ForumGeneral Discussion ► So how about that COVID-19?
@Erio, I think some people are better-equipped to handle isolation than others. I know lots of people for whom staying inside and interacting online-only is not a significant change in lifestyle. I would say that's a minority of people, but not an insignificant minority. I lived in NYC until a few months ago, and I largely only left the house to walk the dog. I worked from home in the same room where I slept and ate and watched TV. Wasn't a problem for me.

That said, I am glad to not be in NYC now.

Obviously job loss is a significant added obstacle, but somebody who is a student has no world experience to really empathize with that. 16 year olds don't typically know what it's like to struggle to pay bills, even if they think they do. I don't think that's something you can explain to somebody.
  
I think people are conflating two different issues, the finances and the existentialism. It's one thing to be worried about finances if these have been affected, it's another to be whining about "having nothing to do" because you're "stuck at home", as if you've never been home before. Do what you normally do when you're at home, for a few hours more than usual.
  
I feel like that's pretty reductionist.

As of today, other than one trip to the grocery store and going down to the building lobby to pick up deliveries, I've been in a 350 sq ft studio apartment for a full month. It's not really just doing the same things I would normally do at home for a few extra hours. It's a complete change to every aspect of my life and routines. Although I'm pretty introverted, I still need some face to face human contact every now and then for my own mental health, which I'm no longer able to get at all. Simply having separate live, work, and sleep spaces would be a game changer. It's been really hard to find ways to exercise my body, as well - I used to walk one or two miles almost every day. Now I can't.

Plus, even if you're in a larger space and not dealing with my specific issues, you still have looming fears for family members. What if your parents catch it? What about your friends who are immunocompromised? You worry about your own job and the jobs of your friends. Personally, I also worry about the people I don't know who are out of a job and are likely to become homeless after the eviction moratorium passes. It's reasonable to be afraid of the danger it poses to at risk people and to vulnerable populations, as well as to be afraid of what that means for society after the tenuous protections we have now end.

It would be one thing if this only lasted a week or two, but these are very long ranging stresses that reasonably have an impact on most people.
  
Don't worry. It doesn't help you. At best it reduces your immune system.
  
For a moment I thought that was a reassuring thing and was weirded out by the “at best it reduces the immune system” which generally isn’t good, and then I realized that meant “don’t stress out”.
But I mean, this is a stressful situation. Everyone’s pretty stressed right now, and you’d have to essentially be a psychopath to not be stressed.
If not by e-learning and the instablity of work or the severe change in lifestyle, then the connections you have and how that might be affected directly and indirectly by COVID.
We can worry about the incoming economical depression after it hits.
  
Millpond said:
I think people are conflating two different issues, the finances and the existentialism. It's one thing to be worried about finances if these have been affected, it's another to be whining about "having nothing to do" because you're "stuck at home", as if you've never been home before. Do what you normally do when you're at home, for a few hours more than usual.


"A few hours more than usual" doesn't apply to weeks and weeks of lockdown with a child.
  
@Grayseff
I imagine not, but I wasn't talking about people with children complaining about being with them. I'm talking about the people complaining about boredom.

@eriophora/Wyyca21
As Gorgon said, for many people this is not a huge change. I wasn't talking about financial stress, I was talking about the people having existential crises because they're at home for a few hours a day more than usual.

If people worked outside home ~8 hours a day before the lockdown, then they were presumably at home ~16 hours a day. So what did they normally do? There seems to be one narrative being pushed, that everyone is having an existential crisis. It's not fair that people who are coping okay are being called psychopaths. I mean if having hobbies makes someone a psychopath then it isn't a bad thing.

The extent to which you're stressed about your parents catching it depends on your parents and your relationship with them. Some people haven't talked to their parents in years anyway. Besides, presumably one's parents are in lockdown too. As for worrying about immunocompromised friends, I would say it's a niche worry most people probably aren't dealing with, and in any case, it wasn't what I was talking about.
  
I mostly meant those that aren’t bothered at all by the situation, maybe even celebrating it, not really caring about the fact that the world’s going to crap.
I further realized that I just called myself a psychopath. Hm.
I’m certainly not having an existential crisis right now.
Other than e-learning and the fact my friend and her mom are at high risk at dying, I’m perfectly fine.

I will say, hobbies can run out. Non-essentials are currently cut off, which includes a lot of stuff that people rely on for entertainment. 8 hours a day add up, so while things like digital painting are being produced faster because boredom and time, traditional artists and gamers that don’t put 100+ hours into a game regularly are going to struggle.
  
First - I did not call anyone a psychopath. Second - it's not just "a few hours a day." It's literally weeks on end with no end in sight. I think it's really unfair that you seem to believe people should just be able to make this adjustment with no impact on their mental health when that is not at all a reasonable ask for the vast majority of people.

Personally, I wouldn't say I'm having an existential crisis so much as I am struggling with a sudden lack of routine, lack of defined live/work spaces to be able to manage my mental state and turn work off/on emotionally, lack of physical activity, and struggling with the lack of in person social interaction. Plus all the worries I already stated. It bothers me a lot that people are dying, both ones who I know and ones who I do not.

In a normal week, I'd normally be outside my home between 2-4 nights each week doing things like going to a cafe to work on personal projects, going out to eat, going to my book clubs, or relaxing at a favorite bar. My apartment is small and having different, familiar spaces that I could relax into was very important to me.

Honestly, I've managed to keep reasonably busy on the whole. That hasn't been a huge issue. What's an issue is the constant buzz of stress (and saying "just don't worry about it!" is really not helpful? has that... ever been helpful to anyone?) and the lack of resources and space to create a functioning routine including my minimum level of necessary in person socialization. I'd be okay if I had just one person I could interact with in person for a few hours once per week, but I don't even have that. Frankly, I've never been more glad to have my cats.
  
eriophora said:
it's not just "a few hours a day." It's literally weeks on end with no end in sight.
Millpond said:
If people worked outside home ~8 hours a day before the lockdown, then they were presumably at home ~16 hours a day.
I assume those who are off work usually worked for more or less 8 of their 24 hours, so that's what I mean by "a few hours a day".
  
I’m not having an existential crisis. I’m having a “goddamn I haven’t craved a cigarette this hard in forever” crisis.
  
Millpond said:
I assume those who are off work usually worked for more or less 8 of their 24 hours, so that's what I mean by "a few hours a day".


Sleep is ideally 6-8 hours. People's day during the work week is only about 5-7 hours outside of work. One sleeps for 6 hours, works 8 hours, run errands and perform responsibilities outside work for 2 hours, travels and preps for an hour. This is more or less a work day for me. Often work will run longer and sleep shorter.

I think people are now finding a strength or weakness in themselves based on introverted or extroverted needs. A lot of extroverted co-workers who aren't allowed to work can't wait to go back. Others like myself enjoy this. Mostly I can meet my need to talk to my friends on Discord like always.
  
In other words: Quarantine is fine for introverts with no children and enough hobbies at home to last them for an indefinite period.

Yea why would anyone complain?
  
Introverts aren't necessarily totally introverted. I have a wife and kids at home. I've had one week of being stuck at home and I enjoy being able to talk to my friends on discord and catch up on things around the house.

Also, hobbies are another thing. I have fairly indefinite video entertainment (movies and video games). I have over 100 games on steam and I haven't played even 1/10th of them.

My point was a lot of people like myself do enjoy this or people with high resiliency may be ok but if you are an extrovert or have the need to be with people, this is a difficult time.
  
I've been hearing about a friend's flatmate who's lying around watching Netflix or channel-surfing traditional TV, and complaining about being bored because he can't work.

So I'm like "What's he interested in?" and she says "Nothing. Roofs, I guess" (his job is selling roofs). So I ask "Well what does he usually do when he's not at work?" and she says "Exactly the same except for the complaining part". So she doesn't get it either, that's the sort of thing I'm talking about.
  
I frankly don't understand why this is hard to grasp. Doing anything without a break, even something you generally enjoy, can become monotonous. I don't blame people at all for complaining.
  
You know how the Lord of the Rings movies were amazing and impressive when they first came out? You know how painfully dull it is to watch the directors cuts one after another for twelve hours straight?
  
We can do different stuff during this time. No one's forcing him to channel-surf TV all day. Indoors =/= monotony.

If someone's normal 24-hours is 33% sleeping, 33% selling roofs, and 33% channel-surfing, and the selling roofs stops, then obviously they've got two options:

Option 1) Sleep and channel-surf 33% longer than usual.
Option 2) Find a new hobby/interest

If option 1 is unfulfilling (hint: it is), then I recommend option 2. In fact, I recommend option 2 even without a pandemic.
  
Hobbies aren’t exactly easy to come up with...especially when you can’t get the materials...
  
I think the root issue is people should have fulfillment outside their jobs. Everyone's going to retire one day, so consider this practice. It might be difficult to start hobbies half-way through the lockdown, but the real point is they should have some already. If someone usually spent all their free time channel-surfing, then I have to ask: is the lockdown the real problem, or did the lockdown expose the real problem?
  
Likely exposed a problem, but during a workday I have to keep my daughter stimulated for maybe four hours till bedtime, long spells like public holidays, her mother not wanting a certain weekend or holidays usually have outside activities and playgrounds (currently illegal to go to those) shops (all closed) or friends (not legal).

Also, a lot of people like to hike, fish, swim, boat, shop, visit friends etc etc etc. Are those people just wrong people with wrong hobbies? Or should we stop acting like indoor hobbies are the only hobbies?
  
From the point of view of someone with indoor hobbies, the mainstream narrative has been dominated by people acting like outdoor hobbies are the only hobbies.

What would be nice is a balanced narrative saying hey, extroverts/outdoors people into boating and shopping are finding this a difficult change and wondering what to do, and introverts/indoors people into reading and writing are doing what they normally do.

The people I'm least sympathetic to are the people who aren't into anything, complaining that the lockdown has made them realise this.

At the end of the day, whether it's the 6 o'clock news or a thread on a forum, I think it should reflect everyone's lockdown experience, not just the side that are struggling.
  
Heaven forbid the internet should go a day without an introvert reminding us they exist and are better than/different than us.
  
Millpond said:
From the point of view of someone with indoor hobbies, the mainstream narrative has been dominated by people acting like outdoor hobbies are the only hobbies.

What would be nice is a balanced narrative saying hey, extroverts/outdoors people into boating and shopping are finding this a difficult change and wondering what to do, and introverts/indoors people into reading and writing are doing what they normally do.

The people I'm least sympathetic to are the people who aren't into anything, complaining that the lockdown has made them realise this.

At the end of the day, whether it's the 6 o'clock news or a thread on a forum, I think it should reflect everyone's lockdown experience, not just the side that are struggling.


I for one am an introvert but just because I am doesn't mean I want to be FORCED to be inside almost 24/7 for a month going on more. The idea at hand isn't the fact that we all love outdoors more than inside it's a combination of restriction of freedoms, tired of constantly doing the same things and not being able to buy new books/indoor activities with everything being closed.
  
@Grayseff
I don't see that an introvert's perspective is any less valid than an extrovert's. You seem to be saying it's fine to have extrovert perspectives ad nauseum, but if an introvert dares to offer an introvert perspective, it's these arrogant introverts and they should keep quiet.

@tc3692
It's not like we're not allowed out at all, we're allowed out for a local walk/bike. We also don't have to do the same thing just because we're indoors, I mean "stuff you can do indoors" encompasses a lot. As for new books, new physical books might a problem if there's absolutely no postal service, I'm not clear on that. I got a bunch of library books out before the lockdown. But ebooks and audiobooks and radio readings are all still online.
  
Forum > General Discussion > So how about that COVID-19?