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COVID-19: Personal Stories

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So deeply sorry for your loss, @sadiegirl.  There’s just no words in a situation like this, but know that this Internet stranger will be thinking about you, and you too, @Yeah No.

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My condolences to @YEAH NO, and @SADIEGIRL.  Hugs to both of you.

My parents are 85 and 93 and I think they're just like we were when we were teenagers - stubborn and know everything and can't be told what to do.  And I've decided that at their ages they're entitled to do what they want.  But I still worry about them like crazy.

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Thanks to all of you, @Peace 47, @Annber03, @Browncoat, @SweetSable and @sadiegirl, and all the wonderful "internet strangers" that care.

@sadiegirl, my heart goes out to you.  I'm so happy that maybe my post might help you and others.  It may take some time to really feel that way as you go through the inevitable ups and downs, but it's at least a goal that will one day give you some comfort.  I'm not 100% there myself.  Some days are better than others, but that's how it is.  Having to deal with the death of a close relative plus the pandemic and my own worries is very difficult.  So it may take some time.

@Peace 47, I have been through a terrible ordeal and it is even more terrible than that.  My husband and I currently have no income and are surviving on the pandemic relief.  He is a limo. owner and driver that usually works between all the major airports in the NY-NJ-CT-MA area (we live in CT).  Of course with travel shut down he has no work and at 64 years old, overweight with high blood pressure, he is not looking to risk his life to drive passengers anyway.  In other words, his career has effectively been completely ended by this pandemic.  I was wrongfully terminated from a job as an executive assistant 4 years ago after falling and breaking my arm in the parking lot at work and then getting terminated for no cause while collecting workers' comp!  That was against the law, plus I had all my excellent reviews to show that they had no cause to terminate me.  I had a lawsuit and won but the settlement wasn't even 6 figures so it's not like I made a bundle on that. 

Then, to make matters even WORSE, I own my father's co-op apartment in the Bronx and now must pay the $1,000 a month in maintenance and taxes on it.  Meanwhile I still don't feel safe to travel the 100 miles down there to take care of the place, plus it's in deplorable, unlivable condition and it needs a complete renovation.  That plus the fact that co-op boards don't like to sell apartments to anyone but people who intend to live in them, and I'm totally screwed.  The management company of the building is going to make it just about as hard as possible for me to get out from under this mess.  I am avoiding dealing with them because it is just too stressful. 

I also have my own health worries.  I am 61 going on 62, overweight and borderline diabetic despite losing 30 lbs 2 years ago and changing my diet (I'm a size 16, not that big).  I am deathly afraid of getting into that building elevator and walking the tight, stuffy hallways.  I have no family that can help me and every month that $1,000 drains my father's already paltry savings even more - I might squeeze that out to a year but no more.  Plus there's the electric bill too. Right now I am praying for a "miracle" or whatever solution that can help me out of this mess before I go under financially.  I don't have the money nor the ability to handle a massive renovation project down there.  NY is hard to deal with at best, let alone having to deal with contractors.  We often can't even find a freaking PARKING SPACE near the building much less deal with anything else!  With all the rules co-ops come with that make them hard to deal with as opposed to condos., it is just over the top and I don't know what to do.  On top of that, the apartment isn't worth the gazillion dollars that apartments go for in Brooklyn because this is the Bronx, and although it's a decent neighborhood it never "re-gentrified" like Brooklyn.  So it's not really worth that much even in prime condition.  If I put it up for sale even now I'd have to wait until someone bought it and that $1,000 a month just keeps getting deducted.  So in other words unless a miracle happens, I'm screwed and will be lucky to see any money from the place when all is said and done.

Anyway, sorry to go on so long about my problems - I know you all have your own challenges and it's not all about me.  But you have to admit, I'm dealing with an awful lot.  😞 

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1 hour ago, SweetSable said:

My condolences to @YEAH NO, and @SADIEGIRL.  Hugs to both of you.

My parents are 85 and 93 and I think they're just like we were when we were teenagers - stubborn and know everything and can't be told what to do.  And I've decided that at their ages they're entitled to do what they want.  But I still worry about them like crazy.

My father was just like that, and he used to be THE most responsible, level headed guy before.  He used to joke around in his later years that he was having his "second childhood".  I worried about him like I was his mother!  I sometimes wonder if I'm going to become like that.  It didn't happen to my mother and I tend to be more of a worrier like her (she passed years ago now).  Anyway, I feel your worry, it's real.  Many (((hugs))).

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 It's a shame that the security guard didn't allow her even if it was outside of senior hours.

So, wait--are seniors not allowed to shop at any hour they want? The way I understand it is that senior hours are limited to only seniors, but seniors are not required to shop only during those hours.

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6 minutes ago, TattleTeeny said:

So, wait--are seniors not allowed to shop at any hour they want? The way I understand it is that senior hours are limited to only seniors, but seniors are not required to shop only during those hours.

I'm a senior and I can shop anytime the store is open.

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12 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I've found some comfort in reading the NY Times list of 1% of the 100k (or is it going to be more than that?): 
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/05/24/us/us-coronavirus-deaths-100000.html

Thanks for sharing that. I had to take a couple breaks while reading through it. Some of them really got me. (Especially the one that just said "New father." and it was a 22-year-old.)

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47 minutes ago, TattleTeeny said:

So, wait--are seniors not allowed to shop at any hour they want? The way I understand it is that senior hours are limited to only seniors, but seniors are not required to shop only during those hours.

They're allowed to shop whenever, but if there's a limit on the number of customers inside at one time, whether it's senior hour or not, a senior may potentially need to wait outside until someone says they can go in. (That said my impression is that at least around here, stores have not been reaching capacity during senior hour) Some stores have internal policies that if it's not senior hour but the store is at capacity and a senior is in line, they can jump the line, but if it's a one-in one-out situation, all that'd do is make the senior closest to the front of the line go before the first not-senior in line. There is still the potential for a need to wait in line.

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58 minutes ago, TattleTeeny said:
Quote

 It's a shame that the security guard didn't allow her even if it was outside of senior hours.

So, wait--are seniors not allowed to shop at any hour they want? The way I understand it is that senior hours are limited to only seniors, but seniors are not required to shop only during those hours.

I believe the situation was that an elderly woman (80s) thought she should get put to the front of the line. Probably she didn't fully understand how it works. Maybe, for example, the senior hours were from 7-9 a.m. and she arrived at 8:55 a.m. and expected to be let in before 9, but the line ahead of her meant that would not happen. And perhaps she thought there would be a safer environment if she got in by 9 a.m. 

10 minutes ago, theatremouse said:

Some stores have internal policies that if it's not senior hour but the store is at capacity and a senior is in line, they can jump the line,

I hadn't heard of seniors being allowed to jump lines. Perhaps the people working at the store hadn't either. 
The main point is that she was arguing that she should get to jump the line but nobody there thought she should, and more importantly, nobody seemed to consider that she might have some dementia or other age-related impairment and that nobody tried to help.
I think lack of expressed compassion was in large part because social distancing keeps us from getting involved. I still respect that social distancing saves lives, but it also makes communication more difficult at times. But possibly no amount of intervention for the elderly shopper would have improved her mood, especially if she was frightened and confused and lonely.

 

Edited by shapeshifter
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Thank you, everyone, for your kind words. Because of some complicated reasons, getting human hugs right now is not really an option, so I really appreciate the virtual support. 

Really, really, really...it's making the day bearable.

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My job sent out a survey to see what everyone thinks about working from home--productivity, comfort, work/life balance, etc. About 90% of respondents are happy with it and 70% feel more productive than usual. Today, our CEO let us know that we won't be reopening until at least 2 weeks after restrictions are lifted. But if we do, they will rearrange seating and require masks (though I am not sure if the latter means all day long or just when moving around away from your own desk), and meetings will be held remotely. And we'd probably no longer have coffee/food services onsite. 

It seems a bit silly to me to do all of those things if working at home is going well. If everyone is being kept separate at the office, why be in the office? Personally, I would go nuts trying to look at 2 monitors and type while wearing a mask; my glasses haven't been fogging up too much, but they don't sit right with a mask on my nose. Plus, they're progressive, so they sometimes require a slight head tilt that isn't ideal with a mask on*. And why have people come into the office just to have meetings the way we are having them now? That would surely be annoying to people who aren't in the meeting but will now hear the meeting emanating from other people's computer speakers.

*If I could remember which of my old glasses were only the "computer" Rx (vs. "computer" and "driving" all in one), I would wear them while I am working at home. 

Edited by TattleTeeny
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When my 91+ father died 5 years ago I couldn't be there for reasons beyond my control--different than the current COVID reasons, but the same result for me, although my sister was there, so he was not alone. I am grateful to a session with a grief counselor, but I've never really had an opportunity to grieve. Now my 91+ mom is in hospice. So all this death of people like them in part gives me a kind of PTSD, but also maybe an opportunity to grieve. 

 

I didn't get my car battery replaced today because it was too hot to wait outside for a couple of hours. I rescheduled for next Wednesday because it's supposed to be the least busy day --shortest wait-- which is also important because my doctor said not to use public restrooms. I don't want to drive more than a couple of miles from home until I get it replaced, so I might reschedule my CT scan and labs (3½ years post chemo). And maybe I should wait to have them done anyway because it would be impossible to socially distance to have them done, and I have to go to the frickin hospital to have them done (as in place where COVID-19 patients are treated, and, yes, we have them here).  Which is worse: Risking the virus to get cancer tests, or putting off getting the tests? Nobody really knows. 

Everything seems like an impossible Rube Goldberg machine of moving parts that doesn't work. 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

When my 91+ father died 5 years ago I couldn't be there for reasons beyond my control--different than the current COVID reasons, but the same result for me, although my sister was there, so he was not alone. I am grateful to a session with a grief counselor, but I've never really had an opportunity to grieve. Now my 91+ mom is in hospice. So all this death of people like them in part gives me a kind of PTSD, but also maybe an opportunity to grieve. 

 

I didn't get my car battery replaced today because it was too hot to wait outside for a couple of hours. I rescheduled for next Wednesday because it's supposed to be the least busy day --shortest wait-- which is also important because my doctor said not to use public restrooms. I don't want to drive more than a couple of miles from home until I get it replaced, so I might reschedule my CT scan and labs (3½ years post chemo). And maybe I should wait to have them done anyway because it would be impossible to socially distance to have them done, and I have to go to the frickin hospital to have them done (as in place where COVID-19 patients are treated, and, yes, we have them here).  Which is worse: Risking the virus to get cancer tests, or putting off getting the tests? Nobody really knows. 

Everything seems like an impossible Rube Goldberg machine of moving parts that doesn't work. 

 

 

With your auto insurance do you possibly have roadside assistance or a AAA membership?

They may be willing to come to you and replace your battery at your residence, insurance companies are making exceptions to help their customers.

Worth a try?

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My car is due for service and I've been putting it off since I haven't been driving much (also not sure what the deal will be as far as waiting there. And I don't want strangers in my car...). But on the other hand I worry about it sitting for too long without being driven. My mom picked up something for me on Friday and I said I'd come get it because I need to drive my car...but I still haven't gone. I'm pretty introverted so all the staying home isn't really a problem for me, but I feel like the longer I don't go out, the harder it is to go out. I wonder if this thing is going to be followed by an epidemic of agoraphobia...

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15 minutes ago, mbaywife123 said:

With your auto insurance do you possibly have roadside assistance or a AAA membership?

They may be willing to come to you and replace your battery at your residence, insurance companies are making exceptions to help their customers.

Worth a try?

I asked if they would tow me to get it replaced, and they said yes. But if it didn't die in my garage, that would be a problem--I guess? Maybe I will call and ask if I have to wait until it dies. The car place is willing to drop it off at my home after it gets fixed. I don't know how my Geico roadside assistance would come up with a battery and a mechanic to visit my home.
Anyway, thanks, @mbaywife123, for helping me focus on this one part of the Rube Goldberg puzzle.

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Shapeshifter - there are mobile battery replacement services. I had one come to my house and they replaced my car battery in my car port. However, I don't think it was covered by insurance (and to be honest, I didn't ask - it never occurred to me to ask, I just needed my car to be drive-able). But maybe you can pay and then submit the receipt to your insurance?

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6 minutes ago, mbaywife123 said:

With your auto insurance do you possibly have roadside assistance or a AAA membership?

They may be willing to come to you and replace your battery at your residence, insurance companies are making exceptions to help their customers.

I know roadside assistance will jump a battery, but I've never heard about them replacing them.  However, Autozone will do it, no appointment necessary.  Just show up and buy a new battery and they put it in on the spot in the parking lot.  A friend of mine did it a couple of days ago (Sunday of Memorial Day weekend during a pandemic), on my advice, after he got stuck in the drive through at Culver's and called me in a panic.  Culver's employee jumped it, and my friend made it to Autozone, and he was on his way in about half an hour.

I'm not positive about O'Reilly or Advance Auto Parts like I am about Autozone installing batteries, but I wouldn't be surprised if they do the same thing.  Call first to be sure, of course.

Definitely don't try Costco.  They don't install batteries at all, ever.  Just cash and carry.

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2 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

I asked if they would tow me to get it replaced, and they said yes, but if it didn't die in my garage, that would be a problem. Maybe I will call and ask if I have to wait until it dies. The car place is willing to drop it off at my home after it gets fixed. I don't know how my Geico roadside assistance would come up with a battery and a mechanic to visit my home.

I would think that they could send a service truck to you like they do for their commercial customers fleet in the field vehicles and apply the tow charge towards the on site battery change.

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Thanks everyone.wave.gif

I guess I need to copy and paste the options into a reminder for tomorrow morning, heh. Stay tuned.

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13 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Thanks everyone.wave.gif

I guess I need to copy and paste the options into a reminder for tomorrow morning, heh. Stay tuned.

Lots of good suggestions, I hope you can get an easy solution to the situation.

One thing this pandemic is going to do is weed out the companies that are really willing to assist their customers and which ones are unbendable and unhelpful.

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@Yeah No and @sadiegirl  I am so very, very sorry for your loss.  May your loved ones rest in peace. 

One of my siblings has been trying to encourage me to go out more, I did go out one time to finish a roll of film for an upcoming show for the artist's club I belong to, but I think I will miss the deadline now.  Film developing is very backed up, if it is happening at all.  I will have to submit something else.   However, it's almost June and I think I will try to take advantage of whatever nature is around me in midtown Manhattan soon.   I just get this feeling when I see people acting careless and without masks, that I should wait.  And there's still the issue of the tiny elevator in my building.  I did the laundry today and even with everyone wearing a mask people still wait if they see someone else in the elevator and don't get in.  I wonder how long that will go on.  

I do miss having the ability to leave town and see something besides the city - I don't have a car -  but it's a small thing besides other people's problems I know.

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Re: battery replacement -- it might not hurt to check your owners' manual, just to see how much of the engine has to be dismantled first. That will give you an idea of how long it might take. I changed the battery in my parents' Chevy Lumina a few years ago and was surprised how much stuff was bolted on top of the battery. Then when my Dodge Avenger needed a new battery a couple of years ago, I took it to Sams. They paged me very quickly after I dropped it off, to tell me they couldn't do the work. One of my wheels has to be removed in order to get to the battery, and they were prohibited (their policy) from putting the car on a lift. I had already paid for the battery, so I took it to a neighborhood shop that sometimes lets you use your own parts.

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1 hour ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

Definitely don't try Costco.  They don't install batteries at all, ever.  Just cash and carry.

Which is why that's how I roll (well, Costco credit card and carry); I can easily replace it myself, and am happy to for the money saved on the price of the new battery.

And the battery discussion brings me to a PSA: I hope those who normally drive but aren't at all or for long stretches these days are at the very least starting up the car and letting it run for a while to let the alternator charge the battery, but, preferably, taking the car for a little spin every month - parts designed to move don't react well to just sitting idle.  It's not disastrous (plenty of people garage their cars in predominantly non-driving errors), but it's something to be avoided if it easily can be.  You want to get the fluids flowing, gaskets heated and wet, gears shifting, belts spinning, tires rolling, gas fumes drying any moisture accumulated in the tank, etc.

1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

And maybe I should wait to have them done anyway because it would be impossible to socially distance to have them done, and I have to go to the frickin hospital to have them done (as in place where COVID-19 patients are treated, and, yes, we have them here).  Which is worse: Risking the virus to get cancer tests, or putting off getting the tests?

That's a question for your oncologist, and then your own evaluation of her/his recommendation.  As with anything else, you have to evaluate the odds as they can best be estimated: What are the chances of something bad happening if you do X, how bad will that bad thing likely be if it does happen, and how important is it to do X right now (meaning what are the chances of something bad happening and how bad will that bad thing likely be if you postpone X a month or two or three?).  There are no definitive percentages to any of those, so it's definitely something to hash out.  I hope you'll reach a decision you're comfortable with.

My mom had to do the same thing.  Since both are in separate buildings from the hospital, given the safety protocols in place and limited length of unavoidable close contact, she readily agreed with the necessity of some blood tests, and, after more extensive conversation, with that of a PET scan.  Unlike you, she's in active treatment (for metastatic breast cancer, and her third metastasis at that) that has required some recent adjustments, and had a new growth last year that necessitated ongoing analysis (definitively benign, yay!).  She's more vulnerable to the virus, but also quite vulnerable to the cancer progressing if they miss a development -- waiting may be a far more viable option for you than it was for her.

@Yeah No and @sadiegirl, let me add my condolences on your losses.  You're living my worst nightmare - as an only child close to my parents, both of whom are hovering around 80 and with health problems, I dread their deaths.  I know it's the natural order of things, but I will never be ready.  So my heart twinges every time I hear about someone going through it, even if I only "know" them as a screen name - even in this electronic version of reality, you both have my very real thoughts of sympathy and support.

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1 hour ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

I know roadside assistance will jump a battery, but I've never heard about them replacing them.

AAA has a battery replacement service. There is a truck that just takes care of battery issue so they can usually respond very quickly. I’m not sure how the price compares to buying it myself but I find it worth any extra cost to have it taken care of immediately. 

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On 5/25/2020 at 1:18 AM, ratgirlagogo said:

New York State is having a contest for the best PSA for mask-wearing:

https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/node/2871

 

Frankly I think they should just run them all - but everybody loves a contest!  I'll spoiler the one I voted for 

  Reveal spoiler

"We ❤ NY"

but I will say that so far it is winning.

My favorite won!  And they'll also air the runner-up.  Still think they should run them all.

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10 hours ago, Bastet said:

Which is why that's how I roll (well, Costco credit card and carry); I can easily replace it myself, and am happy to for the money saved on the price of the new battery.

I did that last summer.  I'd been dealing with achieving the age when women become invisible, noticing little things here and there, but that experience cemented it for me--changing the battery in my car in the Costco parking lot by myself last summer, under the shade of the only tree there to keep from being broiled alive, and not a single passerby even asked if everything was okay.

 

10 hours ago, forumfish said:

Then when my Dodge Avenger needed a new battery a couple of years ago, I took it to Sams. They paged me very quickly after I dropped it off, to tell me they couldn't do the work. One of my wheels has to be removed in order to get to the battery,

I hope they at least put a jumper terminal somewhere so it can be jumped without having to remove a wheel.  Good heavens.

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2 hours ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

I hope they at least put a jumper terminal somewhere so it can be jumped without having to remove a wheel. 

Probably, although I'm not familiar with the specifics of the Avenger. My Durango has the battery in a compartment under the front passenger seat, but has posts under hood that can be used for jumpstarts.

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Definitely call to see about having your battery replaced at your home.
 In January of 2019, IIRC, in the midst of a deep freeze here in Michigan, the battery died in my Honda CRV.  Fortunately I was at home, so not stuck in a parking lot.  It took about 3.5 hours for a service van sent by Allstate to show up ( I was #161 in line) and about 20 minutes for him to replace the battery.  I believe the cost was about $30 dollars more than what it would have cost me to drive it in and have it replaced at the dealership.  Considering I would have either had to have it jump started or towed in the next day, as the dealership was about to close, I felt like it was a good price. 

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14 hours ago, Bastet said:
17 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Which is worse: Risking the virus to get cancer tests, or putting off getting the tests?

That's a question for your oncologist, and then your own evaluation of her/his recommendation.  As with anything else, you have to evaluate the odds as they can best be estimated: What are the chances of something bad happening if you do X, how bad will that bad thing likely be if it does happen, and how important is it to do X right now (meaning what are the chances of something bad happening and how bad will that bad thing likely be if you postpone X a month or two or three?).  There are no definitive percentages to any of those, so it's definitely something to hash out.  I hope you'll reach a decision you're comfortable with.

Thanks, @Bastet, for affirming the conclusion I had circling in my head. Usually I get tests done before seeing the oncologist, but I'm going to do it the other way this time so I can hash out the risks/benefits with him of waiting. He's a doctor who has given me reason to trust his medical opinion. 

**********

I just signed up for AAA for my car. It was $49 online ($60 over the phone). In 3 days I will be eligible for them to install a new battery in my driveway, with the total cost of the membership and the battery being equal to the dealership price to install a new battery --although the dealership was going to give me a 25% discount, which leads me to agree with:

16 hours ago, mbaywife123 said:

One thing this pandemic is going to do is weed out the companies that are really willing to assist their customers and which ones are unbendable and unhelpful.

although in this case, I just think the dealership service center doesn't have the portable equipment/manpower to do house calls.

ETA: I just canceled the AAA service. Turns out Geico (my insurance carrier) will do it.

Edited by shapeshifter
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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

ETA: I just canceled the AAA service. Turns out Geico (my insurance carrier) will do it.

I think this issue had come up before in another thread, but especially during these times, anyone with a car should check to see if you have roadside assistance available as an option on your auto policy. It's generally very cheap (IIRC, mine is about $5/month on my policy), and they will send someone out to jump you off, unlock your car when you have locked your keys in your car, help change a flat tire, etc. It's one person, and the only real contact you have to have with them is showing them your DL. It beats the hell out of having to do an emergency run to an auto parts store or car dealership; obviously, depending on what's wrong with your auto, you might have to do those things anyway, but at least with the roadside service, you can then schedule a visit to a repair shop or dealership in advance. If you can do those things yourself, that's great; in my situation, my back is entirely too fucked up to change a tire or install a battery without being in severe pain for hours afterward. 

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2 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

ETA: I just canceled the AAA service. Turns out Geico (my insurance carrier) will do it.

It looks like it might not happen. They can't find anyone in the area (Chicago???) who can do it.
Maybe car batteries at roadside assistance companies are like toilet paper was a month ago?

ETA: It seems that Geico is offering a service that does not exist -- or at least not 30 miles north of Chicago.

Back to AAA...

Edited by shapeshifter

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On 5/25/2020 at 5:38 PM, Mittengirl said:

How do alcohol sales work in other states?  Can you buy beer and wine at grocery stores, but not the “hard stuff”?  Or are there no alcohol sales of any kind, except at liquor stores?

Here in Rhode Island, beer, wine, and liquor can only be sold in liquor stores. 

This doesn't affect me too much because I don't drink, but I do keep bottles of red/white/burgundy wines along with sherry & marsala for cooking, and a pint of bourbon for flambéing, in the house. I have plenty of friends who drink, so when my stash starts to run low, I'll ask one of them to pick up what I need on their next weekend beer run. 😉

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5 hours ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

I did that last summer.  I'd been dealing with achieving the age when women become invisible, noticing little things here and there, but that experience cemented it for me--changing the battery in my car in the Costco parking lot by myself last summer, under the shade of the only tree there to keep from being broiled alive, and not a single passerby even asked if everything was okay.

You changed the battery in your car? How did you know how to do that? I had to reread your post a few times, just to make sure I read it correctly. And not one person offered to help? WITW????

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28 minutes ago, annzeepark914 said:

You changed the battery in your car? How did you know how to do that?

I'm not the OP, but since I also replace my own car battery, I'll say that it's like anything else - you learn how (from someone showing you, by looking it up, whatever).  I learned from my dad as a kid; he showed me how to do all kinds of basic auto maintenance/repair over the years.  We also rebuilt a camshaft on an old Chevy and the engine on a '65 VW together, but I'm not sure how much of that I retained since they were one-offs. 

Anyway, so long as your battery is readily accessible, it's a simple process to learn.  You just have to know what order to go in (disconnect the negative first when removing the old battery, connect the positive first when installing the new one).  There are a couple of things you want to avoid in case you'd cause a spark, but there's no advanced knowledge of electricity required or anything like that - basically, be mindful of where your wrench is.  Oh, and be able to lift the batteries; they weigh about 40 pounds. 

 

Edited by Bastet
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11 minutes ago, Bastet said:

Oh, and be able to lift the batteries; they weigh about 40 pounds. 

and not just lift, but lower it into place, leaning over. Plus, be able to dispose of the used battery. 
I used to clean corroded terminals, but not even that anymore. 

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1 hour ago, annzeepark914 said:

You changed the battery in your car? How did you know how to do that? I had to reread your post a few times, just to make sure I read it correctly. And not one person offered to help? WITW????

I grew in a very non-mechanical family--cars were always taken to someone to fix.  But Mr. Outlier had a proper upbringing, can fix anything, and does all the work on our cars and motorhome.

He showed me what to do at home, and while still there, I loosened the cables a little and tightened them back up, to make sure nothing was stuck.  And I took that wrench with me to Costco.

And yes, nobody offered to help.  I'd like to think that I was exuding such confidence that people didn't want to run the risk of insulting me, but I really do think it has more to do with women becoming invisible at a certain point.  When I took the old battery right back in to get the core charge refunded, I told the kid, "I changed it myself in the parking lot!"  He just looked at me.

That same trip, I bought one of those mattress in a box things.  In the store, I managed to get that monster onto one of those flatbed carts with nobody offering to even keep the cart from rolling as I tried to get the mattress onto it.  I eventually lodged it up against the end of a shelving unit and pushed the mattress over there.

And I wrestled it into the back of my car by myself.  As I finished, a lady walked by and offered to take my cart to the corral, but I was going to need it to take the old battery back to the store.  After that, it was my completely unmolested battery time.

It's funny because I'm always the first person to offer to help.  I'm the one, in a full restaurant (back in the day, of course), who will notice someone in a wheelchair trying to use the door and jump up and get it.  I like doing shit like that.

Actually, now that I think about it, Mr. Outlier's and my second date was to play pool.  I got there before him, and there was a guy in the parking lot who needed his battery jumped but didn't have cables, and neither did I, but I told him I was meeting someone who probably would.  So our date began with Mr. O joining me and another man to jump this stranger's battery. 

At least he could never claim he wasn't warned.

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I hope you are able to have the car battery taken care of @shapeshifter, and that your doctor visit goes well.

I had two nice surprises when I checked my email this morning.  My roll of film is being mailed back to me, so I may make the deadline after all.  And Amex has credited my account for dishwasher repair after I uploaded all the documents to them just about two weeks ago.  I have to say that is speedy!

Of course the extended warranty won't work if anything breaks down now since they have changed the policy for my basic card, but since I bought a 5 year extension for the warranty service (with 20 percent off) I no longer have nightmarish thoughts about replacing the thing if something goes wrong again.

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So does anyone live with someone who has a different view of social distancing than you do? 

I'm struggling with it.  I knew the divide would eventually happen but it's happening sooner than I anticipated.  I live with someone who is inherently more social while my natural tendency is "hermit." They were good during the shelter in place orders but once regulations started lifting, they started to go hang out with people outside. I don't know how much they actually socially distanced vs. how much they think they socially distanced but I fear it's just going to increase.

We've laid out some ground rules about how to maintain distance between us at home (thankfully it's not a romantic partner) but the more I think about it, I'm just not sure how practical it is.

Edited by Irlandesa
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45 minutes ago, Irlandesa said:

So does anyone live with someone who has a different view of social distancing than you do? 

I'm struggling with it.  I knew the divide would eventually happen but it's happening sooner than I anticipated.  I live with someone who is inherently more social while my natural tendency is "hermit." They were good during the shelter in place orders but once regulations started lifting, they started to go hang out with people outside. I don't know how much they actually socially distanced vs. how much they think they socially distanced but I fear it's just going to increase.

We've laid out some ground rules about how to maintain distance between us at home (thankfully it's not a romantic partner) but the more I think about it, I'm just not sure how practical it is.

Actually, I don't have this problem at home as Mr. Yeah No is (thankfully) pretty hermit-like like I am, but I have friends who have different views on this.  I haven't seen most of my friends in person in months, mostly because I've been sheltering in place due to my age and medical worries, but also because I wonder how careful they're being.  One of my good friends is 66 with medical conditions and she has been less than what I think is careful.  She goes shopping everywhere all the time and even took her hairstylist up on her offer to cut and color her hair a month ago in the stylist's home.  I told her she was CRAZY to do this but she insisted her hair was "driving her nuts" and she had to do something about it.  Fortunately that was long enough ago that I'm sure she didn't catch anything, but it certainly gave me a scare.  She is actually the only friend I've met in person since the pandemic began, probably because she lives the closest to me - most of my friends are at a distance.  We met in a nearby park and sat at different picnic tables wearing our masks.  I felt like I was in some weird dystopian sci-fi movie.  Then she wanted to take a little walk on the walking trail which was right there, so I said OK, but then she didn't stay far enough away from me - she often came closer than 6 feet and I felt awkward trying to back away from her all the time.  It got to the point where I said, "You're coming too close to me for comfort".  She apologized and I felt like a big ol' meanie, but at least I was nice about it!  Then when we went to our cars she came over after I had gotten in mine and almost poked her head in the window - OK she was masked but I was in an enclosed car and she should know better!

Then a week or so later she called to complain that all her neighbors were having barbecues at each other's houses every week and that she didn't feel comfortable going.  But then a week or so later she confessed that she finally broke down and went to one even though they were not observing social distancing or wearing masks.  The number of cases in her town is alarmingly high for this area, and now I see why.  Needless to say I'm not rushing to see her in person again any time soon and pray that nothing happens to her!

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Timely subjects for me talking about starting cars regularly, losing loved ones and worrying for older living loved ones.

We have 4 cars right now.  Two are limousines (hubbie owns and operates his own limo., something he's not doing right now or perhaps ever), one is my car, a lease which was due to expire at the end of June, and the other is my father's car, which we luckily brought up here in February when my father finally decided it was time to stop driving (a minor fender bender with his building garage door helped to hasten that decision).  I used my power of attorney to manage his GEICO policy and had the car fixed at my local dealership body shop.  Then the stay at home order hit.  I dealt with his finance company to handle resolving his car loan and returning the car.  After several phone calls, faxes and emails, about a month later they told me they would have someone contact me about picking up the car.  Meanwhile we cancelled the insurance and registration and mailed the plates back to the DMV in NY.  The bank warned me that it might be a little while before we heard from anyone because the pandemic was delaying things.  That was about a month ago now and we still haven't heard from anyone.  So the car is sitting on our property unregistered and uninsured.  We start it once a week and drive it in front of our house a couple of times (it's a very quiet street).  Oh well.  At least I know they won't be looking for any more money.  My father didn't have an estate and not enough money for them to come after.

Then there's the matter of my leased car.  It was due to expire at the end of June but I have been in a quandary about whether I should buy it or lease a new one or a third option I haven't discovered yet.  And no, I can't keep my father's car because he owed too much on it, and it's a 6 year old car anyway and not worth it.  Anyway, I decided to call Nissan Motor Acceptance to find out if they had any special option to extend my lease because of the pandemic and they told me I could extend it for an additional 3 months - so I have another 4 months from now to make up my mind and maybe by then feel safe enough to walk into a dealership.  I suppose I could handle everything remotely and just have a new car delivered, but I'm not sure what I want to do yet.  Because we're not making any money and living off of pandemic relief I feel bad about having to spend anything on this at all.  I keep hoping a cheaper but fantastic option falls into my lap before then that doesn't involve me having to go anywhere and do anything that will make me feel uncomfortable.  I suppose I could just keep my present car, but there are complications with that too that make that less desirable.  Plus it won't be any cheaper than just leasing a new one.

Edited by Yeah No
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34 minutes ago, Yeah No said:

We met in a nearby park and sat at different picnic tables wearing our masks.  I felt like I was in some weird dystopian sci-fi movie. 

Are we sure we’re not in “some weird dystopian sci-fi movie”?

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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

Are we sure we’re not in “some weird dystopian sci-fi movie”?

I knew you were going to pick up on that line!  No, I suppose we can't be sure.  I keep thinking of STNG's "Ship in a Bottle".  And one of my haunting favorites, "Remember Me".

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9 hours ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

And yes, nobody offered to help.  I'd like to think that I was exuding such confidence that people didn't want to run the risk of insulting me, but I really do think it has more to do with women becoming invisible at a certain point.

I’m not sure it has to do with age or gender but more with people’s general obliviousness to what is going on around them.  Or just flat-out apathy towards other people.

I was born without my right hand - my arm ends about 1/3 of the way below my elbow.  It is fairly obvious, if you look at me for more than a brief glance. 
 I have wrestled bags of mulch and fertilizer, potted shrubs, and lawn equipment into my car at home improvement stores, flat screen TVs and heavy metal shelving onto flatbed carts at Costco and 2x12s onto lumber carts at Lowe’s without so much as polite inquiry from employees or other customers.  Two university employees (male, fairly young) sat not 10 feet away and watched while I carried a dorm-sized fridge to my car trunk and then took it out and put it in the back seat, without so much as a peep.  
I would like to think people are dumbstruck with shock and awe, but...  Nah.

Make of this what you will, but of those that offer to help, I would say 85% are women and the vast majority of them appear to be over mid-40’s. Virtually none, of either gender, have appeared to be under 30.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Mittengirl said:

Make of this what you will, but of those that offer to help, I would say 85% are women and the vast majority of them appear to be over mid-40’s. Virtually none, of either gender, have appeared to be under 30.

I will make of this what I will, but sad to say that this squares with my and my female friends' experience.  All of us are in our 60s.  Until recently my best friend worked at NYU as an admin. in the law school.  She was there for over 30 years.  She took the subway to work every day.  She even saw the first plane hit the WTC back in 2001 as she walked from the train station to her office.  Anyway, she was always the most happy, forgiving soul until she started getting older and realized that not only was she invisible, but it's like she was actively being shunned and treated poorly by those in the younger generations.  The stories she told me would make you ill, and young people not getting up to give her a seat on the train was the least offensive of them.  She doesn't have a car and has been in those situations in stores where no one offers to help her with large items too.  Her only saving grace (in her words) is that she was built with strong upper body strength and can actually handle it better than most women her age.

I myself am not built that way, in fact just the opposite.  I am short and pear shaped with next to no upper body strength.  I reached the age of invisibility only about 6 or so years ago.  I remember when it happened, it was that sudden and stark.  I have always been fortunate enough to look young for my age and attractive, and that plus being fussy about my appearance helped delay the effect for a few more years.  But I knew it was going to happen eventually.  My mother always warned me about it 30 years ago!  She did not take it well as I remember.  She was bitter about it.  I am just sad.  It makes me understand all the more what she and all my older friends have been going through.  I try to avoid those situations that would make me feel that way. 

I remember my first experience with it.  A rich client of my husband's invited us to go to a very famous and fantastic restaurant in NYC (Le Bernardin).  He invited a few of his favorite support people like his admin. and the maitre d' at a local restaurant and his wife.  They were a little younger and thinner than my husband and I and we and another couple our age immediately felt invisible to the other group.  They were all having a fantastic time in the limo. bus we shared and segregated themselves away from us "old farts".  When we got to the restaurant I had to endure going to the ladies room with the rest of the younger women, who acted like I was not even there.  I really didn't know them but they didn't really know each other either, so why were they so palsy-walsy to the exclusion of me and the other woman in my age bracket?  They were only about 10-15 years or so younger than us!  I suddenly felt old, fat, unattractive.  The other older woman looked hurt so I know it wasn't just me.  That was new for me back then.  I have to say that it has been that way and gotten worse ever since. 

And don't get me started about how I feel like this is the reason I was let go from my job and couldn't find a new one!  Age discrimination is real.  My last company systematically got rid of anyone over 50 male or female, unless they had the right connections.  They would "eliminate" their job by changing the title and rearranging some of the job duties and then lay them off.  They laid me off for no reason when I was collecting workers' comp. after falling and breaking my arm in their parking lot.  They thought it was the perfect excuse to get rid of another older person, but it was against the law to terminate someone on workers' comp.  I won a lawsuit for wrongful termination but I didn't get all that much, plus no matter how many second interviews I was called back for after that, I somehow never got the job.  This was NEVER my experience when I was younger.  I finally had to give up looking for a job.  I don't think I was hire-able at that point.  I had tried everything for 2 years including going for jobs way under my level.  I didn't suddenly grow a 2nd head or became a troll or something.  I dressed well, not frumpy, and kept up with fashion.  My resume was fantastic.  It was my age, pure and simple, and I know it.  I was lucky enough after being laid off during the recession at the age of 50 to still look young enough to get another job, but it took me over a year then to find one.  By the time I was 59, forget it.

My best friend was also let go from her job but in her case the conspiracy was more sinister.  It seems that she had outlasted everyone in the support staff in her office and was the oldest person there, working alongside people much younger than her.  Of course, they all shunned her.  I know what that's like.  But one day one of them decided they hated her so much (she's the sweetest person ever mind you) that they would make up a lie to get rid of her.  They told management that she hit them in the copy room!  A bald faced lie!  My friend was so shocked when confronted with this by HR that she didn't know how to react.  They tried to BS her that they had "witnesses" - what witnesses? It was a small copy room and only 2 people could fit in it at most!  Plus there were no security cameras in there.  She didn't even remember any such incident happening whatsoever.  She went over and over it again and again.  She thought maybe she was going crazy!  It was like they were gaslighting her!  Anyway, they used this bogus accusation to fire her.  I told her to get legal representation.  She didn't and just decided to retire.  She was lucky enough to be able to do that because her family had left her a secret bank account she never knew they had (they lived like they were poor believe it or not).  She retired in January, only about a month or so before the pandemic hit in NYC.  She actually feels lucky now.  If she had been riding the subway in those last couple of months she might have caught the virus.  She's cooped up in her apartment now but actually feels fortunate!

Sorry to go on so long - this is a hot button issue for me.  When people in my generation were younger we didn't shun our elders, in fact we were taught to respect them, make sacrifices for them, and give them a lot of slack.  And that was the way they were treated in offices and social situations.  Now, forget it, we are treated like crap as if we are worthless.  And don't get me started on how this mentality is manifesting itself regarding Covid-19!  That's an entire hour's worth of ranting right there!

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I was forced into early retirement even though I was/am more tech-savvy than anyone else currently employed there, and was also more skilled and knowledgeable in other areas and the best at dealing diplomatically with "problem patrons," so my former coworkers miss me. ❤️ (And, not that it matters, but I'm also slimmer than my former, slightly younger coworkers. )
I'm okay with being "retired," but now that they've moved to Zoom, I'm sad that I couldn't have worked until my planned retirement age of 70. I look 10 years younger on Zoom, LOL. And I am sure I could have kept a class of college students engaged on Zoom with audio and visual snippets, as well as my usual ad-libs, also helping individual students navigate the new technical and emotional nightmares. Plus, the $$ would have been nice. 

So in an alternate-but-similar universe, I am still employed and oddly grateful that it took a horrific pandemic to make me look equal to my younger coworkers. 

And now back to my reality of trying to schedule a replacement car battery and medical tests, trying to communicate with my mother on FaceTime who has not been able to speak for 2 years, laundry, and trying to capture the most attractive likeness of an average looking child with watercolors. But first, I am grateful to be able to drive 2 miles to walk on a public beach which has adequate social distancing in the early morning. 

 

Edited by shapeshifter
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2 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

But first, I am grateful to be able to drive 2 miles to walk on a public beach which has adequate social distancing in the early morning. 

An early morning walk on the beach would be heaven right now.  I'm so jealous!

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1 hour ago, SweetSable said:

An early morning walk on the beach would be heaven right now.  I'm so jealous!

I could drive to a beach although this is what they looked like on Memorial Day weekend in CT.  It was packed and not a lot of social distancing was practiced.  Now I don't feel so much like going there anyway and fear a spike in cases coming....

The even worse part about it is that the local news was suspiciously quiet and said very little about it.

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