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What if closing up for most places isn't the right thing?

I read the posts you all write and they make me so sad.  So many of you sound so lonely and I wonder about those who do not write.  It's no secret our state is open.  The governor has just mandated schools must be at least 50% face to face instruction this fall.  

Our numbers (positive tests) were and have been climbing -  although our hospitalizations are relatively very low.  But I see people living life and I can't help but think are we better closed?  I am high risk and I have to say I know that to protect myself I should stay home.  At the same time, I'm not willing to stay home anymore.  Have I limited? Sure.  Wear a mask? Okay.  It's a virus.  It isn't going to stop and it is going to resurge again and again, especially if we don't hold longterm immunity.  I think of the old and the weak in longterm care centers, locked away from those they love, and I wonder if that is a fate worse than death?

Just thinking aloud.

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On average, a person who dies from this dies 10 years too early.  To me, losing out on 1 year of social interaction is better than losing 10 years of social interaction, for most people. As in, I

I actually don't think everything would need to be shut down if we would prioritize and do the right things. Bars, clubs, indoor dining, and large events shouldn't be happening and everyone should be

It wouldn't have had to be months and months.  We're prolonging the pain with half-baked measures (or none at all).  No one's shut inside their homes here.  I'm about to go out for a walk around the n

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I've thought about this too....a lot... because I am lonely. My mom lives alone and she is lonely.  My hesitation with going out more is that the effects of the virus are so unpredictable. Sometimes 100 year olds survive it, and sometimes perfectly healthy 40 year olds die from it. That's what keeps me at home.

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I am neither an introvert nor an extrovert, I don't crave social interactions nor do they bother me. I know my kids are very much craving going places and doing things with other kids. But every time I think "oh, let just do it", I keep thinking of reading stories of people who got Covid and never fully recovered. All those horrible lingering side effects and I am TERRIFIED.

My husband has asthma and was diagnosed with MS last year. I can not IMAGINE what would happen if he, G-d forbid got this awful thing.

My parents haven't seen the kids since Feb, they live 400 miles away and can't drive that far, so plane is the only option. Face time helps but it's not enough, for sure.

This is hard. So, so, so very hard

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On average, a person who dies from this dies 10 years too early. 

To me, losing out on 1 year of social interaction is better than losing 10 years of social interaction, for most people. As in, I know my mom would rather settle for video chats now with her grandkids, and then have years longer to love on them in person than love on them in person now, and then die from this and miss out on all those years to come. 

And for someone my age, yeah...even if I personally felt the risk was worth it, my children would certainly not feel it worth it for me to risk my life and leave them without a mother. As lonely and frustrated as I may be right now, temporarily, it is nothing compared to the kind of lonely they would feel living their life without me, getting married without me, having their children without me. Not to mention my DH. 

And of course, any mental health stress from being lonely is less than the mental anguish of potentially giving this to my DH, and losing him. 

I know others will have different scenarios, but I see it as a short term sacrifice for long term benefit - something we try to teach our kids. Right now we are just living it out in full force. 

The newest vaccine looks very promising, we are getting better treatments, and it has only been a few months. There is every likelihood this will not be forever. I think of the men who were overseas, away from their families for years to fight wars. Or those imprisoned in POW camps. Of Anne Frank in her little room. Of Laura Ingalls and her family during the long winter, and during all the years they and others were mostly isolated on the frontier. And I know that this is possible and that others have lived through much worse. (that helps me, it may not help others)

I also come from a spiritual background that embraces the idea of sacrifice as a chance to get closer to Jesus, and that believes in offering up your own sacrifice or suffering for others. So that helps too I think. Makes it feel more purposeful?

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I actually don't think everything would need to be shut down if we would prioritize and do the right things. Bars, clubs, indoor dining, and large events shouldn't be happening and everyone should be wearing masks and social distancing. I don't think we all have to avoid each other and our loved ones though. 

I've been visiting my family through all of this but we stay outside as much as possible and distance and/or wear masks. My mom had surgery three weeks ago and I was with her in the hospital and took care of her in her home. I wore a mask the whole time. I'm still having to go inside her home and check on her and take her to appointments but we wear masks and keep a distance and just are careful. And because we all want to keep seeing each other, we are careful and make smart decisions in everything else we do or don't do. 

My young adults are also still spending time with friends, but they are all choosing to be careful. Oldest just went to the drive in with a small group and they had a blast. They wear masks when necessary, they keep a safe distance, and they all choose to be careful day to day. 

I've seen care homes here allowing outside visits and everyone keeps a safe distance and is wearing masks. It can be done and people don't have to be alone but we all have to choose what we want.

Do we want to be able to keep safely visiting, do we want schools open? Or, do we want bars, clubs, indoor restaurants, and football games? I don't think we have to sacrifice everything but I do think we need to prioritize the important things better than we are now. 

Edited by Joker
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I know that there are situations that are really tough for some people but I, too, think of it as a short term sacrifice. My primary focus is keeping my own family safe and healthy without removing us from essential activities, but my next level is avoiding infecting other people I care about, then my general community, then everyone as a whole. My actions impact other people.

There are lots of things I miss right now, but I do have everything I NEED, and I try to keep that in context. Compared to pretty much any other historic crisis, we’re quite fortunate given today’s technology. Of course I’m speaking as a whole and not for every single person on the planet.

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I think there are more than 2 options here. We don’t have to be closed down and I personally don’t think we have to be fully open, back to normal for most of us to have a pretty good life right now. But the only way to do any other option is for most people to get on board with being more careful for a season and learning to do things a little differently. Even if you were to say everyone go back to normal there would be a number of consequences that I think a lot of people haven’t considered. People dying is terrible but I honestly think the worst problem with this particular virus is how many people need to be hospitalized. Our hospital system finds it hard to cope with the strain, and sometimes almost can’t cope, at least can’t provide the standard of care we all expect. I have also heard that having to shut down all or most electives to cope with a surge of patients can financially cripple hospitals, and what will be the consequence of that to our healthcare system. As much as people want to blame politics for the actions we are having to take I really think it’s the virus calling the shots.

 

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5 minutes ago, Happymomof1 said:

Honestly it doesn't matter. It will be awful until the virus is gone. Opening up doesn't equate normal.

^^This.^^

I think a lot of speculation is of "the grass is always greener" variety. We see what's wrong with the closing up approach, because most of us have had some variety of that for the last four months. We can't see quite so easily what would (probably) be wrong with an open up approach. And it's human nature to see what would be better rather than what would be worse or not much different.

And I'm not "arguing" that one is better than the other (I think I'm fairly agnostic on that), but that we need to be careful in our thinking. Both ways have their pros and cons. I do know for sure that Americans by and large have extremely short attention spans and almost no patience. I'd be very wary of letting that influence me into believing that opening up (or never having shut down in the first place) would be a better alternative.

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21 minutes ago, Joker said:

I actually don't think everything would need to be shut down if we would prioritize and do the right things.

Do we want to be able to keep safely visiting, do we want schools open? Or, do we want bars, clubs, indoor restaurants, and football games? I don't think we have to sacrifice everything but I do think we need to prioritize the important things better than we are now. 

Yeah....we didn't prioritize well, nor do people want to admit they have to prioritize. When I bring up that if we want schools open, we shouldn't open bars, they look at me blankly and say but we want bars. Ok, well, you can't have everything you want! It's like talking to toddlers. 

And even the ones masking in the stores and at work, then don't mask around friends and family. Because they trust them or something? So now, after the mask mandate, the spread I'm seeing here is more small groups and within extended families. Person 1 goes to a restaurant and dines inside with no mask, get its, gives it to friends they play video games with, those friends give it to aunt and uncles and grandparents at a birthday party and a bridal shower, etc.

Or doctor's offices and such that mask for clients but not each other.

Don't get me wrong, that's slower than if giant groups are together unmasked, but still a problem. 

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1 hour ago, BlsdMama said:

What if closing up for most places isn't the right thing?

I read the posts you all write and they make me so sad.  So many of you sound so lonely and I wonder about those who do not write.  It's no secret our state is open.  The governor has just mandated schools must be at least 50% face to face instruction this fall.  

Our numbers (positive tests) were and have been climbing -  although our hospitalizations are relatively very low.  But I see people living life and I can't help but think are we better closed?  I am high risk and I have to say I know that to protect myself I should stay home.  At the same time, I'm not willing to stay home anymore.  Have I limited? Sure.  Wear a mask? Okay.  It's a virus.  It isn't going to stop and it is going to resurge again and again, especially if we don't hold longterm immunity.  I think of the old and the weak in longterm care centers, locked away from those they love, and I wonder if that is a fate worse than death?

Just thinking aloud.

I was on Zoom last night with our book club and one of the people there is in a long term residential home -- with two other members of our book club in the SAME HOME. They have not seen each other in person in months because they aren't supposed to leave their rooms! :(

 

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1 minute ago, Happymomof1 said:

If I knew my mom would be gone in under 2 years, we would go many times. We would take precautions and we would go. If we stayed away and she died, I would beat myself up.

. If, on the other hand, she would live 10 years and by doing tgat, she caught it, and died to early then I don't know  how I could live with that. 

To say staying away is the best choice...not so cut and dried. No crystal ball. I hate this.

Absolutely. My friend has gone and visited her mother who has stage 4 cancer, because the honest truth is that the cancer is as likely to get her as Covid. They masked, etc, but she went. My parents have no indications they won't be here for at least half a dozen more years, so we are staying away. I am not going to trade a few visits for many years. 

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Also, the reality is, opening up more (which really...not sure how my area CAN open more  other than schools and reopening bars) means more pressure on health care workers. They are only human. My neighbor's daughter is a local ICU nurse who is stretched to her limit with Covid patients, not seeing her own child much of the time, etc. I can't imagine making things worse on her. She's one of the nurses in this photo. 

 

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1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

On average, a person who dies from this dies 10 years too early. 

To me, losing out on 1 year of social interaction is better than losing 10 years of social interaction, for most people. As in, I know my mom would rather settle for video chats now with her grandkids, and then have years longer to love on them in person than love on them in person now, and then die from this and miss out on all those years to come. 

 

Can you explain the bolded?  How can that be known?

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35 minutes ago, Happymomof1 said:

If I knew my mom would be gone in under 2 years, we would go many times.

The biggest problem is this

34 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

No crystal ball.

My MIL was 63 when she got the flu.  I have a picture of her with DD9 just a few months before she passed away, DD9 was like 18 months old.  No one looking at that picture of a 63yr old grandma would have said she had anything less than 10 years, she had some chronic conditions but was generally healthy.  A few months later she got the flu.  A week later she was in the hospital and 2 weeks after that she was gone.

My FIL was 71, no indications of ill health.  SIL went to visit him the week before Thanksgiving and found him almost passed out, too weak to stand.  She managed to get him to the hospital and a week later he was diagnosed with liver cancer.  Just 4 days after that diagnosis, he was gone.

I have a great grandfather who at 77, got off his tractor on his farm, went inside to take a nap, and never woke up.

People die suddenly ALL the time.  Whether it's a sudden illness, or an accident or whatever, none of us are ever guaranteed the next 10 years.

And for those in nursing facilities, the possibility of having 10 more years is even more remote.  And the longer they are kept locked up in what must feel similar to prison, just with nicer beds, the more remote it becomes.

 

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8 minutes ago, Random said:

Can you explain the bolded?  How can that be known?

This is where the idea comes from

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/people-coronavirus-dying-10-years-earlier-naturally-study/story?id=70511494

Quote

The concept of "years of life lost," or YLL, is a mathematical equation that estimates the average time a person would have lived if they had not died because of some unforeseen health event

IOW, it's pretending that other diseases or unknown medical conditions couldn't happen later and ignores things like accidents and criminal activity.  

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2 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

The biggest problem is this

My MIL was 63 when she got the flu.  I have a picture of her with DD9 just a few months before she passed away, DD9 was like 18 months old.  No one looking at that picture of a 63yr old grandma would have said she had anything less than 10 years, she had some chronic conditions but was generally healthy.  A few months later she got the flu.  A week later she was in the hospital and 2 weeks after that she was gone.

My FIL was 71, no indications of ill health.  SIL went to visit him the week before Thanksgiving and found him almost passed out, too weak to stand.  She managed to get him to the hospital and a week later he was diagnosed with liver cancer.  Just 4 days after that diagnosis, he was gone.

I have a great grandfather who at 77, got off his tractor on his farm, went inside to take a nap, and never woke up.

People die suddenly ALL the time.  Whether it's a sudden illness, or an accident or whatever, none of us are ever guaranteed the next 10 years.

And for those in nursing facilities, the possibility of having 10 more years is even more remote.  And the longer they are kept locked up in what must feel similar to prison, just with nicer beds, the more remote it becomes.

 

Yeah, my dad was killed 20 years ago in an accident so there is no way I assume anyone in my family has loads of time based on their health. So, I still visit them but we’re all careful.

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3 minutes ago, Joker said:

Yeah, my dad was killed 20 years ago in an accident so there is no way I assume anyone in my family has loads of time based on their health. So, I still visit them but we’re all careful.

Yes, visit, but be careful.  Whether that means visiting outside, with masks or whatever you all judge to be required, that makes sense.  

Speaking specifically to the OP's mention of the elderly and weak in the long term care centers, I think we *have* to allow visits in some form.  I am very thankful my grandparents (who are 92 and 88) still live on their own, they can see who they want, however they want, with whatever precautions they desire.   

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9 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Yes, visit, but be careful.  Whether that means visiting outside, with masks or whatever you all judge to be required, that makes sense.  

I do think it needs to be a two-step approach.  Lock it down to make sure there isn't wide community spread, then you can start doing things carefully.  Problem is right now a lot of the country skipped over part one, and isn't bothering with part two.

Here we managed to do part one, and looks like most people at least are managing part two so far.  We have visits outside on the porch or patio or backyard, spaced widely apart - no parties.  My dd19 is seeing friends, but masked and outside and not in groups.  Malls are now open, but numbers inside are limited, and everyone wears masks.  The drive-in theater is doing brisk business, even with old movies.  Bars, thank heavens, are still closed.

I am very much hoping that we can continue being cautious and people don't start getting lax - it's human nature.  And I'm very worried about if they decide schools are okay in person, because so far I have not seen good judgement on figuring out how not to spread it there.  Desks three feet apart and making hallways in critically overcrowded schools one-way are not going to cut it.

Edited by Matryoshka
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3 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

Problem is right now a lot of the country skipped over part one, and isn't bothering with part two.

No, we did lock down, it just wasn't as strict as some people wanted.  Given the 10s of millions of people who lost their jobs because businesses had to close, I don't think "skipped over the lockdown" is an accurate assessment.  

 

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9 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

No, we did lock down, it just wasn't as strict as some people wanted.  Given the 10s of millions of people who lost their jobs because businesses had to close, I don't think "skipped over the lockdown" is an accurate assessment.  

You missed the second part of the sentence.  You skipped over the part where you lock it down until you have declining hospitalizations for two weeks.  Those were (still are?) in fact the CDC guidelines.  I think the only part of the country that paid any attention to that part was the Northeast, because we were already up to our necks in it.  Most everyone else opened up while cases were still rising.  Sure, they weren't rising as fast as where we were, but they were rising.  It would probably have taken just a bit longer to get to the place where the Rt went below 1, but no one could wait, and now we are back to exponential growth in lots of places, and the moles are becoming too many to whack, and there's probably going to have to be an even more draconian lockdown to get things back under control, even though some places still seem to think they can magic-think their way through this.

Edited by Matryoshka
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“Declining hospitalizations for 2 weeks” is not in your post.  What you said was “make sure there isn’t wide community spread.”   Which is a pretty general statement so I didn’t know you were referring to specific guidelines.  

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27 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

“Declining hospitalizations for 2 weeks” is not in your post.  What you said was “make sure there isn’t wide community spread.”   Which is a pretty general statement so I didn’t know you were referring to specific guidelines.  

Sorry, you're right, I wasn't that specific.  To be more specific, the CDC guidelines of 'declining hospitalizations for two weeks' is HOW you 'make sure there isn't wide community spread.'  That connection seemed obvious to me, but I should have been clearer. Follow the numbers, follow the science, follow the math. If cases are still increasing (while still locked down!) , it doesn't take a rocket scientist (or an epidemiologist)  to figure out that spread isn't under control yet, and it isn't time to throw open the doors.  Yet that's what most of America did.

If you're still experiencing any spread under a lockdown, the correct response would be to do what places like France and Italy did, and lock down even harder till it's under control - as you said, we really were never that strict here compared to most of the world.  A bit more short term pain for long term gain.  Europe is now back to almost normal, and we've got exponential growth and hospital overwhelm with no clear end in sight.  

Edited by Matryoshka
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17 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

Sorry, you're right, I wasn't that specific.  To be more specific, the CDC guidelines of 'declining hospitalizations for two weeks' is HOW you 'make sure there isn't wide community spread.'  That connection seemed obvious to me, but I should have been clearer. Follow the numbers, follow the science, follow the math. If cases are still increasing (while still locked down!) , it doesn't take a rocket scientist (or an epidemiologist)  to figure out that spread isn't under control yet, and it isn't time to throw open the doors.  Yet that's what most of America did.

If you're still experiencing spread under a lockdown, the correct response would be to do what places like France and Italy did, and lock down even harder till it's under control - as you said, we really were never that strict here compared to most of the world.  A bit more short term pain for long term gain.  Europe is now back to almost normal, and we've got exponential growth and hospital overwhelm with no clear end in sight.  

Well, I am not going to turn this thread into yet one more giant argument about what an awful place the US is.  

I think there are certainly some places that have made mistakes and certainly some things that should still be closed (or bars.)

but I think it’s also important to recognize that people DO need people.  Close bars, cancel concerts, those things make sense.   Preventing elderly from seeing loved ones for months on end, or shutting people in their homes for months and months, not so much.  

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Just now, happysmileylady said:

Well, I am not going to turn this thread into yet one more giant argument about what an awful place the US is.  

I think there are certainly some places that have made mistakes and certainly some things that should still be closed (or bars.)

but I think it’s also important to recognize that people DO need people.  Close bars, cancel concerts, those things make sense.   Preventing elderly from seeing loved ones for months on end, or shutting people in their homes for months and months, not so much.  

But it didn't have to be like this. Many other countries are getting back to normal now as are parts of the US. In new england, many places are close to normal. It's like people in the US think they're too unique to follow the regulations that worked for the EU. I'm at work today, saw a coworker this morning and chatted in the kitchen. I'm heading home soon and will be taking my son to tennis practice. After tennis, he and a friend will hang out for an hour outside while his mom and I catch up. We had a hard lockdown for 6 weeks and have been slowly reopening since with no signs of a new surge. 

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25 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

Sorry, you're right, I wasn't that specific.  To be more specific, the CDC guidelines of 'declining hospitalizations for two weeks' is HOW you 'make sure there isn't wide community spread.'  That connection seemed obvious to me, but I should have been clearer. Follow the numbers, follow the science, follow the math. If cases are still increasing (while still locked down!) , it doesn't take a rocket scientist (or an epidemiologist)  to figure out that spread isn't under control yet, and it isn't time to throw open the doors.  Yet that's what most of America did.

If you're still experiencing any spread under a lockdown, the correct response would be to do what places like France and Italy did, and lock down even harder till it's under control - as you said, we really were never that strict here compared to most of the world.  A bit more short term pain for long term gain.  Europe is now back to almost normal, and we've got exponential growth and hospital overwhelm with no clear end in sight.  

Hmm, I think that any reopening is going to cause new surges. https://www.euronews.com/2020/07/18/four-million-people-in-catalonia-asked-to-stay-at-home-amid-coronavirus-surge

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Just now, happysmileylady said:

Well, I am not going to turn this thread into yet one more giant argument about what an awful place the US is.  

I think there are certainly some places that have made mistakes and certainly some things that should still be closed (or bars.)

but I think it’s also important to recognize that people DO need people.  Close bars, cancel concerts, those things make sense.   Preventing elderly from seeing loved ones for months on end, or shutting people in their homes for months and months, not so much.  

It wouldn't have had to be months and months.  We're prolonging the pain with half-baked measures (or none at all).  No one's shut inside their homes here.  I'm about to go out for a walk around the neighborhood, and I'm sure I'll see and greet a bunch of people.  We see people outside and distanced.  I've been to see my parents weekly almost through this whole thing - at first it was drop groceries and run, now we visit on their patio.

What's going on in places like Florida is making it more likely that nursing home patients have to remain locked in their rooms, because the partiers are spreading it to the people who they want to visit with.  It's making it harder for shut-ins and the immunocompromised to visit and live their lives.  Once you get spread under control, the elderly can have visits.  Opening things up to soon does has the opposite effect to what you're suggesting.

The US is not an awful place.  I love living here.  I do wish that we had a coherent national strategy that follows science, and that our leaders then followed, and we don't.  That's just a simple fact, not hating.

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9 minutes ago, AmandaVT said:

But it didn't have to be like this. Many other countries are getting back to normal now as are parts of the US. In new england, many places are close to normal. It's like people in the US think they're too unique to follow the regulations that worked for the EU. I'm at work today, saw a coworker this morning and chatted in the kitchen. I'm heading home soon and will be taking my son to tennis practice. After tennis, he and a friend will hang out for an hour outside while his mom and I catch up. We had a hard lockdown for 6 weeks and have been slowly reopening since with no signs of a new surge. 

This.  My teen is also visiting with friends now, outside, distanced, not in large groups, but she has a social life again. Heck, she just got a new tattoo and new piercings. 🙄  Because we got it under control before opening up (I am still worried about what happens come September when it looks like we might open F2F schools, so I'm not going to get on my high horse and say we get everything right here... disaster #2 could be in the making...)

Edited by Matryoshka
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46 minutes ago, Joker said:

I actually don't think everything would need to be shut down if we would prioritize and do the right things. Bars, clubs, indoor dining, and large events shouldn't be happening and everyone should be wearing masks and social distancing. I don't think we all have to avoid each other and our loved ones though. 

I've been visiting my family through all of this but we stay outside as much as possible and distance and/or wear masks. My mom had surgery three weeks ago and I was with her in the hospital and took care of her in her home. I wore a mask the whole time. I'm still having to go inside her home and check on her and take her to appointments but we wear masks and keep a distance and just are careful. And because we all want to keep seeing each other, we are careful and make smart decisions in everything else we do or don't do. 

My young adults are also still spending time with friends, but they are all choosing to be careful. Oldest just went to the drive in with a small group and they had a blast. They wear masks when necessary, they keep a safe distance, and they all choose to be careful day to day. 

I've seen care homes here allowing outside visits and everyone keeps a safe distance and is wearing masks. It can be done and people don't have to be alone but we all have to choose what we want.

Do we want to be able to keep safely visiting, do we want schools open? Or, do we want bars, clubs, indoor restaurants, and football games? I don't think we have to sacrifice everything but I do think we need to prioritize the important things better than we are now. 

This has been our approach.

Our three priorities are in-home ABA therapy for my son, regularly visiting with my parents, and being responsible citizens who protect the vulnerable in our community.  We are focusing all of our choices and sacrifices on those objectives.

So, even though our county has opened up a little bit (and then closed down again somewhat), we are choosing to stay almost entirely locked down except for one ABA therapist (who is always masked) and my parents.  We do as much shopping as possible online, stretch grocery trips to every 2-3 weeks, do in person shopping at less convenient times when the stores are deserted, and always properly mask when we do go out.  We buy take out food occasionally and do no-contact curbside hold pickups at the library, but we are not even close to eating in restaurants, getting our hair cut, meeting up with friends, etc.  It is very up in the air as to whether co-ops and classes will even be allowed to meet in person in the fall, but as a family we have already decided that no matter what is allowed, we will not be participating in even small group activities.

We are focusing on our priorities - making sure therapy and visiting my parents are safe and sustainable activities.  All the inconveniences and things we are missing out on are a small price to pay to improve personal and public safety in the middle of a pandemic.

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7 minutes ago, EmseB said:

It's the hammer and dance or whatever it's called.  Opening will start to cause cases to rise, then if you have effective contact tracing you can do surgical shutdowns instead of widespread lockdowns, or a short lockdown might have to come into play to re-flatten the curve.  Until we have a vaccine, or magic does happen, that's how it's going to be.  That's why you open cautiously and in stages, because if you have an out-of-control surge, you can't do things with precision, and a widespread lockdown will have to be longer and more strict.

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13 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

It wouldn't have had to be months and months.  We're prolonging the pain with half-baked measures (or none at all).  No one's shut inside their homes here.  I'm about to go out for a walk around the neighborhood, and I'm sure I'll see and greet a bunch of people.  We see people outside and distanced.  I've been to see my parents weekly almost through this whole thing - at first it was drop groceries and run, now we visit on their patio.

 

 

People who live in homes are not shut inside, correct

People who live in nursing homes, though, are still shut inside their rooms.

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5 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

People who live in homes are not shut inside, correct

People who live in nursing homes, though, are still shut inside their rooms.

Because it's not safe outside.  The solution is to make it safe outside.  That's literally the only way to get them out of their rooms.  Are you saying since Florida threw things wide open, it's become safer for those in nursing homes to get out of their rooms and have visitors?

I do believe in parts of the country where spread is no longer out of control that nursing home residents are no longer shut and in and are allowed distanced visits.  Checked - yes, nursing home visits have been allowed in my state since the beginning of June.  I'm sure the same holds true for other states where spread is at least currently reasonably contained.

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4 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

Because it's not safe outside.  The solution is to make it safe outside.  That's literally the only way to get them out of their rooms.  Are you saying since Florida threw things wide open, it's become safer for those in nursing homes to get out of their rooms and have visitors?

I do believe in parts of the country where spread is no longer out of control that nursing home residents are no longer shut and in and are allowed distanced visits.  Checked - yes, nursing home visits have been allowed in my state since the beginning of June.  I'm sure the same holds true for other states where spread is at least currently reasonably contained.

Yes, I pass three nursing homes to get to my grocery store and I’ve seen distanced, outdoor visits taking place at all of them the past several weeks.

Unfortunately, our numbers and hospitalizations are starting to rise and we still have bars open at 50% capacity so I won’t be surprised if they have to put restrictions in place again soon. It’s about priorities and we’re sucking at it right now.

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12 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

It's the hammer and dance or whatever it's called.  Opening will start to cause cases to rise, then if you have effective contact tracing you can do surgical shutdowns instead of widespread lockdowns, or a short lockdown might have to come into play to re-flatten the curve.  Until we have a vaccine, or magic does happen, that's how it's going to be.  That's why you open cautiously and in stages, because if you have an out-of-control surge, you can't do things with precision, and a widespread lockdown will have to be longer and more strict.

I get the idea of the hammer and the dance. I think that people are deluding themselves if they think anything short of a hard hammer on an island that then closes its borders will prevent large numbers of people from getting sick from now until vaccine. We live in a state that supposedly did it right, cautiously opened and weren't at all considered to be cavalier about things like FL or TX. Still the virus is doing what viruses do. 

Add to that, flattening the curve is relative to hospital capacity and population density in each individual place in the country, plus a flattened curve still has an upward trajectory at some point, and it is difficult to tell who has flattened things and who needs to crack down and who is doing relatively well. This is compounded by the fact that people use the same scary language to describe situations that are vastly different in terms of numbers and metrics, so people definitely get pandemic news fatigue.

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I had a bunch of replys but my phone was being weird.

I think that at this point, regardless of cases rising, we have to have cautious visitations and some social gatherings, in general.  That doesn't mean full capacity bars, sold out concerns and other large indoor gatherings like that.  

But hanging out on the beach with friends (not partying at a beach bar with 200 other people, that's a different activity) or hanging out in a back yard, or eating McD's at a picnic table in the nursing home courtyard....these things are low risk.  Even in places with rising cases.  I think we can keep these sorts of things, while placing more targeted restrictions on the high risk activities.  We don't need a giant sledge hammer......not when a tack hammer focusing on the high risk activities would do better.  

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2 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I had a bunch of replys but my phone was being weird.

I think that at this point, regardless of cases rising, we have to have cautious visitations and some social gatherings, in general.  That doesn't mean full capacity bars, sold out concerns and other large indoor gatherings like that.  

But hanging out on the beach with friends (not partying at a beach bar with 200 other people, that's a different activity) or hanging out in a back yard, or eating McD's at a picnic table in the nursing home courtyard....these things are low risk.  Even in places with rising cases.  I think we can keep these sorts of things, while placing more targeted restrictions on the high risk activities.  We don't need a giant sledge hammer......not when a tack hammer focusing on the high risk activities would do better.  

And yet, those things are some of the ways we are seeing spread right now. Family birthday parties, bridal showers, anniversary parties, etc. Stuff that is under 20 people, but because everyone knows each other, they start letting their guard down, and get closer than they should, etc. People should be able to do some of this safely, but a lot of people seem to not get how to do that. 

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4 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

And yet, those things are some of the ways we are seeing spread right now. Family birthday parties, bridal showers, anniversary parties, etc. Stuff that is under 20 people, but because everyone knows each other, they start letting their guard down, and get closer than they should, etc. People should be able to do some of this safely, but a lot of people seem to not get how to do that. 

*SOME* of the ways, sure.  I didn't say the risk was zero.  And certainly people who are engaging in those family things have to take into account the demographics of their family.  But the larger risk activities and be more targeted, then the lower risk activities will also have their risk lowered.  Close the bar and the 24 yr old who would have caught it there, wasn't there to catch it and bring it to grandma's birthday party the next day.  

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14 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

*SOME* of the ways, sure.  I didn't say the risk was zero.  And certainly people who are engaging in those family things have to take into account the demographics of their family.  But the larger risk activities and be more targeted, then the lower risk activities will also have their risk lowered.  Close the bar and the 24 yr old who would have caught it there, wasn't there to catch it and bring it to grandma's birthday party the next day.  

Very true. I'm just frustrated, honestly. 

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3 hours ago, SereneHome said:

I am neither an introvert nor an extrovert, I don't crave social interactions nor do they bother me. I know my kids are very much craving going places and doing things with other kids. But every time I think "oh, let just do it", I keep thinking of reading stories of people who got Covid and never fully recovered. All those horrible lingering side effects and I am TERRIFIED.

My husband has asthma and was diagnosed with MS last year. I can not IMAGINE what would happen if he, G-d forbid got this awful thing.

My parents haven't seen the kids since Feb, they live 400 miles away and can't drive that far, so plane is the only option. Face time helps but it's not enough, for sure.

This is hard. So, so, so very hard

I haven't seen my granddaughter since February either. My grandson is due August 3 and I'm going to miss that too. It is so, SO hard! Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. I just love that kid so much and seeing her through pictures or Facetime just isn't enough. A few days ago there was a virtual shower for my DIL and while watching I could see my granddaughter interact with her other grandmother. Just about killed me.

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I think it’s a deeply personal decision and that you have to be forthcoming with others about your exposure risk when meeting people.

So, my in her mid-80s relative is still getting together with her card playing friends. They play outside, with masks on, and have chosen games where they have their own dice etc so they aren’t sharing materials. They aren’t in a bubble but they all collectively decided this was important to them.

We, however, are strictly staying in. It chafes at times, but I have had three families in two different states in our friend circle test positive this week. One picked it up from a family gathering (FIL has died, over a dozen sick). One likely picked it up from work (in a hospital, while masked) and spread to his family. The third doesn’t know how they picked it up. It’s a reminder to me that even being cautious out and about isn’t a guarantee of protection. 

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1 hour ago, vonfirmath said:

 

People who live in homes are not shut inside, correct

People who live in nursing homes, though, are still shut inside their rooms.

Depends on the area - in some places in new england, nursing home visits are possible with loved ones and now people do not have to go in alone to the hospital. My aunt is currently hospitalized in Mass and my cousin has been able to be with her every day.

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1 hour ago, vonfirmath said:

People who live in nursing homes, though, are still shut inside their rooms.

 

Afaik that depends on local rules / situation.

Where cases were brought down, at least in some areas, NH rules have allowed more visiting. 

 

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57 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I get the idea of the hammer and the dance. I think that people are deluding themselves if they think anything short of a hard hammer on an island that then closes its borders will prevent large numbers of people from getting sick from now until vaccine. We live in a state that supposedly did it right, cautiously opened and weren't at all considered to be cavalier about things like FL or TX. Still the virus is doing what viruses do. 

Add to that, flattening the curve is relative to hospital capacity and population density in each individual place in the country, plus a flattened curve still has an upward trajectory at some point, and it is difficult to tell who has flattened things and who needs to crack down and who is doing relatively well. This is compounded by the fact that people use the same scary language to describe situations that are vastly different in terms of numbers and metrics, so people definitely get pandemic news fatigue.

If you think the goal of 'hammer and dance' is to eradicate it till a vaccine, then you don't understand it.  The dance part is a rise and fall of cases as things selectively open up and then may have to shut down for a bit again.  But probably not everything, and not for as long.  That's the dance part.  

45 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I had a bunch of replys but my phone was being weird.

I think that at this point, regardless of cases rising, we have to have cautious visitations and some social gatherings, in general.  That doesn't mean full capacity bars, sold out concerns and other large indoor gatherings like that.  

But hanging out on the beach with friends (not partying at a beach bar with 200 other people, that's a different activity) or hanging out in a back yard, or eating McD's at a picnic table in the nursing home courtyard....these things are low risk.  Even in places with rising cases.  I think we can keep these sorts of things, while placing more targeted restrictions on the high risk activities.  We don't need a giant sledge hammer......not when a tack hammer focusing on the high risk activities would do better.  

Yes, the sledge hammer is just to get things down to a simmer.   After that, I actually agree with you on all the activities listed above, and all those activities you list are happening here now - that's our 'new normal'.  But I think we can also agree no bars or wild drunken parties. But now that we've got things on simmer, a tack hammer should be fine - we should hopefully not need a new sledgehammer (unless school blows everything to heck). 

Rt is how many people spread it to how many others.  I just looked, and our Rt at the moment isn't actually that far off from Florida's (which was way higher a week or so ago, but apparently people are getting wise...). So, just a squidge above 1.  BUT... if Rt is 1, and we have around 200 cases a day here, that means we continue to have about 200 cases - which is reasonably managable. But if Florida has about 10,000 per day, it continues to have 10,000 a day unless it brings its Rt down through even more stringent measures.  10,000 new cases a day isn't sustainable without overloading the hospital system, especially since those who are hospitalized can take up beds for weeks - it's just not an in-or-out, live-or-die kinda sickness... it's a linger about waiting one...  you can also contact trace a couple hundred a day much better than 10,000...  if you let things get out of control, a tack hammer won't work anymore.

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I'm with you BldsMama! I don't know if it's actually healthier to have things closed.  I don't think covid is the only health measure that is important for life. 

I'm in an area with increasing infection numbers but still very low deaths.  When I read that the NE is doing fine and dandy thanks to their brilliant sheltering, I think maybe they had a different pattern happening there with the virus.  There was a huge amount of spread in New York and other North East states. Their charts look different then my state's charts - they had a giant climb up to large numbers of new cases and hospitalizations and deaths at the end of March through April.  At the same time our numbers were teeny tiny and we were telling ourselves that we had done the lock down right - our state locked down in mid march just like most others. And now NY has very low numbers and our numbers are climbing in our area (though nothing like that original outbreak in the North East). And we are told that it is our fault for not locking down enough.

I wonder if lock down was not needed in my area until now.  Perhaps we could have stayed open until we saw rising numbers like New York, then shut things down tight.  Which may have happened about now whether we had shut down or not - this is a new virus and I think we don't understand everything about it.  So, say we had allowed areas to shut down when their numbers rose (like New York did) then we might all have seen a large spike when the virus really got going in our area, but with a lot of compliance in staying home because we could see that it was actually necessary and needed in our area at that time for the safety of ourselves and neighbors....and in a month or two, we would all be at the same place where NY and other east coast states are, with lower spread happening because the virus had worked itself out.   

Instead, we all shut down at the same time in mid march, no matter our numbers.  And I feel like we were shut down pretty tight.  I was still working and could see that people were really trying hard to be compliant.  We were all scared.  And we stayed home for months.  And the virus really didn't come here until now.  So perhaps now is the right time to shut down, not 3 months ago....  But now we are all experiencing fatigue. If we had waited until now, we might all be willing to go to extreme measures... but it currently seems useless.  Being locked down didn't really prevent anything, is how it feels here. 

Anyway, looking at East Coast numbers even compared to FL today does not tell me that they "did it right".  They did it different.  Their viral spread was different. The virus may even have been different.  Their death rates were much higher than we are seeing even in the hottest hot spots.  They shut down hard and they still experienced large numbers of infections and deaths, but they have perhaps gotten to the point where most people who were going to get it, already got it, so their sheltering in place is working in a way that it's not working in other areas, because we haven't had the huge spread that they had.  We have avoided it until now.... and now I get the feeling the virus will do what it's going to do. 

And we will continue to stay home, which seems like not the healthiest thing for older teenagers to do, mentally.  Little kids, sure.  Adults, fine.  But teens at home online forever feels like a bad sci-fi movie about to get going...

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20 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

 

Rt is how many people spread it to how many others.  I just looked, and our Rt at the moment isn't actually that far off from Florida's (which was way higher a week or so ago, but apparently people are getting wise...). So, just a squidge above 1.  BUT... if Rt is 1, and we have around 200 cases a day here, that means we continue to have about 200 cases - which is reasonably managable. But if Florida has about 10,000 per day, it continues to have 10,000 a day unless it brings its Rt down through even more stringent measures.  10,000 new cases a day isn't sustainable without overloading the hospital system, especially since those who are hospitalized can take up beds for weeks - it's just not an in-or-out, live-or-die kinda sickness... it's a linger about waiting one...  you can also contact trace a couple hundred a day much better than 10,000...  if you let things get out of control, a tack hammer won't work anymore.

I will be perfectly honest, I am not really capable of commenting on FL.  I don't live there, and therefore, haven't been following it all that closely.  I follow my area closely, and the state in general, but once I get to places that I don't live and I don't plan on being any time soon, especially since I don't have any control at all over what happens there....I don't have enough information to discuss it.

 

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10 minutes ago, WendyLady said:

I wonder if lock down was not needed in my area until now.  Perhaps we could have stayed open until we saw rising numbers like New York, then shut things down tight.  Which may have happened about now whether we had shut down or not - this is a new virus and I think we don't understand everything about it.  So, say we had allowed areas to shut down when their numbers rose (like New York did) then we might all have seen a large spike when the virus really got going in our area, but with a lot of compliance in staying home because we could see that it was actually necessary and needed in our area at that time for the safety of ourselves and neighbors....and in a month or two, we would all be at the same place where NY and other east coast states are, with lower spread happening because the virus had worked itself out.   

Instead, we all shut down at the same time in mid march, no matter our numbers.  And I feel like we were shut down pretty tight.  I was still working and could see that people were really trying hard to be compliant.  We were all scared.  And we stayed home for months.  And the virus really didn't come here until now.  So perhaps now is the right time to shut down, not 3 months ago....  But now we are all experiencing fatigue. If we had waited until now, we might all be willing to go to extreme measures... but it currently seems useless.  Being locked down didn't really prevent anything, is how it feels here. 

I do think this idea isn't a terrible one.  It's not something we can change now, but yeah, it might be that instead of locking down at the same time.....different parts of the country do it at different times.

Having said that......that would have been incredibly difficult and economically, I am not sure it would have been any better.  With different areas opening up at different times, that affected how other areas could open.  Just in our personal situation, manufacturing in our state opened up on one date, but in another state, where DH has many counterparts and associates, they weren't open yet, so he still couldn't go back to work until the other state opened as well.  The interconnectedness of such a huge country is very much a factor on both fronts.  

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50 minutes ago, stephanier.1765 said:

I haven't seen my granddaughter since February either. My grandson is due August 3 and I'm going to miss that too. It is so, SO hard! Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. I just love that kid so much and seeing her through pictures or Facetime just isn't enough. A few days ago there was a virtual shower for my DIL and while watching I could see my granddaughter interact with her other grandmother. Just about killed me.

I am so so very sorry. it is heartbreaking......that's all I can type....

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I think a lot of this has been mishandled.  Shutdowns at times, places that don't make sense opening to early or late etc.  But I do think shutdowns are necessary.  It sucks I haven't seen any of my friends since March.  But I haven't socialized because of the shutdown its because my friends aren't limiting their interactions.  Basically as soon as anything opened they went back to life as normal, weddings, drinks, parties, church even though it's not smart in our area.  I

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2 hours ago, Matryoshka said:

Sorry, you're right, I wasn't that specific.  To be more specific, the CDC guidelines of 'declining hospitalizations for two weeks' is HOW you 'make sure there isn't wide community spread.'  That connection seemed obvious to me, but I should have been clearer. Follow the numbers, follow the science, follow the math. If cases are still increasing (while still locked down!) , it doesn't take a rocket scientist (or an epidemiologist)  to figure out that spread isn't under control yet, and it isn't time to throw open the doors.  Yet that's what most of America did.

If you're still experiencing any spread under a lockdown, the correct response would be to do what places like France and Italy did, and lock down even harder till it's under control - as you said, we really were never that strict here compared to most of the world.  A bit more short term pain for long term gain.  Europe is now back to almost normal, and we've got exponential growth and hospital overwhelm with no clear end in sight.  

Oh how I wish we did that, but I've said it before  - Americans have a very different mentality. Did anyone in France or Italy equated wearing a mask to decline in personal freedom? Did anyone in France or Italy kept whining about the fact that they had to miss graduations or basketball game??  And G-d forbid, their kids couldn't do spring sports! 

 

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