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Explorer ○

How's everybody doin'?

Kinda quiet around here.

I'm writing this on the morning of Wednesday, June 24, and unless someone else happens to post something new while I'm still typing, there's been no activity on this forum since last Friday.  Rather unusual.

Here's how we're doin' in our household:

Since Covid19 became an unwelcome consideration in our lives, we find our lives centered around home.  House projects we'd kept putting off.  New plantings in the backyard shrub garden.  At least one walk on every day the weather cooperates--and everywhere we go on those walks, we see other people also working on their houses and yards.  Renewed gratitude for--and increased use of!--a fine audio system and a large collection of music and movies, and the books we bought but never got around to reading and which have assumed greater importance since the public library closed until further notice.  Groceries and other errands generally confined to one day a week, wearing masks whenever inside buildings or otherwise near people, e.g., buying stuff at the garden center.

We had several trips planned from Spring through Fall, including England to overlap a wedding anniversary.  All down the tubes.  We considered some travel by car, but then thought about lodging issues.  I don't know about you, but I've never been in a hotel, of any price, where they even routinely clean the dust and mold out of that air conditioning unit that blows in your face all night, so I'm surely not going to trust them to safeguard a room against Coronavirus.  In any case, as with the airlines, sanitizing the facilities is not the same thing as sanitizing the travelers.

The things we miss the most are attending "live" performing arts, which we typically did two or three times a month (orchestra, community and professional theater, etc.); and, definitely not least, just the ability to be in carefree physical proximity to other people, ranging from close personal friends to some really nice long-time grocery cashiers to the owner of a favorite family restaurant, who are normally such a regular part of the texture of our lives.  We've had some online video conversations, and a few face-to-face visits with friends or neighbors, in which everybody brings folding lawn chairs and we do "social distanced" conversation from opposite sides of the driveway, but, of course, it's just not the same.  If this virus thing ever passes, there's going to be a lot of "catch-up" hugging.  :-)

So, we describe our current lives as "cozily domestic--but limited."  Best we can do under the circumstances.

We're very concerned about all the people who are being prematurely forced back to work by public and corporate "leadership" which is prioritizing--and forcing working people to prioritize--economic considerations over public health considerations, with the predictable results now beginning to show up in force.

We're very disgusted by the number of our fellow citizens who, egged on by science-denying or otherwise irresponsible politicians, believe they have some kind of "right" to endanger others by refusing to wear masks in public.  This increases the uneasy feeling that we must look out for ourselves, because no one else is going to.

We've stepped up our charitable giving to local food banks and other stressed organizations performing good works.

I hope all is well with you and all the people you care about.  Stay safe, but engaged with life.

20 Replies
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Re: How's everybody doin'?

Hi Etoile,

Good to hear you are well.

Yes. Life has changed, but marriage and family have not.  We have adapted and are fortunate to live in a real neighborhood and lovely community.  There is ample interaction with neighbors and friends at a physical distance.

Regrettably, all our family live out of state so we are limited to zoom sessions with kids and grandkids. My wife also uses zoom for various book groups and some religious services.

Our community expects a real challenge when the university students return.  We sat in yesterday on a zoom session with the interim provost re opening up the university in the fall.  Unfortunately, we also had a taste of the threat posed by younger folks when a local bar opened up, which led to an outbreak of covid-19 (18 tested positive so far).

Since two of our kids are medical researchers, we take our guidance from them and, as a consequence, we have cancelled all travel deep into 2021.  We will NOT winter in Florida.

Tomorrow we will do a day trip to Lake Michigan and picnic.  That's about our speed for the time being.

All the best, Bob

EDIT: The number of confirmed covid-19 cases from one bar in town has been raised from 18 to 34--one bar, one night, 19-23 year olds.

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Re: How's everybody doin'?

Thanks for your warm and caring greetings.

Every organization (e.g., our church) and companies (e.g., mine) seem to take it in stride; we have higher productivity, it is more fun; we have higher (church) attendance via Zoom, WFH is so flexible, etc.

The fact everyone knows within their hearts is that it is a monumental game-changing time, and we may never be able to go back to the previous life style we all enjoyed so much.

We, as a family, are coping and adapting, as they say these days; and trying to stay safe and healthy; as they greet one another.

Grandchildren (three-year-old and one-year-old), their home being within 2-minute walking distance from us, may be one of the few enjoyments we have these days.

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Re: How's everybody doin'?

We are having some difficulties economically--My 3 adult grandchildren in Texas have lost their restaurant jobs when the restaurant they worked for has closed.  Their unemployment benefits are close to expiring, and Texas Covid 19 is getting worse in the state.  My adult son-in-law has been placed on furlough by the local hospital system in Texas, because elective healthcare services have not resumed in a sufficient level to produce income for jobs such as his, in a computer administrative position.  As grandparents, we are having to provide additional income supplements for family members struggling to pay ongoing expenses.

From a health standpoint, we are blessed and no member in our family has had Covid 19, but with summer having arrived we are planning on some modified and restricted vacationing.  We will take our Travel Trailer on some short trips, exercise social distancing, and use masks as required to prevent getting infected.  We have obtained Covid 19 tests, showing negative results, to make sure we are not threatening the safety of others.

We are struggling to find our "new normal", but trying to find an appropriate balance between staying in our home bunkers, compared to taking necessary precautions to enjoy the summer and vacations in a responsible manner.

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Re: How's everybody doin'?

I hear you, DT.

We have some adult kids in TX (grandkids are young).

A couple of the grown kids are in dicey circumstances. Like you, we are grateful we can assist. Can't think of a better use of retirement money (in the Age of Covid-19) than to help family when it's needed.

Bob

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Re: How's everybody doin'?

There are negotiations going on in Congress to extend the unemployment benefits to January. Hopefully it will pass. But the way congress seems to operate is pass something at the last minute. Seems as though the Covid-19 news has been drowned out by protest news and such lately.

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Re: How's everybody doin'?

 

I agree with Gary. A whole lot of and such especially lately. Today was certainly riveting.

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Re: How's everybody doin'?


@EtoileDuMatin wrote:

Kinda quiet around here.

I'm writing this on the morning of Wednesday, June 24, and unless someone else happens to post something new while I'm still typing, there's been no activity on this forum since last Friday.  Rather unusual.

Here's how we're doin' in our household:

Since Covid19 became an unwelcome consideration in our lives, we find our lives centered around home.  House projects we'd kept putting off.  New plantings in the backyard shrub garden.  At least one walk on every day the weather cooperates--and everywhere we go on those walks, we see other people also working on their houses and yards.  Renewed gratitude for--and increased use of!--a fine audio system and a large collection of music and movies, and the books we bought but never got around to reading and which have assumed greater importance since the public library closed until further notice.  Groceries and other errands generally confined to one day a week, wearing masks whenever inside buildings or otherwise near people, e.g., buying stuff at the garden center.

We had several trips planned from Spring through Fall, including England to overlap a wedding anniversary.  All down the tubes.  We considered some travel by car, but then thought about lodging issues.  I don't know about you, but I've never been in a hotel, of any price, where they even routinely clean the dust and mold out of that air conditioning unit that blows in your face all night, so I'm surely not going to trust them to safeguard a room against Coronavirus.  In any case, as with the airlines, sanitizing the facilities is not the same thing as sanitizing the travelers.

The things we miss the most are attending "live" performing arts, which we typically did two or three times a month (orchestra, community and professional theater, etc.); and, definitely not least, just the ability to be in carefree physical proximity to other people, ranging from close personal friends to some really nice long-time grocery cashiers to the owner of a favorite family restaurant, who are normally such a regular part of the texture of our lives.  We've had some online video conversations, and a few face-to-face visits with friends or neighbors, in which everybody brings folding lawn chairs and we do "social distanced" conversation from opposite sides of the driveway, but, of course, it's just not the same.  If this virus thing ever passes, there's going to be a lot of "catch-up" hugging.  :-)

So, we describe our current lives as "cozily domestic--but limited."  Best we can do under the circumstances.

We're very concerned about all the people who are being prematurely forced back to work by public and corporate "leadership" which is prioritizing--and forcing working people to prioritize--economic considerations over public health considerations, with the predictable results now beginning to show up in force.

We're very disgusted by the number of our fellow citizens who, egged on by science-denying or otherwise irresponsible politicians, believe they have some kind of "right" to endanger others by refusing to wear masks in public.  This increases the uneasy feeling that we must look out for ourselves, because no one else is going to.

We've stepped up our charitable giving to local food banks and other stressed organizations performing good works.

I hope all is well with you and all the people you care about.  Stay safe, but engaged with life.


           Well I’am not going to comment on the virus itself and how things are being handled. We all have an opinion. Our adult children are doing well so far all either owning their essential businesses (tech) or fortunate to be employed in one. Income wise I don’t think they’ve missed a beat. Our grands are all young and still in school (at times) and we expect their parents will be responsible for them in the future if they need help.

             My wife and I have always lived in sparsely populated areas by birth and preference so social isolation and self sufficiency is not a problem. We’re on our own and used to living that way. Masks are optional here and mostly worn by retirees. The 2hr round trips to the “big city” of 15-20k once or twice a week which we’re used to are all the people we need. Lol. We have a loose and changing local group we get together with mostly in the cold winter months when we all travel though so this could get interesting in 6 months.
   
              What we do miss is the worry free travel to break things up somewhat at times. I expect a vaccine to appear sometime next year though to gradually end this.

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Re: How's everybody doin'?

@EtoileDuMatin:  Thank you for your report. Glad to see that you're managing your affairs reasonably.

My wife and I are doing pretty well. I use the qualifier because we each have our long-term ailments, even if these haven't become significantly worse. But our life in the quarantine era has become complicated in part because when the shutdown came we were still in the process of relocating from our house in the town where I worked before retiring 6 years ago. And we had already set up our new housing in a 55+ community about 60 miles away. For now we are stuck in the old place partly because of the stay-in-place program of our governor and partly because we realized that in the COVID-19 era it is safer for us to stay in our old house than to move to the multi-unit 55+ condo.

Financially, we're doing ok despite paying property taxes in two cities, plus condo fees for a place that we do not live in. But we are living on Social Security and our RMD's from the TIAA 403b account. The Fidelity account (funded substantially by money we inherited) that we set up around the time I retired is doing well. We have both a brokerage account and an IRA there.

Our health/medical activities are greatly complicated by our having been caught in the midst of a relocation. I had already moved all my medical/doctor care to the new location; my wife had not done that but expects to make some changes in that direction this summer. But the Blue Cross and Medicare insurance coverages are good.

We have had to cancel plans for our annual family summer vacation in Maine. Our kids both live in New York. One lives in Brooklyn and telecommutes to her job with a university institute in Manhattan. The other lives in Westchester County, even though he still has an apartment in mid-town Manhattan. He works online, including using a video and sound setup at home to participate in TV and other media events sponsored by his employer. Fortunately, they both appear to be doing well financially and have good health care coverage. But when we will see them again is very uncertain.

We could use haircuts. We miss going to the gym and working with our trainer. But we do get out for long walks almost every day, even if we can't take advantage of a gym.

In sum, "things aren't bad." We're coping.

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Re: How's everybody doin'?

Quiet and peaceful here.

I live in Washington state, and for about 4 months I was not able to have a hip replacement. I was hobbling along with my cane. Finally, elective surgeries were allowed, and I have a new hip. In two weeks I've gone from a severe limp to taking good long hikes or biking with my Lab. I might be rushing it, but love being able to move normally.

There's something about living in a small town that is appealing in these times. For one thing, there's a lot open space, and less chance of contracting Covid-19. Second, there is a quieter lifestyle that tends to get your mind away from the chaos in our government and for the most part well-meaning protests.

I'm 20 minutes from downtown Vancouver BC which in normal times allows me to see my life partner anytime I wanted. I used to alternated between Vancouver and here. Unfortunately though, the border has been closed since mid-March, and understandably Canada would prefer to keep it that way until the US gets the pandemic under control. The word here is the border will be closed until 2021. There was a way to meet my partner, but that has also been eliminated.  There's a park on the border shared by both the US and Canada that allowed residents from both countries to meet. Canada closed its part of the park, and so we just have to wait.

Thank you for sharing how the rest of you are coping.

 

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Re: How's everybody doin'?

Good to hear from you, Robb, and glad that you are well.  Congrats on the new hip (and more vigorous lifestyle)!

I hope you and your partner will soon be able to visit (other than virtually).

Bob

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Re: How's everybody doin'?

Our lives have changed very little.  

we used to meet up with friends twice a week at Starbucks.  Now we meet on our deck, where the chairs are placed at least 6 feet apart.  I make lattes in the kitchen.  

we used to go to town and run errands when I had doctor appointments.  Not much has changed there but we have fewer in person doctor appointments so fewer days with errands.  

I am doing great with my pancreatic cancer.   Had surgery in January and am finally recovered from that.  The cancer had metastasized to at least three other organs but following surgery has remained below detection.  I am coming up on one year since diagnosis. 

my Parkinson’s disease is progressing slowly. Doing my part with healthy diet and exercise. 

It sounds pretentious to say the biggest change is we have had to curtail our vacation schedule.   We had to cancel trips to Europe, Aruba, and Denver.  I am hoping to go to Aruba this winter, but my wife does not think I should risk it since my immune system is compromised.

My brother in law who came over to help with my cancer is stuck here,, he cannot fly home to Greece.  He has been trying to go home since late March.  His latest flight is traveling through Amsterdam.  Previously he had been booked through Paris, which keeps closing to tourists.  

we are doing fine.  Really miss eating out with friends

stats

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Re: How's everybody doin'?

Doing better than expected, not much happening with the hotter weather and stormy political climate.

Mainly, I feel alone since my wife passed two years ago, we used to travel some of the time, but now I don't feel like it and stay home. My computer broke down and my son is bringing me a new one next week. He had to go back to work,  so now we are not going for rides as often.

Mainly, things have been going smoothly since the pandemic,  I still deliver meals on weekdays and it structures my time.  Weekends can be boring, too hot to fish, too hot for golf and too lonely at home.

I wish everyone the best and hope y'all stay healthy and as active as possible. 

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Re: How's everybody doin'?

Man.  You've got a full plate, stats.  You've probably heard a version of that all too many times.

I'm really glad that your treatment has gone well.

Whether Starbucks or Aruba, may you be free to move around at will.

All best wishes, Bob

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Re: How's everybody doin'?

I spent the last six months in Canada, where I live half time, helping my brother through the end of his life. Other than the obvious sorrow of losing someone who is so dear to me, I was comforted in that space by the relative lack of Covid, and the cooperative spirit of everyone to do their part in helping to stop the spread. However, my health care is in the US and it became necessary for me to return here this month for routine, but nevertheless necessary, medical appointments and Rx. In the US, I live in a Covid hotbed, with some kind of wild west mentality about such a basic issue as mask wearing. Honestly, I don't understand it.

It took three airports and three flights to return. Each plane was at least half empty. On the second flight (American Air) the attendant refused twice to allow me to change to a different row, although there were many empty rows on the plane, and he did move other passengers. He told me the plane was full, and I had six feet between the next passengers. He was incorrect in both cases. He apprarently could not add, nor could he measure.  I sat in the only clustered part of the plane, with a man in front of me, and a family of four behind me. And of course the man ahead of me took his mask off. I put on a second mask, my eyeglasses and disposable gloves, and just endured the hour-long flight. And I quietly cried a good bit. I didn't know what else to do. I was one of only two seniors on the plane. Again, I came from a place where things were sane. That's all I can say.

I finished two weeks of self isolation without issue, and this week began the appointments that brought me here. My groceries had been delivered through Publix' online service, and that was a terrific experience. Unlike Robb, I am free to move between both countries, even in these times. However, that would pose an ethical dilemma for me, so here I remain. Also, I guess it's safe to say that getting on a plane again any time soon would probably greatly challenge my blood pressure!   

To those of you who are unwell... take good care of YOU. Thank you for sharing your stories, and allowing me to share mine.

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Re: How's everybody doin'?

Nibble,

Your experience with AA pretty much matches ours. My sense, starting several years ago, is that it's a demoralized airline.

Bob

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Re: How's everybody doin'?

We're doing quite well, but to be perfectly honest, I'm finding that a little discomforting. In response to COVID, my employer mandated telecommuting, except for the people who absolutely had to be physically on-site.  I wasn't one of those.  I thought I'd have trouble adapting to telecommuting, but within 3 weeks I found myself both enjoying it and being a little more efficient.  Our daughter has been developing a law practice down in Chicago. She was living down there when COVID hit.  She came back out to the burbs with us to ride it out, and has been pleasantly surprised to be able to run her practice effectively from here. 

Cash flow-wise, we're apparently better off under COVID conditions.  I haven't made the effort to figure out why, but since the income side hasn't changed, it has to be the spending side.  We're still buying stuff pretty liberally to help keep the economy lubricated, but the cash flow balance at the end of the month is definitely higher than pre-COVID. 

Finally, our state has followed CDC guidance on COVID pretty religiously, so we're currently in good shape with regard to the risk of contracting COVID.

So, why my discomfort?  Well, there's the discomfort from watching COVID blow up in a bunch of states whose governors made COVID decisions based on non-science considerations.  Their decisions are now coming back to bite their constituents hard. Unfortunately, we'll probably end up suffering collateral damage here from their foolishness.  My bigger discomfort, however, is the unevenness with which the hardship of COVID has been distributed.  I'm doing just fine, my siblings are doing just fine, pretty much everyone I know is doing fine.  But the people down on the fungible part of the employment ladder have been hurt badly.  Health workers are finding themselves "walking point" on COVID, not just for weeks or months, but potentially for a year or more.  Same thing for employees of assisted-living facilities, only their salaries are smaller and their risks higher.  Finally, its unsettling to think about the people (some my own age...) living in those facilities, and just waiting for COVID to get inside and harvest 20% of the ones that get infected.  Yeah, we're doing fine, but I don't feel good about it...

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Re: How's everybody doin'?

Doing fine so far.

We've had a couple of trips, and several concerts, cancelled or rescheduled.

I'm getting tired of wearing a mask, and not being able to go where I want when I want.

But so far, I do not know anybody who has actually caught the virus. Prevention seems to be a good idea!

My kids are doing OK. Both still employed. I'm afraid my daughter will have a hard time finding a faculty position since many schools are not hiring right now. Hopefully she'll be able to renew her postdoc if required.

I've become a great-uncle twice during this pandemic. So far they are also doing just fine.

We are some of the lucky ones.

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Re: How's everybody doin'?

Interesting thread! I’m doing “OK” I guess. Still working as an physician, which has been REAL INTERESTING in the middle of this pandemic. It’s amazing how many people still don’t believe we’re having a pandemic, they refuse to wear masks, etc., etc. That’s a major factor in the growing infection rates around the country, as we gradually reopen the economy. 

My wife and I are in the middle of moving into our “dream home” we built on a local Lake here in SC, which we’re really blessed to have. Still fixing up our old home to sell, which has been very difficult in the pandemic.

Biggest difficulty is we have NOT been able to see our 30 year old disable son since late February, as he is quarantined in a United Cerebral Palsy group home. He has CP, mild to moderate Intellectual Disability and does NOT understand why he cannot visit us every weekend. That’s been the most difficult part of this whole process. It’s heartbreaking to talk with him on the phone, and he doesn’t understand why we don’t get him every weekend. But we are doing this to protect both him (due to his medically fragile status) as well as both of us, especially me (over 60, diabetic, high blood pressure). 

Win
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Re: How's everybody doin'?

Win, that is a heartbreaking story. Can you have somebody set up a video communication for your son?

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