Pandemic survey

 

I haven’t seen many surveys on the pandemic, so I decided to create my own.  Here are questions I ask myself and which I have answered here.  For the most part these questions don’t lend themselves to short and snappy answers.  It took me quite a while this evening to complete this.  My goal in doing this is to have people really think hard about this crisis that is unlike any  other in their lifetimes, and share with others how it has impacted their and the lives of their friends, family and co-workers.   Please feel free to take this survey and send it to others.

 

Overall, how are you doing during this social distancing health crisis?

 I’ve lived alone most of my life except for the last ten years of caregiving before Mom passed away this past January.  I’ve always been self-sufficient and used to my own company so I’m actually faring pretty well considering my life and everyone else’s has been completely upended by this pandemic health crisis.

 

How is your family if there are more than one of you sheltering in place?

 This does not apply to me, and I really don’t know how I’d manage if there was more than just me with all this going on.  We had a live-in caregiver who helped me with Mom, but she moved out a few weeks after Mom died.  Sometimes it does seem a little lonely especially since I’m older now.

 

How has your job been impacted if you work?

 I have never been so grateful to be retired. If I were working I’d  be worried every day about whether I’d have a job or not.

 

If you have school-age kids at home how is homeschooling and virtual education impacting your life?  How do you think education will be changed once this is over?

 Again, this does not apply to me but I feel that education, particularly at the college level, will see major changes as students debate the value of paying huge sums for tuition when everything can be done online, as the pandemic is proving.  As for grade school education I think this will return more to normal as parents see how hard it is to teach a child properly and kids get ever more bored and restless being at home and not seeing their friends and teachers at school.

 

Do you wear a mask and practice social distancing at the grocery store?

I haven’t been to he grocery store in 7 weeks.  I had a lot of food stocked up before all this happened and now I get what I need, except for produce and frozen food,  by shopping online at Amazon.  I don’t know what I’d do without it.  It’s amazing.  If I do go to the grocery soon I’ll wear one of my old medical masks and bring gloves and hand sanitizer.  I’m truly worried about having a severe case of Covid-19 if I should  get sick.  I have hypertension and difficulty breathing normally due to a congenital nasal blockage that I never had surgery for since I’ve learned to live with it.

I’m fanatical about practicing social distancing on my walks and even around my brother when he comes by the house to bring me something (like rice when I run out).  He doesn’t even come in the house.  I’m a lifelong OCD sufferer and germaphobe, so the very thought of this malicious and highly contagious virus that is ten times more deadly than the flu, makes me almost freak out. Even during normal times I way overdue washing my hands.  Can you imagine how often I wash them at home now?

 

What are your main sources of news during this pandemic? 

 I never watch TV or cable news but I have  literally a couple of dozens apps and news sites.  I’m drawn to them like a moth to a flame. I compulsively read any and all news about the pandemic from my sources, usually starting with my local paper which is excellent, them moving to The NY Times, The Guardian , The New Yorker, News360, and on and on into all my news analysis and commentary sites.  My goal is to try to turn most of it off, and stick to the headlines without having to read every in-depth article.  I just get angrier and angrier and more and more worried.

 

What is your biggest fear with the Coronavirus?

That people will get slack about social distancing and the virus will continue to spread like the Spanish Flu pandemic 1918.  My second biggest fear is that we won’t have a change in leadership in the 2020 elections.  That would be an unthinkable disaster.

 

Do you know anyone who’s been hospitalized or died because of Covid-19?

Not someone I know directly but my brother and sister have known several.


Are you able to grasp what is really happening? Can any of us?

 I truly don’t think any of us can fully grasp the magnitude of this event.  That’s why I keep referring to it as surreal.   In other words, how could this be happening?  In actuality, we saw it coming but never thought it would be so bad.

 

What will the “new normal” be like once there’s a vaccine and general immunity?

The new normal will see major changes  in our economic, social welfare, healthcare and educational institutions, changes that will be for the betterment of the human race if people really learn from this instead of reverting back to the horrible status quo.  You can see what that’s done to civilization and all life on earth for generations now.

 

What, in your view, is the worst thing people can do in a global emergency like the one we’re in?

 Act like it’s just a bad dream and we’ll wake up and everything will be like it was before and people will once again live happily ever after.

 

Do you have loved ones in an assisted living facility or nursing home?

 

No, I was able to take care of my mother at home before she died. One of the biggest and most heartbreaking tragedies of this pandemic is the toll it’s taking on nursing homes which are facing the potential rapid spread of the disease and multiple fatalities among the most helpless and vulnerable members of our society, as has already occurred in many long-term care facilities.


Are you over 65 and do you have underlying health issues that make you more at risk for  serious or fatal complications from Covid-19?

 Yes, as I mentioned earlier I have hypertension, I am 69, and  I have a past history of smoking, plus I can’t breathe normally.

 

What CAN humanity learn from this crisis?

 Humanity can learn that the path we’ve been on since the industrial revolution of unlimited growth in population and exploitation of Earth’s finite natural resources must stop as it is leading us to the brink of extinction.

 

What WILL  humanity learn from this crisis?

 It will go one of two ways:  we will learn to respect and care about each other and the planet instead of letting greed and mindless consumption and materialism do us in, OR we will have tragically short memories and regress to the folly of our old ways that led to this global pandemic.

 

Will we survive this as a civilization and species?

 I think we will, but it’s never been more apparent that if we don’t radically change our ways, civilization will not survive.  And there obviously won’t be time enough to colonize Mars.

 

What do you tell your children or grandchildren when they ask questions about the pandemic?

 If I had children or grandchildren I would tell them exactly what I’ve said above in answers to previous questions.  I would be blunt and not try to sugarcoat anything, and I’d try not to make simple morality or fairy tales about what’s happening.

 

When you wake up and the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and everything seems normal, but you know the world is on the edge of a precipice, do you have a sense of existential dread?

 Yes, but it’s internalized. My life is comfortable in self isolation so far.  All city services, the banks, post offices, doctors offices, pharmacies and groceries are functioning through the heroic efforts of people who are literally putting themselves at risk daily so that we can try to go on with what once were our normal lives.  But should cracks and fissures appear, then it might be that we all start to be truly aware of the seismic event altering our lives.  And yes, as when I was suffering from depression and generalized anxiety before all this, I think it’s likely I will have a sense of existential dread. But lets it even think about that.

 

[“Existential dread is the terror we experience in our awareness that we are transient beings acting out life on a precarious stage. It’s a phenomenon that’s universal among humans, but that varies in its intensity,” explained Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, a clinical and consulting psychotherapist.Mar 13, 2018]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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May 4, 2020

I’m going to leave my answers here because I think they’re good questions, but I don’t post surveys myself.

Overall, how are you doing during this social distancing health crisis?

I actually like being left alone, and being far from the “I’m perfect and you’re not” folks around here. Maybe I should move to the South, where people are people, still.

How is your family if there are more than one of you sheltering in place?

Social distancing is nothing new to my little guys… cats have always preferred isolation. Ja is a tad under the weather, but it’s NOT covid 🙂

How has your job been impacted if you work?

They’re jerks. They’re only paying us a percentage of our salary, enough to keep us OFF unemployment, but not enough to pay the bills.

If you have school-age kids at home how is homeschooling and virtual education impacting your life?  How do you think education will be changed once this is over?

I don’t have human kids, but education was already lacking in substance for a long time, so, this should be a chance for parents to take the wheel and infuse their kids with worthwile knowledge, not just chapters to be parroted back in an exam. A degree is worthless unless you can apply your knowledge.

Do you wear a mask and practice social distancing at the grocery store?

Only because if I don’t, I’ll be refused entry. COVID isn’t what the media tell us: there’s a CRAPLOAD of misinformation, & another crapload (of truths) not being communicated.

What are your main sources of news during this pandemic? 

None. News are in it to inform you, but to get ratings, & most will do anything to obtain ’em, including serving the whims of a sponsor. Observation & researching qualified authorities is what everyone should do – but some prefer following than doing.

What is your biggest fear with the Coronavirus?

That people will cotinue to choose to be misinformed and follow the wolf like sheep, thinking he is their herder.

Do you know anyone who’s been hospitalized or died because of Covid-19?

Not personally/directly.

Are you able to grasp what is really happening? Can any of us?

Absolutely. But I have learned that trying to explain it to those who’ve already made up their mind about what they want to believe, is just a waste of time.

What will the “new normal” be like once there’s a vaccine and general immunity?

Whatever it is, I hope that “vaccine” does not become a condition for any type of activity.

What, in your view, is the worst thing people can do in a global emergency like the one we’re in?

Believe the media.

Do you have loved ones in an assisted living facility or nursing home?

Not directly – I do have friends who do. And they’re doing fine.

Are you over 65 and do you have underlying health issues that make you more at risk for serious or fatal complications from Covid-19?

 No, and no.

What CAN humanity learn from this crisis?

That an actual *crisis* is unintentional but informed, and a TRAGEDY is willfully uninformed.

What WILL  humanity learn from this crisis?

Sadly, probably nothing. We’ve evolved to a place were it’s easier to believe what you’re told than to challenge it and find out the actual facts. We’re appeased way too easily.

Will we survive this as a civilization and species?

Of course we will.

What do you tell your children or grandchildren when they ask questions about the pandemic?

The raw truth.

When you wake up and the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and everything seems normal, but you know the world is on the edge of a precipice, do you have a sense of existential dread?

No. Because of the reasons I’ve already listed. Besides, I like to live in the moment. There are birds singing? Stop and listen. The Sun shines? Open your window & have your morning coffee watching the birds in the rays. You see a rose outside while drinking your coffee? Go outside and smell it. Worrying is a waste of time that could be otherwise spent in relaxing, educating oneself, enjoying the moment or making plans. Worry robs you of minutes you’ll never be able to get back.

May 4, 2020

@thenerve   I like your answers.  You don’t mince words.  Your writing, like your answers here,  is forthright and honest.  I appreciate that in a person.  And you made me think and challenge some of my accepted wisdom.

Concerning news news, a lot of it on cable is about ratings, grandstanding, ego inflation and self-importance, but you have to know where to look.  I spent years in the field of journalism, both in academia and in the nitty gritty aspects as a reporter and editor.  I learned how to find and evaluate sources of news and information. I  have the greatest admiration for real journalists, and I’m thankful to live in a city that has one of the best dailies in the country.  I’ve read it closely for decades and in the last ten years they’ve never been better, particularly on the investigative side.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer the survey.  It’s the first one I’ve ever written and posted that I’m aware of, though many years ago here at OD I might have  done one.

May 4, 2020

One other note.. I meant to tell you that last answer you gave is spot on and so true.  I try to live those words each day.  It keeps me sane.

May 4, 2020

@oswego – Hehee, yep, one of my traits… which most people don’t like. And that’s okay. They say you hurt a friend with the truth and destroy them with a lie! As for journalists… since you’ve stated your age, I’ll allow myself to touch on it (with due respect, of course) regarding the nature of the profession: journalism back in the day, was REAL journalism. Today’s practitioners are almost extinct – the current media is filled with yellowism. Only inflated numbers (of deaths) are being reported, the recoveries are not, and the laws are being over-upheld in the name of “health” as they are painting it. It’s sad. I really do hope it changes soon.

And yep, you have to live in the moment. Otherwise, you wake up one day and wonder where the rest of your life has gone 🙁

4 weeks ago

Interesting survey.  I live with my daughter and granddaughter. Daughter works outside the home long hours, often 7 days a week.  Granddaughter is respectful of the CDC guidelines and limits her outside activities to hiking with friends who also practice safety measures.  Since her parents are divorced, she also visits  her dad who resides closeby.  My immunity numbers never returned to normal after having cancer, so I wash my hands frequently and sanitize our home several times a day.  Right now, my daughter refuses to let me grocery shop, etc, so Amazon and I have become best friends.  Arizona is starting to reopen with restrictions, however, our number of cases and deaths are still increasing daily.  Daughter has observed that many people are not practicing safe distancing or wearing masks.  We’ve also seen the very best in people, neighbors reaching out to others in need, creatively and safely celebrating events such as birthdays, graduations,etc., and families spending quality time together.

I don’t have essential dread. I try to be aware and cautious, but optimistic.  My life has experienced so many changes in the last several years, I’ve learned to appreciate each and every day as it comes.  I still see beauty in this world. I still cling to hope for the future. Faith sustains me.

I enjoyed reading the answers to your well-thought out survey, my friend. Take care and stay healthy.

 

4 weeks ago

@adrift  Dear friend, I was glad to get your response.  It sounds like all of you are doing your best to keep safe in these most difficult of times.   And you are absolutely right.  There is a lot of beauty and love out there and I am so grateful each day as it comes.  It seems more useless than ever to worry about the future when this day, this moment is what we have.  I give thanks.   Stay well and safe.