Quarantine De-Lurk

I know roughly how all the regular commenters are doing. But how are you quiet readers, the Lurkers, doing? Would you please de-lurk for a moment and tell us what your quarantine lives are like?

Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

26 thoughts on “Quarantine De-Lurk”

  1. Here in Melbourne, living alone, I count myself very fortunate that I so much of my family living near-by. They are very kind and scold me for shopping once a week or so – they are very willing to fetch things for me (but I like to do my own!). So I can read, e-mail friends, garden, or walk and bird-watch in local parks. But eldest grand-daughter is a doctor and over-worked; her husband is an ambulance man and over-worked, and another grand-daughter has lost both her jobs and worries about the rent. Two younger grand-children have to do home-schooling -perhaps all this year – and the worst is that I can’t go and see them, and they can’t visit me. Not much worried about myself, but very worried about them. Here we are in autumn, possums gallop on the roof, and yesterday we saw a very late little snake catching a bit of sun in the park.

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    1. How is the outlook for rains refilling the water table? It is my impression the summer has been nightmarish with all the wildfires and drought.

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  2. No general quarantine on Okinawa so far (and the Japanese government can’t legally enforce a quarantine). Tourists have of course mostly disappeared (we do have some people leaving Tokyo and Osaka for Okinawa), some shops are closed, and some restaurants have switched to takeout.

    My workplace has switched to telework where possible, so I do work from home now. We’re pretty safe here; I worry more about family in Sweden than I do about people here.

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  3. Hiding out in the Latvian countryside with my wife, there are loads of stuff to do on a farm in spring, so no risk of boredom any time soon. I have been instructed to work from home until further notice, probably at least until mid-May, so apart from weekly or so food-shopping trips, we hardly see any other people at the moment. There is no quarantine in force, but non-essential shops are closed on weekends- except shops which encourages staying at home such as bookshops, construction shops and gardening.

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      1. We are growing vegetables, but only for our own use. Mostly onion and tomatoes. Also a bit of hay, that the neighbors can take for their cows. I have not seen any black storks here, but plenty of the common white ones. They nest around here, and loves to follow the farmers around when they plow, I counted to forty storks in one field not long ago.

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  4. I am still working full-time. I am an engineer in an ‘essential’ industry that makes Chlorine chemicals for pools, water treatment, and sanitation. So, my life has not changed much, other than there is less traffic. However, my wife is working from home and is going stir crazy. She works in customer service and is on the phone all day. So, when I get home, all she wants to do is get the f**k out, but she can’t, even the parks are closed. SO… she has decided to dig up our backyard and redo the landscaping and, of course, I MUST be involved! We have done a flagstone patio, cobble-stone paths, removed some stumps and will start on the prepping for replanting grass. I’m afraid of what she will get into after we finish this project. Needless to say, I’m excited to go to work every day to get a break. I can not wait for this to end!

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  5. Our lives haven’t changed much. My wife still cycles to work doing psychological counselling, and I still work from home on my research. The main changes are that I haven’t been to the museum library more than once in the past month, and that our daughter’s high school classes have moved online. So we see way more of her than usual, which is nice.

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  6. – delurking –
    I may have posted a comment a few times, but I am mostly just reading.
    Currently bunkering with my cat in my small flat in a little city in the East part of France. Getting out about once a week for grocery shopping (after having written an authorization to myself to do so), trying to keep working from home. My boss is making errands to the lab, checking on the instruments and keeping our lab computers connected to the outside via VPN systems so my colleagues and I have been able to download whatever data we needed to work on our research projects.
    One full month of extreme social distancing tomorrow Monday. I feel antsy- more and more difficult to focus on compter work – and yet somehow getting used of not interacting with my colleagues and supervisor. Getting back to work may take some re-acclimatation time…

    tl;dr: I feel very lucky. My parents are reasonably safe in the countryside, in a little village away from the big population centers, and I am similarly myself in a small city. Everyday, the News tell me plenty of people are not so fortunate.

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  7. Hi from Phoenix, Arizona. Been reading your blog for a few years 😃. I am working from home for an essential company, my job hasn’t changed much as I spend all day on the phone, PC anyway. My husband is also working from home and we are doing fine, talking walks outside for as long as we can before it starts getting hot here. We are cooking a lot more, limiting takeout and store visits to once a week or less. Overall we realize we are lucky, just feeling worried about our family members who are far away.

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    1. Does the Phoenix area have to ration water in the summers, or have you been spared the droughts that seem to be everywhere?
      I realise USA is very big and not all of it is affected , but the southwest is famous for those semi-arid vistas in films (of course, the higher parts of Arizona are cooler and more green).

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  8. Hey Martin. Locked down with my kids 18 and 22 and one other young adult. KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. Have a lovely home and garden, lots of birds and creatures; we border on a nature reserve so very content but very worried as to what’s going on outside and what’s next! Thanks for asking!

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  9. I am glad to hear of South Africa in a positive context, newspapers and TV have a tendency to concentrate on the bad stuff.
    So you are headed for the cooler season- is this when you prefer to do work in the garden? Having grown up on a farm I respect the risk of overheating.

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  10. As a long-retired guy who is a widower, I am hunkered down by myself in the middle of the D/FW, Texas metroplex. I go out grocery shopping once a week or so. Occasionally, I get takeout food, usually breakfast, but did get Supper at a local Sonic drive-in and my daughter got me food from the local What-A-Burger this week. I’m lucky that two of the four children live in the area. However, the other two are in California, so it may be a long time before they get to visit. On the good side, the youngest son, who lives in LA, has set up a weekly Zoom conference for all of us. All the kids are working from home, as is eldest son’s wife. Daughter’s youngest girl and her husband had just opened a small retail shop about 3 weeks before the shut-down order was issued here. Also, her eldest girl, who has a toddler who was 2 in February, is out of work and trying desperately to find a new job. She did get selected for one, but was immediately furloughed because it was for after school daycare and the schools are shut down.

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  11. hunkered down behind a wall of computer monitors, two work and one home..
    As an IT support monkey nearly everything I do is online anyway, a headset and VPN to talk to customers and get their error logs etc and we’re good. No slowdown in this job. My wife works on the mainframes, most of the US states (and banks) run mainframes with either Cobol or our software, so that’s been busier than usual.

    Son #2 was on a gap year, hasn’t been able to do any of the volunteer or training he’d planned. At least he’s getting a good rest.
    Son #1 is final year of chemistry/biochem and not finding any jobs.. had an interview at Mayo Clinic which got cancelled, spent a couple months working up for the MCAT (med school entrance exam) and that got cancelled. He’s a bit adrift, won’t get a formal graduation ceremony either. At some point in May or June we’ll have to drive out to MN to fetch him home.
    But so far all still healthy and that’s a blessing, still getting our paychecks ditto.

    I didn’t expect working out to be such a challenge. The pools are closed and I miss swimming badly – at my age a workout that escapes gravity is a great help. The trails are insanely busy and it’s not possible to keep physical distancing on bike rides, I’m not willing to ride on the roads due to injury risks at a time when going to the hospital is so fraught. It’s a beautiful spring day and I’m sitting on a bike trainer in the back yard.. Running is sort of possible but have to run way off trail to keep distance. Bodyweight exercises replace the gym. Again I hadn’t realized how much easier it was to go lift weights around other people, as compared to going down into the cold basement and jumping around alone.

    We’re under stay-at-home order in CO but it’s not being enforced by cops, as it seems to be in South Africa, India, etc.
    Outdoor activity gets an exemption since it’s CO. I’ve been sneaking out to go fishing in the ponds close to home.
    The pond was stocked with thousands of trout. The local raptors are no fools, and they show up too. On Sat morning early there were two ospreys, two juvenile and one adult bald eagle on the pond. The ospreys did well though the eagles weren’t great fishermen, came up empty most of the time. One of the juveniles dropped his fish as he flew over me, circled for a bit in frustration. The fish either sank or swam away. The sound of a big raptor hitting the water is surprisingly loud, WHAP!!! made my head turn every time.

    It was Orthodox Easter this last weekend. Usually we have a lamb on the spit and a hundred people over to help eat it. This year it was a sad little leg of lamb and the three of us, bit lonely.

    And the mighty right-wing Wurlitzer is firing up to get protestors to abuse and vilify nurses. Trump is tweeting in support of course.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/04/20/go-china-if-you-want-communism-anti-quarantine-protester-clashes-with-people-scrubs/
    I’m too old to emigrate again but the crass cruel stupidity of America today is hard to bear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m on the same cycling and walking regimen as usual for my exercise. Your birdwatching setup sounds amazing! I’m looking at our birdbox a lot, and the feral neighbour rabbit makes daily appearances outside our kitchen window.

      I often find it hard to accept that Trump-Teaparty America is even real. But we’ve a got a considerable number of their ilk in Sweden too. With my class background I just couldn’t live with myself for shame if I were them. A funny thing about the Swedish Teaparty voter though is that he’s overwhelmingly male, and that if he has a wife she most likely votes for the Bernie-like Social Democrats.

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  12. 52nd day of working from home/lockdown here. Spent all of March down with something that greatly resembled the current plague, but tested negative for it. Now recovering, trying to write up a paper on two centuries of landslide fatalities, and entertaining my daughter with chemistry, trampoline and bushwalks. Resisting going amok with the nice new bearded axe I just hafted.

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    1. zane, please let us know when and where your paper is published. I’m now semi-retired (recently more of the retired part and less of the semi part) but retain a strong professional interest.

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