Coronavirus Tales

A lot of natural salts - stuff without a lot of additional minerals or smoke or infusions that actually change the flavor - seem to be just priced according to the target audience, and the brand image carries the weight. I like pink salt, I like smoked salt, and sea salt usually has at least a tang to it. But plain salt? Get the grind you need and that's good enough lol. Kosher at least has the benefit of the equipment being regularly cleaned, but hey, people need it for religious reasons too. Coarse grind will do the job just as well.

Sometimes I feel like salt is similar to mattresses in how its marketed and priced lol. Or maybe I'm just turning into a curmudgeon.

I like kosher salt because the grains are a nice size to pick up in your fingers and over the years I've calibrated how much salt I need in things just by how the right amount feels in my fingers.

Of course, different brands are actually different sizes. So now I'm stuck.

Robear wrote:

You know why Kosher salt became chef's salt? Because it's cheap, and it sticks well to meats, being a coarse grind intended to draw out moisture. Other than that, it's salt; plain salt that's been manufactured on rabbinically blessed equipment. Nothing special about it. (Well, it's not iodized... That could be a problem over time...).

The lack of iodization is one of the bigger features, actually, because that adds a slightly odd taste to salt. If you're using very much in a dish, it's noticeable.

Malor wrote:
Robear wrote:

You know why Kosher salt became chef's salt? Because it's cheap, and it sticks well to meats, being a coarse grind intended to draw out moisture. Other than that, it's salt; plain salt that's been manufactured on rabbinically blessed equipment. Nothing special about it. (Well, it's not iodized... That could be a problem over time...).

The lack of iodization is one of the bigger features, actually, because that adds a slightly odd taste to salt. If you're using very much in a dish, it's noticeable.

No.

1995 Wageningen Agricultural University study wrote:

With just one exception, no effect of the iodine treatments on flavour, colour and texture of any
of the products, on the ascorbic acid content of tomato juice or sauerkraut, or on the fermentation
of sauerkraut were observed after up to 12 months of storage. The only exception was an effect
on the flavour of tomato juice with the highest concentration of iodine-iodide mixture (200 mg
mixture/kg can content). However, the concentration of iodine/iodide reached in the cans was
more than 100 times that which would be added normally to tomato juice. Thus a large excess of
iodine/iodide is required before changes in taste can be detected.

Huh, I'll have to experiment with that. I was under the distinct impression that iodized salt had a slightly different flavor. Could be the audiophile effect, applied to taste buds.

edit: Cook's Illustrated agrees with you.

It’s more likely you are tasting the difference between mineral contents in each of the salts, I speculate.

My sister-in-law is a teacher. They started having faculty meetings, in person about three weeks ago. My sister-in-law told me that in her district department meeting, she was the only one wearing a mask. She chose to sit as far away from the others, just outside of the doorway, in fact. The principal happened to walk by and asked her about it, and did nothing about the other teachers not wearing the required masks.

This is the science department, btw.

Two weeks ago the students came to the campus (I assumed spread out, time wise) To pick up the books and laptops for the online classes, however the district decided to require the teachers to conduct their classes from their classrooms. So my sister has been around other teachers who have not worn their masks for the last coupe weeks.

Today my brother has told Me that she has developed a bad cough and that he has lost his sense of taste. They are now looking to get tested.

We have had some contact with my brother and his son during this time, so there is some concern for our 70+ year old parents. But not much to do right now but wait and limit contact.

Oh man, Mantid, that sucks. Sorry to hear it.

I can top that story for negligence (also, hopefully everything turns out fine with your SIL) ... the big private school here on Hawaii started up yesterday. A student hopped on the bus in the morning with the other kids and then around lunch his parents called the school because they'd gotten test results back and he was positive for COVID. Given how long it takes to get results back here (~3-5 days), they had him tested several days ago and still decided to put him on that bus anyways despite not having the results back yet.

That kind of negligence should be criminal. If I had a kid that also rode that bus I'd at least be broaching the subject with a lawyer, because f*ck those people.

Teachers who are required by their districts to put themselves in harm’s way need to lawyer up!!!! So do students and families of teachers and students who are required to unnecessarily risk their lives. These school districts make me furious.

As an educator and member of the teacher’s association, I’m downright shocked there aren’t walkout and strike plans. I’m in a strikes-are-illegal state and my district actually made an actual effort for safety, but for other places, I’m stunned by a lack of clear vocal outrage from the unions.

Maybe they’re out there and I’m just not seeing it, but I imagine it would be national news for the association to really step up.

Hawaii's teacher's union, which is incredibly weak, even by teacher's union standards, amazingly managed to convince the DOE to delay the start of the school year (they were supposed to start the first week of August), and then move to all-virtual schooling for the first 6 weeks or something before the individual counties have to reevaluate and decide what they want to do going forward.

Which, good for them, given that they're being asked to put themselves in very real danger for, in some cases, poverty wages. Hopefully they learn from this and put some effort into getting themselves paid a living wage, especially for the new teachers just starting their careers.

Last week I was at the gas station. A man without a mask stood about a foot behind me in line. There were stickers on the floor designating appropriate spacing, but I tried to assume he was just spaced out for a moment (stupid thought). I turned to him and said, in what I believe was a pretty bland tone, "hey, would you mind giving me a little extra space?

"Alright, whatever you want, you f*cking weirdo," he responded.

I felt like I'd met 2020 as a person.

The news has made it obvious we, in America, have been repeatedly shooting ourselves in the foot but I'd avoided seeing it that plainly in the flesh. I've begun embracing for an even longer ride since.

Wait. Was he a middle aged white guy? I was in Peet’s Coffee, picking up an order I’d placed on their app, and I witnessed a middle aged white guy have a freak out because they wouldn’t serve him unless he wore a mask. He eventually stomped out of the shop like a giant toddler. Ironically, the lady behind the counter was completely polite the entire time.

Indeed. As a middle aged white guy myself, it is upsetting on some level that I saw your question and instinctively said to myself "of course he was".

I know it isn't only middle aged white men acting out bizarre anti-mask-hero fantasies but...we're over-represented.

Middle aged, white, and male is the pinnacle of privilege. I’m also one.

I'm still amazed at that incredibly sour look that old lady gave me for wearing a mask, a couple months back. She was infuriated that I was trying to protect her.

That keeps reoccurring to me when I read these anecdotes, and I can't help but wonder how screwed up you have to be, in order to get that angry about someone going out of their way for your benefit. (masks weren't yet compulsory at the time.)

I mean, fer chrissake, she was using a walker and I held the door for her, and she still could have melted my face with that look of scorn. She was one of the people highest on my list of reasons to wear a mask!

If they can’t blame you then they would have to start thinking about their own behavior.

Probably realizing how many people she encounters during the day are brainwashed Democratic sheeple. I'm sure it's a shock to realize how deep the pedophile control goes...

It's getting very hard to not do retail therapy. I know it won't work and I have been trying very hard to only buy the things I need but I just need that positive endorphin rush man. Any form of positive anything looks pretty good from this point of 2020. Let's hope the heat actually helps with this because it is very much too hot.

Almost all antimaskers are in a state of indoctrination. They probably think they’re Christians but by their actions they are worshipping the doctrine of the far right. I’m indoctrinated as well. I’m indoctrinated in logic, intellectualism, and science. Just because my beliefs are based on facts doesn’t mean they’re any better than the ones you hear on talk radio. WHAT?!? EFF THAT!

I'm fighting a losing battle against freaking out and internal panic. My mental health is taking a hit for sure. I found out today that I have been exposed by someone who tested positive on Friday. I work IT in a school and have been extremely cautious to set up contactless device exchanges, remote support whenever possible, plexiglass screen in my office, etc. etc. etc. On Friday, I had to swap out an entire office-worth of equipment after having the user trade out one or two components on their own (that did not fix the issue). It's a smaller office, so social distance is not possible inside the office. I was wearing my mask, as was the user. But I didn't think until afterward to ask the user to leave the office while I worked (which I fully intended to start doing going forward), and I was in the office for 15-20 minutes working. It's a limited exposure, all things considered, but meets the qualifications as I understand them, even masked as we were.

The kicker-- my official instructions from the principal and my IT supervisor is to return to work until either I develop symptoms or I receive a positive test of my own.

I mean, for myself, I either caught it during literally the ONE possible time I could have caught it, or I didn't. But I'm in a mental frenzy over who I might possibly spread it to and why the powers-that-be are so willing to roll the dice when the possible consequence is a full school shutdown. I already crafted a well-worded letter to my supervisor laying out the safety measures I'm already implementing, the self-monitoring I will do now that I'm exposed, and questioning the rationale of the instruction to return to work.

At home, I'm wearing a mask full time and keeping social distance from my wife and kids as a precaution, including not eating meals with them for now. I will go get tested on Friday, which is one week from the exposure to ensure a more accurate result. We've canceled the upcoming playdates and grandparent visits from our extended bubble. I'm struggling to figure out what more I can do to be morally and socially responsible.

All I know for sure is the steps I am taking haven't been enough to calm the torrent going on inside. And all this without too much thought on the possible toll the virus could actually take on my body, longterm effects, and worse case scenarios.

I don't even want to start down that hole, but I think I probably just opened the box marked "for Pandora only." And dang if my throat didn't start closing up, feeling scratchy, and whatnot from about the exact minute I found out. And I only found out because "our first positive case" is the gossip of the day-- not from any ACTUAL contact tracing.

Sounds like you’re doing everything you can. That really sucks that your work is being so ridiculous...hopefully your letter helps them see some sense. Stay safe.

Good luck, buddy. Hopefully you're ok and just being extra cautious.

Antichulius wrote:

As an educator and member of the teacher’s association, I’m downright shocked there aren’t walkout and strike plans.

As I understand it, the reason we haven't seen much in the way of public walkout and strike plans is because when those things start fomenting behind the scenes (in places where it's legal to do so) districts are folding before things go public.

Antichulius wrote:

And I only found out because "our first positive case" is the gossip of the day-- not from any ACTUAL contact tracing. :(

I learned the hard way that IT people are easily overlooked when it comes to contact tracing. I found out months after the fact that I'd had meaningful exposure to three separate people who tested positive within a day or two of meeting with me. Everyone who met with those people, as well as all the faculty in the college, were notified of their exposure. I was not.

Thanks all. As the day winds down, I find I'm exhausted more than anything. The mental/emotional toll of all of this has certainly worn me down, so hopefully sleep will be soon and decent. Beyond that, it's mostly just a waiting game.

Clocky-- wow, one or two, okay, but three? That's crazy! Glad you were okay through all of that!

Anti, you & your family have all my best wishes to stay healthy.

I don't remember if I ever posted this here: back in early April, I noticed a sudden loss of taste & smell. I didn't have any other symptoms, and that meant it took me a while to find anyone even willing to give me a test. In the meantime, I moved out of my room with my wife and down to the other end of the house in my son's old room (which has its own bathroom).

Two weeks later, I finally got tested and it came back positive. My wife went to get tested the same day I got my results, and she tested positive too. My worst fear was giving it to her because she has some underlying conditions (asthma included), so I was devastated by that.

I never really developed any symptoms beyond normal allergy-like post nasal drip. I quarantined for two weeks, then back to work. By the time I went back, my office had instituted mandatory masks and daily health/temperature checks.

My wife, on the other hand, started to have breathing issues after a few weeks, to the point where she had me take her to an ER for observation. I've never been as upset as I was when they wheeled her off into the hospital (I couldn't go in with her of course). They gave her scans, determined that her lungs were in great shape and that this was likely asthma but not covid, and sent her home after a few hours with prescriptions. She thinks the steroid really helped her recover. We're both doing OK now.

Two of my three kids have been staying with us this whole time, and thankfully neither showed any symptoms. Either they had it and were asymptomatic or we managed to keep them safe with all of our mask-wearing and obsessive nightly disinfecting. We've opted for full-remote learning for both of them (one's in college, one's in high school). Every time I go out in public I see too many idiots who don't take this seriously, or simply don't care about anyone else. I have no faith that the school's re-opening plan is sufficient right now, and I don't want to add risk to my kids or to the school faculty.

It took several weeks before I noticed my sense of smell returning. Even now, every time some food doesn't taste/smell quite as strong as I think it should, I panic.

Antichulius wrote:

I'm fighting a losing battle against freaking out and internal panic. My mental health is taking a hit for sure. I found out today that I have been exposed by someone who tested positive on Friday. I work IT in a school...

I’m right there with you. My wife is a high school teacher. ATM she is distance teaching but her district are pissing their collective pants about wanting to go back to 100% normal learning.

About 24 hours ago I did freak out about her situation. About an hour ago I had another freak out about my work situation.

I’m one of those “essential” workers. My coworkers are by and large not wearing masks nor sanitizing their hands or surfaces which they touch. I’m not being given the necessary time to sanitize my work area before I start my work. In fact I’m being pressured to work faster and disregard safety. THIS MAKES ME SO MAD!!! How many have to die or have their lives ruined by this virus before we as a society decide to take the necessary precautions?

My mental health is not so sound. Gods forbid that I would like to take this viral threat seriously!

Do you have the backing of either management or a union? I’m in the same boat of not being given appropriate time to sanitise work spaces so that’s led to some late starts. But I’m pretty covered by company documentation that is pretty clear about what needs to be done and the union which has been monitoring implementation.

I’m covered by the Union in the sense that I can’t be fired or written up for taking time to sanitize my work area. My management team is still free to harangue about being more than 1 minute behind schedule, regardless of the reason. It’s getting exhausting to have to defend myself about why I’m late (by one minute).

I’m a driver. Yesterday, it took four turns of scrubbing the steering wheel with paper towels soaked with cleanser before the soiled paper towels turned from black to gray. Two more turns of scrubbing to actually get it clean. To be fair, there is a lot of dirt and grease to be encountered in my job, but this level of filth goes well beyond carelessness. Makes me want to punch walls.