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Goredho

covid-19 mental health

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, South Austin said:

Wow.  You're a lot more fun on the Music and Movies & TV threads.  Can we get that Lobo, please?

Dude, you're the one that got me in the whole Nick Drake-y mood today!  I wasn't going for really dark and disturbed, more like Costanza-esque dark and disturbed.  

Wulaw asked, that's my honest answer.  Thankfully the odds are in our favor and I can always die of all other sorts of shit that I don't fear on a daily basis.  But someone gets the virus in our house, my scenario has a measurable chance of happening, and it's how that last week will play out and impact the rest of their three lives that is much more fucked up to me than the dying part.  Mentally, we gotta press on.  To me, reopening this economy is about more than going to Chili's and TJ Maxx, I'm taking a big fucking gamble that things are gonna get better and I'm helping do it a fuckton more than just going to the movies or bingo parlor---I began leaving my current firm around March 1 and should be done and at my new gig by July 1.  We've already hired 1 new person at the new shop that would be out of work otherwise, and will probably bring on several contract staff by end of summer.  Thats helping my mental state because I know the whole family has to keep pushing on to get us to that point.  

Back to the kids thing, this thread is making me realize how important it is for us to check in more with the older one.  She's been handling this like a champ but I know she still worries and gets frustrated.  We're deciding to not tell her yet about summer school starting on 7/1 for her just in case they don't end up reopening after all.  Plus we can use it to cheer her up if she has a really bad day between now and then.  My youngest one won't ever know a world but the post-Covid one.  She was 9 months old when the outbreak began.  

Edited by Lobo

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39 minutes ago, Lobo said:

I'm afraid, though not to a debilitating extend, that my two little girls will pick it up somewhere because they touch everything and then put their fingers in their mouths as soon as is humanly possible.  They bring it to me and I deteriorate quickly due to some pre-existing conditions.  I have to watch my children watch me choke out in a week's time, having neither the time nor the strength to tell them everything I need to tell them, to hug them, to give them a lasting memory of me.  I can do all of those things today and I did, but it won't stop any of us from spending a week looking at each other through a hospital window and feeling like the universe is robbing of us a joyous life together, the life we were meant to have.  And the little one, who is just this month in quarantine, just learning how to ask/phrase questions comes home from the hospital, unaware of what just happened and stumbles around the house asking, "Where's Da-da?"  And her older sister has to tell her I'm not coming home.  then my wife, as a meticulous German researcher contact traces my last two weeks and realizes the high likelihood that one of the kids brought it home from school.  She'll have to live with that feeling (she'd never tell my girls obviously) for the rest of her life, watching her daughters grow up without a father because of a quite avoidable infection.  

Having said that, I still leave the house a few times a week for work and food.  We signed my oldest up for summer school (in person) starting 7/1 this week.  And we enrolled in Spanish Immersion Kindergarten for next year in whatever form our ISD deems safe.  We're keeping the 1 year old at home though, her preschool (glorified daycare) isn't worth it and their plan for how to conduct it this summer/Autumn wasn't terribly confidence-inducing.  

I can live with fear.  It's never paralyzed me like it does most.  But the regret I'll feel on that hospital bed, and the regret my wife will feel for decades, and the life robbed from my children will haunt all four of us.  Now if I'm just stupid out in public and I pick it up on my own and get sick, well that's just the price I pay for socializing with stupid people.  

What would you ascribe the odds of that happening?  One in 10,000 or something like that (saw CDC said 0.004). 

Balance that against- this quarantine if going to fuck with kids. Period. It’s not even close. 

Plus you are out and about- you could have gotten it from anywhere- the same way you got herpes from sitting on the public toilet seat. 

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It’s sad it’s come to this, but no one believes me when I tell them the herpes was from the toilet seat.

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6 minutes ago, Wulaw Horn said:

What would you ascribe the odds of that happening?  One in 10,000 or something like that (saw CDC said 0.004). 

Balance that against- this quarantine if going to fuck with kids. Period. It’s not even close. 

Plus you are out and about- you could have gotten it from anywhere- the same way you got herpes from sitting on the public toilet seat. 

In my scenario, I get it most likely from one of my kids.  and the other shit I worry about follows after that.  It was a specific answer to your specific scenario.  I haven't gamed out all the possibilities because we both know the odds are so slim.  I can't help what happens if I get the virus, some preexisting conditions of mine won't themselves well to survival.  But I can keep them from touching everything in the world, at least for now.   

Yes, the quarantine is going to fuck with kids.  But I think they are more resilient than we give them credit for.  But we are still doing dance camp, summer school, and everyday for two hours we rope off our cul-de-sac and the 17 kids on our street that are under 14 years old all go out and play (at appropriate distances).  Then she does another two hours in our backyard.  Family nature hikes twice a week, fishing with dad once a week, etc. Socializing with other kids is important so it's several hours of in-person play with other kids.  Sure they can't cram upstairs and play with the doll-house together.  But we also started setting up mirrored play stations in the driveway, girl next door gets out her barbie stuff or hatchimals then I put two industrial cones 6' apart and setup my daughter's same toys of that theme.  And they have a little play competition across from each other, she loves it much more than ipad playdates.  

The dads and I have also figured out a pretty decent t-ball version we can do with minimal ball touching.  our touch-free badminton/street tennis works okay (basically a dad retrieves the shuttle or ball with thongs and places it on the racquet of one of the kids for them to toss and start the volley over again).  Now we start figuring out how to get the kids into some of the neighbor pools safely without them splashing spitwater into each other's faces.  

Now if we didn't have a street we could close off or a backyard, it's be much tougher on her.  The mirror and match playdates outside in the driveway seem to help a lot as well.  I also think she's gonna be really bummed out if she has to start her first semester of kindergarten online from home.  

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39 minutes ago, Lobo said:

In my scenario, I get it most likely from one of my kids.  and the other shit I worry about follows after that.  It was a specific answer to your specific scenario.  I haven't gamed out all the possibilities because we both know the odds are so slim.  I can't help what happens if I get the virus, some preexisting conditions of mine won't themselves well to survival.  But I can keep them from touching everything in the world, at least for now.   

Yes, the quarantine is going to fuck with kids.  But I think they are more resilient than we give them credit for.  But we are still doing dance camp, summer school, and everyday for two hours we rope off our cul-de-sac and the 17 kids on our street that are under 14 years old all go out and play (at appropriate distances).  Then she does another two hours in our backyard.  Family nature hikes twice a week, fishing with dad once a week, etc. Socializing with other kids is important so it's several hours of in-person play with other kids.  Sure they can't cram upstairs and play with the doll-house together.  But we also started setting up mirrored play stations in the driveway, girl next door gets out her barbie stuff or hatchimals then I put two industrial cones 6' apart and setup my daughter's same toys of that theme.  And they have a little play competition across from each other, she loves it much more than ipad playdates.  

The dads and I have also figured out a pretty decent t-ball version we can do with minimal ball touching.  our touch-free badminton/street tennis works okay (basically a dad retrieves the shuttle or ball with thongs and places it on the racquet of one of the kids for them to toss and start the volley over again).  Now we start figuring out how to get the kids into some of the neighbor pools safely without them splashing spitwater into each other's faces.  

Now if we didn't have a street we could close off or a backyard, it's be much tougher on her.  The mirror and match playdates outside in the driveway seem to help a lot as well.  I also think she's gonna be really bummed out if she has to start her first semester of kindergarten online from home.  

I applaud everything you are doing to do right by your kid. I can’t fathom using tongs to retrieve athletic toys or setting up cones at a kids play date, but that’s not me criticizing you that’s me saying literally can’t work my mind to the point where I’d do that, not saying that you are wrong. 

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16 hours ago, South Austin said:

So I finally got around to watching this video, and Brad, wherever you are, good will come from your story. 

On Friday my 13-year-old daughter asked if she could meet up with a nearby friend for a "social-distance walk."  I knew there was a chance they might not exercise the same degree of caution as adults, but I also knew she was starved for interaction with a friend apart from texting, FaceTime, and Zoom calls.  So I happily let her go, knowing this was the first time she was going to be physically present with a friend since the Friday before Spring Break.  She was gone for 3.5 to 4 hours, and I actually started to get worried and texted her.  Turns out they walked all the way to Northwest Park for a picnic and took their time getting back.  No matter; when she got back to my house she looked like somebody injected her with pure happiness.  I never thought she was down; she's a pretty mature, solid, and even-keeled old soul for an eighth-grader.  But she looked like a different person after hanging out with a friend. 

It's hard enough for adults.  But we may not be picking up on how truly tough this is for our kids.     

I couldn't agree more, SA.  Kids absofuckinglutely need time with their friends, especially those kids around junior high/middle school age as this is the time our development is focused almost entirely on socialization (kids friends at that age are in many ways more important than their family).  It's taking a major toll on them, and we seem as a society more concerned with kids doing meaningless schoolwork that I'm convinced they get no benefit from whatsoever (that's another dicussion) than we are about their mental health. 

My kids are younger than your daughter (8 yo twins), but we've allowed them to play outside with friends a couple of times during this mess and the positive impact on their attitude is amazing to witness.  Schools need to open back up this fall unless there is a really compelling reason (i.e. something very different than what is happening now) not to do so.  AISD is discussing only allowing 25% back, which I assume will be kids on school lunch programs, and rightfully so under this plan.  However, if they do this I expect the mass exodus of families from Austin that has been going on for a couple of decades will ramp up even more significantly.  Surrounding schools that open up fully this fall may see an explosion of enrollment.

Most adults, in our society at least, have been training for spending time isolated for most of the last few decades as our society has become more and more isolated thanks to changes in  technology and the workplace.  It sucks, but most adults can handle this isolation (although not forever).  Kids are still living in another time, however, spending their days with a large social group filled with people they enjoy and people they can't stand, authority figures who either suck or provide an amazing learning environment, bullies, bad food, great friends, various activities scattered throughout each day, and the opportunity to stretch their brains a bit in a group environment (ideally).   Taking this away has already done untold damage to a generation that we won't fully understand for years, and the longer we continue to withhold it the more disastrous it  will be.   I'm hoping that we can move forward from a place of reason this fall, rather than the state of fear and panic from which we were forced to make decisions this spring. Anyone who tries to argue that distance learning is beneficial, whether educationally, for mental health, or for society in general is either pushing an agenda or simply clueless.

  

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One of the things opening up around here in CO are white water rafting day trips.  Dunno if float tubing the Guadalupe is open, but you could probably have 2-3 families floating close by but socially distant.  Drive down in separate cars, bring your own cooler, keep 15 feet or so between the family clusters.
The problem with this is that when everyone does it, and lots will, it becomes a huge clusterfuck. Even disregarding the virus completely, the river's a bitch when it's jam packed.

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16 minutes ago, gmr548 said:
On 5/23/2020 at 10:39 AM, Goredho said:
One of the things opening up around here in CO are white water rafting day trips.  Dunno if float tubing the Guadalupe is open, but you could probably have 2-3 families floating close by but socially distant.  Drive down in separate cars, bring your own cooler, keep 15 feet or so between the family clusters.

The problem with this is that when everyone does it, and lots will, it becomes a huge clusterfuck. Even disregarding the virus completely, the river's a bitch when it's jam packed.

Ok.  Work with another family or two for boat rentals at Lake Travis where each family gets their own boat.  Go find a creek arm to anchor at.  Keep the boats 10 feet apart, don’t let people jump from boat to boat or swim close.  Get a bunch of water cannons for kids to launch broadsides at each other with.

We bought 8 laser tag guns and had two kids over to play with our 3 for a couple hours on Saturday.  It was all outdoors, I refereed and if you got within 6 feet you were automatically out for that round.  All the kids loved it and adhered to the rules.

An activity with others outside of your living unit falls on a spectrum of risk of exposure.  There are a lot of ways to have interaction and connection while ensuring you are at the low-risk end of the spectrum.  You just need to get creative, think about risk and potentially try some new things.

My belief is that sars-cov2 is here to stay and that there is no way to not be at risk until we have a vaccine or herd immunity, which is going to be 18 months away in the absolute best case scenario.  So how do I and my family make it through those 18 months both physically and mentally?

Part of our answer is to find ways to stay connected in our important relationships while minimizing risk of exposure through physical proximity.  Everyone else is free to lock themselves away or go huffing others lung exhaust as they desire.

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^^^^^^^^^^^^

Give the kids some slingshots or maybe a bow & arrow.

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Ok.  Work with another family or two for boat rentals at Lake Travis where each family gets their own boat.  Go find a creek arm to anchor at.  Keep the boats 10 feet apart, don’t let people jump from boat to boat or swim close.  Get a bunch of water cannons for kids to launch broadsides at each other with.

We bought 8 laser tag guns and had two kids over to play with our 3 for a couple hours on Saturday.  It was all outdoors, I refereed and if you got within 6 feet you were automatically out for that round.  All the kids loved it and adhered to the rules.

An activity with others outside of your living unit falls on a spectrum of risk of exposure.  There are a lot of ways to have interaction and connection while ensuring you are at the low-risk end of the spectrum.  You just need to get creative, think about risk and potentially try some new things.

My belief is that sars-cov2 is here to stay and that there is no way to not be at risk until we have a vaccine or herd immunity, which is going to be 18 months away in the absolute best case scenario.  So how do I and my family make it through those 18 months both physically and mentally?

Part of our answer is to find ways to stay connected in our important relationships while minimizing risk of exposure through physical proximity.  Everyone else is free to lock themselves away or go huffing others lung exhaust as they desire.

 

I mean, I was just saying it doesn't sound that fun bc of the horde-like crowd. Relax. If that's what you want to do then go for it.

 

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17 hours ago, Wulaw Horn said:

I applaud everything you are doing to do right by your kid. I can’t fathom using tongs to retrieve athletic toys or setting up cones at a kids play date, but that’s not me criticizing you that’s me saying literally can’t work my mind to the point where I’d do that, not saying that you are wrong. 

I think the tongs picking up the birdies/tennis balls were overkill, but fuck it---the dads weren't doing anything anyway except standing around drinking beer reminding the kids to social distance.  Keeps us moving around.  But yeah, all the surface contact stuff seems to be dying down and pointing at this is stupid infected people breathing on each other in tight quarters.  You know...like a virus.  The cones thing was so fucking easy though.  Kids always see cones, those traffic turtles, signage, etc.  For some reason they adhere to that shit more than adults, so we just set them up for playdates, games, etc.  Takes maybe 30 seconds and allows to stand around and drink more worry-free with the other parents.  Same thing with washing hands more frequently, etc.  Our way takes maybe 5-10% more time and effort. 

this part is not directed at you Wulaw because you're pragmatic...but---The delusion that a modicum of societal concern takes hours/dollars/effort out of your life is insane bullshit.  Few easy steps each day takes maybe 10 extra minutes in aggregate for me, no extra money, and a couple extra gray hairs my old ass was gonna get anyway.  Having my kid NOT be the asshole that spreads this thing around the street has, in three months, taken maybe a half day on my life when you take into account rain days.  Trying to look like I don't give a fuck to the rest of society nor am I sheep, seems like it takes a lot longer.  You can do your best to not the family spreading this virus while still having your kids play 4 hours a day outside (which is a fuckton more than most urban kids I know), and enjoy yourself and not be a sheep.  But again, it's about physics now.  We are at a point in our country where physics apparently are no longer a thing.   

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Anything in particular?  Feel free to vent.  

While we're handling it a little better in our home mentally than I think we were earlier on, I will say it has really started to fuck with everybody's sleep patterns for some reason.  And that of course, leads to its own mental health issues.  

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I am well past the initial shock of the pandemic and am now where my family and I have adapted to a different context of living.  A big part of being able to accept that is our trajectory here in Colorado as numbers of hospitalizations continue to go down.

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That gives me hope, renews my confidence in my state’s leadership and gives me faith that enough people here are taking enough precautions to keep covid-19 in check.

I can imagine the spike going on in Texas and having to pause and reverse some aspects of reopening  has to be discouraging.  Do what you can to stay positive and preserve your sanity.  

Here’s here’s to Texas getting things under control while Colorado continues its current trend.

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I think I’m becoming more and more numb to the stress of this whole situation.

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