Toilet paper

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randomdoc1

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I'd like to hear people's takes from a psychoanalytic standpoint about why TP is such a hot commodity right now.

One of my patients said the frantic buying of toilet paper is a way people try to gain control of something they don't have complete control over. Now with control being put in the spot light and talking about bowel movements and toilet paper....I dunno where my head's going exactly.

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Regression to the anal stage of development
 
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Every one wants a shiny starfish.

Seriously, though, it's not complicated. Some uneducated people started panic buying, then others begin to panic buy in turn because they want to be clean and noticed the temporary scarcity on store shelves, and have no idea how long the ignorant panic buyers are going to keep inconveniencing the rest of us.

I'm cool, though. The hospital has tons of TP and I have a bidet at home.
 
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TP is used for nasal drip, too. If you have ever gone with out TP, like hunters / hikers are at greater risk, you won't make that mistake twice. Stocking up is perfectly reasonable IMO. Each day, each week, each state has been rolling out something more draconian in restrictions, it stands to reason true lock down could happen. Who wants to ruin their lockdown with no TP?
I've had various people describe to me how their morning crap is one of the highlights of their day, imagine that ruined with no TP?

My frustration is not with TP hording, but the spill over into buying baby wipes. That almost got me in to panic by not having wipes for the kids. Thankfully I found a source.
 
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TP is used for nasal drip, too. If you have ever gone with out TP, like hunters / hikers are at greater risk, you won't make that mistake twice. Stocking up is perfectly reasonable IMO. Each day, each week, each state has been rolling out something more draconian in restrictions, it stands to reason true lock down could happen. Who wants to ruin their lockdown with no TP?
I've had various people describe to me how their morning crap is one of the highlights of their day, imagine that ruined with no TP?

My frustration is not with TP hording, but the spill over into buying baby wipes. That almost got me in to panic by not having wipes for the kids. Thankfully I found a source.

I hear it's way more fulfilling to top off your morning crap with a bidet spray xD. Also, you should check out paper towels and water. Works just as good as baby wipes and WAY cheaper. I love it!
 
The narcissist fears being powerless and being unimportant. Narcissistic injury tends to breed narcissistic rage, with both on a continuum. This is commonly seen in people describing interacting with invisible threats using aggressive actions (.e.g., "fighting cancer" or, "we're gonna beat this downturn").

Stockpiling toilet paper is easy to understand in that framework. Can't be powerless, so you do something. It's not hard to see why the narcissist would choose to engage their power to avoid an illness behavior that could be humiliating... walking around with a dirty bum. It's one of the reasons NBA players pooping themselves regularly makes the news. "He's not so special! He pooped his pants! I don't do that, so I'm not as bad as him!".
 
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It's one of the reasons NBA players pooping themselves regularly makes the news. "He's not so special! He pooped his pants! I don't do that, so I'm not as bad as him!".
So if, say, a friend of mine did do that once, he is just as cool as an NBA player? Nice!
My friend now keeps extra clothing in his office.
Interestingly, my local store has not had any shortage of adult diapers.
 
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The narcissist fears being powerless and being unimportant. Narcissistic injury tends to breed narcissistic rage, with both on a continuum. This is commonly seen in people describing interacting with invisible threats using aggressive actions (.e.g., "fighting cancer" or, "we're gonna beat this downturn").

Stockpiling toilet paper is easy to understand in that framework. Can't be powerless, so you do something. It's not hard to see why the narcissist would choose to engage their power to avoid an illness behavior that could be humiliating... walking around with a dirty bum. It's one of the reasons NBA players pooping themselves regularly makes the news. "He's not so special! He pooped his pants! I don't do that, so I'm not as bad as him!".

I am working with a gentleman with contamination OCD who is not at all worried at the moment about catching the corona virus, but is incredibly upset about the lack of toilet paper and is now checking to see whether he soiled himself without noticing several times an hour. He's not even that concerned about being humiliated, more just hates feeling subjectively dirty, and so as a result sleeps in a recliner in his living room because he knows if he goes in his bedroom he will feel everything is dirty and he does not want to deal with the washing that will ensue.
 
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The narcissist fears being powerless and being unimportant. Narcissistic injury tends to breed narcissistic rage, with both on a continuum. This is commonly seen in people describing interacting with invisible threats using aggressive actions (.e.g., "fighting cancer" or, "we're gonna beat this downturn").

Stockpiling toilet paper is easy to understand in that framework. Can't be powerless, so you do something. It's not hard to see why the narcissist would choose to engage their power to avoid an illness behavior that could be humiliating... walking around with a dirty bum. It's one of the reasons NBA players pooping themselves regularly makes the news. "He's not so special! He pooped his pants! I don't do that, so I'm not as bad as him!".

#BeThere (for your anus)
 
I am working with a gentleman with contamination OCD who is not at all worried at the moment about catching the corona virus, but is incredibly upset about the lack of toilet paper and is now checking to see whether he soiled himself without noticing several times an hour. He's not even that concerned about being humiliated, more just hates feeling subjectively dirty, and so as a result sleeps in a recliner in his living room because he knows if he goes in his bedroom he will feel everything is dirty and he does not want to deal with the washing that will ensue.

My OCD and ocpd peeps are a different class. Psychoanalytically, the obsession is a matter of subjective importance that presents as a repetition compulsion. Liu and whoever differentiate developmental from traumatic ocd based upon phenomenology which may represent a process vs content based thing.

Or maybe I’m too close to the subject matter to be objective. I can say that the Scrubs depiction of the frustration of the compulsion while recognizing the utter ridiculousness of the compulsion resonates.
 
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My OCD and ocpd peeps are a different class. Psychoanalytically, the obsession is a matter of subjective importance that presents as a repetition compulsion. Liu and whoever differentiate developmental from traumatic ocd based upon phenomenology which may represent a process vs content based thing.

Or maybe I’m too close to the subject matter to be objective. I can say that the Scrubs depiction of the frustration of the compulsion while recognizing the utter ridiculousness of the compulsion resonates.


In support of that being aware of the senselessness while still being just as preoccupied, I've not encountered anyone yet with health anxiety/contamination themes who seems to have gotten worse with the COVID pandemic. I have however run across someone who previously struggled with a different theme who is now entirely wrapped up with the thought that he will -develop- contamination OCD and reassurance seeking around that.

I will never understand how so many of my colleagues find this spectrum of disorders boring.
 
I haven't followed any news in a couple of weeks, but when they were posting pictures earlier of the toilet paper hoarding at Costco the most logical explanation seemed to me that while people were buying other stuff they were buying toilet paper and toilet paper is bigger and bulkier than most other items and thus far more visible and so it appeared in pictures that people were buying toilet paper disproportionately to other items they were stocking up on. And then it became a thing to talk about because people like talking about things that are funny.

Even under ordinary circumstances, toilet paper in a shopping cart is embarrassing and thus ripe for humor.
 
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Toilet paper is a non-perishable good that is easy to store and will always have utility. You also aren’t going to suddenly lose the ability to defecate while you’re alive.

Being caught unexpectedly in a loo without toilet paper is an anxiety provoking situation for most, so faced with the prospect of prolonged isolation or self-quarantine it becomes rationale to stock up.

The large size of TP roll packaging makes absences in stores more noticeable to the public, who start to fear that they will miss out, buy up and propagate the cycle.

I think the TP panic took off earlier in Australia, and over the last few weeks I've come to realise that a lot of my patients are preppers and are the type to not run out of essential items. When it became mainstream news here, I did for a moment consider bringing my own roll to work, as there was the possibility that patients might help themselves to the outpatient toilets. I haven't done this, but since then there have been reports of people stealing TP and hand sanitiser from public health facilities
 
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Toilet paper is a non-perishable good that is easy to store and will always have utility. You also aren’t going to suddenly lose the ability to defecate while you’re alive.

Being caught unexpectedly in a loo without toilet paper is an anxiety provoking situation for most, so faced with the prospect of prolonged isolation or self-quarantine it becomes rationale to stock up.

The large size of TP roll packaging makes absences in stores more noticeable to the public, who start to fear that they will miss out, buy up and propagate the cycle.

I think the TP panic took off earlier in Australia, and over the last few weeks I've come to realise that a lot of my patients are preppers and are the type to not run out of essential items. When it became mainstream news here, I did for a moment consider bringing my own roll to work, as there was the possibility that patients might help themselves to the outpatient toilets. I haven't done this, but since then there have been reports of people stealing TP and hand sanitiser from public health facilities
Makes sense! I caught an otherwise pleasant elderly gentleman patient of mine trying to steal hand sanitizer when the stocking craze had started. Poor guy, I'm sure he was nervous and just trying to look out for himself too. My staff politely asked him to put the hand sanitizer back and informed him he cannot take that home.
 
Makes sense! I caught an otherwise pleasant elderly gentleman patient of mine trying to steal hand sanitizer when the stocking craze had started. Poor guy, I'm sure he was nervous and just trying to look out for himself too. My staff politely asked him to put the hand sanitizer back and informed him he cannot take that home.

Have had people doing all sorts of things.
1) Stealing hand sanitiser bottles from hospitals.
2) Breaking the pump dispensers and stealing the containers of sanitiser inside.
3) Bringing their own empty bottles trying to pump them full of sanitiser!

Patients have been telling me that methylated spirits/denatured alcohol are out of stock at hardware stores, because people are trying to make their own sanitiser.
 
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What's sad are the shortages of baby formula (particularly less common types). There isn't always a good substitute. Pediatricians are being called on to try to help people get samples to see them through.

Also diapers.

Other things:
Eggs (stress baking)

Baker's yeast (those packets lose some efficiency in a short time. I like to bake and yet I rarely need yeast. I still don't understand the need for so much if you don't bake all your bready items from scratch at home. I'll just be making my own sourdough starter. Assuming there will be flour, see below).

Rice (I have 2 friends that bought a 20 lb bag. Like, when was the last time you even ate rice? They don't. They will have that bag a year or so from now I would bet.)

White and whole wheat flours (other flours are still plentiful)

If your current stock of so much of this has been in your house for the better part of a year and it's still there, I have no idea why you would need to buy 5x as much right now.

Now we get into what is alive and may suffer:

Garden seeds
Chicks
Adopted dogs (not cats, covid is gonna screw cats)

It's clear with the uptick in purchase of the 3 items above, that it's being done by a lot of first timers. Which is great if people find they have equal dedication to the free time that prompted the acquisition. I doubt it. Now is and isn't the time for first times.

Victory gardens might be nice. However many seeds purchased are fated never to be planted, and I've already seen more of the same in first time garden buyers this year.

But the surge in purchasing is actually becoming a problem for Native American peoples and other rural peoples that rely on seed supplies for their nutritional needs, not just a first time experiment to insure one's supply line on a fresher bunch of kale for their green smoothie stays intact in the apocalypse.

But if more people come to appreciate horticulture, cool I guess.

Already people are realizing after 6-8 weeks inside, they have nowhere to safely house their chicks outside. Or if it's even legal to have them where they live.

What's ridiculous is it takes 22 weeks to get a chick up to an egg-laying hen. That's true for industry too, theirs don't grow faster. They can address any long term egg shortage in the long term by growing more chicks/hens. (Short term people just need to go back to eating the number they were eating. Maybe quit stress baking so many cookies).

So buying chicks for your backyard right now does not address the current egg shortage. Industry will fix it right around the time of the worst of this being behind us. And by then people will be bored of their chickens.

(Responsible chicken ownership has big ramifications for other wildlife. Coyotes, foxes, racoons are attracted. Coyotes eat everything. These predator populations boom and wildlife prey decline. These predators are prey for mountain lions and bears. Result are decimated bird etc populations and people-acclimated bears that have to be put down. No joke, it operates like a food chain. You can't just decide you don't want to care for your hens anymore and let them roam at night to be eaten. But will people do that? Of course).

Egg industry as opposed to other animal agriculture industries, we can trust won't slow down with covid, as they're not very reliant on close-in slaughterhouse/factory worker conditions or immigrant labor to create supply.

Most of the people that I know buying chicks before now, do it every year. Not just cuz farming is fun (it is) but because they were economically and nutritionally dependent on them.

What it comes down to with most things, there was enough for the people who were creating the steady demand leading to the current supply, and those buyers tended to rely on that supply.

The problem is everyone changed their buying habits. By buying things they had never bought before, didn't really need, might not ever use, and more they could really use, now there's less for people that had come to depend on what's there.

It's come up how the hoarding has disproportionately affected those with less access: poor, rural, those still at work. Healthcare workers are getting hit hard because they're not off the job, and some people are getting off work to face empty shelves at the store after everyone else has been there, shift after shift, no dice.

And at baseline I think a lot of dog owners are irresponsible. Somehow I question many new owners in mass shelter animal adoption drives, driven mainly by cabin fever, as good forever homes.

No one is able to do anything about the cat populations (catch & fix) so they'll balloon, and their adoptions haven't gone up. Dogs are a lot trendier. In fact, a lot of people are trying to use dogs as an excuse to get out of the house and even socialize with other people.

Any given Sunday, there's enough food in my place for 2, for 6-8 weeks, at any time. Might not look pretty at week 4, but there's enough.

I get that people have monetary, space, dietary considerations that they're not stocked as well.

Then again, no one ever bought a chick or a seed because they were hungry *now.* And if you didn't need to buy those things a year ago, you don't need them now.

And you don't need 20 lbs of rice if you don't eat rice.
 
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What's sad are the shortages of baby formula (particularly less common types). There isn't always a good substitute. Pediatricians are being called on to try to help people get samples to see them through.

Also diapers.

Other things:
Eggs (stress baking)

Baker's yeast (those packets lose some efficiency in a short time. I like to bake and yet I rarely need yeast. I still don't understand the need for so much if you don't bake all your bready items from scratch at home. I'll just be making my own sourdough starter. Assuming there will be flour, see below).

Rice (I have 2 friends that bought a 20 lb bag. Like, when was the last time you even ate rice? They don't. They will have that bag a year or so from now I would bet.)

White and whole wheat flours (other flours are still plentiful)

If your current stock of so much of this has been in your house for the better part of a year and it's still there, I have no idea why you would need to buy 5x as much right now.

Now we get into what is alive and may suffer:

Garden seeds
Chicks
Adopted dogs (not cats, covid is gonna screw cats)

It's clear with the uptick in purchase of the 3 items above, that it's being done by a lot of first timers. Which is great if people find they have equal dedication to the free time that prompted the acquisition. I doubt it. Now is and isn't the time for first times.

Victory gardens might be nice. However many seeds purchased are fated never to be planted, and I've already seen more of the same in first time garden buyers this year.

But the surge in purchasing is actually becoming a problem for Native American peoples and other rural peoples that rely on seed supplies for their nutritional needs, not just a first time experiment to insure one's supply line on a fresher bunch of kale for their green smoothie stays intact in the apocalypse.

But if more people come to appreciate horticulture, cool I guess.

Already people are realizing after 6-8 weeks inside, they have nowhere to safely house their chicks outside. Or if it's even legal to have them where they live.

What's ridiculous is it takes 22 weeks to get a chick up to an egg-laying hen. That's true for industry too, theirs don't grow faster. They can address any long term egg shortage in the long term by growing more chicks/hens. (Short term people just need to go back to eating the number they were eating. Maybe quit stress baking so many cookies).

So buying chicks for your backyard right now does not address the current egg shortage. Industry will fix it right around the time of the worst of this being behind us. And by then people will be bored of their chickens.

(Responsible chicken ownership has big ramifications for other wildlife. Coyotes, foxes, racoons are attracted. Coyotes eat everything. These predator populations boom and wildlife prey decline. These predators are prey for mountain lions and bears. Result are decimated bird etc populations and people-acclimated bears that have to be put down. No joke, it operates like a food chain. You can't just decide you don't want to care for your hens anymore and let them roam at night to be eaten. But will people do that? Of course).

Egg industry as opposed to other animal agriculture industries, we can trust won't slow down with covid, as they're not very reliant on close-in slaughterhouse/factory worker conditions or immigrant labor to create supply.

Most of the people that I know buying chicks before now, do it every year. Not just cuz farming is fun (it is) but because they were economically and nutritionally dependent on them.

What it comes down to with most things, there was enough for the people who were creating the steady demand leading to the current supply, and those buyers tended to rely on that supply.

The problem is everyone changed their buying habits. By buying things they had never bought before, didn't really need, might not ever use, and more they could really use, now there's less for people that had come to depend on what's there.

It's come up how the hoarding has disproportionately affected those with less access: poor, rural, those still at work. Healthcare workers are getting hit hard because they're not off the job, and some people are getting off work to face empty shelves at the store after everyone else has been there, shift after shift, no dice.

And at baseline I think a lot of dog owners are irresponsible. Somehow I question many new owners in mass shelter animal adoption drives, driven mainly by cabin fever, as good forever homes.

No one is able to do anything about the cat populations (catch & fix) so they'll balloon, and their adoptions haven't gone up. Dogs are a lot trendier. In fact, a lot of people are trying to use dogs as an excuse to get out of the house and even socialize with other people.

Any given Sunday, there's enough food in my place for 2, for 6-8 weeks, at any time. Might not look pretty at week 4, but there's enough.

I get that people have monetary, space, dietary considerations that they're not stocked as well.

Then again, no one ever bought a chick or a seed because they were hungry *now.* And if you didn't need to buy those things a year ago, you don't need them now.

And you don't need 20 lbs of rice if you don't eat rice.

Sir, this is a Wendy's.
 
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Nice little calculator. Claims my tp bought before all this should last me 3-4 months. My bf's uncle bought 48 rolls which for one person should last 8 months.

This app and its results are the only reason I'm not more angry about the hoarding. At least I know I can likely last until I can hope there's more tp again.

Pass the app on. It might save lives by preventing tp-realted violence.
 
OK. I get we're letting off steam about tp in here.

And laughing about hand sanitizer being stolen, and hey, there's tp in the hospital. Nbd.

I've just been following the news a little too much.

I thought it was just tp and sanitizer and such, and would die down.

Now they're saying we haven't hit the peak on hoarding yet, or shortages.

They said US supply was perfect and this was just short term. Well, yes and no. Our food infrastructure is mostly OK right now. But things are changing....

The UN came out saying this is a threat to the world never faced in its history and surpassing that of WWII, and in the same paragraph noted that global food and other supply chains are already breaking down. There will be shortages.

Preppers are buying more guns to protect their hoards.

It is getting crazier out there. All my friends are buying seeds, little did I know how that would affect Native Americans. Just trying to raise a little awareness. We're all in good positions to pass on the message: don't change your buying habits. Conserve, but don't hoard.
 
It is getting crazier out there. All my friends are buying seeds, little did I know how that would affect Native Americans. Just trying to raise a little awareness. We're all in good positions to pass on the message: don't change your buying habits. Conserve, but don't hoard.


You don't have to hoard. You only have to survive longer than someone who does.

I mean, why do the work when someone will do it for you?
 
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You don't have to hoard. You only have to survive longer than someone who does.

I mean, why do the work when someone will do it for you?

I mean, I already know which of my neighbors has stocked up pretty well. I'm also fairly sure which have guns and which do not. So yeah, I'm good.
 
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You don't have to hoard. You only have to survive longer than someone who does.

I mean, why do the work when someone will do it for you?

This.
 
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Turns out it might bot really be hoarding at all... but supply chains. Good read. Talks about the coping mechanisms of panic buying as well.

Also I have covid. RR 27 makes me feel a little anxious and sleepless. I'm mostly coping with quarantine by obsessively reading the news and then writing about it online thinking I might save the world (and myself) through news evangelism.
 

Turns out it might bot really be hoarding at all... but supply chains. Good read. Talks about the coping mechanisms of panic buying as well.

Also I have covid. RR 27 makes me feel a little anxious and sleepless. I'm mostly coping with quarantine by obsessively reading the news and then writing about it online thinking I might save the world (and myself) through news evangelism.
Sorry you got it. Is RR 27 a drug?
 
Thank you.

It's my respiratory rate at rest. Normal is 12 - 20. Most people hang around 16.
Oh gotcha. I was googling "RR 27" thinking it was a code name for a novel drug. :)

Sorry about the respiratory issues and it impacting sleep and causing anxiety. I hope you are on the mend very soon.
 
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Turns out it might bot really be hoarding at all... but supply chains. Good read. Talks about the coping mechanisms of panic buying as well.

Also I have covid. RR 27 makes me feel a little anxious and sleepless. I'm mostly coping with quarantine by obsessively reading the news and then writing about it online thinking I might save the world (and myself) through news evangelism.
How are you doing now? I was looking for updates and may have missed them somewhere else.
 
In support of that being aware of the senselessness while still being just as preoccupied, I've not encountered anyone yet with health anxiety/contamination themes who seems to have gotten worse with the COVID pandemic. I have however run across someone who previously struggled with a different theme who is now entirely wrapped up with the thought that he will -develop- contamination OCD and reassurance seeking around that.

I will never understand how so many of my colleagues find this spectrum of disorders boring.
I'm surprised that people find it boring. OCD can be refractory and that can lead to frustration and hopelessness. Maybe that's what they're calling boring because they can't recognize those more primary emotions (anger, sadness.)
 
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I'm surprised that people find it boring. OCD can be refractory and that can lead to frustration and hopelessness. Maybe that's what they're calling boring because they can't recognize those more primary emotions (anger, sadness.)

I'm a phenomenology dweeb and really only psychosis has a more richly developed descriptive lexicon. So there's that. Also philosophical issues about belief formation.

Musn't forget disgust and guilt as well!

I feel like refractory OCD cases are much more like chronic incurable disease in the rest of medicine because there is usually less ambivalence towards the symptoms and a more consistent sense of the treater and the patient being allied against the same opponent.
 
How are you doing now? I was looking for updates and may have missed them somewhere else.
I finally got over covid, mostly. I still feel pretty fatigued, and I feel like I get there quicker with normal activity. I've started my 2 week post-symptom quarantine (evidence shows that only 50% of people are testing negative at day 8 after symptoms resolve, last I saw from the CDC that was their rec for returning to the world. With the standard deviation being what it is, expect 96% to test negative after 14 days. Point is aim closer to 14 days vs 8 days before you visit gramma).

6 weeks of my life lost to covid, but it's a lot less than a lot of people.

On a bright note, there was tp at not one, but several box stores, like Walmart and New Seasons. We may survive as a species.
 
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I finally got over covid, mostly. I still feel pretty fatigued, and I feel like I get there quicker with normal activity. I've started my 2 week post-symptom quarantine (evidence shows that only 50% of people are testing negative at day 8 after symptoms resolve, last I saw from the CDC that was their rec for returning to the world. With the standard deviation being what it is, expect 96% to test negative after 14 days. Point is aim closer to 14 days vs 8 days before you visit gramma).

6 weeks of my life lost to covid, but it's a lot less than a lot of people.

On a bright note, there was tp at not one, but several box stores, like Walmart and New Seasons. We may survive as a species.
So glad you are better. Sorry it had to be such a rough ride to get there.
 
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I finally got over covid, mostly. I still feel pretty fatigued, and I feel like I get there quicker with normal activity. I've started my 2 week post-symptom quarantine (evidence shows that only 50% of people are testing negative at day 8 after symptoms resolve, last I saw from the CDC that was their rec for returning to the world. With the standard deviation being what it is, expect 96% to test negative after 14 days. Point is aim closer to 14 days vs 8 days before you visit gramma).

6 weeks of my life lost to covid, but it's a lot less than a lot of people.

On a bright note, there was tp at not one, but several box stores, like Walmart and New Seasons. We may survive as a species.
So sorry you became infected... and glad that you are doing better...
 
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