Quarantine Check Ins

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Cronono
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Quarantine Check Ins

While we haven't had much going on in a while, I just wanted to reach out and let you know I hope you're all safe and sound. These are crazy times we're living in and it's important to me that I know you are all managing through.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Thanks for checking in! I'm doing really well, all things considered.

The kids (13, 9, 5) have been home since March 15th with very limited chances to go to the store, but our neighborhood pool has just reopened, so I've been taking them there every day. We took this opportunity to adopt a puppy, which has given us all some extra chores but we've enjoyed taking the dog for walks and taking her to play at the dog park (using proper social distancing).

My parents both have cancer, and my father just sliced his thumb badly enough that he had to have surgery so he MIGHT get use of his thumb again in several months. Since they live in California and I live in Tennessee, it's not really something I can do anything about. But my brother lives with my parents and my sister lives in the neighborhood, so I have family checking on them.

My wife's father has inoperable cancer. He's just been admitted to a drug trial which might save him, but it doesn't look good at the moment. They had tried microwave ablation and some other type of non-surgical way of removing it, but ultimately that didn't work out. He just had to have his spleen removed to get healthy enough to qualify for the drug trial. The wife/kids are going out the first week of July to see him (possibly say final goodbyes) but because of the puppy looks like I'm staying home.

I'm very lucky that I have a job where I work from home, and the impacts of closures have been minimal for me. My wife is a university professor, so she did some online teaching in the spring, and will probably have to do some of that in the fall, but for the most part we're healthy and safe. There are things about 'safer at home' that aren't ideal, but we're really in a good position to make the most of it. I know compared to most Americans, we're truly blessed.

How are the people you love?

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Things here in Oregon are... surreal, I'd say. Like many other places, many of the locals seem to have just forgotten about the pandemic. My county is the last county in Oregon to have its Phase 1 opening, which takes effect the day after tomorrow. I've been working through the entire thing, which has been difficult enough, so I'm really not looking forward to the tidal wave of people I'm expecting to have to put up with.

I've been wanting to run another Arkham Horror game on The Archive. I've just been holding off until my county reopens and I can see what my schedule will look like, and how exhausted I'm likely to feel. If it doesn't seem too bad, look for that in the near future.

My fiancee has been furloughed this whole time and has only left the house on a couple of occasions. That's been rough for her. Even with the county reopening soon, her work will remain closed as it's in downtown Portland, where protests are regularly turning into conflicts.

Portland has seen some pretty brutal stuff during the protests. And a lot of negative has come out of Oregon in general. It hasn't been pretty.

But we're otherwise doing well enough. I hope that everyone else is likewise okay.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

For my fiance and I not much has changed. We both work government jobs so we continue to work at the office. Neither of us got sick and our part of the suburb is far enough away from the protests so we haven't seen much of that either. All in all 2020 hasn't been all that negative for us. I hope everyone stays safe.

HVB
HVB's picture

I should maybe be back to work before the end of the month, although my work also depends on the number of people comfortable enough to go to a day spa at this time.
I know people who have died & people who have gotten very sick from the virus, but no one in my family has been sick so far thankfully.
The "dog" beach closed to dogs in mid May to prepare for humans, but one of the local dog parks FINALLY reopened today so my dogs will be able to run offleash again! So all is good :)

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I'm okay. I've talked about it elsewhere, but my wife's a physician, and she provides primary care in a couple of prison/ICE detention facilities (which is to say that the residents are correctional inmates and people who are churning through the hell that is deportation proceedings, kept in different sectors of the prison). Her facilities both house male and female residents, and the majority of them are immigrants.

As of about three weeks ago, one of her facilities had about five dozen active COVID-19 cases, and some of them had been sent for hospital care, including ventilation. Nobody under her care has died so far, and the overwhelming majority of all the cases she's seen have been mild. That's been a huge relief for her, because anyone who is incarcerated basically has to be considered to be immunocompromised. A deluge of critical cases seemed like it might be very much on the table, back when this illness first began to show up in prison environments.

I think we can all recognize that this pandemic has been incredibly stressful for those folks; it's terrible just being incarcerated, and if you're stuck in a barracks-room setting with a bunch of people during a pandemic, it's even worse. They can't exactly social distance.

Things have been rough for the nurses, doctors, and other support staff, and for the guards, too, but ultimately they have a choice about being there. When the case counts were on the upswing, there were a couple of very tense moments when it seemed like there could be a riot. The COVID-19 population is down to about fifteen cases, now, which is great news, but the staff is stretched a little thin; they're getting sick, or the stress is getting to them, or both.

Neither I nor my wife has gotten sick. I'm a house husband most of the time, so social isolation is kind of a normal thing for me; most of my friendships are conducted via text, e-mail, or social media and have been for years. I'm habituated to it, and it doesn't really have a discernible impact on my mental health anymore. Given that my wife is a medical provider, she's been working steadily this whole time. So we're really fortunate in the sense that this hasn't caused us any financial hardship.

We live in rural Louisiana, so riots and police suppression of protesters haven't figured figured prominently in our day-to-day in the same way that they have for those of you who're living in or near a larger city. I've watched the news coverage of that whole shit show in complete horror, and it's a relief to me that all of you are okay.

Anxiety about my wife's work life has been a major issue for me for this whole time. Now that people are generally less panicky, it's looking like Laura isn't going to be swamped under a tidal wave of serious COVID-19 cases, and there is less cause for us to worry that there will be riots at the facilities she serves, I'm doing better with that. For the two and a half months or so that this pandemic has been a clear and present concern in the USA, I've found it difficult to concentrate enough to keep up with my notes and planning for the campaigns I run here. I kind of assumed that you guys would understand why I got quiet and stayed that way.

I'm getting better now, and I expect that pretty soon I'll be able to hold my shit together well enough for play to continue. Assuming that everybody else is also at least feeling semi-functional and is interested in doing so. I'm not going to commit to a specific date, or even a time frame, right now.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

I'm good here in Austin.

My company didn't give a damn being told to shut down and wasn't about to lose profits, so they used some garbage loophole to keep us open and coming to work, threatening us with unexcused absences and no pay if we stayed home past our sick days/PTO. So, other than reduced traffic and people in masks at the grocery store, the pandemic hasn't really changed a thing in my physical life. My partner was on paid leave for about a month, but they're back to work now too. They're paid full time but work reduced hours with split shifts so there aren't so many people at work at one time, so that's both good and bad.

Emotionally is a different matter. It's wild in the US right now.

Catalyst
Catalyst's picture

Working from home, living the dream.

Life here in Connecticut has been strange during this whole affair, but we're getting back to normal a bit. I'm in the New Haven area, which is right on the edge of the New York zone of influence (it's a 90 minute train ride to Manhattan from here) We're on phase 2 of our reopening, which means that restaurants and bars can start doing indoor seating if they've taken appropriate measures for social distancing. That said, you won't catch me eating in a restaurant for a while - probably not until we have a vaccine.

Ironically, I'm playing a lot more D&D than I ever have before. Currently running a weekly game and playing in two others through Fantasy Grounds. Also getting caught up on a lot of history podcats! Good times!

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

History podcasts? Any recommendations? I've very fond of Hardcore History by Dan Carlin.

https://www.dancarlin.com/hardcore-history-series/

Cronono
Cronono's picture

I'm glad folks are reporting that they're making it through. We're all dealing with a lot right now and I don't think it is easy for anyone to be adapting. It sounds like we're making it - we're all enduring even if it is a travail.

I'd really love for this quarantine to be over - I still haven't met Spoon and I moved to Austin over a year ago at this point. I'm trying to make the most of this time by focusing on books I've always wanted to read or taking up exercise et cetera. That said, I'd love to be back to playing some D&D with friends, even if this time is productive.

Catalyst
Catalyst's picture

Hardcore History is great! I also really like History of China, History of Japan, Fall of Civilizations, and History on Fire.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Weird week. The whole family flew out to Arizona on the 4th of July because my wife's father was not doing well. He has bile duct cancer, and it stopped responding to the treatment he was undergoing. There were a couple of clinical drug trials that might have helped, but they required him to have a higher platelet count than he had. So 4 weeks ago he had part of his Spleen removed - that raises your platelet count significantly - to the point that he qualified based on the standards they had outlined prior to getting his spleen removed. The people running the trial decided that was ARTIFICIALLY raising his platelet count, so he couldn't qualify.

When we arrived in Arizona, he was walking around unassisted, but spent a lot of time napping. On Tuesday when we were supposed to leave, he was completely bed-bound. My wife elected to stay so I returned with the kids.

He entered in-home hospice today. I haven't gotten much detail, but the hospice people indicated he's at the beginning of the active dying phase.

2020 can suck a big one.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

And it went faster than I think any of us expected; he died this morning at ~5:30 AM ET (2:30 local time in Arizona).

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Oh, man. I'm so sorry for your family's loss, man.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

My condolences man. Try to keep the chin up.

HVB
HVB's picture

My condolences. I hope your wife is doing alright :(

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

I'm sorry to hear that, Brett. This is a terrible time for people to lose anyone, especially when they're all the way on the other side of the country.

We live about 15-20 minutes outside New Orleans. Back in March, things were pretty tense; everyone's collective anxiety over the general state of affairs during a global pandemic has since abated, but being stuck in the house is wearing on all of us. Until the beginning of this month I was the one doing supply runs for our home as well as my girlfriend's grandmother and great-grandmother. The grandma is doing her own shopping now, against my recommendation, but they're still extremely high maintenance. I've been drinking way more than is reasonable but I'm getting pretty good at it, so chalk that up as my life skill I've been working on during social distancing.

Our son is doing relatively well, all things considered, but not seeing his friends is obviously taking a toll. He understands this is the way things are for the foreseeable future, however, especially now that our daily case numbers are like three or four times higher than they were at the peak of when everyone was scared to death.

I'm mulling over some options for getting back into school; not enrolling at university to pursue an actual degree or anything, just taking advantage of all the free classes out there. But mustering the mental and emotional energy to do much more than daily routine stuff is a challenge.

I guess in terms of how we're doing I would say that nobody in our immediate circle has tested positive but psychologically things aren't great at all. The silver lining is that the two of us each have a history of mental illness so this isn't our first rodeo.

Aladdar
Aladdar's picture

I'm surviving.

We just moved into a new house and most of the boxes are unpacked now.

The kids and wife have been home since March and I'm losing my mind trying to work from home, and they're losing their mind being home without much social interaction.

However schools open back up here in about a week, so we'll see whether that works or not moving forward. But until everyone gets sick from Covid and they shut it all down I'll get at least a few weeks of silence.

HVB
HVB's picture

I've been back at work since the end of June when NY allowed the personal care industry to reopen. I work in a day spa and I was surprised at how busy we were upon reopening and still are. We can't offer services which would require a face mask to be taken off, such as facials, so some of our staff remains unemployed. We have implemented new protocol for everything and so far clients and staff feel safe and no covid cases have cropped up. Fingers crossed it remains this was but we will see what the future holds.

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

The place I work also has a salon in the same parking lot. The day state restrictions were eased, there was a line (with no social distancing) out the door and into the parking lot. The cops had to get involved because there were so many of them that the line was blocking ingress into the lot.

I'm glad to hear that similar business hasn't resulted into positive tests where you're at. That shit's scary.

Talanall and I talked some time back about prison environments because his wife and my best friend both had involvement with prisons on the working side. His story was a thousand times funnier than mine. My friend's state prison has had a series of outbreaks among the staff. He's currently the only sergeant in his unit that's cleared to work, and he's not happy about it. Of course, this is in Florida, which is a sort of nightmare hellscape compared to most other states right now.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

My story involved a recurring problem my wife, a physician, deals with. It's not a daily thing. But it has happened considerably more than once.

The guys she takes care of sometimes decide it would be smart to take dominos (yes, like the game), break them into pieces, grind the edges smooth, and then cut open the skin on the shafts of their penises and insert the domino fragments underneath said skin. They don't have any anesthetics, and I don't really know for sure what, if anything, they are using to try to sanitize the domino fragments.

And yes, it is ALWAYS dominos. This is a thing that seems to be happening specifically among the Latino population. I think it may be cultural. It's always chunks of domino. And he's always from Latin America.

Quite often, she gets a string of these guys all together, leading me to assume that they're all sitting around and deciding to perform cosmetic surgery on themselves, and then taking varied but similar lengths of time to present with symptoms. That is to say, they are doing this in groups, with their buddies.

It's not totally clear why they're doing this, because they usually don't want to talk in any great detail about how chunks of domino got implanted underneath the skin of their penises. The somewhat garbled explanations they offer suggest that the goal is to created a sort of "ribbed for her pleasure" effect against the date when they finally get out of the prison and can see their wives and girlfriends again.

By the time my wife sees them, things are, you know, kind of gross. Not gangrenous, but . . . not good. She has gotten inured to it, at this point. She has some turnover in the nursing staff, for all kinds of reasons, so it's basically a normal part of her work life that she has to explain to the newer nurses what they're likely to see, and emphasize that she needs them to act like it's totally normal for them to see someone with a penis that looks like a bratwurst full of green mayonnaise.

She also treats people with COVID-19, but I don't have any good stories about that. There have not been any deaths from it among the inmates and other detainees she cares for, that I know of, but certainly many hospitalizations. Everyone is on edge: prisoners, guards, support staff, you name it.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

FUCK ME. I have a problem reading things all the way through. I got to 'ribbed for her pleasure', took a domino break and came back for 'green mayonnaise'. This might get ugly.

HVB
HVB's picture

deadDMwalking wrote:

FUCK ME. I have a problem reading things all the way through. I got to 'ribbed for her pleasure', took a domino break and came back for 'green mayonnaise'. This might get ugly.

Hahaha!

Apparently it's not so rare in prisons. I've actually heard of this happening in other countries too, though its usually with glass beads or anything similar. I guess when you have dominoes you can get creative.