Coping with Coronavirus


This pandemic is going to be a tough time for us wherever we are. The goal of this topic is to suggest and discuss coping mechanisms to get us through this. I expect it to primarily focus on mental health but could also include physical health, diet and exercise, hygiene, recipes, shopping tips, techniques for working from home, how to keep yourself or your kids entertained, and more. Venting related to the above topics is encouraged!

Try to avoid: infection/death statistics, violence, politics, etc.

GWJ Coronavirus topics:
Coronavirus Tales and Catch-All
Coronavirus News

Other GWJ topics and links:
GWJ Community Voice Comms
The Unofficial GWJ Slack channel - Join the Slack workspace
Post something calming, Relax-all thread
Post an Activity, Something Mindful!
Depression is ruining my life.
Ring Fit Adventure Catch All
GWJ Boss Key Master List - the community shares their extra game keys

Nightly Met Opera Streams - a free series of encore Live in HD presentations
Owen O'Kane (@owenokaneten) - focuses on mindfulness and being grounded
Brian Eno Ambient Music - Ambient 1: Music For Airports / Ambient 2: The Plateaux Of Mirror
Rain Sounds with Thunder for Sleeping - 10 Hours Rainstorm White Noise
Sleep Hypnosis for Calming An Overactive Mind
Guided meditation Deep sleep & Overthinking
DBT TIPP Skill - Paced Breathing Practice
Spotify - 15 Hour Rainstorm
Podcast: On Being with Krista Tippett - What does it mean to be human? How do we want to live? And who will we be to each other?
Podcast: Tara Branch Talks - Tara Brach’s teachings blend Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices, mindful attention to our inner life, and a full, compassionate engagement with our world.
AFL Football Online - Watch full replays of past AFLW league matches - season cancelled
Some Good News with John Krasinski - Your host John Krasinski returns to highlight some good news from around the world.

headspace - We'll teach you the life-changing skills of meditation and mindfulness in just a few minutes a day.
Brian Eno : Reflection (AppStore) - Deluxe generative edition of Brian Eno's acclaimed 2017 ambient album, Reflection.
Smule: The Social Singing App - DSGamer says "Smule is a social network where you basically do distributed Karaoke including duets with other people on the network."

Home Harmony: Family and Children's Counselling Services - Australia-based, doing virtual sessions via Zoom at the moment

BBC: How to protect your mental health
BBC: How can we stay in virtual touch with older relatives?
r/Anxiety - Discussion and support for sufferers and loved ones of any anxiety disorder.
r/LifeProTips - Advice for extended time alone at home

I have one kid and it's been tough having all the usual Daddy outings go out the window. She likes animal parks, planetariums, even just going to the library. As a substitute we've been going to the park. I've been mixing up the activities, playground equipment, digging for worms, practicing on her bicycle, building in the sandpit. One morning the park was packed with kids from a nearby day care centre (I sympathise they need somewhere to go!) so we instead went to a different park. Not quite as nice but it was good bicycle practice. Usually the park is not so crowded and it's mostly locals so in terms of risk I feel relatively comfortable about it, especially compared to my job.

Scheduled to work from home for at least 3 weeks. With a 16 month old at home going to be a little interesting.

Thanks for starting this. I don’t feel equipped to offer much advice as I’m having a hard time. I will say that my wife and I played board games tonight and it was helpful to get off the TV.

There are lots of jokes about binging Netflix or finishing long games, but for me it was grounding to play something slow and tactile.

Spoke to the in-laws today. Seems like they are game for a get together once it's warm enough to have a picnic outside. Otherwise they seem sensitive to spending time in enclosed spaces.

Despite cotton masks being of dubious benefit, there is definitely a societal obligation to wear one when you're outdoors. So, every drug store has line ups before opening trying to get some of the limited supply (I can see this on my way to work). Since we're running low, I hit up 4 stores last week but no dice.

I'm currently thinking to go in soon to get my next 2 months of medicine. 2 months is the max prescription I can get. I have a month to go but having 3 months stocked up seems like it could save me a trip to the pharmacy for a while.

For my parents, a few weeks ago I told them to just buy 1 extra of every non-perishable item whenever they go shopping for the foreseeable future and build up a backlog. That way when things go crazy like they have the past few days in Australia, they can just avoid the grocery store for a while until it settles down.

We had a video conference dinner with the extended family across three states. It was I think especially helpful for the grandparents as they need to be particularly careful.
Next time we are planning to try and all cook the same meal. It was a nice thing to do just because spread apart we already didn’t see each other enough.

I’ve been mentally consumed about this for weeks. I have friends and acquaintances in Asia, so it’s been on my mind long before it came to my area. I’ve not been handling it well. All my self care basically went out the window. I’m hoping to get back to some routines now that my state has finally decided to take some actions. It’s nice to not be the only one worried any more—spreading the load around some. But it’s sucked all the air out of every conversation and sometimes I’d like to just focus on something else. So I bought Fire Emblem 3 houses, hoping it’ll suck me in. But so far, it’s just paralyzed me in trying to pick a house. Doh!

I've been thinking about what online games I can do. I've got a bunch of roleplaying games that are good for videoconferencing, plus there's that play-by-email game I can run again...

Antichulius wrote:

So I bought Fire Emblem 3 houses, hoping it’ll suck me in. But so far, it’s just paralyzed me in trying to pick a house. Doh!

I went Golden Deer, Black Eagles, figuring that I'd play through twice. Being stuck inside made me think Blue Lions, Golden Deer, Black Eagles might be a good order...

Some spoilers might be worth it. Black Eagles has 2 routes, and one of them is definitely more difficult. So if you do that, it's worth checking on the split point.

Otherwise just have fun. Most people seem to be playing at least twice, if not 3 times. Some even go 4 for all routes.

Fire Emblem thread. Pretty sure we just had the discussion there last week.

I posted a question in the board game thread here:

Short version: Looking for suggestions for doing board games with extended family remotely. I'm hoping this will help cope as well.

Took my FE reply to the FE thread. Loading it up right now and gonna make a choice.

I seem to have picked a good time to get back into an MMO (Final Fantasy XIV). Even if I'm not chatting with people, it's nice to see them and be around other people. It's going to be tough for me not being able to get out, go to work, and see other people. I'm an introvert and don't socialize much, but I like seeing other people.

MMOs also lend themselves well to having small, definable goals within a set of larger goals. When I'm feeling overwhelmed by life and the world at large, it's nice to have that to fall back on.

If it’s not there already, we should get a channel in the discord for people who are hanging out at home or actively isolating and want to feel like there are other people around, something not focused around a game but just around feeling less alone.

Antichulius wrote:

If it’s not there already, we should get a channel in the discord for people who are hanging out at home or actively isolating and want to feel like there are other people around, something not focused around a game but just around feeling less alone.

I forgot about Discord so I just checked: there's a #venting-gripes-pandemic channel right now.

Here's the post about the GWJ Discord:

There's also a GWJ Slack as well. One of the channels is #MentalHealth:

Both are great to chat with other GWJers in real time.

The GWJ Slack channel has been fantastic for that. You can ask for an invite here.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

It's going to be tough for me not being able to get out, go to work, and see other people. I'm an introvert and don't socialize much, but I like seeing other people.

Same, it's why i love working in coffee shops - for the background noise if nothing else.

* * *
woops - wrong thread for this. posting it elsewhere...

Tonight my wife and I had another TV-less dinner and played board games. That seemed to help with distraction. The same with working on a LEGO later in the evening.

Earlier in the day I wanted to get some exercises but didn’t feel like going on a walk outside, so I finally broke out Ring Fit Adventure. That game is really fun and for the time I played it it really got me to sweat. They did a good job with that.

I did Ring Fit today too!

It's sold out everywhere, so be happy you got one.

Stele wrote:

I did Ring Fit today too!

It's sold out everywhere, so be happy you got one.

I’m definitely thankful. I got it awhile ago and just hadn’t bothered to open it.

I was feeling really anxious yesterday evening, and gaming definitely helped. It seems like the game in question needs to be engaging enough to keep occupying my mind and that too many fail states (and thus being thrown out of focus) are not good. F1 2019 fit the bill: constant focus is needed to keep the car on track, but I don't have to restart every other minute like I would in say a roguelike.

Other games that might fit the bill for me would be strategy games that don't involve too steep a learning curve, so CIV VI (I'm a CIV veteran) and now Offworld Trading Company (new to the game, seems like easy to learn hard to master) helped out.

I think I also might start a bunch of new games on the pile, and just get through the tutorial sections. Some new experiences, in a hand-held way.

My job is driving, it's amazing how full the roads have been. I work next Tuesday night, wonder if people are going to start staying home, or that's still a week or so away.

Another relatively sleepless night. I’m starting to wonder about the process for short term disability if this goes on for me.

I learned back in 2016 when I had an episode of high anxiety and insomnia (I’ve had a few of them) that structure helps me a lot. And being social with co-workers helps a lot. So in addition to the overall stress and uncertainty and how I’m wired I don’t even have that in-person work structure right now and the confidence it gives me.

I’m trying to think of other interventions I could do for insomnia. I welcome any suggestions.

I'm right there with you, DSGamer. My anxiety has always surrounded my daughter and health. Any time she was sick as a baby I was a barely functioning wreck. So this situation is not great for me, and she's not even sick. I know the statistics are on my side, but I still have terrible images in my head too often. Right now, knock on wood, I can get to sleep. Staying there all night is a different issue... the long, dark tea time of the soul is my worst time.

The financial aspect of this situation are not helping a ton. I'm very fortunate in many ways, but I fear a more general societal problem moving forward. I'm trying not to be alarmist, but the anxiety is there.

I'm meditating, trying to keep low news touch, running outside, trying to keep a schedule. But damn, my heart hurts.

Just going to resurrect a thread i made from a few years back. Might be of use. It certainly will for me!

Post Something Calming - Relax All

So I am starting to get a little nervous but not freaking out stage yet. I have a slight cough and wheezing but no fever. This could be allergies or cold so been trying to reduce going out and my job mandated WFH for the foreseeable future. Just keeping an eye on it for now but if symptoms get worse, I need to get this looked at. I am trying to avoid going to the hospital or Dr office if I can for now as it could be just that, a cold / allergies.

Stay safe everyone!

The New York Metro area is pretty much shut down now.

Don't miss La Traviata on Thursday, Diana Damrau is just incredible in it. Just make sure you have a box of tissues at the end though.

Animal Crossing sounds super chill

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a respite from the current state of the world. I find my general anxiety slowly subside as I run through my town, water my plants, and build furniture for the sassy chicken gentleman living down by the beach. It’s exactly what I need right now.

There are moments when I look up from a long session and realize that I’ve been ignoring everything around me. Then I take a look around at what actually is going on around me, and realize that maybe I’d better stay in my island paradise for a little while longer.

Super chill games makes me think of Steep which should also be super cheap these days. May have to fire that back up.

Spoilering a giant wall of text of things that are helping me to practice some self care for my mental health.


This guy on Instagram focuses on mindfulness and being grounded. His videos are really good -

Headspace is a great mindfulness app I’ve been using for years now that just added a bunch of free meditations and music for all of this -

I have a couple of personal support groups, but in the past few days I’ve discovered that the Anxiety subreddit is quite good right now. Notably there are a couple of folks focusing on good news. Things that are hopeful or put all of this into perspective. The idea being that we all know the bad news and the things we’re afraid of and it’s overwhelming some of us. So let’s focus on some good news -

I’m a huge fan of the On Being podcast -

And the Tara Brach podcast -

Ambient music such as Brian Eno’s work.

Hopefully something there helps someone. I’m also thinking a lot lately about grief. Grieving the people affected and their loved ones, but also grieving the world for the trauma. I think it’s healthy to distance yourself from the news and social media and just be sad about what’s happening.