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Last post Author Topic: Share your tips and comforts for dealing with the stress and fear of a pandemic  (Read 16656 times)

mouser

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I know a lot of people are nervous and uncertain.. Fear of losing jobs, health, investments.

Let's have a happy thread where we can share reassuring tips, projects, and mental strategies to stay sane and calm in this crazy time.

No rumors or panic in this thread, just strategies for staying sane and coping with the stress.

mouser

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As someone who is prone to overthink things and dwell on things I *should* have done but didn't, and prone to spend large amounts of time running unproductive things over in my mind, I think the best thing for me is to focus on the things I can control and improve in my life that will create some positive feelings and take my mind off of unproductive worrying.

So I've been exercising and eating less snacks, and trying to focus on coding.
Might be time to pick a random new coding project to keep my mind busy -- or if others have any project ideas let's hear them!

What about you guys, what are your coping strategies?

ps. The other thing that keeps me grounded and calmer is knowing there are people online to talk with and share anxieties -- that's you folks!

mouser

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If anyone is looking for a game they can play with a buddy remotely, over text or voice chat, I'd like to suggest my play-by-paper version of the awesome game Codenames Duet:
https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=44471.0
cnduetpaper1.pngShare your tips and comforts for dealing with the stress and fear of a pandemic

mouser

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Another *GREAT* activity would be do some things that bring you some sense of security and piece of mind, like backing up your computer.

cranioscopical

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like backing up your computer
I tried that... couldn't get it into reverse  :-[

wraith808

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I all honesty, at this point I'm in a "What will happen, will happen" state of mind.

I've been working from home for a while now, so nothing changed there.  I've been sick for a couple of weeks with the Flu (strain A/B) and a bad Sinus Infection, so haven't really been out much.

I know I'm in the "at risk" category, but at this point, it's not really causing any undue concern on my part.  I was following while it was in its ramp up stages, so by the time it reached pandemic status, I already knew it was going to happen.  The reaction to it had been so 'meh' during those stages that it prepared me for us not to be prepared.  So no real reason to become nervous or uncertain on my part, but I feel for the ones that are.  Information and action as opposed to reaction are the keys to fighting it off in my opinion.

IainB

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@mouser:
No rumors or panic in this thread
Aww, that'd be half the fun!
Spoilsport.

app103

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Well, I am one of those people that not only has to work (remotely), but also have extra work to do. So, that's good.

Since I work for an e-learning service, I am going to suggest something that is obvious to me, but might not be that obvious to others. Now is a great time to study something, or get some new skills. There are a lot of online courses you can take, some of them are even free.

If you are stuck at home with a noisy person and just don't want to hear them any more, slap on some headphones and listen to music. Even if you aren't listening to any music, wear the headphones any way. It does prevent people from bothering you to a certain degree, since they don't know there's no sound flowing through them, unless you tell them. So, they won't bother you as much while you are wearing them, because they think you can't hear them.

If you just need a space to get away from the people you live with, try your basement or attic. I've been going down in my basement to walk laps (big basement). You can still go outside, as long as you stay away from people. Go prepare your garden for planting, if you have one. Hang out on a lawn chair or hammock, in your backyard or on your deck, and read a book.

If you are stuck at home with your family or kids, have a spring BBQ with them, play some board games, do some crafts together.

Start a new project, finish an older one, clean your closets, garage, attic, or basement, start work on your NANY2021 project :D, crochet or knit a sweater, scarf, hat, scrap afghan, or whatever, sew up all the holes in your clothing.

Remember all those thing you said you'd do when you get around to it? Well, here's your "round tuit"!

72aaebf2db92c4cb1c4ea733fa6aab75_XL.jpg

If you really have nothing to do and can set up a VM with some old unsupported version of Windows, PM me, I have a huge software testing project you can help with.

And if it helps, don't think about what is really going on out there. Turn off the TV and/or radio and stay off social media and news sites, Indulge in a bit of mental fantasy, Try to tell yourself that there's a huge blizzard going on, and just stay inside where it's warm & dry. It's really not that much different, except there won't be any snow to shovel when it's all over. Or pretend you are living on a space station.

Whatever you decide to do, try to ENJOY your unplanned vacation and stay healthy!

IainB

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@mouser:
I've been...trying to focus on coding.
What?! You mean you weren't already focused on coding??
Pull your finger out, man!
« Last Edit: March 19, 2020, 08:25 AM by IainB »

IainB

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@mouser:
Another *GREAT* activity would be do some things that bring you some sense of security and piece of mind, like backing up your computer.
Yes, but, for even greater peace of mind and security, I'd recommend a few hours of Fallout4, in "Survival Mode", of course.   :Thmbsup:
That'd change anyone's perspective. #WhuFlu could seem like a walk in the park after that.

IainB

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@cranioscopical:
like backing up your computer
I tried that... couldn't get it into reverse  :-[
-cranioscopical (March 19, 2020, 06:07 AM)
It's your lucky day! I just did a quick search and found a workaround for that on the FFS (FreeFileSync) website. It's a $FREE addon to the app, called "FFSyncRomesh" - named after the developer, apparently (Romesh Rangarathan).

Stoic Joker

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5 Blatantly obvious tips for preventing Corona:
Try washing your hands with actual soap at least once a day - Seriously why the hell do we have to tell people this...wasn't that their mother's job??
Don't drink water from the toilet - Sure the dog does it, but they haven't been subjected to 6 generations of snowflake poisonings...
Don't kiss random strangers - Yeah I know that kind of thing was popular back in the 60's and 70's … But now it's god damn felony.
Never invoke the 5 second rule in a sewage treatment facility - FFS don't make me explain this one!!
Don't share needles with anybody that has a runny nose - See note on rule 4

 :D

Deozaan

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Here's my non-exhaustive list of some of the things I'm doing to pass the time:

  • Washing my hands
  • Coding.
  • Games.
  • Sharing memes related to coronavirus (as well as some unrelated).
  • Washing my hands
  • Listening to good music.
  • Looking out my windows suspiciously at my neighbors.
  • Napping.
  • Catching up on some YouTube playlists.
  • Washing my hands

cranioscopical

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@cranioscopical:
like backing up your computer
I tried that... couldn't get it into reverse  :-[
-cranioscopical (March 19, 2020, 06:07 AM)
It's your lucky day! I just did a quick search and found a workaround for that on the FFS (FreeFileSync) website. It's a $FREE addon to the app, called "FFSyncRomesh" - named after the developer, apparently (Romesh Rangarathan).
What! No more double the clutching at straws?
As for RR, they do say that every lining has a Silver Cloud.

mouser

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Looking out my windows suspiciously at my neighbors.

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

me too

Shades

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Here in PY there is a story about a Italian person who traveled here, he went out, was spotted by his neighbors and was chased by police to the Italian consulate here. Government is getting pretty strict about sick foreigners, who leave their habitation while sick with the virus. They are handling those persons to the appropriate embassy or consulate, becoming a problem for their government.

No more travel allowed between 20:00 and 04:00. Pharmacies, supermarkets, gas stations, cash-points and funeral homes. That is more or less it. Convenience stores are limited to 10 persons max. All that for 11 confirmed cases in the whole of Paraguay, no casualties as of yet.

Pretty draconian measures, but there used to be a pretty dictatorial regime here in the '80s, lead by a guy named Stroessner. The people that hark back to those days, are pretty pleased with all of this. Unfortunately, those people are of the generations that are more vulnerable, so they might got more than what they wished for.

mouser

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There's never a bad time to play board games.
See this thread: https://www.donation...ndex.php?topic=23854

The first post on that thread is a recommendation for one of the best board games ever made: The PANDEMIC series of games (fully cooperative).
Highly highly recommended.

panzer

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There are some stuff on the net given away for free because of the coronavirus.

Stoic Joker

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Corona.jpgShare your tips and comforts for dealing with the stress and fear of a pandemic

IainB

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@Stoic Joker: Corona label is actually quite a decent lager beer. 

IainB

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The #WuFlu virus is apparently passed on via infected airborne droplets of mucus ("coughs and sneezes spread diseases") and fomites (objects or materials which can and are likely to carry infected mucus).

We can sometimes (apparently) touch our faces with our hands up to about 3,000 times a day. This includes rubbing around our eyes, touching mucus from/in our nose (blowing nose) and from/in our mouth (e.g., wiping our mouth with a finger, or sucking fingers whilst eating with hands).
Therefore keeping our hands and face clean is important, because we can reduce the risk of transfer of infected mucus and of being infected by it, that way:
  • (a) we can transfer the disease via our unwashed hands, to fomites and to the hands of other people;
  • (b) we can pick up the disease on our hands via fomites and by touching infected people's unwashed hands;
We should also therefore avoid kissing, rubbing noses together, hugging with faces together and should keep a safe distance (e.g., 6 feet or so) from other people, and avoid social groups (parties, crowds), enclosed offices, lifts, cafes, etc..

The #WuFlu virus apparently enters the body through the eyes (tear ducts), nose (inhaled) and mouth (inhaled/ingested), travels that way down the back and front of the throat (gets swallowed), travelling down to infect the bronchial tubes, where it can cause a form of pneumonia.

There are some cheap and common disinfecting bactericide/germicide cleaning products that the detergent manufacturers probably don't want people to know about, so I shall mention them here.
These are some antibacterial cleaning alternatives - common stuff that doesn't have proprietary manufacturing rights over it and is therefore relatively cheap and readily available:
  • Hydrogen peroxide: a very good disinfectant and cleaner, cheap to make. Difficult to get in bulk quantities (because used for explosive manufacture in terrorist bombs  :down:). AVOID EYES. Relatively harmless (used in toothpaste and for gargling  :Thmbsup:), but potentially toxic/poisonous when ingested in quantity. I usually keep a stock of this.
  • Sodium hypochlorite: (common bleach) - good disinfectant, powerful bactericide and fungicide, cheap. Needs ventilation (because it gives off chlorine gas) - not safe to inhale. CORROSIVE. PROTECT EYES AND HANDS (DISSOLVES SKIN). Toxic/poisonous when ingested. Damages/bleaches colours in coloured fabrics. I usually keep a stock of this.
  • Isopropyl alcohol: good disinfectant, cheap to make, but can be relatively expensive in this group. Needs ventilation (because volatile). AVOID EYES. Not safe to inhale. De-greases skin and other materials. Toxic/poisonous when ingested. I usually keep a stock of this.
  • Ethyl alcohol: good disinfectant/germicide, cheap to make, very common, but can be very expensive due to customs and excise duties (i.e., tax, because no pleasure should go untaxed). Produced by fermentation with common yeasts in sugar solutions, ethyl alcohol is present in all alcoholic beverages made for human consumption and is typically distilled at 37.5% or greater concentrations in most spirits (whisky, vodka, gin, etc.). Could be used as a handwash (in a pinch - is expensive), and the higher concentrations (spirits) are very effective germicides - e.g., (say) used for disinfecting wounds, or (say) gargling to dispel sore throat infections - and are harmless if inadvertently ingested, (say) whilst gargling.  :Thmbsup:  I usually keep a stock of this.
  • Ammonium-based cleaners: good disinfectant, common and cheap. AVOID EYES. Relatively harmless, but toxic/poisonous when ingested. I usually keep a stock of this.
  • Acetic acid: (vinegar) - good disinfectant, good surfactant for some oils, common and very cheap. AVOID EYES. Harmless - can be used in food preparation, for flavour and as a useful drink (diluted with water) to emulsify fats in the stomach, so as to aid digestion of fatty foods   :Thmbsup:. It should be readily available, as most people don't realise what a useful chemical it is  :Thmbsup:(e.g., as a disinfectant and for removing accumulated grease on surfaces and in washing machines). I usually keep a stock of this - a couple of litres.
  • Sodium bicarbonate: only a mild disinfectant at best, a mild fungicide, good cleaner (use in solution, like a soap) and deodoriser; common and very cheap. AVOID EYES. Harmless (is used in some soaps, in toothpaste, food preparation and in solution as a nasal wash). Widely useful  :Thmbsup:. I usually keep a stock of this.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2020, 10:28 AM by IainB »

mouser

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Someone suggested to me the Reply All podcast, and in particular their recent call in shows.  Does sound like it might be comforting: https://gimletmedia.com/shows/reply-all

Any humor podcast is going to be good for the soul and help you keep things in perspective.  Better to laugh than cry.

On a related note, I think for mental health limiting your watching/reading of news is a good idea.  Especially if anyone is watching news on tv, or reading clickbait freak out news posts.
It's just not helpful to subject yourself to more of that than you need to get your basic information.

mouser

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Here's what my friend recommends on Reply All podcast:

Here's a rundown of the Reply All folks' favorite shows: https://gimletmedia....osts/getting-started
It's a pretty good list. Personally, my favorite segments are called Yes Yes No. Their boss brings them a tweet he doesn't understand and they break it down for him -- typically it requires going deep on multiple complex stories to understand the context and why the tweet is funny or clever.

Snapchat theif and crime machine are some of the best pod cast episodes of all time.

wraith808

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Something that I think might be comforting- words from the epidemiologist who helped defeat smallpox.

https://www.wired.co...lpox-epidemiologist/

He gives hope that we can defeat it, steps that should be taken, and what defeat of the novel coronavirus will look like.

mouser

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And a reminder, under the Help menu at top right is "Live Chat" item which will bring you to the donationcoder text-based irc-based chat room, where there are usually a couple of people hanging out shooting the breeze.
Lots of downtime and minimal talking most of the time, so feel free to just join and idle if you are feeling like you need some company.