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Hypochondria as a legitimate hobby

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  • Uh, things aren't great here, I'm gonna be honest. I mean, my peeps are fine so thank goodness for that, but Houston is rapidly careening to Hot Zoneville. Our largest children's hospital has started taking adult Covid patients so that's great news for those kids. Our hospital which is normally wall to wall cancer patients is taking Covid overflow from one of the city's biggest county hospitals so that's not dangerous and insane at all. One of the biggest hospitals in our medical center has a couple of ICUs and one is full and the other is nearing capacity. A friend of mine works as a respiratory therapist in the ER there and they have around 5 positives coming in every day so he's exhausted and has stopped going home to his wife because she's an optometrist whose office only opened back up a few weeks ago and it would suck for them if she had to close again because she got exposed. I am not looking forward to reopening the ambulatory areas of our hospital to non-essential staff which is supposed to happen in a week and half. I think that's gonna be a disaster. It still would not surprise me if our administration just NOPED out of that plan, but so far, they are holding steady.

    Mr. Issie and I are in negotiations to rethink our home situation and if I get my way, he takes the boys to the lake house until August. I stay here T-Th, get tested after work on Thur afternoon and if I'm good, I can join them Thur night-Mon. We drive back Mon night, they get to restock on supplies and spend the night at home, and we start the routine again. That way, we're only apart two days a week, but it seems safer.

    We were supposed to take our big family vacation in two weeks, but obvs that is now cancelled. That's annoying and at the same time, we would be beyond lucky to claim that as our biggest "problem". Sigh, I don't know y'all. Between Covid and systemic racism, my emotional bandwidth is USED UP. At this point, I think I'd be almost relieved to see a meteor headed our way and like cheer it on to take us all out of our misery.

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    • I wrote that update last night and this morning, we got the institutional email that we will be staying home until September.

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      • Ugh. Guys, I'm so sorry. I am thinking about you. Take care, be careful and we are going to get through this. I'm just glad that you are all ok so far.
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        • I am glad they are keeping you home, Issie. My employer says we'll be home through Q3, but I really expect it to be till spring at the earliest.

          And did you all see there's a giant sand storm coming? I don't even know what is going on in this world anymore.

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          • Ugh. I’m so sorry, dude. That sounds like a plan, but dear God, everything sucks. My nurse friend who lives in Austin starts every convo with that meteor.

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            • Issie, I'm SO GLAD you get to stay home. Obviously, it's a shit show but the fewer people in the eye of the storm, the better.

              I am deeply sad and overwhelmed by so much right now it's hard to process. And I'm insanely lucky, overall, of course! We both have our jobs, we are safe at home, etc. But it's really isolating and weird and stressful all the same.

              It's really hit me the last couple of days that we our a country without a leader. I thought certain elements would kick in and just do the work -- THE CDC FOR EXAMPLE -- and now I understand the lack of presidential leadership is not just weird. It's deadly. The lack of a plan has left us rudderless and largely facing this shit as a bunch of cities and states competing for resources with no overarching goal or plan in sight. It shouldn't be *that* shocking to me, I guess, but it is. I guess Hurricane Katrina should have been a clue that we are a failed nation when it comes to protecting and taking care of our own during times of crisis that don't need guns to resolve it. It's all very depressing.
              Itís just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.

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              • Oh, I still gotta go in 2/3x a week, but at least the people who don't have patient facing roles don't have to come in which protects all of us. On any given normal day, our institution has 15k employees on campus and several thousand more patients and families and during Covid, we probs have 1/3 the number of people on site daily.

                I guess Hurricane Katrina should have been a clue that we are a failed nation when it comes to protecting and taking care of our own
                Katrina was the first time I realized that if anything was gonna get done to protect people affected by tragedy, it had to happen at a local level. Houston jumped in QUICK, opened up the Astrodome and the convention center to house people from Louisiana, and got donations in by the truckloads. It was all just like coordinated efforts by churches and charities. FEMA sat around with their thumbs up their butts for weeks. What sucks about Covid (apart from the actual virus and death) is seeing people who won't participate in the community effort to keep each other safe. AFAIC, it's no different from a natural disaster where we all kind of take stock of the situation, figure out how to help each other, and then just fucking do it. Except this is actually easier. Instead of having to rip up rotting carpet from some stranger's house after a flood, you just stay home whenever possible and then wear a mask when you have to go out.

                I saw something on Twitter yesterday that said if you're not wearing a mask, you need to understand that it's not that you're willing to die or get sick to avoid it, it's that you're willing to kill to avoid it and I wish people would realize that. Obvsies, that's a super dramatic breakdown of the argument, but it's not wrong.

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                • I saw something on Twitter yesterday that said if you're not wearing a mask, you need to understand that it's not that you're willing to die or get sick to avoid it, it's that you're willing to kill to avoid it and I wish people would realize that. Obvsies, that's a super dramatic breakdown of the argument, but it's not wrong.
                  What a great framing. Totally using that.

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                  • That’s exactly it. Wearing a piece of fabric over your faceholes for half an hour to prevent someone’s grandma from getting tubed is so doable. It’s a gross, depressing realization that some people can’t and won’t think beyond their moments of inconvenience.

                    I forgot to say I’m so jealous of your leisurely stroll through Target, Is. My last Target run was 3 minutes tops because it was packed and I was dodging unmasked people like a video game.

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                    • Mr. Is's mom was going to come visit and we thought that would be nice -- since our numbers are low here -- but then we realized she was going to take Amtrak instead of driving and we were like: uhhh, YOU ARE 74 WTF ARE YOU THINKING? So we asked her not to come and Mr. Is felt SUPER guilty because we haven't seen them barely at all in the past year (they live a few hours away by car). So he decided it would be safer to go home and see the family (supposed to be okay weather, planned to mostly work in mom's yard, etc.).

                      So he's on the road now and I feel pretty worried about it. He was going to stay with a friend but his friend is throwing a big bonfire party for his gf on Saturday and I was like; YOU CAN NOT GO TO THAT. NO PARTIES! Keep it under 10 people at all times! He's super stressed about this trip. He's now staying with his dad (who smokes, has cancer, and spends all his free time at the casino!) and almost didn't go b/c he thinks his various family members that he plans to mostly see outside are all not taking it seriously AT ALL.

                      It's all so maddening and it's so confusing to know what the right thing to do is.
                      Itís just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.

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                      • The stress of trying to figure out what we should be doing is so draining, and the stakes feel so high. It kind of broke me this week, with all the numbers getting higher and the fact that we’ve now let this thing get out of control. It’s just going to rage on and a million people are going to die, and I am going to keep hiding in my house till it’s done.

                        I gave up on the dating apps; I was supposed to do a socially distant thing with a guy this weekend, but I told him I don’t feel safe and good luck.

                        I posted something on Facebook about going to the dentist being welcome human contact, and I told my therapist about it and he said that we’re all starved for touch in some way. And he says that even though he has a girlfriend and kids and his parents living with him. So I started thinking about the last time someone hugged me, and it was March. Because I have no immediate family, and no romantic partner, and the few people I have seen from a distance all observed the rules. I feel so fucking lonely.

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                        • Aw, I'm so sorry. Mr. Is and I have each other, of course, but we also have never spend this much time together, like nonstop for MONTHS. It's also weird, in a different way. Maybe score a hookup buddy?
                          Itís just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.

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                          • Thanks. I shouldn’t be complaining too much; I know how lucky I am - I have a job I can do from home and a house and friends who would help me if I needed it. I am just in a low point at the moment.

                            Spending all that time with the Mr has gotta be a double-edged sword of good but also a bit much. I feel for people whose relationships are not great, and they are stuck together for now.

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                            • Oh, V, I'm so sorry! The emotional toll of all of this is unbelievable so just let yourself feel whatever you need to feel! It's easy to assume that introverts are living our best lives right now, but even dedicated hermits have their limits. And for introverts who are living with extroverts, this is not an ideal situation OMG. Would you consider subletting your place and going somewhere else for a couple of months, just to get a change of environment? Maybe somewhere beachy? I would be super excited for you to live out your own version of The Holiday.

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                              • Oh that’s an interesting idea. I wouldn’t rent out my own place - our condo laws are restrictive on that and also I don’t want people in my stuff - but maybe a house rental somewhere else would be a good break. And there are plenty of things within drivable distance from here because I am not flying.

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