Amanda Cade

Worth It! (Things to try, read, watch, hear, and discuss)

(Side Note: Am I the only one who’s having fits trying to figure out the WordPress block editor?)

It’s a holiday weekend, and I’m staying home. Locally and across the state, our positivity percentage is still high, so I’m continuing to be cautious, especially since I’m now back at work a few days a week. I’m using a lot of the weekend to catch up on work, in the hope that I can start scaling back on the recent string of fourteen hour days. Meanwhile, there has been an unexpected increase in challenges to my commitment to remaining cautious during the ongoing pandemic.

So I thought it might be worth talking about a few of these situations, for anyone who might be facing something similar.

Quick Conversations

So far, I’ve been physically present at work for six days over the past three weeks. Every single day, several people have asked if we can “get together for just a minute”, or simply opened my door and stepped in to ask a question or start a conversation. Most of my coworkers believe, as I do, that the best thing to do is keep our doors closed and continue communicating virtually or over the phone, even if we’re both in the building, but some think differently, or figure that one time won’t hurt. So several times each day I’ve had to politely ask people to leave and request that they send me an email or a Zoom invitation. The next time I go in, I’m going to put a sign on my door and hope that helps everyone get the message.

Invitations

Not everyone agrees with my level of caution, and I respect that. However, I must admit that I’ve been a little taken aback at how many people have invited me to parties, dinners, and movies. One particular friend has been pushing in person gatherings since our state reopened. She has never broken the current guidelines (which are stricter in my city than they are across the state), but has consistently been organizing group events ranging and has become frustrated that I have consistently declined. Most recently, she told me that she is planning a small party for her birthday, and said that she desperately wants me to attend. I would love to, and I hate to disappoint her, but I’m simply not comfortable with the risk, especially since I don’t know everyone who will be there, and therefore have no way of knowing the possible exposure risks. The best thing we can do in situations like this is to empathize, show respect for the decisions of others, and ask that they do the same for us. I’ve mailed her a gift and am making sure to communicate with her regularly so she knows that I still care, despite not being ready to spend time in person.

Personal Care

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but my hair is about two feet long. I usually get it highlighted about every six weeks, and I was past due when everything shut down. So I ended up with about four inches of very dark hair that then suddenly changed to light caramel. When a coworker teased me about it, I freely admitted that it looked pretty silly. I actually spoke with my stylist, who urged me to come in and promised to wear a mask and take precautions. I have to admit it was pretty tempting, but ultimately I decided it just wasn’t worth it, especially since she works in a nearby county that doesn’t have a mask mandate. I ended up dying it all to something close to my natural color, and it looks…well, it’s better. Lol. A lot of people I know are going in for haircuts, manicures, massages, etc., and have suggested that I should, too, especially given my current stress level. In the end, though, I just don’t feel safe.

Events and Experiences

Going to the movies has been one of the hardest things for me to resist. I love movies, love the theater experience, and usually see tons of films when they’re released. This weekend, half a dozen people in my circle plan to see Tenet, which is only playing in theaters. I’m a huge Christopher Nolan fan, and usually see his movies as soon as they open. The movie won’t be available on demand for quite a while, and I hate to miss it on the big screen. However, there are so many streaming options that while I’m disappointed to have to wait for this particular film, I can still get my movie fix. Just last night, my sister Audrey came over so we could watch Bill and Ted Face the Music (which, by the way, is a lot of fun), and while we missed the big screen, we also acknowledged some of the benefits, like being in the comfort of my living room and being able to hit pause if we wanted to make a comment or needed a quick break.

Final Thoughts

I think the most important thing for all of us is to be kind, empathetic, and respectful to each other. If you’re finding that you’re more concerned than others around you, be firm in your decisions, but don’t make negative assumptions about others’ motivations and decisions. If you’re more comfortable with resuming daily activities, don’t take it personally if people in your life feel differently. Above all, avoid the temptation to argue, accuse, or attack. We’re still in this together.

How comfortable are you at this point? What have you been doing, and/or avoiding?

38 thoughts on “Social Distancing Challenges

  1. kagould17 says:

    WordPress Editor…..hmmm, an ongoing challenge. What was there last week is not there this week, but I am learning slowly. Not sure why they feel they continually have to change it up. I am trying to get a new blog spot set up, as mine is running out of space. Time will tell if I got that right.

    As to how comfortable we feel here, with cases still climbing, albeit much slower than in your country, some examples: 1) We still have not hugged anyone outside our household of two, even when our best friends and neighbours of 29 years moved away. 2) We still cycle instead of walking to keep our distance 3) we still have not eaten inside a restaurant (that will change on Sept 17 (our anniversary) as our favourite restaurant has renovated for distancing and safety. 4) my wife has had one masked haircut, with no blow or hair dryer. 4) I have had one eye doctor appointment (masked) and my wife has had a few medical appointments (masked). Nobody has yet been in our house, other than us, except masked through shortest path to use washroom (sanitized and resanitized).

    You are right to take this seriously. We all must do what it takes to protect our health. Covid does nasty things to people’s health, both old and young. Stay well, Amanda and maintain firm discipline on Covid. Cheers Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’ve chosen extreme caution, and I’m sticking to that. What I’ve been saying to people who try to push me in another direction is, “I appreciate you helping me feel safe”. I’ve found that saying “feel” instead of “be” has really cut down on people wanting to debate the issue.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Amanda, I laughed when I read the hair part because that was my truth too. We have strict mandates here so I finally broke down and went for a cut two weeks ago and get it colored the 12th. They can only have one person per stylists and masks are mandated. I know them well and trust them, so that sounds a bit different from your mandates and situations.

    With the rest I relate. My daughter and I don’t leave house except for food and shopping. Meanwhile, other relatives are doing tournaments and such.

    Your discussion about work is why I’m glad I don’t work in an office. I imagine it adds a level of struggle to maintaining distance.

    I hope you’re able to continue to stay safe. I agree we can only do what’s best for us and keep moving. Stay safe and well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      It was definitely easier when I was working at home full time, but I’m staying both firm and kind with my coworkers, and I think they’re getting the message that while I do miss in person conversations, I’m not comfortable with having them right now. I made my sign last night, and will put it on my door when I go in tomorrow (my onsite days are Wednesdays and Fridays), so we’ll see if that helps.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wishing you luck and sending prayers!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. msnyder1970 says:

    gotta do what makes you feel most comfortable, people are pretty lax at my job in regards to the 6 feet rule, some people don’t believe in the mask, some people continue to eat in their car for lunch.
    We’ve only socialized a few times all Summer with either 1 friend, or 2-4 family members. My wife and I decided to brave the movies and social distancing near empty theaters are a dream come true in the age of cell phone annoyance. We are also going to the drive-in tonight.
    We visited one Museum, usually continue to have our groceries delivered, and ate outside at a restaurant yesterday. Do I feel invincible having lived thru having Covid19 ? No, but I can’t isolate forever either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Oh my gosh, there’s a drive-in theater about 45 minutes from here!!! I totally forgot about that. I’m so glad you commented!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. msnyder1970 says:

        Yeah, we have three where I live, one exclusively shows family films, one has two screens R rated fare on one family films the other (They also do a from dusk till Dawn five film marathon every labor day weekend) and another that does nothing but retro films, we are seeing three slasher films from the ’80’s at the retro one tonight, next Saturday if it’s not raining they are showing classic Universal horror films (phantom of Opera 1943) Werewolf of London (1935) and Abbott and Costello meet the mummy (1955)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. msnyder1970 says:

    The editor takes some time but at least it’s not as complicated as having a wordpress.Org site

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’ll get used to it…I think I’m just burned out on learning new systems at this point. Lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. petespringerauthor says:

    Your friends should understand and respect your viewpoints about getting together. If someone isn’t, then that seems selfish and shortsighted on their part. I organize a monthly retirement lunch for my fellow retired teacher colleagues, but we’ve only met once in the last six months. In pre-pandemic times, that meant gathering at a local restaurant. Some showed interest in meeting outdoors at a local park, setting up lawn chairs several feet apart from one another. The turnout wasn’t terrific that day, so I’ve decided to forego any other attempts to gather. It is the responsible thing to do, and people should understand that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Navigating differing opinions and levels of concern can be a minefield, but I’m trying.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. J Balconi says:

    I mentioned hating the Blocks weeks ago. That hasn’t changed. It looks like WordPress will allow the Classic style if I wish to pay for it. The transition is rather like my current switch from Office to Google Docs: the latter has “share-ability” but doesn’t allow for the wide variety of text-types and media integration. (Slides, in particular, is a poor substitute for PowerPoint.)

    As for social-distancing, I am back in the classroom this week and I’m raring to go. Humans are social creatures and, honestly, online tools were meant as a quick-fix, short-term substitute for in-person interaction. In my online group, there is a grieving father whose pre-teen child committed suicide (social isolation was mentioned in her note) and a teacher whose former students text her EVERY DAY because home-life is depressing at best.

    Chances are, I’ll be exposed to Covid-19 because kids are germ-factories. But ironically, I’ve been following an immune system-boosting regime since before the shutdown, so I’m looking at it as a “shakedown cruise.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. J Balconi says:

      And an aside: When I replied, all my neat paragraphs were crammed into one huge, unsightly block. Did this just start happening?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Amanda Cade says:

      Best of luck, and I hope you stay well.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

    I understand your concern, but please don’t drive yourself mad. Please go live and enjoy life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Luckily, I enjoy my own company. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

        That’s good. I think I get tired of myself lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. CARAMEL says:

    Still have no idea what the block editor is all about.

    As far as now is concerned….I think we are in a funny stage. It’s hard to know who is being careless and who is being paranoid, and who has that sensible balance of taking practical precautions.

    I have a friend who works as a party planner so as you can imagine 2020 has been very quiet for her. She thought she was allowed to organize an outside garden party for someone for up 12 guests. But when she checked the UK government website that is not the case. I can’t remember the number limit but they had to be from no more than two households. Party cancelled.

    Our rules have chopped and changed so many times and it is hard to plan anything. Most of us are not too bothered. We love the free fun of exercising in fresh air and have saved a fortune in having to avoid eating out for months. But there seems to be a growing number of people who want their parties, want their restaranting, want their live music events and are more and more impatient about “the rules”.

    I understand a love for music, a love for socialising, a love for something joyous….but I now we are about to go into flu season as well as having the …you know still in circulation. There is likely to be more chopping and changing rules in response to surges of cases.

    I think the overall message is…enjoy life but stay alert and use precautions. Don’t stop washing hands and if required using facemasks. Things are not back to normal yet. Big parties….they have not been given the green flag.

    But sometimes the only way to be sure is checking the latest guidelines published online from the authorities. If people want to ignore those guidelines, they need to take responsibility for the what they may mean….more cases, so more restrictions.

    But stay balanced, stay alert, and do enjoy all the wonderful in life – especially nature, exercise, home baking, reading…lots of good things. But big parties are on ice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      You’ve named a lot of my favorite things, and I’m glad I can still enjoy them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jennie says:

    This was a great post, Amanda. We need to be careful and also respect others. I am careful, but I can forget and casually go to talk with a fellow teacher. It is hard!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      How are your students doing?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jennie says:

        They start school this week, two days of orientation and two days of classes. Last week was for teachers. Stay tuned!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Jaya says:

    I think you are absolutely right to be careful. People who feel Just once need to remember that Once is enough. Also all the people not following caution must know they have no right to put others into danger. We, too, are with you and learning to ignore people who want to ‘convert’ us to leading a ‘better’ life 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      As is the case with so many things in life, I think the most important thing is that we respect each other’s feelings and decisions. I hope you’re receiving that from those who disagree with you. Stay well.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. In regards to the Block editor: No you’re not the only one. I was very mad when WordPress changed it. It took me awhile, but I did figure out how to write my reviews as if nothing changed. Initially my posts took double the time they normally do. Now I’m able to crank out several reviews like I normally do. Still, frustrated with the editor, but I’m coping with it.

    In regards to the movie situation: I went to the theater recently and it was fine for the most part. There were extra precautions, but they didn’t take away from the experience. I understand wanting to stay away though. Hope you enjoy anything you end up watching at home!😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Luckily, thanks to a helpful comment on this post, I’ve been reminded that there’s a drive in theater relatively close, and I plan to take advantage of that this week. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Have fun! Last time I went to a drive thru I saw Independence Day. When I was 1 year old according to my parents.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Ladysag77 says:

    You must do what feels right for you. It’s all about comfort. This too shall eventually pass and we can and will enjoy more freedoms. I hope you find some peace and relaxation this holiday weekend in between work😊🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Thank you. I’m balancing work and rest this weekend, and hoping that I get caught up enough that I can do the same during the week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ladysag77 says:

        Sounds like a wonderful plan 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I feel you on the block editor! WordPress really forced us on it. When it comes to social distancing, I feel comfortable around people who I know have tested negative and we wear masks and social distance. Plus I don’t do groups. Just one on one things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I hope your precautions continue to keep you safe and well.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Jaya Avendel says:

    It is surprisingly hard to actually socially distance, but I have been doing my best on rare visits with old friends!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      It is a challenge. I’m glad you’re still making the effort. Stay well.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. nitinsingh says:

    It has been taught since childhood that man is a social animal. Everything changed in a few months, but it is difficult for a person to change habits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      It’s definitely a challenge.

      Like

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