COVID-19: How Are You? (Your Personal Notes; Queries; Reports)

Iris

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Probably because cats tend to use sandpits as their toilet.
 

GNC

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In the depths of his psychosis, Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys used to compose his ditties on a piano in a sand pit in his house. His dogs used it as a litter tray. If you were looking for a tragic celebrity anecdote today...
 

Mr Mischief

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In the depths of his psychosis, Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys used to compose his ditties on a piano in a sand pit in his house. His dogs used it as a litter tray. If you were looking for a tragic celebrity anecdote today...
To be quite fair though, Brian Wilson was stark staring bonkers. Or if you're a poncey journalist type 'a tortured genius'. He self isolated long before it became mandatory.
 

cycleboy2

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I'm still furloughed – start date April 9, originally till the end of May and now the end of June, with the proviso that I can be called back to my job as a bike and cycle kit tester/writer with 24-48 hours' notice. I'm more than slightly surprised that I haven't been called in yet, as our competitor magazines and websites are already testing bikes again; some never stopped. The irony is that I rode 1400 miles in seven weeks and one day, which could have been for work but was just for my physical and mental well-being. I'm now reducing this to around 120-140 miles a week, four hilly rides of 30-40 miles or so.

I always preface these posts with the statement that I know I'm very lucky to have no financial issues (age rather than super-wealth) and this time has given me a great chance to think about the things I really value. I'm 57 and would retire at the drop of a hat if I could afford it but it's a few years too soon and I'd have to survive on my private pension which would knock a big hole in it. However, I'm not missing any material things during lockdown and being generally quite self-contained the reduced social life isn't affecting me significantly.

So I've come to the decision that assuming there's work to go back to (there's no guarantee of this) I will ask to go part-time, three days a week. This would be a 40% cut in gross salary but I'd only be paying tax on about £3000 so the net loss would be much less. I'll be much happier, I'm pretty sure I'll work better and the money the company saves could be used for freelance writers. Frankly, they could probably get rid of my desk space and save costs there, as I've no need to return to the office. This may also suit their needs (or it may not, of course!).

If I've no full-time job to return to I can go back to writing as a freelance; I did this for four and a half years after voluntary redundancy in 2011 (I was asked, do you want a year's salary to leave? Well, considering I was under a lot of stress that was a no-brainer!). As I don't need the equivalent of a full-time income this would hopefully be viable for a few years until I can retire. Both my wife and I are also likely to inherit at some point – but unlike one of my friends (that's you AG), that's not my only plan for financial security!! My skill set is quite narrow, but I'm very good at part of my job (that's not arrogance, I'm very poor at other parts): I can write well and I can write quickly, which, as a former sub-editor, I know is not the case for some of my fellow journos!

Hope everybody's doing well out there.
 

Mythopoeika

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I'm still furloughed – start date April 9, originally till the end of May and now the end of June, with the proviso that I can be called back to my job as a bike and cycle kit tester/writer with 24-48 hours' notice. I'm more than slightly surprised that I haven't been called in yet, as our competitor magazines and websites are already testing bikes again; some never stopped. The irony is that I rode 1400 miles in seven weeks and one day, which could have been for work but was just for my physical and mental well-being. I'm now reducing this to around 120-140 miles a week, four hilly rides of 30-40 miles or so.

I always preface these posts with the statement that I know I'm very lucky to have no financial issues (age rather than super-wealth) and this time has given me a great chance to think about the things I really value. I'm 57 and would retire at the drop of a hat if I could afford it but it's a few years too soon and I'd have to survive on my private pension which would knock a big hole in it. However, I'm not missing any material things during lockdown and being generally quite self-contained the reduced social life isn't affecting me significantly.

So I've come to the decision that assuming there's work to go back to (there's no guarantee of this) I will ask to go part-time, three days a week. This would be a 40% cut in gross salary but I'd only be paying tax on about £3000 so the net loss would be much less. I'll be much happier, I'm pretty sure I'll work better and the money the company saves could be used for freelance writers. Frankly, they could probably get rid of my desk space and save costs there, as I've no need to return to the office. This may also suit their needs (or it may not, of course!).

If I've no full-time job to return to I can go back to writing as a freelance; I did this for four and a half years after voluntary redundancy in 2011 (I was asked, do you want a year's salary to leave? Well, considering I was under a lot of stress that was a no-brainer!). As I don't need the equivalent of a full-time income this would hopefully be viable for a few years until I can retire. Both my wife and I are also likely to inherit at some point – but unlike one of my friends (that's you AG), that's not my only plan for financial security!! My skill set is quite narrow, but I'm very good at part of my job (that's not arrogance, I'm very poor at other parts): I can write well and I can write quickly, which, as a former sub-editor, I know is not the case for some of my fellow journos!

Hope everybody's doing well out there.
I'm surprised they furloughed you at all. I wouldn't have thought you'd need to be that near to other people to do your job.
 

cycleboy2

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I'm surprised they furloughed you at all. I wouldn't have thought you'd need to be that near to other people to do your job.
That's the bizarre thing. The original thinking was that, were we to be out on the road testing a bike and something happened, and the services of the NHS were required, it would look bad (and yes, it would). But that was early April. My job can't be done in 'the office' but it can be done out on the roads. And, in around 200,000/250,000 of cycling I have required medical assistance once, when I was car-doored in Sydney in 2010; it's not exactly an everyday happening, especially when, in the first weeks of lockdown, the roads were havens for road cyclists.

There are some technical issues about getting the bikes from the distributors to the testers (without going through our mechanic, but all of the testers are pretty competent about setting up bikes) and then the photography etc, but apart from passing pedestrians and vehicles the job is about as socially isolating as it's possible to get. In my case, I try to make my routes as quiet as possible - after all, the less the traffic there is, the safer it is.

I also spoke with our (also furloughed) mechanic today; and we agreed it could even be done with periods of furlough and non-furlough as the work ebbs and flows.

Hey ho. These are decisions (cliché alert) for a pay grade above mine – most of them are!
 

cycleboy2

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Im applying for jobs.
Kondoru – all the best with the job-hunting. I'm hoping I never need to do that again, but who knows in these circumstances? Hope all goes positively for you and if I were superstitious my fingers would be crossed!.
 

Mr Mischief

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Hey ho. These are decisions (cliché alert) for a pay grade above mine – most of them are!
Don't put your faith in the pay grades, most of them don't know their arses from their elbows. Believe me I've worked in IT ( mostly systems management) all my life until I got too ill, and what I know about pay grades is the more you earn the less you know.
 

Ogdred Weary

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A friend of a friend has died of or with the disease, he was 52 was in apparent good health but had had heart sugery in his 30s, which suggests a genetic condition I suppose? Death certificate hasn't been issued yet, it was apparently very sudden, he collapsed at home.
 

Comfortably Numb

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The new methodology of supermarket shopping.

Still can't get the hang of this at all.

Was in ASDA and had bought several of those large plastic storage boxes, with lids.

Because of the overall size, decided to bypass self-checkout this time and spotted somebody just about to pay at one of the tills.

As there was nobody waiting next, duly took advantage.

Suddenly a belligerent chorus of, 'excuse me, you'll have to join the queue'.

Because of the 2m distancing, I hadn't noticed there was in fact a long queue behind the person currently being served.

I had not only blatantly jumped said queue, I was already transferring my shopping onto the conveyor belt.

Had to retrieve same and reverse with shopping trolley.

Which only caused more chaos...
 

Comfortably Numb

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The very next day this happens to the youngest of her grandkids. Life can really throw some bad shit at you.
Thank you so much for sharing details of this damnable, awful tragedy.

One thing I always try to keep in mind, is the old adage, 'count your blessings'.

Never been more reinforced than reading such a heartbreaking story, especially after having had a fabulous day out with my granddaughter.

Isn't it simply unfathomable how the family will cope with their grief, not only right now, for evermore...
 

AnonyJoolz

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...It's not clear which is the best strategy, or I should say best combination of measures but doing it early seems to be key....
[my bold] That sounds very sensible to me.

I started my own 'social distancing' thingy towards the end of February, several people I know were doing it a few weeks beforehand.
 

Cochise

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[my bold] That sounds very sensible to me.

I started my own 'social distancing' thingy towards the end of February, several people I know were doing it a few weeks beforehand.
My main customer forbade all employees to travel on company business on 10th March and started preparations for people to work at home even earlier. I ferried a non-driving colleague back up to the North West (he home works three weeks out of four) because they decided he shouldn't travel back on public transport.

Which unfortunately removed most of my income, but it shows some people were on the ball. And it meant I have been taking this seriously longer than most.

I am anti lockdown because it seemed to me a) given the (anecdotal) evidence of the already considerable spread, and so we'd just be locking uninfected people in continuous proximity with infected ones, and b) because the first tranche of social distancing, closing down sport, etc. was not given any time to see if it was working.

But I repeat, the single most obvious thing to do in late January and February was to test international arrivals and to track and trace. Having lost the initiative on that so the virus was already widespread by mid-march undermined any further measures taken.
 

Yithian

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I'm a little troubled to learn the Michael Rosen (the poet and children's author) is in intensive care.

He was complaining of sickness on Twitter last week, but he didn't expressly say it was Coronavirus.

Fingers crossed he'll deal with it, whatever it is.
We still don't know whether it was Coronavirus (although it looks likely), but it must have done a number on him as he's only taking his first step now after nine weeks:


Still, I'm pleased he's come through it. It sounds as if it really was touch and go.
 

Ghost In The Machine

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My main customer forbade all employees to travel on company business on 10th March and started preparations for people to work at home even earlier. I ferried a non-driving colleague back up to the North West (he home works three weeks out of four) because they decided he shouldn't travel back on public transport.

Which unfortunately removed most of my income, but it shows some people were on the ball. And it meant I have been taking this seriously longer than most.

I am anti lockdown because it seemed to me a) given the (anecdotal) evidence of the already considerable spread, and so we'd just be locking uninfected people in continuous proximity with infected ones, and b) because the first tranche of social distancing, closing down sport, etc. was not given any time to see if it was working.

But I repeat, the single most obvious thing to do in late January and February was to test international arrivals and to track and trace. Having lost the initiative on that so the virus was already widespread by mid-march undermined any further measures taken.
Whatever I had, I was already ill before lockdown and because we were told only a handful of people had it, that first week assumed I had flu... That said, I decided to be cautious and stopped going out or shopping. And after nearly passing out at home on my own when husband was working thru a weekend I talked him into staying home and crying isolation.

Someone husband works with asked if we were over-reacting. I knew we weren’t. I think that very week his colleague said that I already had the virus... husband stayed home the first week I was ill and if we hadn’t “over-reacted” this bloke and everyone else at his work might have caught it...

Husband works with school parties of kids from all over the country so maybe 5 - 10 school parties would have been as well...
 

Swifty

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The new methodology of supermarket shopping.

Still can't get the hang of this at all.

Was in ASDA and had bought several of those large plastic storage boxes, with lids.

Because of the overall size, decided to bypass self-checkout this time and spotted somebody just about to pay at one of the tills.

As there was nobody waiting next, duly took advantage.

Suddenly a belligerent chorus of, 'excuse me, you'll have to join the queue'.

Because of the 2m distancing, I hadn't noticed there was in fact a long queue behind the person currently being served.

I had not only blatantly jumped said queue, I was already transferring my shopping onto the conveyor belt.

Had to retrieve same and reverse with shopping trolley.

Which only caused more chaos...
Until recently, I've been 'organising' customers .. asking them to remember to stay 2 metres apart, telling them how the movement flows inside the place, where to stand etc etc .. and I was waiting for one person to say "Erm .. but why are most of the staff here standing close together then?".. and that person would have had a good point, the virus doesn't care what job title someone's been given. It's been a tricky situation for everyone, me and ****** were confronted my a women standing in the queue outside when we walked in after a smoke break .. "Excuse me, there's a queue" .. so ****** smiled at her in a friendly way and explained "Yes we know, we work here and we're going back inside." .. the woman apologised to us and I said "Thank you though, we don't want queue jumpers, you're right!" .. she looked embarrassed bless her heart lol .. I enjoyed waving the NHS through the side entrance though.
 
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Comfortably Numb

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A significant sign of a return to sime kind of normality, is a letter I have received.

It's notification of a hospital appointment!

A routine ultrasound scan to check for any prostrate issues, this was initially scheduled for December.

Welcome news and naturally something you want clarified, soon as possible.

So, all good... and then I read this...

"A FULL BLADDER is also required for the examination. Please drink at least two pints of fluid 1 hour before your examination... Please do not go to the toilet until after the examination".

What if I can't hold it in though...

What if I'm left in the waiting room for ages...

Even more disconcerting, what if during the examination, I simply can't hold fire any longer...o_O
 

Swifty

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"Our Doorstep Deliveries telephone shopping service, set up to help customers who can’t access online deliveries, has now received over 100,000 orders. And the popularity of Doorstep Deliveries shows no sign of slowing down, with the service still receiving an average of 2500+ orders a day.

Since its launch twelve weeks ago, the service has proved to be a vital lifeline for our elderly, vulnerable, and self-isolating customers and their families, allowing them to order over the phone and get deliveries free of charge from their local store.

As well as offering customers the chance to order essentials like milk, cornflakes, and potatoes, many - particularly those who are self-isolating alone - appreciate the chance to have a chat with one of our friendly colleagues, too.

Speaking about the service, David said:

“The ‘Doorstep Delivery’ service has been a lifeline to many of our customers who can talk to an actual person and order their essential groceries. We are playing our full part in feeding the nation and ensuring those that are most in need can receive a delivery from ***.”
Of course, all of this wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of all our colleagues across the business - from telephone operators to pickers, packers and drivers - who’ve worked to make the service a success and look after the most vulnerable in our local communities.

Whether it’s the more than 150 colleagues who’ve taken a step away from their day to day responsibilities to help take orders over the phone, or our fantastic teams in store who’ve juggled the new service alongside increased online orders, the launch of click and collect, and implementing social distancing measures, your efforts have made a huge difference to the lives of customers up and down the country.

So, as well as saying a big thank you from everyone at ***, we’d also like to share just a few of the things our customers’ have been telling us about your great service. Take a look below for some of our favourites":

(compliments)
 

michael59

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"Our Doorstep Deliveries telephone shopping service, set up to help customers who can’t access online deliveries, has now received over 100,000 orders. And the popularity of Doorstep Deliveries shows no sign of slowing down, with the service still receiving an average of 2500+ orders a day.

Since its launch twelve weeks ago, the service has proved to be a vital lifeline for our elderly, vulnerable, and self-isolating customers and their families, allowing them to order over the phone and get deliveries free of charge from their local store.

As well as offering customers the chance to order essentials like milk, cornflakes, and potatoes, many - particularly those who are self-isolating alone - appreciate the chance to have a chat with one of our friendly colleagues, too.

Speaking about the service, David said:


Of course, all of this wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of all our colleagues across the business - from telephone operators to pickers, packers and drivers - who’ve worked to make the service a success and look after the most vulnerable in our local communities.

Whether it’s the more than 150 colleagues who’ve taken a step away from their day to day responsibilities to help take orders over the phone, or our fantastic teams in store who’ve juggled the new service alongside increased online orders, the launch of click and collect, and implementing social distancing measures, your efforts have made a huge difference to the lives of customers up and down the country.

So, as well as saying a big thank you from everyone at ***, we’d also like to share just a few of the things our customers’ have been telling us about your great service. Take a look below for some of our favourites":

(compliments)

There's nothing like that in my city. Even if they deliver, it costs so much more for simple things like milk and then on top of that cost you must pay delivery charges. It's ridiculously expensive.
 

Swifty

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There's nothing like that in my city. Even if they deliver, it costs so much more for simple things like milk and then on top of that cost you must pay delivery charges. It's ridiculously expensive.
I'll send you a pm ..
 

Mythopoeika

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A significant sign of a return to sime kind of normality, is a letter I have received.

It's notification of a hospital appointment!

A routine ultrasound scan to check for any prostrate issues, this was initially scheduled for December.

Welcome news and naturally something you want clarified, soon as possible.

So, all good... and then I read this...

"A FULL BLADDER is also required for the examination. Please drink at least two pints of fluid 1 hour before your examination... Please do not go to the toilet until after the examination".

What if I can't hold it in though...

What if I'm left in the waiting room for ages...

Even more disconcerting, what if during the examination, I simply can't hold fire any longer...o_O
I had this when I had tests for prostate issues a few years back.
They told me I'd 'broken the record' for amount of pee in their bucket.
 

AnonyJoolz

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Having a nice cup of tea and a sit-down.
A significant sign of a return to sime kind of normality, is a letter I have received.

It's notification of a hospital appointment!

A routine ultrasound scan to check for any prostrate issues, this was initially scheduled for December.

Welcome news and naturally something you want clarified, soon as possible.

So, all good... and then I read this...

"A FULL BLADDER is also required for the examination. Please drink at least two pints of fluid 1 hour before your examination... Please do not go to the toilet until after the examination".

What if I can't hold it in though...

What if I'm left in the waiting room for ages...

Even more disconcerting, what if during the examination, I simply can't hold fire any longer...o_O
Most ultrasound suites are located pretty close to the loos. If you gotta go, they will understand :)

(I've had many US scans for 'women's issues')

I'm also booked in for a face to face outpatient's appt soon, to discuss minor surgery this year. The telephone appts and email consultations have worked really well, and I expect many hospitals to continue to use them for their 'capable' patients in the future.
 
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