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# General

## how is everyone doing? are you all ok?

Posted 11 Months ago by chiarizio

Is everyone in good health?

## There are 36 Replies

Yeah.

I've got till the end of the month to either find a way out of China and ideally back to America, because my visa is about up.

Or, I need to extend my visa by about a month (should be doable) and figure out a place to stay for that time, because my school will in all likelihood kick me out of the apartment I'm staying at.

I've got grad school beginning at the last week of August, but at the same time, I'm not feeling too good about going back to America at all and risking my health. So may just take my fellowship money, take a plane to Thailand (or some other country) and kick it at an AirBnB and hope this all blows over.

11 Months ago
Agis

Physically Im okay. Mentally....my anxiety drives me up the wall most days and I sleep very little a night because of it.

11 Months ago
S.O.H.

I can relate to that. Insomnia every night. And when I do finally pass out (because my body physically can't stay awake anymore) it's already day light and noisy out. Anxiety and Depression. Those are more important problems for me to overcome than injustice in another country.

11 Months ago
I killed Mufasa

Doing okay. Saving a lot of money, I'm so surprised how much we are saving now. It's not like I spent money willy nilly but practically the only thing money goes towards besides rent, insurance, etc. is groceries and even that is really low.

One thing I do find weird is that my drive is kinda low for stuff now. Since we practically have to stay inside, my wife and I are pretty tired of our few together choices being either video games or watching a movie/tv. It's kind of depressing at this point almost 4 months along. Not even chores need doing since I do them a lot of the time lately.

11 Months ago
Fox Forever

I sympathize or empathize or compash with all of you!

There should be a temporary let-up of the COVID storm sometime this summer, before the autumn/fall.
That might make it possible to travel from China to the US.
I don’t think any other country should reasonably allow anyone from the US in for a while, though.

My sleep schedule has become utterly cathemeral.

I get depressed sometimes; I’ve been worse, and for longer, and more often.
But mostly it’s just a lack of energy and a feeling I have some obligation I’ve neglected or forgotten.

My daughter and I plan a barbecue on the 4th of July.
I was looking forward to it!
Then I saw on TV about another diabetic, younger than me, healthier than me,
and more conscientious about COVID precautions than me, who went to a barbecue and caught the virus and died.
Among his last words were “I exposed my family to this thing because I went to a barbecue”.
So I started feeling pretty anxious.
At the moment, though, I have come back around to thinking I should keep my appointment with my daughter anyway;
there’ll only be four of us there, including her and me.

Mostly I’m probably less anxious than I would be justified in being,
if I weren’t applying the principle of “if you can’t do anything else about it, then quit worrying about it”.
Admitting helplessness is therapeutic. Once you’ve actually done all you can, that is.

......

Sorry for my lack of eloquence!

11 Months ago
chiarizio

And I wouldn't say I'm in "good health" either but eh.

A plus is that it's very hard for me to even feel suicidal because my fear of the afterlife and from that remembering that death is even more pointless than any supposed negative reasons or pointless lack of reasons to life and aside from grander contemplations probably influenced by my feelings in the first place, my inability to often not feel I have a sufficient personal structure and worth in it and also more pointless than feeling like my life is ultimately waste or worse. At least I'm here doing something and meaning something to someone.

I expect nothing from saying this though, and I will continue on as I am with the caveat of trying to once again figure my shit out and see some professionals.

11 Months ago
Grey Echelon

Hanging in there. Just wish Ruby teh Lizard would come back on here.

11 Months ago
Emerald the Lizard

I'm ok, I've been hanging out with a girl lately. It's been a nice distraction, but I suspect she will leave me as soon as she finds a guy she likes more, so eh.

11 Months ago
Post-Wall Olga

Jesus, there's a lot of mental anguish going on here.

Seems like COVID-19 is imposing some pretty bad mental strain on all of us. I suppose we could all use some productive outlets, even if its just branching out socially.

11 Months ago
Agis

Lol Covid didn't make me unhappy at all. I've been dealing with depression for over a year, long before this virus appeared. I've been feeling better amid quarantine; if anything I'm sad it's ending.

11 Months ago
Post-Wall Olga

Jesus, there's a lot of mental anguish going on here.

I will spare you the details of my particular mundane anguishes, but yes.

I suppose we could all use some productive outlets, even if its just branching out socially.

Personally, I have doubled down on music. Currently waiting on a set of Yamaha 3-way bookshelf speakers to be delivered in order to fill out my stereo system. I've been thinking about doing album reviews, band reviews or some other form of music spotlight in vlog format.

11 Months ago
Party Smasher

Seems like COVID-19 is imposing some pretty bad mental strain on all of us. I suppose we could all use some productive outlets, even if its just branching out socially.

Honestly don't think it's very related, it honestly didn't change up my life that much beyond some heightened worries. The fallout of the murder of George Floyd actually probably disturbed me more but it's really not at all just related to any of these events.

11 Months ago
Grey Echelon

I’ve been watching a hell of a lot of YouTu.be.
Educational, and musical, and comedic, and worldbuilding, and conlanging, and news.

I’ve been very active in politics for someone like me.

And I’ve tried to keep up with my family and friends.
Partial success for family, and a little less success for friends, but still better than just dropping off everyone’s radar.

..........

11 Months ago
chiarizio

Seems like COVID-19 is imposing some pretty bad mental strain on all of us. I suppose we could all use some productive outlets, even if its just branching out socially.

the jarring side effect of being flung back state side with no job or prospects. Ive been scrambling to keep busy and socialize when ever possible. I also applied to grad school but I am not sure if I will follow through with it.

11 Months ago
S.O.H.

I heard today that Bolivia is having an upsurge both in number of cases and in number of deaths per unit time.
Anyone know any details?
Anyone currently in South America?
Or Ibero -America?
Or Meso-America for that matter?

10 Months ago
chiarizio

I've been feeling really nihilistic lately. Life is lacking purpose. Nothing really matters to me. And I've been trying to drive that into a form of optimistic nihilism but it's just not coming to me. I really don't care about the planet, the people, or the fate or origin of the universe. And every single night, I literally can't fall asleep and I end up staying up until like 6-7 in the morning. Apathy is my default setting.

10 Months ago
I killed Mufasa

I've been enjoying the lockdown. I met my gf thanks to the quarantine. I bought an rv and will take her to travel in the fall.

10 Months ago
Post-Wall Olga

I Am Not A Psychotherapist, But:

1. The apathy and the lack of sleep are causally correlated. If you can get better sleep-hygiene you can improve your “caring quotient”.
At the same time if you can make yourself act AS IF you care you can at least stop your apathy from getting worse.

2. I, like many other people who have been diagnosed with major depression, “suffer” from “pathologically realistic” lack-of-optimism, when I’m not depressed.
..
When I’m depressed, I’m incapable of noticing favourable possibilities, or interpreting positive evidence positively. That’s unrealistic pessimism; it’s a symptom.
...
When I’m not depressed, I can’t ignore unfavourable possibilities, nor interpret non-positive evidence positively. That’s realistic; but people who have never been on the depression scale, are not realistic in that way. In other words the realism is at the very least abnormal; and while it’s not an indicator of depression, it is an indicator of an increased vulnerability to depression.
........
........
I have to remind myself, when I can’t swallow someone’s remark that, for instance, “hate sometimes wins a few battles but love will always triumph in the end”, that, although I can’t make myself believe that e.g. love wins more often than hate, neither do I have any real evidence that hate wins significantly more often than love.
(There may be a better example; but this one happened to me today.)
So I try to remind myself that “hey, shit happens” is a much more reassuring philosophy than “it’s God’s will”;
and make myself remember that, just as there is no God to be on the side of Right, there is also no devil to be on the side of Wrong;
that Right has just as much a chance of winning as Wrong;
and that every effort I make to help Right win, is more effective than any prayer to God, and more effective than anything this fictional entity has ever done (since being fictional, He has never done anything).

.......... __________
__________ ..........

I hope that maybe you also can use lack of negativity, if you have no positivity, to make yourself gamble on the possibility that something you might do might help something you might welcome happen.

Maybe, instead of concentrating on having no reason to do things, you can start also noticing that there are things you have no reason NOT to do.

10 Months ago
chiarizio

How is everyone?

10 Months ago
chiarizio

Yellow the Lizard is more yellow than ever before {:D}

10 Months ago
Yellow the Lizard

Definitely stressed and anxious. In relatively ok health, though I suffered from heat exhaustion earlier during the heat wave and while I'm grateful it wasn't heat stroke, it really knocked me out for a few days. Plus allergies. Plus a COVID scare. (So far so good, though.)

Plus my grandmother died, my dad's chemo has stopped being particularly effective, and my relationship has ended. So it's a lot.

But definitely the biggest source of stress is COVID related. I work at a cinema, and we've taken the opportunity to do remodeling of our lobby while we've been closed. And I feel super torn on what to do. I'm furloughed, which means I get unemployment checks, but the cinema is still paying for my health insurance which is good. But the stipulation for UI right now, and that I don't need to show I'm looking for work because I'm furloughed during the pandemic, is that I need to be available to work. We're not open yet, but rates are going up again (go figure). And I'm in a college town so we're about to see an influx in residents soon. So it's safe to assume the rates are going to continue to increase a bit. We're still trying to figure out what makes sense to do as a business when construction is done, but it really doesn't feel like cinemas are a great idea to re-open right now.

My conflict is that, by and large, I've been able to see my family because we've all been able to isolate and quarantine effectively for planned hang-outs. With my dad's chemo and my sister just having a baby, it feels especially important to be careful and diligent if we're going to hang out even outside, with masks, and more than six feet apart. But once I'm working again, dealing with sometimes a couple hundred people a day, I worry that I'll never actually get to see my family again. Unless I can get a couple weeks off, it doesn't feel safe to go from work to my parents' house.

At the same time, if I try to get another job where I can work from home, it's going to be a massive pay cut. (This is sort of the funny thing for me about the desire to stop the extra money on UI. I have to admit, it's been *incredibly* helpful to get myself financially stable after a couple years of home ownership and never really being able to get myself out from holes from projects. Granted, it also helped being able to defer a couple months of mortgage payments, although I'm definitely stressed because the deferments end at the same time the extra $600 ends, and if that doesn't get renewed at any point, that money I had been able to square away is just going to bleed.) What's funny for me is that what I will be getting on UI without the added benefits is actually about the same pay cut I would have to take to get another job. Any job I could possibly get at this point, especially something where I can work from home which would almost certainly be like, online customer service, is going to be almost a$13,000 a year pay cut for me.

So the other stress has been: the GOP wants me to leave my job because it wants me off unemployment, but I'm furloughed. I still get my insurance through the cinema. And I make almost $50,000 there because I've been there for over a decade. Literally every job available right now that I qualify for is starting at between$30,000 or $35,000 at best. Soooo....my options are to stay on UI and stress about money but at least I have insurance and if the cinema re-opens, I still have my$50,000 a year job that I spent a decade investing in. Or I bet on the cinema never re-opening again, give up the possibility of regaining that job, and bust myself down $15,000 to$20,000 a year and start over, and hope my next employer offers me a comparatively decent (even if still inadequate overall) health insurance plan.

And the bank is not particularly interested in letting me defer my mortgage anymore. SOOOOOOOOO I'M STRESSED. It feels like I'm being forced to make choices between shitty awful option A and shitty awful option B, and WHY DIDN'T WE JUST GIVE EVERYONE $2,000 A MONTH DURING THE PANDEMIC AND JUST HAVE EVERYONE STAY HOME FOR THREE TO FOUR WEEKS FOR REAL??? Jesus Christ our incessant need to put band-aids on flesh wounds is frustrating as all hell. How the hell did this country ever do anything like win a war or send a man to the moon or cure polio? But I know a bunch of people who have gotten COVID, and a few people who have died. (A colleague lost his father and grandfather to it in the span of a month.) And I know someone who got it, "recovered," but is still dealing with lingering health issues a couple months after. So even though rates are relatively low by me, it still just feels too risky if I want to see my family, which I very much do. Anyway, I'm mostly keeping busy around my house, playing games, and reading. Trying not to spend much time online because I just wind up doom scrolling and it's not good for the health. (Hence I have kinda dropped off this forum. Just popping in for the night to let folks know I am indeed still alive, if that's a thing that matters to anyone. And to see how everyone else is.) What a wild time to be alive. 9 Months ago Jet Presto @Jet Presto: :’-( Sounds like I can sympathize. 9 Months ago chiarizio @Yellow the Lizard: Not jaundice, I hope? No hepatitis nor cirrhosis nor anything like that? Not cowardice either, right? 9 Months ago chiarizio If you can get better sleep-hygiene you can improve your “caring quotient”. 2. I, like many other people who have been diagnosed with major depression, “suffer” from “pathologically realistic” lack-of-optimism, when I’m not depressed. "Mental illness" isn't a disease you have, it's a disease society has that you've internalized. But once I'm working again, dealing with sometimes a couple hundred people a day, I worry that I'll never actually get to see my family again. Unless I can get a couple weeks off, it doesn't feel safe to go from work to my parents' house. Just wear a mask around them and/or stay 6+ feet apart. This is the way my family's been visiting with the extended family for months. Also keep in mind this isn't how it's going to be forever. If I'm wrong and it is then it's some kind of chess piece so you might as well say fuck it at that point. Putting family above what you've spent a decade working for isn't worth it, trust me. And the bank is not particularly interested in letting me defer my mortgage anymore. SOOOOOOOOO I'M STRESSED. Are you not able to pay the mortgage with your UI? How much of a difference is it -- could you cut somewhere to make it? that Right has just as much a chance of winning as Wrong; On the contrary, things just seem to work themselves out over time. Stress is really just a mind game; it's not actually based on reality -- either the environment gets better or you get better, or usually both. Wake up and look at what's actually happened in your life, not the narrative that your emotions are creating. I hope that maybe you also can use lack of negativity, if you have no positivity, to make yourself gamble on the possibility that something you might do might help something you might welcome happen. My advice is just to stay productive. Set difficult goals and stick with them. Do things despite stress/fear/anxiety telling you not to or that there's no point now, or w/e. Make arbitrary decisions to hard choices and stand by them. 9 Months ago Riven @Xhin: "Mental illness" isn't a disease you have, it's a disease society has that you've internalized. In my opinion that’s true of my Asperger’s syndrome; but not true of my depression. Depression is a physiological neurohormonal disorder in which certain neurohormones either are not reliably produced in sufficient quantity, or are degraded too rapidly, or the receptors for them are not sufficiently sensitive. You can tell it’s a body-disease rather than just a mind-disease by the way it, for instance, fucks up the functioning of your bowels, so that you seem to simultaneously be constipated and have the runs. And you can tell it’s chemical by the way patients having a severe episode smell depressed. ...... None of which should take anything away from your response to IKM or Jet P! 9 Months ago chiarizio @Jet Presto: I'm very sorry to read all that. Wow. Everything just hit you at once.... I don't even want to imagine. I am sorry about all your loss and I was wondering why I hadn't heard from you in so long. I'm also deeply sorry you're no longer in a relationship. It must be hard going through all this without an intimate partner to give you the support your surely need. But at least you have other people in your life whom love you, so just stay in contact with them during this crazy time. While I mostly agree with Xhin that stress is a mental thing... It's REEEEEEAAAAALY difficult to fight it when so much hits you at once. However, he is correct that life will get better for you as long as you keep moving forward. Don't give up. The state of the world won't be like this forever. And I definitely agree that you probably shouldn't give up on your cinema investment. Not after all your hard work for the past decade. There is a lot you can do once the cinema reopens, by the way. Both in terms of safety and to draw in customers. A lot of theaters are playing older films (I've personally been interested in going to a Drive-In to watch the original Star Wars trilogy if somebody near me plays them). If you're young and healthy, I don't know if giving up a$50,000 salary is worth get half that for any other job.... Unless it affords you everything you currently need in life, that is.

I don't know. I would personally commit to staying away from family during this pandemic and continue with my career choices. I made a decision a long time ago that my career that I've worked more than a decade towards will be my highest priority until I'm established. My art and establishing a business from it comes first, even before my family and loved ones. I DO love them, but I'm not giving up my dreams for them. Time's short. People won't remember me for the family I had. They will remember me for the things I created, though. Then again, I realize making art (in my case video games) is a tad different from managing a cinema theater.

Do what you feel is right. I'm just giving you my perspective. By the way, if you don't feel up to testing my game come September, I'll understand. I wish you well and hope things look up as soon as possible.

9 Months ago
Laxan

Just wear a mask around them and/or stay 6+ feet apart. This is the way my family's been visiting with the extended family for months.

The problem is that we have a few members who are especially susceptible now. I have seen my family during my furlough because we've all been able to isolate, or if we go out, it's limited. I feel ok about myself, but it's going to feel scarier when I'm working and again, dealing with sometimes hundreds of people. Especially students. I would want to be able to give myself at least a week off before seeing my parents, so I could get tested just to be safe.

Also keep in mind this isn't how it's going to be forever

Sure. But my dad isn't going to be here forever.

Putting family above what you've spent a decade working for isn't worth it, trust me.

Ah, see, I come from a big Italian family. Personally, nothing I build means anything without my family. (I'm making that statement personally, not generally; I don't think family innately means anything, as I know a lot of people who have toxic family dynamics or abusive/drunk/neglectful parents or siblings that they want to get away from. For me, my family pretty much is everything, and is a big reason why I've stayed in Massachusetts, especially now with my dad going through chemo and my sister just having a baby.)

Are you not able to pay the mortgage with your UI?

I mean, I have to. The added benefits wound up being just a little less than I made working two jobs, and it coincided with a lack of driving and substantially less take-out. So while I did feel it, it wasn't drastic and I was able to save. Without the added benefits, I've basically got about $300 for food after my mortgage, insurance, car loans, and all other bills combined. (I suppose the silver lining is it's summer, so no oil bills.) So...there's not really a lot of wiggle room at this point. I had been able to save some, and I'll have to tap into my savings for all my expenses. Problem is, the bills that are the ones that actually are a problem are the ones that I can't cut. Like, a$5 subscription to a podcast service is something I can cut, obviously, but that's like deleting JPEGs to make room on your hard drive.

Basically, until either the cinema re-opens or Congress does its job (and I'm honestly not sure which I would anticipate happening first at this point; sounds like construction at the cinema won't wrap up until end of September), I'm going to be bleeding from the savings account. And then before you know it, I'll be getting oil deliveries again, and that's gonna be a whole other story. (I'm also assuming I'm totally laid off from my second job? I've literally not heard anything from them since March... That job was my oil money.)

Stress is really just a mind game; it's not actually based on reality

I dunno, man. My stress seems pretty grounded in the reality of the situation. And we haven't even really touched upon the stress of the election in this equation, too!

But also, stress isn't just some mental thing. It's literally a physiological response. I get that you can alleviate it through various means, including things to focus the mind, but I mean, I was generally fairly able to handle stress and had decent coping mechanisms until everything just piled on top of one another this year. Like, this year has been a 2,000 page history book and it's only just August now. I don't really choose how my body response to scenarios.

By the way, if you don't feel up to testing my game come September

Oh, I'm not so far gone that I can't playtest your game. Happy to do it!

9 Months ago
Jet Presto

The second half of Summer will start this week.
Sunrise has been getting later, and sunset has been getting earlier, for a while now.
Today has been and will be a cool day; outside temperature’s high will be only one degree warmer than room temperature.
Same sort of forecast for the next few to several days.
Also it has been raining all day and all night for the past few days and may do do for the next few.
I don’t know how much of that is the season and how much is due to hurricane Isaias.

9 Months ago
chiarizio

I think I've found a flight out of China to get me back to America.

It leaves on August 20th. I have to leave from Shanghai, and I live in Beijing. That's kind of a hassle, but only because I'll have a few bags. I'll probably end up taking a nice high-speed train there, and maybe stay with a friend overnight. I'll get that checked out.

It's relatively inexpensive, only about $1600 right now. Other flights are like$4,000 and at least with this one I'm pretty sure it won't get cancelled.

Once I get back to Grand Rapids, I'll need to quarantine for 2 weeks, somewhere. I can't really do it at either of my parents' houses, nor do I want to. I'm probably gonna have to look for a place to rent out month by month, until, hopefully, Georgetown resumes in-person classes in DC. But until then I'll be doing my super expensive education online.

Not too bad though. Made quite a bit of money teaching online classes 6 hours or so a day for the last few weeks.

Also planning on getting an article published, hopefully, in the next day or two.

9 Months ago
Agis

@Agis:
That all sounds good!

9 Months ago
chiarizio

Okay, August and September have gone by since I last posted here.
And the Fall Equinox was last week, September 24.
So though the days keep shortening and the nights keep lengthening, it’s started slowing down.
This morning the sun rose two minutes later than yesterday morning; and this evening it will set two minutes earlier than last evening.
That’s at my latitude. It’ll be slower closer to the tropics, and faster closer to the Arctic.

Today the high temperature was 54F or a bit warmer than 12C. It was 70%-90% cloudy all day. No rain.

.....

How is everyone?

I hope everyone is safe and healthy!
I hope the same is true of everyone you live with or work with or school with otherwise see most days!

...

I complained to my pshrink about my memory.
He asked me a bunch of questions —
Do I burn my food because I forget it’s on the stove or in the oven?
Do I get lost?
Etc.
— and I told him “No”, so apparently I’m probably not as bad off as I was afraid I was.
Nevertheless he told me to get my Primary Care Physician to refer me to a neurologist because I may be having trouble with my memory.
I wrote that down.

....

Well, if my worst problem is a hypochondriacal concern for my memory, I guess I’m doing pretty well!

.....

Best of life, health, and prosperity to everyone!

7 Months ago
chiarizio

Is everyone still fine since 48 days ago?
Or 7 weeks ago?

6 Months ago
chiarizio

How has everyone been since 5 months ago?
I’m doing better. Still far from perfect, though.

2 Weeks ago
chiarizio

Things are rough. But I am doing my best.

2 Weeks ago
CZM

Continuing to lose weight (a good thing). Doing a lot better mentally. External life hasn't improved but that's okay -- more equipped to deal with it.

2 Weeks ago
Riven

I am doing better than I was this time last year. Granted anxiety still drives me up the wall at night.

2 Weeks ago
S.O.H.