August 31 2021

Another month is about to pass. Invited one of my neighbors over yesterday afternoon. He helped me with my laundry and mail, for which I paid him. Found out one of our mutual friends in the complex caught covid and is now quarantining off site for the next several days. Glad I still have a box of facemasks and disinfectant sprays. I have enough food and supplies I can stay home for several days if needed.

Saw that the ban on evictions is up. So glad I was able to keep up on rent throughout this ordeal. I know at least a few people who weren’t so fortunate. This thing got uglier than most people thought back in March 2020. People will be studying these times hundreds of years from now.

Looks like the weather will start cooling off soon. Usually things cool off for good in my home state by mid September. We usually have our first frost in early October and our first real snow by mid November.

August 5 2021

Found out my brother and all four of his kids tested positive for covid this morning. I had a couple friends in Omaha and a couple cousins catch it last year. So glad I got vaccinated months ago. Having a chronic mental illness and being overweight are already two strikes against me. I’m getting prepared in case another round of lockdowns are enacted this fall. I hope it doesn’t come to that.

Saw my psych doctor a couple days ago. We did a teleconference. Got my prescriptions renewed. It was essentially a follow up. I had been having more irritability than usual all of last week. I wasn’t paranoid but I was quite irritable. It seems to have cleared up.

Been following the Olympics some. I don’t watch much for regular tv anymore. Most of what I watch are youtube videos and Amazon Prime. Saw the first half of The Ten Commandments yesterday. Probably finish that tonight.

Been chatting with friends a little everyday. Found out a friend of mine is going to talk to a disability lawyer soon concerning chronic health problems. Another friend’s daughter had her first birthday party a week ago.

The Black Hills Motorcycle Rally is starting this weekend. That is always a sign for me that summer is all but over. My cleaning lady’s kids start back to school in a week. I just hope schools reopening and summer rallies don’t turn into super spreader events. Since we actually have vaccines, where we didn’t a year ago, I hope the outbreaks won’t be as bad this fall.

I’m pretty content to stay close to home, at least for the near term. As long as I can get my groceries delivered and have access to internet, I should be alright.

Disasters and Mental Illness

Staying closer to home again lately. The cases of covid are increasing again. It’s only a matter of time before it hits my hometown again. With the bad heat waves the western part of the country has experienced, we have had more rain the normal. It too is only a matter of time before the heat waves hit my hometown. We don’t have the water shortages that places like California and Arizona have. But I think if my state gets that level of drought, a new Dust Bowl will result.

Being prepared for disasters is extremely important. If wildfires, freak blizzards, and chronic flooding can’t convince some people, nothing will. Growing up in a rural farming community over an hour’s drive away from the nearest Wal Mart and Home Depot, it was necessary to have enough supplies to be able to fend for ourselves for at least a few days in the event of a bad blizzard or flooding. Growing up around farmers, I personally know several farmers who have lost entire corn crops to hail storms and floods.

When the covid disaster relief payments came, I made a point of buying extra food, over the counter medications, and clothing. I also bought a new computer. My old one was starting to die and I was afraid prices were going to go up with the shortage on microchips. And prices are going up. I certainly pay more for food than I did even two years ago. Clothing prices have increased. And gas prices are on the rise. When the Colonial pipeline in the southern states was shut down by hackers, I remember thinking if I was an Uber driver in Atlanta who had a Tesla, I’d probably have more work than I could handle. As it is, I no longer have a car. Sold it two years ago. But, since I can get anything within reason delivered to my apartment and I don’t road trip anymore, it made little sense to keep a car. If I really need to go anywhere, I can hire an Uber driver or sweet talk one of my neighbors into giving me a ride and offer gas money in return.

In addition to natural disasters, many people are more on edge than usual. A friend of a friend had a gun pulled on her a few days ago. My friend in Denver said she’s dealing with far more rude and angry customers than even a few years ago. My brother and his family moved out of their suburb and bought a place with a large lot just outside of the city right before housing prices skyrocketed. I have two friends in Omaha, both college educated, working two jobs each barely just scraping by. Gone are the days when a father could support a family of six kids with a factory job. Lots of people are hurting. And we are turning on each other instead of working together to solve problems.

Our science, tech, medicine, etc. are what’s keeping us afloat. Other institutions, namely politics, haven’t kept up with the changes in tech and world affairs. I can’t imagine how much worse covid would be if we still didn’t have vaccinations or work from home options. People who were saying this covid isn’t as bad as Spanish Flu was 100 years ago may have to back track those words. They certainly would if not for the efforts of scientists, doctors, nurses, farm workers, grocery store workers, delivery drivers, truck drivers, merchant marine sailors, etc.

Quarantine Journal: March 25 2021

Doing well overall. Started lifting weights again. I’m taking vitamin D supplements and I think it helps with the depression and anxiety. Met my new landlady a couple days ago while I was waiting for a delivery man. I think she will make a good manager.

I’m thinking about signing up for a home health service to see if I can a covid vaccine at home. Without a car I’m essentially home bound unless I want to hire an Uber driver. I’ve heard that many places are starting to have spikes in case numbers again. For as many problems as my country had in the first several months, we have gotten vaccines out faster than I thought we would. I’m thinking where was this level of focused action one year ago? Many people died that didn’t have to.

While I don’t socialize much in person, I leave my door unlocked during daylight hours in case anyone wants to drop by. My neighbors and I check in on each other a couple times a week. I’m having fewer aches and pains the last few days. Maybe I’m doing something right.

Still stable mentally. Had one flare up in early January but it was short lived. Haven’t had any since. It does get lonely sometimes spending most of my time at home and by myself. But I am still prime target for covid and there are still lots of vaccinations to go. This thing isn’t over by any means just yet.

January 11 2021

Been pretty quiet the last few days. The highlight of my day was washing several loads of laundry and having a large Amazon delivery. Spent some of my stimulus money on clothing. I was needing some new shirts and pants. It’s been cloudy and damp for the last several days. It got just warm enough during the days to melt the ice and then it would refreeze after sunset.

Been cooking more complex meals lately. Made some alfredo pasta a couple nights ago. Made a few batches of creamy potato soup. I haven’t tried any baking yet. I’m probably going to grill some bratwursts in a day or two.

Chatted with a few neighbors while I was doing laundry this afternoon. I don’t get out as much as I used to. Found out one of my neighbors had hip surgery a couple weeks ago. As far as I know, we haven’t had any cases of covid in my complex lately. Last I heard, nine million doses of vaccine have been given here in the U.S. One of my college friends is a high school teacher and he’s supposed to be getting his any day now. I think the first priorities were health care workers and elderly people in nursing homes, at least in my country. I heard that California is getting it real bad. The number of new cases per day is actually going down in my state. I haven’t had it, at least not that I know of. I’ve had two cousins catch covid in addition to three of my friends. My friend out in Denver said she’s had at least a dozen clients catch it already.

I’m not sure when I’ll be getting my vaccine. As I’m not healthcare, first responder, elderly, police, or military, I’m not a high priority. Hopefully I can get mine in the spring or early summer. But I’ve taken precautions for almost a year. What’s a few more months at this point?

January 2 2021

Another holiday season has come and gone. I saw my parents a couple days before Christmas. Had Christmas dinner with them. First time I saw them since June. We still have lots of snow on the ground so I don’t get out much these days. Been content to stay home, listen to audiobooks, and play computer games.

Been sleeping more lately. I have more or less kept to myself between Christmas and New Year’s. Been feeling kind of irritable and short tempered the last few days. So I’m reducing my caffeine and trying to sleep more. I also make a point of avoiding rude and angry people. I think the pandemic is getting to most people I know. It’s gotten to me sometimes even if I try not to take it out on others. Two of my cousins had covid this fall. There have been a few thousand cases in my hometown with a few dozen deaths. So it is here even several hours outside of major cities. Granted we haven’t had the protests or looting that some places have. If I wasn’t concerned about covid I probably would get out and about more often. But as I am mentally ill and overweight I already have two conditions that would make covid worse than normal for me. I still have some face masks, a bottle of hand sanitizer, plenty of soap, and enough food supplies and meds I can stay bunkered down for weeks if needed.

I guess the highlights of my week are when my neighbors and I drop in on each other just to check in. My neighbor across the hall is kind enough to pick up my mail and help me out a couple times a week. In exchange I will usually give him some face masks or some quarters. We have a soda pop machine on ground floor that has the coldest soda pop I ever had. It’s worth the 75 cents a can to get a frigid Diet Coke. Our laundry machines still take quarters too. My mom gave me a bunch of quarters for Christmas. Saves me a trip to my bank. I also enjoy Thursday afternoons when my cleaning lady arrives. She gives the place a good scrub down every week and she indulges my need for chatting. I’m glad she at least tolerates my eccentric sense of humor.

Overall I’ve done okay during this pandemic. Sure I get lonely sometimes. But that’s why I have a cell phone and my facebook account. But, since I sold my car back in 2019 I’m able to save some money as I don’t have to buy gas or change oil. Once I found I could get my groceries delivered and get amazon delivery, usually within two to three days even in my rural town, I no longer had much of a need for a car except for emergencies. My drivers’ license is due to be renewed this summer. I’ll probably keep it updated just for emergency purposes. I tend to get sensory overload with my mental illness. And I felt that made me unreliable as a regular driver. Since I can already get most things delivered to my house, I really don’t need a car. Even my small town now has a few Uber and Door Dash drivers. As I can stay home with fewer problems, I’ve managed to avoid getting sick so far. Hopefully only a few more months until I can get the vaccine.

Christmas and Pandemic and Mental Illness

We’re now only a week away from Christmas. My elderly parents and I both think travel is too risky this year. I guess I quit keeping track on where the worst outbreaks were. My town has been having outbreaks to where I don’t even leave the complex anymore. I bought a couple boxes of masks for management to hand out to shut ins and people who can’t get masks. I’m glad they got the supply issue on those figured out. Also picked up some disinfectant spray last time I bought groceries.

Had a Zoom call with my psych doctor a few days ago. I’ve been stable enough that we decided not to change anything. I talked to him for at least twenty five minutes. I see him again in two months. I sometimes have momentary flare ups. Haven’t been as bad this week as last week.

I’m having fewer aches and pains these days, even when I wake up. My flexibility is slowly coming back. I’ve been lifting weights three times a week. I plan on doing this for the rest of winter.

As far as my plans for Christmas, my cleaning lady said she would bring a plate of food. I will be calling my parents, my brother’s family, and as many friends as I can. Most of my friends are pretty stressed this holiday season. My friends in Omaha are looking for a cheaper apartment. Both had covid back in September. My friend in Denver is looking to buy a house in a rural area. Housing is overpriced in most urban areas. And her neighborhood has gone really bad within the last ten years.

I’m glad I don’t live anywhere near a city center if things are going to be this bad and stressful. At least in a small college town I can disappear and blend in and still be in a pretty safe town. Living in a small town (less than 40,000 people) several hours away from any major metropolitan areas, I think we’ve avoided most of the problems with the protests and the early outbreaks. We’ve had shortages on some supplies, namely cleaning supplies. And for a few weeks during the summer we had shortages on frozen meats after the outbreaks at several large packing plants. But it was easily managed with a little planning.

Some people got complacent in the early months when it was mainly urban areas having the most problems. But it was only a matter of time before the virus made it to the rural areas. I haven’t been to the hospital since the pandemic started. I haven’t eaten in a restaurant either. With Door Dash being in my town, I probably could get any fast food within reason delivered. But as it’s been three years since I had even a Big Mac, I guess I lost my taste for fast food. Fast food no longer agrees with me. I usually get upset stomach when I eat things like that.

But now that the vaccines are being given, hopefully the end of the pandemic is in sight. 2020 has been a dark year for most people. I’m thankful I haven’t had as many problems as most people even if I rarely leave home anymore.

December 3 2020

Overall I’m doing alright. Been feeling stable for the last several weeks. I usually leave my apartment at least once a day to check on my neighbors and or meet the delivery man. My neighbor was kind enough to pick up my mail yesterday morning. I gave him a few face masks for his troubles. My cleaning lady is scheduled to arrive this afternoon. She took last Thursday off for Thanksgiving. I love the fact that I get a cleaned house and intelligent conversation out of the deal.

The number of covid cases is increasing again. A couple vaccines will probably be approved for mass use by Christmas here in USA. Read that England approved one of theirs on Wednesday morning. I’ll be glad when this finally burns out.

Weather is getting cold again with winter being only a few weeks away. Other than a couple snows earlier, it’s been dry in my hometown for weeks. Even my parents in Oklahoma are having snow right now.

Bought some groceries and those will be delivered this afternoon. I’ll be restocked and ready to face the next couple weeks. I have another psych doctor’s appointment before Christmas.

November 19 2020

My hometown passed a temporary mask requirement ordinance at a city council meeting this week. It’s supposed to be in effect until February. The number of cases has spiked in my town. I wear masks when I meet delivery drivers and have guests. Have been for months. While I probably won’t be seeing my family for Thanksgiving, my cleaning lady said she would bring a couple plates of food.

I don’t have any plans for the weekend besides maybe watch some football. I’m still getting used to watching ballgames in empty arenas. I’m reading a lot again, mostly science articles. Found out that many of the audiobooks I was listening to on youtube were taken down recently. Likely because of copyright laws.

Weather has been nicer than normal the last several days. But we’re supposed to get chilly weather starting tomorrow. Today might be the last nice weather day for a long time. Most of the leaves have fallen now.

Mentally I’m feeling stable. Have some rough patches last week. But have felt better this week. I still don’t venture out much. I do check in on my neighbors once a day. I usually call my parents a few times per week. And I chat with my best friend via facebook a few times a week as well.

I saw that my supermarket is starting to limit the number of certain items people can purchase, especially paper towels and cleaning supplies. I usually bought a little extra in terms of food and cleaning supplies every time I got paid this summer. I should be able to bunker down for awhile if things get real ugly. I’ve heard that rural areas are now getting it worse than the big cities. Looks like it could be a long winter.

November 18 2020

Looks like I will be spending Thanksgiving alone this year. With the increases in covid cases, my elderly parents think it’s a bad idea to travel several hours to visit me. I understand. I’m thinking about buying a pre cooked ham and maybe a cherry pie. My cleaning lady said she usually makes a plate for her elderly or disabled clients. Even the local Knights of Columbus aren’t hosting their huge dinner this year (though I do think they’ll deliver to people who sign up a few days in advanced).

I’m not surprised that cases are surging again with the cold weather. I am disappointed that many people I know still refuse to take covid serious. I rarely leave my home because of this. It’s really childish to think that wearing face masks in public and avoiding large indoor gatherings are infringements on rights. It’s really discouraging to see just what most people are like in times of crisis. Yet, while the quantity of my social contacts has declined, the quality of my friendships and interactions are increasing. I no longer have the patience to tolerate rude, toxic, and reckless people. Maybe that is why I’m holding together well during the pandemic and economic problems.

I see that most of Europe is back on lockdown. While I think this is what the US needs (as people refuse to practice common courtesy) I fear there will be blood in the streets if anyone even talks about this, let alone tries to enforce it. It’s really discouraging. Seeing how poorly people are taking the problems of 2020 makes me afraid for the future. It’s hard to think a year or two down the road once this pandemic burns out when people actively fight against making things better.