So, how's that pandemic treating you?

I just looked through the most recent posts and threads thinking I’d find a thread about this for sure. And it’s LP and Stream threads all the way down. Which, y’know, is not an indictment or anything. This is a community for exactly that after all. But I’m still a bit surprised there was nothing on the current situation.

We do live in strange times. There’s this weird global pandemic thing going on? It started as a cute little Epidemic in China, back when nobody really knew what this would all develop into. Not sure you’ve heard of it it’s all thanks to some stupid virus called COVID-19, sometimes called the Corona Virus (although COVID-19 is just one Corona Virus.) It’s a nasty little shit that can get transmitted very easily because many (especially young and otherwise healthy) people suffer only light symptoms or are completely asymptomatic. Those still carry and can spread the disease. But it can get very bad and even deadly. So a lot of places around the world have decided to put in place policies to prevent the virus from spreading further. People who are tested Corona-positive are put in quarantine. Self-quarantine for lighter symptoms but if it really gets you you’ll be in a hospital.

Me? I live in Germany. I would describe the situation as business somewhat unusual. It’s mostly normal. But a lot of businesses that gather a lot of people at the same time had to shut down. This mostly affects restaurants, clubs, bars, theaters. Not really big offices like call centers, though. They are encouraged to work from home, though, if possible (like me). Essential places are still open to the public (stuff like grocery stores, because you can’t very well expect 21st Century humans to hunt and gather, especially in an urban environment.)

There’s also an order that disallows gatherings of more than 2 people. There’s many exceptions for that though. Like family, work and many more because there’s just too many unique circumstances that require an exception to that rule. There’s a bit of misinformation going around that this constitutes a lockdown. It does not. Although I work from home now, which is the main difference for me, I still go about my everyday business as usual. I try to leave the house less but it’s usually not possible. Sometimes you just gotta go for a walk.

The grocery store I usually shop in is closed, though, but not due to the virus. They’re just adding on to their building so it’s under construction. So I had to go to a different place. I got pictures too.

You can see they use shower curtains or whatever kind of tarp that is to prevent their workers from getting into direct contact accidentally from behind. Not visible here is that they also have sheets of plastic in front of them. Two weeks or so ago they were crudely cut-out thin sheets with box cutters. By now they have something sturdier looking. Probably plexiglass. As far as I know this is the only store that does stuff like that.

Oh, and a lot of shelves are empty. Canned foods, noodles and toilet paper as well as other paper products in particular. Many places now refuse to sell larger quantities of those to people. Here’s a toilet paper shelf where somebody decided to place a single bottle of Corona beer. This is art.

Because my worst worry for when I might get put into quarantine for 14 days is that I can’t shit properly anymore.

Anyway, how are you doing?

I don’t know what it is about this situation, but I’ve gone from never leaving the house except for work and grocery shopping to never leaving the house except for grocery shopping, and suddenly, everything just feels wrong. I hate human contact more than almost anything, but I guess I can’t really go without it. It doesn’t help that most of the few places that used to be part of my weekly routine have changed their hours so I can’t keep up the routine I like. It also doesn’t help when everyone, and I mean absolutely everyone, is sending the same message (I think my old elementary school sent me an E-mail, and E-mail didn’t exist when I was there), and every list of symptoms they send out to watch for is pretty much just my general state of health. Am I coughing because I’ve got the virus, or is it just Wednesday? (It also doesn’t help much that I can’t remember what day of the week it is, even though I’m still working on the same days I always did.) Am I having trouble remembering things because there’s a pathogen messing with my brain, or am I just dealing with problems I inherited at work that no human should ever have to deal with, or is it because I keep forgetting things? Is my vision blurry for medical reasons, or because this is the only time I’ve seen the sun in months and I forgot to wear my sunglasses because I didn’t know that the sun existed? And why is it that the more free time I have, the less I want to do the things I keep wishing I had enough time to do?

In short, this is probably going to be the best two months of my entire life and I have no idea how to enjoy it.

I’m in an essential business (whoo HVAC) so it’s pretty much business as usual. Can work a day or two a week at home, but still have to be in the office to do some stuff or out working at a job site. I’m slightly annoyed since I was supposed to be doing service work in some of our office buildings, but now those tenants are saying that absolutely no one is allowed in their suites until the lockdowns are over.

Not being able to play Magic anywhere is starting to bug me. That was about the one social activity I had, but I can’t drive across town to hang out with my college buddies, and all the game stores are closed. I’ve never really liked playing online. I’m not at risk, at least, and my family’s been staying safe, so I don’t have that much to worry about, luckily.

Yeah, kinda same. Not much has changed for me personally. But the fact that I now have less freedoms due to a lot of places having had to shut down temporarily is kind of buggin me. I tend to not really go out a lot (or at all) but now that I can’t anymore it’s bugging me a bit as well.

I mean, plans for next week were canceled and I’m kinda sad about it but it would have only been a thing I’d attend because people asked me to. But now this is actually feels like I’m missing out even though I would have been perfectly fine if I just had missed it for some other reason.