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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday March 17 2020, @11:52AM   Printer-friendly
from the sudden-impact dept.

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
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


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by hendrikboom on Tuesday March 17 2020, @03:19PM (10 children)

    by hendrikboom (1125) on Tuesday March 17 2020, @03:19PM (#972256) Homepage Journal

    I live alone.
    I'm over 70, so the Quebec government has effectively told me to stay in self-seclusion.
    Now I spend most of my time at home anyway, but not going out is still a great loss.
    I used to hold write-ins at my place. No more.
    I need exercise and I used to get it going out for a walk every day.
    I used to eat breakfast out at a local eatery and get things done on my computer there.
    I'm free of distractions there.
    Now I have to do the same at home, and there are too many distractions to get much done.

    What I'm doing?
    (1) trying to edit a novel
    (2) rewriting the openGL binding for Racket so it's up-to-date. Seems that the specfiles provided by Khronos have new file format. Since most of the binding is machine-generated from the specfiles, this meand a rewrite.
    (3) solving sudokus. Even that gets tiresome after a while.
    (4) missing human contact.

    -- hendrik

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  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday March 17 2020, @03:54PM (2 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 17 2020, @03:54PM (#972288) Journal

    Item 2 sounds very cool. I've recently taken a bit of interest in playing with Racket. I think I'm going back to the regular version, not the CS version -- for now.

    Item 3 begs for a computerized solution. Have you seen a puzzle game that goes by the name "unblock me" or "traffic jam"? I wrote a solver for this in 2010 and that was very fun.

    Item 1 not in my skill set.

    Item 4. Being capable of item 1 might make this item more difficult.

    --
    Scissors come in consumer packaging that cannot be opened without scissors.
    • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Tuesday March 17 2020, @07:39PM (1 child)

      by hendrikboom (1125) on Tuesday March 17 2020, @07:39PM (#972427) Homepage Journal

      (1) I'm starting to wonder if it's in *my* skill set, too.

      (2) See https://github.com/hendrikboom3/rackettown [github.com] for my motivation.
      Having trouble with openGL, I bought the red book, and found that even the elemntary exercise of drawing two triangles now used functions that weren't present in Racket's openGL. So, thinking that it would be easy to upgrade because the binding was automatically generated from a file maintained any Khronos, I started work on it. Trouble was, Khronos has changed their specfile format to xml. I have to rewrite it all.

      (3) I have written a sudoku solver some years ago, mainly to understand the problem. After I wrote it, I lost interest in solving them for about a month. Then I started doing them again, and have been doing the globe & Mail online sudoku fairly regularly for years. There's a kind of visual reasoning involved that I seem to enjoy. I also do nonograms.

      I've seen the traffic jam game. It doesn't seem to grab me the way sudoku does.

      (4) Staying at home is not a law, but I don't want to do anything that might help the virus spread. Especially not to me. It's part social responsibility and part survival.

      I used to write -- both programs and the novel -- at breakfast in local restaurants. That's out now, and stuff at home is just too distracting for me to make progress.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday March 17 2020, @08:34PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 17 2020, @08:34PM (#972463) Journal

        When I wrote the "traffic jam" solver, I also immediately lost interest in playing it for a very long time. It's funny. Once you know it can be solved mechanically, systematically, it is like no need to practice arithmetic since calculators are always handy. But I would bet that you and I both know how to make change from a cash drawer without a calculator. :-)

        --
        Scissors come in consumer packaging that cannot be opened without scissors.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @04:42PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @04:42PM (#972317)

    >. I need exercise and I used to get it going out for a walk every day.

    Do you live in such a crowded area that this has been banned? Here (suburbs), walking is fine, I don't come close to anyone.

  • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Tuesday March 17 2020, @06:33PM

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 17 2020, @06:33PM (#972394) Journal

    Here in France, taking exercise is still seen as an essential need even though the country is in lockdown. The only requirement is that you exercise alone or with your partner, and that you avoid contact with others. Would that be possible for you too?

  • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Wednesday March 18 2020, @12:48AM (3 children)

    by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Wednesday March 18 2020, @12:48AM (#972568) Journal

    It's still fine to go for a walk, just stay 2 metres away from people, as per Quebec's medical officer's advice. That is part of the whole "social isolation" thing. There's a difference between "social isolation" and "isolation." I have underlying chronic health conditions, as do many of the volunteers I work with. We take all the necessary precautions, both individually and as an organization. And we take those precautions seriously because many of us have pre-existing conditions, and, like many organizations, an older volunteer base. But we're considered an essential service. So we take the necessary precautions and still manage to have a bit of fun.

    Clients are no longer allowed in the building. Basically, if you're not a regular volunteer, you don't come in. We tell them we're in lockdown, which is basically what it amounts to. People have no choice but to accept it.

    It's a virus. Soap and water kills it better than even hand sanitizer. So does a 10% bleach/90% water, per the health minister. Cheap and easy to sanitize surfaces.

    We're doing what I call the Karate Kid 2020 - soap on, soap off, soap on, soap off. We keep enough distance from each other. We wear latex gloves. We have someone going around sanitizing door knobs, etc. And we keep an eye out for each other, as always, because many of us have pre-existing chronic health conditions, and we're not getting any younger.

    But I still walk my dogs on a regular basis. It's part of normal life - just don't get too close to anyone else. Don't have a dog? You can still go for a walk, and since Friday is going to be amazingly warm, I plan to go for lots of walks with the dogs. And all this is within the suggested government restrictions.

    I really haven't noticed any real changes compared to our regular dreary winters, to tell the truth.

    --
    SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by hendrikboom on Wednesday March 18 2020, @03:29AM (2 children)

      by hendrikboom (1125) on Wednesday March 18 2020, @03:29AM (#972623) Homepage Journal

      Thanks. You prompted me to find the Quebec government's recommendations [santemontreal.qc.ca].

      Here's the relevant passage:

      Elderly people 70 years of age and over are urged to stay at home, except in the case of necessity or in exceptional circumstances, such as a medical appointment. Such individuals can also go for a walk or go out to purchase food and should follow health recommendations.

      However, one of my daughters is terrified that I might catch the disease, and I also have to deal with her. I'll have a talk with her over the phone.

      She is an occupational therapist working at a CLSC. This effectively gives her additional moral authority over me beyond the influence she has as my daughter. I really don't want to dismay her by risking getting sick.

      She, by the way, has volunteered to go round with a nurse for home visits testing people for the coronavirus. Doing it at home will reduce the chance of the virus being spread about as they go to a clinic. I'm both proud and worried about her. As she is worried about me.

      • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Wednesday March 18 2020, @12:24PM (1 child)

        by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Wednesday March 18 2020, @12:24PM (#972729) Journal
        And yet it's fine to go out and walk the dog if you're over 70 and have chronic health conditions. The web site doesn't cover everything. Go for your daily walk, do the social distancing thing, you'll probably be around fewer viral particles than you are cooped up at home unless everyone who entered changes their clothes before entry. After all, people coughing into their sleeves, the little buggers don't just disappear.

        If you're worried, talk to your doctor. Over the phone, of course. Phone consults are now covered under Medicare - they announced new billing codes during yesterday's press conference.

        We're in for warm weather Friday - you should also open all the windows and air out the place. I'll be doing that plus washing the carpets and floors with a solution containing bleach to sanitize - gotta love my Shopvac. Carpets are disgusting, but at least they can be disinfected. (Test first, ymmv).

        --
        SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday March 18 2020, @06:53PM

    by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Wednesday March 18 2020, @06:53PM (#972874) Homepage
    If you want some disorganised insanity, pop your head round into the IRC channel! Mostly US hours, but there are Europeans too. There's a colourful character who seems to be awake 24 hours a day, I swear!
    --
    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves