Covid-19 Update: How are you?

How are you holding up?

I found out last week that the office where I work will start reopening June 15th. By that time I will have been home for three months. 

I miss getting out of the house for something other than groceries, but I’m really in no hurry. Two weeks ago some retail stores opened in Ohio and this past week restaurants opened. Also, yesterday the daily death count in our state from COVID-19 more than doubled that of the day before, so obviously nothing is safe yet. 

I miss my family. Today my dad and his girlfriend visited. They sat out in our front yard and we sat on the porch. It was so nice talking to them, but it’s just not the same as having dinner at dad’s house. 

However, this really hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be. Honestly, I don’t really leave the house much to begin with other than going to work. I’m a pretty serious introvert. My daughter has been home from daycare as long as I’ve been home from work. I’ve been spending all my time hanging out with her and writing. I got an incredible amount of work done on my poetry book. Actually, I’ve kind of enjoyed my time home. Don’t kill me for admitting that.

It’s become very clear as Ohio has opened back up that money is more important than people’s lives, and I hate that about America.

How are you guys doing? What’s it like where you live?


  1. Katydid says

    I live in a small state. We had just short of 900 cases yesterday and yet the (non-Fox) news anchors all insist COVID is “in decline”. Nope. Things are opening up now and I fear they’ll get much worse before they get better.

  2. publicola says

    No shame in enjoying being home with your kid. You’ve been given a precious gift which is priceless, especially when compared to any money you might have earned by being at work. Think of it as a dry run for retirement. As far as my state is concerned, here in the Bible Belt most people have abandoned masks and social distancing. I just sit out on the deck and watch the world go by and hoping the morons infect each other.

  3. says

    I consider myself very fortunate to live here in Australia’s middle state. There are no active cases of the virus left and out of a population of 1.7 million there were 439 confirmed cases and four deaths. I thank the clean air, the adequate politicians, the excellent medical system and the good fortune that have made this result possible. Hopefully there won’t be a rebound when restrictions on travel are further relaxed.

  4. Ridana says

    I’m a hermit anyway, so the only “hardship” this has caused me is a little bit of freedom as to when I shop (no longer making 11pm runs, as the stores aren’t open) and finding nothing when I get to the grocery anyway. Ima bout to kill someone for a bag of flour. 🙂 Also not being sure how fast food operates now (can I order inside? No? Then no can do, since I have neither a smart phone nor a car), so I just stay away altogether.

    Other than that, I’m fine. I’ve probably talked to more people (who are not clerks) in the last two months than I did in the eight before that, so that’s weird. It’s like I’m almost living like the rest of the world. The neighborhood’s gotten pretty quiet, and I like that too. I live right under the Life Flight flight path, and there’s only like 2 or 3 a week now, instead of 4 or 5 a night, so that’s a good thing. I guess corona patients go ground.

    Personally, I’d be mostly ok if this was the new normal, but the price is too high for everyone else, and I know it’s going to get much worse, so no, I don’t wish for that.

  5. Some Old Programmer says

    Given that everyone in the US is dealing with some ugly realities (e.g. a homicidal federal government headed by an incompetent narcisist) I remind myself that we’re doing better than a lot of people. Our income isn’t impacted (I’m a stay at home parent, so no income to impact, and my husband is a data scientist for a company in the health care segment, so lots of new work). We’re healthy and are able to be pretty careful, with me acting as the public interface for the family, and only going out a few times a week for food and necessities.

    The other side of the coin is disconcerting if I focus on it too much. My husband underwent heart surgery in late February, and I’m pushing 60. So we’ve had discussions with our kids (ages 16, 12, and 12) about what they need to do if both of us are incapacitated. I’ve also engaged our estate attorney to update our wills. Our parents are not in great shape medically, so avoiding CoVid-19 for them could be a matter of life or death. And I have to wonder if we’ll send our kids back to school in September if they decide to open them (fortunately we live in one of the saner states, and our school superintendent slammed the schools shut the afternoon of Thursday, March 12th, so it’s reassuring that there was no BS about finishing off the week).

    So now we need to focus on finishing the school term and dealing with being housebound for the foreseeable future. No summer camp. No vacation trip. Everyone being occasionally stir-crazy. Could be better. Could definitely be worse.

  6. says

    The situation here is relatively stable. I’m mostly back to work anyway.
    We’re getting back to “social contacts, but only outdoors. Best evidence currently suggests that sitting in the garden together has a really low risk and we’re currently at 25ish new cases a week at 1 million inhabitants. But as a country overall we’re also getting new clusters, and, who could have thought: meat procession plants where terribly exploited Eastern European migrants work, a baptists church, an indoor restaurant…
    But also some schools have closed down already again. Who could have predicted that teenagers wouldn’t be careful, especially with so many adults not being careful as well….

  7. Katydid says

    I saw a meme the other day that wraps up how I feel about the USA gov’t:

    2 people died of Ebola and the right wanted to impeach President Obama (nothing to impeach for)
    4 people died in Benghazi and the rights pent hundreds of thousands of hours investigating it (and Clinton couldn’t be blamed)
    100,000 people die of COVID Trump goes golfing

  8. blf says

    I’m in France, which was in lockdown for eight weeks, lifted (with sensible restrictions) two weeks ago (except in Mayotte, where known and suspected cases were, at that time, still increasing). The government’s plan is to review and adjust every three weeks. Since overall cases, admissions, and deaths have all been falling, the upcoming review (early June) is eagerly anticipated.

    I myself am fine, as are all of my friends &tc I’ve contacted. Biggest annoyance was perhaps not being able to pop out to a bar or restaurant on a whim — which i still won’t be able to do (probably) after the upcoming review — so I’ve been buying a lot more vin (considered an “essential” in France) and doing my own cooking. Fortunately, I not only consider myself a decent cook (helped, no doubt, by an insistence on quality ingredients and equipment), but also made what has turned out to be a very wise investment last year (as an end-of-orbit present to myself): A high-end cooking-able food-processor. I’ve enjoyed not only playing with the thing, but also making some wonderful soups, stews, and so on, including nut (e.g., peanut) butters (decent ones just don’t seem to exist in Europe?). And, perhaps as soon as tonight, maybe, a proper gazpacho — (all?) the commercial and (most of) the restaurant ones are bland & insipid.

    I’m now toying with the idea of visiting commonly-visited(-by-foreigners) locations in France the rest of the year (subject to restrictions (currently a maximum of 100km from home, plus mandatory facemasks on public transport)), as the borders are more-or-less closed. Which means smaller crowds. However, lots of other people in France also have that idea…

    As is perhaps clear from these ramblings, I am emotionally, physically, and (mostly) financially secure. The only real scare I had was when a very very good friend of mine went “dark” for about six weeks, neither initiating their own, nor responding to my, messages. As they are in the States (albeit in one of the states with a more sensible governor), this was worrying. Turns out to have been a mix-up and some (still unexplained) technical hitches, everything is Ok… but I was quite frantic at the end!

  9. blf says

    Apropos of probably nothing, in case anyone was wondering, I didn’t do the gazpacho tonight — I had all these lovely fresh, local, organic veggies & tufu screaming, just screaming, stir-fry! Stir-fry! Stir-fry! Done. (Burp!) Accompanied by a decent Italian Gewürztraminer, not as peppery or sweet as the usual Alsace, but quite drinkable and worked very well with the stir-fry. (And the amazing thing is I actually spelled “Alsace” correctly the first time!)

    • ashes says

      I’m so jealous you have cooking skills! My husband and are aren’t very good in the kitchen, but thankfully there are many restuarants around us that offer delivery.

      • blf says

        Partly of necessity (when I was a student), partly from living my myself, and partly simply from a love of good food. At the risk of making one even more jealous, I’m the sort of person who almost never follows recipes. I do consult them, and browse them, for ideas and such-and-so, but then usually “make-it-up” on-the-fly. For instance, today for lunch I’m trying something new: Mashed potatoes made with coconut milk. (Basic “recipe”: Boil some potatoes (skin on) in some leftover broth, when cooked, add about half-by-weight (of the potatoes) in unsalted butter and perhaps a dash of olive oil, then add coconut milk (and probably some pepper) whilst mixing & mashing, enjoy! (I hope); I’ll be trying a Viognier with it.)

        That admittedly huge amount of butter is an idea from the late famed French chef Joël Robuchon. Sometimes I cut down the butter and add cheese instead (typically a blued cheese), but that doesn’t “sound right” with the experiment of using coconut milk. (So a mixture of on-the-flyness, experience, and recipes there!)

        My not-following-recipes is perhaps the reason I cannot bake?

  10. Katydid says

    BLF, that meal sounds wonderful! Also the alcohol. Where I live, one must go to a shop selling alcohol to get wine, beer, or any other alcohol (rum, vodka, etc.). Most liquor stores in my area carry mostly alcohol to appeal to young people and beer, maybe a few wines but not enough to develop a palate for good wine.

    Ashes, putting this link here instead of your post on May 9 because it’s an interesting read from another Freethought blogger about life in a small town: .

    • ashes says

      Thank you for sharing that link. That sounds exactly like where I’m from. It’s sad and scary. I’m so glad we moved to Toledo where my daughter will grow up around a lot of diversity. Toledo isn’t far from where I grew up, but it feels like a whole different world.

    • blf says

      Katydid , Thank you. And my apologies to our host ashes, I’m being to feel like I’ve (inadvertently!) hijacked this thread, Sorry!

      Last night’s stir-fry, and today’s coconut-milk mashed-potato lunch, were both successes. I’m now finishing up lunch with a few Cannoli bought from a local shop (nowhere near as elaborate as those illustrated at the link). As an aside, it’s more coincidence than anything the meals were vegetarian (possibly vegan? (excluding the vin)), I simply haven’t been to the butcher’s for awhile… albeit the (mostly-)organic is fully deliberate.

      In a sense, I’ve been very “lucky” with vin: Before I went to University, my father happened to the chief engineer at a local winery (which, to be honest, mostly made plunk), and a custom of the wine trade / insiders is to bring gifts when visiting, at conferences, etc. So there was always a varied collection of wines at home during my teen years. Then, as is happens, everyplace I’ve lived and worked is either in a locale which appreciates wine, or which has excellent wine shops. I’m now in France (on the southern Mediterranean coast, in a seaside village (the seaharbour is perhaps 10 metres from my front door†)), where vin is an important part of life. E.g., charity dinners for the homeless usually include a cup of wine.

        † Which reminds me I’ve got a fresh fish, bought yesterday on the quay-side from a local fishmonger (and probably fished locally earlier in the morning), in the freezer… hum, tonight’s dinner, perhaps?

  11. brucegee1962 says

    I’m rather wondering why more other countries haven’t started banning visitors from the United States — there seems to be adequate reason for them to, based on our logic.

  12. blf says

    ashes, Thank you! Apologies for all the offerings to Tpyos, the Viognier was strong in that one! (It was also nice, albeit not exceptional; as it happens, I’m having another one tonight — so this comment may also be full of Viognier‘s commands to Tpyos — which is definitely a better one.)

    Here in France, the 2nd Stage of “deconfinement” starts next week, and hooray, hooray, restaurants, cafes, and bars will be allowed to open (with sensible restrictions); also, the current ban on travel more than 100km from home (again, with sensible exceptions) will be lifted. I’m still working through the details, but can now seriously consider using the current lack-of-foreigners to visit sites normally overwhelmed by them. (Which should not be taken as “anti-whatever“, only a wry comment on how difficult it can be to appreciate some of many wonderful sites, etc., due to France’s status as the most visited country in the world.)

  13. Katydid says

    @BLF; that sounds yummy, thanks for sharing! With time on my hands, I’ve been making meals and trying new recipes. I’m cooking for several people and not everything is a hit with everyone.

    Just before the pandemic hit, I filled my freezer with organic, grass-fed and grass-finished beef from a local farmer. I bought a couple of pasture-raised chickens from another, and a couple dozen eggs. I’ve been making a lot of stews using the meat, mushrooms, and frozen veggies in the crock pot.

    I’ve also found that I liked things I never thought I did–for example, since the local farmer’s market had a lot of berries, I made a lemon cheesecake and served it with berries. I never liked cheesecake before, but I used a keto recipe that reduced the sweetness and found I liked it.

    My challenge lately has been to look over my supplies and try to get as many different meals out of them as I can. The creativity is keeping my mind busy.

    • blf says

      Katydid, “I never liked cheesecake”… heathen! Actually, you do go on to mention “sweet”, which explains everything. In my book, cheesecake is not supposed to be sweet. It’s cheese for feck’s sake.

      I finally got around to trying to make gazpacho today: Ripe tomatoes, a hot chile pepper (which some would say is heathen), balsamic vinegar, some dried bread (which some say is salmorejo not gazpacho), and tonnes of garlic and olive oil; no cucumber (which some would say is heathen, and others say is proper, I simply didn’t have any). The food processor pureed everything quite nicely, and left to chill in the fridge until dinner. Tasty, but nowheres near as spicy as I wanted; I eventually resorted to “juicing it up” with some added hot sauce. (I suspect I should have added some pepper; I’m a gigatonnes-of-pepper-fiend so am surprised (now) I didn’t use any at all.) Vin with a tomato-heavy dish can be quite tricky, I opted for a local organic róse, which worked wonderfully. Finished up with a local blued cheese I found at the fromagerie; cannot recall the name, it’s a new one (to me), not as overpowering as some blueds can be, but still with that wonderful tang.

      Which largely empties out my cupboard (of fresh ingredients), so I’ll have to venture out shopping this weekend. Fortunately, the outdoors markets are now open again, albeit the Covid-19 precautions at them have been rather variable.

  14. says

    I should be feeling good because of how COVID-19 is handled locally, so I didn’t plan to respond to this because of it. But….

    I periodically (yearly or so) have concussion related anger/rage issues, as I did in January. I am really glad I’m not having that right now or I’d likely have been banned and kicked off several sites because of my words.

    Between the blue klux klan lynching George Floyd (among other instances or racism), Cheetolini’s idiocy, what the mass murderers in Beijing have done to Hong Kong and threaten to do here, plus growing local tensions amongst foreigners (Intersectionalists versus TERFs, racists and drug users and dealers), it’s hard to keep a lid on it.

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