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COVID-19: Personal Stories

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11 minutes ago, Annber03 said:

Condolences, @ams1001

I'm glad his son got to spend some time with him in his final days, at least. 

Thanks. He was in an assisted living facility but had his own little apartment, so I guess since he was separated from other residents they were okay with just his son coming in. He's been on hospice care for the last few weeks. I feel bad for my cousin; his mom passed away in 2012, and his brother and ex-wife both died 3 years ago, about 6 months apart (both unexpected and way too young). He and his kids, and his brother's wife and daughter are all that are left of that branch of the family, and they're all pretty scattered at this point.

Not sure yet what we can/will do by way of a funeral. Whatever it is, it'll be...different, I'm sure.

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Condolences, @AMS1001. These are difficult times, as much as I hate that statement and the overuse of it, but prayers for you and your family in this sad time.

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4 minutes ago, Gramto6 said:

Condolences, @AMS1001. These are difficult times, as much as I hate that statement and the overuse of it, but prayers for you and your family in this sad time.

Thank you ❤️ 

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So sorry for your loss @ams1001.  It must be so very hard to lose a family member especially at this time when it is so hard to visit.  Prayers for your uncle and may he rest in peace.

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10 hours ago, ams1001 said:

Not covid-related (aside from the fact that no one could visit) but my uncle passed away today. We were expecting it, but still.  😢

His son was able to be with him the last several days (after coming back up from Florida and quarantining for two weeks), though.

2020 can go, now.

johnny depp pirate GIF

Sorry for your loss~

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@AMS1001, so sorry for your loss.  

A friend of mine lost her father-in-law to COVID a couple weeks ago.  My friend had been telling me that her in-laws weren't taking it seriously, were going out socially, so she was not surprised they got it.  The mother-in-law also got it, but a milder case and has recovered.  The FIL had other health issues (heart) that made it deadly for him.  My friend's husband, their son, also got it since he sees his parents regularly, as did his sister.  Also mild cases, and my friend has not tested positive.  She still has a few days to quarantine though.  She and her husband have been sleeping in separate rooms, using separate bathrooms, and do not eat meals together.  I couldn't help but wonder what people who don't have extra bedrooms and bathrooms do in these circumstances.  Use a hell of a lot of bleach, I guess, if they have it.

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My problem with that would be that I am on a septic system and bleach kills all the "bacteria" that eat the stuff that is flushed. So no bleach ever used in this house. Fortunately/sadly it is just me here with 3 bathrooms so no problems. But I wonder how many people are aware of that?

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On 8/18/2020 at 2:43 PM, ams1001 said:

I bought an 8-pack at Target a few weeks ago (but I had a few rolls left so I haven't even gotten into them, yet). They had a decent amount on the shelf, though maybe fewer options than normal (they're still 1 per customer, here, which probably helps). I think they were all the same brand and maybe two different size packages. I get the 'select a size' ones, so they're half-sheets, and I often rip those in half for small spills, or to use as napkins, so they last me a while. (Napkins are basically just loose paper towels, anyway, right? It's just me here so no one to impress by being fancy.)

I bought a six pack in March.  Yesterday I gave two to  a local food pantry, I have one on the go, and there are three sitting in my bedroom because my apartment was not designed for coronavirus stashes.  (Apparently my stomach was; my friend refers to the attendant pandemic weight gain as the Covid 19.)

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So my uncle's funeral is going to be on Labor Day, for which my workplace is closed so at least it won't mess with my work schedule/already-planned personal days later in the week.

Guess we'll find out what a socially-distanced funeral is like in this day and age. The obituary lists the funeral info and then says all current health restrictions apply and masks and social distancing are required (which makes me feel slightly better...I hope there's also no singing at the church service). After the cemetery there will be lunch at a local restaurant and apparently NJ is allowing indoor dining (limited capacity) starting Friday but I'm still hoping it'll be outside. (We might be too many people, anyway.)

Normally I would usually prefer to ride with my parents or brother for something like this but I think I'll feel better driving myself. At least the procession from the church to the cemetery is short (about a mile and a half down the road). Though I am a bit anxious about the possibility of exposure and then going to the office the next two days. This will be the most people I've been around probably since Christmas (not counting the grocery store). Last time I was at that restaurant was my uncle's 88th birthday in February.

On a side note, I feel like people coming across today's obits decades from now will just think it a bit of historical oddity that they all have notes about wearing masks and other health restrictions. Maybe asking their parents or grandparents..."hey, what was that all about?"

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47 minutes ago, ams1001 said:

So my uncle's funeral is going to be on Labor Day, for which my workplace is closed so at least it won't mess with my work schedule/already-planned personal days later in the week.

Guess we'll find out what a socially-distanced funeral is like in this day and age. The obituary lists the funeral info and then says all current health restrictions apply and masks and social distancing are required (which makes me feel slightly better...I hope there's also no singing at the church service). After the cemetery there will be lunch at a local restaurant and apparently NJ is allowing indoor dining (limited capacity) starting Friday but I'm still hoping it'll be outside. (We might be too many people, anyway.)

Normally I would usually prefer to ride with my parents or brother for something like this but I think I'll feel better driving myself. At least the procession from the church to the cemetery is short (about a mile and a half down the road). Though I am a bit anxious about the possibility of exposure and then going to the office the next two days. This will be the most people I've been around probably since Christmas (not counting the grocery store). Last time I was at that restaurant was my uncle's 88th birthday in February.

I hope you feel free to keep your own social distance comfort zone --at such events we tend to want to go along with the plans and, for me, that sometimes results in regret.
But it does sound like most of it will be outside, so hopefully it will just be a truly worthwhile experience.

52 minutes ago, ams1001 said:

On a side note, I feel like people coming across today's obits decades from now will just think it a bit of historical oddity that they all have notes about wearing masks and other health restrictions. Maybe asking their parents or grandparents..."hey, what was that all about?"

I seem to be alone in assuming masks are here to stay to some degree --kind of like how we no longer all drink water on a train from the same cup as was the case in the 19th and early 20th century.

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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

I seem to be alone in assuming masks are here to stay to some degree

I'll join you at that table. More hope than assumption though. Mask wearing is pretty normal in Japan when it's pollen season according to my allergy-ridden Japanese colleague. Also, more people wear them when they have a cold. When we had SARS in Toronto all those years ago, you'd see mostly Asian people wearing masks. I remember thinking that was overkill. Ah, life before a pandemic...

I wouldn't mind if people adopted the habit hereabouts. Or just stay home from work when they are ill. Of course, that requires a culture where that is normal instead of going to work sick out of some misplaced idea of work ethic. It also requires a system where sick days are paid. For everyone.

I am seriously hoping for a lasting culture and social change in North America after all this with respect to how health care and senior care jobs are paid. What happened in Canada in senior care homes was atrocious. I remember my German friends asked me why people would work in more than one home. When I told them they don't make enough to just work at one, they were appalled. 

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Last weekend I officiated a baby naming ceremony. It is the non-religious equivalent of a christening.  We introduce the baby to the community and ask everyone there to support the child throughout their life. It was appropriately social distanced.  The grandparents joined online as did anyone else who was not nearby or did not feel safe within the environment.  It was held outside.  Everyone was masked (except the baby 🙂 ).  Only the parents held her. Pods of people who already lived together were allowed.  Food and beverages were all in individual containers, put in multiple locations, and folks could only go up one at a time.  There was hand sanitizer to be used before and after grabbing the food (before was mandatory). It was really well planned. 

It was wonderful to be part of something that while different due to covid was very normalizing for family and community.  I have missed these types of events. 

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7 minutes ago, supposebly said:

I wouldn't mind if people adopted the habit hereabouts. Or just stay home from work when they are ill. Of course, that requires a culture where that is normal instead of going to work sick out of some misplaced idea of work ethic. It also requires a system where sick days are paid. For everyone.

I am seriously hoping for a lasting culture and social change in North America after all this with respect to how health care and senior care jobs are paid. What happened in Canada in senior care homes was atrocious. I remember my German friends asked me why people would work in more than one home. When I told them they don't make enough to just work at one, they were appalled. 

A lot of places have PTO so sick time is part of that.  Companies also have to be more tolerant to work from home.  Many jobs can be done that way but a lot of employers “require” everyone to be in the office which is ridiculous these days with outsourcing and multiple locations - a lot of the teams I’ve been on in recent years are scattered in many locations which makes commuting a waste of time. 
What you describe about the senior care home exist in the US as well.  Here in NJ they shut them down for visitors in the middle of March - my Dad is in one and where he lives did not have a case for close to a month.  Eventually the place lost close to 30 people to COVID - he has his own room so while he had people checking in on him several times a day plus delivering the meals (all while using PPE) I suppose his risk was low.  The COVID affected people probably got it from their family hired aide. 

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6 hours ago, bilgistic said:

So one one hand, I feel awful for denying my mother a chance to spend time with me, but on the other, I feel good about setting my boundary and protecting myself.

I'm so glad your mom had the logical and loving response rather than the guilt trip you were fearing.  It sucks that you can't see her, but you're absolutely right not to be around anyone with that level of exposure!  Really, she's denying you, not you denying her - if she was staying home like she should be, there could be a safe way for you to spend time together.  Because she has chosen not to, you have to protect yourself (from the virus and from the anxiety being around someone with so much potential exposure to it would cause).  You handled it very well, and she responded in kind; kudos.

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I will definitely not be wearing a mask when this is over. I absolutely loathe them. They're hot, uncomfortable, and make life as a hearing-impaired person exponentially more difficult. Exponentially.  And from a mental health perspective, I feel like it's very damaging to our sense of community and how we connect with others.

I wear one now anytime I am instructed or requested to do so. I comply with state mandates, and I don't give anybody a hard time about it. But any suggestion that this should be a permanent change gets a hard "NO" from me.

People who are severely vulnerable to the flu* should protect themselves, as they have always done. But I want to shake hands, and hug children, and see people smile again. I will die someday from something, but until that day comes, I will live my life. 

*I'm not saying covid is the flu. I'm speaking of the regular flu, post-covid.

Edited by Jane Tuesday
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When this is all over, I would like to see it become more normalized to wear masks if we are sick. It would help with the spread of various illnesses.  I would not propose we wear them all the time or maintain social distancing.  I don't know anyone who wants that.  Getting back to normal would be great.  Ah the days of concerts and movies and community and family gatherings.  These things are important.  But normalizing limiting exposure when you're sick and people continue to effectively wash their hands would be a plus. 

In terms of sick leave, even if it is included under PTO, there are a large number of people in the US working in jobs that do not provide paid time off.  These are often low-paying positions, positions int eh "gig economy" and part-time jobs (which many people have more than one of). When we're in careers where we get PTO, sick leave, vacation, FTO or whatever our company may call it, there is better protection if something happens.  There are many folks who are not in that position.

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1 hour ago, Jane Tuesday said:

But I want to shake hands, and hug children, and see people smile again. I will die someday from something, but until that day comes, I will live my life. 

I would be happy to never be expected to shake hands again.  And I will happily hug my children, and their children, but I am more than happy with not being expected to hug anyone else.  But I get your point - I look forward to the time when we have that option.

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48 minutes ago, PrincessPurrsALot said:

When this is all over, I would like to see it become more normalized to wear masks if we are sick.

Me too, but given how many people refuse to comply with public health orders in the middle of a global pandemic despite the prevalence of asymptomatic carriers, I don't see Americans developing the common courtesy of wearing a mask when they "just" have a cold or flu and can't/won't stay home.

4 minutes ago, SoMuchTV said:

I would be happy to never be expected to shake hands again.  And I will happily hug my children, and their children, but I am more than happy with not being expected to hug anyone else.

I don't mind shaking hands, but there are precious few people in the world I want to hug.  If this situation gives the "I'm a hugger" people pause about imposing hugs on unwilling recipients well into the future, that would be a relief.  I rather doubt it, though.

I'm about to head to the grocery store - my big outing every couple of weeks.  I was going to wait until tomorrow, but I'm afraid there will be people stocking up for Labor Day barbecues they shouldn't be having.

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Years before the pandemic, if I had to shake someone's hand, I was careful not to touch my face until I was able to wash my hands. 

I hope that after things are more back to "normal," some enterprising Material Design students will come up with comfortable masks --or even better, transparent face shields --at least before the next apocalypse.

Edited by shapeshifter
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42 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Years before the pandemic, if I had to shake someone's hand, I was careful not to touch my face until I was able to wash my hands. 

Me too. My first thought was always about when I’d next be able to wash my hands.  If it was at some meeting where food was being served I’d be careful regarding anything that had the potential to be touched with hands (like cookies) and observe if people were using the tongs nearby.  

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I can't stand masks and have been fortunate not to have to wear one for very long beyond a quick run into a restaurant or doctor's office.  So that is something I can't imagine adopting permanently; although I do think it'll be fair to require them for brief things like a run into the grocery store or going to a doctor's office.

But staying six feet apart or random touching?  I won't hate maintaining that. 

3 hours ago, PrincessPurrsALot said:

In terms of sick leave, even if it is included under PTO, there are a large number of people in the US working in jobs that do not provide paid time off.  These are often low-paying positions, positions int eh "gig economy" and part-time jobs (which many people have more than one of). When we're in careers where we get PTO, sick leave, vacation, FTO or whatever our company may call it, there is better protection if something happens.  There are many folks who are not in that position.

A better sick leave culture is something I'd like to see in the US.  In requiring it to be offered, not guilt tripping employees for taking it and making sure there's enough coverage available so departments aren't under water when someone does get sick.

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I have nice, soft, three-layer, 100% cotton masks that are actually pretty comfortable.  My main problem is that I can't get a good yawn in the mask!  But I do wear it pretty much all day at work, taking it off only for about 30 minutes to eat lunch.  

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23 minutes ago, Irlandesa said:

A better sick leave culture is something I'd like to see in the US.  In requiring it to be offered, not guilt tripping employees for taking it and making sure there's enough coverage available so departments aren't under water when someone does get sick.

Yeah, I literally have no one who can cover most of my work right now (if my uncle's funeral had been planned for Tuesday, I would have been working from home on Labor Day, just because all of my Monday reporting will need to be done on Tuesday next week, and it won't get done if I don't do it). One of our other groups went from seven to three people. They're gonna have problems if any of us actually come down with this thing.

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6 minutes ago, Browncoat said:

I have nice, soft, three-layer, 100% cotton masks that are actually pretty comfortable.  My main problem is that I can't get a good yawn in the mask!  But I do wear it pretty much all day at work, taking it off only for about 30 minutes to eat lunch.  

I have the pleated ones from Old Navy which I like, because they kind of hold their shape so if I'm breathing slightly heavy they don't get sucked against my face like a couple others I have (though I like those, otherwise; they're soft and comfortable, too.). Which happens every time I go up to my office because I have to climb a higher-than-standard flight of stairs and well, I'm not in the best shape....

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Are there any other cold sore sufferers who are delighted by the idea of hiding behind a mask? If I get that dreaded "tingle" on my lip - no big deal, I slap some toothpaste on it and that kills it. If I get that "tingle" in my nose... awww, crap. Toothpaste doesn't work on those. Yeah, pills help, but I rarely have them. And, sorry to be gross, but the blisters are half in, half out, so it looks like I have a giant boogie hangin' out my nose. It's SO embarrassing. I got a doozy yesterday and was giddy when I realized I can, now and forever, slap a mask on and not have to feel gross and embarrassed again!

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My friend makes amazing masks and has started making masks with coordinating bags. I'm so excited to go to the store and be all matchy.

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I am not a cold sore sufferer, but I have way less than perfect teeth and a mask makes me more comfortable in public.  Plus I am in a high risk group so gladly wear a mask.

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For acne sufferers, the masks are a mixed blessing because they can hide but also cause flareups. 
As a senior citizen, I am finally past that, but wearing the mask usually does cause tiny pimples to briefly appear, which remind me that I would have welcomed a mask to hide behind at times in my past.

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Since we're looking on the bright side - waxing and threading salons are open in my area, but they aren't allowed to do upper lips yet.  I've found lots of videos of how to do your own threading, but I'm still pretty bad at it (and I wouldn't dare try brows).  Masks hide the 'stache.   

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They also hide the involuntarily expression you make when someone asks a ...not smart..question.  I work retail and some of the questions asked are...odd.

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3 hours ago, Browncoat said:

Masks also hide when I’m talking to myself.

That doesn't work for me. The half Italian part requires that I speak with my hands.

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1 hour ago, crazycatlady58 said:

They also hide the involuntarily expression you make when someone asks a ...not smart..question.  I work retail and some of the questions asked are...odd.

Apparently my eyes are very expressive, or at least my “are you kidding me” and “oh hell no” eyes. I think working from home and not encountering coworkers in person has made me less aware of my facial expressions. Good thing I rarely turn on my video chat, or a few of my coworkers would find out what I really think of them. 

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25 minutes ago, MargeGunderson said:

Apparently my eyes are very expressive, or at least my “are you kidding me” and “oh hell no” eyes. I think working from home and not encountering coworkers in person has made me less aware of my facial expressions. Good thing I rarely turn on my video chat, or a few of my coworkers would find out what I really think of them. 

I'm trying to think of a good way to tell my boss she shouldn't turn on her camera if she is going to roll her eyes at the client.  Not a good look.  😞 

confused issa rae GIF by Insecure on HBO

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I have absolutely no poker face and extremely expressive eyes, so if I can hide my face with a mask and sunglasses, I'm all for it. My sunglasses have my prescription lenses, so I usually wear them in the grocery store when I blitz through. I know I look like an asshole, but my anxiety is already high just by being there, and cutting down the extra sensory overload of the too-bright lights (and the music--why must it be so loud?!?) helps me focus more on getting my stuff and getting out.

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23 minutes ago, bilgistic said:

I have absolutely no poker face and extremely expressive eyes, so if I can hide my face with a mask and sunglasses, I'm all for it. My sunglasses have my prescription lenses, so I usually wear them in the grocery store when I blitz through. I know I look like an asshole, but my anxiety is already high just by being there, and cutting down the extra sensory overload of the too-bright lights (and the music--why must it be so loud?!?) helps me focus more on getting my stuff and getting out.

If your sunglasses are wrap-around-ish like mine, they also block a lot more airborne germs from getting into your eyes and from there to your sinuses --germs emitted from the true "assholes" or even just mentally not with-it folks who are coughing without masks on --like I've seen during "senior" hours at the store. 

 

A few days ago I stopped at Trader Joe's at the random time of 3:30 p.m. after a necessary in-person appointment nearby. Everyone was wearing their masks over their noses, but it was so crowded! It stressed me out.  

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8 hours ago, Browncoat said:

Masks also hide when I’m talking to myself.

I know! I was rejoicing in that the other day. 😉

5 hours ago, JTMacc99 said:

That doesn't work for me. The half Italian part requires that I speak with my hands.

Ooo. Hopefully I wasn't doing too many hand movements too. 🤨

Edited by shapeshifter
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Video conferencing is so much better than in-person meetings because I can turn off the camera rather than alert everyone to how stone cold bored I am and what I think of their nonstop yammering. I can also get up and walk around, which is much better than being stuck in a room and unable to move.

I'm not especially anxious about going out to places but I am exceptionally lazy and loathe stores, so I love having groceries delivered. It adds a lot of $$ to the total but considering that I don't have to tolerate the presence of others, the horrible lighting, and so on, it's totally worth it. However, I do need to dial back on the habit because I just ordered a delivery of 4 things. Just 4. It felt kind of decadent.

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18 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

For acne sufferers, the masks are a mixed blessing because they can hide but also cause flareups. 
As a senior citizen, I am finally past that, but wearing the mask usually does cause tiny pimples to briefly appear, which remind me that I would have welcomed a mask to hide behind at times in my past.

Masks are actually causing acne problems for some, dubbed 'mask-ne'

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I just have to vent/rant... I went out today as I had to go to the Post Office to pick up my diabetic test strips from my PO box, I decided to run into the local grocery store across the street and was appalled that nearly no one was wearing a mask! None on the clerks and store staff and I'd guess 85-90% of the customers were mask less. Usually this store is pretty compliant, I don't know what was going on today but my shopping experience was very stressful. What is wrong with people? We are having a surge of cases and these people think they don't have to follow the statewide mask mandate! Is it because it is the beginning of a holiday weekend that they think they don't have to obey the rules?  Why wear a mask, it is Labor Day weekend????? I don't want to be killed by one of these fools! /rant

Edited by Gramto6
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Some folks have mentioned here some unexpected silver linings of having to wear a mask. I have an average-sized body but I have a very chubby face that I am self-conscious about and I am now enjoying the relief of covering the worst part of it! I bought and sewed some cute masks and I no longer feel shy about wearing them. The only down side for me is that I didn't realize how heavily I relied on grinning (especially at babies!) to communicate with strangers/shoppers/dog-walkers/neighbours/cashiers that everything is okay, no offense caused, no worries, etc.

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IMO a true grin reaches up to your eyes and that can be read by others. Toss in a little wink and communication resumes.

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I love wearing a mask, I look much better and feel more confident with the bottom half of my face hidden and wearing a mask means no need to wear makeup so it saves time and money.   I wish I could wear a  mask on my company Teams meetings.  

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I treat masks as somewhat of a fashion statement. I have a lot of them now with different prints and sayings. My current favorites are my Christian Siriano ones. One of the downsides of a mask for me is that I love a bold red lip, which I do not really bother with anymore because no one sees it.

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16 minutes ago, partofme said:

I love wearing a mask, I look much better and feel more confident with the bottom half of my face hidden and wearing a mask means no need to wear makeup so it saves time and money.   I wish I could wear a  mask on my company Teams meetings.  

Yeah, no need to pluck those chin hairs...just kidding...id shave them anyway. But bottom line,I have no problem with wearing a mask from now on to the future. I was in Taiwan and Singapore in the late 90's and I was one of the few people not wearing a mask. If they have done it for so long why can't we for the foreseeable future?

Edited by Gramto6
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On 9/3/2020 at 3:42 PM, Bastet said:

 

I don't mind shaking hands, but there are precious few people in the world I want to hug.  If this situation gives the "I'm a hugger" people pause about imposing hugs on unwilling recipients well into the future, that would be a relief.  I rather doubt it, though.

 

My hope would be that complete strangers (usually in grocery store lines) stop assuming they have a right to touch/pat/stroke a woman's pregnant belly.

On 9/3/2020 at 6:08 PM, Irlandesa said:

 

A better sick leave culture is something I'd like to see in the US.  In requiring it to be offered, not guilt tripping employees for taking it and making sure there's enough coverage available so departments aren't under water when someone does get sick.

 

When I moved to the States and was offered my first job,  I was horrified when I was told that after one year I would get one week's paid leave to be used for vacation or illness. After five years I would get two weeks.  I told the interviewer (who was also the owner of the company) that I wasn't interested if those were the terms, and, when asked, gave my thoughts on how barbaric and physically and mentally such a policy is.  I guess they really wanted me, because I got the job, with all that implies.  T

12 hours ago, ABay said:

Video conferencing is so much better than in-person meetings because I can turn off the camera rather than alert everyone to how stone cold bored I am and what I think of their nonstop yammering. I can also get up and walk around, which is much better than being stuck in a room and unable to move.

I'm not especially anxious about going out to places but I am exceptionally lazy and loathe stores, so I love having groceries delivered. It adds a lot of $$ to the total but considering that I don't have to tolerate the presence of others, the horrible lighting, and so on, it's totally worth it. However, I do need to dial back on the habit because I just ordered a delivery of 4 things. Just 4. It felt kind of decadent.

 

Edited by Brookside
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1 hour ago, Gramto6 said:

IMO a true grin reaches up to your eyes and that can be read by others. Toss in a little wink and communication resumes.

I think I communicated a cheery sentiment with raised eyebrows recently while masked, but maybe that’s just because the other person was assuming the best. 

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29 minutes ago, Brookside said:

My hope would be that complete strangers (usually in grocery store lines) stop assuming they have a right to touch/pat/stroke a woman's pregnant belly.

One of the many things I like about Cyndi Lauper is her asking, when commenting on how many random people felt free to rub her belly when she was pregnant, "What am I, the happy fucking buddha?"

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SilverStormm

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