March 29 2020 Self Quarantine

Talked to my brother and my parents for quite awhile this afternoon.  Found out they are having church over the internet during this crisis.  My brother teaches Sunday School and did so over webcam this morning.  Made some barbecue chicken for an early lunch.  Spent much of the day playing computer games.  Haven’t had any guests since my cleaning lady came on Thursday.  Been watching youtube.  Saw a couple movies on Amazon Prime this weekend.  Saw a documentary on the history of the British Navy this weekend.

Been reading more this weekend.  Talked to my best friend over the weekend.  Said she doesn’t get out much other than going to work and walking her dog.  She said she’s going to be working on a new painting in her down time.  Sleeping a great deal this weekend.  I lift weights every other day.  I also do breathing and mediation twice a day.  I’m still holding good on my food supplies.  I get my disability pension in a few days.  I won’t have to really buy much as my supplies are still holding out.

Haven’t left my apartment other than to pick up deliveries for two weeks.  I am so grateful for internet and delivery services right now.  I’d be in real trouble if this would have happened when I didn’t have easy access to internet or delivery.  Saw a video on youtube this morning that said to the effect that had a pandemic like this happened in the 1980s, many people would have already lost their jobs as most places didn’t have the ability to work from home.  My friend in South Dakota is teaching his classes online.  Said he spends a couple hours a day answering emails from his students.  And his wife is expecting their second child this summer.

Overall I’m still holding good mentally.  I’m pleasantly surprised at how well I’m holding up.  This is definitely a time of crisis when history is being made every day.  It’s a stressful and sad time for all of us.  I doubt the world will be the same once this pandemic clears.  I have no idea how long I’ll have to self quarantine.  Hopefully effective treatments can be discovered soon.  Even with a possible vaccine going under trials right now, it could be over a year before it’s ready.  Yet, it’s quite amazing how fast our scientists and doctors have been able to move on this.  The first cases appeared in China in early December and only a few months later we are testing at least one possible vaccine.  It’s amazing what can be accomplished with collaboration and easy communication.

Self Quarantine: March 27 2020

Stayed up later than usual last night.  I was chatting with an old friend via facebook.  Woke up to a foggy and damp morning.  Had my cleaning lady arrive yesterday.  So I’m set for a few days.  Had to order some cleaning supplies and those should be coming this afternoon.

I’m making a point of reading the news only once or twice daily.  I saw that the Prime Minister of England has now tested positive for covid 19.  Other than that I haven’t read much.  I haven’t been feeling sick or anything like that.  Maybe the self isolating is helping.

I have been reading more.  I guess I’m getting burned out on looking at a computer or tv screen much of the time.  I make it a point to do meditation and breathing exercises at least twice a day.

At this point I’m still holding up well.  Just waiting and taking everything one day at a time like most of the world at this time.

Self Quarantine: March 26 2020

Watched a couple Star Trek movies yesterday.  Called my parents twice.  Talked to an old college friend yesterday.  His school in rural South Dakota is doing online teaching now.  He spends several hours a day with that.  His wife is also a teacher, so there is usually always someone on their home computer.  A friend of mine in Denver was classified as essential worker status because she works for a financial institution.  She’ll probably put in lots of hours for the near future.  Saw that my home county now has two confirmed cases of covid 19.  I live in a small college community of less than 40,000 people.  The town has gone eerily quiet since this was declared a pandemic two weeks ago.  For the last two weeks the only time I’ve left my apartment was to pick up grocery and medicine deliveries.  It will probably be this way for awhile.  The only time I see any real traffic on the highway outside my complex is during the morning and evening commutes.  I have a friend in Lincoln, Nebraska who works in a pharmacy and she said things are crazy there.  She wears masks and gloves every time she leaves her house.

My brother and his wife have worked from home for the last three weeks.  Their four kids are all doing online school for a few hours a day.  My mom and dad are doing alright.  They sometimes binge watch westerns on their streaming services.  I call them at least once a day.

I call my neighbors at least once daily.  My neighbor lady helped me with my laundry yesterday and her husband cooked dinner for us.  My cleaning lady will be here this afternoon.  I just realized there were some supplies I was supposed to pick up for her that I forgot about.  But some cleaning supplies like disinfectant sprays and cleaning solutions are in short supply some days.  Twice in the last two weeks I tried to buy Lysol spray only to find the store was out.  Fortunately I found an old can I had forgotten about stashed away in my closet.  I didn’t go stock up on toilet paper or anything crazy like that.  The craziest things I did buy was some bottled water.  At first I was afraid the water might go out.  But I needed some as I try to keep a few days worth of water stored away just in case.

I’m still holding good on my psych medications and over the counter pain pills.  I bought some ibuprofen a few weeks before things got real hectic.  I haven’t had a real shortage of anything, at least not yet.  I’m glad my family took disaster preparation serious when we were kids.  Living in a small Nebraska town with the nearest Wal Mart being an hour drive away, we stocked up whenever we had the chance.  It wasn’t unheard of to have a major snow storm shut down the highways for a few days.  When I was thirteen, we had an ice storm that knocked out power and water in our town for three days.  Some of the farms outside of town were without power for a few weeks.  So I guess disaster preparations were never foreign to anyone living in our small town.  Most of the people I grew up around worked in farming or ranching, so they were people who were used to having to be on their own just by the nature of their work.  Even though my parents weren’t farmers, I learned some of those habits of being self reliant and prepared just by growing up around it.  I guess my family and those I grew up around kept some of the old pioneer mentality even in modern times.

Self Quarantine and Mental Illness

It is March 23, 2020 as I write this.  I have been on voluntary self quarantine for a week.  The last time I left my apartment was March 16 so maintenance could spray for bugs.  I had to be out for an afternoon.  So far I’m holding up.  Found myself sleeping more than usual.  But I haven’t been as anxious or irritable as I thought I would.  One thing I think is helping me is that I gave up most caffeine.  I’ve had maybe three cups of coffee in the last three weeks.  I know that too much caffeine can make it irritable and twitchy.  I still lift weights three times a week.  I call family at least once a day to check in on them.  A man in my parents’ church tested positive to covid 19 a few days ago.  My brother and his wife have been working from home for the last couple weeks.

Overall I’m doing alright.  I had some groceries delivered this afternoon.  I’m good enough I don’t have to leave my apartment for awhile unless absolutely necessary.  I haven’t had any visitors for the last two weeks besides my cleaning lady who arrives once a week and my neighbor who helps me with my laundry once a week.  I know I wouldn’t be weathering this crisis nearly as well if I didn’t have the aid of friends, family, and neighbors.  So glad that I stayed on good terms with friends and family.

March 8 2020

The remodel of my apartment started yesterday.  We have the carpet torn out.  Today we will probably do some painting.  The work on the new floor will start tomorrow morning.  I’ll have to stay in a hotel for a few days.  Fortunately my family is in town to help with this project.  I can stand a few days of upheaval for a solution that will probably last the next 15 years.  I’m glad this has gotten started.  I will be glad when it is accomplished.

Late Winter Updates

Been doing alright the last few days.  Staying close to home except to meet delivery people on ground floor of my complex.  It gives me a reason to leave the house.  I usually get a few deliveries per week, whether it’s groceries, items I order through Amazon, or the pizza guy.

I’m getting new flooring next week.  My parents are visiting for the weekend too.  I’m also getting my walls repainted and having some work done in my bathroom.  I’m actually happy about getting a new toilet.  Yes I am middle aged.  I’m looking forward to having my place remodeled, but I am not really looking forward to having be out of my nest for a few days.  But I can put up with it to have the problem solved for 15 years.

The weather is starting to warm up.  The last few days it hasn’t been below freezing except at night.  The snow we had over the winter is melted.  The tree outside my window is starting to bud.  And the migratory birds are coming back.  I often hear geese flying overhead and my town is a big spot for cranes returning this time of year.  When I still had a car, I’d drive around out on the county roads near the river and just look for cranes.  They would just be sitting in the fields and be so thick you couldn’t see the grass.

Baseball season starts in a few weeks.  My fantasy league draft is in a week and a half.  I haven’t done very well the last couple years.  My best finish was a second place finish in a league of twelve a couple years ago.  Hopefully the Rockies can do better this year.  Regardless, I am ready for some spring.

It has been a long winter for me even though I haven’t had breakdowns since before Christmas.  I did a lot of reading over the last few months.  I usually pass my days with reading, computer games, staying in contact with family and friends, and keeping up with my neighbors.  I usually see my neighbors once or twice a day.  They usually make dinner for me once a week.  They make some excellent Mexican dishes.

I usually do most of my own cooking.  I think it’s been two years since I ate at McDonalds.  I just don’t really like fast food that much anymore.  Makes my stomach unsettled.  And I’m a pretty decent cook, at least for myself.  I can make some pretty good bratwursts and barbecue chicken on my electric grill.  I don’t do much baking as I don’t eat much bread or carbs anymore.  I eat a lot of grilled meats, vegetables, and soups.  Pretty simple tastes I suppose.

I don’t drink as much caffeine anymore.  I usually have a cup of coffee with breakfast and that is often it.  I sometimes get jittery and irritable on days I have too much coffee.  Plus I am convinced it makes my muscles tight and makes me breathe harder.  An uncle of mine rarely drank anything with caffeine because he said it “cuts your wind”, meaning it made him breathe hard.

Don’t use social media much except to keep in contact with close friends and family.  I had to cut down my friends list and change some of the settings because it was getting too overwhelming to manage.  It’s not that I am upset with people, it’s that I can still contact them if needed.  The good thing about facebook is that it’s easy to drop in on old classmates.  I do my best to avoid being part of arguments.  I already have too much chaos running around my mind to intentionally add to it.  Sadly, mental illness has put limits on my ability to socialize.

March 1 2020 Part 2

Now that I got the last rant out of my system, I’m feeling better overall.  I actually feel almost energetic on top of feeling restless.  Maybe it’s the sunshine and fresh air we’ve got the last few days.  Even though I haven’t left my complex in a few days, I have had my windows open for much of the weekend.  I think the fresh air is making me feel better and more energetic.  Hopefully the last rant I wrote is enough to cure me of my irritability for awhile.  I’m glad spring will be here soon.  April, May, and June are my favorite times of year.