Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Coronavirus/ Covid-19/ At-Home Support Thread

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  • #992987 Reply

    Helen – go to your AA meetings. Wear a mask, sit at least six feet away from others, but the fact of the matter is, this has been a long-haul with COVID, and while it’s important to do our part to stop the spread, all our other problems have not gone away. You potentially exposing yourself in order to maintain your sobriety and sanity isn’t in the same league as someone going to a bar and getting hammered because staying home is boring. While both my risk exposure, one is more necessary than the other.

    I do think there will be a postmortem on the public health community’s communications strategy and we will come up with a lot of failures.

    I remember some talk early on about how we needed to help people make decisions by thinking of things in terms of their risk “budget”. We only have so much budget to spend when it comes to risking COVID – how much risk do certain things “cost”, what is our limit, and what do we want to spend our limited budgets on? Going to AA? Sending our kids to school? Or going to restaurants and socializing with friends?

    Different people may have made different choices, but if cumulatively we all were minimizing our contacts in other arenas, this could’ve been a way to allow a little more freedom while still minimizing how much people were out and about.

    I think this would’ve been a better strategy to help people make smart decisions and cope through the long slog this has been while also allowing people to address their biggest priorities that aren’t COVID.

    Alas, without good Federal guidance, states and local communities have had to figure it out with limited resources, cases never really got under control, and that plus panic has made us seesaw back and forth between opening up and lapsing back into abstinence (which, we have many many examples abstinence is a losing public health policy). And of course the cherry on top was that this got politicized, there was opportunity at the beginning where everyone was in it together that was lost (again, mostly if not entirely Trump’s fault).

    After the initial shut-downs, it’s really too bad we couldn’t figure out a harm reduction/behavior mitigation strategy that would’ve helped people think through the various trade-offs and make smarter choices.

    #993001 Reply

    @Helen – did you get an antibody test? Maybe start there. I think you should go to your meetings and send your kids to school. The risk is fairly low that you’d get it again, it’s possible, but not likely.

    If you have a negative antibody test – maybe your husband should do his best to wear a mask when home. It sucks but since his clients can’t fucking wrap their heads around the “Protect” part of their mandate… he’s got to do it at home.

    #993011 Reply
    avatarDear Wendy

    Sending kids to school right now isn’t a great idea if people have any kind of flexibility not to.

    #993013 Reply

    Helen, I am so sorry. I don’t know much but are there any virtual AA meetings? I think an in person meeting could be done relatively safely as someone pointed out above.

    As for the “extra curriculars”, I don’t blame you wanting your children to participate. It is ultimately a reduction of risk. You may be exposed by your husband. But at least your kids won’t be further potentially exposed. You can only do what’s in your control.

    As for speech therapy, are they able to do this one on one? I do think this important for their health too. People where I am are still going to doctors and dentists.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by avatarhfantods.
    #993017 Reply

    My husband just told me he thinks he’s going to need to start traveling again. He’s in sales, and normally travels a lot for industry events but hasn’t since March. He says his competitors have been showing up, and he feels like he should too. He’s looking at a trip in February. I’m so goddamn frustrated about the vaccine rollout, because if we knew we could all get vaccinated this spring, we could just stay the fuck home until that happens. But now it’s like who even knows.

    #993024 Reply

    My mom (late 60s, cancer survivor) just got her first vaccine shot last week. She’s in a small rural town without a ton of healthcare workers/nursing home residents so I guess they were able to move faster down the tiers?

    My mother in law (who is in an assisted living facility in a huge urban center) is going to get it in the next few weeks.

    My hope is that once we get those most at risk of getting severely ill (like my mother and mother in law) immunized over the course of the next three, four months, that will help take pressure off our healthcare systems even if there are still lots of younger, generally healthy people that haven’t gotten the shots yet.

    I may be too much of a Pollyanna, but this is what I’m telling myself to get through the next few months – which will surely continue to be a nightmare.

    #993122 Reply

    I’m now convinced the entire shutdown was a huge mistake. It was far too short. (The experts ALL said this. They all said THIS would happen. And surprise, surprise. So it did. That’s what is so maddening. All of this has been so predictable. And yet — most everyone in power looks so surprised.

    Instead, everybody signed off for the most feeble of shutdowns.. The result? In the end… all sacrifice was squandered. Any real progress? Wasted. Now had we closed down for six months? I suspect we wouldn’t be here right now. But that didn’t happen did it? Gee… I wonder why.

    Yes, we might as well have just stayed open all spring and let hundreds of thousands die. They’re all dying now anyway. What gains were made? None as far as I can tell. All we’ve done is drag things out.

    In a sensible society… one with intelligent, sensible citizens… perhaps a proper shutdown could have saved thousands of lives. And the economy. But no. America is clearly not such a place.

    The vaccination effort is truly pathetic. Although saying that is slandering the word pathetic.

    The fantasy that all will be well by the summer is just that —- a fantasy. More, the pathetic hope that Biden (really?) and Pelosi (really?) will accomplish anything worthwhile is laughable at best. Their ideas arw old, tired, hopelessly worn out. Truly they bring nothing to the table except the very obvious and apparent need for daily naps.

    My rage and anger is off the charts. Honestly? I miss just being depressed.

    #993133 Reply

    Thanks all. I attended an online AA meeting and it helped. I found a meeting that meets at a park on Fridays and I plan to be there. I haven’t made any other decisions, but I’m no longer teetering on the edge. My sobriety is priority #1. Everything else will fall into place if I can just stay sober. One day at a time, one foot in front of the other. I’m going to eat some comfort food for dinner and take my dog for a nice long walk while the sun sets. Tomorrow I’m going to vote my Ossof

    #993136 Reply

    I think the shutdowns were a mistake too.

    I don’t know if they were too short or too long, but I don’t think they were severe enough. I also think some places shut down too early, some too late.

    A nationwide shutdown doesn’t make sense in a nation as huge as the US. I know borders are porous between states (but given point above if they had been stricter that might’ve helped), but honestly, when we shut down places too early, when they didn’t see the problem yet, it backfired. People in say, Arizona or the mid-West didn’t get it. But then in places like NYC, obviously was too late.

    It feels gross to say this, but from a sociological standpoint, it does seem like there’s a “sweet spot” to call for a shutdown – before hospitals are at the brink but after people believe it’s a real threat. Putting people in shutdowns when the virus hadn’t really reached them yet and then trying to hold them in a lockdown for a long period of time just…isn’t going to work.

    That said, I remain optimistic. Not optimistic that all will be well by summer, but even with a slow rollout, if we get the oldest, sickest, and most vulnerable vaccinated over the course of the next six months (plus summer weather which we know COVID is impacted by sun/heat), we’ll be in better shape; even if me getting the vaccine is still months away.

    At least that’s what I tell myself for now. Talk to me in three months when we see how terribly the vaccine rollout continues.

    #993177 Reply

    Lockdowns really are most effective as a preventive measure. Humans (American’s especially) are just too short sighted to see the benefits. An effective lockdown stops the spread of the virus, then every Tom, Dick, and Harry goes “that was pointless! The virus didn’t even get us!”. When implemented after a serious outbreak, as soon as the numbers start dropping Tom, Dick, and Harry whine “the numbers are dropping! It’s time to reopen!”

    They also aren’t effective when not universal. When all of your neighbor states are plague ridden hell-holes bent on infecting everyone possibly no matter the cost (side-eyeing the Dakotas right now) what you do in your home state only matters so much. It’s still gonna spread. Half-assed lockdowns don’t accomplish much.

    We also don’t have the proper social safety net to effectively lock down. People already work sick because we have no required sick leave in this country. Of course they are going to work sick. Of course they aren’t going to properly quarantine if they’ve been exposed. It’s all so predictable. We’ve spent the last 100 years making sure our country is as ill-prepared as possible for a pandemic, with the election of Trump as the orange-cherry on top of a shit sundae.

    #993219 Reply

    “Lockdowns really are most effective as a preventive measure.”

    Agreed, in theory, this is the best tract. I mean, if we got everyone in the world to literally stay in their homes for a month, we’d be done. For this or any virus.

    In reality, that’s not really feasible, because of this “Humans (American’s especially) are just too short sighted to see the benefits.” Well, and also this “We also don’t have the proper social safety net to effectively lock down.” We need to design public health protocols based in how people actually are, not how we wish they would be. A protocol that is most effective if not for how people actually are isn’t the one actually an effective protocol.

    I’m not saying I support how selfish Americans are (and let’s be honest, Americans are the worst at it but we are hardly alone here in our selfishness and desire to flout restrictions).

    I absolutely would’ve supported lockdowns with that were more restrictive and that had actual enforcement teeth, but I also think we need to acknowledge that people are going to be people. “Just stay home, damm*t” only works so long, both here and anywhere else in the world.

    Unless we want to go the China route and literally lock them in their homes. Which is an option, other countries have done it but there have been human rights implications that have been…not so great.

    On how universal a lockdown is…I mean, again, yes in theory it should be universal. But in reality the virus doesn’t respect state borders it also doesn’t respect international ones. Short of being an island nation like New Zealand, you cannot entirely secure your borders.

    I’m definitely not saying we should’ve just been like “Oh well people won’t listen if ask them to stay home, let’s just give up before we even try.”

    What I am saying is we have to acknowledge that people do suck, they won’t all listen, and we have to come up with strategies that will work with that in mind. We have to take people and their selfishness and shortsideness into account, because it’s gonna be there whether we want it or not.

    I think severe, localized shutdowns to really get people to stop moving followed by harm reduction/risk education might’ve been more successful. Maybe repeated a couple of times as was necessary. Some people still would’ve made dumb choices, but I think giving people the veneer that they have some sort of control, that they have some sort of choices, would’ve ultimately resulted in more of a net reduction in people getting out and about.

    We were supposed to have been using a hammer and then dancing with the virus. We used a foam toy mallet instead of a hammer, and we never taught people to dance.

    #993221 Reply

    A beloved elementary school art teacher in my county died of covid on Xmas day. 53 years old. A lunch monitor from my kid’s school also died over the break. I’m so heartbroken

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