Coronavirus -- Stay Well!

mac

janitor
You maintain a very strict personal hygiene regimen, bb. It's at the other extreme from the brain-deads who do nothing and reject all notions of taking precautions. For most of us I'd guess individuals' routines are much less strict while at the same time acknowledging lives have probably changed for a long time and perhaps forever. That's where you'll find me.

As for face masks and coverings, I understood from scientists that only those manufactured to certain standards provided protection for the wearer. The smallest of viral particles - as I understand things - may penetrate the fabric used for less strictly-specified masks. Granted all types protect against larger particles hence against someone coughing, spluttering and sneezing. If everyone were to use the highest specification of mask along with a visor and deployed the correct way to remove them we'd all be more-or-less protected in more-or-less most potential infection scenarios.

Ain't gonna happen, though, so most of us will settle for something somewhat less I guess and we'll try to get on with life and do things that make our lives as enjoyable as we can.
 

Ruby

Regular Contributor
It's strange that the virus didn't spread very much beyond the original Wuhan province although the Chinese certainly travel about the country, yet it came here very quickly. There still is no vaccine against the AIDS virus after all this time, but hopefully one will be found for this, or else perhaps it will mutate into something less harmful, and become like another winter flu virus.
At present we can do more things outside, but not so easy in the winter weather.
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
Yes, I acknowledge that my own regimen is quite strict, but I honestly think that everyone else's should be the same. I do not believe we have any chance of beating this, otherwise, unless a highly effective vaccine is developed soon. And even if it is, this is a way to minimize illness and death from the virus, in the meantime.

The thing is, for most people it costs nothing to follow a regimen as strict as mine (there are some exceptions -- diabetics need to eat every few hours, etc.). There is absolutely no downside to it, other than a bit of inconvenience, and the upside is literally lifesaving. So why not do it?
 

mac

janitor
Yes, I acknowledge that my own regimen is quite strict, but I honestly think that everyone else's should be the same. I do not believe we have any chance of beating this, otherwise, unless a highly effective vaccine is developed soon. And even if it is, this is a way to minimize illness and death from the virus, in the meantime.

The thing is, for most people it costs nothing to follow a regimen as strict as mine (there are some exceptions -- diabetics need to eat every few hours, etc.). There is absolutely no downside to it, other than a bit of inconvenience, and the upside is literally lifesaving. So why not do it?

Yours is an interesting proposal, bb, and I agree it's a pretty sure way to minimise one's personal risk.

I think we'd agree, though, that few would adopt such a strict regime while less-extreme behavior can provide acceptably low levels of risk. But in the longer term maybe your strict way of life will prove to be the only practicable way to effectively deal with this virus. If we're around in 12 months it will be interesting to re-visit this conversation to compare actuality with conjecture.

It puts me in mind of the Deepwater Horizon disaster many years ago when, on another spiritual website, all manner of dire outcomes were being predicted by certain of its members. At the time I said something similar to those participating - "Let's all look back in 12 months and see what actually happened."

Yes there was extreme pollution with major and long-lasting impact on the ocean and the communities along the coast but lurid predictions, some allegedly from spirit communicators, seemed far-fetched at the time. In the event nothing even remotely similar happened. I mention that simply as another situation that looked out of control and turned out very differently from predictions. The only certain thing about the future is its uncertainty.
 
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bluebird

Major Contributor
I do agree that following less extreme protocols can offer lower levels of risk than not wearing masks or distancing at all, but they they do not offer anything close to the much lower level of risk offered by my protocol.

I don't see any valid reason (aside from a few genuine exceptions) why everyone shouldn't follow a protocol very similar to mine, in order to give themselves the best chance of avoiding a plague death or living the rest of their lives seriously medically-compromised.

This is a life and death situation, and people need to treat it as one, all the time, in all of their decisions.
 

mac

janitor
I do agree that following less extreme protocols can offer lower levels of risk than not wearing masks or distancing at all, but they they do not offer anything close to the much lower level of risk offered by my protocol.

I don't see any valid reason (aside from a few genuine exceptions) why everyone shouldn't follow a protocol very similar to mine, in order to give themselves the best chance of avoiding a plague death or living the rest of their lives seriously medically-compromised.

This is a life and death situation, and people need to treat it as one, all the time, in all of their decisions.

The claim you're making in the last sentence is plainly not the case. It's not life or death because a Covid 19 infection doesn't automatically result in death.

Admittedly living the way you do vastly improves the odds against picking up the disease but my guess would be that only a few would see it as an acceptable alternative to how things are now or how they might become even if/when additional precautions prove necessary.

My expectation is for further changes needing to happen, a process of regular, perhaps localised, adjustments being made to the rules/procedures.
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
mac,

You're right that catching Covid doesn't always lead to death -- some people never get symptoms, some get mild symptoms, and there's a whole range of severity up to death. BUT, a person has no way of knowing how it will affect her/him -- already unhealthy people will probably be more severely affected and healthier people less so, but that is not always the case (plus the person infected can't know how it will affect any loved ones s/he may inadvertently pass it along to). Also, we are learning that for many people there will be long-lasting, possibly even lifelong health complications and damage, particularly to the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, even years after apparent recovery. And finally, death from the virus is always a possibility, even for those who were healthy prior to catching it.

Catching the virus won't lead to death for everyone, but it can lead to death for anyone. This is a life and death situation, and should be treated as one. Must be, if we are to have any chance.

Therefore, I stand by my statement.
 

mac

janitor
Sorry, bb, but life and death situation means something different to me. It's do this and you die, do that and you live.

I don't dispute the many possibilities and potential complications the virus may present but we have different views about a 'life and death' scenario.
 

mac

janitor
As I've mentioned somewhere else recently......now what was it I mentioned? Oh, yes - unemployment and business failures because of the pandemic.

Here in the UK folk eat and drink out much as they do in the USA. Not me and my wife whichever country we're in but pubs are big business in the UK - much more than bars in the US - and current restrictions are putting the livelihoods of their landlords and landladies at serious risk. It's similar in restaurants and doubly-difficult for pubs that also serve food - quite a lot.

It's only recently that pubs have been allowed to open and fings ain't wot they used to be. Just staying afloat is as much as many are likely to achieve, profits probably nil, debt considerable and made worse by additional costs occasioned by safety screens etc. At most many - pubs and restaurants alike - are serving half the number of customers they used to. That is likely to lead to many food and drink failures it's feared. Other businesses are less restricted but many have lost regular trade to online suppliers. It's reported that things are worse in many ways financially than after the sub-prime scandal and market crash, 2008. Unemployment is likely to soar over winter.

All those aspects are additional to health services disruption, something we Brits have major problems with in any ordinary years. (Similar to the Canucks) Most days I'll hear or see about something or someone in trouble in a way I'd not considered or simply didn't know about.

I readily admit I long for things that once didn't seem that important, we took for granted or didn't even consider. A kiss, a hug, shaking someone's hand, standing close to one another when chatting. Seeing a proper smile rather than just someone's eyes. Things we didn't even know we took for granted because they were integral to the fabric of our lives; I miss them and I'd guess many of us miss them.
 

mac

janitor
As I wrote earlier, this is becoming a some-time diary and this weekend the situation in our schools is in the spotlight and on my mind. I used to be an educator and remember the difficulties we faced as teachers. Now things are much harder and more complex generally and now our teachers and principals face a new regime - yet another and this one more serious and potentially dangerous.

Schools in some states in the US have already returned to school but no members have come to say what's happening in their neck of the woods - about anything. :(
 

mac

janitor
It's a parochial issue but in Scotland - the first country to announce exam results - there's just been an about-face because of protests at the way students' year-end results had been calculated. Changes are to be made to try to address the unfairness of a computer system that awarded the results - exams were cancelled because of the pandemic leading to schools closing.

A Level exams are key to students' applications for university ('college') entrance. It's been accepted that thousands of results had unfairly been marked down severely impacting the students awarded lower results than expected. It's one big deal because it would impact potential career prospects. A similar situation is faced by schools and students in England as results are announced later this week. The absurd part is that the situation was known about, expected and warned about but not acted upon by those who could have taken action - 'til now.

Add to all that the imminent return of schools in Scotland with continuing uncertainty how separation in class, risks of infection breaking out etc. will work and this summer looks set to remain lively. Schools in England, Northern Island and Wales are scheduled to return in September. (as with those in the US after Labor Day) There's as much uncertainty with the remainder of the schools as there is with those in Scotland.

Then it's recently been announced that our 'world-class' track and trace system announced by Blustering Boris (Tweedldum to US President Tweedledee :D) won't be working the way announced because it doesn't work the way it was said it would! Considered vital to the attempted control of infection spread local experts in track-and-trace are to be used to get round the totally-predicted problems with the national scheme. oy vey!
 

mac

janitor
It's almost September and in the UK our schools are due to re-open with all the uncertainty of a new situation. Labor Day weekend coming up for yous guys and after the holidays both sides of the big pond our various education systems will be fully re-started. I'm hoping all the reassurances we've heard will prove accurate but time alone will tell.

I find it hard to feel optimistic and meantime I keep hearing the phrase 'getting back to normal' tripping off the lips of our appointed leaders along with all the other jargon and buzz-words they say. I get frustrated because unless there's a minor miracle there will not be any 'getting back to normal'. What we'll have at best is a new way of living that will be far from normal. We'll be doing stuff - and avoiding stuff - we never even dreamed of when the new year was being welcomed in - THAT will be the normal for any foreseeable future i.e. more than a couple of weeks down the line and we'll likely feel it's a major accomplishment if we can safely avoid another wholesale lock-down similar to those we've all been through.

But our leaders daren't say that because they fear we'll think it's all their fault when things don't improve, where medical systems creak and split under the usual winter pressures. All that good stuff added to which will be folk sick with pandemic Covid 19, widespread lock-down imposed wherever infections are running out of control. Too much, too pessimistic? Oh, God, I hope that's the case and that next spring I can return to this thread and say what a Jeremiah I was, how things turned out so much better than anyone could ever have expected.

Oh, God, how I hope that's what happens......
 

mac

janitor
It feels like every day we hear from some individual or organisation that has been impacted - mostly negatively - by the pandemic.

Recently it was a local report about Barnado's charity (Believe in children | Children's charity) now overwhelmed by a backlog of donations because individuals weren't able to donate during lock-down. Also overwhelmed because some of their volunteers have stopped helping because of fears of infection (travel, contact in-store) or because they're shielding at home. But it can be any charity anywhere.

Many charities' incomes have fallen off a cliff because of nearly six month's inactivity. Those they used to help are the ones who are suffering. Rents and insurance on premises still have to be met, heating bills will be next as autumn and winter arrive. Getting revenue chains re-established may be very hard.

These are just some of the hidden effects of the pandemic and many more will doubtless emerge in the days, weeks and months ahead. Is there any wonder I feel so pessimistic?
 

Ruby

Regular Contributor
I'm just back from a week in beautiful Cumbria, in and out of coffee shops and walking the moors and fields. Cafes are busy and they have been doing well under the Eat Out to Help Out scheme we have had in Britain, all of which will have to be paid for, of course. (There's no such thing as a free lunch!).
You put your mask on when entering, put some gel on your hands, find a table and whip off the mask! It can't be doing very much but it shows that we are all mindful of the need to be careful.
There must be so much silent suffering going on because lots of people who were having tests for serious disease have just been forgotten about. By the time their treatments will get going again it could be too late for a cure in lots of cases. I just broke a tooth this morning and that feels annoying enough!! It's awful for these people and there must be so many of them by now. Every time I am reminded of spring 2016 I feel trauma at the thought my son was terminally ill and we knew nothing about it.
 

mac

janitor
I'm just back from a week in beautiful Cumbria, in and out of coffee shops and walking the moors and fields. Cafes are busy and they have been doing well under the Eat Out to Help Out scheme we have had in Britain, all of which will have to be paid for, of course. (There's no such thing as a free lunch!).
You put your mask on when entering, put some gel on your hands, find a table and whip off the mask! It can't be doing very much but it shows that we are all mindful of the need to be careful.
There must be so much silent suffering going on because lots of people who were having tests for serious disease have just been forgotten about. By the time their treatments will get going again it could be too late for a cure in lots of cases. I just broke a tooth this morning and that feels annoying enough!! It's awful for these people and there must be so many of them by now. Every time I am reminded of spring 2016 I feel trauma at the thought my son was terminally ill and we knew nothing about it.

My neighbour lost one of her real teeth a few weeks ago, managed to get a new plate because her dentist had opened for non-extraction work, but then lost another (she has health issues) and now has to wait to get another plate made up. But at least her dentist is working! Mine isn't or perhaps is because we had a call but my wife and I are still waiting for an appointment date.

I'm glad you enjoyed your trip, Ruby. Things are still very weird and I think some of the infection precautions aren't properly effective and some aren't even used properly but this pandemic stuff is still new and we're having to learn at a time when rules and policies seem to be changing constantly - just look at the UK's varying quarantine regs. connected with returning from other countries - one nation, four countries, three procedures.

As you've pointed out our ailing NHS is way behind now with all the routine work that's not been tackled since March. And as you suggest, many will learn their condition has gone too far for treatment to be effective; the most tragic thing is that patients and doctors alike know all this and are powerless to change things. They're locked in to a system unable to cope with the backlog and we oldies all know how winter brings our NHS services to its knees as a matter of routine. God help us all this coming winter! Wherever we live....
 

Ruby

Regular Contributor
Indeed, mac. We were from fortunate generations who just accepted we'd be looked after from cradle to grave!
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
I don't understand how people can feel comfortable eating at restaurants/cafes, especially eating inside. Ruby, you said that "You put your mask on when entering, put some gel on your hands, find a table and whip off the mask!" What's the point of wearing the mask on the way in if you (the universal you) just take it off to eat once inside? Anyone who does risks her/his life by doing so.
 

mac

janitor
I don't understand how people can feel comfortable eating at restaurants/cafes, especially eating inside. Ruby, you said that "You put your mask on when entering, put some gel on your hands, find a table and whip off the mask!" What's the point of wearing the mask on the way in if you (the universal you) just take it off to eat once inside? Anyone who does risks her/his life by doing so.

As I understand - and I've not studied so I could be wrong - the principle is that eating/drinking establishments require customers to wear face coverings until they're socially-distanced at all points inside the building. If they can enter the building and make their way to an allotted table without infringing the 2 metre rule in respect of anyone that's OK too, no face covering is needed. After diners with masks have sat down at socially-distanced tables they're allowed to take off face-coverings. Some pubs have installed barrier-screens as in shops etc.

The only way to be safe is to become a hermit or find some other way to avoid ALL proximity to ALL people and avoid contacting ALL objects that aren't your own. Nothing less provides safe..... Failing all that each of us has to decide what's an acceptable level of risk.

My opinion - a totally unscientific one but based on scientifically-based observation of the data - is that potential viral load from exposure will become a major factor in determining risk. I expect right now future governing parameters are being researched and will emerge when the research is complete.
 

Ruby

Regular Contributor
I forgot to say that you are obliged to leave your name and phone number so that if there is a case of the virus you can be warned and stay inside. I believe we are at single-figure deaths daily here in the UK now, altbough that's no excuse to get careless. There were two elderly ladies who looked as if they had dressed up at the table next to us yesterday. They looked so happy to be out having a treat, and it's difficult to deny people these pleasures. Young people are now causing concern mixing in vast numbers on beaches in the Greek islands and some are returning with the virus, but vulnerable people seem to be shielding quite willingly so hopefully numbers won't increase.
 

mac

janitor
I forgot to say that you are obliged to leave your name and phone number so that if there is a case of the virus you can be warned and stay inside. I believe we are at single-figure deaths daily here in the UK now, altbough that's no excuse to get careless. There were two elderly ladies who looked as if they had dressed up at the table next to us yesterday. They looked so happy to be out having a treat, and it's difficult to deny people these pleasures. Young people are now causing concern mixing in vast numbers on beaches in the Greek islands and some are returning with the virus, but vulnerable people seem to be shielding quite willingly so hopefully numbers won't increase.

I'd forgotten the contact and tracing aspect - our 'world beating' system as promised by Blustering Boris BoJo. It's anyone's guess how the next few weeks will pan out now schools are back, young adults are getting infected more than oldies but may be less-badly affected albeit being spreaders, folk are returning from their hols and maybe bringing back infection etc. etc. etc.
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
As I understand - and I've not studied so I could be wrong - the principle is that eating/drinking establishments require customers to wear face coverings until they're socially-distanced at all points inside the building. If they can enter the building and make their way to an allotted table without infringing the 2 metre rule in respect of anyone that's OK too, no face covering is needed. After diners with masks have sat down at socially-distanced tables they're allowed to take off face-coverings. Some pubs have installed barrier-screens as in shops etc.

The only way to be safe is to become a hermit or find some other way to avoid ALL proximity to ALL people and avoid contacting ALL objects that aren't your own. Nothing less provides safe..... Failing all that each of us has to decide what's an acceptable level of risk.

My opinion - a totally unscientific one but based on scientifically-based observation of the data - is that potential viral load from exposure will become a major factor in determining risk. I expect right now future governing parameters are being researched and will emerge when the research is complete.

In any place being run by reasonably intelligent people, you're correct -- they have to wear masks until they've reached a sufficiently socially-distanced point.

It's not enough. It's something, certainly, but in my opinion there's still an unnacceptable level of risk. The COVID-19 virus, while more likely to be transmitted via sneezes/coughs, is also transmittable via touching objects an infected person has touched, and it can also linger in the air, especially in places running air conditioning, and therefore be transmitted just by being in the same room as someone who is infected.

You're right that the only way to truly be safe is to avoid all people and objects unless one lives with those people and objects, and as far as I'm concerned that's exactly what everyone should be doing to the best of her/his ability and circumstances (obviously certain things are unavoidable -- people still need to buy groceries, go to the doctor, etc.).

Of course I realize that not everyone feels this way -- in fact, it appears that very few people feel this way. And as long as they are wearing their masks and socially distancing away from me, I would never tell other adults what they should do, as that's not my place (though I have absolutely zero problem telling people to put on their damn masks when out in public and not far away from other people). Then we have the idiots who don't believe the virus is real (as if any virus ever gave a damn about what they "believe"), or who believe they are immune or just won't catch it or if they do they will be just fine (see previous parenthetical). You're right in that each person has to decide for her/himself what s/he considers an acceptable level of risk. I just don't understand how/why most people (not the anti-mask idiots, I mean the normal population) set that level where they do.
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
I forgot to say that you are obliged to leave your name and phone number so that if there is a case of the virus you can be warned and stay inside. I believe we are at single-figure deaths daily here in the UK now, altbough that's no excuse to get careless. There were two elderly ladies who looked as if they had dressed up at the table next to us yesterday. They looked so happy to be out having a treat, and it's difficult to deny people these pleasures. Young people are now causing concern mixing in vast numbers on beaches in the Greek islands and some are returning with the virus, but vulnerable people seem to be shielding quite willingly so hopefully numbers won't increase.
I do see what you're saying, but in my opinion "these pleasures" are not worth the risk, especially for the elderly. As far as I'm concerned, if it's not essential, don't do it. Of course they can do as they choose, as long as they are following the required procedures (masks, distancing, etc.), but I think they are being reckless.

I am severely depressed, have been for the past 8 years, since my husband died. One of my very few pleasures, something that functions as a kind of therapy for me, is visiting the local thrift shop. Pre-covid, I did so twice a week, and 99% of the time f0und at least one item I wanted to purchase (usually more). I used to have an online vintage shop, and have some knowledge in that area, and I enjoy "rescuing" vintage items from the rubbish heap. I also found books and other non-vintage items that I simply needed/wanted. I've been a regular at my local thrift shop for a good few years now, and thus was given a fair amount of leeway (they knew I would never shoplift, they sometimes gave me additional discounts, they would hold things for me if I needed to go get more cash, etc.).

Because of COVID-19, I have not been to the thrift shop since mid-March (the same time when my job went all-remote). It has been difficult. I really miss going, the whole experience -- the ritual of it all, finding the items, interacting with the employees/volunteers, finding places for my purchases in my home, all of it. I would then usually stop by the grocery store, get a cup of chai tea and read the newspaper, then do a bit of food shopping, then head home.

Not being able to do this has exacerbated my depression. It seems like a small thing, and in a way it was/is, but it helped me a bit. But I won't do it again unless/until this virus is gone or we have a vaccine, because it isn't safe for me to do so. It isn't essential, no matter how much I might like it, and even though it helps me. So I won't do it, period. If I can forego this, I don't understand why other people won't forego their pleasures. We're in a pandemic, the normal rules don't apply. Yes, life sucks right now, in many ways, for virtually everyone. That's just how it is. There are ways people can improve their lives and outlooks that don't involve trying to proceed as if things were normal, ways that don't involve increasing the risk of infection to themselves and others (spending more time with the people they live with, reading/writing, creating art, playing video games, watching tv, doing home projects, taking up new hobbies, etc.).
 
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