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How are we all holding up?

 
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misshelenc



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 841
Location: Cardiff, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 9:48 pm    Post subject: How are we all holding up? Reply with quote

Dare I ask how everyone is managing with their respective lockdowns? I hope you all have retained some sanity and are finding ways to fill up the days.
Uk report is that things are very grim. We are fully locked down and will be for a while. Lots of sick and dead people. Itís cold outside, we are out of Europe and the vaccines are rolling out slowly. I hope your places are doing better than ours! Thinking of you all x
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lauragek



Joined: 26 May 2009
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Helen, indeed not the greatest question at the moment. Let's just say I'm getting my money's worth from all the albums I've collected over the years and the patreon subscriptions to musicians posting weekly songs. Music is one of the few joys left. Along with going for walks Smile

From across the channel everyone here has been watching along anxiously seeing how things evolve there in England. It sounds absolutely grim. But then we're also seeing the "English mutation" on the rise here. Lockdown keeps getting stricter. This weekend we got a curfew, and that sparked riots. It's a tiny minority as most people are keeping nicely to the rules but they're causing a lot of damage and unrest.

Vaccination here is only at 150.000 people... It is going way too slow already and now there's news of production/delivery problems... According to current plans I might get vaccinated by September. I'm preparing for it to probably be later still. Not much to look forward to in the meantime, except my 91 year old granddad hopefully will get vaccinated in a couple weeks.

I'm trying to keep the mindset of "it is what it is, and I'll do what I can" meaning not trying to get sad or frustrated about feeling shitty, not being productive, etc... What are your coping mechanisms?
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misshelenc



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 841
Location: Cardiff, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iím sorry youíre still in lock down but glad you have the chance to enjoy all that media. It doesnít make it all okay but it certainly helps.
Same here in the uk, the majority are certainly sticking to the rules. The streets are empty. I know there are some super spreaders around that donít care, but mostly itís the media making a big thing of people getting fined for having house parties, making the people feel that itís their fault that the situation is so bad, not the government for dithering around and badly managing everything from day one. Vaccines are rolling out, my sister (optician) had one yesterday as front line staff. Iím not due to have one for ages yet but thatís a good thing right, healthiest last! I hope grandad gets the call soon! My dad is due very soon at age 74.
We do have a terrible death toll here but I have a hunch other countries who do not have as transparent a system as us could well be worse off. If anything we over quote as itís based on people who have died after having a positive Covid test in the last 30 days. Some of those people died in car accidents, nothing to do with their earlier Covid, so theyíre not great stats but not horrendously out either. I know other countries have defined this differently so the levels vary depending on how they decided to gather the data.
Your little motto is a good one, Iím glad youíve found it. I just keep waking up and taking every hour by hour as another one ticked off where I feel well. Mostly I try to distract myself with the usual suspects, like lots of media, diamond painting, writing letters, cleaning random stuff around the house, reading stuff online, and I did finish a 1000 piece puzzle as already discussed a week ago. Reading a lot of books and spending a lot of time with the cats. We have had snow and lots of rain this week but itís gone now, itís been cold which makes everyone more miserable. Spring will hopefully be a better time if we can all hold on just a little bit longer. Thereís a reason why the roaring 20s followed the 1918 pandemic happened here, because people appreciated spending time together again and seeing each other and all over the place people built great theatres and places where people could go and be together because it mattered. Keep strong and the roaring 2020s will be upon us and itís going to be awesome. X
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jefflewis



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 1372

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a good reminder, about the roaring 20s!
Here in NYC I'm just sort of feeling this existential boredom.
It's nothing to really complain about; as always there's no real problem, no shortage of food at my place, I'm warm and fine at my apartment, and of course I have plenty of music to listen to and books to read (tho I barely make time for reading). I am even lucky enough to have my parents living so close to me, I can visit them for dinner or they can come over to my apartment for dinner, we do this sort of thing maybe once every two weeks, and every time I am planning to see them it is easy for me to get a Covid-test. There's a hospital only about 12 blocks away, an easy walk or bike-ride, where (for some reason) there is almost no waiting line for testing (tho the lines are sometimes long at other locations that I used to go to). The nurse there even knows me by now because I've been getting tests there like every 2 weeks! It is not the "rapid" test (20 minutes for results, with shallow nose-swab), it is the normal test (12-24 hours for results, with deep nose-swab), but that's fine, I just make sure to go there for a test at least 24 hours before planning to see my parents and the results usually come to my inbox or my phone in about 12 hours. And the waiting time from entering to leaving the hospital is quite easy, usually less than one hour total. I'm also very lucky that I'm seeing my girlfriend again (we'd been broken up for a few months) so we get together maybe 2x each week, we live about a 40 minute bicycle ride apart, it's fine if it's not raining or snowing (tho it has been very cold here on many days!).
And most days I am just doing stuff in my apartment, working a bit on a new comic book, making an Instagram post, maybe doing an interview for somebody's podcast, or packing/shipping the orders that come to my website, bringing those orders to the post office about once a week. I check the news maybe too often, it has become a bad habit ever since the November election time, but lately I have been really happy and calm to see the way President Biden is talking and acting, he has been doing really good things and he has such a calm and reasonable way of talking, I think it is really what is needed. I love the way he never makes it about him or any "enemies," he only seems to talk about what he is doing to help. I can't even remember if this is normal, or if this is special, after so many years of our political nightmare!
So, this all sounds good, right? Things are okay.
But what's weird is the way life is still so reduced, even with no lockdowns. There are days when I never leave my apartment - not because there's a lockdown, but just because there's nothing to do! I'm not even excercising any more, because I somehow hurt my foot a couple months ago and it's still sore (I got x-rays taken today to see if it's anything more serious). So I haven't even been going out for jogs.
So it's like this weird feeling, where many things are normal... but it's a "new normal" where there's no visiting friends, no hanging out or going to shows or restaurants, no travel, no open mics, and, as I'm experiencing, many days where there's sadly just no reason to leave my house. I guess I really ought to get in the habit of going for walks, but I have this annoying need to have a "purpose" for everything I do... If I'm not walking "to" the supermarket or the post office, I just realize days have gone by and I'm just at home. Bleh. It's not the end of the world, it's not prison, it's not war, it's just a bit depressing and it's been going on for so long it just seems totally normal. Just a much "smaller" life of just being at home 90% of the time, for a year.
But of course it could be worse....
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misshelenc



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 841
Location: Cardiff, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wales is staying locked down for at least another three weeks. Except we are now allowed to meet one person from outside our houses for outdoor exercise. Dream on, itís snowing! Still only allowed to buy essential goods (the shops have most stuff except food blocked off - no clothes, no electricals, no home wear etc) not allowed to see any one or do anything outside the house but walk around. Been like it for so long I canít remember my families actual faces, only the image on the video call. Iím so miserable and fed up.
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misshelenc



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 841
Location: Cardiff, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recommended: apology the podcast. Talks to obscurish people about music and books. People that people here might like x
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jefflewis



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 1372

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That lockdown situation sounds really miserable. That's much worse than in NYC currently. There must be so much depression going around!
It's been quite snowy here in NYC for a couple days, a nice change of pace to see.
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misshelenc



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 841
Location: Cardiff, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you like the snow Jeff? Lots of people love it but as an always cold person snow is not for me. Ours has melted now but more is to come later this week and itís going to get very cold again, so I will be running errands before that hits while the milder weather stays. Snow is pretty though and makes everything look really tidy!
I had a crying day the other day and since then I have felt a little bit better. I feel a bit on edge, like anything could set me off but at least I can vaguely let the minutes pass without feeling five minutes away from a breakdown. Sometimes you just need to indulge the sadness and really feel it to let it pass, even though it was painful and involved a lot of Tori Amos songs. We have at least two more weeks of this lockdown and then they might start easing things. Might.
We are doing good with vaccines here. My sister had the Pfizer and my dad has had the AstraZeneca so far with no side effects from either.
Stay strong my buddies xx
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jefflewis



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2021 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do like the snow, it's a nice change and makes the winter seem more cozy instead of just boring and freezing! But I guess if it the snow was more common maybe it wouldn't be so exciting!
Glad you're feeling better... I gotta say this whole virus-year has somehow been much less of a wound-up mental year for me than the previous year before the virus, maybe it was really good for me to have something outside of myself to get worried about! Although this past year has had difficulties of its own kind, it's somehow been a real welcome change and a break from old cycles of thought - and now that that old cycle has been broken, maybe it won't come back??
Anybody else experiencing a weird emotional relief because of this year of virus-crisis? Even if the old anxieties have been replaced by new anxieties, that's still a relief, just because the old anxieties were so damn boring to me! : D
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misshelenc



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 841
Location: Cardiff, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2021 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be honest I am fine not being around people for the majority of the time, isolation is a normal thing for me so I am one of the more prepared people for the situation. I want to see my family when I can though. Sadly for me the virus anxiety became an issue on top of my usuals issues rather than instead of so now I have at least double the problems. Iím glad youíre managing okay x
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jefflewis



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't been able to find your recommendation of apology the podcast, the one that I found does not seem to be the right one...? When I searched for "apology the podcast" this is the one that came up, but it's about crime stuff, not music stuff...?
https://wondery.com/shows/the-apology-line/
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misshelenc



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 841
Location: Cardiff, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The apology line is good, I listen to that, but yeah itís just called apology by Jesse Pearson if that helps? I listen on apple podcasts so itís definitely there, or listen here:
https://www.stitcher.com/show/apology
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lauragek



Joined: 26 May 2009
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2021 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey! It's been a while! So many updates in the meantime!

Our lockdown is being extended further, at least another month to go now. But we've had a ton of snow and a still going cold spell which only happens abour every 4-5 years. I love it. The snow makes the world bright, there's kids playing outside all day, dads carrying their kids on sleds passing the kitchen window. I love cold, as I can dress warmly and be fine. As opposed to heat waves when I'm just sweaty, cranky and exhausted. And a "real" winter makes the spring feel so much closer than the drizzly grey days that extend from the start of autumn. It's like a reset for my internal seasonal clock!

I hear what you say about the existential boredom, Jeff. I feel like life keeps grinding further into a halt. I still get to talk to people via all the online media's, but conversations are starting to lull now that so little is happening in our lives. What else can we talk about? We spend 10 minutes talking about the snow and we're done... It doesn't help that most days I'm feeling very unproductive and even though I try not to measure my self worth by my productivity... Well you know how ingrained society's standards tend to get Wink

Tonight we killed an hour with a grocery run. Had to go together with my partner as we can't drive the car. Snow + no winter tyres means not being able to get out of the neighbourhood onto the salted roads. But it was nice to go for a larger bikeride/walk than the usual one.

As for making walks productive: that has always kept us from going for walks even though we knew we should. But I feel this great need to get some movement daily and know I should get some sunlight (no matter how scattered by grey clouds) on my face. So every lunch I make sure to take a walk around the block just for the sake of having been outside. Once I'm out I usually end up walking farther as random things catch my attention!

Also I can't listen to podcasts and keep my attention to them. It's only when cooking or hanging/folding laundry that I have my hands busy enough to keep my mind on the stories. But going on a drive or walk is another opportunity for podcast listening. It might be nice to pick one podcast that you only allow yourself to listen to while exercising?

I only listen to Dear Hank and John, a podcast by two brother that also make videos on the Vlogbrothers youtube channel I've been following for a decade. They answer questions from listeners and it's a nice mix of sillyness, bad advice, genuine advice and just some nice or deep observations about life. I wish I could listen to more podcasts but as explained my listening time is too limited to be able to add more to the list!
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lauragek



Joined: 26 May 2009
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2021 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh my god I completely forgot to share the highest of highlists I just had yesterday!

My best friend came over and we could hug.

She's a doctor at the hospital (internist) and therefore got vaccinated as one of the first people in our country. I've screenshotted the messages we sent back and forth agreeing on going to hug when she was coming over. I cried. She cried. It suddenly felt like there was a light at the end of the tunnel, where before I could only vaguely look forward to September (or more realistically, November...) when they say my group will get their vaccin. I forgot that all the more vulnerable groups getting their vaccines already will start making a difference much earlier already!
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misshelenc



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 841
Location: Cardiff, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would cry if someone I care about hugged me too! Iím so happy for you. I hope you are still feeling hopeful and plan to meet up again soon for more hugs!
The uk has finally got warmer again and moved from snow to rain. I see Athens is covered in snow. Last time I went up the acropolis I was so hot I could hardly stay up there and now it looks all pretty covered in snow.
My mum got her Pfizer vaccine today, the uk is flying them out. We need it though since we are all fully shut down and isolated still.
I am also a walk to go somewhere person, unless I am somewhere new or particularly beautiful I have no interest in aimlessly wandering round when that time could be better used... in fact we have been so locked down for so long I am sick to death of my local area and would be happy never walking round it again!
I still havenít been anywhere or done anything beyond getting food and picking up library books.
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