What are you doing to keep yourself sane while “socially distanced”?

I’m lucky: I have a lab full of healthy, non-infectious spiders with no other people around, so I’m going to go entertain myself by feeding them flies for a while.

I’m also unlucky: my wife flew off to Colorado before all the alerts started going up, and now we’ve decided that she’ll just have to stay there for maybe another month. Or more. Until the risks are lower. At least she has a grandbaby to provide entertainment, which is almost as much fun as a room full of spiders. It does mean my house is empty except for me and the evil cat, and that I have to do all the dishes and clean out the litter box.

I might be a little bit stir-crazy by the time Mary finally gets home.


  1. Ed Seedhouse says

    I pretty much self isolate already because of the way I already live. I live alone by choice. I do have to do some shopping each day but I normally shop at times the stores are mostly empty.

    I have stopped going to a weekly gathering of local amateur radio enthusiasts, but I can always turn on the radio and talk to other Hams. We have clubs that hold get togethers on air (we call it a “net”) where we all tell each other about our days.

    Not a real substitute for face to face interaction, but I am kind of abnormal and don’t need much of that.

    But we’ll see how this plan hods up when the virus gets it’s legs on Vancouver Island.

  2. mathman85 says

    At the moment, not much. I did finish reading One Hundred Years of Solitude yesterday, and I plan to start The Handmaid’s Tale sometime this week.

    Starting tomorrow, though, I’ll be preparing to teach the remainder of the semester of my classes entirely online (my college hasn’t yet made that official, but the writing is clearly on the wall at this point). The sticking point for me will be testing, as the students’ homework is entirely online already, and the software we use has the capability to do online testing as well. However, in every online course I’ve taught to date, I’ve required proctored pencil-and-paper exams. If any members of the commentariat have advice on how to conduct online examinations, I’d be happy to hear it.

  3. sebloom says

    Finished three books already…looking forward to next reading “The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism” by Katherine Stewart.

  4. Callinectes says

    I’ve been preparing for this my entire life. I haven’t even missed a beat.

  5. pacal says

    Me and my spouse are trying to stay isolated has much as possible. He is over 70 and has breathing issues. So we watch TV, read a lot and talk. It is actually not much different from what e usually do, there is just more of it.

  6. Akira MacKenzie says

    Being an introvert with no friends who live nearby, this “social distancing” thing isn’t a change in my lifestyle in any way.

  7. says

    I am taking a longish (about an hour) drive to my nephew’s house where I will meet him outside in his yard. We can talk there, and he can give me several rolls of toilet paper. He found some in a local store. It’s a miracle. Also funny. This is what passes for social interaction for me.

  8. blf says

    The lockdown here in France started about 19 hours ago, so, to-date, there hasn’t been, for me, much of a change: I didn’t to the the outdoor village market (not even sure if it was open?), or to the pub (besides, the Six Nations rugby is suspended), so currently nothing special. I presume that will change.

    The mildly deranged penguin, on the other, has decided to build a P4 containment igloo, using the most resistant stuff she knows: British Industrial Cheddar “cheese”. She reckons anything proof against horses and peas will resist some Trump’ed-up flu. This is, at one might expect, not going very well. First off, the stuff is near-indestructible (as well as inedible), even an laboratory-grade twin oscillating black hole matter disintegrater works very very slowly on the stuff (and you have to stop every few minutes to clean out the event horizon filters, which tend to get clogged). And second, since it isn’t a real cheese, she doesn’t have any.

    Hence, at the moment, she’s staring very intensely at a barrel of Absinthe. However, Absinthe is made of strong stuff, so it’s having no effect. It also isn’t bothered by the stare.

  9. says

    World of Warcraft. You can even use it to simulate social situations by watching all the other players behaving badly/selfishly without dealing with it in person.

  10. says

    Tomorrow morning I’ll find out what my beloved employer, the Ministry of Education, has in stock for me. Given how they’ve been handling (and I’m using that word loosely here the whole thing so far, I don’t expect much. I’ll probably have to prepare some online material nobody will actually do.
    The kids do have some homework and we’ll try to maintain a schedule. Especially #1 who is on the spectrum needs some structure.
    What was really strange was saying goodbye to Mr tonight. During the week he lives in the town where he works and we don’t know if we’ll see each other again tomorrow or in three weeks.
    Apart from that I have no lack of occupations. The garden is still in shambles, I’m working on a project for the front yard, Charly and Marcus sent me some wonderful wood scraps and I wisely ordered several kg of resin and moulding silicone. Expect many crafting posts. I am also lucky in living next to the woods so i can go for walks.
    I’ll also offer to do the shopping for the elderly people in the neighbourhood. We won’t have to meet in person and I don’t want them to go out and get infected when they could stay at home.

  11. Reginald Selkirk says

    “Social distancing” – nothing new for me, have been doing it for decades.

  12. says

    For me, it is business as usual for the last few months. I was “socially distanced” ever since I left my job.

  13. kestrel says

    Haha. Reading this blog and the comments.

    I’m lucky I suppose, I live way out on a farm so being socially distanced is pretty much the norm out here. The feed store where I buy feed sent out a notice that they’ll be giving all their employees paid leave so that no one has to come in sick, they will be doing extra cleaning in the store, and will remain open with the exact same hours. A local restaurant bought special cleaning solution for their tables and when we talked to the owner, he actually told us that if we ran low on food to just let him know, he’d order it for us. The propane company sent out a notice that they’ll be providing propane just like normal and not to worry about running out of propane (kind of important out here if you don’t want to freeze to death). So as a result we feel very fortunate and there are definitely people in way worse situations than we are.

  14. says

    I don’t have a job I can currently do from home but I have my own office so distance from other people isn’t an issue, and my weekends have barely changed at all.

  15. microraptor says

    I spend most of my time at home anyway, but I’ve stopped going to the gym. I take walks around the neighborhood instead- people are rarely out so as long as we keep our distance it’s not a problem.

    Other than that, I’ve got video games, three streaming services, and a huge stack of old novels. 8 doubt things will be intolerable.

  16. birgerjohansson says

    Even I want to feed my brain with completely meaningless noise, I watch “Brandon’s Cult Movie Reviews” on Youtube.
    He has tracked down films that make Rocky Horror Picture Show” look like Oscar material, and it is hilarious.
    One of my favourites is a tongue-in-cheek sequel to the Chain Saw Massacre where Dennis Hopper has a chain saw duel with the new Leatherface.
    Or you can pick some review if an early Godzilla.

  17. billseymour says

    I’m 73 years old and live alone. I have no siblings, and my extended family are mostly alt-right types with whom I no longer interact. Fortunately, I enjoy reading tremendously.

    I’m still gainfully employed, and so I do interact with coworkers some; but since I’m a computer programmer, I spend most of my time sitting alone in my cubicle. I’m happiest when I’m lost in a coding frenzy. 8-)

    I’m also no fun at parties. 8-)

  18. robro says

    I haunt cafes, so I’m a bit at a loss. My son has put me on notice that he won’t let me out without a hell-ova good reason. But I can handle this. I had to do it for three months last summer because of pneumonia, which saved my life—doctors discovered I had aortic stenosis. All fixed now though I’m definitely in the vulnerable demo of over-70 with compromising health conditions.

    Anyway, there’s always guitar. Perhaps I’ll learn a new John Prine song or two, plus a couple of others I’ve been trying out for a while.

    Goodish news is I don’t have to go into the office until this settles out. I’ve been working from home mostly but go down to “the valley” for a few days once a month. The pressure is off that.

    The bad news is that thanks to our inept administration I may need to postpone my retirement until next year.

  19. nomdeplume says

    Looks like a lot of us Pharyngulites , including me, have been practising this social distancing thing for some time now in preparation for this day!

    But as best I can see, for old fellows like me, with a significant load of health problems, the only real action you can take is social avoidance. Problem is, given the health problems I have had a lot of medical interaction over the last 12 years, and at least some of it has to continue if I am not going to die from something other than coronavirus.

    A bright side, in western countries, seems to be that Right Wing politicians are behaving like idiots and going to crowded restaurants and so on, because no public health nonsense is going to tell them what to do. There may be a natural selection process swinging in here…

  20. says

    I hope my depression doesn’t get out of hand. I’m retired and live alone, so I’ve lost most human contact with the cancelling of dancing groups, including the one I help run.

  21. blf says

    robertbaden@30, Please take care. Do not hesitate to ask for help, both locally (I presume there are resources you can call), and on-line.

    Whilst not dancing, something people may be interested in is Met [Opera (NYC)] to launch “Nightly Met Opera Streams,” a free series of encore Live in HD presentations streamed on the company website during the coronavirus closure (details at the link). The first will be on Monday, and then daily thereafter.

    (Hat-tip to SC in poopyhead’s current Political Madness All the Time page.)

  22. nomdeplume says

    @30 Oh Robert, hang in there. Use online contacts, including this lovely group of people, as much as you can.

  23. blf says

    chigau@33, Important safety tip: Knitting is the activity with the needles. Babylon 5 is what’s on the electronic gizmo. Do not confuse the two, e.g., by sticking the needles into the electronics (even if you do want to set the knitting on fire).

  24. ksiondag says

    I miss my library books. :(

    But! Have some books on loan that I can read, so that’ll be good. Also, am a gamer, will probably play some Overwatch (though I don’t like the company…) or Super Smash Bros. Melee online (though I gotta set that one up).

    The wife and I are considering road tripping to my Aunt who lives in the middle of the country so that we have more people to be isolated with… but we may decide against it. We’ve been isolated successfully for a while, so we shouldn’t be sick, but a road trip means bathroom breaks and the like. But staying with my aunt for a few weeks sounds heavenly.

    I’m a software engineer and we’re all in mandatory WFH mode. Have also started prepping for interviews at other companies.

  25. says

    I’ve spent the last 24 years working from home so not much will change for me except for a further reduction in work hours. Hopefully a few more opportunities to ride the deadly treadly round and round the countryside.

  26. chigau (違う) says

    blf #34
    I am safe from that sort of scenario. My knitting/watching setup requires that I set-aside the knitting in order to deal with the electronics and vv.
    Sometimes I even hafta stand up.

  27. blf says

    chigau@37, There’s probably an app for that. (Not quite sure what the “that” is, but there’s probably an app for it anyways.)

  28. blf says

    On a more serious note, please realise “social distancing” and “self-isolation” are not the same thing. Adapted from the Irish HSE (Health & Safety Executive) site:

    ● Self-quarantine means avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible.

    ● Self-isolation means staying indoors and completely avoiding contact with other people.

    And from the Cleveland Clinic, COVID-19: Understanding Quarantine, Isolation and Social Distancing in a Pandemic:

    ● Social distancing involves avoiding large gatherings. If you have to be around people, keep 6 feet (2 meters) between you when possible.

    My reading of some of the above comments in this thread is some people may be confusing the concepts, so I thought it’s useful to clarify what each is. (I do realise some of the “confusion” is humour, satire, or similar.)

    So, for instance, the lock-down here is France is to self-quarantine at home, and to practice social isolation when you do go out (e.g., to grocery shop or to work (when you can’t work-at-home)). Here in France, bars and restaurants are closed.

  29. says

    Cleaning. Finally catching up on all the stuff I have been setting aside to get to “some day”. Petting and brushing the cat, who is showing dangerous signs of believing that this level of attention is normal and to be demanded whenever it momentarily lapses. Reading. Playing video games. Watching Joe Biden demonstrate during the debate why no sensible person would ever, under any circumstances, choose him to be President.

  30. magistramarla says

    We moved into our new home six months ago. I’ve been taking advantage of the fact that we don’t have places to go, people to see on weekends to get my husband to help me with emptying the boxes that are still stacked in the garage and with the organization that is overwhelming me. We still have lots and lots of book boxes to empty. He’s a PHD and I’m a former high school Latin teacher, so most of the weight of our household goods seems to have come from books. Once I get all of the boxes out of the way, I plan to give the whole house a good cleaning.
    I’m a very social person, so I’ll need to stay very busy while I can’t get out to socialize. Getting the house clean and organized will help. My other favorite activity is cooking, so I’ll be doing plenty of that over the next few weeks.
    My husband isn’t working from home yet, but we expect that to happen soon. He’ll be stuck in front of his computer, so I’ll catch some cooking shows to get inspired and then I’ll cook some nice meals.

  31. MHiggo says

    Much the same as Ray Ceeya @41 — sorting through the biggest time sinks in my Steam library. Games where the grind is still enjoyable (Stardew Valley, Slime Rancher, Graveyard Keeper) are at the front of the queue, but I might branch out. I should dust off Cities: Skylines, I haven’t even installed Frostpunk, and there’s a new Stellaris DLC coming out soon.

  32. brucegee1962 says

    My daughter got kicked out of her college dorm, so we just got back from driving down to pick her and all her stuff up and bring her home. Now she’s putting things away and getting ready to take her classes online. Fortunately, we get along well with her, and we have lots of board games, so the next few weeks look fairly pleasant. Empty nest? What’s that?

  33. captainjack says

    My main gig got cancelled so I’m free 2 months early and not much chance of picking up anything else with everything closed down. I was planning on taking the summer off anyway so I guess I’ll start now. There’s always tunes in my book I can study and there’s a Leroy Vinnegar album I’ve been wanting to transcribe for a while. The big bite for me is the rec center closing down. Maybe there will be enough good spring weather in Denver to make getting out the bicycles worthwhile. (I’m mostly a fair sky rider anymore.) If I go fast enough, the bugs can’t catch me.

  34. vucodlak says

    I’m taking another run at Dead Space, though I’ll probably just bored with it again and play the superior System Shock 2. I’ve been toying with playing Fallout 4 again with some new mods.

    I also watched the first half the Democratic debate, then turned over to the premier of Westworld season 3. I don’t recommend the former, but I enjoyed the latter. She may be a psychopathic killer robot with a (justified) hate-on for all humanity, but I’d still prefer Dolores for president over the two most likely candidates in the upcoming election. I’m thinking about having a Mothra movie marathon, too, as I think I finally have every Mothra movie (including all the Godzilla movies with Mothra in them).

    Then there’s books, books, books. It’s spring, so I’m reading through my gardening books to decide what to plant in which beds, should it ever stop raining. I’m also finally reading Manufacturing Consent by Herman and Chomsky, and re-reading some of my favorite Clive Barker stories.

  35. voidhawk says

    If you’re still able to get out and about, consider dropping a note to your neighbours to offer to help them get supplies, post letters, or just have a phone chat. There are people whose social networks are delicate enough at the best of times.

  36. says

    What voidhawk said.
    You don’t need to meet for your neighbours to hand over shopping lists and money and you can just put stuff in front of their door.

  37. brightmoon says

    I’ve always been an introvert so I’ve got a big library of books . I quilt so I’ll probably start a new one or get around to putting borders on some of the old ones. Maybe I’ll start my book that I’m trying to write ( I cant write for beans) or storyboard that video I keep saying I’ll do( I don’t know how to do that either) I won’t go stir crazy from boredom but I do feel trapped. Part of a line from Jethro Tull’s “Thick as a Brick” keeps running through my head “ the pavements are empty”

  38. sirbedevere says

    “Our biggest enemy is going space crazy through loneliness. The only thing that helps me maintain my slender grip on reality is the friendship I share with my collection of singing potatoes.”

  39. gardengnome says

    I’ve got a shed full of model kits that haven’t been touched and a good camera with a new ringflash to practice my macro photography – never was one for social intercourse…

  40. Marissa van Eck says

    If the US goes into lockdown I’m screwed, as I have to work to stay alive. I’ve paid rent up to June and am half-done with stocking up on long-wearing food–am preparing for a possible two MONTH lockdown, rather than two weeks. But if the dunghill hits the windmill, let’s face it, I’m already poor and marginal, so I’m screwed.

    At the absolute worst, I’ll deploy my suicide method. It’ll take about 8-12 hours but it’s pharmacologically sound and painless, and I’ve got the right materials. No way in Hell am I going to sit through a civil war or another round of homelessness.

  41. says

    Marissa, please let us know if you need help with rent/food. There are many generous people here and we won’t let you down, ok?

  42. blf says

    Useful advice in the Grauniad, If coronavirus scares you, read this to take control over your health anxiety (minor edits, unmarked, for formatting reasons):

    A pandemic is fertile ground for those who suffer from anxiety — here’s a short guide on how to manage it


    (1) Avoid the (health-related) news: […]
    (2) Try not to seek constant reassurance: […]
    (3) Introduce an absolute ban on Googling symptoms: […]
    (4) Try a countering technique: [… Give] a persistent thought the courtroom treatment, by confronting it with a rational counter-statement. For example, if your persistent thought is something like “Everyone I love will die from this virus” you can counter it with factual statements such as “Actually, most people who get Covid-19 are likely to make a full recovery, and that’s assuming mum, dad and my little sister will even catch it at all.” As my mother always says: “just because you think something, doesn’t make it true.”
    (5) Do some exercise: […]
    (6) [see comments below –blf]
    (7) Allocate yourself a daily “worry period”: Give yourself half an hour to worry about this to your heart’s content, and then you have to go and do something else.
    (8) Treat yourself: [… C]ook yourself something nice, have a hot bath, or listen to a song you love.
    (9) Remember that your anxious state isn’t permanent: […] It’s a worrying time, and many of us, myself included, will have loved ones who might be showing symptoms, but the tendency to jump to the worst case scenario very rarely reflects reality. […]

    Suggestion 6 is deliberately skipped — it’s presumably sensible, but I didn’t understand it and felt I could not excerpt it without inadvertent distortion.

  43. jack16 says

    Supplement with “vitamin” D3. It might suppress corona viress. D3 is cheap. Google grc + vitamin D.

  44. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Well, fortunately or unfortunately, the International Worldwide House Of Rocket Exploration (IWHORE) has pretty good infrastructure for telework. I’ve mostly been able to access what I need, including email. I am working on early drafts of 2 papers and need to get a third into publishable shape.

    And, were I to run out of work, having lost our dog of 14 years last month, we now have two new 12-week-old puppies and 3 very unhappy cats. I have shelves of books I’ve yet to read and I wife I like to talk to . Don’t think I’ll be bored. And hopefully, the garden will start producing before we starve following the zombie apocalypse.

  45. says

    Supplement with “vitamin” D3. It might suppress corona viress. D3 is cheap. Google grc + vitamin D.

    Get some sunlight, but not where it’s crowded.

  46. chigau (違う) says

    Also cooking.
    I’m trying new things.
    I predict I will gain some weight.

  47. birgerjohansson says

    My spell check keeps messing up the text, here we go again.
    -Beyond Monrhy Python, I recommend binge-watching fan-based parodies of anime. The example below is pretty good.
    “Dragonball z abridged Episode 35 TeamFourStar ” at Youtube (-Vegeta is technically a superhero, but also a moron.) “You got me pregnant, you idiot”
    “How is that my problem?”
    “You said you were wearing protection!”
    “I was wearing armor!”
    Another recommended TeamFourStar abridged parody is “Hellsing Ultimate Abridged”. -A monster-hunting society has hired a vampire that is the spiritual brother of Deadpool. He pulls the beard of authorities every chance he gets, leaving more property damage behind than Arnold. Yum.*
    Other options : check your backlog of asdf, xkcd and “Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal”.
    *Also, sassing the Vatican. You cannot go wrong with that.

  48. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My volunteer work, driving fellow Sr. Citizens to medical appointments/tests/treatments, is continuing. This week, the blood test is likely postponed (probably not critical), but the transport for kidney dialysis is not. I do have a small supply of N95 masks and am trained in its fit, use and used to prolonged wearing, and I also have nitrile gloves left over from dealing with the Redhead, which we also used at work. I should be safe during the transport with the good PPE. I’ll also stop at a USPS site to mail a bill for my “medigap” insurance with PPE on. Don’t see a lot of danger in that outing.

  49. birgerjohansson says

    For entertainment in times when you need intellectually non-challenging films, Youtube is your friend.
    Re @24, a gem of schlock B-film history is when Dennis Hopper kicks in the door to the cannibal hideout, brandishing a chain saw and yelling “I am the Harvest God!”

  50. birgerjohansson says

    Nerd of redhead, @ 65, your volunteer work is an example for us all.
    Remember, the “civil society” has more resilience than the top-down official authorities and it is up to all of us to ask relatives or neighbours if they need help with shopping.
    -BTW the French president is pissed off that people still go out and hang in big crowds. In the future people who go out for other reasons than work or shopping can expect getting fined.

  51. blf says

    birgerjohansson@67, Yes, the Interior Minister (when announcing details) was practically shouting at times. He didn’t, but that was probably mostly due to professionalism.

  52. voidhawk says

    #57 Marissa van Eck

    PLEASE reach out for help before you get to that point!
    1) People on here and other social networks have shown themselves to be generous before and I’m confident that they’ll do so again.
    2) I know people hate it, but check Facebook for local groups, lots of them are springing up to offer help to people locally
    3) See what charities are around which could help.

  53. says

    Me on Friday: Schools are closed, I’ll have so much time
    Me today: I haven’t finished my worksheets, I need to organise 250 things via Whatsapp, the kids are trying to kill each other and I need a glass of water NOW.

  54. bassmike says

    I know this was my kind of crowd: Red Dwarf and Jethro Tull mentioned. Anyone for Steven Wilson?

    I may be working from home from tomorrow if I’m not considered ‘critical staff’ which I seriously doubt. There’s always the house to clean and gardening to do. If the schools shut I’ll be the teacher to my daughter.

  55. DanDare says

    Roll20 and Discord.

    Good thing about evil cats is they are edible when times get tough. Just use a rabbit recipie.

  56. says

    My grandma told me that frogs are ok, but she doesn’t recommend crows.
    Yes, I always shook my head at the “don’t eat what your grandma wouldn’t recognise as food” advice. My grandma lived through WWII, things she recognised as food probably included her own parents…

  57. blf says

    According to France24, apparently the (on-the-spot) fine here in France for violating the mandatory lockdown has risen from 38€ to 135€. Whilst it was warned (when the measures were announced?) that “could” (as I recall) happen, I do not know the reason why it has happened. I speculate too many people are violating, albeit another possible reason is the rapidly growing number of cases, and/or the French authorities taking proactive measures after massive violations in other countries (c.8000 in one day in Italy!). I still have no idea how well things are working here locally, as I still haven’t gone out, and still see no reason to do so until (estimated) Friday-ish.

  58. says

    It seems like many people are still not getting it: having parties, violating bar lock-downs, crowded playgrounds…
    I get that it’s stressful especially if you live in a city where you cannot just go out for a walk and only pass people in a safe distance or send your own kids to the garden, but hey, they spent years telling us country folks to suck it up when we complained about having nothing to do but watching birds…

  59. blf says

    Giliell@77, Yes. As one somewhat extreme example (in Kentucky), One of two new Kentucky coronavirus cases refused to self-isolate. He’s being forced.:

    The patient from Nelson County is a 53-year-old man who tested positive at the University of Louisville, then left against medical advice, [Govenor Andy] Beshear said. The Lincoln Trail District Health Department asked him to self-quarantine, but he refused.

    A law enforcement officer has been posted outside the man’s home, Beshear said.

    “It’s a step I hoped I’d never have to take, but we can’t allow one person who we know has the virus to refuse to protect their neighbors,” Beshear said.

    Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean Watts had to declare a state of emergency in order to invoke a little-known statute that allows him to force a “self-isolation or quarantine.”

    “We’ve got to make sure that people who have tested positive, that we know could be spreading the virus, and simply refuse to do the right thing, do the right thing,” Beshear said.


    Found via the BBC, Coronavirus: How are lockdowns and other measures being enforced?, and cross-posted in a slightly different from on poopyhead’s current [Pandemic and some] Political Madness All the Time thread.

  60. blf says

    (Cross-posted from poopyhead’s current [Pandemic and some] Political Madness All the Time thread — more on people being reckless.)

    Oh for feck’s sake, Fears ‘lockdown parties’ will increase global spread of coronavirus (my added emboldening):

    Young people around the world have been defying official advice and bans to carry on socialising

    Authorities in countries around the world in lockdown over the coronavirus outbreak are warning young people to obey the rules on social distancing amid widespread reports of partying and gatherings.

    Scientists and health officials say that revellers meeting for “lockdown parties” and “end of world” drinking sessions were acting irresponsibly by contributing to the spread of the virus.

    Statistics show that young people are as likely as older people to get infected and spread the virus. But as younger people are far less likely to be badly affected and in 50% of cases will not even have symptoms, according to leading virologists, many young people say they have no reason to be scared of it.

    In Berlin, renowned for its non-stop partying, and a magnet for European clubbers, police have repeatedly broken up gatherings, and last weekend forced more than 60 clubs and bars to close after they defied a decree by local authorities ordering the closure of all entertainment venues.

    The police also report that “corona speakeasies” have been springing up in the city, where owners of closed bars have taped up the windows and locked the doors, only allowing in guests who have registered, or who deliver a specific knock on the door.


    In Dunedin, New Zealand, hundreds of university students have ignored government bans on mass gatherings and are pushing ahead with plans for the annual Hyde street party on 4 April, which is traditionally attended by thousands of first-year university students and infamous for fights, mass drunkenness and public disorder.

    Even though the event has officially been cancelled, on Facebook hundreds have indicated that they plan to flout the ban and party en masse regardless.

    [… more from Princeton (NJ), Israel, Hong Kong, Bangkok, &tc…]

    Virologists say the rules on social distancing, including avoiding unnecessary gatherings, is a highly convincing way to slow down the spread of the virus.

    “The measures are totally appropriate,” said Lothar Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute, the leading public health body in Germany, urging people to follow them. “If we continue to move around and if we don’t manage to reduce our contacts and keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres between us and the next person, within two to three months we’ll have 10 million infected people in Germany alone,” he said on Wednesday.

    “The huge level of mobility among young people means the closure of clubs and bars is a good idea, and the point is that young people can infect the elderly and vulnerable.”

    A study from South Korea shows that around a third or 2,300 of the estimated 8,100 confirmed infections there are of young people aged between 20 and 29, the highest proportion of any age group. South Korea is believed to have so far carried out more coronavirus tests than any other country — 4,000 per million residents (four times as many as Italy and over 150 times more than the US), so the results are among the most comprehensive available and show that the behaviour of young people has a significant relevance on the development of the pandemic.

    Anyone in South Korea who wants a test is able to get one, and up to 20,000 are carried out every day, in one of around 50 drive-through testing stations across the country.


  61. says

    In Berlin, renowned for its non-stop partying, and a magnet for European clubbers, police have repeatedly broken up gatherings, and last weekend forced more than 60 clubs and bars to close after they defied a decree by local authorities ordering the closure of all entertainment venues.

    My cousin and her young child have basically fled the city. Thankfully they were able to buy an abandoned house in Brandenburg 20 years ago which they have been constantly renovating as their retirement home. Many others are not that lucky.
    I suggest that we evacuate the elderly and folks with kids and then re build the wall, only this time we’ll do it around the city. They can come out again once they’re behaving sensibly.
    OTOH, my in laws are carrying on as usually. They will die of being stupid, I will die of rolling my eyes.

  62. chigau (違う) says

    I’m up to Season 2 Episode 18 on Babylon 5.
    Confessions and Lamentations

    It’s about a highly contagious disease and how everyone reacts to it.
    It all ends badly.