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COVID-19: Personal Stories

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Probably a good thing I took trips to Europe before the lockdown happened. Now, I am stuck in the States! Ahhh! My dad's relatives from Ireland miss me. My mom's relatives are all in Florida. That would be a long time, too. You think this will last until 2022?

Edited by Robert Lynch
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4 hours ago, Robert Lynch said:

Probably a good thing I took trips to Europe before the lockdown happened. Now, I am stuck in the States! Ahhh! My dad's relatives from Ireland miss me. My mom's relatives are all in Florida. That would be a long time, too. You think this will last until 2022?

Yes, I expect mask wearing to continue at least until 2022. Maybe even a permanent custom of global society?
But for now, I too am anxious about plans to permanently relocate a distance that requires flying and to a state that requires quarantining. Fortunately, I just heard that they and a couple of other states are switching to something like first getting a rapid test (not sure if this is before flying or after) and then getting another 3 days later -- so just a 3 day quarantine -- which doesn't sound very scientific to me (at least 5 days would make more sense to me), so I'm not yet sure when I'll do this. 

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11 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

We had a chest freezer in the garage when I was a kid. I often wish I had an extra freezer even before COVID hit because I often cook meals for myself and no one else. I end up having a lot of leftovers so if I want to eat what I made before it goes bad, like soup, it means I need to eat that dish every single day.

Having a freezer would offer me a bit more variety because I could buy a bunch of single serving containers and freeze about half of the meals.

So if I had room, I'd buy one.  I did recently buy a small fridge.  The only issue I discovered is that they don't recommend leaving the small fridge in the garage.  I don't know if that'd apply to current freezers or if it always did and we just ignored those recommendations.

 

We have a smallish side-by-side R/F in the garage, and in fact had a special appliance outlet put in for it when the house was built.  No one ever told us, nor have I read that it isn't recommended.  What is it you've been told about that?  Just curious.  We've had ours for probaby 15+ years, with no issues.

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1 hour ago, SuprSuprElevated said:

We have a smallish side-by-side R/F in the garage, and in fact had a special appliance outlet put in for it when the house was built.  No one ever told us, nor have I read that it isn't recommended.  What is it you've been told about that?  Just curious.  We've had ours for probaby 15+ years, with no issues.

Originally I wanted to put the small fridge in the garage instead of downstairs.  When I read the directions, it said not to.  That's what sent me down the rabbit hole.

I think it's fine if you live somewhere with more moderate temperatures year-round or have an insulted garage that helps moderate outside temps. 

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3 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

Originally I wanted to put the small fridge in the garage instead of downstairs.  When I read the directions, it said not to.  That's what sent me down the rabbit hole.

I think it's fine if you live somewhere with more moderate temperatures year-round or have an insulted garage that helps moderate outside temps. 

Oops.  We're in a location with cold winters and hot summers. Though the garage has a minimal amount of insulation, it isn't heated.  

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My grandmother kept her deep freezer in an unheated garage in Iowa with no problems. I think as long as the temperature in the garage doesn’t get below freezing for long periods of time a freezer or fridge should be okay. 

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We've had a refrigerator in our attached garage for 10 years. Never had a problem. It's not heated, but it never gets below freezing. I remember the salesperson telling us that it wouldn't work if the temperature in the garage got too cold. 

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There are garage ready freezers out there that are designed specifically for more extreme temperatures.

But I also think companies say "you can't do this" with appliances because they don't want to bear any responsibility if it doesn't work optimally or breaks down.  I had the same experience when shopping for a microwave.  I've had a microwave in a raised alcove for years with no problems but when I bought a new one, it had all kinds of requirements I never thought about before about the clearance needed on top, behind and to the side of it. 

I have to say, I do think it matters given the way it's working. 

But ultimately, if the question was whether or not to buy a freezer--if you have the space and like to cook, do it.  When I was cooking more in the early days of COVID, I was losing weight.  But now I don't have the freezer space.

Edited by Irlandesa

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33 minutes ago, Irlandesa said:

But I also think companies say "you can't do this" with appliances because they don't want to bear any responsibility if it doesn't work optimally or breaks down. 

Or often as the result of a lawsuit.  Can't say I blame 'em, but it is annoying.

I had to buy a new convection/microwave recently, and being the rule follower that I am, I read all the instructions and saw that it said to remove the metal rack when cooking if you're not using it (like if you just have stuff on the turntable).  I don't want to hassle with that!  I was inclined to take it seriously, though, because I still remember the miracle of having metal racks in microwaves at all. 

I chose to leave it in.  (At least I could choose--no doubt in the next year or two there will be a sensor in the microwave that can tell the rack is in there with nothing on it, and the microwave won't run if it is.)  Anyway, I haven't noticed any ill effects.  Now, I have noticed that if I heat water in my 2-cup measuring cup, I have to be careful getting it out because it's easy to bump my hand on the underneath of the metal rack, so I've decided that that's the reason for the prohibition--bumping it when taking hot food out and pulling back sharply and spilling the hot food all over you.  If that's the case I wish they'd say that, but good luck with that wording.  Other than, you know, "Be careful when removing hot food."

I got braces on my teeth as an adult.  They told me not to eat ribs.  I asked why.  The gal (I'll call her a gal because in this office, all the dental chairs were in a big open area and there were like 8 or 10 assistants and they all dressed the same (and not scrubs) depending on the day of the week--some days it looked like a Robert Palmer video in there) said, "Gosh, nobody's ever asked that before."  [Of course not--almost all their patients are sullen teenagers who have to wear braces.]  So I said, "Will the barbecue sauce react to the metal and permanently damage my teeth?"  And she laughed and said, "Oh, no.  You might break a bracket."  So I asked what happens if I break a bracket.  And she said, "You have to come in and get it replaced." 

Okay, so I can eat ribs if I'm willing to risk breaking a bracket, and it probably won't even happen if I'm careful.  Big difference, and I was really glad I asked.

But try explaining that to a teenager.  I'd probably just say, "Don't eat ribs" if I were them, too.

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Thank you all for the input on the freezer.  I bought it.  It will arrive Saturday, supposedly.  

The tipping point was "winter" and "soup". 

 

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59 minutes ago, ParadoxLost said:

The tipping point was "winter" and "soup".

You weren't swayed by "cookies"?

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I'm on the edge for a freezer too. I'm 71, live alone and have a refrigerator made in 1998. Small front open freezer. When I moved here to MT from CA in 2004 I bought a brand new GE refrigerator. It lasted exactly 2 months after the 2 yr warranty expired. Bought  current fridge then and it is still going strong. I just want a little more freezer space. In the Winter here it can get well below 0° outside so a garage freezer probably won't work.

What I wonder is if I order a small freezer from Amazon will they bring it in and unbox it? Not sure I have the strength to do it alone. 

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9 hours ago, Gramto6 said:

What I wonder is if I order a small freezer from Amazon will they bring it in and unbox it? Not sure I have the strength to do it alone. 

I wouldn't think so, unless some sort of in-home delivery and set up is shown in the listing.  You would probably be better off buying from a local appliance store or big box store so that you can have that option.  You should still be able to do that on-line or over the phone.

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8 hours ago, SuprSuprElevated said:

You would probably be better off buying from a local appliance store or big box store so that you can have that option.  You should still be able to do that on-line or over the phone.

BUT, here's something to look out for when buying an appliance that you haven't seen in person. We bought our dishwasher from Home Depot online. We actually went in the store, but they didn't have that model, so all we saw were the online photos from the website. When we got the dishwasher, it was not the same as the one in the photos. We discovered that GE had given everyone the wrong photo, so everywhere you could buy it online, you had bad information. After much arguing, Home Depot refunded half our money, but it was aggravating because we didn't get the machine we originally wanted.

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I have a freezer in my basement and couldn't live without it.  I freeze berries in the summer, make freezer jam, make many different types of soup and chili that I freeze in individual serving containers, plus I buy boxes of individually vacuum-packed chicken breasts, steaks, etc. from a local restaurant wholesaler.  I keep frozen veggies on hand, plus the occasional cookie tin or package of ice cream.  During the pandemic I'm very grateful I have the freezer.  One thing I recommend is that you label things with the date you put them in the freezer.  Sometimes when I'm deciding what the menus for the week will be, it helps to know what's been in the freezer the longest.  

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I always label packages for the freezer...when bought, when frozen and try to keep current using things.  With the small freezer space I have sometimes I find something that has fallen in the back or under something that is so old my only option is to toss. Still on the fence re a small separate freezer...

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I might add that for anyone purchasing an auxiliary freezer, spend another $100-$150 bucks and buy a vacuum sealer.  It has enabled me to take advantage of sales on beef, chicken, etc., and prevents freezer burn on anything you won't be using in a couple of months.  And yes, always label your packages with date, item, and weight.

Edited by SuprSuprElevated
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OMG you guys!! I went out!!! For dinner!!! At a restaurant!!!!

Met a friend for dinner who I haven't seen since before all this started. Don't even remember how long before. He had asked me a few weeks ago about doing dinner at his house (outside) but we never got a plan together; he's having his house painted so his wife took their kids out of town for a couple days to get them out of the house so he texted me a few days ago to see if I was free to catch up. 

I was a little nervous because I didn't know how the restaurant would have things (never been there before) and I was afraid it would be too cold out (it's November in New Jersey! it was 63 degrees...after dark!), but it was fine. They normally have an outdoor seating area on a patio (overlooking a small pond which I'm sure would have been lovely if it wasn't so dark out) and also set up a tent next to the parking lot that's heated (with a few tables on the walkway next to the tent and up the side of the building) plus limited indoor seating (25% in NJ. though I only saw a few people inside). We were in the corner of the patio and when I got there no one else was out there (most people seemed to be seated in the tent). Another table was seated behind us at some point but they didn't have to walk past us, so the only one to approach our table was the waiter, who was properly masked.

And their four-cheese ravioli was pretty good.

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I'm cooking a lot more with the pandemic going on.  I feel a lot better and I think I'll continue to do this once it's all over.  Whenever that may be.

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4 hours ago, PRgal said:

 Whenever that may be.

That's the whole problem, isn't it? When is this going to be over? It's been 10 months already, & it seems like every day I hear how the previous day's new cases are the highest yet reported. How can this be? I am so tired of being confined to my house, I am so tired of wearing a mask & gloves, I am so tired of putting all mail & packages aside for 3 days so that the covid dies off on it, I am so tired of going through a whole sterilizing routine when we get food delivered, I am so tired of it all. 

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I'm in Oregon and our poor governor just had to tighten restrictions for at least the third time. She's firm but civil in her statements. Me? I'd be all, "Oh, for fucks sake! Since some of you can't act like goddamn adults but instead choose to ignore science and are deficient in common sense, you're all grounded until I say so. Unfortunately, I can't punish just the covidiots, especially the whiny ammosexuals who wave guns around outside the capitol--ooh, I'm sooo scared!--so you have my permission to ostracize them. Fun idea, especially for seniors: tell someone at the grocery store that you didn't know social distancing meant up your ass."

Edited by Scout Finch
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Drove downtown with the window rolled up yesterday in my city for the first time in many months- and, despite there being signs all over the tourist spots   insisting on masks being required, as best I could see, maybe one in 20 of the tourists bothered to even carry them much less wear them! And, except for a very few folks standing in marked lines, no one was making the slightest attempt at social distancing and there were folks of ALL ages in that crowd.  Oh, and despite cops directing traffic, no one was trying to enforce these edicts! Yeah, the crowds were somewhat smaller than they were before the affliction but it was still rather disheartening how so many seemed to think that they could outsmart the affliction by not thinking the rules needed to apply to them! 

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2 hours ago, GaT said:

That's the whole problem, isn't it? When is this going to be over? It's been 10 months already, & it seems like every day I hear how the previous day's new cases are the highest yet reported. How can this be?

Because there is no unified message, no unified plan and people are selfish assholes. It's a free-for-all, not just at the state level, or the city level but at a store level. Minimum wage employees do not get paid enough to be mask police and deal with the potential threats of violence of enforcing corporate policy.
 

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I am so tired of being confined to my house, I am so tired of wearing a mask & gloves, I am so tired of putting all mail & packages aside for 3 days so that the covid dies off on it, I am so tired of going through a whole sterilizing routine when we get food delivered, I am so tired of it all. 

We now understand that COVID is transmitted through the air by being in close contact with someone who is infected. As long as you aren't touching things then immediately touching your face in a 'perfect storm' scenario you're going to be fine. This opinion piece by an "assistant professor of exposure and assessment science and director of the Healthy Buildings Program at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health" is what really got me over the fear of contact transmission from groceries, deliveries and the mail.  I hope it helps you, too.

Here's the snippet that really made it click.

 

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Yes, the virus can be detected on some surfaces for up to a day, but the reality is that the levels drop off quickly. For example, the article shows that the virus’s half-life on stainless steel and plastic was 5.6 hours and 6.8 hours, respectively. (Half-life is how long it takes the viral concentration to decrease by half, then half of that half, and so on until it’s gone.)

Now, let’s examine the full causal chain that would have to exist for you to get sick from a contaminated Amazon package at your door or a gallon of milk from the grocery store.

In the case of the Amazon package, the driver would have to be infected and still working despite limited symptoms. (If they were very ill, they would most likely be home; if they had no symptoms, it’s unlikely they would be coughing or sneezing frequently.) Let’s say they wipe their nose, don’t wash their hands and then transfer some virus to your package.

Even then, there would be a time lag from when they transferred the virus until you picked up the package at your door, with the virus degrading all the while. In the worst-case scenario, a visibly sick driver picks up your package from the truck, walks to your front door and sneezes into their hands or directly on the package immediately before handing it to you.

Even in that highly unlikely scenario, you can break this causal chain.

In the epidemiological world, we have a helpful way to think about it: the “Sufficient-Component Cause model.” Think of this model as pieces of a pie. For disease to happen, all of the pieces of the pie have to be there: sick driver, sneezing/coughing, viral particles transferred to the package, a very short time lapse before delivery, you touching the exact same spot on the package as the sneeze, you then touching your face or mouth before hand-washing.

 

Edited by theredhead77
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I’m in a NE state that locked down early, you have to wear a mask, etc. and even here I’ve noticed that people are getting lax and standing way too close. I think it’s just fatigue from dealing with this since March. I get it, I’m tired too, but cases are starting to rise again here. I’m preparing like we are going back into lockdown. 

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I have food and groceries delivered a lot and for a while had a little table next to the door to set things on, wipe them down, and take them to the kitchen. After checking CDC guidelines, like the ones theRedhead77 quoted from above, I relaxed a bit. I got tired of the table taking up my limited space but since I removed it I started forgetting to take any precautions. I now keep a bottle of hand sanitizer next to the door to remind me and I use it before I reach for stuff on the doorstep. Not worried about the groceries inside because of the time gap but I take care with the bags that the driver just carried to my door. I don't touch my face until after I've unpacked the bags and put the empty ones elsewhere. My risk of exposure is already low because we only go into the office (which strictly takes all precautions) once a week and aside from that I only go out for errands once a a week or less. Limited things like the Kaiser pharmacy, grabbing a few things from a grocery store once a month at most, mailing weekly workplace check run at a USPS box, and stops at drive-thrus. I use hand sanitizer just before I get to the window for both my and the drive-thru employee's safety.

Edited by Scout Finch
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Lately, I've been struggling with wondering if I'm too paranoid. It's not that I ever really went out socializing before but I'm seeing on friend's FB pages where they go out fairly regularly, and for the most part these are people I know who take the pandemic seriously. One couple are going out about once a week but it's only to the same few places where she told me they know the owners personally and the extent to which all precautions are taken. For the past 15+ years they also usually do a huge Halloween installation in their fenced in yard and people view it from the street but didn't this year because there was no way they could have controlled crowd spacing out on the public street and all those people would have been at risk. They also normally have a huge annual Halloween party which they also did not do. So, again, it's not like they're downplaying the severity of the pandemic. Another friend went to a potluck recently, although I don't know what or if precautions were taken.

The pandemic is really messing with my mind. Am I just too scared and it's making me a bit delusional? Do I need to completely cut myself off from going anywhere unless it's an absolute necessity? It would not be quite so difficult if I weren't living alone and didn't really have a social circle to begin with. It kind of feels like I'm denying myself the ability to have any life at all right now given how much I see people managing to have one albeit with precautions. 

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When I say food deliveries, I mean restaurant delivery. When you order, you have no idea what kind of precautions the people who make or pack your food are taking. We get food deliveries all the time by drivers who aren't wearing masks or gloves.  People could be sneezing or coughing all over your order & you have no way of knowing it. 

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9 minutes ago, GaT said:

When I say food deliveries, I mean restaurant delivery. When you order, you have no idea what kind of precautions the people who make or pack your food are taking. We get food deliveries all the time by drivers who aren't wearing masks or gloves.  People could be sneezing or coughing all over your order & you have no way of knowing it. 

I do that, too. However, the CDC and, I think, the FDA say that the virus does not survive on hot foods. They do advise you to remove it from the restaurant's container and transfer it to a plate or whatever.

Edited by Scout Finch
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19 minutes ago, GaT said:

When I say food deliveries, I mean restaurant delivery. When you order, you have no idea what kind of precautions the people who make or pack your food are taking. We get food deliveries all the time by drivers who aren't wearing masks or gloves.  People could be sneezing or coughing all over your order & you have no way of knowing it. 

They could have been doing that pre-COVID too. Restaurants still have to answer to the health department. If they’re using door dash it may be a sign that in person pick-up is a better option for you. More control and door dash charges the business ridiculous fees too. 
 

Obviously people have to do what they’re comfortable with. I just remember how awful I felt until I took some of the control back.

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Here in NJ we’re required to wear masks when going into places of business and most people do from what I’ve observed.  The grocery store that I go to weekly has the hand sanitizer, hand wipes for the cart handles and markings on the floor however I don’t think they’ve been monitoring the number of people in the store for a while now.  Yesterday I ran in there for a few minutes to get something (I didn’t find it) - the number of people in the store along with the checkout lines made it feel like it was before all this started.  Since I was in there for no longer than 5 minutes this did not worry me.  This morning when I did my weekly shopping it was less crowded.  

On Halloween when I was walking around my neighborhood I didn’t see any trick or treaters but a couple of my neighbors had a table set up outside their houses with some candy to take.  I don’t know if they had any takers.  

Anyway cases have been going up statewide (not as much in my area) for weeks now and our Governor is talking about new restrictions which as far as I know have not been announced yet.   Glad I got my hair cut when I did.  

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Yesterday, my parents (both diabetic and in their 70s) went for the week to Myrtle Beach. They have a kind of timeshare program with a hotel/resort chain, and they stay at one of the high-rise condo buildings at the beach. The check-in process and typical employee interaction is like that at a hotel. Beyond that, they'd be getting groceries. I don't know how much eating out they're doing, but I know they're doing it at least some at home. My dad loves to play golf, but I don't know if he's doing that.

It's not peak season, but there are still plenty of people at the beach in early November. Thousands of seniors ("Snow Birds") travel yearly to the Grand Strand for the winter. Mom texted that it was the first time they'd been anywhere this year. She might mean together, because I know that's not true of her alone. She's been on at least two solo trips, though minor and regional.

I didn't even respond to her text. What do I even say anymore? "You're being selfish and irresponsible and I'm really disappointed in you." Nothing matters but them getting to go somewhere. MOST PEOPLE HAVEN'T GONE ANYWHERE THIS YEAR, MOM, DAMN.

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My cousin was supposed to drive me and my bird to the vet tomorrow. But my grandfather now has to bring his car to the garage for an oil and tire change and it's his car she drives. Despite the appointment being for 2 PM, and my vet visit being at 11:40 AM, she is hesitant to take me and now I might have to Uber there instead and back. And that is stressing me out. I haven't ridden in an Uber in forever. Is it secure? I don't want to reschedule the appointment but I'm so annoyed. Grandpa always has a habit of springing stuff on people last minute and ruining their plans, grrr. 

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1 hour ago, jewel21 said:

now I might have to Uber there instead and back

This reminds me that I need to call taxi companies to find out which, if any, have installed plexiglass shields between the driver and the back seat/passengers. My daughter says all NYC cabs have that now, but I would be trying to get from a suburb to the Chicago O’Hare Airport. 

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On 11/5/2020 at 10:54 AM, Irlandesa said:

There are garage ready freezers out there that are designed specifically for more extreme temperatures.

Yes, this is important.  A couple of years ago when I had a fridge repairman over he told Mr. Yeah No and I that you have to make sure that any fridge or freezer that goes in an unheated/cooled space like a garage is specifically designed to exist in that kind of environment.  We had mentioned to him that we were considering getting a new fridge for the kitchen and putting the old one out in the garage.  He told us that our fridge at the time was OK to use in a garage because it was 14 years old at the time and he said that older fridges were all OK to use in a garage, but the new ones made within the past few years are not unless they say they are somewhere in their written material due to a change in the way they are made now.

Fast forward to the pandemic - even though money has been tight I realized that we were going to need the extra fridge/freezer space due to shopping less and stocking up more so I ordered a new fridge during the July 4th sales this year from Home Depot.  We were lucky enough to get our huge 28 cubic foot side-by-side in only 2 weeks, which considering how things have been delayed because of the pandemic was fantastic.  After that sale it became much harder to get that particular brand and model (Whirlpool) without waiting much longer.  

Since we put the old fridge out in the garage it has done just fine, even though when we started out outdoor temps. were in the '90s.  And we are loving the extra space.  The new fridge is absolutely phenomenal.  Best money decision I've made in a long time.

My next goal is to buy a vacuum sealer, although I am getting bogged down in the reviews and don't know which one to buy.

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7 hours ago, MargeGunderson said:

I’m in a NE state that locked down early, you have to wear a mask, etc. and even here I’ve noticed that people are getting lax and standing way too close. I think it’s just fatigue from dealing with this since March. I get it, I’m tired too, but cases are starting to rise again here. I’m preparing like we are going back into lockdown. 

Me too on all counts.  I have been going out during off hours to stores to stock up.  I went out today at around dinner time and the stores were empty - the parking lots are full at mid day on a Sunday so I waited until I felt more comfortable about going.  I have been stocking up on everything for over a week now.  I've been buying 3 of everything if possible or even more in some cases.  I am lucky that I have the second fridge now plus shelves in the garage to hold non-perishables.  Cases have been rising here too and I am preparing for the worst.  The weather has been beautiful, though.  I have been walking a lot and sitting outside trying to enjoy every last bit of it before the long dark, cold winter begins.

Interestingly, all last week the stores in my area were eerily deserted.  I wonder if the fact that so many people were keeping glued to the TV set or computer for news updates had anything to do with it.  When I went walking in the park I saw more than the usual amount of people with their eyes glued to their phones.  I had my phone app playing a TV station live while I sat on a park bench.

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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

This reminds me that I need to call taxi companies to find out which, if any, have installed plexiglass shields between the driver and the back seat/passengers. My daughter says all NYC cabs have that now, but I would be trying to get from a suburb to the Chicago O’Hare Airport. 

Not to make you and @jewel21 worry more, but I would question how sealed those plexiglass shields are, because most of them that I've seen look pretty flimsy and not sealed at all, like this one (scroll down).  Especially because we now know that the virus is probably airborne, any kind of open and unsealed plexiglass shield is in my opinion not good enough because air is still shared between the back and the front of the vehicle.  This is especially true if the vents are blowing air from the front to the back in a vehicle that has its windows closed.

Of course you may remember that my husband is a limo. driver so this is of utmost importance to us.  I have mentioned before here how he was able to buy a stretch limo. with a heavy duty sealed divider between him and the back (all stretches have this).  Plus his passengers are sitting much farther behind him than in a regular passenger car, AND the vehicle has completely separate ventilation systems that don't share air between the back and front.

In my opinion, I wouldn't trust any other situation.  We are both older and in a higher risk category on a couple of counts so our standards for this kind of thing are higher.  Plus we got some kind of virus in 2019 due to a coughing passenger in his former car so we know how easy it is for this kind of thing to happen.

BTW, he has so little work now, and despite the financial hardship this has caused us he is actually relieved that he isn't feeling like he is on the "front lines" working with people every day and risking his life in the process.

Not sure what kind of alternative I can offer you other than if you're willing to spend more, ask for a stretch limo., LOL.  Or at least ask if whatever partition they put in their vehicles is sealed with tape or whatever over every opening.  I have seen some YouTubes where this is being done.  Plus I would keep my windows open and try to breathe in the outside air as much as possible.

Edited by Yeah No
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@Yeah No, Cook’s Illustrated recommends the Nesco Deluxe Vacuum Sealer, the VacMaster PRO350 Professional Vacuum Sealer - 12" Seal Bar, and the The FoodSaver FM2000 Vacuum Sealing System (all available on Amazon). I’ve been thinking about getting one as well.

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Pfizer’s news is good news for my investment portfolio.  Sorry for sounding like an over-privileged brat (I feel like I have to apologize for this all the time.  People like me are easy targets).  That said, though, I’d probably want to wait for results from other trials before actually celebrating.  Besides, it hasn’t exactly been approved by any government yet. 

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5 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Thanks, @Yeah No! This is very helpful!

You're welcome!  I neglected to mention wearing one of those FDA approved masks like the KN95s, but I'd do that too of course.

2 hours ago, MargeGunderson said:

@Yeah No, Cook’s Illustrated recommends the Nesco Deluxe Vacuum Sealer, the VacMaster PRO350 Professional Vacuum Sealer - 12" Seal Bar, and the The FoodSaver FM2000 Vacuum Sealing System (all available on Amazon). I’ve been thinking about getting one as well.

Thanks, I was going to check on ATK's recommendations as I always do, but you made it that much easier for me.

59 minutes ago, PRgal said:

Pfizer’s news is good news for my investment portfolio.  Sorry for sounding like an over-privileged brat (I feel like I have to apologize for this all the time.  People like me are easy targets).  That said, though, I’d probably want to wait for results from other trials before actually celebrating.  Besides, it hasn’t exactly been approved by any government yet. 

No need to apologize, even us "under-privileged brats" are benefiting from this, like me, in the form of boosting my 401Ks.  But I'm primarily thrilled to hear that it has 90% effectiveness - THAT is the best news of all!

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7 hours ago, Yeah No said:

Not sure what kind of alternative I can offer you other than if you're willing to spend more, ask for a stretch limo., LOL.  Or at least ask if whatever partition they put in their vehicles is sealed with tape or whatever over every opening.  I have seen some YouTubes where this is being done.  Plus I would keep my windows open and try to breathe in the outside air as much as possible.

Yep. I think if both the driver and passenger are wearing masks, have the partition and the window open, that's about as safe as you can get sitting in the car.  I'd also sit in the passenger's side.

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33 minutes ago, Irlandesa said:

Yep. I think if both the driver and passenger are wearing masks, have the partition and the window open, that's about as safe as you can get sitting in the car.  I'd also sit in the passenger's side.

This is what my workplace recommends for those who carpool; only two people per car and the passenger sit in the back seat passenger side, with masks and open windows. I'm sure this doesn't work for everyone (maybe they normally carpool with more people, or some take a local shuttle service which uses those big passenger vans and I don't know if they can open windows on them).

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16 hours ago, Scout Finch said:

I do that, too. However, the CDC and, I think, the FDA say that the virus does not survive on hot foods. They do advise you to remove it from the restaurant's container and transfer it to a plate or whatever.

I've been transferring takeout food to a plate and heating in the oven for 10 minutes. Peace of mind for me.

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16 hours ago, bilgistic said:

I didn't even respond to her text. What do I even say anymore? "You're being selfish and irresponsible and I'm really disappointed in you." Nothing matters but them getting to go somewhere. MOST PEOPLE HAVEN'T GONE ANYWHERE THIS YEAR, MOM, DAMN.

That's not been my experience.  RV sales are setting records.  I haven't been anywhere, but the reports are that campgrounds and RV parks were full over the summer.  That could be perceived as "safer" than staying in a hotel, for example, but these people are otherwise playing tourist and carrying their germs hither and yon.

Attendance at Yellowstone in August 2020 was actually higher than August 2019, by 7.5%.  For the whole season, it was down only about 20% compared to 2019.  Again, Yellowstone might be perceived as "safer" because it's so big, but people don't spread out across those millions of acres. 

I have a friend who was telling me how she and her husband just basically stay home and don't go anywhere, and then added that they'd been on a rafting trip in the Grand Canyon, and on the way there and back from Texas, stopped to see another friend of ours.  They stayed in the apartment our friend has at her store (built it as an Airbnb), instead of with her, but still. 

I'd say that the majority of people I know have traveled somewhere out-of-state.  And a lot of Mr. Outlier's mountainbiking friends have been traveling around to ride--plenty of them came to Colorado over the summer.  They no doubt figure they're being safe by being out in the wilderness instead of in crowds, even if in a different state.

None of these traveling people I know have gotten sick, as far as I know, although we'll never know whether they were asymptomatic spreaders.  But in hindsight, I'm sure they're quite confident in their choices, and to be honest, it does look like it worked out fine.

So I'm the sap who stayed put. 

 

11 hours ago, Yeah No said:

I wonder if the fact that so many people were keeping glued to the TV set or computer for news updates had anything to do with it.  When I went walking in the park I saw more than the usual amount of people with their eyes glued to their phones.  I had my phone app playing a TV station live while I sat on a park bench.

I'm on an election news blackout.  Seriously.  I don't know what happened.  Unfortunately, that means it's impossible to get COVID news, which I'm fascinated by.  It's kind of like tracking a hurricane for me, only we have the Weather Channel for that.  There's no COVID-only news channel or website.  I can track the stats on the CDC website, of course, but I like in-person reports from various places. 

 

5 hours ago, MargeGunderson said:

@Yeah No, Cook’s Illustrated recommends the Nesco Deluxe Vacuum Sealer, the VacMaster PRO350 Professional Vacuum Sealer - 12" Seal Bar, and the The FoodSaver FM2000 Vacuum Sealing System (all available on Amazon). I’ve been thinking about getting one as well.

I bought my vacuum sealer at Goodwill for $5 twelve years ago.  I wasn't shopping for a vacuum sealer, but figured for $5 I'd use it as a test of concept, and maybe upgrade if I like it.  I still use it all the time.  It has zero bells and zero whistles, and is nice and small.  Best $5 impulse buy ever.

BTW, after all this talk about whether to buy an extra freezer and my reporting how my freezer is very small, I realized I do have an extra freezer.  It's a really nice one that came as standard equipment on the RV.  It's down in the underneath, and I've always kept tent stakes and spare windsurfing parts in it.

Apparently in addition to keeping a list of everything that's in my freezer, I need to keep a list of large appliances I have. 

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5 hours ago, PRgal said:

Pfizer’s news is good news for my investment portfolio.  Sorry for sounding like an over-privileged brat (I feel like I have to apologize for this all the time.  People like me are easy targets).  That said, though, I’d probably want to wait for results from other trials before actually celebrating.  Besides, it hasn’t exactly been approved by any government yet. 

I bought shares of Pfizer about 4 months ago for my portfolio as well

 

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4 hours ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

None of these traveling people I know have gotten sick, as far as I know, although we'll never know whether they were asymptomatic spreaders.  But in hindsight, I'm sure they're quite confident in their choices, and to be honest, it does look like it worked out fine.

So I'm the sap who stayed put. 

I have a friend who has barely changed her life at all - and she's taken three family trips out of state. And it's worked out fine for them too. Yet she complains nearly daily about how hard this is. Like, how? You can't go to all the restaurants you want? So what? One day I got fed up and said "Yeah, I know... and that Anne Frank thought she had it hard. What a whiner!" I don't think she got my hint, she still complains all the time. 

I think we all know someone who is continuing life as always and nothing bad happens - and I think that adds to the number of people who think they don't have to be careful. I'm happy to be one of the saps staying put. It makes me feel safe when I understand the rules, agree with the rules, and follow the rules.

 

I love my food sealer because it's portion control. If I take out a small handful of potato chips and seal it right away, I'm done. I'm not going to go through the motions of getting the scissors and cutting the bag then sealing it again. I'm just that lazy.

 

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3 minutes ago, Nordly Beaumont said:

I have a friend who has barely changed her life at all - and she's taken three family trips out of state. And it's worked out fine for them too. Yet she complains nearly daily about how hard this is. Like, how? You can't go to all the restaurants you want? So what? One day I got fed up and said "Yeah, I know... and that Anne Frank thought she had it hard. What a whiner!" I don't think she got my hint, she still complains all the time. 

I trotted out an Anne Frank comparison to a daughter who thinks herd immunity is the answer, and she just ignored me too. It's interesting that we both got that reaction from our friend and relative. Well, @Nordly Beaumont, rest assured that when you are thinking of Anne Frank to dial back your own negative feelings about the situation, that at least I am thinking the same. 

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6 hours ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

That's not been my experience.  RV sales are setting records.  I haven't been anywhere, but the reports are that campgrounds and RV parks were full over the summer.  That could be perceived as "safer" than staying in a hotel, for example, but these people are otherwise playing tourist and carrying their germs hither and yon.

Attendance at Yellowstone in August 2020 was actually higher than August 2019, by 7.5%.  For the whole season, it was down only about 20% compared to 2019.  Again, Yellowstone might be perceived as "safer" because it's so big, but people don't spread out across those millions of acres. 

I have a friend who was telling me how she and her husband just basically stay home and don't go anywhere, and then added that they'd been on a rafting trip in the Grand Canyon, and on the way there and back from Texas, stopped to see another friend of ours.  They stayed in the apartment our friend has at her store (built it as an Airbnb), instead of with her, but still. 

I'd say that the majority of people I know have traveled somewhere out-of-state.  And a lot of Mr. Outlier's mountainbiking friends have been traveling around to ride--plenty of them came to Colorado over the summer.  They no doubt figure they're being safe by being out in the wilderness instead of in crowds, even if in a different state.

None of these traveling people I know have gotten sick, as far as I know, although we'll never know whether they were asymptomatic spreaders.  But in hindsight, I'm sure they're quite confident in their choices, and to be honest, it does look like it worked out fine.

So I'm the sap who stayed put.

In June, there was a spike in infections in several states that was specifically linked to trips to Myrtle Beach.

I really don't have to justify my reasons for staying home and potentially saving my life and those of others as people are out here acting like it's life as usual when 10 million people in the U.S. have been infected and over 237,000 have died. Cases keep climbing.

Also, I'm still not eating out at a restaurant because "adults who tested positive for the coronavirus were about twice as likely to have dined at a restaurant within a two-week period prior to becoming sick, according to a new study from Centers For Disease Control and Prevention."

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Well luckily my cousin was able to drive me to the vet so I didn't have to take an Uber and was able to save 60 bucks. The vet visit still cost me $400 though. Pets are expensive, yo. 

No one is wearing a mask in my family but me. Gramps only wears one when he goes out. But if someone comes over to the house to fix something and isn't wearing one, he won't put one on. I've basically given up on all of them. The other day my brother, baby nephew, brother's girlfriend, uncle, grandfather, and electrician were all over at the same time and upstairs and not a single one was wearing a mask. I stayed in the basement. 

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