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COVID Silver Linings?
Old 09-29-2020, 05:35 AM   #1
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COVID Silver Linings?

The recently started thread on "The Mental Part of Weight Loss" got me thinking about the "silver linings" that we might find in all of the cultural changes that have been thrust upon us with COVID.

Fortunately for me, most of my exercise avenues are still open. Golf, walking, my ongoing solo PT I do every day to maintain and build strength in various parts of my body that I've managed to injure over time. I've never struggled too much with weight, and DW and I don't eat out a lot, but that's gone down to just about zero now...

But when we returned from Florida to NY State in April, nothing was moving. Golf and pickle were still shut down, weather was dreadful here in April and most of May. I was depressed.

I picked up my long ignored acoustic guitar. I've had guitars since I was 13, but never really disciplined myself to stick with the hard part of learning to play songs very well. Now, at the tender age of 67 I think I've found the right attitude to enjoy it. I'll never be great, but if I can make a few pleasant sounds come out of it now and then, and hear some progress over time, that seems to be reward enough.

Anybody else want to share some personal stories of how the pandemic may have steered you towards something positive in your life?
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Old 09-29-2020, 05:40 AM   #2
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Old 09-29-2020, 05:44 AM   #3
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I started dating during the pandemic after losing my DW of 45 years in May of 2019. By starting to date during the pandemic, I was able to spend time sitting in a park and talking for hours with the person I met on Christian Mingle. She was also a widow, and we had so much in common. During normal times, and the usual dinner date, I would have never learned so much about this person. With the pandemic having shut down all of the bars and restaurants, our only
venue was a Park where we walked and talked for 4 hours the first date, and 8 hours the second date. We have continued our relationship going on 5 months now. She lives 2 hours away, but we have been getting together almost every weekend as she is still employed during the week. She intends to retire at the
end of this year and we hope to begin traveling and enjoying each others company on a regular basis. This has had a profound effect on my loneliness
and my children are very happy for me.
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Old 09-29-2020, 06:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanWinkle View Post
I started dating during the pandemic after losing my DW of 45 years in May of 2019. By starting to date during the pandemic, I was able to spend time sitting in a park and talking for hours with the person I met on Christian Mingle. She was also a widow, and we had so much in common. During normal times, and the usual dinner date, I would have never learned so much about this person. With the pandemic having shut down all of the bars and restaurants, our only
venue was a Park where we walked and talked for 4 hours the first date, and 8 hours the second date. We have continued our relationship going on 5 months now. She lives 2 hours away, but we have been getting together almost every weekend as she is still employed during the week. She intends to retire at the
end of this year and we hope to begin traveling and enjoying each others company on a regular basis. This has had a profound effect on my loneliness
and my children are very happy for me.
Very nice!
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Old 09-29-2020, 07:41 AM   #5
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I think preventing the flu is a silver lining. Wearing a mask, distancing, disinfecting helps avoid the flu as well. Plus, I plan to figure out hobbies I can do at home like painting, quilting or something indoors. Most of my time has been outside in safe areas like parks and forest preserves. Now, most everything will be indoors and not in restaurants or anyone else's house.
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Old 09-29-2020, 08:00 AM   #6
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We are certainly spending much less money on travel and leisure and more money on Home Improvements. I'm spending more time in our home music studio and improving audio recording and mixing skills. We expect things to return to normal by the end of 2021 or early 2022.
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Old 09-29-2020, 02:06 PM   #7
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Another music one... My son plays the piano. My husband decided to refresh his guitar skills and they've been working on collaborations. It's awesome to see them bonding on this. DH is practicing guitar in the backyard whenever he gets bored (while son does his distance learning).

For me it's a deeper appreciation of my beach walks. They were taken away early in the pandemic, which has made me appreciate the beach, the people who I see there (regulars, surfers, etc), and just the nice way to start the day. Our walks are a bit different - more social distance, masks, etc... But it's nice to have that daily connection. I definitely have a stronger appreciation. Walks around the neighborhood are not as good.
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Old 09-29-2020, 02:21 PM   #8
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For us it's been a sort of forced reduction in spending exercise to see what life would be like if we didn't travel, eat out, or spend on our favorite activity (tennis). We've learned that life can still be excellent, and we can spend far below our ER budget for an extended period of time if need be and still be quite happy.

I expect when things are back to normal our spending will pick back up, but it has been nice to learn that should we experience a rough year or two (or more) of retirement in terms of earnings or unexpected expenses, we can easily cut back our "normal" spending without suffering.
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Old 09-29-2020, 02:30 PM   #9
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Since we haven't been to a restaurant this year, I've been doing 100% of the cooking and I find that I really enjoy the iterative process of improving a dish to the point where we can't imagine a better one.

So far I've reached that point with my crustless quiche lorraine, baby back ribs on the BGE, and a sort of hybrid soup I kind of invented. I've also settled on the best (for me) way to cook any sort of chicken. It's nice to be able to know in advance that the day's cooking effort is guaranteed to be perfect. I also generally make far more than we need for the day, so there are always excellent leftovers that can be nuked at a moment's notice.

The other thing I've done a lot of this year is my new hobby of woodturning. Alas, that is very much still a work in progress.
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Old 09-29-2020, 04:21 PM   #10
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Congratulations! So nice that your children are happy for you too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by VanWinkle View Post
I started dating during the pandemic after losing my DW of 45 years in May of 2019. By starting to date during the pandemic, I was able to spend time sitting in a park and talking for hours with the person I met on Christian Mingle. She was also a widow, and we had so much in common. During normal times, and the usual dinner date, I would have never learned so much about this person. With the pandemic having shut down all of the bars and restaurants, our only
venue was a Park where we walked and talked for 4 hours the first date, and 8 hours the second date. We have continued our relationship going on 5 months now. She lives 2 hours away, but we have been getting together almost every weekend as she is still employed during the week. She intends to retire at the
end of this year and we hope to begin traveling and enjoying each others company on a regular basis. This has had a profound effect on my loneliness
and my children are very happy for me.
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Old 09-29-2020, 07:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
Since we haven't been to a restaurant this year, I've been doing 100% of the cooking and I find that I really enjoy the iterative process of improving a dish to the point where we can't imagine a better one.

So far I've reached that point with my crustless quiche lorraine, baby back ribs on the BGE, and a sort of hybrid soup I kind of invented. I've also settled on the best (for me) way to cook any sort of chicken. It's nice to be able to know in advance that the day's cooking effort is guaranteed to be perfect. I also generally make far more than we need for the day, so there are always excellent leftovers that can be nuked at a moment's notice.

The other thing I've done a lot of this year is my new hobby of woodturning. Alas, that is very much still a work in progress.
Cool!

I have been doing tons of crustless quiches. Almost one a week as we get 3 breakfasts out of one made with 5 eggs. I have made a ton of variations. Usually bacon with shallots, but sometimes Spanish chorizo instead which adds a lot of color. Feta and gruyere cheeses. Main veggie - leeks, or fennel, spinach with or without mushrooms, even canned green chilis came out terrific.

And my smoker has been kept busy - tried new thing like duck and sausage.

We havenít been to a restaurant either since March.
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Old 09-29-2020, 08:35 PM   #12
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I like this topic. We talked about it last night during dinner -- where we ate our newly perfected recipe for fish tacos. Yum! During covid, we have been enjoying our cooking, food, eating, leftovers on a whole new level. We are trying lots of new recipes and expanding our palates.


Also, early on in the pandemic, I decided to maximize my immune-building Vitamin D production by getting outside every day, if possible, to exercise. Six months in, I haven't missed a day of exercise (although not all have been outside due to occasional weather).



And, the biggest covid result for our family is that my DH, who at age 60 has never really been into anything that constitutes exercise, has turned into a bike nerd. Early on in March or so, he fixed up some hand-me-down bikes we had in our garage, and we got out to ride. It was fun, so we then started getting serious and managed to score some really good bikes, which were really hard to find. Since then, he has drunk the cycling kool aid, and it's been really fun for him and for me.



Good food and fun, new exercise opportunities are definitely the silver lining for us.
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Old 09-29-2020, 10:37 PM   #13
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Kids are fully home, and I learned to bake good cookies for them. Our backyard looks wonderful now that the trees and shrubs are being taking care of properly. I have been working from home and have had a taste of semi-retired life. I like it and am more seriously about getting Fired than ever. When travel and other things get back to normal, I may turn in my notice on a whim just to take DW on a trip around the world.
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Old 09-30-2020, 12:01 AM   #14
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I don't have to look at so many ugly mugs when out and about. Just to be safe, I have asked the CDC to require wearing double masks, in case the first one breaks.
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Old 09-30-2020, 12:09 AM   #15
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In addition to losing a bit of weight, I've actually had closer relations with family. They're on the mainland and we didn't get to go this year due to Covid. BUT because of Zoom, we've been getting together MORE than we did when we could travel. I miss the in-person contact, but the quantity has improved immensely.

I'm almost ashamed to admit this, but I'm actually in better financial shape than before Covid. My mix of investments has beat the indexes AND I received the Covid payments! Precious metals are up, my old megacorp's stock is up, inflation is stable. Throw in the fact that we've not been spending any money this year, and the port is up significantly. I'd gladly trade my gains to be rid of Covid, but the silver lining can't be denied in my case. YMMV
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Old 09-30-2020, 12:38 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanWinkle View Post
I started dating during the pandemic after losing my DW of 45 years in May of 2019. By starting to date during the pandemic, I was able to spend time sitting in a park and talking for hours with the person I met on Christian Mingle. She was also a widow, and we had so much in common. During normal times, and the usual dinner date, I would have never learned so much about this person. With the pandemic having shut down all of the bars and restaurants, our only
venue was a Park where we walked and talked for 4 hours the first date, and 8 hours the second date. We have continued our relationship going on 5 months now. She lives 2 hours away, but we have been getting together almost every weekend as she is still employed during the week. She intends to retire at the
end of this year and we hope to begin traveling and enjoying each others company on a regular basis. This has had a profound effect on my loneliness
and my children are very happy for me.
Wonderful news. I am very happy for you. Silver lining for sure!!!
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Old 09-30-2020, 12:42 AM   #17
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We've got tons done for our backyard. Two ugly sheds gone with a new smallish shed. All trees and bushes pruned. We added a new garden bench to admire the new look.
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Old 09-30-2020, 12:48 AM   #18
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Just when this mess started I found the book 'year of wonder' by Clemency Burton Hill.
She introduces one classical piece of music per day. The pieces can be found easily on youtube.
Now I start my day with the piece of the day.
I have got to know a lot of old and new music.
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Old 09-30-2020, 08:49 AM   #19
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1. I got out on my bicycle again. They gym is now open but bicycling is my first preference, at least till it gets cold. I just bought a great new bike!

2. Travel spending is down and even next year most will be funded (if it happens) by credits from previous cancelled trips. As a result I've donated more to charity and to my grandkids' 529 accounts and was able to pay cash for a new car without any serious disruption to the budget.

3. I started downloading books form the public library. I'm reading a LOT more now- easier on my eyes even though I get my eyes checked regularly and my prescription is up-to-date. Bonus: my granddaughters download books when I visit them, too! They head straight for the licensed characters (Paw Patrol, Disney princesses) but they're reading and that's good news.
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Old 09-30-2020, 09:22 AM   #20
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While I have silver linings on a personal level, I thought I'd comment on a silver lining for humanity. Our knowledge about the mechanisms of human immunity have been back burner and not much progress has been made. The silver lining is that so many smart people are concentrating on this problem, we're bound to learn more about how immunity works. Like Apollo, so many advances because smart people were all tasked to get something done, and so many tangential advancements, today, lots of smart people working on a common public health problem, and my hopes are for a better understanding for how to keep us all healthy.
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