Life Under Quarantine

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  1. Avatar LeeEsq
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    It isn’t exactly a traditional quarantine because a traditional quarantine would have police, troopers, and road blocks everywhere. People aren’t used to this because people didn’t have to live with the reality of infectious diseases since the demise of polio and the rise of antibiotics. So humans are learning to handle something we used to know but forgot about. The shelter in place orders imagine good faith voluntary compliance. A traditional quarantine would not. Modern understandings of human rights really go against the traditional quarantine. I don’t think any democratic or semi-democratic government really has the spirit to enforce one.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to LeeEsq
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      Lockdown, day 9:

      Dearest Mollie, The comfort of our own homes has become unbearable to the Troops. Cooking our own meals continues to impose an unwanted burden. Many of the men haven’t bathed in days, despite ample supplies of soap and hot water, due to longing for the bustle and hubbub of the Pub Life they’ve been denied. Morale is frazzled and unit cohesion is disintegrating. Truly, life on the front lines imposes a strain which our forebears could not imagine. My suffering is great! Tell mother I love her, and I’ll try to shoulder on as best I can, but my will is weak. The sacrifice often seems too much to bear…Report

    • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to LeeEsq
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      RE: Modern understandings of human rights really go against the traditional quarantine.

      Yes, that. Similarly they’re against triage. We have very sick people who, if they get this virus, can be saved but only at the resource cost that would save two or three other people.

      Some states are telling docs to save as people as they can by prioritizing the young and healthy, there are very upset disabled advocates saying that’s unethical and it should be first come first served even if that gets more people killed.Report

  2. Avatar greginak
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    We are officially Hunkered down here in good ol Anchorage. Lots of distance. People still seem to be drawn to go shopping, though at this point we can’t figure out what people haven’t stocked up on.
    Lots of people out on the various trails staying active which is good. We’ve also had a glorious snowy and coldish spring so our xc ski trails are still in great shape. Some years the skiing has been done by this time of year but we will still be skiing for a while. So a win for us ( as long as you ignore the hosers who aren’t into snow sports).

    Most “non essential” businesses are closed along with schools. We are much closer to acting like Cali then Florida which is great. We have a mandatory 2 week quarantine if you travel back to Ak from the rest of the world. Thumbs up for being non-contiguous for now.Report

    • Avatar Doctor Jay in reply to greginak
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      Alaska fascinates me for many reasons, not the least of which is growing up in the very spot in the Lower 48 that is closest to Alaska. But for now, the fascination is with a red state that in many ways acts like a blue state.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Doctor Jay
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        We’re predictably weird. Not really acting like a blue state. Our gov has been pretty bad in the classic R way but seems to be doing decently now. He ran on extra free money for everyone platform which helped him. However he seems to be listening to expert advice which sadly seems like an unexpected gift in these times. Maybe that seems like a blue state move. Our two big money makers, oil and tourism, are not all that great now so most people can see the state needs to step up.

        Our city Hunker Down is from our D mayor.Report

  3. Avatar InMD
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    Governor Hogan has rightly admonished us for continuing to visit the cherry blossoms, having bbqs, and engaging in drunken shenanigans in Ocean City. Work remote has been manageable, and lunch breaks with my wife have allowed for lots more fun than is allowed in a place of business. This will sadly end when daycare officially closes tomorrow, though newly legal drive up cocktails may mitigate.Report

  4. Avatar Aaron David
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    A Journal of the Panic Years.

    3/24/20 The facsists have taken control here in Oregon, keeping us on lockdown with no access to city parks even. I give it a week before kids are running around again, as it should be. The wife is working remotely, but I put my business on hiatus for 3-6 months, and at that point I will decide whether to fully retire or not. 49 and a life of leisure. Woo hoo. I would do house projects, but alas, cannot go to the hardware stores to get possibles. I may risk a trip across the river to the fabled IGA as they have a hardwares inside the food emporium.

    One small thing; as restaurants go to pickup only, they have been moving tables outside for people to wait at. And once food is picked up, the patrons sit at the tables and eat. It is all very nice and civil and reminds of pre-plauge years. Alas, this might soon be found and destroyed.

    For entertainment, we go as often as risk allows to the foods, to see if the eggs and TP have arrived by the fabled date. Fortunately I have hidden a 5lb bag of strong coffee in the basement, but fear the neighbors will smell the brew. I keep my whistle handy.

    The wife prays to the NPR daily, but I have lost faith in the story news format.Report

  5. Avatar Pinky
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    It seems to me like people are handling the slow roll-out better than they would have a sudden enforced lockdown. Whether that allowed for too much circulation in the early days, I don’t know. A display of force might have required more people actually coming in contact with each other.

    I like the appeal to reason and goodwill. It doesn’t hurt that Domino’s delivers. People are afraid to go outside and know they shouldn’t, and aren’t experiencing privation, AND don’t feel like their government is taking advantage of the situation. That’s about as good as we could hope for.

    I do agree that there’s a time limit though.

    A bit off topic (or actually, I guess everything is the same topic): I’ve been thinking about the economy a lot, and it seems likely to me that we could recover in a matter of days. After a usual recession, there are a lot of people with the wrong skill set or in the wrong area. Inventory, capital, and wealth are all mis-allocated. But today, every employer knows exactly what to do to get back to normal, and they have all the qualified work force on their speed-dials.Report

  6. Avatar James K
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    New Zealand goes into complete lock-down at midnight tonight. We haven’t had any outbreaks here yet (nearly all the cases we have came in from overseas), but the government’s trying to get ahead of it by shutting us down early.

    Most business are closed already, my local cafe was running takeaway services only yesterday, and I bought lunch since it will be at least 4 weeks before i get to do so again. I have this and next week off work (I had planned leave before all of this happened), but after that I may have to go back into the office as I have been designated essential personnel, and if our network can’t handle everyone working from home I will just have to go in and work from there.

    At the moment, morale seems high, the lockdown has significant popular support. I guess we’ll have to see how everyone’s feeling in 4 weeks.

    Take care everyone, and stay safe.Report

  7. Avatar LeeEsq
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    Vox had a good article on why so many people are continuing on as normally as possible:

    https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2020/3/24/21191184/coronavirus-social-distancing-pandemic-spring-break-keep-calm-carry-onReport

  8. Avatar Damon
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    Well, I can got 3-4 weeks where my only interaction with other people is at the grocery store before I get cabin fever, so meh. WFH, tv and video games. The only thing I’m really missing is the gf’s presence and no jujitsu since the gov closed all gyms. I can live.Report

  9. Avatar Slade the Leveller
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    Illinois is under a stay at home order. I’m actually cycling down to the office, where I’m the only employee on the entire floor. I figure the fresh air and solitude will keep me healthy. All I have to do is pray the wedding photography company I work for survives the ban on large gatherings.

    I shipped my wife, who has a compromised immune system, off to the farm she grew up on. If the plague can get to her there, then all hope is lost.Report

  10. fillyjonk fillyjonk
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    says:

    A 2km radius all the farther they could go? In some parts of the US, that won’t even get you to the simplest of convenience-food stores. I’m guessing that couldn’t happen here. There’s only one very small grocery within that distance of me, and I live practically downtown in my small city!

    I am hunkering down as much as I personally can – weekly grocery store trips (10 days if I can stretch it out that far) just shuttling out to my isolated office and then back home (the building is now closed to the public, there are 8 full time faculty though one is staying home and telecommuting, we all have individual offices and are conscious of physical distances between us). I have asthma (well controlled) and am mildly hypertensive, on top of really not wanting to get sick because I am Very Alone and have no one to take care of me if I did.

    It is tiresome, being in all the time, I am used to go-go-go and also used to going “hmm I don’t like anything I have on hand for dinner” and running out and getting what I do want, but that has changed. It’s tolerable, but tiresome. Then again, the anxiety I felt after a run out to Lowe’s (“it wasn’t STRICTLY necessary for me to buy seeds! What if I got exposed?”) tells me I hunker down for a good while longer.

    I am starting on gearing up to teach the rest of this semester online and at least the terror of “how am I going to do this” distracts me from the terror of “what if everyone I love gets this and dies?”

    I hope we’ve beaten this enough back by August so I can teach fall term face to face. Glad I don’t teach summers.Report

  11. Avatar Michael Cain
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    says:

    I give it four weeks before speakeasies or their equivalent are a thing again. Maybe three.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain
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      Whilst out for my evening jog (jog in the street, stay in the bike lane, always stay at least 6 feet away from any other human being), I am 99.44% certain that I witnessed a drug deal.

      A seedy looking character straight out of central casting (skullie hat, goatee, My First Mustache ™, camo pants, backpack) was standing at the edge of the park and milling about. He saw me jogging and started milling in my direction and I was thinking “no way, man… I’m keeping my six feet of distance” and around the time I’d have to have changed my trajectory, an old guy rode up on his Schwinn and hollered to the guy “hey, you got my pizza for me?” and the dealer laughed and said “no pizza, man!” and then they both lowered their voices and I jogged past and saw nothing of the transaction that I am certain followed.

      So we’re there, if you count small-batch artisanal speakeasies.Report

  12. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    I’m also under the Bay Area lockdown. My employer sent everyone whose job doesn’t require being in the office home two weeks ago, so my team (and pretty much everyone else I work with) have all been been dialing in since then. The big worry is that your desktop at the office will crash and there’ll be no way to restart it. The main upside is that the conference room crunch is no longer an issue. (Though I’ve been warned several times after rescheduling a standing meeting that the room is not available at the new time; it’s like one of those Ray Bradbury stories where the automated systems keep a city running long after the people are gone.)

    My son drove up from San Diego to be with us; he can also work from home effectively. My daughter get sent home from her internship a week early, and the school is dithering about whether she’ll have to make it up to get course credit. So far we’ve watched Judy and The Favourite; tonight was a collection of some top Seinfeld episodes, not that there’s anything wrong with that. We go out for walks most days, maintaining distance from other folks doing the same.

    I’ve been thinking about blogging more, since as you can tell I’m not spending nearly enough time on the laptop. How do people feel about pre-1946 World Series recaps?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling
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      Earlier this morning, I found myself idly thinking that I missed baseball.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Yeah, with the slow down I have a bunch of projects that have gone into limbo.

        So, what does a company do with a Sales org that has a bunch of projects in limbo? Imagine 7th grade.

        Assignment: Look-up all these vocabulary words.
        Us: Ok, we know the meaning of 95% of those words, can we just tell you what they mean?
        Assignment: No, the task is to look-up the words and tell us what the dictionary definition is.
        Us: Ok, can we cut and paste with Baseball in the background?
        Assignment:
        Us:
        Assignment: Look-up all these vocabulary words.

        A small price to pay for a paycheck, but I found myself idly thinking that I missed baseball.

        Day Baseball to be specific.

        Really, just Cubs baseball… all the other teams just serve as backdrop.Report

  13. Avatar Jaybird
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    I’m one of the introverts that makes other introverts say “wow, he’s pretty introverted!”

    As such, the staying at home doesn’t really get to me *THAT* much. I find that I miss going to the grocery store whenever I feel like it, just because I’m driving past. “Oh, we need some dinner rolls. Oh, I need some blackberries.” And then I get my human interaction cup full (but not overflowing). I miss hanging with my buds at the office. Going in. Discussing whatever pop culture scandal hits the top of Reddit. What the television shows did. What the kids did. What the radio did.

    I’m lucky enough to work from home. I’ve started jogging again. Maribou isn’t bad company and we’re finally getting good enough at this marriage thing to be able to not get into fights over trivial stuff.

    I’m very lucky indeed.

    I feel bad for the extroverts out there. I can get my cup full from going for a jog and yelling encouragement (“keep it up!”) to somebody 12 feet away. They’re probably going nuts.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Jaybird
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      Yeah, this is hard on me. I am not really an introvert or extrovert, but I am very used to my alone time. And with the wife working from home, that has been destroyed. And she is pretty happy, as she is an introvert.

      What I really miss is being able to move around for no reason other that moving around. Long car drives, bike rides, that sort of thing. And talking to the random people I meet on these trips. But I was the type of guy who went to a bar and read a book. Miss that!Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Aaron David
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        Nothing wrong with car drives. I know what the grocery store near me has in stock; what about that one 20 miles from here? I forgot there’s a McDonald’s near that industrial park. I bet they can use the business today. Lots of people still on the roads, but I guess it’s rush hour. I’m still using 80% less fuel than I did two weeks ago, and I can wear a plastic grocery bag on my hand when I fill up the tank. I felt like I interacted with people.Report

  14. Avatar Marchmaine
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    “I can get my cup full from going for a jog and yelling encouragement (“keep it up!”) to somebody 12 feet away”

    I’ll never understand this whole “party mentality”… and you call yourself an introvert.Report

  15. Avatar Urusigh
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    I’m in the weird category where when people ask me how the pandemic has affected my life my honest answer has to be “It has improved my quality of life”. I am the artifact in surveys where headlines are freaking that “Republicans aren’t changing their behaviors in response to Covid-19!”… because I’m an introvert who had no travel plans and was already compulsive about social distancing, avoiding crowds, and washing/sanitizing everything I touch. I’m still working out of the office, but have less traffic to deal with and less difficulty finding parking. The conversations around the office no longer center around sports I don’t watch (which is none of them). Social responses to my usual behaviors have gone from an implicit “stop being such a weirdo” to “thank you for doing your part”. I’m quite happy to stay home and read my books, play my games, binge my shows, with no cabin fever at all. I’m not personally at any significant health or financial risk.

    So it’s kind of surreal for me. I have friends and family who are experiencing the layoffs, the shortages, and/or severe medical risks. It’s like hearing about a disaster in a foreign country, then finding out your loved ones were visiting there at the time it happened. The pandemic feels very distant and yet dangerously close all at once. I’m lucky, but also waiting for the other shoe to drop.Report

  16. Avatar Road Scholar
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    I feel like the odd man out here. I’m not under quarantine or stay-at-home or whatever because 1) it would be impossible and, 2) I need to keep doing what I’m doing so you all can do what you need to do and maybe keep what’s left of the economy working.

    Actually my life hasn’t changed that much. Mostly just have to eat takeout in my truck instead of sitting down to eat like a human being. That and customers have instituted precautions to minimize contact. Washing my hands a lot. My truck sorta is my quarantine since I spend 99% of my time alone inside it, i.e. SOP.Report

  17. Avatar North
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    Husbando and I are only just beginning to get to being able to quarantine. The home was wrecked some months back by water intrusion and then when the virus came down it was just –barely- habitable by the time the construction people stopped being able to work. But now after a lot of cleaning and do it yourself electrical work it’s looking like a home again and somewhere we’d want to quarantine. I still come into the office now because A) the office is empty, B) it’s like a 5 block walk and C) That way husband and I are apart so that absence can make the heart grow fonder. It’s funny how being able to come into the empty office is now a weird sort of luxury.
    Oh and I purchased Stellaris on the recommendation of many people. I had hoped, vainly, that the tutorial of Stellaris would be better than it was for Crusader Kings II. Alas, such is not to be. I am sure I will eventually come to adore it but it’s hard sledding right now.
    If Paradox Interactive was teaching you to swim they’d throw you into the deep end of the pool; then when you flailed an arm they’d say “That is your left arm, it can be used to produce kinetic thrust to propel your body by moving it.” When you gasped for air they’d say “This is your mouth, you use it to take in air which your body needs to function. You may wish to keep your mouth out of the water.” And so on. They make great intricate and interesting games –IF- you can actually penetrate the interface and learn the bloody game!Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to North
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      Heh… I thought I’d LOVE Paradox games. Nope.

      As far as I can tell its a knobs and levers sim re-skinned for flavor to make you think its a game.Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to North
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      Yeah Paradox games are unforgiving. I believe Stellaris is easier than most of the others, but that’s not the same as being easy in an absolute sense.

      Here’s a couple of tips from someone with a few hundred hours under his belt:

      1) don’t overbuild your planets. Districts and buildings have an energy upkeep even when they’re not being used. Also, your pops will take specialist jobs over worker jobs and once they become specialists they will resist demoting back to worker. As such, if you build lots of buildings (which usually provide specialist jobs) you can end up with your districts abandoned, choking out your raw materials.

      2) Population growth is key – switch your food policy to “Nutritional Plenitude” at the start of the game (you can bring up policies with F6). It might also make sense to change your trade policy depending on whether your empire is better at making energy or consumer goods. Also, prioritise colonising planets – more planets means more pop growth.

      3) Explore a lot. I build a second science ship as soon as I have the energy to hire another scientist. Buy more when you can, having 5-6 running around the galaxy is no bad thing.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to James K
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        Thank you! That is really helpful advice!

        Are you stuck with only colonizing green ideal planets? I’ve found a plethora of yellow to red planets (arid, Savannah, alpine- I’m playing Humans to start) and they look marginally habitable but the warning messages it throws when I try landing a colony ship on them have scared me off. I also found a number of Gaia Holy worlds but the way the neighboring stagnant empire’s nostrils flare on the subject suggests I should leave them be.

        Overbuilding doesn’t seem possible. With the buildings capped at population levels (5,10,15 etc) it seems like you can’t crank out enough buildings to empty your districts. Oh and thanks for not explaining districts to me at all Paradox, I had 3 unemployment on my new colony before I randomly clicked on districts and realized I could get jobs from building those instead of waiting to build a building at pop 5!Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to North
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      says:

      Agreed, all. You almost have to respect Paradox. You tell most companies that they could double their market share if they made their games 10% more commercial, and they’d jump at it.Report

  18. Avatar DensityDuck
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    says:

    Quarantine, Day 9: My Dearest Pennywise, we have reached the end of our meme supply. While the spirits of the men remain high, we do not has cheezburger, and all our base, sadly, no longer belong to us. The enemy’s forces released the fucking fury, striking with the power of thirty to fifty feral hogs and launching many large boulders the size of small boulders, and we were utterly destroyed by their eight-year-old daughters’ philosophical questions. After the battle I discovered that our forces, their lazors unable to fire, had rushed to the top of the stairs for protection only to find the enemy’s shover robots deployed there; so many were laid low that they appeared to be a planking flash mob. The very age of these jokes should prove to you what a sad state our meme supply is in; we expended many of our best efforts early in the conflict and now must resort to Boomer humor.

    I must go rally my troops with exhortations that this is Sparta and we are Lerooooooy Jenkins, but this will only stave off defeat unless headquarters can spawn more Overlords. I dream only of returning home to clap your cheeks once more, but I fear this shall not come to pass.Report

  19. fillyjonk fillyjonk
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    says:

    And as of 6 pm today. my campus is closed for however long they deem necessary. We are to try to teach from home.

    I am terrified. Both that I will fail utterly at teaching online, but also that come July, we won’t have a next-fiscal-year and I will be faced with the choice of see if I can petition to retire 9 years early at a greatly reduced pension, try to find another job in this region, or move. I own my house outright, that is one thing that makes moving a lot less attractive. But jobs are hard to come by here and will be even harder with maybe 20% of the population ALSO looking for one.

    I’m going to give myself this evening to wallow, and try to get more teaching stuff done – this time from home – tomorrow.We’re supposed to get paid for this month and April, we damn well better.Report

  20. Avatar Dark Matter
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    I just tried ordering something from Amazon and it will take more than a month to get here, I’d like it in less than a week. Amazon is prioritizing virus goods… which throws sand in the gears of everything else.Report

  21. Avatar Kristin Devine
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    Great piece! So glad you wrote it.Report

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