My wife and I are in good health and in our mid-60s. For years, I have done all the grocery shopping and all the cooking. We only get take-out about once a month. We did a few grocery store deliveries, but I prefer curbside pickups instead. On those very few occasions when I have had to venture inside of a Home Depot or other store, I armed myself with disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer, and I wore a KN-95 mask. More recently, I wore a second mask on top of that.
The biggest issue for us is that our daughter is giving birth to our first grandkid at the end of August in Florida. We are both incredibly excited! I am incredibly scared! My wife absolutely insists that we be there in-person. Our daughter also would like for us to be there. My preference is to stay at home and do endless Zooms/Face Time/Skypes and then visit-in-person in, say, October or November and again in December when Florida is hopefully not still a hot-spot.
I think the 13-hour drive there will be safe. I'll drive that all in one day. We'll pack sandwiches and snacks to eat along the way. The only vulnerabilities will be at rest areas and gas stations. With disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizers and face masks, I think we can be safe. The (wife's) plan is to stay at my daughter/son-in-law's house with them for about 7-14 days. Assuming the drive there is a safe one, I think staying with them is safer than staying at a hotel and visiting them each day. There are just far too many more opportunities for interactions with strangers when at a hotel. But, all this scares me, especially for the baby's sake.
This is an incredibly joyous time in my life. But, my stomach has been churning over and over about this.
IceNine, you and your wife have a decision to make. You asked for our thoughts. If your daughter asked you to stay away or if your wife did not want to go, the decision would be easy.
Staying home is safer. After reading how careful and meticulous you are, I believe your trip will be safe enough. Skipping the birth at the hospital would make it a bit safer but you two can decide. If you go, please continue to be very careful.
I am completely bewildered by the calculator referenced in this article. It appears to calculate the risk that you will have a positive COVID test result. But it asks you nothing about your behavior.
I found this one far more interesting, giving the probability of hospital admission, ICU, and death:
It starts with your actual age, and then adds and subtracts from that based on the other inputs. Of course, it all depends on the accuracy of their methodology. Don't be put off by the fact it asks for your email address; it's not like so many things where you have to give a valid one for the thing to work, or to get your results - it's only if you want to save results. One thing that really jumped out, and I believe it's an addition since the last time I used the calculator, is the impact of vitamin D level. I'm now taking 5000 IU/day of vitamin D - it's cheap and safe, even if its impact on mortality is possibly over-rated.
Unlike most of you, I live alone. Haven’t seen my girlfriend in months. She lives across town with daughter, son-in-law, and 3-year-old granddaughter, for whom she’s the unpaid nanny. We’re both mid-70s and very cautious, partly because we live in Las Vegas, which has a lot of cases. She’s at higher risk, living with two workers and being in more tenuous health. I rely on deliveries from Amazon and a grocery.
I really miss eating out, which I ordinarily do almost every day because I don’t cook. Like ElLobo, I was disappointed when trying take-out instead. Thus far I’ve subsisted on frozen dinners and microwaveable frozen vegetables, plus such ready-to-eat foods as peanut butter, food bars, shakes, and mixed nuts. Have now signed up with one of the national food-delivery services. Will get 6 dinners per week from Freshly.
I find the TV news channels too unpleasant to watch, though I do like CNBC. Have finally discovered the high-quality TV series that friends have long talked about. Most of my time, though, is devoted to academic writing, without which my days of confinement would feel pretty much worthless. My mood rises and falls with how well the paper is going.
Tired of house arrest. Looking forward to 2021, when I’m hoping my life can once again include restaurants, shows, and Europe.
@IceNine. That's a very informative post. Staying in touch with family is complicated, especially when you want to be close because of the impending new baby. I hope you work that out. Thirteen hours on the road would be an hour or so more than it takes to drive from here in Michigan to where my son lives in Westchester County, NY. We could probably do that in one very long day's drive, but usually we break it up with overnight in Pennsylvania. Our kids are getting anxious for us to meet up somehow. Our daughter lives in Brooklyn, NY. We previously canceled our annual summer trip from here to Maine for our family vacation.
I encourage you "go for it"!
Tibbles, maybe you will manage your food situation in a healthy way. I have a recommendation if you have not tried it. Using the Internet and YouTube videos, you can cook in a healthy way.
Learner, thanks very much for the suggestion. I’m often receptive to advice, but I simply have zero interest in cooking. My diet is a lot better than it once was, and I seem to be in good health, as well as at my desired weight, so I’m going to continue on and hope for the best. The Freshly meals will add some needed diversity to my currently restricted diet.
This is a nice thread. I’ve enjoyed learning more about those whose posts I so often read. Thanks for starting it.
We are in good health. We don't go to the health club, no eating out or seeing friends and all travel is cancelled.
But we see all our kids. One left DC and stays with us, one lives one mile from us and my daughter+husnabd+2 kids live about 20 minutes drive from us. My daughter had her second child 2 months ago. All of us meet once a week for a get together and food since we don't see other people. We take care of our 2.5 years grandkid for 2 days a week which helps my daughter and her husband a lot.
My wife and I and the 2 kids go on 2-2.5 miles walk almost every day near home or around the lake (see below). Around 11 PM we take the dog for another 0.5-1 mile walk. Every day I do my Yoga and stretching + light weights.
I'm shopping once a week at Aldi and Walmart and maybe once more at Kroger for things I forgot. We take out (curbside) once a week.
Yesterday was the first time I went swimming in our subdivision pool and was 4-6 ft from anybody. I also watch tennis matches in our subdivision and the only one that stands 6 ft away from anybody. I'm amazed and baffled why so many people in the pool and in tennis or eating in a restaurant on the deck still stay near each other while talking and most are older than 60. Some even hugging and shaking hands. Pure stupidity.
In the last several months I saw an Ortho Dr and had a back procedure in the medical center, my family Dr for an annual exam and the dentist. I don't need a haircut, I shave my head for years already.
Instead of playing Bridge daily in our local senior centers I play online with several people about 2-3 hours every day.
Basically, life is pretty good and not boring.
We already have grandchildren and would likely be conflicted if there were a new announcement.
Glad you can make the trip in a day. We have family in Florida and they remind us it's a hotspot.
I'm really not sure how I (we) would handle the situation. Our kids all think we are better off staying put.
All the best.
"I'm amazed and baffled why so many people in the pool and in tennis or eating in a restaurant on the deck still stay near each other while talking and most are older than 60. Some even hugging and shaking hands. Pure stupidity."
Two possible reasons: 1) They do not get it. 2) Many people are much more social than some of us realize and feel a deep need to socialize. Without it, they get depressed.
I enjoy good company tremendously too but I can do without it if the situation requires, like nowadays.
For those interested, additional posts on this subject, including thoughts from a number of people who have not posted in this current newer thread, can also be found in this thread I started a month ago, entitled "How's everybody doin'?"
@IceNine... Hello, and congratulations in advance! Wonderful news!!
I live in Florida, so I'd like to add my thoughts here. I also live in Canada; however, by a twist of fate I find myself in FL at this time, but that's a different story, and this post is about you. So here goes: Yes, I would make the trip! Of course, we know that FL is a very serious hot spot, with some areas worse than others. But, with care and planning, I believe you can have a safe trip, and one that you, your wife, daughther, husband/partner and new baby deserve to experience.
My suggestions for you....
While in FL you should be able to limit your gas station visits to one stop, and rest breaks to hopefully no more than two. You already have good behaviours about mask wearing, gloves, and sanitizer. Up your game! Wear two masks, as you sometimes already do. Also, I would wear at least one disposable one that would not re-enter my car following usage. Same with gloves: peel those babies off carefully, remove and discard. Sanitize, including steering wheel just in case. When pumping gas, I have ALWAYS done this: wrap a paper towel around the gas pump... do not touch it with your bare or gloved hand. Do not touch the buttons on payment machine... again, I always use a paper towel. You should never touch that stuff; this is not about covid. 'Nuff said.
Yes, you should stay at your daughter's; hotels bring risk to you, and also to your family each time you visit them. But... and this next part is harder.... there should NOT be a lot of visitors coming and going at your daughter's house. They surely already have this plan in place to ensure the safety of the new baby, and also the safety of the mother who will have just given birth. But, just in case, you should have "the talk." You do not need a lot of exposure from outside sources while you are there, and that should be understood. There are people in FL who absolutely get how serious things are here; there are others who are goof balls. Your daughter needs to make sure that her visitors are in the former group. Perhaps she has a patio or deck that visitors can use; hodey has indicated that they have a rule in place that limits visiting family to the patio.
Learner suggested you not go to the hospital. I don't know if that is is even permitted but, yes, Learner is correct. Do not assume that because you are in FL you are entitled to "the whole enchilada."
Packing your food for travel sounds perfect. Also, while you're at it, get the big cooler out, and cook and freeze some meals to share with your family. You and your wife will be both tired and excited after the trip. It is important that you get rested. So anticipating some meal prep and getting it ready ahead of time is a good plan.
Remember to plan for your return trip back north. Your daughter's husband/partner can gas up your car prior to departure. You can prepare your en route food. Out of respect for your neighbours and your community, IMO you should prepare to self-isolate upon return to your home because, ewwww.... Florida.
Summary: With care, and cooperation by family members at the destination, you can make this work. Just be careful, and remember that you are exercising great care for you & your wife, but also for your daughter's family, and the folks in your community when you return home. We are all in this together.
>The biggest issue for us is that our daughter is giving birth to our first grandkid at the end of August in Florida.
Our 7th grandchild was born 3 months ago, in northern Calif. We are on the east coast. Our plans to be there for his birth and/or to see him after he was born were sidelined. If it was a one day drive, we would have gone, but have to quarantine for the appropriate time arriving and returning - only interacting with our sons family while there.