piperki (piperki) wrote in thequestionclub,
piperki
piperki
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Is this a mass gathering and am I therefore a covidiot

Okay, so. I live an apartment by myself and I work from home. My partner lives in a house by himself and he works from home. We are mostly apart during the week but together Friday/Saturday/Sunday evenings, and sometimes we do an afternoon hike or yard work project at his place. I have been going for occasional haircuts. Each of us does curbside pickup for groceries, but I also go into the food co-op once every week for produce and drinking water (our water is GROSS, the co-op has a water filtering machine where I can refill my containers). I have seen one friend at a time for very distant walks about once a month since March (like 10-15 feet apart, masks on). Probably will stop that now. I canceled my gym membership and I now work out in my tiny living room.

Our county had relaxed all the rules and opened up bars, churches, schools, gyms, salons, all the shops and restaurants. These were all supposed to have limited capacity, but the mall parking lots, the bar parking lots, the restaurant parking lots are packed, stores are busy (I last went into a bigger grocery store a month ago and it was average busy for pre-pandemic times). Small in-person indoor gatherings and larger outdoor gatherings were permitted. Now we've had a big uptick in cases. This week, the county issued a stern warning that "mass gatherings" indoors are prohibited, and later clarified that "mass" means "any gathering of more than one person with anyone they don't live with." The bars, restaurants, gyms, salons, and stores are still open; only the schools have gone remote.

I plan to cancel my next haircut, as my hairstylist works all day long with the public and coworkers, and she has young kids at home who see other kids, and she's still getting chiropractic, massage etc. herself. Love her, but I can wait for a hairdo. Everything else about my life and his life is the same (work, remote shopping). I do not intend to keep away from my partner for an indefinite period of months. Am I therefore a covidiot?
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  • 42 comments
what is your partner doing as far as limiting his interactions with others? If he's behaving similarly to you, I think you're probably good, but if he's being notably less careful, then I'd think he's exposing you to almost as much risk as himself.
He has no in-person interactions with others. It's because of this that I'm canceling the haircut - to protect him and match his level of non-interaction.

noodledays

1 week ago

piperki

1 week ago

noodledays

1 week ago

I think you’re doing fine and should continue to see your partner on weekends.

Keep what sanity you have left. Live life. Don't let the rona define your life

Sure would be nice if we had a fucking choice.

hajiomatic

1 week ago

shippo

1 week ago

fieryphoenix

1 week ago

piperki

1 week ago

hajiomatic

1 week ago

fieryphoenix

1 week ago

noodledays

1 week ago

hajiomatic

1 week ago

fieryphoenix

1 week ago

hajiomatic

1 week ago

fieryphoenix

1 week ago

shippo

1 week ago

fieryphoenix

1 week ago

shippo

1 week ago

hajiomatic

1 week ago

shippo

1 week ago

fieryphoenix

1 week ago

piperki

1 week ago

shippo

1 week ago

fieryphoenix

1 week ago

piperki

1 week ago

shippo

1 week ago

piperki

1 week ago

Assuming your partner is as cautious as you, you're doing fine. I see the dynamic as equivalent to the two of you living together.
Yeah, that's what my friend (a wildlife biologist who studies viruses) said..."they're not talking about you guys." Not because we're special, but because we literally have no contact with any other people.
So long as you and your partner continue being as cautious as you say you are, I would consider that the two of you effectively live together and you can continue commuting between your two domiciles. If anyone in your county is actually enforcing anything, they may disagree. But you are not being an idiot.
I would investigate how your partner is treating their interactions with others, but if they are following the same restrictions as yourself you are not a covidiot. Your county government *is* a covidiot, however, putting businesses ahead of people's lives. Livelihoods can be made back again, lives, not so much (caveat I am in a privileged position that I am an essential worker who can work from home but also I lost 3 friends to covid complications in the summer. Fuck the virus. I'd rather see the economy take the hit than attend more zoom funerals. My feelings might be different if I didn't have job security, but I dunno I still think people's lives have intrinsic value beyond what they can do for the economy).
He has no interactions with others. We're both lucky that we can do this - he's had to reduce but not stop his usual work because it had an in-person component and he just started refusing those assignments. He's more afraid of getting sick than I am. I don't particularly care if I live, but I definitely don't want to burden the hospitals, which are already at capacity.

This week, the grocery store I use most often has 1/3 to 1/2 of the staff out sick (I've talked to two different employees and heard two different figures). To my mind, those employees are essential, and I am so sorry the community isn't doing anything to protect THEM. When I drove back from his place yesterday evening after a movie night, I passed bars where people were lined up waiting to get in.

classics_lover

1 week ago

Yeah, the guidelines about never mixing with folks who don't live together seem to completely ignore the implications for folks who live alone. Not all of us have partners, kids, roommates, etc to provide connection and oxytocin for the duration. I also live alone and I stuck strictly to that for more than 2 months-- and I consider myself pretty damn introverted but it does really start to fuck with your head when you have not had a single conversation that is not virtual or over the phone and have not touched another human being for more than 60 days. We all need our "bubble" of people we can connect with.

The key is knowing and trusting what everyone in your "bubble" is doing. The trouble starts when you've decided certain select people are your bubble, but they also have additional people in their bubble, who have additional people in their bubble-- and suddenly the bubble is pretty damn big and you may not even know the full extent of it. If both of you genuinely are seeing no one else besides each other, you have a truly closed bubble and you're fine-- and likely safer than the majority of the people in your community, who will in all likelihood ignore this mandate (which is why we are where we are in the first place).

Where I'm getting frustrated lately is how workplaces are dictating the amount of risk their workers assume (schools are back open! restaurants are back open! shops are back open! and healthcare has been operating all along), while the community tells us we can't even connect with our core support network if we don't live with them. So every day I have to go into a giant petri dish (no, the kindergarteners do NOT keep their masks on and over their noses the whole day, nor are they effectively at social distancing, and I've already caught one nasty viral thing with a fever so far this season) for my job, but I should question whether I can even have my parents over for Thanksgiving?-- especially since my job makes me exponentially more risky as a possible vector now? And healthcare workers have had this going on for the duration! I'm trying to be careful and this double standard is really starting to wear on me, and at this point many people don't care at all. It's inevitably going to make this drag on even longer.
That really sucks. I'm so sorry you're going through this, ugh.

My mom just opted out of Thanksgiving with my sister. Sister just bought a house and has had to go to Lowe's several times, plus other related errands. Mom went grocery shopping in person because the traveling knife-sharpening dude was at the store that day. Mom said it's just too risky, they've all been out in public too much lately, so nope. Sister will drop off a dinner at Mom's.

kirstennnnnn

November 21 2020, 15:27:08 UTC 1 week ago Edited:  November 21 2020, 15:29:07 UTC

it's all a balance. you can't protect yourself 100%, but the more you can isolate, the lower your odds of catching it. you also only have one life to live. what risks are you willing to take to do so? i think you can live pretty "normally" if you wear a mask and wash your hands after touching commonly used items. when you take off the mask is when you will need to ask yourself your values. are you more afraid of catching covid than kissing your boyfriend? are you more afraid of covid than eating a meal with family? what about fear of them catching covid from you? etc. only you can ultimately choose those limits for yourself. although i do think people should respect the wishes of establishments. if a store says "masks required", be a good guest and put on a damned mask or go somewhere else that doesn't care. it is the store's private property and has nothing to do with your personal rights. don't be a dickhead.
Yeah. My family lives 8 hours' drive away, so I haven't seen them since last Thanksgiving. It's easy enough to choose here where I live, boyfriend or rest of the world - of course I choose him. I think if one of us were taking a lot more risk than the other, we'd have to stay apart until there's a vaccine.

My previous partner is likely much more cavalier about exposure and risk. If I were still with him, I'd probably have stopped seeing him when the pandemic arrived in Washington state. But fortunately, though we are still friends, he's in another state now.
it sounds like you're taking suitable precautions. and you should know that you're doing more than most of the population is to stay safe. and from the comments it sounds like your partner is doing the same. visiting one person does not make you a covidiot.

my brother works from home and lives alone. my elderly parents live together and are retired. and i'm disabled and live alone. we've gathered for a couple family dinners even though we're from three different households and thats discouraged. we're all taking precautions and all have limited exposure outside the home. and we all need a bit of *real live* human interaction to keep us sane thru this isolation. there are also mental health concerns for most of the family, myself included. we're not doing it on a regular basis. we're not running around willy nilly or having friends or neighbor over, just the four of us. my other brother and his wife live out of state, and are staying home for xmas this year when they normally fly here to see both his and her families. both families agree thats for the best. and mom has reassured them repeatedly that she is ok with it (and we've reassured them we'll keep an eye out with mom in case she becomes not ok with it.) i dont think we're covidiots either. if either me or my brother had jobs to leave the house for, we wouldnt be visiting our parents like this. but we're all pretty much home bound. we figure we're doing the best we can, but staying *safe* means a bit more to those of us with severe depression than only avoiding the pandemic.