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Life In The Time Of The Great Pandemic: Dispatches From Sweden

This post comes courtesy of an OG friend who lives in Sweden; it’s a good taste about how life is around the world, plus she promised to eat any mayo I send her way (I LOATHE mayo)

As for now, me? I’m not coughing, and I’m not REALLY sick.

Just a slight fever (37.9 in real money (degrees Celsius), which is what, 150 in your weird measures? or is that for baking muffins?), and a higher resting heart rate than usual – and way high as soon as I do something. Like go upstairs.

Takes me 10 minutes to catch my breath after such strenuous exercise.

I’m not all alone though. My daughter moved home a couple of months ago – bipolar and a masters in biology with remote studies didn’t really work out, despite how much she loves biology.

She’s got a slight cough, now and then, but again, not very bad.

We sent my partner to his flat in the next town over on the 12th of March and it seems like he got out before we got infected, thank BoB.

He’s 25 years older than I am (and I’m 52 soon), so he’s more at risk.

I’ve been working from home since the 14th, had some minor niggles last week, but the fever hit on Saturday.

So now I’m going to work a little less, I suppose, and nap more.

I’m so glad I brought my work set up home – big screen, keyboard, “mouse” which is a big stick in a holder that you spin and slide along… I think it’s called a Bar Mouse, which frankly is awesome.

Cheers, Mouse!

So that’s comfortable.

Only nuisance is that being 160 cm tall (5’3”? maybe?) and having a desk that doesn’t lower, means that the chair is at it’s absolute top level (at least I have that, right?) and a foot stool that’s the hight of my sofa to keep my legs from dangling.

And nobody there to watch how funny that looks…

And work… we’re in the medical device industry, but since no planned surgery goes ahead ANYWHERE, sales have tanked.

And for emergency/trauma, people can survive without our products, even if they’d benefit… So.

Management are cutting their salaries by 20%, and ask staff to voluntarily cut ours by 10%, for 3 months. You don’t have to, and you won’t be punished if you don’t. I like that they lead by example, and that they do all they can to not have to let anyone go, even if it’s going to hurt a little.

Nothing compared with the company going under though, and having a job to get back to when things return to normal is quite motivating.

I agreed to it.

I hope it helps.

Spring is arriving, with a surprise overnight snow, the other morning. So there’s that. Isa power-cleaned the patio during the weekend, it’s a whole new colour!

But today, she’s tired.

We don’t have complete lock down, our leaders trust that most of us are sensible, and follow the recommendations (stay the fuck home!), and so far, it’s not too bad. Anyone who can work at home does. No more than 50 people allowed in one place, which seems to work.

I see people about, but then I don’t really go anywhere. The shop is pretty normal. We have toilet paper.

I mean, if people ignore it, they will of course put stronger measures in, but so far, not terrible.

Well, except Stockholm. Those people seem to think they are above the rules, which shows in the infection rates… (3.5 x the second worst region).

But maybe they learn. They are also learning that no, you are indeed NOT WELCOME at your summer house, because a) you come from an infected region and x) DON’T TRAVEL and 19) it’s a sparsley (sparesly? s’Parsley??? few people.) populated region where they go, and the hospital has NO capacity for extras, let alone the locals.

And as in the rest of the world, low stocks of face masks, disinfectant, protective clothing. Someone figured out that you can use overhead projector film to make visors, but then some bureaucrat said, hey that’s not been tested and approved, so you can’t use them.

I say screw that, it’s better than a naked face.

Hum. This turned out long. Sorry for the ramblings. If i were a blogger, I might have posted it. If you want to use it for the Band, feel free. Or not. You know.

anyway.

Love, hugs, and I’ll be happy to rescue you from any mayo that comes your way!

Maria, way over in Sweden and all.

Life In The Time Of The Great Pandemic: The The ‘VID/The Flu & My Kid

Last week (or was it 2 weeks ago – I’m not being coy – I honestly don’t remember) my dad called me, which is about as rare as me saying “I heart mayo” because I loathe mayo with the energy of a thousand suns. It’s not that we’re “not okay” or something, we just don’t have much to say to each other – he’s in California, I’m not. But, being alive in the Great Pandemic means you’re generally reaching out to people who you don’t normally talk to.

I’d expected him to say that either he or my mom had gotten The ‘VID because they’re old and they have multiple comorbidities.

I didn’t expect the words that spilled out of his mouth next: “we think Ben either has The Flu or CoVID-19.” I got the details, sparse as they were from them and tried, again, to reach my kid, but because he is a teenager, his phone is often off, which actually makes zero sense now that I’m typing it out, but that’s just the way it is.

ANYWAY.

That made his phone being off all the more concerning. But, I’m a good (wo)man in a storm and I’m all about fact-gathering rather than fear mongering or falling prostrate at someone’s… feet? Prostate? I’m not sure where I was going with that.

He’s in the same state, but not the same county, so I called that county’s health department and after I got through about 46 minute message telling me all the shit I already knew about The ‘VID (and pathogens in general), I was asked to leave a message. My guess is that that recorded seminar makes most people hang up, but I was in the car and had literally nothing else whatsoever to do.

I left my message and expected a return call about… let’s say NEVER? I figured they’d be hammered by everyone in the county to dispel some of the more outlandish things that Trump has said, so imagine my surprise when I got a callback.

Without having spoken with The Kid, I couldn’t really speak to what the symptoms he was facing were. His fever. His cough. But I did explain that he was safe and self-quarantined, and being a hermit and a teenager, had no thermometer OR desire to leave his hidey-hole. She sounded relieved.

When she was asked when he should get tested (this was when we all believed that we’d be able to get tested), she informed me – not unkindly – that “they’re not doing tests for “normal” people.”

Which is, I guess how another – WAY WAY WAY QUEEN OF BLOGS – blogger got herself tested twice (because two is better than one!!) and every asymptomatic celebrity who wants one can be tested in multiples. Me? I’m an OG blogger who’s been radio silent for years now – and my spawn aren’t special enough for a test.

But whatever. Only mildly bitter.

(lies)

The other nurse confirmed what I’d thought: stay in quarantine for 3 days after the fever broke (he doesn’t have a thermometer, I was thinking, but okay). Don’t go out until the cough is gone. All the other infection control protocols were in place, so yay. Oh, and the county hadn’t had a SINGLE confirmed case yet.

I wanted to yell “BECAUSE THERE ARE NO CELEBS AROUND THERE, ASSHOLE,” but it’s not her fault so I kept my grousing to myself. And, I guess, now to you.

Because I was unable to access The Kid for a couple of more days, my dad and I spoke daily – The Kid was on an upswing, then downswing, then up, then down. Finally, The Kid, Himself, called me. I told him what I’d learned from the health department (nothing I didn’t know EXCEPT that you have to have a platinum vagina to get tested). He said he’d called the hospital at one point a couple of days before, because he was coughing so hard he’d pass out.

Awesome.

The gist of it was “suck it up buttercup, you can’t come to the hospital with a cough,” which threw me through a loop.

AWEsome.

I’ve been texting with The Kid and he’s still got the cough and is doing a sleep-eat-play (video games before he passes out again) – cycle, which I’d been doing the week before. Whelp, without the video games.

He has his piano keyboard so he’s keeping busy, but he’s now, like the rest of us, falling pretty depressed. Like him (and I’d be guessing a good number of you as well), I’ve been struggling to even get off the couch. Today marks my first day back on the computer doing something other than watching the dwindling amount of traffic on the road and all of the incantations of My 90 Day Fiance – FOR THE SECOND TIME – which is just absurd enough to keep me from becoming a total slug.

(most days)

TL;DR

My kid sounds like he had CoVID-19 but was to normal, per the health department (who also stated that there were no confirmed cases in that county) he was too normal to be tested.

The hospital told him that if he had a cough – one of the dangerous-this-may-kill-you hallmarks of CoVID-19 – he couldn’t come into the hospital.

So my kid likely had CoVID-19, but it’s unlikely we’ll ever know,

He’s depressed now, I’m depressed, hell, everyone I know is depressed.

But, I dragged my ass to the computer to give you a taste of what it’s like in my world.

Now we need to hear yours: we are none of us alone; we are all connected.

Please, login here, or send an email to becky@bandbacktogether.com or stacey@bandbacktogether.com to let us know what life is like in YOUR world.

In The Time of The Pandemic: Funerals Are For The Living

We at The Band Back Together Project are looking for your stories of what you’re going through in the time of the great pandemic. Please share your stories with us. You can use this to login, or you can send your story to becky@bandbacktogether.com or stacey@bandbacktogether.com.

Please share this around – we are none of us alone; we are all connected. You never know who’s lives you’ll change with your words.

 

Funerals are not for the dead; they are for the living.

If we are to believe in the afterlife, we believe that they are already in a better place, A place where the beauty of the flowers, the churches, and the songs pale by comparison. The love they feel far outweighs the love they feel from those in attendance of their comital.

Funerals are not for the dead; they are for the living.

If we are to believe that there is no afterlife, then they are already gone. The end. Fin. They will not feel the love, appreciate the flowers, or hear the songs. Those in attendance will tell stories, feel the sweet release of a good cry, and maybe – just maybe – gain some semblance of closure. But those who have died will reap nothing.

Funerals are not for the dead; they are for the living. 

Today, we gather to celebrate their contributions to the enrichment of our lives. We are there to comfort each other; to try to make sense of the loss of their light in our world. We fortify ourselves against the pain of their passing with hugs and sweet words of our loved ones, and words of our faiths.

Funerals are not for the dead; they are for the living.

My aunt passed away today and amidst the concerns for the containment of CoVID-19, we are not permitted to attend the funeral. We want everyone to be safe.

Funerals are not for the dead; they are for the living.

I love you, Aunt Netta, and I will always miss your light.

Love,

Tonya.

 

The Band’s Mascot of the Week: Little Leo

We at The Band Back Together Project know how stressful life – especially during these dark months – can be. So we’re going to brighten up your week with one of our Friends of The Band Facebook Group Thing because who doesn’t love an adorable animal picture? 

If you’d like to submit an awesome picture of your animal, you may do so by creating an account and adding media to a post about your animal, or by emailing becky@bandbacktogether.com or stacey@bandbacktogether.com!

My parents were moving across country (California) and asked me to take their cat in and I was all YAS because he is the sweetest and cutest cat – if you’re His Person. They’d named him after some Romantic artist I can’t remember, but I decided that he was Leo. Specifically, Little Leo. He was TINY.

He was one of those one person cats and thankfully, as I lord over Nathan frequently and with gusto, he loves me best.

Now that he’s not given free run of the house or the outdoors, he’s well, he’s chunked out.

He’s now called Big Fat Leo and we love each and every one of his rolls.

 

The Band’s Awesome Animal of Week: Clementine

We at The Band Back Together Project know how stressful life – especially during these dark months – can be. So we’re going to brighten up your week with one of our Friends of The Band Facebook Group Thing because who doesn’t love an adorable animal picture? 

If you’d like to submit an awesome picture of your animal, you may do so by creating an account and adding media to a post about your animal, or by emailing becky@bandbacktogether.com or stacey@bandbacktogether.com!

From our wonderful friend TL:

This is our earless wonder Clementine.

She came to us as a foster and I just couldn’t let her go.

All our animals are foster fails, she’s just the most recent. Lol. Getting bigger every day at 7 months but she’s full of that kitten energy! When I go to the bed, so does she.

She helps socialize our other fosters and brings unending joy!!!