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Thread: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

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    Administrator Greta's Avatar
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    Au Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    I decided to start a thread on this topic because I think it is a separate discussion than the pandemic itself. I've noticed my attitude is changing on several levels and, in some areas of my life, I am becoming a person I don't really like all that much. I know others are experiencing changes and issues also, but with staying home and venturing out only when absolutely necessary, and then having very little interaction and contact with others, it is very easy to feel completely alone. And to feel that you are the only one. But we are not alone and we are not the only ones. I hope we can share our experiences here and perhaps help each other feel a little less alone.

    First, when the whole mask thing started I was inclined to not wear one. Mostly because it's so damn hot here and I know how I am when I feel like my breathing is being hindered or restricted. I stayed home mostly and when I went out, I did not have a mask. Honestly I have no opinion at all on the subject of masks - people should do what they feel comfortable with... and mind their own business. IOW - I think mask-shaming (whether for wearing or not wearing one) is disgusting and yes, THAT will get my ire up in about a half second flat!

    So now that being said, my town is now in the "mandatory mask in all businesses" phase. I bought a couple of masks. Last week I ventured out for the first time to a local grocery wearing my new mask. Within 15 minutes, I was sweating profusely and quickly escalating into a full blown anxiety attack. Standing in the check out line I looked around and saw many people without masks and just as many wearing them incorrectly. I started to feel a bit of resentment. I was doing my part, I was voluntarily subjecting myself to extreme discomfort, and WHY?!? I checked out as quickly as possible, got out of the store and went home. On the way home as I started to calm down, I felt shame for the resentment I felt - that is NOT me!... or at least it didn't used to be.

    Today I went out again (no, I hadn't been out since that last incident) - this time I had to go to a mail center to mail a package. There were at least three signs on the door saying "No Mask, No Service". No worries. I had my mask. Already had it on before I opened the door. Quick in, quick out... I'm good. The employees were wearing masks - correctly, all of patrons were wearing masks and standing on the markers on the floor for social distancing, more signs at both registers on the plexiglass separating the employees and the patrons, as well as on the walls behind the employees and even taped to the counter - "No Mask, No Service". Ok... I'm still good... starting to sweat a little bit ( it's 108 out there today). Then I see an older woman (ok maybe she was about my age) being waited on.. and she had no mask on. And I felt myself get angry... I mean.. REALLY ANGRY! I wanted to yell "what's the point of having the signs if you don't enforce it?" But I didn't. I moved up, mailed my package, got the hell out of there, and ripped off my mask as soon as I could.

    And so now I am struggling.... who is this crazy person who used to not care one way or another with the "you do you, Boo!" attitude? I don't like this person at all! It is not me. I do not shame people for ANYTHING. I still very much believe in "you do you, Boo." So is this change in my attitude part of the anxiety I feel when wearing a mask? What is it going to take for me to get over the anxiety?

    And I am also sad... because there is this one bagger at the grocery who always makes me smile - she always wears this pretty little tiara headband to hold back her glittered hair and she has pretty glitter eyeshadow on. She is simply a happy, beautiful unicorn. As always I thanked her for bagging my groceries and I smiled at her... then almost cried. 'Cuz she couldn't see my smile. So I told her... muffled through my mask... "You always make me smile with your beautiful tiara and makeup when I come in here. I just wish you could see it instead of me having to tell you". She gave me a muffled "thank you" and I left feeling very very sad (and now sweating like a pig!) at where we are in this world right now.

    I am changing. I am becoming a person I don't like. I am becoming not me. And I am seriously hating all of the anger and violence and yelling.




    Note: this post is NOT about masks (whether to wear them or not). It is about how we are changing as a society and what this pandemic is doing to each of us personally.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    I'm great. Wife is great. Family is great. They're all strong, pragmatic people. Nobody has lost their job, so that certainly helps.

    We've been through multiple hurricanes, including Hugo which severely damaged all of our homes. Building bonds through tough conditions has probably made this "temporary discomfort" a lot less traumatic.

    Not to say we haven't had tragedy. We lost a cousin to COVID. He left a wife and three kids. All we can do is be there to support them.

    Ultimately through it all we continue to love one another. I've made a point of talking to all my friends and staying as close as possible.

    I feel for those living with more stress, and/or living in a state with draconian laws where they treat their citizens like children. I think that also effects attitudes negatively.
    Last edited by JimIslander; 07-15-2020 at 05:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    Greta- I share your frustration and desire to clobber people who can't read, don't care, or just think the rules don't apply to them. I don't like feeling like that, either. I feel the wearing masks and interacting with other people has the same effect as typing on the interwebz- all context, nuance and subtlety is gone. As you pointed out, a smile says more than words. And I feel like everyone has to yell to be heard with masks and our plexiglass barriers. Not a fan.
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    Administrator Greta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    Quote Originally Posted by scout24 View Post
    Greta- I share your frustration and desire to clobber people who can't read, don't care, or just think the rules don't apply to them.
    .....
    Ya know what though? Maybe that lady has asthma. Or some other medical condition that makes it impossible for her to wear a mask. I don't know. But I judged her anyway. And that is what we have become now. Remember the old saying "You don't know what others are going through. So be nice."? Does that not matter anymore? We've become a society of judging others... for everything! This cannot be the "new norm". (I truly despise that term!)

    Bit of a sidenote but not really - I've been listening to a couple of self-help books lately. One that I just finished is "The Power of Vulnerability" by Brené Brown. Basically it's about shame and how it makes us vulnerable. We shame ourselves, we shame others, we are all vulnerable. So how to use that to our advantage and to stop shaming ourselves and others. I think I might listen to it again.

    Another good self-help book is "Unf**k Yourself - Get out of your head and into your life" by Gary John Bishop. Lots of salty language, of course. But he's a Scot so it sounds seriously lovely when he's narrating

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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    In the last 4 months I've put perhaps 1000 miles on my car; a typical month commuting to work, running errands, driving to and from leisure activities is ordinarily >1500 miles. I leave the confines of my neighborhood perhaps thrice weekly now, otherwise I generally stray no more than 200 meters from the house on foot walking the dogs.

    Mercifully, I work from home so I have been spared the economic devastation these times have brought upon the economy. Work has fallen into some doldrums as well. The team tried video chats for a while there, but nowadays almost no one can be bothered to turn on cameras. The office is open - and has always been open - but I can't quite bring myself to make that trek despite the fact that the one COVID case they saw was from someone that was last known to be there more than 30 days prior to their symptoms; if nothing else I'd like to visit my elderly parents within the next few months.

    But man is everything starting to blur together. The start and end of the workday is vague since it involves the same room I spend much of my free time. No matter how late I'm up on Friday or Saturday night I wake up at around 6 Saturday and Sunday morning. Vacation days are like long, directionless weekends.

    I'm no social butterfly and consider myself an introvert but I miss conversations with other people. A few weeks ago I just finished mowing my lawn and a fellow doing a variant of door-to-door sales ambled up and we talked about cars for 15 minutes, both seemingly needing the contact - and he didn't seem disappointed at all when he segued into what he was selling and I wasn't interested. I miss going out to dinner with friends. Helped a relative stranger move two weeks ago and similarly, just some human contact was necessary.

    I'm thankful that I don't watch TV news - catching the very occasional news on the radio in the car and internet news sites is concerning enough.

    Facemask politics are ... weird. High point in the region was late April through mid May, falling off promptly as reopen became a thing. I've heard about altercations - verbal and otherwise - but never experienced anything.

    I've gone through some iterations on the mask I wear and have settled on something that seems to work - a soft half-face wraparound respirator with exhale valves (which I modify monolithic KN95 respirators as primary filter media), and a simple surgical mask over that. Excessive? Maybe, but it's the only thing I've found that doesn't fog my glasses and also filters my exhalation. Were I of more ordinary proportions I might get more than furtive sidelong glances, but I'm almost outlier tall and wear a hard face so furtive is about as intense as it gets. I can handle a 60 minute shopping trip or 2+ hours sitting with this setup without a break, however, unlike the monolithic KN95 or sewn masks.

    I 'lived' primarily online in the '00s and am all too aware of the limitations of digital communications as primary interaction. It's better now with ubiquitous realtime video communications, but it's still just not as rich an experience. My alcohol consumption has increased during this pandemic and my informal survey of local liquor stores confirms this - there seem to be more customers every time I'm there than at times than prior to this pandemic.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

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    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    I spent a mercifully brief 6 months in tech support and quickly came to the conclusion that a large percentage of the really upset customers that I dealt with were not actually upset about whatever issue with the service they were experiencing but instead about other larger things in their life, and their inability to access their email, slow speeds on wifi, etc was simply a catalyst. I believe most of these people were not aware that they were using a call to tech support as a means of venting on someone of conveniently inferior social status separated by distance, but taking one of those calls was always something to dread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greta View Post
    Ya know what though? Maybe that lady has asthma. Or some other medical condition that makes it impossible for her to wear a mask. I don't know. But I judged her anyway. And that is what we have become now. Remember the old saying "You don't know what others are going through. So be nice."? Does that not matter anymore? We've become a society of judging others... for everything! This cannot be the "new norm". (I truly despise that term!)
    I try to watch this video every few years to improve my mindfulness:


    Life's petty frustrations can certainly be taken personally. Or you can try to let the small things roll off your back, look past the shortcut pigeonholes we create almost automatically, engage in some casual empathy, and get some sense of what the other people are going through. I find applying this exercise helpful to not only reduce the stress of daily life but also improve my outlook for the next few minutes, hours, or even days.

    The full version:
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    There are so much things that I can do. It is not forbidden to go outside, ...alone or with the own family (parents kids). There is not really a need to went to the locations were the big crowds are.

    For me personally I actually this time also kind of. During the lockdown in Germany I was enjoying the silence and the empty streets. Since one of my hobbies is taking my DSLR and taking pictures .... For the people that are not reading in the HDS section, I posted a few pictures from my Fall 2019 South Africa trip. I also take the current situation to slow down kind of.
    I try to find the good things in the corona pandemic. Mostly I am in office and enjoying the almost empty office. It is great to be in office with only ~4 people that normally has ~50 colleagues (the others are in home office). It is silent and extremely efficient to work under that condition in office.
    Due to the slow down there is also time doing things I normally do not have time. I started with the German version of the Don Rosa Library.... ... I have now so much nice memories to the time I was ..... yes .... at least much much younger.

    What I will say is, yes the pandemic is difficult for all of us. The normal times are over for maybe one or two years until the vaccine reached 60-70% of the citizens of each country. But at least I will try to keep the "we stay together spirit" as long as possible. I know when we all get back to normal the human starts to forget this "we stay together and we help each other" far too fast....
    Last edited by WarriorOfLight; 07-15-2020 at 11:33 PM.
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    Administrator Greta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    WOL - I also enjoy being outside and taking pictures. I truly wish I could do more of it during this time. But with current temps at 110F+ during the day, the only thing I can do is float around my pool... which I do almost every day with my floating table, a big cup of ice water, and my audio book through my AirPods. My current photo quest is to catch Comet NEOWISE just after sunset. I'm finding I might have to drive to higher grounds. First though, tomorrow I'll check out if my roof is high enough.

    Your reference to "we stay together" - I heard a really good analogy of this that I think fits very well. The spirit is "We're all in this together". But the truth is that while we may all be in the same storm together, we are all on different ships in the storm. So there really is no "one size fits all". Every day I hear of a different person's struggles that I had not even considered - and again, I am sad. There is nothing I can do about it. All I can do is take care of me and mine... on our little ship in the great storm.

    And you are totally right about how quickly we forget after the storm has passed. I think of 9/11 here in the U.S. and how we all came together. How long did that last? And look at today... our nations are even more divided than ever and it's like we are not even capable of coming together anymore. As I mentioned previously... all of the anger and violence and yelling! God, I hate the yelling!!

    I know I am fortunate. I have worked from home for well over 8 years now so I'm good. My husband has two retirements and is currently working as a chef at a golf resort. My son is also working at the resort and they are both healthy. (I'll admit I LOVE the peace and quiet of the house when they are both at work! It's awesome!! So I get what you say about enjoying the quiet of your workspace now.) We can pay all of our bills and I put our stimulus check in savings so I can buy a new puppy next month because my best girlfriend bulldog died back in April during this whole mess... and I miss her desperately. But again... we are fortunate. I lost my dog. Many out there have lost parents, children, spouses and everything else and have nowhere to turn.

    I hate being a Debby Downer and I hate feeling so helpless. I do my best each day to "Get up, dress up, show up". And count my many many blessings. But some days are just more difficult than others. Today was such a day.
    Last edited by Greta; 07-16-2020 at 12:57 AM.

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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    The change for me is that bad things of biblical proportions used to only impact other people, and in other locations, and in the Bible. Now, bad stuff of biblical proportions is affecting me, on earth here and now. So instead of thinking that I would always be happy here temporarily, and then be perfectly happy someplace else forever, now I know I have to be not so happy here for a little while and then be perfectly happy someplace else forever.
    It has been one year since an Arlington police officer defended himself against a loose, charging dog. In this case, someone other than the dogs' owner did Not reap the initial tragic consequences. Usually it is an innocent victim that gets it.

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    Administrator Greta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    richbuff - A lot of people are turning to their faith right now to get through this and I think that is great! It sure would be nice if more did though.






    Another sidenote: In an effort to not have my glasses fog up while wearing my mask today, I put my contacts in. FYI - contacts fog up too. And dry out. And stick to your eyeballs. And get gooey. Just in case you wondered.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    ive always suffered with mental illness and a course covid has mad it worse then my therapist quit after 10 years . im on so many meds i hate pills trully hate them
    LED's have gotten too bright in our stuff. Many nights I'm awakened by my modem lights blinking.had help with my sig thank you for your help.

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    *Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    Quote Originally Posted by richbuff View Post
    The change for me is that bad things of biblical proportions used to only impact other people, and in other locations, and in the Bible. Now, bad stuff of biblical proportions is affecting me, on earth here and now. So instead of thinking that I would always be happy here temporarily, and then be perfectly happy someplace else forever, now I know I have to be not so happy here for a little while and then be perfectly happy someplace else forever.
    This thread has reminded me that we are responsible for our own happiness, in the here and now.

    I am currently depressed. My profession has been crushed, gradually over time we have seen declining revenues, but this Covid thing has put the nail in the coffin. I can relate to the frustration and anger of those business owners, who can only service 25% of their previous capacity.

    In the next three months, I'll sort out whether it'll be profitable to return to my profession of 40 years, or do something else. Just sitting around causes boredom, which for me is a killer. IMO the story of JOB is BS. I don't believe that we should be content to live in misery by looking forward to a happy afterlife. I believe, that we should change our situation, or our perspective of our situation, so that we are happy now!

    I am going to start being happier today.

    About a year ago, a friend explained to me that although he drives a sports car, his commute into Manhattan can vary between an hour to two hours. Without traffic it could be only 30 minutes. He however drives his sports car "like an old man" taking his time, not stressing, letting people pass him, not tail-gating, and enjoying listening to his music in his car. "When do you get the chance to just listen to, and enjoy listening to your music, for two whole hours!?"

    What prompted that discussion, was that I told him that I felt guilty for not going to see my dad in a while. It is a 1 1/2 hour drive, on a parkway that is often over-crowded, like a LA freeway. That weekend, I drove down. I stayed in the right hand lane, and sang with Pandora, all the way. A great trip!

    For the last four months, each night I play cards with my dad, who is 1000 miles away as a Florida snow bird, via duo (an android version of facetime). Initially, I was delighted to be able to help break up his boredom, and the insanity of being trapped in a house, alone! After a while, it became an obligation, and now, I find, that I sometimes look forward to 8:00 when we connect. It's all a matter or perspective. We no longer, only play cards, but we also work out logic problems, or do Sudoku. It helps us both to cope.

    Regarding masks, I don't wear the half face respirator anymore, but if the infection rate goes back up in NJ, I will. Currently, I pretty much stay at home. I don't go out to socialize, at all. I am comfortable speaking to someone without a mask, outdoors, if we keep at least 10 feet apart, and I secretly try to position ourselves so that neither of us is down-wind of the other. When I go indoors, I mask up, knowing that it only give ME minimal additional protection, it is required, but by doing so, shows that I am being compliant, and that it supports the mind-set, that that is what we should do, and thereby encourages others to do the same.
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greta View Post
    Ya know what though? Maybe that lady has asthma. Or some other medical condition that makes it impossible for her to wear a mask. I don't know. But I judged her anyway. And that is what we have become now. Remember the old saying "You don't know what others are going through. So be nice."? Does that not matter anymore? We've become a society of judging others... for everything! This cannot be the "new norm". (I truly despise that term!)

    Bit of a sidenote but not really - I've been listening to a couple of self-help books lately. One that I just finished is "The Power of Vulnerability" by Brené Brown. Basically it's about shame and how it makes us vulnerable. We shame ourselves, we shame others, we are all vulnerable. So how to use that to our advantage and to stop shaming ourselves and others. I think I might listen to it again.

    Another good self-help book is "Unf**k Yourself - Get out of your head and into your life" by Gary John Bishop. Lots of salty language, of course. But he's a Scot so it sounds seriously lovely when he's narrating
    Greta- My big frustration is ignoring quarantine. If you come here, you're supposed to quarantine for two weeks. Nobody is doing it. Either "but I'm not sick" or "we're just running to the lake for the weekend"... And they're coming from New York City and north Jersey, where there is no sense of personal space, never mind social distancing. I'm trying now to shop really early on weekday mornings, and not go out on weekends or in the afternoons.

    Edit- Some of our bigger stores are trying to control foot traffic flow with One Way signs, green and red, at the ends of the aisles to keep people seperated. Nobody, and I mean nobody, knows how to read or what colors mean. I know there's no enforcement or consequence, but please at least play along..
    Last edited by scout24; 07-16-2020 at 06:33 AM.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    By this time last year I had taken off 20 extra pounds, excersized 30 minutes a day and was feeling great. By this time this year all 20 are back plus 5. I still excersize some but nowhere near as often. Part is due to work. Last year my job involved walking a mile or two each day outdoors in the heat. This year I'm in an office and walk a lap around a small parking lot at 10 and 2:30. That's just circumstances, but last year my evening snack was wlanuts or rabbit food. In March this year it became chocolate cake. And lots of it. The fear of the pandemic had most people I know munching on comfort food thinking "screw it I'm going to die in two weeks so why not?" Well we lived to July so……

    Time to shake the pounds off. Mrs Fixer and I walk laps through box stores on weekends with no real adgenda except to put in steps. I have acquired a lifetime supply of walking shoes during the pandemic so we put on a face cover and walk about stores during off peak hours or the near empty shopping mall. I have disposable masks with phrases on them. "covid 19 sucks". "your welcome" and Mrs Fixers favorite "mask nazis suck". One says "if you can read this you're too close". A dab of toothpaste keeps the glasses fog free. Rain X makes a good product that lasts but I'm using toothpaste for now because if your glasses aren't spotless when you apply the Rain x you are stuck with the spots under the coating. Toothpaste washes off easily.
    Mentally, the fear of the pandemic is still there, but to a much less degree. Part is from just tuning out the constant bad news and part is my community has the spread under control. I feel bad for my kids though as they have been way more affected. Being young they tend to socialize more and now they are feeling the affects us gregarious natured folks have when being isolated. I became a hermit years ago so it really hasn't changed my circumstances.
    I just keep in mind that flu season has gone extra innings and do a little celebration when the grocery store has a full supply of my favorite orange juice.

    Now the coin shortage thing……that has me a bit nervous. I'm not down with a cashless society knowing when the power is out cash is often the only way to get supplies. But yeah, we're doing pretty well overall.

    Thanks for this thread Greta.
    John 3:16

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    Quote Originally Posted by scout24 View Post
    Greta- My big frustration is ignoring quarantine. If you come here, you're supposed to quarantine for two weeks. Nobody is doing it. Either "but I'm not sick" or "we're just running to the lake for the weekend"... And they're coming from New York City and north Jersey, where there is no sense of personal space, never mind social distancing. I'm trying now to shop really early on weekday mornings, and not go out on weekends or in the afternoons.

    Edit- Some of our bigger stores are trying to control foot traffic flow with One Way signs, green and red, at the ends of the aisles to keep people seperated. Nobody, and I mean nobody, knows how to read or what colors mean. I know there's no enforcement or consequence, but please at least play along..
    Same thing occurs here in New York. I was at the Walmart in Herkimer yesterday morning after work to grab a few things, I saw people in violation of the face mask rules inside of the store. Maybe literacy should be a focus in schools.
    I often spend time trying to talk people off of the proverbial ledge because of the fear populating the news. Too many people are super scared from what the media puts out. It is hard to be the voice of reason sometimes. Thankfully my mother gets to go back to church on Sunday, I hope that helps here cope with the lack of social interaction. As humans we need to be amongst friends, that has not been easy in the last few months. I would that normalcy return for us all, we need it.
    The fear that those around me experience is draining. I wish there was an easy solution but I suspect that it might be a while before things calm down. Breathe deep and often. It helps sometimes. Enjoy the beauty of nature, that can never be taken away. Be thankful for all of the blessings we are afforded. Most of all be safe, we can get through this with positivity.
    Life is all about having the very best lights.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    I see the news mentioned a lot here. Over 35 years ago we essentially banned television news from our household. I think that was one of the best decisions we've ever made. Sensationalized news does nothing but generate stress. It's not news mostly, just gossip.

    I'll browse the Google News headlines but almost never click the bait. It's amazing how quickly you can guess the publisher of a headline by how crazy or stupid it is. Washington Post is one of the biggest offenders. Also the Guardian and Slate. Slanted, sensationalized, biased, and inaccurate headlines are rampent.

    Since we don't let this manipulative garbage into our homes, we don't let it into our minds. Instead we embrace the daily reality of our experience instead of false realities generated by people whose only goal is to get clicks. They understand that negative stories generate about 100x more clicks than positive. They exercise absolutely zero empathy or concern for how this might affect the population. The bottom line is the bottom dollar. And our actual reality is far better than what you see in the virtual world of "the news".

    Life is essentially fantastic for almost all of us. We are limited far more by our own actions than by the external world.

    My sister once told me that she didn't think people controlled their destiny to any significant extent. I answered simply that every single doctor became a doctor by going to med school and putting in the work. It's a fact that 98% of Americans reach middle-class by simply getting a job (any job to start), graduating high school, and having children after reaching adulthood. Faced with this reality, think about how much of a negative effect the news has on our society by convincing us that things are terrible.
    Last edited by JimIslander; 07-16-2020 at 07:36 AM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    I'm doing great. This is the happiest I've ever been. But I am cut out for this. Im anti-social, I don't watch the news, all of my hobbies are outdoor activities away from the general population, I work remotely, etc. I have been extremely fortunate that myself and my family have maintained our health so far, and that I have maintained my employment. I am extremely grateful for that and I recognize that a lot of people have had it so much worse, so I am trying to help others out any way that I can during all of this. That said, I am absolutely disgusted by the way masses of people are behaving in all of this and I've just about completely lost all faith in humanity. I honestly just want to be left alone for the most part, and I recognize more than ever that the government can only make matters worse, cannot protect us, and the best that we all can do is take responsibility for our own well being and take responsibility for the well being of our neighbors, family, and friends. But, I pretty much realized all of this stuff before the pandemic and riots and destruction. So, again I'm just really doing great and happier than ever. And I hope to at least be able to keep helping out others that are less fortunate in this in any way that I can.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    I've had income issues big time going from being laid off to having to wait forever for money to come in and unemployment issues, being offered a job that ends up only being two weeks which averages an income for me of 2/3 what I'm used to. The $600 additional unemployment is the only thing that is helping, the mandatory masking they are discussing upsets me and my neighbor is considering moving if they implement it and he is the only one around me that talks to me that I don't have to go to their place nobody else wants to even put their foot on my front lawn and wave. All the masking is not helping me at all when I go out in public I hate wearing a mask I had Asthma as a child but don't suffer from it but do have issues breathing through a mask for long periods of time and am not at any risk.
    When I walk out and want to socialize with people everyone is doubly distant now... staying 6 feet away and not seeing facial expressions makes it hard to feel cheerful as they can tell how you feel but you sometimes don't have a clue what they are feeling.
    I don't call it social distancing..... an oxymoron, I consider mandatory masking social isolation and think that it will cause many of the more fragile people to devolve into mental illnesses as I don't seeing those who are in charge of implementation as "not fearful" both about the virus and public opinion and that even when the numbers drop to more safe levels they will continue with masks AND that it will be a "normal" thing during the next flu season, it won't be voluntary but rather out of FEAR mandatory and to me a mask means FEAR and I don't like seeing all the fear in public when I'm out and about it is stressful I want to see normal people smiling and laughing and mostly I see cheap fabric clamped on faceless zombies. Come to think of it this virus has made zombies out of all of us as our brains seem to have stopped working with all the nonsense going on.
    I also am adding that seeing all these people on TV in that are advocating mandatory masks without masks on while when I am seen in public I am going to be forced to NOT show my face.... saddens me. I feel less important than them a lot more.
    I should probably have quit at that but am adding that people usually cover parts of their body that they are ashamed of, and it is quite possible that this masking business may have that affect on people making them feel ashamed of their faces after they are forced to "get used to it". Hopefully I am wrong about this but it is a possible mental health issue that could pop up in the near future.
    Last edited by Lynx_Arc; 07-16-2020 at 09:31 AM.
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  19. #19
    Enlightened Katherine Alicia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    I`v been using the time to catch up on things really, a pile of "I`ll read that one day" books are being worked through, my rather large collection sheet music I`v accumulated over the years is now being played through, all the lights in the house are now LED based, I`v swapped all the single use batteries in the house for rechargables (mostly Eneloops), and I`v bought a 100W solar panel and controler so I can charge all the batteries in the house.
    From an external perspective I probably look depressed, I stay in my pyjamas all day long for weeks at a time, haven`t really bothered putting my face on, I think I`v forgetten how to use my hair straighteners! LOL and I`v been out the house only 3 times (to the bank) since the end of Feb and I don`t make dance music anymore. but I don`t Feel depressed, in fact this lockdown has been a huge releif and has been the safest I`v ever felt in my entire life.

    I think I`m fine. xx

  20. #20

    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Katherine Alicia View Post
    ......haven`t really bothered putting my face on,
    Around here it is easy to "put your face on" as it is typically cloth with two elastic bands attached to it.
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  21. #21
    Flashaholic* RetroTechie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    Very much on topic... watch this: Dr. Lucy Hone - The three secrets of resilient people
    Summarized:
    1. Shit happens. Resilient people accept that is a fact of life. Focus on things you can change vs. things that you just can't do anything about.
    2. Find the positives. (count your blessings)
    3. Figure out what harms you, and what helps you. Don't keep hung up on things that depress you. Instead, find out what makes you feel happier, go with that & move on with your life.

    Example:
    Quote Originally Posted by richbuff View Post
    The change for me is that bad things of biblical proportions used to only impact other people, and in other locations, and in the Bible. Now, bad stuff of biblical proportions is affecting me, on earth here and now.
    What do you mean "biblical proportions"? Things aren't nearly as bad as they could be. For some perspective:
    https://www.visualcapitalist.com/history-of-pandemics-deadliest/
    Sure that COVID-19 ball will grow bigger still. But compare eg. with the plague back in the 1300's. Estimates range from 20-30% of the European population wiped out (remember world population was a lot smaller then, so 200M worldwide is much bigger % of population than same # would be today). That is like "death(s) in every house" unless you were very, very lucky. No protective gear, drugs or ventilators to lend your body a hand. No hope for a vaccine as those didn't exist back then - for any disease. Stuck at home, what to do? Even books were rare then (and expensive). Never mind TV, PlayStation or fiddling with your Rubik's cube. No doubt people kept themselves busy back then... But today you have vastly more options. Boring tasks are much easier: toss laundry in the machine, select program, done. 20..30m for a supermarket trip vs. work hard on the land all day to provide for a meal. Most people living in 2020 don't realize how comfortable & safe their life is vs. that of most of their ancestors. Or poor folks around the world that have to fight for a living every single day. Or the devastating effects of several world wars.

    COVID-19? Several times the background death rate. Taking mostly people that would otherwise have died (within a few years) from a host of other health issues. Many of which at least as unpleasant as a couple of weeks sickbed. Cancer, dementia, seeing your body slowly waste away while you're being cared for in an elderly home with nothing to do all day. The list goes on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumen83 View Post
    I'm doing great. This is the happiest I've ever been. But I am cut out for this. Im anti-social, I don't watch the news, all of my hobbies are outdoor activities away from the general population, I work remotely, etc. I have been extremely fortunate that myself and my family have maintained our health so far, and that I have maintained my employment. I am extremely grateful for that and I recognize that a lot of people have had it so much worse, so I am trying to help others out any way that I can during all of this. That said, I am absolutely disgusted by the way masses of people are behaving in all of this and I've just about completely lost all faith in humanity. I honestly just want to be left alone for the most part, and I recognize more than ever that the government can only make matters worse, cannot protect us, and the best that we all can do is take responsibility for our own well being and take responsibility for the well being of our neighbors, family, and friends. But, I pretty much realized all of this stuff before the pandemic and riots and destruction. So, again I'm just really doing great and happier than ever. And I hope to at least be able to keep helping out others that are less fortunate in this in any way that I can.
    Much the same here, except the employment and "happiest" parts. My main source of income is pretty much wiped out, and will be for quite some time. But over the years I've learned to make do with (sometimes veeerrry) limited resources.

    This pandemic has been a mixed bag in many ways. As a long-going trend I find myself gravitating towards a back-to-basics lifestyle, more & more opting out of crowds, population centres, or relying too much on high-tech for 'survival'. Getting ever more comfortable (and happy!) with taking care of myself. As opposed to relying on others for 1001 things. Make do with €1..2 a day if need be, grow my own food, camping out in the woods, repairing my own gear, getting from A to B on muscle power, etc etc been there done that. It comes increasingly natural to me. Yes I like the comforts & options of modern life. A hot shower in the evening. Bring home 3 weeks worth of food in a 2 hr shopping trip. Browse through satellite imagery on Google Maps. But unlike many people, I find it easy to do without most of those things.

    In that context, a pandemic with all this social distancing, economic crisis etc... Feels more like a nuisance that goes on & on (with everybody 'in' on the game), than some kind of existential threat. Put some things on hold, fast-forwarded some other things. Pro's and con's... I'm dealing just fine with the con's, and made sure to exploit / enjoy some of the pro's.

    Overall... can't say this pandemic is a plus. Like most people I wouldn't mind if COVID-19 disappeared yesterday. But still... things aren't that bad, some good things will (and already have) come out of this, and it isn't the end of the world. FAR FROM IT. So don't worry too much. Enjoy what you DO have, and keep on truckin'.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    One thing I have gotten back into is bird watching. I believe I have a nesting pair of golden eagles on my property. My hummingbirds are always a joy to watch. I most enjoy the variation of colors in the birds in central New York. Having the extra time to partake of nature's beauty helps heal the soul. I could have done without the 3 interactions with black bears, but hey nature provides many interesting experiences.

    Stay safe and enjoy some of nature.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devildude View Post
    One thing I have gotten back into is bird watching. I believe I have a nesting pair of golden eagles on my property. My hummingbirds are always a joy to watch. I most enjoy the variation of colors in the birds in central New York. Having the extra time to partake of nature's beauty helps heal the soul. I could have done without the 3 interactions with black bears, but hey nature provides many interesting experiences.

    Stay safe and enjoy some of nature.
    id love to see a eagle only big bird i see are vultures there pretty cool but i do admit they scare me.
    LED's have gotten too bright in our stuff. Many nights I'm awakened by my modem lights blinking.had help with my sig thank you for your help.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* SCEMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    Great thread topic Greta!

    I'm married and live in a small suburban town about 35 miles from LA, and it's always been an oasis from the big city craziness. My wife and I were fortunate to have retired early and traveled for several years before the pandemic took hold. As mentioned by all, a big negative is the omnipresent, depressing news stories that have everyone on edge. Particularly now that infections are spiking everywhere around So Cal largely due to irresponsible behavior and the massive protests. Although it's a difficult time, we're doing okay so far but it's pretty scary for those in our risk category.

    Since my profession for 30+ years prior to retirement was IT Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning it's been interesting to watch the various mitigation and response plans being implemented and the wide disparity in public acceptance. In developing and testing our DR/BCP plans my team would painstakingly build-in mitigation to manage risks, black swan events and single-points-of-failure. But we only had responsibility for IT services availability & recovery, not human life.

    Since the "event" I've actually lost about 10 lbs. largely due to the daily walks my wife and I take in our neighborhood community and local town. We take face coverings in case we can't avoid close conditions, but rarely need them. Even so, I can't imagine what it must be like for the desert dwellers, as mask wearing in 90 degree temps is oppressive even here. Our neighbors seem to be as friendly (albeit at a distance) as ever and managing well, and walking families and dogs is the new pastime. We did eat outside at a restaurant for our wedding anniversary last week and it was almost like nothing had changed for an hour or so.

    Since my wife has had a serious viral infection in the past and pneumonia, we're extremely careful when grocery shopping. We take all the precautions and wear N95 masks while around others & indoors and do our best to practice social distancing for everyone's safety.

    Taking care of our grandchildren (2 & 5) three days a week really breaks up the monotony and we have a family BBQ (thank god for Omaha Steaks!) most Sundays with our daughter/husband and kids. It's a real joy to play such an important role in our grandkids life and I can't imagine what it was like before this awesome responsibility. It was my grandson's 5th birthday party last week and for the first time our family unit was around others (my brother, sister-in-law, niece and her 2 children). It was a wonderful outdoor event and felt great to see them for the first time in months.

    I've always done a lot of reading (downloading books from the county library system) so that helps fill time and we're streaming a lot of movies and mini-series. And my alcohol intake is on the upswing...

    I know we're all hoping for an effective vaccine sooner than later, but even with that I'm afraid our lives will never be quite the same again.
    Last edited by SCEMan; 07-16-2020 at 09:19 PM.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    Quote Originally Posted by raggie33 View Post
    id love to see a eagle only big bird i see are vultures there pretty cool but i do admit they scare me.
    We have vultures up here as well. I have even seen a few bald eagles at my house. They are an amazing sight except in the dark it can be a little scary. That happened once, that was enough.
    Life is all about having the very best lights.

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    Administrator Greta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    I found the comet tonight! - Better pictures tomorrow... now that I know where to find it and have figured out (mostly) what settings for the camera.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    I am jealous. I had rain tonight in New York, coupled with the fact that I work third shift is going to make it difficult to see. I might be able to pull it off tomorrow night or Saturday night. I really miss sitting outside and enjoying the beauty of the night skies.
    Life is all about having the very best lights.

  28. #28
    Administrator Greta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devildude View Post
    I am jealous. I had rain tonight in New York, coupled with the fact that I work third shift is going to make it difficult to see. I might be able to pull it off tomorrow night or Saturday night. I really miss sitting outside and enjoying the beauty of the night skies.
    And I'm jealous of your rain! I honestly can't even remember the last time it rained here. I know for sure we didn't have any in May or June and so far none in July. The joke around here is that with everything being cancelled due to the Covids, Monsoon season has been cancelled also. Seriously, I'd kill for a good monsoon that flooded the streets and blew down the tree in my back yard. I could get some awesome lightning photos! Our average annual rainfall is 4.2 inches. And we usually get that in like... 5 days out of the year.

    If you work third shift, you might be able to catch it in the morning about 45 minutes before sunrise in the northeastern sky. Should be just above the horizon. Get one of those apps for your phone that shows the Night Skies (that's the name of the app I use on my iPhone).

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    The problem with central New York is fog and clouds. This time of year you might see the sun 2 or 3 days a week. It has its charms. No Hall of Fame Induction this year. First time in my life Cooperstown will be quiet in late July. It will be as weird as 9/11 was.
    Life is all about having the very best lights.

  30. #30
    Administrator Greta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pandemic Mental Health - How YOU doin'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devildude View Post
    The problem with central New York is fog and clouds. This time of year you might see the sun 2 or 3 days a week. It has its charms. No Hall of Fame Induction this year. First time in my life Cooperstown will be quiet in late July. It will be as weird as 9/11 was.
    I'm originally from New Lebanon, NY - (Lebanon Valley Speedway?) - Rt. 20 runs right through it. I grew up there and only moved away when I joined the military in 1980. My parents still live in Canaan, NY. I remember taking a Greyhound trip with my bestie to Cooperstown to visit her aunt in 1978(?). Such a lovely place! We had a great time. I really do miss New England A LOT! And yes, I even miss the weather. At least you have weather! We got nuthin'! Hot... hotter... freakin' hot... hell.

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