A lot has already happened this year. SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) which can cause COVID-19 (COronaVIrus Disease 2019) has been making headlines shortly after it was first reported. The first cases were reported to WHO (World Health Organization) on 2019-12-31. The virus spread. It began as an epidemic in China . The world watched apprehensively. Reports surfaced of cases in other countries and the the apprehension grew. For many folk, it turned to fear when it was upgraded to a pandemic: WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020: "We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic."
We have seen increasing efforts to stem the spread of the disease. Efforts have run the gamut. Closing of borders. Cancellation of sporting events. Conferences cancelled. Churches and other places of worship also closed. Schools closed. Panic buying of household goods and supplies. Supply chain disruptions affecting manufacturers. Restaurant, bars, and other such establishments closed. Work-from-home policies established and enacted.
The changes have been many, widespread, and continuing.
Reading about all the ways that "other people" have been affected is one thing. It seems different, somehow, when it hits closer to home and affects us directly. With many of our usual social activities curtailed or cancelled, it is easy to begin isolating and lose perspective. SoylentNews arose from a troubled period (the SlashCott) and a community has formed from that challenging period.
How have you been affected? Have you been infected? Had a family member or friend who was? Helped neighbors who are struggling? Hunkering down and isolating? (In a basement is optional.) Are you suddenly working from home and finding it challenging to manage your time? Still working on site, but now have a faster commute due to all the other people staying home? Catching up on watching TV shows? Reading more SoylentNews? How has your life changed?
From a somewhat different perspective, how have others helped you to cope... and how have you been able to help others? One of the potential impacts of social distancing is isolation and depression. I count myself fortunate, indeed, to have served this site for over 6 years and for all the people I have gotten to know, here. For those who may not be aware, SoylentNews has its own IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server. Feel free to drop in to #Soylent and just say "Hi!"
Social distancing is permanent when you're dead. So, practice good hygiene and stay safe.
Previously (oldest first):
China Battles Coronavirus Outbreak: All the Latest Updates
2019-nCoV Coronavirus Story Roundup
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Roundup
Coronavirus Roundup (Feb. 17)
Roundup of Stories about the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus and COVID-19 Disease
COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 - CoronaVirus) Roundup
CoronaVirus (SARS-CoV-2) Roundup 2020-03-12
Working from Home: Lessons Learned Over 20 Years
Woke up to find I'm officially classed as "vulnerable" (not old, well not that old, but vulnerable), not a surprise really, but seeing it in black and white on the govt. site is still unnerving.
Trying to plan for isolation per the guidelines, not only from the outside world, but from the rest of the family inside too (two at school, still, and two who cannot work from home). Have only one bathroom, one kitchen, and not enough bedrooms as it is and now we're not supposed to sleep together (and not with anyone else either). Going to be fun, not. Wife says we should rent somewhere for me to move out for a few months, think we've probably missed the boat on that, and it won't really help if I have to go out and do my own shopping and stuff. Now worrying about if it's because she actually cares about me or just wants me gone.
In between working out the isolation plan I'm trying to work out if I can post a letter, observing frequency of traffic and pedestrian movements on the road outside and trying to work out the chances of getting across to the postbox and back without being within 1m of anyone. For some reason I now want to go back to the 80s or find an emulator and play Frogger...
Overnight, Amazon and Netflix have become full of shit that I don't want to watch at all, which is odd because it's the same shit they had yesterday. Meanwhile outside the window, in the forbidden land, the weather is a bit shit but also incredibly enticing. Must resist.
I keep slipping back into last-year-thinking, things like "oh, if the schools close, I could maybe pick up a really cheap last minute ski break for me and the kids", before reality intervenes with a large clue stick.
I'm really pleased that bog roll was on offer a few weeks ago and I bought a load, we probably have almost a month's worth. On the other hand I was sure we had two weeks of food, but it's disappearing worryingly rapidly. And soap, soap consumption is up tenfold, we haven't got enough.
On the plus side, I am really not worried at all about the state of my pension investments, no longer sure that I'll need them. The bucket list too is kind of a positive, in that I can actually now cross most of it off as "not allowed to do".
Got my will signed and witnessed yesterday (honestly), should have sorted it out years ago, been meaning to finish it for ages, nothing to do with any damned virus, no way.
Shit, am now struggling to hold back tears as I think how I'm going to miss shopping in the supermarket and that I might have been there for the last time, ever. WTF is happening?
> chances of getting across to the postbox and back without being within 1m of anyone.
Bugger, it's now 2m. Recalculating....
Years ago when I got stir crazy, a wise family friend recommended I read Nevil Shute, "Round the Bend". It worked like a charm, and it's now available online (out of copyright), for example from here:
http://gutenberg.ca/index.html#catalogueR [gutenberg.ca] search down for "Shute, Nevil".
Hang on in there.
I wouldn't worry about it, just because you're "vulnerable" doesn't mean that it'll kill you in particular if you contract it. I'm also vulnerable, but I likely got it some weeks ago and it was terrible, but I didn't die or need hospitalization. A fever, extreme exhaustion and some trouble breathing, but that was it. If I had those symptoms now, I'd contact my doctor about getting tested and self-quarantining, but that was near the end of January when the first cases were starting to show up and testing wasn't available, nor were clear indicators given as to when quarantining was needed.
That being said, it's especially important to avoid unnessecary contact with other people, keep those hands clean and away from the face, as you won't know how bad it is for you in particular, until after contracting it.
You have an opportunity to ask the big questions while you've still got a chance to change something. I won't presume to know whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, but the opportunity is there, and not everybody gets to see that coming. What you do with that is up to you; personally I'd make peace with that meaning-of-life thing, and especially review everything in my life I was proud of. Write it down.