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COVID-19: Personal Stories

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8 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Actually, the n95s and the face visors might be a good idea for voting in person.
A couple of months ago, one of my daughters questioned why I was wearing gloves, and, after thinking about it, I realized I couldn't think of any advantage to wearing them, except maybe when getting gas.

I wear them for getting gas and using keypads at checkout lanes.  My husband wears them for these things plus using banking machines and going to the drive-up window at the bank.  He knows how to do things online but is so old school that he continues to go to the bank for things he doesn't really need to go there for.  I do all of my banking online these days.  I try not to need to use keypads at checkouts - I use "Walmart pay" and now Target has something similar that I've used once so far.  I have Google Pay and Samsung Pay too but haven't used either of them in a store yet.  I haven't had the patience to find out which of the local stores in my area accept them.

Another reason I wear gloves at times is because I cook a lot and sometimes have little cuts or nicks on my hands that could let in virus.  Sometimes they're imperceptible.  I figure it's too late to sanitize after the virus has already penetrated my skin.

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I carry a rubber tipped stylus (intended to be used with an iPad), and use that to touch PIN pads.  Most businesses in Canada have contactless point of sale machines anyway.  I have always used my own pen rather than the communal one in stores or other businesses.  

I'm puzzled by the gas pumping issue.   Before Covid, were people pumping their own gas and then touching their face?  I've always kept a pair of ratty old gloves in my car for pumping gas, and also had a container of wipes (not disinfecting ones) just to clean the smell of gas off my hands.  I don't do anything differently now.

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11 hours ago, Yeah No said:

Hah, I do that too - drive by store lots to see how many cars are parked outside and if they're too crowded for my taste, move on.  I usually don't go out store shopping on weekends to avoid crowds.  I was doing that even before the pandemic, LOL.  Weekends are especially crowded when the weather is beautiful, as it has been lately.  I'm going to brave it and go out tomorrow, but from past experience I know that Sundays thin out a lot after 4 or 5 p.m. as people go home for dinner.  So I'm going to wait until around that time and take a drive to the supermarket for a few things.

I read once that Wednesday evening is the best time to go grocery shopping. It's the middle of the week so parents are usually busy with kids and their homework or other activities, and stores often get deliveries on Tuesdays so produce and stuff is freshly stocked.

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2 hours ago, Quof said:

I'm puzzled by the gas pumping issue.   Before Covid, were people pumping their own gas and then touching their face?  I've always kept a pair of ratty old gloves in my car for pumping gas, and also had a container of wipes (not disinfecting ones) just to clean the smell of gas off my hands.  I don't do anything differently now.

I have had hand wipes in my car for years for using after pumping gas because I'm a bit of a germaphobe (and people-phobe, but there's no wipe for people).

14 minutes ago, ams1001 said:

I read once that Wednesday evening is the best time to go grocery shopping. It's the middle of the week so parents are usually busy with kids and their homework or other activities, and stores often get deliveries on Tuesdays so produce and stuff is freshly stocked.

Most grocery stores get daily deliveries and new stock is put out ASAP. At the lower-priced chain I worked at, the busiest times were weekdays from about 3pm to 7pm (after school and work) and weekends. Sundays were insane. At the "gourmet" grocery store (read: wealthy white people) where I worked, Monday mornings were brisk because it was "mother's morning out". This was pre-COVID.

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A public service announcement from Jamie Lee Curtis. I'm pretty sure a regular mask will fit over that mask. 

 

 

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13 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Actually, the n95s and the face visors might be a good idea for voting in person.
A couple of months ago, one of my daughters questioned why I was wearing gloves, and, after thinking about it, I realized I couldn't think of any advantage to wearing them, except maybe when getting gas.

I wore them a couple of times early on, but soon came to the conclusion that it's a rather fruitless exercise, unless you're prepared to go through 20 pair each time you venture out.  I do keep a supply in the map pocket of my car door just for the purpose of pumping gas. (something that never crossed my mind pre-COVID).  

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11 minutes ago, SuprSuprElevated said:

I wore them a couple of times early on, but soon came to the conclusion that it's a rather fruitless exercise, unless you're prepared to go through 20 pair each time you venture out.  I do keep a supply in the map pocket of my car door just for the purpose of pumping gas. (something that never crossed my mind pre-COVID).  

Same. I never used gloves for gas pumping pre-Covid. I trained myself not to touch any orifices without first washing my hands when I started working with students. Actually, I started becoming aware of it when my kids started catching and passing germs to me. 

But I got a few pairs of the blue nitrile gloves early in the Time of Covid after an acquaintance told me they go in the washer and dryer and come out like new. I’m very appreciative of anything that can do that, heh. 
So I have at least one pair in the car. 

I got freaked out early in the summer when I read a news story about hand sanitizer igniting in a hot parked car, totaling it. So I haven’t kept hand sanitizer in the car since (hence the gloves).  
I wonder if hand sanitizer can freeze in a parked car. Frozen liquid can expand and burst containers, which is messy—so putting the hand sanitizer in a plastic bag would be a good idea. But the real issue is: Is hand sanitizer still effective if it freezes? Can it freeze?

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30 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

I wonder if hand sanitizer can freeze in a parked car. Frozen liquid can expand and burst containers, which is messy—so putting the hand sanitizer in a plastic bag would be a good idea. But the real issue is: Is hand sanitizer still effective if it freezes? Can it freeze?

According to this site:

Quote

Although water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the majority of hand sanitizer consists of ethyl alcohol freezes, which freezes at -174 degrees. Its presence lowers the freezing temperature of the water slightly. So although cheaper sanitizers can start to separate as the water freezes, products with higher alcohol contents can remain intact at temperatures below 0 degrees.

If hand sanitizer does freeze and separate, just warm it back up gradually. The alcohol will still be present and effective.

(It also says that it would have to be heated to 700F to actually ignite, so I wouldn't worry too much about that.)

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OK, I've eaten indoors in socially distanced restaurants but I keep my mask on at the table except for when I'm actually consuming food/beverages but I know that I'm taking a chance  in  even doing that. My question is for all the patrons who take off their masks the instant they sit down with NO food or drink in sight. Do they think that via being seated at a restaurant table will somehow provide them with an invisible protection bubble by the mere virtue of being seated and/or being at a magic table?

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12 hours ago, Quof said:

I'm puzzled by the gas pumping issue.   Before Covid, were people pumping their own gas and then touching their face?  I've always kept a pair of ratty old gloves in my car for pumping gas, and also had a container of wipes (not disinfecting ones) just to clean the smell of gas off my hands.  I don't do anything differently now.

I carry a bunch of sandwich bags in my car which I put over my hand before I pump gas. I can punch in my card numbers and finish the transaction without touching anything. Sandwich bags are really inexpensive! 

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I just found this thread. Here's my personal covid story: I had a friend who was late 60s, diabetic. We differed 100% on politics but he remained a good friend. We're both teachers and I loved to talk to him to shoot the shit about something dumb my admin had asked for and gossip about this and that. 

He wasn't taking covid that seriously though. His synagogue had an outbreak. I wouldn't say he was a denier but he definitely felt it was a bit of a "hoax" and it was all China's fault, blah blah blah. I told him to be careful because of his pre-existing conditions. I didn't call him for a few weeks. I call him, and no answer. Finally his family called me back to tell me he had passed away from covid that morning.

His death even made the news:

https://www.newsday.com/news/health/coronavirus/obituaries/eric-chasanoff-obituary-1.46952922

To this day when I see covidiots I get almost uncontrollably angry. I would love to be able to call my friend on the phone and gossip about stuff like we used to do. But I can't.

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54 minutes ago, Growsonwalls said:

I just found this thread. Here's my personal covid story: I had a friend who was late 60s, diabetic. We differed 100% on politics but he remained a good friend. We're both teachers and I loved to talk to him to shoot the shit about something dumb my admin had asked for and gossip about this and that. 

He wasn't taking covid that seriously though. His synagogue had an outbreak. I wouldn't say he was a denier but he definitely felt it was a bit of a "hoax" and it was all China's fault, blah blah blah. I told him to be careful because of his pre-existing conditions. I didn't call him for a few weeks. I call him, and no answer. Finally his family called me back to tell me he had passed away from covid that morning.

His death even made the news:

https://www.newsday.com/news/health/coronavirus/obituaries/eric-chasanoff-obituary-1.46952922

To this day when I see covidiots I get almost uncontrollably angry. I would love to be able to call my friend on the phone and gossip about stuff like we used to do. But I can't.

I feel your grief, @Growsonwalls. Just because you aren't a "family member" doesn't mean your loss of a colleague is any less strong. Covid was only a tangential reason why I was angry when my elderly mom died almost 3 months ago (I had a lot of other anger and guilt). But the one good thing about the pandemic is that there is a lot of video grief counseling available--both free and through medical insurance. Thank you for sharing. 

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10 hours ago, Growsonwalls said:

I just found this thread. Here's my personal covid story: I had a friend who was late 60s, diabetic. We differed 100% on politics but he remained a good friend. We're both teachers and I loved to talk to him to shoot the shit about something dumb my admin had asked for and gossip about this and that. 

He wasn't taking covid that seriously though. His synagogue had an outbreak. I wouldn't say he was a denier but he definitely felt it was a bit of a "hoax" and it was all China's fault, blah blah blah. I told him to be careful because of his pre-existing conditions. I didn't call him for a few weeks. I call him, and no answer. Finally his family called me back to tell me he had passed away from covid that morning.

His death even made the news:

https://www.newsday.com/news/health/coronavirus/obituaries/eric-chasanoff-obituary-1.46952922

To this day when I see covidiots I get almost uncontrollably angry. I would love to be able to call my friend on the phone and gossip about stuff like we used to do. But I can't.

I'm afraid this is going to be my mother's story. I'm sorry, @Growsonwalls.

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I live 2 miles from where the Atlanta Braves play. Last night the news was showing a watch-party on the greenspace outside the stadium. It was packed, no social distancing, no masks. It's going to end up being a super-spreader event but since GA doesn't do contract tracing it will never make the news. I am so fucking angry that this was allowed to happen and can't see how it didn't violate the state gathering limits. I wasn't there but it directly impacts me since I  live in the community. I am so glad the Braves lost (in addition to being from LA, I'm just glad there won't be any more reckless watch parties).

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I wear disposable gloves when pumping gas, and I put some in my pocket and pull them out when I do self checkout at the grocery store.  

I have always kept a small container (3 oz. or so) or hand sanitizer in the pocket of my car door, even pre-Covid.  I would use it after being in a store during cold & flu season, so I'd think of it primarily from October through April.  I live in Wisconsin, and it never froze!

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A hand sanitizer with 70% alcohol is not going to freeze at temperatures where human life can exist.

I got my car insurance bill yesterday. It went down. There was a printed note included that said they were reducing rates because people were driving less during the pandemic.

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32 minutes ago, chessiegal said:

I got my car insurance bill yesterday. It went down. There was a printed note included that said they were reducing rates because people were driving less during the pandemic.

Shhh!
 👁️👁️ 
***don't tell the car insurance companies that people are driving crazier during the pandemic,
and that people who never before went for walks or bicycled are walking on the wrong side of the street and riding on streets with no shoulders 2 blocks away and parallel to the bike path, and first-time dog owners are walking their dogs in the middle of the road***

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7 hours ago, chessiegal said:

I got my car insurance bill yesterday. It went down. There was a printed note included that said they were reducing rates because people were driving less during the pandemic.

I've gotten two checks from my insurance company; the first one was around $63 and the second was about $42. I just got my bill recently (gotta pay that tonight) but I don't think it's changed much from last year.

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Is it normal to have the shakes or to be this fatigued during a pandemic? The reason I ask this because I lost 12 pounds recently and I have been doing rigorous exercises everyday. I feel great when do the exercises, but when I rest, I feel fatigued. I almost have these weird dreams and I wake up, shaking. Either my sugar is low or maybe my exercises are way too vigorous for my body. I love to do exercise, but I wondered if fatigue is setting in. Anybody been having these lately?

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8 minutes ago, Robert Lynch said:

Is it normal to have the shakes or to be this fatigued during a pandemic? The reason I ask this because I lost 12 pounds recently and I have been doing rigorous exercises everyday. I feel great when do the exercises, but when I rest, I feel fatigued. I almost have these weird dreams and I wake up, shaking. Either my sugar is low or maybe my exercises are way too vigorous for my body. I love to do exercise, but I wondered if fatigue is setting in. Anybody been having these lately?

Anxiety can certainly cause shakiness and fatigue (even if you don't consciously recognize that the anxiety is there).

Are you sure you're eating enough to support your level of exercise? That can do it, too. 

Might be a good idea to check in with your doctor.

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16 minutes ago, ams1001 said:

Anxiety can certainly cause shakiness and fatigue (even if you don't consciously recognize that the anxiety is there).

Are you sure you're eating enough to support your level of exercise? That can do it, too. 

Might be a good idea to check in with your doctor.

Thank you.

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1 hour ago, ams1001 said:
1 hour ago, Robert Lynch said:

Is it normal to have the shakes or to be this fatigued during a pandemic? The reason I ask this because I lost 12 pounds recently and I have been doing rigorous exercises everyday. I feel great when do the exercises, but when I rest, I feel fatigued. I almost have these weird dreams and I wake up, shaking. Either my sugar is low or maybe my exercises are way too vigorous for my body. I love to do exercise, but I wondered if fatigue is setting in. Anybody been having these lately?

...Might be a good idea to check in with your doctor.

The most obvious sign that I had cancer was increasing weight loss and weakness progressing over 2 years. 
If I had eventually noticed the egg-sized lump over my stomach in 2020 instead of 2016 and put off going to the doctor because of the pandemic, I would have died 6 months later of stage IV cancer. 
OTOH, if I had been diagnosed a year or two earlier, then, instead of enduring a year's worth of chemo and surgeries, a few snips during a colonoscopy would have taken care of it. 
So, my 2 cents worth:
Yes. See a doctor. And get a second opinion if that doctor doesn't figure it out.
If you're really anxious about going to the doctor's office, start with a video visit.
 

Edited by shapeshifter
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You might want to get your B-12 level checked. Not having enough B-12 can make you feel fatigued. I had no idea until my doctor checked it and I had less than half of the lowest recommendation.  Got a round of shots to bring it back up initially, and now I take a daily supplement.

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I went to vote today. Our county has a wait time website and I bet yours (everyone) does too. It took about 45 minutes but the process was smooth. My state doesn't have a mask mandate but the city does when in public and inside government buildings. Nearly everyone outside was wearing a mask and everyone was distancing properly. Once inside we had a small queue and they had every party stand by a poll. They only allowed a certain amount of people in at a time and were really efficient about moving the line and keeping people apart. The poll workers were all masked and there was plexiglass between them and us. The voting machines were the only place that wasn't spaced out but each machine had the privacy dividers and it didn't feel unsafe.

On 10/17/2020 at 9:19 AM, SuprSuprElevated said:

Election Day has become Election Month.  It will be interesting to see how that evolves going forward.

It's voting season! It goes right along with pumpkin spice season and candy corn season and comfy pants season.

41628058.jpg

 

 

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Do you really need to take one daily (not arguing, haha--I'm no doctor!)? I have to take it because of a vegan diet, but I need it only once or twice a week, if that. 

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I’ve been lurk-following this thread for a while now. Helps to know I’m not alone and that others are just as scared and trying their best to navigate our weird current climate with health and sanity in check.

So I somehow became a frontline worker thanks to new state rules—I teach at a state residential school and have been working with my fragile special needs students here since August. I basically live in a mask all day and wash my hands as much as a nurse. 
We’ve already had one schoolwide Covid outbreak that started in my classroom, mind you. Some staff and all my students got it, including my EA...but I didn’t, shockingly enough(tested negative for it twice). It’s been nearly a month and my EA still can’t taste/smell, although she’s age 50, not in the best health and would allow my students to hug her when I would always refuse. But I’m relatively healthy in my early 40’s and practically live in my mask/often wear a shield, and I keep my distance/don’t ever gather with groups. 

Still...I come in every day to work with a faint feeling of dread. I’m convinced that we’ll have yet another random outbreak here any day now. There are just way too many different staff members and students here for all of us to miraculously remain unaffected.

So I don’t feel safe or protected. I feel almost resigned to risk my health or risk my job.
And at least it’s a great job and I get paid better than other teachers in my state due to my specialty area and degree here...but I’m so disgusted that teachers and students all over the world are being forced into these unsafe situations. Online learning isn’t perfect, but when did school become an automatic babysitting facility? 
We teachers aren’t nurses; we didn’t sign up for this, even though we often had to act like makeshift nurses at times. Even servers and bartenders are more protected than we are. Even retail workers can keep their space and are able to remove themselves when necessary, but we’re stuck all day in poorly ventilated classrooms now with these germ-catcher students who get sent to school sick or well(temperatures taken really don’t mean anything). It feels wrong all around. And I love it here, but if I were financially able, I’d be quarantining at home.

I haven’t exactly been perfect otherwise and still visit well-spaced bars and restaurant patios, but I need some sort of sanity and something to look forward to otherwise now that I’m stuck on the frontlines. And I still don’t feel safe going on a plane or hitting the gym, of course.
 

But my teaching is suffering. And my students are suffering. And this all just feels so pointless to me currently. Until there’s actually a cure for this insidious virus, I don’t feel like I’ll ever feel like myself again...and that’s a lousy feeling. 
 

I’m really trying to stay hopeful though...my typically ready smile and cheerful demeanor otherwise hides a lot of fear and apathy.

Edited by Sun-Bun
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8 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Is it normal to have the shakes or to be this fatigued during a pandemic? The reason I ask this because I lost 12 pounds recently and I have been doing rigorous exercises everyday. I feel great when do the exercises, but when I rest, I feel fatigued. I almost have these weird dreams and I wake up, shaking. Either my sugar is low or maybe my exercises are way too vigorous for my body. I love to do exercise, but I wondered if fatigue is setting in. Anybody been having these lately?

Make sure the doctor doesn't gloss over your fatigue, some here have been dismissive of that.    Make sure they check your sugar levels, iron levels, B-12, and Vitamin D.    Also, a full thyroid panel, not just some.    And I've learned that if a physician or other practitioner doesn't take you seriously, switch doctors even if you just go to urgent care for a while. 

There are two major hospitals where I live, and both corporations are really good about weeding out practitioners that aren't doing a good job for their patients, so if you are happy with a doctor, or other practitioner, go on their website, and tell them you are.   But don't accept less than good care, and tell the companies that run the medical groups about that too.   

 

Edited by CrazyInAlabama
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My oldest daughter just posted on FaceBook that she's lonely because of the pandemic. 😢
We live 2000 miles apart and don't talk often. 
I'm glad I saw her in February. 

 

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On 10/19/2020 at 10:47 PM, Calvada said:

I wear disposable gloves when pumping gas, and I put some in my pocket and pull them out when I do self checkout at the grocery store.  

I have always kept a small container (3 oz. or so) or hand sanitizer in the pocket of my car door, even pre-Covid.  I would use it after being in a store during cold & flu season, so I'd think of it primarily from October through April.  I live in Wisconsin, and it never froze!

I have always kept hand sanitizer in the car except in very hot weather when it can make the container blow up to strange proportions, making me wonder about its effectiveness.  But I also keep it in my purse.  I take off/put on gloves a lot if I'm out, but I keep the used ones in a Ziploc bag in the car and then wash them periodically.  I also sanitize my still-gloved hands before removing them according to the much publicized YouTube instructions for how to remove surgical gloves without contaminating yourself.  I stick them in the center console so as not to touch them too much, then collect them later while still wearing gloves to put in the Ziploc bag. 

Before the pandemic I didn't wear gloves while pumping gas but always sanitized liberally afterward.  I always sanitized liberally after touching anything communal, such as door handles, keypads, menus, pens, salt shakers, shopping carts (and I always used the wipes offered for those too) etc.  Whenever I ate out pre-pandemic there was always a mini bottle of sanitizer on the table.  I have lots of them and refill them with sanitizer often.  I don't use no-name/unrecognizable brands of sanitizer.  I learned early on not to trust them from buying them at the dollar store and finding out that they were either sticky, smelled awful, or dried out my hands.  I have also read that some of them can contain the wrong amounts/types of alcohol and can actually be bad to use.  During the pandemic it has been impossible to find Purell, but I have found refill sized Germ-X at Target, which I have bought several bottles of, plus I am actually still using the stash of Purell I stocked up on in February.  I wasn't even thinking about Covid yet, it was just a happy coincidence that I bought a few bottles when I saw it on sale.  Purell was never easy to find in the refill size at a reasonable price, so when I saw that I bought a few.  I wish I had bought more but I have found the Germ-X so I'm good now!

BTW, to all those friends of mine that used to make fun of me for sanitizing so much and those that poo-pooed me, a big fat Bronx Cheer to you now, LOL.  In recent years since I stopped working 4 years ago I have gotten sick a LOT less.  In fact, before my husband caught a flu-like virus from a passenger in his limo. in August of 2019 and gave it to me, I had not been sick with even a cold in 4 years.  At my local CVS and on TV they are pushing getting a flu vaccine heavily - I don't want to put that down because I always get a flu shot, but if you're putting yourself in danger of getting the flu, you're also potentially putting yourself in danger of getting Covid.  I realize it's probably better to be safe than sorry but I am not rushing out for the flu vaccine this year just yet.

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On 10/18/2020 at 12:35 PM, ams1001 said:

I read once that Wednesday evening is the best time to go grocery shopping. It's the middle of the week so parents are usually busy with kids and their homework or other activities, and stores often get deliveries on Tuesdays so produce and stuff is freshly stocked.

Yeah, I think it also depends on the area but around here Tuesdays/Wednesdays mid afternoon are not at all crowded and best stocked, probably because all the parents are dealing with kids for one reason or another - we have a mini-rush hour around here at around 3:00 p.m. with all the soccer moms getting kids and for some reason it hasn't changed during the pandemic, so the stores are pretty empty then.  They start to fill up again at around 4:00 p.m. or so with the after work crowd.  But don't knock Sundays after 4:00 p.m. - at least around here it turns suddenly into a ghost town, even lighter than on Tuesday/Wednesdays.  Only later on Sunday the stores are pretty depleted of stock.

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12 hours ago, MargeGunderson said:

You might want to get your B-12 level checked. Not having enough B-12 can make you feel fatigued. I had no idea until my doctor checked it and I had less than half of the lowest recommendation.  Got a round of shots to bring it back up initially, and now I take a daily supplement.

12 hours ago, TattleTeeny said:

Do you really need to take one daily (not arguing, haha--I'm no doctor!)? I have to take it because of a vegan diet, but I need it only once or twice a week, if that. 

I recently found out that B-12 deficiency is prevalent in seniors due to the body becoming less able to absorb it, so B-12 supplements are recommended for anyone over a certain age.  My father had to get B-12 shots due to a deficiency - one of the reasons he had nurses coming over in March (which is how he caught Covid).  I take a B-complex or a multivitamin with a B-complex in them.

 

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8 hours ago, Sun-Bun said:

I’ve been lurk-following this thread for a while now. Helps to know I’m not alone and that others are just as scared and trying their best to navigate our weird current climate with health and sanity in check.

So I somehow became a frontline worker thanks to new state rules—I teach at a state residential school and have been working with my fragile special needs students here since August. I basically live in a mask all day and wash my hands as much as a nurse. 
We’ve already had one schoolwide Covid outbreak that started in my classroom, mind you. Some staff and all my students got it, including my EA...but I didn’t, shockingly enough(tested negative for it twice). It’s been nearly a month and my EA still can’t taste/smell, although she’s age 50, not in the best health and would allow my students to hug her when Irefuse. But I’m relatively healthy and practically live in my mask, often wear a shield, and I keep my distance/don’t ever gather with groups. 

Still...I come in every day to work with a faint feeling of dread. I’m convinced we’ll have yet another random outbreak here any day. There are just way too many staff members and students here.

I don’t feel safe or protected. I feel almost resigned to risk my health or risk my job.
And it’s a great job...but I’m so disgusted that teachers and students all over the world are being forced into these unsafe situations. Online learning isn’t perfect, but when did school become an automatic babysitting facility? 
We teachers aren’t nurses; we didn’t sign up for this. Even servers and bartenders are more protected than we are. Even retail workers can keep their space and are able to remove themselves when necessary, but we’re stuck all day in poorly ventilated classrooms now with these germ-catchers. It feels wrong all around. And I love it here, but if I were financially able, I’d be quarantining at home.

I haven’t exactly been perfect otherwise and still visit well-spaced bars and restaurant patios...but I need some sort of sanity and something to look forward to otherwise now that I’m stuck on the frontlines. And I still don’t feel safe going on a plane or hitting the gym. 
 

But my teaching is suffering. And my students are suffering. And this all just feels so pointless to me currently. Until there’s actually a cure for this insidious virus, I don’t feel like I’ll ever feel like myself again...and that’s a lousy feeling. 
 

I’m really trying to stay hopeful though...my typically ready smile and cheerful demeanor otherwise hides a lot of fear and apathy.

I can't even imagine the amount of stress you're under, but then again I've had my own reasons to live in such fear due to the pandemic, so I have some idea.

Not that you asked for advice, but if you are open to any, the only advice I would offer right now is to find out about getting some counseling.  We are all in a crisis, we need emotional support.  Thanks to someone on this board I found out that my insurance company is picking up the copay for mental health counseling until at least the end of this year, and so far it has helped a lot.  So I would suggest finding out if that copay waiver applies to you, and even if not, to look into counseling.  If you've been reading here you might know that I lost my father to Covid in April - he lived 100 miles from here in NYC.  I am still dealing with his apartment, have to sell it, clean it out, etc.  I am older and worried about being a "high risk" person - My husband and I have no income right now, etc., etc. - So I know about debilitating stress and I worry that you may be headed for a really bad burnout.  I honestly don't think I could handle being in a "front line" job right now - My sister in law was working in a government sponsored program for special needs kids in a school - she wasn't a teacher but an aide of some sort.  She is 66 and when they reopened school she felt like you and decided to retire a year earlier than planned - she was trying to be there long enough to be "vested" in the medical coverage, but her fears won out and she decided to leave - much to the relief of the rest of her family and her husband, who has cancer.  She is lucky that she can do that.  Most people aren't that lucky.  Right now we all need support and guidance first and foremost, so that's my advice.  Best wishes and ((hugs)).

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12 hours ago, Yeah No said:

I can't even imagine the amount of stress you're under, but then again I've had my own reasons to live in such fear due to the pandemic, so I have some idea.

Not that you asked for advice, but if you are open to any, the only advice I would offer right now is to find out about getting some counseling.  We are all in a crisis, we need emotional support.  Thanks to someone on this board I found out that my insurance company is picking up the copay for mental health counseling until at least the end of this year, and so far it has helped a lot.  So I would suggest finding out if that copay waiver applies to you, and even if not, to look into counseling.  If you've been reading here you might know that I lost my father to Covid in April - he lived 100 miles from here in NYC.  I am still dealing with his apartment, have to sell it, clean it out, etc.  I am older and worried about being a "high risk" person - My husband and I have no income right now, etc., etc. - So I know about debilitating stress and I worry that you may be headed for a really bad burnout.  I honestly don't think I could handle being in a "front line" job right now - My sister in law was working in a government sponsored program for special needs kids in a school - she wasn't a teacher but an aide of some sort.  She is 66 and when they reopened school she felt like you and decided to retire a year earlier than planned - she was trying to be there long enough to be "vested" in the medical coverage, but her fears won out and she decided to leave - much to the relief of the rest of her family and her husband, who has cancer.  She is lucky that she can do that.  Most people aren't that lucky.  Right now we all need support and guidance first and foremost, so that's my advice.  Best wishes and ((hugs)).

Thank you SO much for such a heartfelt and kind post, @Yeah No! I am so very sorry for the loss of your father over all this...how insanely stressful for you all around. Hugs right back to you. And all my best to your sister as well...you’ve really been dealt a tough hand, sounds like.

I definitely need to look into mental health counseling though, so thanks for the reminder. It is covered under our network, so I should take advantage.
I think a lot of the stress of being here now during Covid is also due to a particular student of mine; she has a terminal disease that is taking ahold of her right before my very eyes, and it breaks my heart that she’s not getting to enjoy her last few living years here fully. She absolutely adores school, but the lack of field trips or fun outside activities have really taken a toll on her mentally and so her current health has regressed far more rapidly than originally expected(and I fully blame Covid)...between just dealing with her constant fits and loud crying, bits of aggression and seeing things that don’t exist, it really is starting to take a toll on ME emotionally just dealing with her daily downward spiral. I even nearly broke down discussing it to my husband last night at happy hour! 
 

Hang in there, folks; glad we’re here together to uplift and support, at least.

Edited by Sun-Bun
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12 hours ago, Yeah No said:

BTW, to all those friends of mine that used to make fun of me for sanitizing so much and those that poo-pooed me, a big fat Bronx Cheer to you now, LOL.  In recent years since I stopped working 4 years ago I have gotten sick a LOT less.  In fact, before my husband caught a flu-like virus from a passenger in his limo. in August of 2019 and gave it to me, I had not been sick with even a cold in 4 years. 

Did you start sanitizing four years ago, when you stopped working?  If the sanitizing pre-dates that, then I suspect the reason you haven't gotten sick in the last four years has more to do with stopping working, which means you're probably exposed to a lot fewer people who might give you something. 

I've always played fast and loose with germs--never using hand sanitizer, and washing my hands only if they're dirty (certainly not just because I'd been to the grocery store).  And I almost never get sick, and haven't had a flu shot in years.  What I think makes the difference is that I'm never around children.  I haven't had to go to a workplace in forever.  And these days, I'm almost never around people at all, and when I am, it's just passersby in a grocery store and I'm wearing a mask. 

I'm better positioned to avoid the flu this year than ever before, and generally don't get it anyway.  We shall see.

 

On 10/18/2020 at 8:44 AM, Quof said:

I'm puzzled by the gas pumping issue.   Before Covid, were people pumping their own gas and then touching their face?  I've always kept a pair of ratty old gloves in my car for pumping gas, and also had a container of wipes (not disinfecting ones) just to clean the smell of gas off my hands.  I don't do anything differently now.

I use my bare hands to pump gas, and I'm sure I've touched my face afterward.  My hands almost never smell like gas, and if they did, I imagine if I didn't have water in the car to splash on them, I would dip a paper towel into the windshield washer bucket thing and try to wipe off the gas smell. 

I don't like washing my hands in public restrooms because the industrial soap most of them use smells terrible to me, and I can't rinse enough to get the smell to go away completely.   It's particularly annoying if I'm eating, because my hands are up by my face, wafting the soap smell around.  I've never been able to find one good thing about being a super-smeller.

 

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38 minutes ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

I've never been able to find one good thing about being a super-smeller.

Well, when I was a child, my drunken father left something on the stove and went to bed.  There were no batteries in the smoke detectors, because drunken father had removed them long ago.  I was the only one to wake up when the house filled with toxic smoke from the burning metal, even our elderly dog slept through it.  I got up, opened all the windows and doors until the smoke cleared, let the dog out for air, then went back to bed. The next morning, no one believed me until I showed them the charred pan.  So a super-schnozz can come in handy.

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14 hours ago, Yeah No said:

BTW, to all those friends of mine that used to make fun of me for sanitizing so much and those that poo-pooed me, a big fat Bronx Cheer to you now, LOL.  In recent years since I stopped working 4 years ago I have gotten sick a LOT less. 

I used to work in San Francisco & took the train in every day. I used to get terrible colds/flu 6 or 7 times a year. Then I started washing my hands every day when I got to work & when I got home again. I washed them before I did anything else. I pretty much never got sick after that, I was amazed at how much it helped.

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Has anyone tried these "3D Printed Maskframes" or something similar to improve breathing while wearing a cloth mask:
https://inventive-usa.com/products/3d-printed-maskframes
or
https://little-flair.com/products/3d-breath-support
I bought a couple of Etsy Masks that fit my nose better with glasses not fogging than the other masks I was using, but after washing them a few times they now get sucked up against my nostrils when I breathe in. 

Edited by shapeshifter
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7 hours ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

What I think makes the difference is that I'm never around children.

I think I can confirm that for myself. I don't get sick much but as soon as I'm around children under 10 for a day or 2, I get a cold. I swear, they invent and breed new germs.

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5 minutes ago, supposebly said:

I think I can confirm that for myself. I don't get sick much but as soon as I'm around children under 10 for a day or 2, I get a cold. I swear, they invent and breed new germs.

Yes it’s been “nice” not coming down with the random stomach bug my kids caught at school or dealing with strep throat or ear infections. I actually had my youngest see an ENT due to her constant ear infections back in January but she hasn’t had a single infection this year. No kid has even gotten a cold (knock on wood). I’ve been pumping them full of vitamins though in anticipation of school starting back in a couple of weeks. The oldest two will get to go back a whopping 6 days before their school shuts down for winter break the entire month of December. I don’t think my youngest will ever get to go back to preschool so I’ve resigned myself to homeschooling her and three other girls three days a week at my house. My oldest two need in person learning and as long as their is a teacher willing to do it I’m all for it. Some kids do ok virtually. Mine end up in tears everyday. I don’t look at school as a babysitter. I look at it as a place of higher education that my kids definitely need. All our teachers had a choice in virtual/non virtual and we all had a choice in sending our kids back or not. I obviously chose sending them back for their own well being.

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On 10/20/2020 at 8:59 AM, Robert Lynch said:

Is it normal to have the shakes or to be this fatigued during a pandemic? The reason I ask this because I lost 12 pounds recently and I have been doing rigorous exercises everyday. I feel great when do the exercises, but when I rest, I feel fatigued. I almost have these weird dreams and I wake up, shaking. Either my sugar is low or maybe my exercises are way too vigorous for my body. I love to do exercise, but I wondered if fatigue is setting in. Anybody been having these lately?

Have you always done these exercises, or is this something new?  If it's new, then stop doing them and see if the symptoms go away.  If they go away, then you have the answer, and can try to figure out an alternative way to exercise.  Although fatigue from exercise generally isn't considered abnormal.

If you've been doing the exercises for years, then look at anything else you're doing different before the symptoms started.  Obviously the pandemic, but maybe some changes you've made yourself.

I once had terrible pain at the top of my leg when doing reverse situps in my Jazzercise class.  I had a co-worker whose husband was a physical therapist, so I showed my co-worker where the pain was, and what I was doing when it would be triggered.  She came back the next day and said her husband said it was probably the sheath around the muscle being inflamed, and I needed to lay off the reverse situps until it got un-inflamed or whatever.  So I quit doing the reverse situps for a few weeks, and the pain went away, and after that I could do them again with no ill effects.

Sometimes it's the obvious.

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22 hours ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

I've never been able to find one good thing about being a super-smeller.

Heh. Seriously.
Zoom meetings are so much better both for us super-smellers and for our colleagues: We can't get headaches or nausea or sore throat etc. from "scents," and they can't get annoyed with us for opening windows or turning off fragrance dispensers, etc., and they don't have to wonder what happened to those disappearing fragrance devices or their cans of "air freshener" that I/we tossed in the garbage when no one was looking.  
In June when I'm pretty sure I had mild Covid, my sense of taste was effected, but my sense of smell is so unusually keen normally that I didn't notice any loss, especially being isolated from most of the smells in the world, so, if anyone was wondering, no, being a super-smeller does not make it easier to notice a loss of sense of smell, as far as I can tell. 
Back in the 1960s-70s when I was in my teens and 20s, women with noses of my shape and size or larger were getting rhinoplasty, and I wanted to get one. By the 1980s I was over it, but since the 00s, I've wondered if it would have deadened my sense of smell enough to make socialization easier.  
I really like Zoom for that reason (and others) and hope it continues to be used--just like many technological advances from wars have made their way into our lives in a positive way.
And I've never smelled anything that saved property or life.

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My stepdaughter that lives in St. Petersburg, FL said yesterday that her 7 year old woke up with sniffles, sore throat, and a low grade fever. They took him to a drive by testing place. When I asked how long for results, she said since he had symptoms, his test would get a higher priority. She got the results this afternoon - negative. Yay!

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I'm getting a flu shot next week.  My one worry is an after effect for me is often a mild sore throat.  And because of Covid, I might not know if it's Covid or the shot!  

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6 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Heh. Seriously.
Zoom meetings are so much better both for us super-smellers and for our colleagues: We can't get headaches or nausea or sore throat etc. from "scents," and they can't get annoyed with us for opening windows or turning off fragrance dispensers, etc., and they don't have to wonder what happened to those disappearing fragrance devices or their cans of "air freshener" that I/we tossed in the garbage when no one was looking.  

One bonus of the pandemic at work...they took away as much "communal" stuff as possible, which included the baskets of lotions and sprays (mostly Bath & Body Works-type stuff) that someone put in the bathrooms. (I think the person who originally put them there was trying to unload stuff from her house but then they became a place for people to dump stuff they didn't want.) There are a few B&BW scents I like but most of them are too strong for me. And several of them were tropical scents and I haaate coconut scented stuff.

Though my boss has started making coffee upstairs again this week (they started doing it in the cafeteria during each shift's first break a few weeks ago but it's served by volunteers rather than everyone crowding around the dispensers). He only took out a few cups and one container of powdered creamer (which had been hidden away in the cabinets), though. I'm hoping they'll let us have the microwaves back soon. I don't mind no fridge (insulated bag with ice pack is fine for the five hours between leaving the house and lunch) but the microwave would really expand my lunch options.

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On 10/21/2020 at 2:30 PM, StatisticalOutlier said:

Did you start sanitizing four years ago, when you stopped working?  If the sanitizing pre-dates that, then I suspect the reason you haven't gotten sick in the last four years has more to do with stopping working, which means you're probably exposed to a lot fewer people who might give you something.

No, actually I've been sanitizing for at least 8 years or so and right after that I noticed I wasn't getting sick as much anymore.

I am really hard core with it, though.  I'm so hard core I sanitize my hands after I come back from a rest room where I just washed my hands, LOL.  I sanitize at home too.

I've only gotten sick maybe 3 times in the past 6 years and two of them happened here in my house.  A friend that came over on Thanksgiving about 6 years ago gave me a flu - they were just starting to feel sick that day or they wouldn't have come over.  I was the only person that got sick out of like 10 people (of course).  The other one was last summer when my husband brought home a flu from a passenger in his limousine.  We did our own "contact tracing" to figure out where it came from and that was the likely source because he said this guy was coughing and sneezing the whole way home.

On 10/21/2020 at 3:21 PM, Quof said:

Well, when I was a child, my drunken father left something on the stove and went to bed.  There were no batteries in the smoke detectors, because drunken father had removed them long ago.  I was the only one to wake up when the house filled with toxic smoke from the burning metal, even our elderly dog slept through it.  I got up, opened all the windows and doors until the smoke cleared, let the dog out for air, then went back to bed. The next morning, no one believed me until I showed them the charred pan.  So a super-schnozz can come in handy.

I have a super-schnozz too plus I'm a super taster.  For a few years I smelled a strange odor coming from the air  from the air conditioning in my house.  I had duct cleaning done plus HVAC people inspecting every unit.  Nobody could smell it nor find the source of the odor.  Finally this summer when our central AC unit died on us we had to have a new air handler installed up in the attic and the technician said he found mouse droppings on it.  I am sure this was the source of the smell because since then no smell.  Now we are going to put traps up in the attic.  We don't have the money right now for a pest control service.  Don't get me started on how we wasted money on this years ago with one of those nationally known pest control companies that did nothing but take our money.

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On 10/20/2020 at 10:34 PM, Yeah No said:

I recently found out that B-12 deficiency is prevalent in seniors due to the body becoming less able to absorb it, so B-12 supplements are recommended for anyone over a certain age.  My father had to get B-12 shots due to a deficiency - one of the reasons he had nurses coming over in March (which is how he caught Covid).  I take a B-complex or a multivitamin with a B-complex in them.

 

My late mother ( and RN ) said B 12 levels are what they check first for confusions in seniors often having poor eating habits. My cardiologist put me on it 3 times a week and 1000 mg D one day 2,000 next. It was to treat leg cramps that I’ve suffered  from for years and years. Did the trick. 
Today I had my second load of laundry picked up by nearby service that folds or hangs.  Originally I did it for a comforter set and sheet sets because the washer in my rental sucks big time.   I gave my wonderful strong washer to friends and would often do blankets at their place.   Although I’ve seen them I don’t want to hang around and wash clothes. On the laundry website  has nothing but wonderful reviews. It is also a self serve laundromat and people saw them sanitizing each machine after use.  It was a very nice treat to have it done. . 
 

I have  used hand sanitizer for years, had it hanging from my jeans belt loop when I volunteered at a preschool  at least 10 years ago. 

Yesterday i ordered a meal from Chipotle online  and they say come in and it’ll be on to go shelf. There were maybe four people waiting all spread out and one worker said for everyone go outside she’d bring it to us. Funny sighs on tables outside that are marked for barefoot diners only. What the heck?
it only the second  time I’ve gone into a restaurant not counting 3 mcDonalds drive throughs.  My best friends were so excited they ate inside our favorite Italian place  a day ago.  Doesn’t not appeal to me.  
My car didn’t pass smog so had to go to repair place and mechanic would often not have mask on. Then it failed again so 3 days in repair places.  Then into  a AAA for registration . They are really running a tight ship. Very impressed. 

That is just awful about the teacher dying. I don’t understand the reluctance . Heart breaking. 

Edited by athousandclowns · Reason: Typo thought
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My peeve today is with Amazon. I have been ordering as much stuff...foods included as I can to spend as little time in the grocery store with people not wearing a mask. My last several orders for some reason they are putting white labels on the items. Sometimes they have a "best by" date but  more often nothing at all. My peeve is it covered up the ingredient list. I read a review where someone said the label covered the BBD and replaced it with one further in the future.  This smacks of some kind of fraud...getting rid of old products...yet in this time with all the purchases from Amazon how can they still have stock that old around?

Edited by Gramto6 · Reason: Posted to wrong thread
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I'm having a hard time dealing with hearing about all the surging cases in certain parts of the country.  My heart breaks to hear the predictions of all the deaths to come to add to all the deaths that have already happened.  I burst into tears today to see clips on TV of people in certain states sitting in bars not social distancing or wearing masks - some of them older.  I am not the kind of person that can live in a little bubble and not be intensely emotionally affected by what I'm seeing going on out there.

Even here in CT the case rate is going up, although we are nowhere near in the same situation as other states.  We had our own mini-spike here in my own town of over 50 cases in one week last week (which is unprecedented in this town) when an outbreak occurred in a couple of nursing homes.  I can't imagine what it would be like to live in an area where cases are going up to astronomical levels.  I admit that I hope that doesn't happen here because I'm already sick hearing about it happening elsewhere.  I can't imagine having to live in the middle of that again.  I lived through it last Spring when NY alone experienced over 700 deaths a day and my own father died of Covid.  I have PTSD seeing this happening again and again on my TV in other areas.  It's like a horrible wound that keeps getting reopened.  My heart goes out to all of you on the board that are living in areas where this is happening right now.

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So today is my godson’s 6th birthday. They’re having a party, outside, about 12-14 people (it's just her family, and 8 of them live in her house, plus her uncle and her brother and his wife and 2 kids). I never actually told my friend if I was going to come or not…I hate that it’s even something I have to question. How long until we don’t have to worry about whether it’s safe to go have some cake in the backyard? 😞

(For what it's worth, the NJ covid page on gatherings, which says it was updated three days ago, says "General outdoor gatherings must be limited to 500 people and social distancing must be practiced.")

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