Hermiting

I’ve been hermiting hard for the last… oh, ages, I suppose, but with the lockdown nonsense and moving to working from home all the time, it’s gone from moderate hermiting to the kind of serious hermiting where the only real human contact I get most of the time is with my husband. I do get remote contact via teleconferences (at least one meeting every day, usually more), but there’s not very much actual interacting with humans going on.

I don’t miss it all that much, strangely enough. It’s not like I haven’t done this before. Pre-Internet, I was quite capable of going days without interacting with anyone else.

It’s just… everything seems to have gone off into the parallel dimension where nothing is quite right and nobody knows what they heck it’s all supposed to mean. Which is better than some of the alternatives: there’s no sign of the dimension where everyone is evil and has a proper Evil Goatee to prove it, or worse, the Sluggy Freelance Dimension of Lame where everything is so sickeningly nice it’s a wonder anyone has any teeth left (if I remember correctly that one got invaded and taken over by demons).

No, the current alternative dimension is just… odd. Like everything is doing what it should, only two paces to the left. Or just a bit out of focus. Or something.

That or my always questionable sanity has gone on vacation again without bothering to let me know in advance.

In any case, I’m not entirely sure where I am or what I’m going to be doing next, at least not in any sense that doesn’t involve the day job. That, I know will be happening every weekday when I power on the work laptop, and will be happening at home for most likely the rest of this year at least. Possibly longer, because work is being extremely cautious about reopening offices.

25 comments

  1. I am at work every day, but it is a 2 acre building with at most 11 people in it. I really would be fine if no one else was around, but oh well. What has affected me is dealing with wanting to get get stuff and either it being out of stock, or in a place I’d rather not bother dealing with their stupidity in the current “crisis”.
    everything is keeping everyone out of sorts and it’s wearing.

    ot and noted for its absence this AM, I get warnings (they use zscaler) here at work for this being possibly an unapproved web page and could be reprimanded for reading it on the work network.
    The PJmedia family (PJ, TH, RS, etc), excepting Insty was once fully blocked but currently all but Bearing Arms are now no message. Bearing Arms will not open, it is fully blocked.
    Someone thinks y’all are possibly subversive! (~_^)

    1. Wow! That’s one heck of a compliment! We’re subversive… I’ll definitely have to file that one alongside the “worst person in the world” award Sarah and I earned by saying it was a bad thing to want to remove anyone from society because they didn’t agree what someone thought was right and proper (or should that be left and proper?).

      1. My blog posts are frequently blocked by FB. Apparently I got on someone’s LIST, and if a third party tries to link to me on FB, they get the link removed. I take it as a compliment.

        1. Congratulations to you both! In the current nastiness I feel an obligation to go out and offend someone, but lacking Facebook and Twitter accounts I’m not sure where to start.

      2. Milady Hoyt was once listed with a warning, but there was a hiccup and the GHS site we have to use for labels and the company home pages also were kicking out said warning.
        Took well over a week for IT to fix the issue.

      1. Is that the black sheriff or the white one? (one in Virginia and one in Florida iirc have promised that and one has started the actual process)

    2. “…either it being out of stock, or in a place I’d rather not bother dealing with their stupidity…”

      Right there with you. All of the grocery stores here now are requiring masks if inside. I’m seriously contemplating online ordering/home delivery now. Problem being I don’t trust their picks for substitutions.

      1. The Wisconsin side “local” grocer has a sign saying the vendors must wear a mask, but customers are not required by them, and with the uptick locally of cases, a few more than usual have been are masking up.
        The Michigan store I don’t know. Got a confuzzled emergency text exclaiming something implying Whitless was mandating mask wear, but all the state sites only had her statement that businesses had the right to refuse service if they mandate masks and a customer refused to wear one. I’ve not had need to go to the store and see if they mandate by governess’ edict or not.
        I did notice Menards does have a note on their “You Gots To Wear A Mask” on the phone ap, but the regular web page and out side signage says nothing until you get inside the building, but they will provide you a slave labor made in China one at customer service. Don’t know about Aldi’s (never go there) and we got Walmart too (and I avoided them like the plague before the current stupidities)

        1. Ohio was doing okay, but they started making ominous noises two or three weeks ago, and now we all have to wear masks, everywhere. (It was over 18, but now it’s over 10. Jerks.)

          Unless you’re in your own house, outside away from people, eating or drinking something, police/fire/etc. on duty, playing sports, officiating at a religious service, or you’ve got a medical problem. And two or three other exclusions.

          Now personally, I’m more than willing to tell everybody that I have a medical problem, and that being asked to reveal it goes against HIPAA and disability laws; but I don’t think I’ve persuaded my parents to be rebels, even though they probably have enough medical problem for realsies that they should.

          (My medical problem is that I’m starting to go incandescent with rage about this whole thing. I’m also severely tempted to go shopping while wearing a colored pillowcase over my head.)

          I’m not more than a bit irritated by it, at work, because they pay me to follow whatever dress code or PPE is designated. But making the public do it, just because some cities have some problem, and not stopping the rioters at the same time…. that annoys me.

          1. I’ve made a point to shop at places with the little passive-aggressive sign on the door about “the government says you have to have a mask unless . . . If you don’t have one on, we will assume medical reason and not ask any questions.”

  2. Day Job has announced that we are resuming in person, with some minor changes and two major changes. One of the major changes has me very unhappy and may require some negotiation (more for the sake of the students, based on some things that are happening on anti-social media.)

    I can go a few days without seeing non-family humans, but I need at least a little social contact once a week or so, be it nodding to someone at the gym or harassing the regulars at the stop-n-rob early in the AM when we get our caffeine fixes.

    1. Long ago, my mom warned me that some people need people to show that they don’t need people.

      Since she’d survived multiple three month long stints at cowcamp, where she was alone except for the once a month supply drop, enough power for an hour of radio at night and not very many books, I figured she knew what she was talking about.

      Now that I’ve nearly broken down crying because I walked into a minimart and there was nothing really different than six months ago, I _know_ she knew.

      (That’s the same place that a pair of J. Witnesses showed up, somehow, and she scared them half to death with like six hours of extremely people-starved conversation. But they held up their end of the conversation and earned her eternal indulgence for every door-knocking proselytizer around. 😀 )

    2. I’ve been back to working at work. Once.

      (It didn’t help that my car broke after that.)

  3. I’m naturally a hermit, and have routinely gone months without seeing or speaking to anyone… so I fail to notice a difference. However… despite all the thud and blunder, I’m feeling more cheerful about America’s prospects than I have in decades. The right choices in November and we can turn this ship away from the rocks. There will be bad storms, but in clear deep water we can weather ’em.

    And yesterday saw a train carrying the most made-in-USA building materials I’d seen in a while. Usually I see those in chunks of about 10 cars and a single brand. This was more like 40 cars and a dozen brands. Someone’s expecting to be busy somewhere….

    1. Ooh, that’s a very good sign indeed. As long as November doesn’t get stolen things are looking up.

  4. It’s like Bizarro World, or the alternate world of The Man In the High Castle. Everything is slightly off. Saw my doctor yesterday for semi annual check up, she advised me limiting my online activity for my sanity.

    1. Yep. I’ve been actively avoiding almost all sources of news for quite a long time now, for the sake of my blood pressure, my temper, and the shredded remnants of my sanity.

  5. Definitely surrealistic. But my three fav restaurants survived (so far), so all is well in Uphoff land. Whether it will remain so will depend on food shortages this winter. So long as I don’t have to hear about famines in Africa (and how it’s all Trump’s fault) it’ll be fine.

    1. If famines in Africa are Trump’s fault, it’s because he didn’t stop sending aid. Because sending oodles of cash and food to corrupt regimes does nothing but perpetuate the bloody mess, and no matter the good intentions drifting around we don’t have the means to get much of anything helpful to the people who need it most.

      Of course, you’re not allowed to _say_ that in public. Or to say that all the proto-communist regimes in Africa are a big part of the problem.

      Erm… That soapbox ambushed me!

  6. I sympathize, Kate. It’s been much the same for me, and for the same reasons — and I was never a social animal of any kind.

    When I was working for someone else, my social space was my colleagues. When I decided to retire, I told myself that I wouldn’t miss it, and I haven’t.

    During the first years of my retirement, my social space was my parish. But there have been changes there in recent years that have made it inhospitable, even hostile, to anyone not in the “in crowd.” I shrugged, ceased to try to involve myself, and told myself that I wouldn’t miss it. But I have, at least a little.

    Since then, my social space has been my wife and my animals. None of the animals are sparkling conversationalists. As for my wife…well, if you can help her with her accounting work or her current crossword puzzle, or have a fabulous new recipe for her to try, she’ll make some room and time for you. Otherwise, probably not.

    There are compensations — without the clamor of others’ mutterings and the clatter from their putterings, it’s possible to think more sedately, and possibly more clearly — but Man is by design a social animal. St. Simeon Stylite might have been perfectly happy up on top of his pillar, but most of us need a bit more contact with others. There are more than enough unoccupied caves for those who sincerely feel otherwise.

    1. For the most part, me, the cats, the Husband, and the occasional meal at the local diner does enough. I’ve never belonged to an “in crowd” (any time I belonged to a crowd it was an “out crowd”), so I’m hardly going to miss that.

  7. I _think_ I’m back on an even keel (although it’s difficult to judge one’s self). I’ve done the work-from-home-alone thing before. Going from rarely seeing others to never seeing others was an adjustment.

    I’m still having my twice-a-month parties, so I cannot go into the office. We have to sign a “I haven’t been bad in two weeks” affidavit. I’m only “clear” for about four days per month. On the bright side, that means I don’t need to go past the homeless tent-cities in downtown (Denver), which really aggravates me.

    1. If it works for you, I’m not judging. My lot are gradually opening their sites based on some complex formula that includes esoteric information like the infection rates in the town/city/state/country, whether or not the building is multi-tenanted, how easy/hard it is for those working there to work from home… I suspect that pulling numbers from the anatomy may also be part of the formula, but then I suspect that most if not all the numbers in this whole business got pulled from someone’s anatomy.

      I don’t expect to be back in the office this year, and I expect that when I do have to go back, there’ll be a lot more flexibility, because the building is not going to allow everyone in my group to be there with the specified separation level. And that’s without considering that the first phase of going back is 10% occupancy.

      We’ll see. It’s the limbo effect that’s difficult right now, not the actual working from home.

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