22 Replies Latest reply on Aug 6, 2020 1:13 AM by dougw

    Coronavirus - Several Months On

    Christopher Stanton

      I can easily understate that this has been crazy. Four to six months ago for a lot of people, the scenario we're in now was unbelievable.


      Over those months, members of the Community stepped up with fantastic suggestions, projects, activities and intentions. Especially in the areas of personally protective equipment.


      Now that we're still in the the process of dealing with it, as some countries ease down the restrictions, and yet others are still finding ways to cope with it - how are you handling it and coping with it?


      Are you still working on projects to help with the pandemic, or have things moved on for you?


      Did you end up identifying more activities that you can help out with, or is the new state of affairs now a business as usual for you?


      For myself I'm still hiding at home, however more and more is opening up and getting closer to how matters were before and less requests of support, but I know that isn't the case everywhere in the world.

        • Re: Coronavirus - Several Months On

          To be honest, the only thing that has changed for me is occasional working from home days! I've still been going to work throughout when I'm in teaching or doing courseware/exam design and review work, a works laptop has given me more flexibility but I've only really had about 5 days home working over the last month.

          Class sizes have shrunk to maintain safe occupancy levels, and training within the simulator is now split over either 2 shifts or between 2 instructors.


          Got some leave coming up soon and by the 5th of August I'll be able to be near my wife again for the first time since the middle of April! - I guess that is actually the largest change after all!


          Oh yeah, and I'm 52 on Thursday! YAY!

          • Re: Coronavirus - Several Months On

            Since I am in the high risk group, we have stopped going out as much as we did before, but since all of our favorite restaurants deliver, we can still enjoy good meals.

            Biggest down side is that we cannot go to the Senior Center, where all of the exercise equipment was available.

            I could still do some things at home, but we have broken our routine and that is hard to get re-established.


            They have postponed my 50th High School reunion for a year, which if they get an effective vaccine we might be able to hold.


            We are still working on the books, volume 16 should make it out in August and volume 17 might be available by the Christmas season.


            I try to check in at element 14 every day, but I have been out the last two days with a bad migraine.


            Next week I turn 68.



            • Re: Coronavirus - Several Months On

              I am still tweaking protective measures - tonight I will be 3D printing some clips to permit easy adjustment of mask strap lengths. Masks are a new reality - might as well optimize the experience. Maybe I will make some that are a fashion statement.

              I am thinking about doing an experiment to see how mask use affects our CO2 intake. I suspect it is not a positive aspect of masks

              Things are supposedly "opening up" around here (phase III) but it is not like going back to normal, it is more like the new reality is just evolving as everything is done differently.

              I played hockey last night for the first time in months - that was a very hard workout given the state of my body. And there were lots of new rules. In softball we have to play in a bubble of a 4 team division etc.

              I have been going to work every day (deemed an essential service) with no outbreaks in the staff.

              I caught covid on a business trip back in Feb before I knew what it was, and had a tough time with it. Still have significant residual organ damage. I just did my normal flu isolation and nobody else caught it.

              The changes in operating procedures at work, and everywhere else, will be the new norm for a long time.

              It looks like I have to take another business trip to the USA next month and will have go into quarantine in a hotel when I return. Guess how keen I am on all that - risk of exposure, risk of becoming a carrier, no e14 project work in quarantine, no sports, no interaction with family and can't do normal chores to support everyone.

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              • Re: Coronavirus - Several Months On

                I started the isolation period here, printing facemask frames (for replaceable cloth inserts) and various strap options (as my ears do not need help in sticking out).  But after that, I took advantage of my stay at home time by doing home improvement projects (storage/drawer units for my shop, rebuilding my deck and add new garden areas).

                The change in 'normal' has been an adjustment in some areas, but I have been social distancing for most of my life (read introvert). We plan to keep our circle small and avoid the rush to reopen (huge spikes here in Texas as things opened up way to fast). After months of separation from our Grandchildren, we were able to increase our bubble to include my them again, only to lose that opportunity as my son developed some flu-like symptoms causing them to re-isolate.  Testing proved negative and after a couple safe period of time, we will be increasing our bubble again to include them starting this weekend (Yeah!).


                Be safe out there folks!

                • Re: Coronavirus - Several Months On

                  It's not easy to cope here - we're sort of in a limbo. Restrictions have slightly lifted, but the virus is making its resurgence known, and people are encouraged to be responsible but this doesn't seem to be enough. Even going out for the essentials, it's clear to see people flaunting the rules and putting everyone in danger, all for their own convenience/perception of freedom/rebellious nature/belief that COVID-19 is not a thing. We can only do the best that we can, as responsible members of the public, and stay home as much as we can but this is leading to a bit of social isolation in the end. Not that I particularly mind, but there are some people you'd really want to meet every so often and to know that they're in the high-risk category means that we often have to make do with other means or continually postpone (but who knows, for how long).


                  Working from home is a blessing of sorts - I've always had a little bit of that going on, but it's now become much more of a part of the routine. Downside is that I end up often being a bit more stressed and attending to things outside of the regular work hours, but there are also things that cannot be done from home and getting the approvals can take time. Going into the workplace entails risk to myself and the organization - and whether it actually solves the issue also depends on whether the people I'm working with are also happy to come in. It's been a bit of a co-ordination nightmare.


                  I've not been involved in many projects to help with the pandemic, but at our institution, it seems we are still working on it as some have receiving funding to do so. Personally, I'm back to the normal research projects, trying to push them along despite the disruptions. At home, things have not really changed - I'm still doing things on the weekend for my own fun and education and continue to do so. Saving on commute time definitely has helped me get a little more from my weekday evenings as well.


                  - Gough

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                  • Re: Coronavirus - Several Months On

                    I too have been faithfully isolating and I must have a little hermit blood as it seems to come quite naturally. My wife is doing her best to stick it out with me but she misses her friends and social activities. Since I am part of the "at risk population" she has decided, at least for the time being that there is more value in keeping me alive than coffee with the girls. I feel very fortunate to be at the stage of life where I am retired and don't have to worry about a job. All of our children are taking the virus serious and are taking good care of themselves and the grand children. With my lab and my friends on the forum there is always something to learn and do. I have settled into a routine and frankly the days are all the same with only the names changing from one to the next.


                    I do get out and walk to the downtown twice a day. It is a 3 mile round trip. The first time I walk is at 10AM with my wife and the second time is by myself at 10PM. Each time it takes about an hour. While walking I do not wear a mask (though I carry one with me)  but I keep my distance from others and I will often cross the street or take a different route to avoid being near others. It is 10PM right now and as soon as I am done writing this I will be off with my ipod, flashlight, and stick.


                    I do not expect this current situation to change drastically. I believe that it has changed the individual natures of enough of the population in permanent ways so that going back to pre-covid life will not be completely possible. I am very sad at all the little businesses that were the dreams of people that are struggling and failing. All we can do is be patient and be kind with one another. Despite how unfortunate this pandemic is at least we can be thankful that we do have the technology to weather it and actually beat it in the long run. The last time humanity experienced a pandemic the Spanish Flu had no technological counters and we had to wait for herd immunity to slow it.


                    I hope you all stay safe and I want to thank everyone on the forum for adding learning and interesting ideas to my day.



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                    • Re: Coronavirus - Several Months On

                      It seems like I’m similar to others here that stick at home doesn’t really bother me.  My wife struggles a bit but her social circle is slowly re-grouping in gardens.  I’ve been happy at home playing around with LabView in between going out for walks in the countryside - it annoys me too much to walk around the town because it seems like many, many people just make no effort to maintain what is deemed to be a safe distance.  I’m worried I’ll say something and get beaten up   The museum is closed and I miss going in there - some of the guys have been busy putting up perspex shielding around The Bombe so we can safely demonstrate it once it re-opens in September.


                      The other thing I’m working on is on-hold at the moment as I’ve tied some of its progress to a roadtest application which I’m waiting to hear about.


                      Strange times really.

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                      • Re: Coronavirus - Several Months On

                        Still keeping ourselves very much to ourselves. My wife does the shopping, carefully and we also have some deliveries.


                        The slight increases in freedom have allowed us to travel to my mother's empty house (she has been in care for the last year) and finally clear it in preparation for the impending sale - completion failed to happen last week for what seemed like a spurious reason and has probably failed again this week for a different, also somewhat spurious reason! Our solicitors are tearing their hair out.


                        Meanwhile I have worked outdoors as much as possible and also tried to engage with electronics/software project work, but always feel guilty doing that when it's nice outside!


                        Still waiting for our final overseas holiday (mid September, booked last January!) to be cancelled so we can get our money back!


                        Struggling to deal with a variety of government organisations who say "do it online, don't phone us, don't write to us!". But for various reasons I can't do it online, indeed, in 2 cases I could only do it by post and they took 3 weeks to reply, and tell me that they needed additional documentation, which they hadn't initially asked for! Grrrrr!



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                        • Re: Coronavirus - Several Months On

                          Here are some things that have changed for me since the start of pandemic:

                          • I haven't had a haircut since March and am beginning to look a bit wild even for me
                          • I moved from Seattle to Portland - not a wise thing to do if it can be avoided.  The obstacles to be overcome with government and business closures and house sales and...
                          • I am much closer to family and grandkids now :-)
                          • I go to the grocery store when it is open only for seniors and people at risk
                          • I drive around with a box of masks and gloves in the car
                          • I haven't been able to do anything with electronics because my things were in storage until I moved into the new house last weekend.  And now they are in boxes waiting to be unpacked. 


                          But most importantly I have maintained my health and have much to be thankful for.

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                          • Re: Coronavirus - Several Months On

                            Great question.  The only COVID "projects" I've worked on are work related - putting up disinfecting stations, adding mask bins to the stations, lots of signage, installing touchless stuff, etc.  What I find crazy is that I'm doing more of it now that the restrictions have been lifted than when they were in place.  Eased restrictions have netted us an increase in outbreaks here in Wisconsin, USA.  Hmmm... imagine that.

                            Since I'm on of the team that is at work every day, I'm busier now than before the pandemic.  It's actually made me more disciplined about completing some long lingering projects at home - although I may only get to tinker for an hour or so just before bed.

                            We've progressed to wearing masks at work anytime you are near another person.  I chuckle about all the griping.  In the winter, we don't seem to have an issue with scarves or balaclavas - even when doing the most strenuous winter activity I know of - shoveling snow.  I chalk it up to the fact that I'm only used to expelling hot air, not breathing it.

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