were actually in the process of negotiation for a lease on a new office, with plans to have us moved out of the current space by September. That's currently up in the air so will be curious to see how that develops.

Our holiday policy has also been amended for this year, so we can't sell any of our holidays for this year, and need to take a third of them before the end of August. Makes sense as I suspect a lot of people would try and save them until travel is more open and then everyone would want to take them at once. The policy change doesn't particularly bother me but I ilcan see how it would be frustrating and difficult for those with families and less flexibility in their schedules.

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I, on the other hand, got the news today that the language school I teach for is going to start going back to in-person classes as opposed to online ones soon. I must say I am looking forward to it, as this means I am going to get more hours again. And teaching languages when you really have to take care of people's pronunciation and there there is often need to see the teacher and at the same time see something written on the board, plus a lot of hands-on activities in groups ... yes, there are ways to do that online, but it is so much more efficient in person.

Again on the other hand, my favourite summer school/course has been cancelled for this year. I wasn't even sure if I wanted to participate anymore, but it still makes me sad.

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29 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

@williamjm

Our holiday policy has also been amended for this year, so we can't sell any of our holidays for this year, and need to take a third of them before the end of August. Makes sense as I suspect a lot of people would try and save them until travel is more open and then everyone would want to take them at once. The policy change doesn't particularly bother me but I ilcan see how it would be frustrating and difficult for those with families and less flexibility in their schedules.

It wouldn't surprise me if they started to encourage people here to take some of their holiday at some point, although it is the sort of thing that really seems to annoy some people.

Since I basically haven't taken any of my holiday allowance this year I worked out I'm not far off being able to do four day weeks for the rest of the year. That might be a fallback option if it becomes clear there's no possibility of being able to go anywhere.

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Have you been tested for COVID-19? What was the result?

Normal people: Yes, I was tested. It came back negative.

Trump: 

Is this like negative calories? :P Trump has a negative form of the coronavirus.

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My twins turned 3 months old a few days ago...my mother still hasn’t met them. Her ~ husband refuses to mask in public because religion, so she/we won’t risk it. They have been separated for years, but he’s still the guy who brings brings her everything...she has health problems, and they’re both pretty high risk anyways...so that’s where we are. In fact my sister is the only member of my family on my mother’s side to have met them. 

On the other hand, living in a baby bubble with 2 perfect angels is a much better way to spend this period than most have...though it does exaggerate the sense that ‘this is my life now’. 

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Boys, girls, one of each, the angels?  How wonderful that you both got to be home during this period of their lives and share that incredible rapid development!

~~~~~~~~~~~

I smelled lilacs in the park, buried my face in them -- until becoming aware of the bees.  Honey bees, which also made me happy.

 

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