Open thread: Single during Covid

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So we’re nearly a year into this pandemic, and I’ve been wondering how it’s been for those of you who, like me, are on your own. How are you managing? Are you doing any dating, and if so, what does that look like (for me, it looks like an awful lot of walks in Prospect Park)? Are you lonely and climbing the walls, and if so, what are you doing to combat that? Cooking? Hobbies? Zoom cocktails with friends? I must say that this time has been tough for me in some ways, but when I hear my married-with-kids friends complain about being cooped up 24-7 with their families, I feel pretty grateful to have my life to myself. OK, now I’m curious to hear about you, so please do share in the comments.

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106 Thoughts on Open thread: Single during Covid
    Karen
    26 Feb 2021
    6:55am

    I want to add one more thought…as a single person whose been alone for almost a year, I’m scared I’m losing my social skills, and wondering what happens when we do get back to “normal”, especially what happens when i do go back to a physical in person office. Anyone else feeling the same?

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    Jennifer
    26 Feb 2021
    1:55pm

    My ex (love of my life) and I reconnected just before covid hit but live in different provinces (I’m Canadian). We decided to give long distance a try taking turns visiting at least once a month but covid put a large damper on that. We have managed to see each other a few times and talk every day but not quite as we planned. So I am not single but I live alone and so single for all intents and purposes.

    Like many above, I tend to be a bit of an introvert so at first isolation wasn’t that big a deal and in fact working from home gave me some needed down time. However, lately it has begun to weigh on me more. Since before Christmas we have been locked down quite strictly and going through an extreme cold weather phase. This has meant that I can’t go swimming or to the gym or even on walks for months. I know many people have turned to online yoga or other exercise classes but I just can’t seem to motivate myself to stick to that very regularly and I am feeling the negative mental health and physical impact of not exercising regularly. I am frustrated with myself for not being better about making due.

    I am very ready for life to become closer to normal again!

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    Catherine
    27 Feb 2021
    1:41pm

    Single right now—and usually pretty resilient on my own as an introvert. But I hit a wall about two months ago, not sleeping or enjoying the usual things. Plus, my 86-year-old dad was hospitalized, albeit not with Covid-19. He overdosed on a medication he wasn’t prescribed or supposed to be taking (he’s in assisted living with meds managed by his facility so that’s a whole other story). What can I say? It has been tough. But things have brightened as my dad has gotten a bit better, and I discovered the joys of VR. After reading a NY Times article (Confessions of a Virtual Reality Gym Rat), I bought an Oculus Quest 2 headset and started doing workouts with it. I’m 56 so not your typical VR head. But I love VR! It has been such a splendid escape. Hope everyone can find something that makes them so happy right now.

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    AnnieA
    27 Feb 2021
    4:15pm

    The idea of trying to date during these times is just Too Much. To be frank, a lot of things during these times feel like Too Much. I try to get through the each day much like Irene above, to have a healthy day with some self care, and to do my work. This is not forever…

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    Mindy
    25 Feb 2021
    11:17am

    Forgive the vent, as I am not single, but it seems like a safe, semi-anonymous plan to do so. Given the topic, here I go….I have three kids who have handled virtual schooling in different ways. My middle teen child has suffered tremendously, despite good grades. She has moved to self harming, toying with food avoidance and then had to go into a short-term in-patient facility after taking several pills. Now we are dealing with the aftermath and trying to get back on track…all while still dealing with COVID isolation. This is a nightmare.

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      Anne
      26 Feb 2021
      5:11pm

      Mindy, I relate so much to what you are going through. My tween escalated their self-harming and food avoidance throughout the pandemic as well. We are trying so many combinations of therapists/meds/help but somehow it’s getting worse despite our efforts. If it sounds like I’m depressed about it, I am! But luckily I found a medication that’s worked for me so I’m doing waaaaay better than I was. If only I could find something that helped my kid. All this to say: I feel you. This sucks.

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      melsybelsy
      26 Feb 2021
      7:37pm

      Mindy – I am so sorry. This pandemic is destroying children’s mental health. My HS freshman is miserable and confessed that he feels invisible / socially isolated. It’s a very tough time. I work with adolescents who have experienced trauma and I can give perspective that if treated, you can get to the other side – Thinking of you!

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      Leah
      25 Feb 2021
      11:24am

      I’m so sorry to hear this. My brother has spend time a few times in 2020 at in-patient facilities (more than one, heck more than two). I realize it’s not quite the same (brother vs. child), but the mental health strain on people is so massively compounded right now it’s hard to grasp. I hope your daughter finds her way.

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      Carla
      25 Feb 2021
      11:24am

      Oh, Mindy. I’m so sorry your daughter is struggling. I wish for you and your family great strength and resilience.

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      Kim France
      25 Feb 2021
      11:33am

      Oh Mindy I’m so sorry. Wishing for better times for you.

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        D.Morgendorffer
        25 Feb 2021
        11:58am

        Mindy, I would be sorry to hear of this happening to anyone, but I’m especially sorry that this is happening to someone with such a kind, funny spirit. Many a time I have noticed you deftly offer comfort and cheer to others here. So, I too hope for better times for you and your family.

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      Julie
      25 Feb 2021
      11:47am

      So hard for a lot of kids and adults. My niece who is now 25 also self harmed and had eating issues in high school. She is fine now, had some help and some meds then. She is happy with a job she likes, a college degree that wa a good one, and a partner she enjoys. Just so you know that can come next too.

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      Deborah
      25 Feb 2021
      12:16pm

      Mindy, my child had similar experiences as a teenager (they are now 22), and I have been thinking about how difficult this must be for similar kids—and their families—during COVID. It’s like we’re all in our own individual pressure cookers. On the other hand, looking back, I recognize that going to school was, on many occasions, a trigger that actually exacerbated things—and when my kid was not at home, I was almost always concerned about their safety. I took to heart the Zen story of “good luck, bad luck,” which I recommend if you don’t know it: https://wellsbaum.blog/alan-watts-story-of-the-chinese-farmer/ That and good therapists helped keep me (mostly) sane through it all. It does get better. <3

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        Viajera
        25 Feb 2021
        1:38pm

        Ditto about school being a trigger – I think for some kids, it was a much-needed break from bullying or general unpleasantness. It has gone on a bit too long though. I hope everyone will be nicer when this is over and they are face to face again.

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      Karen
      25 Feb 2021
      12:18pm

      I am so sorry. I’m hoping that you and your family are getting the care you need.

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      Peggy O.
      25 Feb 2021
      12:21pm

      Mindy, I’m so sorry for what your daughter, your family and you are going through. I hope things will right themselves soonest, but meanwhile, please know that you and she are not alone. The mental health of so many teens I know is suffering and parents feel so worried and helpless: adolescent depression, anxiety, eating disorders, cutting, all of it is so much more prevalent right now. Sending strength and courage.

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      em
      25 Feb 2021
      1:02pm

      My teen daughter has become depressed during virtual schooling. I agree: this is a nightmare. Wishing you and your daughter the best.

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      Liz
      25 Feb 2021
      2:49pm

      I am so sorry. One of my children went through something similar and it is a nightmare. Do your best to stay open and receptive to difficult conversations with her and find a therapist she really connects with.

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      Jeanne
      25 Feb 2021
      1:19pm

      I’m so sorry about your daughter, Mindy. This pandemic has been so difficult on our teens who are such social creatures and in the thick of development. The light is at the end of the tunnel and I’m hoping your daughter finds much relief and comfort when they begin schooling and socializing once more.

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      cw
      25 Feb 2021
      4:18pm

      I am so sorry, Mindy. Such a difficult thing to go through with your child. Hoping things smooth out soon for your whole family.

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    Britt Speakman
    25 Feb 2021
    11:17am

    Hey! I’ve been keeping busy getting alcoholic hepatitis. Yay!

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      Viajera
      25 Feb 2021
      1:48pm

      That sounds dangerous. If it were me, I’d go see a doc. I hear most of them are being pretty careful about the virus. I hope you feel better soon.

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    Margaret Plichta
    25 Feb 2021
    11:18am

    My husband died a year ago today. He was very sick, it was a long haul and he was in the hospital more in 2019 than he was home. But it so freaky to have him die, (sort of pre-Covid.) And then go into quarantine. I have a dog who has been my connection this last year–a bluetick coonhound named Ruby. I am in a grief group too, with David Kessler, who is awesome as an expert on grief. I go to the dog park every day and get outside. And slowly I feel a little more normal. I have a small pottery studio in my basement which sat unused for 3 years, and I am using it again, making bad coffee mugs. I have a group I walk with at the dog park, and those people have been so great. We talk about life, cooking, dogs. Two of the women have new puppies, and that ismfun.

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      Kim France
      26 Feb 2021
      9:49am

      So sorry for your loss, Margaret. Sending you love.

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      Lorna
      25 Feb 2021
      11:51am

      I a sorry for the loss of your husband, such a really hard time too loose someone and annaversaries are so hard. I am really moved by your resilience you have shared.

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      Mae
      25 Feb 2021
      12:22pm

      Hugs to you, Margaret. You’re going through what all of us with longtime partners dread as we get older. It sounds like you’re surrounding yourself with love from Ruby and the good kind of people who love pets. Thanks for being a good role model!

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      jen
      25 Feb 2021
      12:44pm

      Margaret (my favorite name), I am so sorry for your loss and amazed by your resilience. Your comment immediately reminded me of the book The Friend by Sigrid Nunez. It’s about moving through grief with a dog and I highly recommend it. I found it very comforting.

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      LMM
      25 Feb 2021
      2:17pm

      Margaret, I’m so sorry for your loss. This is the anniversary (albeit 19 years ago) of my boyfriend’s death from a rare disease. I am sorry to share it, and I hope your road of grief has some cobblestones of hope and joy in it – it sounds like you do have that.

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    Carla
    25 Feb 2021
    11:21am

    I am shockingly okay with being alone this past year. Maybe it is a calm that comes with being a certain age and the fact that a lot of us Gen X kids are used to spending time alone. I see some younger friends frantically online dating and testing frequently so they can meet in person, and all I can do is wonder why. This isn’t forever. It’s only for now. The only even remotely intimate action I’ve gotten in a year was a routine mammogram in October. I suppose I should be alarmed by how okay I am. I do miss going out with friends or family for meals or drinks. I miss live music. I miss vintage shopping and museums but I’ve had some good times doing most of those activities virtually. Honestly, I dread having to resume my dreary work commute and not being able to work in my jammies until noon. Obviously, I would rather there were not half a million preventable deaths but there has been much about the past year I have enjoyed. I, too, am glad I am childfree when I see what pals with kids are dealing with. They are all superheroes.

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      M
      25 Feb 2021
      11:27am

      DEAR GOD, YES!!! I am not so desperate that I felt the need to date during this past year, like many I see around me. This is/was a great time for people to rely learn to be satisfied with their own company.

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        Kim France
        25 Feb 2021
        11:40am

        Wow, M, I’m not sure I’d characterize my—or anyone’s—desire to date during this period desperate. That’s an interesting POV, though. Anyone agree?

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          Jules
          25 Feb 2021
          12:05pm

          No. Of course there are people who feel very unfulfilled without that part of life. I have never been one as I am an introvert who loves to do all sorts of things solo. What I feel at this age (same roughly as yours) is that there is only so much time. I went through a BAD breakup before COVID and was recovering from that already but now is when I had hoped to be able to think about such things again. And I am not dating but life also feels like stasis in the happy ways we grow. I am thinking that for young people they are missing out on the socializing of youth, but for people our age we are seeing a window of time that feels precious for that sort of thing get smaller. Not desperate to want relationship and not desperate to know it becomes more scarce at this stage.

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            Audrey
            25 Feb 2021
            7:42pm

            I just tried to date & went out with someone a few times; had him over (it’s cold here!) & things haven’t gone well and I said to a friend: “I broke my COVID rules for him”! I feel like Elaine to determine if someone is spongeworthy 🙂

            I just turned 60; I don’t have many single friends so I love the idea of starting a group to chat about this if you folks are interested.

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              S in harlem
              28 Feb 2021
              9:32am

              Yes please

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          Baffled
          25 Feb 2021
          12:44pm

          I would like to open a thread on the “online stock” available on the dating sites, which I only really joined post covid. Someone convinced me it was a grand efficiency move to date during covid, because you’re forced into a first date (or more) over Zoom. This is a monumental savings of time if the guy is not as advertised, or does not truly meet spec. HOWEVER, of course before one can even have a date, one must find someone who is date worthy and truly, hand on heart, most of the guys I see online don’t even seem up to spec. If I write to someone who might fall into my creative brief, I rarely get meaningful engagement. Lots of polite answers to my questions, but often no question in return. (I am a good solid 8 from my photos, if I do say….) So I just don’t get it: are guys just looking for hook ups and my attempt to make conversation is not at all what most want? I would love to hear what others dating online are experiencing. Other than that, while this pandemic lifestyle is far from ideal, I have been productive and will not need to clean out a single drawer, closet or file for at least a year after the world returns to normal. Everything in the house is pristine and I can fully be out in the world.

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          EBC
          25 Feb 2021
          12:57pm

          I think the word “desparate” in terms of dating has been internalized for a lot of women because we “of a certain age” were socialized to think if you didn’t have a relationship in your life, you’d be less than. I also think it still holds true for many young girls today, but there has been more of a push to recontextualize what dating means and to learn to be self sufficicent and not dependent on others for one’s happiness. Thank goodness because being single has always been rough for me. It’s getting easier but it’s been a long road breaking it all down.

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          Jennifer Brooks
          25 Feb 2021
          12:50pm

          No, I don’t think it’s desperation at all. I’d chalk it up to different strokes. My sister (52) is wildly social and outgoing, and she has been safely dating all through covid. She gets tested frequently and follows all the guidelines. She would wither without that social connection – it’s just how she thrives (I, on the other hand, need my arm twisted just to answer the phone).

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          Ramona Q
          25 Feb 2021
          2:55pm

          That’s not the word I’d use but there has been a sense of “quick find your pandemic partner” that I noticed at the beginning of it and again when numbers went down over the summer. This American Life even did a short (and funny) piece on it. And the people who were anxious already for a partner this has definitely exacerbated it.

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          Dawn
          25 Feb 2021
          2:02pm

          As a single parent, I didn’t begin to date till my daughter left for college, after years of just trying to keep my head above water. Rediscovering that part of myself, with my newfound confidence and ability to ask for what I want and need, was empowering. I had a date with an old flame just as the lockdown happened. Virtual didn’t cut it and that was all for the best lol. Had one date in Sept. when NYC numbers were still good, but masking and social distancing didn’t allow for the all important chemistry test, so that didn’t fly either. I’m in a holding pattern now, but bless those brave souls who are still out there and in it. I hope to be too again soon(ish?).

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          Cindy
          25 Feb 2021
          1:32pm

          Single here too and did date someone briefly over the summer. Once cases started to skyrocket in the Fall in L.A. I paused all activity on the dating sites. Like anything else there will be a range of behavior and I wouldn’t be quick to judge. The “dating” experts seem to think this is the best time to date because things move much slower and people are taking the time to get to know each other. Talking is kinda the only safe activity, whether it’s on the phone, Zoom or on a socially distant walk or outdoor activity.

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        Wendela
        25 Feb 2021
        2:19pm

        M, connection & contact is a basic human need and while I agree that everyone would benefit from an ability to be comfortable with their own company, there are a LOT of hours to practice that in 365 days x 24 hours per day, during the past year. Wanting to date during some of those hours does not mean a person isn’t comfortable with their own company, and using the word “desperate” to characterize such a basic human need is judgmental and not kind or helpful. I’m living with teenagers and a husband, and suffer from a lack of space to enjoy my own company—I can’t wait to someday again be alone in my office at work (instead of trying to work in a house full of people who often interrupt me). However, if I think of being entirely alone for a full year of sheltering in place, it sounds painful to be so isolated. I would absolutely want to find someone to curl up on a couch with if I were single and child free at this point. And I’m very good at being alone!

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          MeezS
          25 Feb 2021
          3:52pm

          I was going to say same. It might not even be about having a relationship– but rather, just about having touch, intimacy of any kind in person. Great for people who don’t need that but I do, too.

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            LJIS
            26 Feb 2021
            9:44pm

            I hear you! Me too. Dating is complicated. I just want a hug.

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      M
      25 Feb 2021
      4:41pm

      I feel the same and it is nice to hear someone else voice it. I also feel guilty because I like my pandemic life, but realize there is so much privilege that allows me to like it (stable job, live alone, can work from home, am an introvert by nature). But if I had a choice, I’d still choose that this never happened. Because my enjoyment is at the same time so many are suffering.

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      DC Diva
      25 Feb 2021
      4:48pm

      I’m with Carla. It took a while to get used to having my world be contained in my apartment, but I have done it. I am now doing regular yoga classes (Yoga with Adrienne every night), workouts with my trainer by Zoom (and he installed an elliptical that takes up half my living room but no one comes over anyway — I am working out on the elliptical and reliving my youth album by album). As far as dating, I’ve flirted with two boyfriends from high school (I dated one in 1977 and one in 1978 — OMG how did that happen?). One raises bees and has given me honey. The other sent me flowers for Valentine’s Day + yesterday, out of the blue, picked up the tab at an outdoor restaurant I went to for lunch with a friend. I had posted a picture of the first course (mushrooms) on FB, he had seen it, and called the restaurant. The owner is a dignified Frenchman who giggled when he told us that the check had been paid. I don’t think that would have happened before the lock down.

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    Jen
    25 Feb 2021
    11:52am

    My life has changed so profoundly….but it wasn’t just COVID. My parents were declining but wanted to stay in their home so I was devoting a great deal of my free time to helping with that. My dad fell and broke his hip in Nov. 2019. We thought he was doing well, but then he started falling again, which started a chain of events resulting in an above the knee amputation. Meanwhile, my mom has been non-ambulatory for 3 years so now I have TWO parents that are dependent on wheelchairs and then….COVID. I mean, I’m grateful I laid the groundwork for them to stay home and not be in a facility but I had to leave my full time job in April and transition to a work from home consulting gig. To keep them in their home, I have to stay overnight and so I haven’t “lived” in my house for over a year, but I’m still paying the mortgage on it while sleeping in a chair because both spare bedrooms are in use for other purposes. ***sigh*** My life is not even close to what I thought it would be and certainly not what it was a year ago.
    I can’t 100% blame COVID though. It’s just….what it is. Maybe that makes it easier for me? Because I’ve done a lot of….thinking….during all of this and we make decisions, we move down the path and we go someplace. It’s not always what or where we thought but the one thing that’s for sure is that we move forward.
    With where I’m at, I just don’t think I’m suitable for dating….not right now. I wish I were…I look back, see pictures from just a few years ago and that woman is so different. I wish I could find her again. Am I happy? I don’t know but I also don’t know that dating is that missing piece.

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      Tily
      25 Feb 2021
      1:00pm

      I feel you re taking care of older, non-ambulatory parents! In my case, my husband and I were extremely fortunate to be able to move 3 months ago into a large house where we can build a apartment within the house for my mom to live with us. She’s forgetful and becoming increasingly non-ambulatory so she needs more care from me. With both my husband and I working from home bc of COVID, we realized we needed more space for ourselves and that got us to plan ahead for my mother to move in with us, while still giving us both privacy. So my lockdown experience since around September has been about the crazy housing market (I live in SoCal) and dealing with endless renovations. I realized that I’m very fortunate my issues are essentially minor inconveniences compared to many! 🙏🏻

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    H
    25 Feb 2021
    11:56am

    My husband and I separated two months before lockdown. He was having an affair. So my pandemic experience has been a mixture of supporting my son through this, dealing with the pandemic and at some point grieving the loss of my marriage. The idea of dating seems like a sidenote at this point. My ex has been dating and posting on social media during the entire pandemic. I would like to date but have zero interest in the online option. I see friends dating in a very limited capacity. Other friends not leaving the house. Perhaps using the pandemic as an excuse to not have to deal with dating. As a person who enjoys my own company, the pandemic has given me opportunities to be quiet and reflect. I cant imagine what this year would have been like without the pandemic.

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      Viajera
      25 Feb 2021
      2:05pm

      H, this is none of my business … I can’t help but wonder, is it a mid-life thing? I am not trying to justify infidelity, yet at the same time, perhaps it is not about you, if you know what I mean. (Unless he’s really just a jerk.) I say this bc, well I am biased I guess but when I see the words “posting on social media” I assume the person is possibly desperate for attention. Perhaps this is something a person will come out the other side of, that is. Just my two cents. I play for the girls’ team, always! At least by this time, he should know that whatever happened wasn’t your fault.

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      Heather
      25 Feb 2021
      1:45pm

      I think women are better at being alone than men are. Even men in my age range can’t seem to boil water or do their own laundry.

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        Carla
        26 Feb 2021
        1:15pm

        My mother once said it doesn’t matter how rich or poor, men are rarely alone for long because they don’t know how to be.

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        Ramona
        25 Feb 2021
        2:57pm

        Yes! None of my guy friends has ever been single for longer than 6 months.

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          Viajera
          26 Feb 2021
          2:36pm

          I know several single men, who are of good character and reasonably well-socialized.
          And I know a decent number of single women too. Unfortunately none of them seem to be good matches for each other, bc otherwise I’d totally try to match-make. (It looks fun.)

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    Karen
    25 Feb 2021
    12:39pm

    I’ve been single my entire life. Not much of a dater, even in the before times. I was totally comfortable with, and aligned that i would go thru life as a single. I’ve lived by myself since i was 30 (57 now) and it worked for me. I have a job that I enjoyed, i liked the actual work and the sense of accomplishment, but mostly i like working with and training a team of people. And now 1 year into this, i find myself wondering and thinking what happens when I’m retired and what happens when i get old and fragile. Because if its as isolating as this, I’m not sure I’m up to it. I miss casual conversations, i miss (as Kay mentioned above) the human touch, and smiles. I miss travel and dining out. I miss seeing and being seen. I am counting down the months, weeks, days until the vaccine rolls out to the majority and the new normal is more normal

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      Viajera
      25 Feb 2021
      2:10pm

      It’s great that you are thinking ahead like this. From what I see in the paper, loneliness was a public health problem in the US before the virus. If people don’t have close relatives, perhaps plans can be made with close friends, to move nearby. Loneliness is very bad for people.

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        Heather
        25 Feb 2021
        9:36pm

        I don’t conflate being single with being lonely. The most alone I’ve ever felt was when I was in an emotionally abusive relationship.

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          Viajera
          26 Feb 2021
          2:40pm

          I don’t either – did it sound as if I did? I was responding to what Karen wrote – and I think she’s wise to start thinking about these things now. Ill health will get most of us eventually – and that would seem to make it harder to form connections. Although, who knows, one might meet a cute doctor. Meanwhile, loneliness does appear to make us sick, literally. If one isn’t lonely, great. It would also be great to use that strength to reach out to those who might be, in one’s spare time. Or, not.

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            Viajera
            26 Feb 2021
            2:43pm

            Oh, also … sorry if this wasn’t clear. I’m not saying people have to be in relationships to have a decent old age. I think most of us just need people around – friends, activities, all that stuff. And if we were to assume that that would manifest naturally, I think that is unrealistic. Just my two cents. Heck, I don’t have enough friends now. I’ve never been good at it. I have a very close family, but other than that, I’m on thin ice really. I worry about it sometimes. Not enough probably.

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    Tahe Z
    25 Feb 2021
    12:42pm

    Just putting it out here that my heart goes out to anyone on this thread who is having a hard time or who have loved ones having a hard time. I’m pretty extroverted and I normally travel for work but I have managed to stay ok. I recently was feeling pretty bad (felt like what I normally feel a couple of days before my period but wasn’t close to that time of the month, and it lasted for a couple of weeks instead of a day or two), but was able to move through it. I recognized that it was a mild form of depression brought on by this seemingly endless pandemic, the death of my best friend’s dad from Covid, and the grey and rainy winter. Depression runs in my family but I have been extremely lucky that it hasn’t hit me really. I think because we haven’t had the distractions of normal day-to-day life, we have become especially aware of ourselves. If it wasn’t for all of this, I might not have noticed it or even experienced it.

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    Karen Mason
    25 Feb 2021
    12:48pm

    I’ve been a single mom for over 20 years and last January met someone on a blind date that I have since fallen in love with. First time ever. For a couple of months we dated and had loads of fun in nyc until the pandemic locked down everything. In the beginning of April I had a detached retina which required emergency eye surgery ( having my 4th surgery in March). But I had a boyfriend who called and checked in on me daily. We lived apart and we now see each other every weekend and do lots of healthy outdoor activities. Kayaking in summer and snow shoeing in winter. He’s makesme extremely happy and motivated to stay healthy and not just loaf on couch. I work from home and find my job tedious and dull. My three grown kids I speak with daily but they’re extremely busy with their medical careers and lives. Covid has allowed me to create a relationship based on friendship, compatibility, lots of passionate sex (which I’ve missed out for what seems like forever), laughter, intense , honest conversations. I get dressed up to see him. I cook. I make sure I look really good when we’re together instead of my daily sweats. We’ve gone away for weekends and take lots and lots of walks. We’re both very lucky to have met one another right before covid attacked nyc. . I have so much gratitude for what I now have. I believe I have a very special guardian Angel looking out for me.

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      y.k.
      25 Feb 2021
      5:15pm

      i am so happy for you. i just realized that sounds sarcastic (ugh, I’ve been reading too much snark) – but i really truly mean that. that first year or 2 of being in love is intoxicating in a way unlike any other. toasting you!

      9

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    Jan
    25 Feb 2021
    9:31am

    More or less it’s the same as “before times”, except that the opposite ends of this experience are more extreme — when lonely, even more so. When grateful for my autonomy, I feel stronger. What I miss most are groups of friends and being out in the world; the idea of dating feels impossible right now.

    14

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    Jessica
    25 Feb 2021
    9:43am

    One of the more surprising things about this pandemic for me is how much I can’t relate to the things I read about singles suffering. Yes, I understand that not being able to date has been weird and disconnecting at times. But I also have embraced this time to myself, figuring that it’s not going to last forever and that this may have just been the stepping back I needed from the constant whirl of life I was living in the Before Times. My other relationships — with friends and with family — have strengthened. I have a weekly Zoom with my childhood pals I look forward to every Tuesday night, even if I have been on Zoom all day for work. I have filled my head with podcasts and books and a quiet that I think I was longing for but didn’t even know I needed before I had it. I will love seeing friends again in person and my GOD I can’t wait for winter to be over and to be vaccinated, but I will look back on this time of singlehood as some of the very best days of my single life. I’ll remember this when dating again! I am going to be extra choosy about the men in my future, knowing that I loved the alternative I created for myself in quarantine.

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      Jo
      25 Feb 2021
      11:53am

      I feel like this is what M (above) was trying to say.

      I have a close friend who is always single/dating and she hasn’t stopped. In person, probably moving too fast, putting herself at greater risk of getting Covid. I wish she would take a step back and spend the time alone/zooming friends and maybe look at her terrible patterns with the men she dates. Too judgy/harsh? Maybe but I love/respect her and she has always seemed very lost with dating.

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      LJIS
      26 Feb 2021
      9:46pm

      I’m curious as to how you can’t relate to the need for hugs and physical (not sexual) touch? Some of us need this.

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    cw
    25 Feb 2021
    9:47am

    I am single, but I’m also a pretty solitary person so Covid has not impacted me as much as it has others. What has been wonderful for me is an every other Sunday Zoom gathering with a group of women I’ve known for twenty-plus years. We met as older students in a grad school program and are scattered about the country making in person meet-ups impossible. These women are smart, hilarious and so caring––I consider myself beyond lucky to have them. As for dating…barf. While there are times when I think it would be wonderful to have a companion to share travel, meals, beach walks, adventures blah blah blah with––I think I’m past being willing to “put up” with someone else’s baggage. Plus, I think when you reach a “certain age” if you don’t already have some shared history there is just too much “past” to get past. If that makes sense. However, I applaud anyone who dates or otherwise engages with the intention of possible romance and I will encourage you every step of the way.

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    Tara
    25 Feb 2021
    9:48am

    I’ll echo the positivity I hear in the previous comments as I know how suffocated some of my married friends feel. Dating, however, has been a joke. Messages traded on dating apps trail-off after a few brief exchanges mostly (me thinks) because people are exhausted and don’t even want to think about how complicated just a first date can be in all this mess. I’ve given up dating until I don’t know when because who knows what the next phase looks like.

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    Kay
    25 Feb 2021
    9:50am

    Well, generally, the isolation has been the same, just “more so.” I’m an introvert with a high-stress job (lawyer) and so have always needed a lot of restorative time on my own, but I also treasured weekly dinners or brunches with friends, museum outings, concerts, etc. Without those interactions, life has become pretty blah and my interest in “Zoom” cocktails with friends has dwindled now that I spend much of my work life in virtual meetings. I also had a sudden (non-Covid) death in the family last fall — my 25-year-old nephew — and the tsunami of grief, not being able to have a proper funeral, not even being able to gather safely — has been rough on all of us. Dating? What’s that?! It had long been off my radar pre-pandemic, and is certainly not a consideration now.

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      Lorna
      25 Feb 2021
      11:03am

      Kay I am so sorry for the loss of your nephew. The isolation and lack of ritual of these times must make it a hard time so much worse. I understand why youd not be interested in zoom cocktails. You and your family are in my thoughts.

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        Kay
        25 Feb 2021
        5:04pm

        Thanks Lorna…. take care.

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    Kay
    25 Feb 2021
    10:28am

    I haven’t touched anyone in a year. At all. I miss touch of any kind–even incidental. I miss hugs. That’s the bad part and the part I think a lot of partnered or folks who live with others forget about. Touch is generally really important to humans (not just sexual touch), and a lot of folks who live alone are missing that intensely. I’ve tried dating apps but a lot of dudes aren’t serious about precautions and I just cannot with any more casual sexism or men who think they are liberal or lefties but also still talk about women more as objects than people, or can’t keep up a conversation and never ask any questions. We are also going through an intense process of losing my mom, and I would deeply love to be held or to have someone else do the dishes or clean the house or make dinner or whatever while I deal with all the things one needs to deal with when losing a parent. I see there are challenges all the way around absolutely, but no touch and no support for tasks of daily living or just in general in the house? That’s rough.

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      Lorna
      25 Feb 2021
      11:39am

      Kay that is a lot of a lot. Caring for a sick parent is so much, and to do now with COVID making everything so much harder.

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      Karen
      25 Feb 2021
      12:24pm

      Kay —yes. I totally miss the human touch.

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      Julie
      25 Feb 2021
      1:50pm

      My heart goes out to you Kay! Sending you a big hug (not the same, I know), but truly feel for you.

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      LJIS
      26 Feb 2021
      9:43pm

      I hear you Kay. I live alone, my family is 3000 miles away, and I am an extrovert. I have had 3 hugs in nearly a year. It’s really hard. Even this thread – what percentage of respondents have kids? What percentage are introverts and say they don’t mind isolation? It is very hard not to have any physical contact. My friends are married and their kids are in too many venn diagrams of pods for me to feel comfortable getting near them. Some days I’m fine, others not so much. I’m positive the lack of touch is affecting me in ways I don’t even really know.

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    the real blonde
    25 Feb 2021
    10:58am

    It’s hard. At the same time, it’s easier than it was last April; I feel like I have Stockholm Syndrom. I’m in a risk group, so I have to be extra careful. I’m not dating (seriously, how?). I’m only seeing a small group of people IRL, always outside (cafes and restaurants are still closed where I live, as are non essential stores). I like how I’ve come to appreciate small things, like saying nodding to familiar faces that have been wandering around in the neighborhood for the past year, just like I have, or a little chat at the grocery store, or to have coffee with a friend outside, even though it’s freezing. I miss touching and hugs so much it hurts. But I’ve also become used to not having any physical contact, which is even more worrying. I was already working from home, but still, it’s getting harder to keep my focus when I work, also due to the lack of stimuli or experiences. I’m anxious about the future. Anxious to see other people throw caution to the wind so now we have a curfew added to the lockdown. Anxious I’m never getting the vaccine because it’s such a mess where I live and there’s not enough to go around. Sometimes I don’t speak for days – the novelty of zoom or FaceTime wore off quickly and people text rather than call – and then when I speak, my sentences are clumsy. There are days when I’m desperate, but also days when I’m content. In a weird way, time seems to move faster.

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      DebraDancer
      25 Feb 2021
      11:54am

      With you on the anxiety. Gone a whole year without getting Covid and now, on the cusp of being able to get the vaccine, wondering: is this when I’ll somehow slip and get it? Otherwise, I’m solid introvert and haven’t minded all the time alone. Just much more aware of those rare instances when I get the urge to mingle. Making a list of “people-y things I’ll do” once this is over.

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      kimbersam
      25 Feb 2021
      12:29pm

      Haven’t had a date for 14 years. I live in LA so I’ve long aged out of desirability. My bubble was me, my niece, her boyfriend, and 10,000 pets. However, niece found a new guy and broke up with (now ex) boyfriend. He’s devastated and trying to find a place to go (his life story is really sad, parents threw him out at age 10, didn’t go to college, working 4 part-time jobs.) Niece wants him out but is generally a kind person, so she’s trying to give him space while nurturing her new relationship. It’s a soap opera and boy am I glad I am not in my early twenties!

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        Viajera
        25 Feb 2021
        2:20pm

        Oh boy, poor guy. I am glad you are all staying close though. I hope you will all stay friends. You just never know, anyway. And it is wonderful that your niece isn’t throwing him out like an old shoe. I hate when people do that. I am visualizing him finding a great place with friends, close by, so you can keep in touch. Especially if he is at all handy, bc good luck even getting a phone call returned from thoooooose people…

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          kimbersam
          25 Feb 2021
          8:26pm

          Thank you, Viajera. I showed him your post and he teared up. He and my niece are both good kids so here’s to hoping they land with happy hearts and (if they want them) good partners.

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      HickfromStyx
      25 Feb 2021
      6:49pm

      The clerk at my neighborhood pharmacy/corner store has been a lifeline. Her parents are the age of my father, living independently in their home with her help, and she has children in school. Our situations are similar. She does not judge my ice cream purchases. We chat briefly about our fear du jour, or what have you. A lifeline!

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        kimbersam
        26 Feb 2021
        11:17am

        Anyone who judges ice cream purchases (or chocolate, or wine, or Twizzlers pull and peel) should be judged right back.

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    Mae
    25 Feb 2021
    1:00pm

    I’m not single, but any time the topic turns to being single, I apply the concept to what it’s like to look for a job when one is over 50, and I feel like I can totally relate.  The desire to tell your story to someone new!  The hope that they like you enough to ask more questions!  The mirror of your life in the moment.  Working up your spin on your personal history.  Looking for red flags (or purposely overlooking them).  Waiting for someone to call you.  And learning to handle rejection without drinking too much (speaking for myself here).  I wait longer between each time I put myself in an interview situation, and I figure eventually I’ll either land a job, start my own company, or wake up one day so old I’ll be adequately forgetful about the whole effin’ thing.  I think dating is the same process, only sex (actual or anticipated) makes it even more emotional.  You have to take breaks.

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    Ruby
    25 Feb 2021
    1:01pm

    It’s an interesting thought process for me. I miss the same things we all do, but I’ve found being single without children during quarantine has been fine, pleasant even. I love working from home and have always been very comfortable in my own company. Given this particular forum of women, I’ll also be honest – I’ve felt a little bit snarky about my overall happiness. I’ll preface this by saying my heart aches for those who have struggled, but as the resident sounding board for people in my life, it’s brought up many feelings for me. These are the same people who told me over the years I was too picky or too independent for my own good and the ones who put me in the back seat for other mom or married friends as I remained single and childless. I don’t know about you guys, but I struggled with my choices (or how things just ended up) for much of my ’30s and early ’40s. Now, those same married friends have been reaching out (while hiding in their pantries swigging a bottle of wine, I might add). They now want to kill their spouses, formerly known as #myeverything. Next came the mom friends, who are now trying to work productively as their kids’ struggle or drive them bonkers. The boomers, who almost gleefully criticized my self-sufficiency, now need a step-by-step on how to do a Zoom call, set up their online banking, and reboot their cable boxes. And, lest I forget the ones who played know-it-all when I was cautious about my finances. It turns out they overextended themselves, and after getting furloughed or losing their jobs, they now have to make tough choices.

    I think the moral of the story is that we need to be more accepting of one another as women. It’s time for us to be kind, support each other’s choices, and know that we are enough. And as for the dating piece of it, a good vibrator always helps:)

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      melsybelsy
      26 Feb 2021
      7:35pm

      Love your post Ruby – it so resonates! Some of my favorite people are my never married single, childless friends- who live amazing happy lives. I find people who gave me a hard time about my life choices (raising kids in the city, going for a 2nd masters) were the most unhappy with their own. It’s all about making peace with ourselves and doing our own thing.

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      Jax
      27 Feb 2021
      12:29am

      Grass is often greener on the other side, isn’t it?? So it’s wonderful, if you can appreciate the grass on your side?

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    HickfromStyx
    25 Feb 2021
    1:17pm

    I am not alone, but it feels that way. But let me tell you about my father.

    My nonagenarian dad was living in an independent living facility at the start of the pandemic. The facility was locked down in March 2020, with no visitors allowed until late summer. First, residents were allowed to eat in the communal dining room, but then they were confined to their rooms with meals brought in cardboard boxes, for months. They were only allowed to visit the laundry room and return immediately. No more hall walking, no talking. Eventually, they were allowed to return to the dining room in distanced placings.

    During this time, my father, a widower the year before, started to decline physically. His muscles atrophied. I’m sure the isolation of a man whose whole life was his family didn’t help either. He was one of seven children, and moved out of the family home when he married my mother. He had never been alone in his life. The congregate living facility was an extension of that. He made friends and was well-liked. He was often mistaken for being 20 years younger than he was.

    Needless to say, there is no happy ending to this story. Visitors were first allowed to meet outdoors, then restricted approved visits were allowed in residents’ rooms, very briefly, until visitors were not allowed again. My father started falling. He became wheelchair-bound, and then he was moved to the assisted living floor, which happens to be the dementia ward. He needs nursing home care, as of months ago. Being housed with dementia patients increased his isolation.

    Then he had a bad reaction to the second Covid vaccination, which took away his core strength and all movement in his legs. Eight people in his floor had adverse reactions. He is now stuck in bed, in a facility that cannot meet his care needs, where he is not allowed to see anyone but me and a sibling, who does not live here.
    This has been granted on a “compassionate” basis. Some care aides care. One left him in his bed sleeping with the window open and the wind chill near -40C. I happened along and closed it before my father died of exposure.

    Hospice would allow him to say goodbye to his other family and friends. This facility will not, even when death is imminent. I am exhausted. My sibling thinks everything is fine. I feel alone and unsupported. My spouse and student son cannot help, because this is not allowed.

    How many people have died this way, not counted in Covid deaths? How many families carry the burden of guilt, grief and regret over not being allowed to see their loved ones, or be by their side as they pass? How many like me feel trapped between a rock and a hard place? Is this a privilege or a prison?

    Everything definitely is not fine. The Sandwich Generation became the Panini Press Generation in my time, but what is this now? I have no catchphrase to describe it.

    Thank you, Kim, for letting me say what nobody wants to hear. I catch up on your blog when my father sleeps. It helps to realize there is a world that keeps on spinning out there somewhere.

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      Kim France
      26 Feb 2021
      9:57am

      Oh Hick, I’m sorry that you’re dealing with all of this, but what a kind and compassionate daughter you are. Sending you love.

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      KB
      26 Feb 2021
      1:03pm

      Dear HickfromStyx — you are telling my story. Your father is so blessed to have you. Healthy, mobile, social and extraordinarily capable at 93, mine had just returned from a flight alone to visit my brother, when his retirement community initiated restrictions. He lost 25 pounds in one month, was moved from his lovely independent apartment to the assisted living wing — a sterile, empty space — and rapidly declined both mentally and physically. He survived Utah Beach, defended Cherbourg, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and liberated Dachau, but is now imprisoned in his room. Staff at the facility, who are not mandated to be vaccinated, test positive weekly so assisted living and memory care residents (the ones who need interaction the most) remain under lockdown. Both my father and I are doubly-vaccinated — a miracle! — but I still cannot see him. Single and childless, I’ve dealt with this on my own, and am remain grateful for friends who call and are supportive. These are the stories of COVID’s collateral damage. Thank you for sharing yours, and making me feel less alone.

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      Dawn
      25 Feb 2021
      2:22pm

      So sorry to hear. It was hard enough being the caregiver for my wheelchair-bound, cognitively falling mom beforetimes. I can relate to the “sibling(s) thinks everything is fine” situation–it is usually one who shoulders most of the burden. I was told often how “lucky” I was to have this time with my mom, and while I agree, at the time it felt as though my experienced anguish was being negated. Hang in there. You will have an inner peace at the end that will sustain you moving forward.

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      D.Morgendorffer
      25 Feb 2021
      2:24pm

      Oh, HickfromStyx, I feel for you. As I wished for my husband and his relatives this summer, I hope for you to have any solace and comfort that you can have in such a situation. If we ever meet in person, the hug I give you will be for this…

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        Karen
        25 Feb 2021
        3:59pm

        HickfromStyx my heart is breaking for you. My mom is living in a senior community that’s had similar restrictions. We’ve been fortunate that she’s been able to get outside most days and walk with a friend, and so physically she’s probably stronger than she’s been in years. Mentally that’s another story. Not sure this is the best thing to do, but it feels like the right thing, my sisters and I are going to get for Passover (we all live away). She will have had both vaccines. It’s risky but I feel like we need to balance her physical health and her mental health, and missing a 2nd Passover would have been too much.

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      Viajera
      25 Feb 2021
      2:28pm

      Oh, I am so sorry. Is there anyone doing hospice where you live? Or would moving him be too much for him anyway? I am really just so sorry. It sounds like you are doing an outstanding job, in this difficult situation.

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        HickfromStyx
        25 Feb 2021
        5:42pm

        Yes, Viajera, there are several dedicated hospices where I live. Space is limited, and in high demand. Some are reserved for specific illnesses. It involves a wait for assessment, and waiting on a list for available placements. We’re on the assessment waitlist, but time is running out. Moving him would be difficult, but he wants to see his grandchildren, all adults now. He asked to see a photo of my son, and it broke my heart.

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          Viajera
          26 Feb 2021
          2:52pm

          Oh, good luck with the waitlist! I will visualize things moving along. He is lucky to have raised such a nice child. That is true wealth.

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          Viajera
          26 Feb 2021
          2:58pm

          Btw … and I hope this isn’t horribly insensitive, but, with so many people at the same place having a bad vaccine reaction, I wonder if there shouldn’t be some kind of investigation. I hope it is already being done. Maybe there is a reason, and maybe there could be a new approach. Maybe something could be learned which would help right now. I’d love to think our society was so organized that there would be somebody looking into it already. Anyhow, sorry, not trying to add to your list of things to do!

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      cw
      25 Feb 2021
      4:36pm

      HickfromStyx, I am so, so sorry you and your family have to go through this. What a terrible sad situation. My brother and I have said to each other about a million times since Covid hit, “Aren’t you glad Mother passed away before Covid?” As terrible as it sounds, there is a relief there. My heart goes out to you.

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      y.k.
      25 Feb 2021
      5:30pm

      i cannot imagine it. i’m so sorry. such a tough situation.
      you are right- Panini Press Generation! i am currently in my childhood home, gathering docs for my parents taxes, scheduling dr. appts, refreshing websites for their vaccine signups.
      will drive 4 hours this weekend to see my kids who are in college to make a huge food delivery, which i know i don’t have to do but i miss them.

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      Dawn M
      25 Feb 2021
      6:17pm

      ‘Styx, your father sure raised you right. You will never regret everything you’re doing for him, so hang in there.

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      Karin
      25 Feb 2021
      11:38pm

      I’m so sorry for what you are going through. I feel your pain and rage. My father in law died this summer – not from COVID but, I’m convinced, from loneliness. He was in a high risk group and being cut off from his children, grandchildren and church family, he declined rapidly. We couldn’t have a proper funeral or memorial. Since then we’ve lost 3 other elders in the family, but no one has been able to come together to grieve or pay respects. It’s like a generation is just disappearing. . . Sending prayers for your father.

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    Nelson Bartley
    25 Feb 2021
    2:56pm

    This time last year my BF of one year (but very sporadic that first 9 months) were planning a trip to Mexico. Our one week trip turned into one month and we joked it was like having a honeymoon without the pesky business of getting married. While COVID was bolting here in the US, we stayed in Mexico which was relatively unscathed at that point. Once back in the states, I moved in with him because my cabin is rural Colorado with NO delivery services and the grocery 30+ minutes away. We lived together for 10 months quite happily but he is insistent he wants his own space so I’m moving out of state. He has money, he can afford to come visit. But we both joke that we could never have gotten along so well with any of our previous spouses 24/7. For us it was effortless and fun.

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    Jennifer
    25 Feb 2021
    3:35pm

    I’ve been single since before this pandemic and have been trying to date online sporadically since last June-ish. Walks or sneaky drinks in the park were my go-to first date when it was warmer, and I’m glad the weather is becoming more accommodating so I can resume those activities. Getting drinks or coffee at a place with outdoor seating will probably be my default now. I tried one video first date a few weeks ago and swore I’d never accept the invitation for another–the conversation was stilted, and whereas I can find something to talk about pretty easily regardless of chemistry in person, over video I felt trapped until we agreed to end the chat. Being in my mid-40s I’m finding fewer men enticing enough to message online. I lucked into making an in-person connection over the summer and enjoyed that for a few months. It was a gift after feeling isolated and missing physical intimacy during the shutdown. I am wildly fortunate to have friends living nearby, and meet up frequently for walks or outdoor drinks/meals, which is a boon. I respect and sympathize with those dealing with children, childcare, and spouses during this pandemic but it was hard not to feel like part of a population whose needs were neglected by all the experts recommending best practices last year. (Anyone else recall the absurd suggestion by the NYC Dept of Health to have sex incorporating a barrier?) I can’t wait to be vaccinated and to feel safe eating indoors, seeing films, and cautiously reentering public life, not that I think it’s going to look anything like 2019 anytime soon.

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    tricia
    25 Feb 2021
    5:24pm

    I am married with no children. My husband and I have actually grown closer. I know I am super lucky compared to a lot of people. I can’t imagine going through the stress of aging parents, depressed children, feeling completely isolated etc.
    I think this is so hard. I am good at being alone, as my husband spends a lot of time in LA usually (entertainment industry) and I have a private practice here in NYC (speech pathologist), but it’s definitely different when it’s a choice. I love New York City and know it will survive but I really miss the energy and everyday mingling that occurs. However anyone is plugging through this, single or otherwise, I applaud them and wish them the very best. I want LIFE back …

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    Irene
    25 Feb 2021
    8:04pm

    With WFH, I’ve tried hard to keep the mind and body going: read each day, get on the floor each day whether it is yoga or sit-ups, get outside even if it is up and down the block, communicate with one person through some media form, listen to a podcast or audiobook snippet, meditate for a few min, drink lots of water, look a little at my finances so I know where I’m at , say a prayer of thankfulness, lift a few weights….that’s my list and it keeps me focused on different types of goals that are small and feel pandemic conquerable each day.

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    sc
    27 Feb 2021
    1:01am

    The depressed kids thing is real. Especially for pre-teens/ teens. My kids are desperate to get back in school (c’mon LA…)

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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