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  1. #1
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    Lockdown diaries

    Hey everyone,

    I read just now that a quarter of the worldís population is under lockdown. The U.K., where I live, is in Day 2 but weíve been under self-lockdown since last week.

    I thought it might be nice if people could share what lockdown has been like for them.

    I am going to post my own story separately if I can just stop editing it.

  2. #2
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    This post is just whatís been happening to me over the last week, in my local area. Other people will be experiencing this differently Iím sure.

    Iíve been homeschooling my kids for a week now. Like a lot of other people this has devolved pretty quickly into just Art and PE (crafting and running around outside). My Monster Truck keeps us organized, it is a GREAT homeschool bag. Our music Teacher is offering lessons on Zoom so we will be able to keep that up.

    People have been making rainbows to display in their windows, so weíve made one out of some cellophane and a plastic tray from a giant chocolate button:

    We already have lots of kid art on display in our front window, which is on a main road so we have a lot of passers by.

    Right now I am sitting on a deserted public golf course while my kids enjoy a bit of sun. The weather has been glorious this whole week after a really wet and miserable 9 months. I think thatís why so many Brits were out in the national parks on Saturday and sadly the crowds led to the shutdown of the parks just prior to lockdown.

    Getting enough exercise has been tricky, for the kids because playgrounds are closed and for me because I typically run while the kids are at school. I had just gotten up to running weekly 10ks, I hope to be able to keep that up as much as I can. Weíve been doing morning PE with Joe Wicks, a PE teacher who is posting a PE workout every day at 9am UK time. My legs are like jelly today after so many frog jumps.

    It is impossible to get grocery delivery from the regular stores, there are no slots available anywhere. Normally you can book a split a day or two in advance with no problem. Since all the slots are full, youíve either got to go into the shop or find an alternative. Luckily a local produce shop, which is currently being run by volunteers because the owners are self-isolating, is still delivering locally. Itís very low-tech, I emailed them with a wish list and they delivered with a hand-written invoice attached. I paid it over the phone with a tip for the driver, who was probably a volunteer. Other small shops are starting delivery services or joining with them.

    I want to use the hometime to do extra projects but I donít have the mental bandwidth for it right now. Things I normally enjoy just seem a bit too hard or too extravagant, though I donít really have extra time for my projects because the kids are around all day anyway (theyíre still young). I make sure to get dressed every day and make the children get dressed, at least on weekdays. Sunday is often a pajama day anyway and we can still do that.

    I am not plowing through my chocolate stash and throwing my hard-fought healthy habits out the window. The only reason I am staying on track with this is because the source of my panic is the fear of losing my health, and so keeping healthy by maintaining a good diet and exercise is a small thing I can continue to do to my best ability while everything else is out of my control.

    I hope you all are well and safe and can get everything you need. XO

  3. #3
    Forum Member nsh's Avatar
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    My family has been physical distancing March 13 sp it has been 12 days. We did take a 13 hour, rather harrowing, car drive to from MA to VA but every single rest area was closed in NY, NJ, PA, MD...so we really didn’t come into contact with people except to use sketchy bathroom-like facilities with our own TP, bottled water, and sanitizer and my husband pumping gas with disposable gloves. It was more like outhouses/Porto potty or in the woods bathroom type situations... We packed our cooler full of food and just drove the straight shot in one day! We moved to support my parents who are older and need someone to do their errands. They live in a very rural area and not a ton of services are available.

    My husband and I both teach a 2-2 at Wellesley College and we are both our department/program chairs. He is the department chair for the largest major on campus so we are both managing teaching and administrative duties. In addition, I am homeschooling teacher mama for my 5 year old daughter. I am also the errand girl for my elderly parents but I am able to get curbside pickup for items.

    My day goes like this:
    5am wake up, drink coffee, read news
    5:30am daughter wakes and we play
    6am I run alone with my reflective vest in a hilly area near a state park or do a Zoom Crossfit WOD offered through my home CF box/while husband trades off and takes daughter
    7am shower, my parents wake up, and we eat breakfast etc between 7-8:30am; oatmeal or pancakes or biscuits and gravy
    I use ALEXA to create a schedule. This is so helpful because it is the computer not Mom telling us what to do. It does reduce some friction between teacher mama and daughter. Alexa at 8:30 reminds us to say the pledge of allegiance and so we all stand up, ALexa plays a recording, then we head up to my childhood bedroom for homeschool and my husband digs into work emails and lectures and meetings
    8:30-10:30 (Alexa says time for phonics at 8:35) Phonics, (Alexa says time for reading at 9) reading, crying-screaming trying to bargain with me for no school-it is so exhausting because I want to give up too, (Alexa announces it at 9:30am) writing, and (Alexa at 10am) math
    10:30am snack time and we try to go outside or I let her play on the ipad:/ while I do work emails until 11:15
    11:15 story time or her librarian at school has pre-recorded readings that we listen to
    12 lunch time, I see husband, and we eat with my family; tuna salad or cold cuts sandwiches
    1-2:30 daughter naps with my mom (her grandma) while I record lectures or do Zoom meetings or emails; my dad talks to friends on the phone and reads most of the day
    2:30-4:30 arts and crafts/baking/a family walk so my Mom and Dad meet their 2 miles a day goalSmilie
    5pm dinner as a family- my Mom and I and husband switch off cooking the meal
    6-7:30 bath time, watching wheel of fortune! (It is exactly the same. It never changes!)
    8pm Bedtime routine, Daughter sleeps/I chat with husband
    8:30pm I sleep.
    Rinse, wash repeat.
    We are the kind of people that do really well with routine so we have tried to stick to it. We are all doing our best and my family gets along but we are also very tired. We don’t watch the news on TV to keep down the anxiety and stress. I have a lot of friends and family that live in refugee camps in the Middle East and the pandemic has killed many and is catastrophic. There were no ventilators there to begin with so you can imagine how bad this is. Every now and then I sing, “Keep on the sunny side of life...” OR chant “I think I can, I think I can...” so that I buck up and carry on! I keep this image close by and it reminds me that I get to choose my response to the cards we have been dealt! I try to choose gratitude and peace.
    Lockdown diaries-25e08025-0668-449e-b98f-230ffd2191f0-jpeg
    Last edited by nsh; 03-25-2020 at 10:10 AM.

  4. #4
    Forum Member PaulT00's Avatar
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    Over here in the UK, I'm in complete lockdown with my partner - who has been advised "you are at risk, please stay at home and indoors for the next 12 weeks" by the NHS. This is due to COPD, Atrial Fibrillation and partial Left Ventricular Failure - essentially, if my other half catches COVID-19, it's likely to be at best serious and at worst... possibly fatal due to those pre-existing conditions.

    As both of us work from home, things haven't changed very much really. The main changes:
    * neither of us is currently going out, although we are both spending time in the back garden - the weather today has been glorious!
    * the hounds are all showing signs of getting a bit stir-crazy; they have garden access, but are not currently going to the P-A-R-K etc. We may have to see if we can find a way around that; the problem being that if the pups come into contact with the virus they could potentially act as a transmission vector (infective material on their fur etc). Nobody really seems to know, and Golden Retrievers are of course the world's most gregarious pups - and just don't get the concept of personal space or isolation!
    * as part of the "shielding" of my partner, we've been advised to adhere to social distancing even within the household - sadly, the only practical way of achieving that would be for one of us (me, probably) to be confined to a single room for 12 weeks and have no contact with the rest of the household. So it's a nonstarter - which means I have to be in 12-week lockdown too.
    * the biggest issue on the horizon is food, both for us and for the critters. Panic buying has decimated the online suppliers of e.g. kibble for the dogs and cats from whom we would normally obtain supplies; we do have at least a month's worth of that in stock.
    * grocery deliveries are nonexistent at the moment - all the main supermarkets who offer online ordering and home delivery are absolutely booked up solid until mid-late April. Which is a bit of a problem since (to protect my other half) I really don't want to be going out shopping even if there is a "silver hour" dedicated shopping period at the start of each day for "vulnerable people and the elderly".
    * fortunately, we do have plenty of food in stock which will carry us for several weeks as long as we can replenish after that initial time.
    * while the big supermarkets have let us down, local businesses are picking up the slack. Our local bakery is doing home deliveries two days a week and has been working flat out to e.g. bake double quantities of bread (because the supermarket shelves are bare) to serve the local residents. The butcher who runs his shop a few doors away from that same bakery has also said he would be able to e.g. drop off a carrier bag with suitable items in it on his way home, which is very good of him - as he's a single-hander it would be impossible for him to do full-scale deliveries.

    On the work front, I've been working remotely for the last decade. My employers closed the central London office (and in fact all international offices too) over a week ago and all staff have been working remotely for nearly 2 weeks now - so we were well placed for the formal lockdown when it came. There's been massive reliance on IT infrastructure like Teams, my (IT) team has been holding a (15-way) video conference call every morning for a quick catchup - which also helps to alleviate the sense of isolation for those unfamiliar with working remotely. The amount of communication has increased by an order of magnitude in a week or so, and normal operations are getting back to something approaching normality as people settle into a completely different way of working. The operations director (my boss' boss) is, apparently, very stressed at the moment because people keep finding new problems and bringing them to his (virtual) doorstep - during the first weekend, for instance, IT infrastructure guys were working incredibly hard provisioning extra servers and software licenses on stuff like remote access infrastructure, so that all roughly 600 people based in the London office could logon to systems as normal while working from home... without everything grinding to a halt. It's been a difficult couple of weeks but things are settling in.

    I think it's fair to say that it will be a while before any of my TB items are used in anger again!
    A45CC K CQPC 3DCCGES25 SK SCBQKTTMCBLSB TT TSS4 PCSBSCBTT CQPC PQBPQK LT SETT 3DCCQKS19 TT P3DCCTS PP BBLCBCP TTRi QK NFTD A30DLBC

  5. #5
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    My life really hasnít changed much at all. I work from home a lot normally anyway, so this is nothing new to me.

    The only impact to my wife and I has been that before weíd go to the shops often ( theyíre across the road ) so it was never an issue if we just needed one thing or forgot something. Now weíre making the choice to do one bigger shop and get stuff to get us through a week or so.

    I used to use our buildings gym and pool daily. Iíve now stopped that and do a 7 minute work out in the apartment 3 times a day to maintain some level of fitness.

    However. One huuuuuge adjustment for me has been wearing pants everyday Lockdown diaries when my wife goes to work I have the whole apartment to myself and that afffords me the luxury of spending the day in boxers. Now that the wife is home I have to be some what respectable and wear pants. Pyjama pants, but pants none the less Lockdown diariesLockdown diaries


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  6. #6
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    When I see pleas for workers displaced by the pandemic it takes me a second to realize that's me! I work in theater and the entire industry is at a literal standstill. My employer stopped the play I was working on on March 12th. I got an email the 13th that the play was closed. It was supposed to close the 22nd and the theater paid everyone till the closing date. The next production is scheduled to preview June 20th, but that seems optimistic. For the moment, I'm being paid through May 10th at a reduced rate. I expect a layoff notice before then, though, since the governor of Minnesota is keeping non-essential folk at home till April 10th. If there's no building sets and costumes, and no actors rehearsing, there's no work for me. Backstage staff were supposed to go to work next Tuesday to help build the next production.

    I'm used to seasonal, scheduled layoffs, but this is a layer of uncertainty I've never experienced before. To keep sane, I have rules: bathe, get dressed, and don't start day drinking till those things are done. So far so good! Daily social distance walks are necessary. I've FaceTime happy hour'ed with a friend and that was fun. This is gonna be a marathon for arts folks. An ultra-marathon at that!

  7. #7
    Forum Member xyppy's Avatar
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    I'm in the current epicenter of the pandemic. And while I'm happy to be home and might have some agoraphobic traits, the working from home and Zoom meetings are too much for me. The meetings are too disruptive and I think half of them are scheduled so people can see each other, regardless of the deadlines some of us have for getting actual work done.

    I wake up every day an hour later than if I had to make my commute and I sit in my recliner by 9am to begin working for 3 or 4 hours before I take an hour to move about my small studio apartment doing things I want to do. Then I resume my position in my recliner and work for another 3 or 4 hours. When 5pm hits, I remove myself from my recliner and try to decide what to do with my evening. Last night I went for a bike ride. Tonight I ordered burgers and fries and walked the mile up and back to pick them up. I'm forcing myself to get outside nearly every day. Yesterday I was in a grocery store where I'd swear nobody there heard we were supposed to be socially distancing ourselves from each other.

    The stress and panic around the great outdoors are almost palpable. The stress and panic of my co-workers during Zoom meetings are the same. My biggest goal every day is to get through the day without being sucked in by someone else's stress and/or panic. I have enough things to occupy my non-work hours but when my energy is sapped during work hours I have a difficult time getting the gumption to do things I know will restore me.
    Spring

  8. #8
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    An ICU doctor in NYC shares the rules

    Not my lockdown diary (I'll write mine up in a bit) - but I thought this was incredibly helpful. This is an info session by Dr. Dave Price, who is an ICU doctor at a premier hospital in NYC that is currently handling 20% of the covid cases in the city. He literally assesses covid patients all day long, every day right now. Basically he is currently one of the world's most knowledgeable experts on the disease at this time.

    My takeaways:
    - LEARN THE RULES
    - WEAR A MASK to avoid touching your face. Doesn't need to be N95 - it just keeps your hands away from your face.

    (A friend annotated the video with time stamps, in case you want to skip ahead to key points.)

    https://vimeo.com/399733860?ref=tw-v...VFxlYdcF9DXRyM

    >>This is absolutely worth the watch. An ICU doctor from NYC shares what he’s seeing and how to protect yourself. No drama—just facts.

    Time stamps by topic:
    7:00 How do you protect yourself and your family? How do you get it? A: Overwhelming majority is sustained (15-30 min) contact with someone who has it, or will develop symptoms within 1-2 days. Almost exclusively transmits from your hands to your face.
    11:30 Stop touching your face! Train yourself not to do this by wearing a [NON-MEDICAL GRADE] mask or a bandanna. [Though for me personally I think a bandanna runs the risk of slipping, and then there you are, touching your face again. But better than nothing.] This is just to break the habit.
    16:00 Don't be scared! Just take the appropriate precautions
    17:45 Shrink your social circle.
    19:45 What to do if you or a family member gets it? Avoiding home and family transmission.
    23:00 What to do if you have a mild cold
    25:00 Exceptions: Elderly or immuno-compromised individuals
    25:50 If I get it, when do I go to the hospital? A: ONLY when you have trouble breathing (as in, getting up to go to the bathroom, you have trouble). Also more on this at 40:00. Use tele-medicine appts. Also at 55:00 - for just a fever, stay home.
    29:30 Q & A starts
    29:55 Infants and newborns; kids 0-14 almost universally fine
    31:00 Is it airborne? (This part is great!)
    34:15 Is it safe to go on a run/outside if I social distance?
    36:30 This disease is a wimp--it dies as soon as you disinfect it. Just stop touching things, or use a small drop of Purell to kill it.
    37:00 Do I need to disinfect shoes?
    37:30 Do I need to wipe groceries down or disinfect? A: Generally no, but avoid contact with person and packaging, then clean your hands.
    38:45 Should I avoid drive-throughs? A: If you can avoid contact.
    39:30 Do I need to wash my clothes when I come back from going outside? A: No
    41:15 Is there clarity on incubation period? A: No, probably dependent on level of exposure. From just a few days to 14 days, and very rarely beyond that.
    42:00 Whom does this affect? A: Everyone older than 14. It's an evil narrative that it's only older people or those with underlying conditions.
    44:18 What are the symptoms? Can I use ibuprofen for fever? A: sore throat, aches, fever (90%+). Use Tylenol.
    45:00 What's it like on the front lines at the hospital?
    47:00 Are hospitals accepting homemade masks?
    48:00 Is this the new normal? How long will this go on? A: Months to a year. Continue social distancing. Will probably see a 2nd small spike after social distancing relaxes, and then a virus usually comes under control in the population. Learn the rules! Wash your hands, stop touching your face.
    49:45 Can you infect people if you're asymptomatic? Yes, so if you develop a fever, contact the people you've been in touch with in the past 2-3 days to let them know so they can self-isolate and follow the rules within their own house.
    51:15 Are people becoming immune when recovered? A: Yes! 76k/81k in China have recovered with antibodies. It will enter the circulation the same as rhinoviruses enter, but it will mutate and get milder and years from now it will feel like a cold.
    53:00 Pregnancy related Q&A (Generally no different risks or approach)
    Last edited by haraya; 03-26-2020 at 10:11 AM.

  9. #9
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    Iíve been working from home full-time since 2008, so that part isnít a huge transition for me. My office is closed, so Iím getting a peek at coworkersí homes and pets during video meetings. Itís a lighthearted note in distressing times.

    I really miss visiting my local coffee shop. Itís 1/2 a block away and usually I get breakfast from there 2 or 3 times a week. I havenít been since the end of February.

    Iím also missing the gym. I usually have two 30-minute training sessions to lift weights every week, and try to get in a few days of cardio too. Iím not really getting any exercise except walking the dog right now.

    Emotionally, itís been tough not to be around my family. I usually see my parents and my sisterís whole family at least once a week. Now weíre just visiting via FaceTime which is better than nothing but doesnít replace hugs.


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    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares.Ē ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  10. #10
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    So many reports on grocery delivery! I forget that there are lots of places that have it as it isn't a thing where I live. Mr Sandalz does our groceries. We haven't needed much for staples since we restocked our chest freezer last month. We ate up our frozen veg from the summer so today he's out buying produce to freeze. Our grocery stores have consistently had plenty of produce.

    My employer closed the building the 17th. The week prior I tried a semi-self isolation in my office, which is in a separate area of the building. A week wasn't long enough to build new habits around what I did and didn't touch when I left my area.

    I already worked from home once a week which made the transition easy. Normally it's peaceful and productive. It's still productive but I've been out straight. We serve populations who are already food insecure, and the need has ratcheted up exponentially. I'm spending so. much. time. video conferencing. It's draining, I'm used to working in the background. I take an hour lunch every day to recharge. Walking is rejuvenating too, but I don't always carve out time before dark.

    I'm just off self-quarantine for potential exposure. I spent an afternoon with a colleague who joined us despite having covid-like symptoms. She couldn't get a test until yesterday. Fortunately I have stayed healthy.

    I get out for walks in the woods on the weekend. There are lots of empty trails around. Tonight I'm hosting a virtual watch party with friends. It's my first night "out" in a couple of weeks. I've been so frazzled that I curl up in my cave in the evenings.

    Internet and cell signals here are inconsistent, and in some towns a lot of families can't afford internet anyway. The two big internet providers have set up free wifi hot spots all over. A nearby city has parked school buses with hotspots in them in most neighborhoods. And I suspect my internet provider has opened up the pipeline. I haven't had any of the problems I usually have.

  11. #11
    Forum Member TheLibrarian's Avatar
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    I lost my job on Tuesday, which means Iíve also lost my health insurance in the middle of a pandemic (guess whoís also an asthmatic?). They have no idea when theyíll be able to reopen. I havenít even been there a full 6 months yet and I spent all my savings moving up here for the job and havenít had a chance to rebuild my emergency fund. Iíve spent days trying to get a hold of the unemployment office but canít get anything but a busy signal (and I canít apply online either). I have enough cash to pay for Aprilís rent but thatís it. So I expect to be evicted by the end of May.... Even if my job reopens I may not be able to return anyway.

    Iím brushing up the resume and the LinkedIn but no ones hiring right now so Iím not sure whatís going to happen.

    Itís been..... a really dark time these last few days. Iím driving down to FL to spend some time with my boyfriend and to be closer to my grandparents if they need anything but also because Iím concerned about how bad I might get if I stay here alone.

    I know itís a tough time for everyone and Iím trying to stay positive but itís hard....
    Synapse 25, Aeronaut 30, Monster Truck, Travel Tray

    ď...a book is a fragile creature, it suffers the wear of time, it fears rodents, the elements, clumsy hands. If for a hundred and a hundred years everyone had been able freely to handle our codices, the majority of them would no longer exist. So the librarian protects them not only against mankind but also against nature, and devotes his life to this war with the forces of oblivion, the enemy of truth.Ē
    ― Umberto Eco

  12. #12
    Forum Member xyppy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLibrarian View Post
    Itís been..... a really dark time these last few days. Iím driving down to FL to spend some time with my boyfriend and to be closer to my grandparents if they need anything but also because Iím concerned about how bad I might get if I stay here alone.

    I know itís a tough time for everyone and Iím trying to stay positive but itís hard....
    I had a very difficult day yesterday. I know the dark quiet moments too well. Take care of yourself the best you can.
    Spring

  13. #13
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    I'm in day 11 of isolating. I've been to therapy and the grocery store, picked up take-out, and made a hardware store run to buy mold killing spray. (When it's March and your allergies clear up as soon as you leave your house for the first time in three days, and your basement flooded last summer, and the weather is warming up... You might have mold! Things you learn when you're house bound.)

    My college moved classes online, so I'm preparing for students to start work again next week. Goal: change as little as possible.

    But mostly I'm cooking and watching HGTV and cleaning way more than usual. The hardest part is the care and feeding of my extrovert husband. He needs his USRDA of conversation or he starts twitching.

    I actually kinda like it.

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  14. #14
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    @TheLibrarian , ouch, what an awful combination of circumstances! I'll be thinking of you and wishing you good luck.

    I know some places are still hiring even though a lot have put hiring on hold; I hope you'll find one that suits you well (and vice versa).

    Side note: if anyone reading this is in the Boston area and looking for a job you could check out Buoy Health, a biotech firm. I'm not connected with them, but someone I slightly know works there and mentioned that they're hiring extra staff now because they're working on COVID-19.

  15. #15
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    We've just taken our kids out of pre-school and daycare so they can stay home with us. Hard decision but just trying to do what we think is right (our government here in Australia is not being very clear about exactly what we should do).

    Our biggest challenge (which I know is very small in grand scheme) is juggling me WFH full time (I've previously done 1-2 days a week but never the whole week), Husband WFH part time (he's never done it) PLUS having our 2 and 4 year old home. We're a very active outdoor family so it's a struggle trying to keep everyone occupied, happy and productive (mostly just me). There have been some funny work calls interrupted by questions like "Mummy, what's an animal that's scary that can swim, run and climb? And has stripes"? my colleagues were stumped, it was a tiger...

    Upside definitely is I get the see the kids a lot more, downside is.... I get to see the kids a LOT more.

    Next week my goal is to get a bit more of a "scheduler" for the kids day. Currently it's whatever they want - mostly puzzles but would be good to read some suggestions this weekend and have a basic outline of a plan so we can run the day a bit more like pre-school.

    Hope everyone is hanging in there!

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