Self Quarantine: March 25 2020

Haven’t left my apartment in a little over a week.  I did pick up a couple deliveries to my place.  Other than that, I don’t have visitors other than a neighbor who helps me with laundry every Wednesday and a cleaner who arrives every Thursday.  I have been able to stay stable through the whole virus scare.  I try not to read the news more than a couple times a day.  I avoid even youtube news sites.  I do watch some comedy channels and listen to music.  I play some computer games a little every day.  Civilization 5 and Empire Total War are my two favorite PC games now.  My favorite PlayStation games are Skyrim and NCAA Football.  I’ve also played some Modern Warfare and Black Flag as a change up.

The latest news I’ve heard is that the summer Olympics have been postponed until 2021.  But the Olympics were canceled twice during World War 2 and once during World War 1.  This seems to me the first time in human history that all nations are fighting against a common enemy at the same time.  Even the Bubonic Plague of the 1300s took several years to spread across Asia and Europe and didn’t effect the Americas.  With as easy as trade and travel are in our day and age, it was only a matter of when something like this would happen.  Fortunately we got to working on possible treatments and even vaccines within weeks, rather than months or years in past generations.

I remember what my sister in law said when she noted our grandparents were asked to go to war during a major crisis.  We are asked to stay home during our crisis.  We can do this.

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 19 2020

I’ve been staying home for the last several days.  So far the isolation hasn’t gotten to me yet.  I call my family every morning and talk to at least one friend every day.  Been watching some movies I’ve always wanted to see.  Saw a couple Monty Python movies this week.  Saw some George Carlin and Bill Hicks specials too.  I also sleep more.  I try to sleep 10 hours per day now.  I still lift weights three times a week.  I don’t drink much caffeine these days.  Had only two cups of coffee in the last two weeks.  Maybe that’s why I’m not as irritable or restless as I could be.

Mentally I’m holding up so far.  I make a point of avoiding news articles and shows for most of the day.  I use social media mainly to talk to family and friends anymore.  I haven’t participated in my groups since this pandemic started.  And I try to do breathing exercises and meditation at least twice a day.  And I wash my hands every couple hours whether they need it or not.

So far I’m holding up.  But this could be a long ordeal.

March 18 2020

Been back home for a week now.  Got all the necessary things in the remodel done.  Haven’t left my apartment in two days.  So far I’m doing alright.  Renewed my Netflix subscription and watching some movies and comedy shows I had always wanted to see.  Saw some Monty Python this morning.  Watched some George Carlin skits on St. Patrick’s Day.  I try not to watch the news much.  Sometimes it can get too discouraging.  The best I can do right now is keep my hands washed and avoid large crowds.

I talk to my family at least once a day.  Contact friends on a near daily basis too.  I keep hydrated and take a vitamin C pill every morning.  I started lifting weights again.  I took the previous two weeks off while the remodel was in progress.  I am so glad I got that done when I did.

Overall I’m just preparing to settle in and bunker down for the time being.  Have some money saved up for emergencies.  Hopefully won’t have to go anywhere anytime soon.  Sounds like things are getting crazy out there.  Stay safe and stay calm.

Emergency Preparation and Disability

A few years ago I wrote a couple articles about emergency preparations.  Now that COVID 19 has been officially declared a pandemic, now is a good time to review this.

Some musts people must have include several days worth of emergency food, mainly non perishables that require little to no preparation.  Things like beans, rice, canned foods, jerky, peanut butter (if you are not allergic), honey, several days worth of bottled water in case the water goes out are a good place to start.  The best are things that don’t need to be kept cold and or won’t spoil for a long time.

Other things that will be needed are extra over the counter medications like pain pills, cold medicines, flu medicines, nasal spray, and a first aid kit.  With as overwhelmed as hospitals could become, you may have to rely on yourself, family, and neighbors for anything that isn’t life threatening.

Prescription medications are a problem.  Most places won’t allow you to fill several months worth of medications at once.  It’s simply against the law.  Prescription meds are a tough call.  As for me, I have a set up where I get my meds filled for 90 days at a time.  I also had some samples from doctor’s appointments.  Do not go off your meds, especially anti psych meds.  We’re all already under stress as is.  Going off psych meds during a crisis like we are facing will make things even worse.

Having cash on you may be a good idea, especially if the power goes down or there are bank runs or ATMs run out of cash.  Always be aware of your surroundings, especially when away from home.

Get on good terms with neighbors and family if you aren’t already.  If things get really bad, like survival type situations, you will be glad you have a close by network of neighbors, friends, and family to fall back on.  I am limited mobility now, but I am on good terms with most of my neighbors and my land lady.  It helps that I helped out lots of people when I was still healthy and very mobile.

Also, wash your hands with soap and water.  I can’t stress this enough.  Avoid going out in public if you feel like you have a fever or are getting sick.  Stay home if you have to.  Wearing a face mask is not going to keep you from getting sick.  What it can do is, if you are sick, reduce the spread of germs from you to everyone else.

Finally, we are living in a time and place where history is being made on a daily basis.  Our descendants will be talking about these days years after all of us are gone.  Stay calm and avoid large crowds as much as possible.  Don’t be touching other people unless necessary.  We are living during stressful times.  But most will make it through.

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.

Being A Man With Mental Illness

I have spent most of my life alone.  The last time I had a roommate was my senior year of college in 2004.  Lived alone ever since.  Some days it’s all right, being free to do whatever I want and whenever I want.  Some days it is almost unbearable though.  The worst days are when I make multiple attempts to reach out to people only to be ignored.  Sometimes when I want to talk to someone, I’d rather it not be family.  As much as I love my family, they can be narrow minded and judgmental about some things.  Sometimes I feel like I can’t be my true self around them.  I severely censor myself or keep my problems to myself because I’m in no mood for a lecture or being condemned.  Irritates me that, even after twenty years of mental illness, I’m still blown off and told to “quit whining”, “be a man”, or “you’re so lucky.”  I still hear all of these quite often.  And people wonder why so many men never talk about their problems or make emotional connections to anyone.  Having a mental illness makes this only worse.

People have often asked me when I’m getting married.  I don’t usually have the stomach to tell them never.  Most of the time I want to tell them to shove off.  I never want to get married.  For one, my mental illness would make me a lousy husband and father.  Second, my mental illness makes it impossible for me to hold a job.  And let’s face it, almost no one respects a stay at home dad.  Third, I fear getting divorced and losing my family, my friends, my home, my prestige, just because I made the mistake of marrying the wrong person.  Fourth, why should I?  My entire life I heard this “I don’t need a man” or “You go girl” or “girl power”, etc.  Which I really have no problem with except that too many people build others up by tearing others down.  Why is it when I say I don’t need a woman living in my house I’m seen as weird and weak?  Why do women get to expand their roles beyond the traditional nurturers and home managers but men are expected to just stay in the moldy old days?  I don’t understand that.  It makes no sense.  What does the world really lose because I choose not to marry, have kids, or get myself an early grave trying to prove my worthiness for life at a job that ultimately means nothing?  Why do I have to prove myself all the time?  Why do I have to earn my humanity and manhood?  I really want to know.  And why, oh why, can’t we just leave people that don’t fit in alone and stop bugging them?  Will civilization collapse if everyone isn’t doing the exact same thing all the time?  No.  So stop expecting everyone to fit into some subdivision.