Freedom Begins with the First Step

 

Has anyone had hesitation about going outside during this lockdown? Do you feel as if you are starting an uncertain journey each time, with unclear risks and uncertain potential outcomes?

Do you feel crazy or foolish for feeling that way?

Well, we are about to venture out, my husband and I. Some of you know that we’re in the high-risk category (over 70) and my husband has a lung condition. He isn’t afraid, but he also doesn’t want to do “something stupid.” Six weeks ago, I started grocery shopping on my own, which was no big deal. (We enjoyed doing it together on the weekend.) But then about four weeks ago, we decided to have our groceries delivered; we rationalized that, on balance, it worked pretty well with easy, short-term delivery dates. That we occasionally received the wrong product or didn’t get what we wanted could be explained away. Besides, it was the safest way to go.

My husband told me a few days ago that he thought we could begin our own shopping on May 1. I said I’d be glad to shop on my own, but he wanted us to go together; I liked the idea. This morning I mentioned that others might use May 1 as a kick-off date and the stores might be more crowded. Besides, since we were sneaking out, it didn’t matter when we went, and when he took a moment to think about it, he agreed. So we’ll grocery shop together, probably Tuesday morning, armed with our hand sanitizer and masks.

We are both tired of all the confusion about lockdowns, wondering how helpful they are, and being labeled indefinitely the most vulnerable. We are strong, independent people and never like being told what to do, even when it’s good for us. We prefer to say “no” when strangers request many things, unless you have the stamina to tell us why we should go along. So acquiescing to the government is not only annoying but, in some ways, it eats at our hearts and souls.

Are we being foolish to go out, or resolute in our commitment to take care of ourselves and exercise our rights? At this point, I don’t think it matters. It is time to appreciate that the government is trying to help and venture out resolutely on our own spiritual and daily path.

Freedom begins with the first step.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Eh, I went out this morning at 5:30 AM. Best time to be out. Nobody else is.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Eh, I went out this morning at 5:30 AM. Best time to be out. Nobody else is.

    I don’t think I can get Jerry out to shop that early. 😉

    • #2
  3. Hammer, The Member
    Hammer, The
    @RyanM

    I actually haven’t changed my behavior in any way, with the exception of not being able to go to places that are closed. I’m still going to the grocery stores, any other places that are open (lowes, etc…), taking walks and bike-rides, going to parks. Yesterday, we went to the tennis courts and played tennis. I have generally been of the opinion that the lockdowns are nonsense and that our governors are something a few degrees worse than “blind leading the blind.” They have access to no more information that we’ve all been studying the past few months, but they do have a lot of perverse incentives and their own elections to think about… I don’t think they are malicious, but I do think they are extremely ham-fisted, because that is the only type of solution that government creates.

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    I actually haven’t changed my behavior in any way, with the exception of not being able to go to places that are closed. I’m still going to the grocery stores, any other places that are open (lowes, etc…), taking walks and bike-rides, going to parks. Yesterday, we went to the tennis courts and played tennis. I have generally been of the opinion that the lockdowns are nonsense and that our governors are something a few degrees worse than “blind leading the blind.” They have access to no more information that we’ve all been studying the past few months, but they do have a lot of perverse incentives and their own elections to think about… I don’t think they are malicious, but I do think they are extremely ham-fisted, because that is the only type of solution that government creates.

    Good for you! And I can’t disagree with your points–I just don’t know. I also don’t know how much I’ve limited my behavior because of my husband’s condition, and his concern that when I go out, I could bring it home with me. That might just be an excuse, but I’m glad he’s ready to move forward.

    • #4
  5. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    I’m not going to visit my 92-year-old mother any time soon. And of course most activities we participate in have been closed. But I have no hesitation in going outside or going to the grocery store.

     

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    I’m not going to visit my 92-year-old mother any time soon. And of course most activities we participate in have been closed. But I have no hesitation in going outside or going to the grocery store.

     

    Do you know how your mother is getting her food, @miffedwhitemale? Or is she in facility? If I were you, I wouldn’t visit her either. Tough choices.

    • #6
  7. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Wear a mask, both of you. Wear disposable gloves if you have them. If the store has special hours for at risk people, use them. However, one shouldn’t give up life just to avoid death. Be prudent, but live.

    • #7
  8. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    The only changes in my life have been going to stores less often, and cancelling an Easter visit to my 93 year old father. Otherwise, I still get up and go to the office every day. @concretevol may be essential, but he wouldn’t have much to do without me.

    • #8
  9. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    I am out every day almost all day and travelling to work in other states. That said, given your husband’s risk factors it certainly makes sense to take different precautions than I have. It seems like many people (not sure I would include you in this group) conflate going “outside” with mingling with other people or in groups. I have heard many people talking about being locked in their house and that does seem pretty extreme to me. As far as I am aware, the breeze will not get you sick it is more interpersonal contact that is infectious. Naturally city dwellers in apartments may have a more difficult time enjoying some solitary fresh air but it still seems like it would be pretty easy to go for a drive or something like that.

    • #9
  10. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    The only changes in my life have been going to stores less often, and cancelling an Easter visit to my 93 year old father. Otherwise, I still get up and go to the office everyday. @concretevol may be essential, but he wouldn’t have much to do without me.

    You are a hero Randy

    • #10
  11. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    The only changes in my life have been going to stores less often, and cancelling an Easter visit to my 93 year old father. Otherwise, I still get up and go to the office everyday. @concretevol may be essential, but he wouldn’t have much to do without me.

    You are a hero Randy

    I didn’t see the /sarc tag.

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    I am out every day almost all day and travelling to work in other states. That said, given your husband’s risk factors it certainly makes sense to take different precautions than I have. It seems like many people (not sure I would include you in this group) conflate going “outside” with mingling with other people or in groups. I have heard many people talking about being locked in their house and that does seem pretty extreme to me. As far as I am aware, the breeze will not get you sick it is more interpersonal contact that is infectious. Naturally city dwellers in apartments may have a more difficult time enjoying some solitary fresh air but it still seems like it would be pretty easy to go for a drive or something like that.

    Actually we’ve started to walk outside, @concretevol. I always have taken long, brisk morning walks, but have cut back due to health issues. But then Jerry heard about the benefits of sunshine and fresh air, so we’ve started taking short walks together, without masks; he dislikes going outside because his allergies aggravate his bronchial tubes and lungs. If people are afraid of our breathing on them around here, they can go into the street. We move over on the sidewalk. People are pretty respectful.

    Edit: We’re trying to walk when the pollen is lowest during the day.

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    The only changes in my life have been going to stores less often, and cancelling an Easter visit to my 93 year old father. Otherwise, I still get up and go to the office everyday. @concretevol may be essential, but he wouldn’t have much to do without me.

    You are a hero Randy

    We’ve got a lot of good people watching out for their elderly people, including @randywebster.

    • #13
  14. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    I actually haven’t changed my behavior in any way, with the exception of not being able to go to places that are closed. I’m still going to the grocery stores, any other places that are open (lowes, etc…), taking walks and bike-rides, going to parks. Yesterday, we went to the tennis courts and played tennis. I have generally been of the opinion that the lockdowns are nonsense and that our governors are something a few degrees worse than “blind leading the blind.” They have access to no more information that we’ve all been studying the past few months, but they do have a lot of perverse incentives and their own elections to think about… I don’t think they are malicious, but I do think they are extremely ham-fisted, because that is the only type of solution that government creates.

    Same here. Grocery store, Costco, Lowe’s (grass seed and paint!), car wash, pop shop, farmer’s market, gas station, restaurant carry-out, and walking when it’s not raining.

    our governors are something a few degrees worse than “blind leading the blind.”

    Our goobernor is worse than many. Today he said we need 14 days of declining cases to start any reopening. And we have to ramp up testing. I just wanted to yell at the TV “But the more you test, the more positives you’ll have, Nimrod!”

    • #14
  15. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    OldPhil (View Comment):
    Our goobernor is worse than many.

    Our goobernor just extended the shutdown to May 15th.

    OldPhil (View Comment):
    Lowe’s (grass seed and paint!)

    Obviously, you’re not in my state.

    • #15
  16. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    I’m not going to visit my 92-year-old mother any time soon. And of course most activities we participate in have been closed. But I have no hesitation in going outside or going to the grocery store.

     

    Do you know how your mother is getting her food, @miffedwhitemale? Or is she in facility? If I were you, I wouldn’t visit her either. Tough choices.

    She still living (alone) in the suburban house where she and my dad raised 5 kids. One of my brothers lives about 2 miles away and is available if she needs things. She’s still going to the grocery store when she needs to.

    I store my MR2 in her garage over the winter, and haven’t been over to pick it up yet. I was talking to her yesterday and was going on about how tired I was after spreading 3 yards of mulch at our house earlier this week. She told me she’d like me to come get the car ASAP because she’s been in the process of spreading 15 bags of mulch herself and it’s been in the way of some of the gardening tools she needs, and she’s worried about scratching the car while getting them out.

    She’ll probably outlive me.

     

     

    • #16
  17. Juliana Member
    Juliana
    @Juliana

    I’ve been out almost every day – WalMart, grocery store, Menards, auction, post office, parking lot church service, etc. My daughter and her husband who live next door (and could see that my car was not in the driveway) began to get a little concerned. (I am 65, but don’t have any health conditions.) So my grandsons decided a spike strip was necessary to keep me home. Like I couldn’t pick that up and move it! But an eye roll did the trick and they got it out of the way.

    • #17
  18. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    “Has anyone had a hesitation about going outside during this lock-down?”

    [Sorry, my ‘quote’ button isn’t working.]

    Yes, I’ve had a lot of hesitation, but not from the disease. My hesitation is to get into a confrontation with some busybody who gets in my face about not wearing a mask. That busybody will be asking for a punch, and most likely get it if he doesn’t back off . . .

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    I’m not going to visit my 92-year-old mother any time soon. And of course most activities we participate in have been closed. But I have no hesitation in going outside or going to the grocery store.

     

    Do you know how your mother is getting her food, @miffedwhitemale? Or is she in facility? If I were you, I wouldn’t visit her either. Tough choices.

    She still living (alone) in the suburban house where she and my dad raised 5 kids. One of my brothers lives about 2 miles away and is available if she needs things. She’s still going to the grocery store when she needs to.

    I store my MR2 in her garage over the winter, and haven’t been over to pick it up yet. I was talking to her yesterday and was going on about how tired I was after spreading 3 yards of mulch at our house earlier this week. She told me she’d like me to come get the car ASAP because she’s been in the process of spreading 15 bags of mulch herself and it’s been in the way of some of the gardening tools she needs, and she’s worried about scratching the car while getting them out.

    She’ll probably outlive me.

     

     

    I love your mom! What an inspiration! Thanks. 

    • #19
  20. Southern Pessimist Member
    Southern Pessimist
    @SouthernPessimist

    My wife and I are in a mild to moderate risk category being 70 but otherwise in good health. I feel very comfortable with our approach to social distancing. I wear a mask when inside a store that is open. I am in and out within 10 minutes and I stay at least six feet away from everyone. Once restaurants open, we will go to those that have outdoor seating. I think the active viral prevalence will have dropped considerably by the time things open up. Those of us in our age range will be encouraged not to go out during phase one and phase two but I don’t think it is that hard to avoid exposure if you control your close contact with people indoors.

    • #20
  21. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    I went into work on Tuesday to pick up some hardware that I needed. I joked about it in the PIT, alluding to The Great Escape and Casablanca. “Permission to be on Reich property”. “Letters of transit signed by General de Gaulle. Cannot be rescinded … not even questioned.” Other than the elaborate procedure for verifying that I didn’t have the ‘rona, nothing special.

    • #21
  22. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    I’ve been going about business as usual, pretty much. No eating out at restaurants, which are closed to dine-in customers. I can get take-out, and just did (Five Guys for lunch). Bars are closed, but that doesn’t affect me. It is getting slightly annoying that I can’t have my hair cut, as I was slightly overdue when the shutdown arrived. I would go, but I think that the barbershops are closed.

    I’m in a lower risk group than you, Susan, and Arizona has not been a hot spot (except maybe the Navajo res, which is hundreds of miles away from me).

    Also, per our governor’s decree, lawyers like me are “essential” and can therefore keep working. I worked from home for about a week when I was slightly sick, but have otherwise been in the office, as usual, every day. Mine is a very small office.

    I’m glad that you’re venturing forth a bit more, and agree with the admonitions that you should do so cautiously in your circumstances. I generally think that people under 40, and maybe under 50, should go about life as normal. Their risk is very minimal.

    • #22
  23. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    I’m not going to visit my 92-year-old mother any time soon. And of course most activities we participate in have been closed. But I have no hesitation in going outside or going to the grocery store.

     

    Do you know how your mother is getting her food, @miffedwhitemale? Or is she in facility? If I were you, I wouldn’t visit her either. Tough choices.

    She still living (alone) in the suburban house where she and my dad raised 5 kids. One of my brothers lives about 2 miles away and is available if she needs things. She’s still going to the grocery store when she needs to.

    I store my MR2 in her garage over the winter, and haven’t been over to pick it up yet. I was talking to her yesterday and was going on about how tired I was after spreading 3 yards of mulch at our house earlier this week. She told me she’d like me to come get the car ASAP because she’s been in the process of spreading 15 bags of mulch herself and it’s been in the way of some of the gardening tools she needs, and she’s worried about scratching the car while getting them out.

    She’ll probably outlive me.

     

     

    I love your mom! What an inspiration! Thanks.

    She’s pretty impressive. Definitely slowing down some (and getting smaller), but she’s doing all right. She had a hip replacement a while back, and a minor heart attack and bypass surgery. But as my brother said at the time, with her pipes all cleared out, she should be good for another 10 years at least. 

    She’s aware of her limitations and works around them. She still drives, but not after dark. To keep her mobility up, she was doing a yoga class a couple times a week at the Y, at least until the virus came along.

    Biggest problem is so many of her friends dying off. Back in late February she told me she’d been to a funeral every weekend since the beginning of the year.

    She also just started playing bridge online with my brother and his wife up in Alaska. She was part of a long-running bridge game that started in 1950 while she and my dad were in college. They played at least once a month with one of his college roommates and his wife, up until my dad died in 1995. Then she found another player and the game continued into the early 2010’s, when the other couple was no longer physically up to it (they’ve both since died, one just in the last year).

     

    • #23
  24. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    It is getting slightly annoying that I can’t have my hair cut, as I was slightly overdue when the shutdown arrived. I would go, but I think that the barbershops are closed.

    I’m getting close to the point where I can start doing a comb-over again. I don’t think I’m capable of getting to “pony/rat-tail” though.

     

    • #24
  25. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle
    @MattBartle

    Went to Ace Hardware today to pick up the Weed-N-Feed (The dandelions are back! Must stop the dandelions!). The store had a sign “Please wear a mask” so I tied a handkerchief over my face and went inside. Did feel a little silly. They were actually doing an ok business which I was glad to see. But people would practically jump out of the way to avoid being too close. When I got back to my car I pulled out the cleaning wipes we take everywhere now and wiped my hands, my credit card, my keys, everything. Still didn’t touch my face till I got home and washed my hands. It does feel over the top, but I’ve come to accept the idea. First time I’ve been out of the house in a week.

    • #25
  26. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    The only reason I don’t go out other than for essentials is that I don’t want to be the one who brings the virus back to the retirement community where I live. Otherwise, I consider the virus just another of the hazards of living.

    • #26
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I’ve been going about business as usual, pretty much. No eating out at restaurants, which are closed to dine-in customers. I can get take-out, and just did (Five Guys for lunch). Bars are closed, but that doesn’t affect me. It is getting slightly annoying that I can’t have my hair cut, as I was slightly overdue when the shutdown arrived. I would go, but I think that the barbershops are closed.

    I’m in a lower risk group than you, Susan, and Arizona has not been a hot spot (except maybe the Navajo res, which is hundreds of miles away from me).

    Also, per our governor’s decree, lawyers like me are “essential” and can therefore keep working. I worked from home for about a week when I was slightly sick, but have otherwise been in the office, as usual, every day. Mine is a very small office.

    I’m glad that you’re venturing forth a bit more, and agree with the admonitions that you should do so cautiously in your circumstances. I generally think that people under 40, and maybe under 50, should go about life as normal. Their risk is very minimal.

    Thanks, @arizonapatriot, for your encouragement.

    • #27
  28. Hammer, The Member
    Hammer, The
    @RyanM

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    I actually haven’t changed my behavior in any way, with the exception of not being able to go to places that are closed. I’m still going to the grocery stores, any other places that are open (lowes, etc…), taking walks and bike-rides, going to parks. Yesterday, we went to the tennis courts and played tennis. I have generally been of the opinion that the lockdowns are nonsense and that our governors are something a few degrees worse than “blind leading the blind.” They have access to no more information that we’ve all been studying the past few months, but they do have a lot of perverse incentives and their own elections to think about… I don’t think they are malicious, but I do think they are extremely ham-fisted, because that is the only type of solution that government creates.

    Good for you! And I can’t disagree with your points–I just don’t know. I also don’t know how much I’ve limited my behavior because of my husband’s condition, and his concern that when I go out, I could bring it home with me. That might just be an excuse, but I’m glad he’s ready to move forward.

    It is always appropriate to act on your assessment of individual risk. We’re at a disadvantage with covid because there is so much misleading information and not enough good data for anything like a consensus. 

    • #28
  29. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser
    @Buckpasser

    I’m 64 and have only worn a mask when they wouldn’t let me into Ralphs without one. No mask and no gloves. I have no intention of my wife and I having to wear a burqa if we leave our house.

    • #29
  30. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    It is always appropriate to act on your assessment of individual risk. We’re at a disadvantage with covid because there is so much misleading information and not enough good data for anything like a consensus. 

    So true, Ryan!! I hate the misinformation and confusion!

    • #30