"God blesses those who take out his sweet spirits." - Just Another Cassio
Question #93132 posted on 06/06/2020 12:47 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

When you think of your own pandemic experience, what seems to be really similar to what you hear of others' experiences? Really different?

-Olympus

A:

Dear Olympus ~

Who has time for projects?! Hah! There is definitely a divide between people who have kids and people who don't. 

Honestly, I'm having a hard time answering this. I keep going back to things that are different for me because of the pandemic, but that's not what you asked. And then I try to think of how things are different for me than other people, but everything I think of, I know several people who are the same as me. So, I think with all things, I am both similar and different than people in all things! (This feels like a cop out answer.)

Hmmm...I have still yet to buy toilet paper. Yellow scared me a few weeks ago by telling me I needed to put some on my shopping list. And then I went down to the storage room and laughed because I still had at least 3 or 4 more Costco packages of toilet paper. Phew! (Though, my usual emergency supply is going to be a lot harder to build back up. I bet it's going to be awhile before the limit rises above 1. And I would feel bad buying extra when I really don't need any right now.)

I am definitely not looking into homeschooling my children next year, as I've heard many people consider. I learned that I definitely do not have the emotional or mental capacity to take on the education of my children. If we decided to do that, Yellow would have to head it up. He is much better suited to such a thing.

I resonate with both the introvert (cancelling plans is bliss!) and extrovert (we are not ok!) memes. 

Ugh, this is hard. Stop making me make decisions, Olympus! You know me better than that! 

~ Dragon Lady, who suffers from decision fatigue and low mental capacity at the moment.

A:

Dear Doctor,

Where is all this mysterious "lots of extra time" coming from?? I have had precisely zero extra time, and I'm quite bummed about it.

-Tally M.

A:

Dear friend,

Similar

- Struggling to find motivation
- Eating habits are very bad (I passed out yesterday on a hike because I was iron deficient and dehydrated. Currently laying in bed after eating a massive roast beef sandwich and eating a ton of Wheat Germ for breakfast.) 
- Self-worth isn't doing great either because I feel like I should be taking advantage of the time to change things about myself for the better, not worse. 
- Working from home and hating it. 

Different

- Got married during a pandemic. 
- Not sad about canceled plans or having to stay home and entertain myself

cancelling plans.gif (source)

Cheers, 

Guesthouse

A:

Dear Aziraphale,

Similar: 

  • Mental health taking a dip
  • Irregular sleeping habits (not being able to sleep, and just being super tired all the time)
  • Baking (though to be fair, it's not that my baking has increased due to quarantine; it's more like I already enjoyed cooking and baking more than average and the pandemic raised the average)
  • Dealing with working from home versus an office

Different:

  • My physical fitness has not gone downhill with the pandemic. I still work out for 30-40 minutes every day (within my own apartment--exactly like I was doing before all this craziness started), and have had no problems with overeating. 
  • Getting ready for the day. I still wear a full face of makeup, and nice clothes.

~Anathema

A:

Howdy Olympus,

Here are the ways in which I'm a pandemic cliche:

1. I played Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Also, I tried online gaming for the first time, and I stream with my brother weekly (we have played 3 games in their entirety so far).

2. I adopted rescue cats.

3. I watched Tiger King on Netflix. I hate everyone in that documentary.

4. I've cooked a lot more at home.

5. My job has been 95% remote since March.

6. I gave myself a quarantine haircut - a buzz cut. I've been wanting to do that for a while but my worries about what others would think had always stopped me. I'm so happy I finally got to try it - I love having my hair so short.

7. I've been struggling with my mental health because my biggest supports/resources have been unavailable.

8. Rewatching all of The Office again?? - I think it was trending in March when I rewatched it.

Here's how I think my experiences might be a bit different:

1. I didn't like Animal Crossing. I found it sorta repetitive and... well... young for me. I am a thousand years old now after all.

2. Struggling with mental health for so long prepared me for some of the challenges during this time. I've found creative ways to cope with isolation, I take plenty of breaks when I'm stressed, I have an action plan for panic attacks, I do activities that are enriching and rewarding.

3. I haven't actually enjoyed working remotely, despite being an introvert. I find it difficult to concentrate without other people around. Plus my cats jump all over my keyboard.

4. I have no intention of making a sourdough starter and pretending that I'm going to learn how to make sourdough.

-Marzipan

A:

Dear Olympus,

My experience has been fairly typical. I finished the semester virtually, and I now work from home. My internship was delayed and switched to a remote experience (although luckily not cancelled). I'm seeing people a lot less than I used to.

However, because of the way everything fell into place toward the end of the semester, I am in the enviable position of having about fifty days of free time. I still have a part-time job, but outside of that, I'm just keeping busy by working on personal projects and trying to learn as much as I can. It's giving me a unique opportunity to reevaluate some of my priorities and reset my habits, which has been great. Partially as a result of that, and partially because my life in the first half of March was an absolute Dumpster Fire, I have actually been generally happier and more stable during the pandemic than I was before all of this went down. I think that's pretty far from the norm.

Best,

Josefina

A:

Dear Olympus,

Since we were expecting a baby early February, we actually stocked up and were prepared to stay home for a while before we realized things were getting bad. And we had no plans to cancel because again, new baby = no plans had been made. So in that way, it seems different than others...It has kind of felt like an extended maternity/paternity leave.

But a lot of things are the same. My heart hurts for my preschooler who can't see friends or go to the playground and doesn't understand why; I'm struggling to get the support I need with the baby because of social distancing; I miss being able to do things that make me feel like myself; trying to remember about masks and distancing and sanitizing is stressful when we do go out; and I hate not being able to really celebrate our five-year anniversary or make plans for fun things to do in the upcoming year.

Small potatoes compared to, you know, bigger issues, but things that make life kind of sucky nevertheless.

-Owlet

A:

Dear Buddy!

I'm an introvert and have loved not leaving my house or changing out of pajamas. I conveniently found out I was pregnant the week quarantine started, and have spent most of the time at home dealing with all-day sickness, so the timing of working from home could not be better. Sadly, I think even my introversion doesn't extend this far because I finally downloaded Marco Polo, which is a thing I never planned to do.

Similar:

1. Baked a lot of bread (it turns out I don't like taking care of the sourdough starter, though, so that was short-lived. I'm sticking with my tried-and-true honey whole wheat).

2. Also watched Tiger King. Everyone in it is terrible (except Campaign Manager Josh).

3. Rediscovering my natural hair color. I don't love it. And instead of cutting bangs, I've decided to grow mine out.

4. Started watching The Office (first time for me. Next my husband says we have to watch Star Wars next, which I also haven't seen).

5. Working from home, as mentioned. I love it. My husband is also working from home and we hang out a lot.

6. Homeschooling a child (my step-daughter who just finished first grade).

7. Planted a garden in the beautiful planter box my husband built me for my birthday (and then asked Dragon Lady how to not kill everything).

Possibly different:

1. I've been so sick. I spent most of April taking sleeping pills because I was nauseated every time I was awake, so I tried to never be awake. This also means I didn't get any of my quarantine projects done (or even started).

2. Grocery shopping for my parents since my mom just had her second knee replacement.

3. Traveled to Austin, TX, which is where we were when everything started to shut down. We even moved our flight home up a few days because we started to worry airports would close and we would be stuck there. Thanks SXSW for cancelling that week so we got a way better hotel room than we would have otherwise!

-Marguerite St. Just

A:

Dear Olympus,

My experience so far has been mostly different:

  • moved back home with my parents for a few months
  • have had plenty of social interactions and fun game/movie time with my family
  • was able to go outside thanks to living in a small town, so often went hiking, swimming, running, and walking
  • still had my job, but had to wake up at 6 a.m. every morning thanks to the time difference. But I finished work everyday at 2 pm which was beautiful!

But it's also been the same:

  • took up baking different treats for a time
  • my grandma passed away (not from Covid-19 but due to an aneurysm)
  • had to postpone my wedding until next summer
  • my graduate program, which is still expecting (fingers crossed!) to start in September may be online
  • currently in the process of making living adjustments - moved back to our studio apartment and realized minnow and I can't both work remotely in our one room

-guppy of doom

A:

Dear Go the Distance,

Differences

  • I would say that I'm pretty different when it comes to staying home. Since I don't stay at home, at all... I go out four times a week willingly. I go to my chiropractor Mondays and Thursdays. Then I go to physical therapy Tuesdays and Fridays. I'm really glad we hit our deductible when Carl Jr. was born because I would be spending MUCHO DINERO on these bi-weekly appointments. I'm talking thousands of dollars here. Yes, Carl Jr. is never going to live this down when he gets older!
  • Carl is also working from home (that's not super different). BUT his company is doing well since it's a phone system service that helps people work from home. He'll be working from home until the end of September. Oh shucks! More time with him after he got 8 weeks of paternity leave! He literally went back to the office for a week before they told him to work from home.
  • Since Carl is working from home, I have his mother take care of Carl Jr. once a week when I'm going to physical therapy. This means that we've been doing home church with his Mom and step-Dad, along with three other kids that live there, plus her parents. So we've had our little quarantine circle this entire time with family. We've had to do church a few times with just us and I don't like it as much. I much prefer it with them. I also really like how our ward asked if we'd want to go back to church, and we said no. Our church was at 9 a.m. this year and Carl Jr.'s first nap starts at 8:45 a.m. That sounds like an overtired cranky baby, and no one wants that!
  • Another difference is that I haven't gone to two hour church since the last decade. Carl Jr. was born so I didn't go since I had to take care of him, and ensure I didn't get sick myself. That's been pretty weird.
  • I haven't had any desire to bake any bread. I have an almost 5-month-old, who has time to bake?!

Similarities

  • I do Walmart grocery store pick up. Which I probably would have done without said pandemic because I don't have time to look for things in the store. If someone wants to get paid and grab my groceries for me, I'm all for it!
  • Like most parents, we don't have extra time. I have this one nursery craft that I 'thought' I'd have time for after Carl Jr. was born (HAH!) and I haven't touched it since the last decade.
  • I trimmed my bangs since I haven't had a haircut since mid-February. I did a stinkin' good job too!

-Goldie Rose

A:

Dear Mountain,

I'm just here to say: Planning a wedding around this whole thing sucks.

That is all,

Tipperary

A:

Dear uh guys olympus is that way,

Ways I am the same:

  • I am spending lots of time with my family's pets. 
  • I use Zoom all the time. 
  • I made a sourdough starter and have been baking loaves every weekend. This was something I wanted to do pre-pandemic, though, so am I a cliche? (Yeah, probably.) 
  • I sacrifice the things I should be doing (like working at the job I'm lucky to still have) to pursue elaborate new hobbies, like painting and learning German.
  • I eat like an epicurean. 

Ways I am different:

  • I still have scheduled stuff all the time, so I usually know what day it is.
  • I'm not getting tired of the people in my household.
  • I mostly don't mind not going places.
  • I'm actually exercising more regularly than I was before. Not enough to balance out what I'm now consuming, but, hey.
  • I'm staying in touch with my friends better than in the pre-COVID era.

So... it's a mixed bag?

Yours, &c.

Heidi Book

A:

Dear Olympus,

Seeing people hanging out at home a ton with their families and getting to do stuff has made me jealous, because I'm in one of those "essential jobs" that people keep talking about cuz I work in an ER. Feeling like if I'm not careful with PPE at work isn't fun because I don't want to bring the apocalypse into my own home, but also never felt I had to take things as far as some folks did/are and live in a tent in the garage. Showering twice a day anytime I go to work (before and after, if that wasn't clear) sounds relaxing, but gets annoying. Dealing with masks and gowns constantly at work is also annoying. Oh, did I touch [insert physical object here]? Better go wash or sanitize my hands for the 200th time today. Eating things? Sanitize a few times after scrubbing hands because every surface is now the devil. Feels like this but instead of jail it's my own little prison made out of foaming hand sanitizer. 

PROS:

  • Still have a job, that's more rare these days I guess
  • Get free food sometimes for being a "healthcare hero" which is still a pretty ridiculous concept in my mind, because it hasn't even been that bad where I live and it's also a job I chose, also because the better way of thanking doctors and nurses would be to just not do dumb stuff and stay at home please, I mean seriously what the heck people, so sorry that masks interfere with your "freedoms" </rant>
  • People (up until recently) actually didn't bring their BS problems into the ED. Bad for hospital making money overall, good for me being an underpaid resident because it made my shifts easier/less busy
  • Finally, a great excuse to not have to interact with people
  • Feeling like we could be one public gathering away from the bottom dropping out in our area and everything just going straight to hell

Okay that last one was in the wrong section. Also pretend the first section is "CONS" and formatted differently and that I didn't switch halfway through my answer. Also if anyone hasn't been following the stock market recently I feel like we're screwing ourselves over big time by not allowing the market to naturally correct instead of printing infinite money to prop things up for the next who knows how long. Either a correction comes someday and it's going to hurt bad or things won't have real value anymore because the market is so disconnected from reality. Either way, should be tons of fun.  Also file that under CONS as above. Tl,dr: SPY 1000c 07/17. 

- Commander Keen

A:

Dear Olympus,

I elected to not take my two children to daycare and have been trying to work from home without additional childcare. It is not very effective. My routine of going into work and um, working, has been completely upended. I hate working from home because I can't predict whether or not I will be interrupted every ten minutes and usually only work an hour or two because I don't feel it's ethical to work this inefficiently. I've had more time to mow the lawn, read, play videogames, and also care for my children. I love my children but I got a part-time job to help abate the ennui of constantly feeding and caring for young children. I've gotten used to this new normal of not going anywhere or doing anything, but I do miss my old life. I think a lot of working parents are experiencing similar difficulties.

-Whistler

A:

Dear film:

Ranked in rough order from what I think is most likely to least (but I haven't looked at time-use surveys):

  • Got laid off
  • Have not found full-time job despite LinkedIn platitudes, shocking
  • FOX News listening grandma shouting at hippie grandma about socialism over Zoom, I think this captures #whiteculture
  • Apparently I bake now?
  • Got to know the finer points of delivery apps
  • Summer looking uneventful
  • Lost some weight
  • Board reader Emilia was my socially-distanced IUD coach, I had next to no pain despite having a panic attack about the cost before
  • Mental health markedly improved
  • Felt like I experienced my own personal Walden
  • Possibly found love?!

---Portia, feeling relatively privileged except for the whole reproductive health bill, yikes