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author's profile photo Craig S

Are you well?

In an effort to keep this as a community, there are lots of regulars here, (and not just in the coffee corner), that I'd really hate to see suddenly ghost the community.

Please, if anyone is struggling with COVID-19 please let us know so we can keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

We are a worldwide community here so everyone is having their own unique experience, issues and problems.

I'd like to hear them discussed. And who knows. with our wishing well discussion here, maybe someone can help someone somewhere.

Personally, I'm very fortunate, (so far). I can work remotely even though I'm just 20 min. from the office. Our company has been great! Both my wife and I are over 60 so we fall into that higher risk category. We've been quarantining all week and haven't been out except to run the dogs at the park, making sure we keep away from people and use liberal amounts of hand sanitizer. Most things are closed in my county and the neighboring counties as well and will be for the next couple of weeks.

My wife and I have both of our mom's still living. In the next few months my Mom turns 91 and my mother-in-law turns 101. Coming down with this virus would, in all likelihood be a death sentence for them. The older one is in a nursing facility but on a independent living floor. The other is still living on her own in her senior community condominium. I worry most about them. And unfortunately the best thing we can do for them is not visit them. (aside from making sure they have the basic supplies).

The amount of hoarding that is happening here is what I find most appalling. Honestly I don't think stores will sell any toilet paper or paper towels in 2021. :-) I can't imagine people can store any more bread in their freezers! I'm out of bread so I'm hoping to get some today or tomorrow. Toilet paper I'm good with!! My wife does buy that in bulk at Costco normally anyway. I think we have like 20 some rolls for the two of us.

I hope people take this seriously. Many are not.

Stay safe everyone.. keep washing them hands. And stay away, especially from old people!


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  • Mar 18, 2020 at 02:12 PM

    Thanks for starting this conversation, Craig. I'll keep your mother and mother-in-law in my thoughts. And I'll be following (sharing) this thread as well. Its sentiment represents what's best about any community -- sharing, caring, and supporting.

    Kind regards,


  • Mar 18, 2020 at 02:48 PM

    Toilet paper is probably my biggest personal concern at the moment, honestly. We aren't hoarders here, and we live in a small condo, so we don't do the big Costco-sized hauls that others can do. So, now we have four rolls left to our name, and they are increasingly hard to come by. Our local pharmacy has them (expensive ones), but they ration them, one roll per customer per day. I may be getting close to learning just how much a shower can function as a bidet...

    Hand sanitizer? Impossible to come by now, along with some of the basic ingredients for making our own. We're relying on good old-fashioned soap and hot water, with vigorous scrubbing. That results in a need for much more hand lotion, of course.

    My mother passed away just about exactly one year ago. My sisters and I were discussing yesterday how difficult it would have been to help her manage her own health if she had survived through to today. She absolutely would have been one of those who just scoffed at the whole notion that anything was that serious, or that anything could happen to her.

    We are fortunate, in that both my wife and I are able to work from home, and we have been in the habit of each doing so one day per week for a while. What is changed is the "full-time" nature of it, and both doing it at the same time! Remember... small condo. :) So, we are adjusting to being in each other's face all the time, and doing our best to be mindful of each other's conference calls and concentration time and so on. Eventually, though, she's going to say something about me having stopped shaving...

    I'm missing the gym! We can still go for walks, and we're doing that, and I'm trying to build up a routine of doing some basic exercises and stretches on a mat in the condo, but it's not the same as a good, hard workout with the equipment the gym offers. If this really keeps up for the long term, as some reports are indicating it might, I'll have to figure something out about that. My wife runs, but despite being a long-distance hiker and backpacker, I can't really run. My knees just don't forgive me when I do.

    Speaking of telecommuting, one of the things consuming much of my time this week is helping others from my office who have never done it before with setting up loaner laptops with SAPGUI and so forth. It has become an adjustment for many. Perhaps now we'll finally be able to drive through the importance of those paperless processes we've been promoting for years, but which never really gained traction. No one wants to go into the office to print out purchase orders, mail paychecks, or pick up and enter invoices anymore, but unfortunately, we still deal with a lot of paper for some of these things.

    I wish you, your wife, and your mother and mother-in-law well in this trying time, Craig. Let us all do what you suggest, and remain a viable community (and Community), one that reaches out to help each other in times of need. After all, isn't that why we're all here?

    • Mar 18, 2020 at 06:49 PM

      If you were closer I'd drive a few rolls of TP over to you. Unfortunately Seattle is about a 30 hr drive one way!!


  • Mar 18, 2020 at 06:51 PM

    > there are lots of regulars here, (and not just in the coffee corner), that I'd really hate to see [...]

    Oops, being non-native, I just stumbled over that phrase until reading further...

    That's maybe one sympton of me being worried and partially dysfunctional in these strange times, and therefore I guess I really cannot express my thoughts here... Yes, I'm also working via home office each day now, hoarding toilet paper, being worried over parents (and also over studying kids living in the distance...), and I'm glad to hear about how you are feeling. Great thread, Craig!

    • Mar 18, 2020 at 07:45 PM
      ghosting? yes...I should have maybe stayed away from the internet slang. i kind of assumed (badly), that it had become an international internet thing and probably meant the same everywhere. While primarily associated with dating and internet relationships, i am using it in much more serious way unfortunately. Using the real term there kind of seemed very morbid and maybe a bit shocking, Thought the ghosting term might be a bit more palatable in a public forum.

      I think that not really knowing how to feel in this situation is totally normal. Most of us have never really felt the impact of a pandemic before. And the fact that this is an invisible enemy for us makes it even more unsettling.

      It's also an enemy that knows no boundaries, no race, no position or status, no religion. So really, no one is immune from it. Very few people can sit in their ivory towers and bury their heads. Virus's don't care who you are. It especially scares folks when they see famous, wealthy people like Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson come down with it. Or major politicians. No one is really safe.

  • Mar 18, 2020 at 07:38 PM

    Food and TP I am good with, my biggest concern though is how people are reacting irrationally and for the local small businesses. I tend to spend money in small local businesses whenever possible. I guess when this is over Ill double down on that to try to help them recover.

    • Mar 18, 2020 at 07:47 PM

      That's a great idea. I just hope they all can survive 2-4 weeks of this. I suspect quite a few won't.


    • Mar 18, 2020 at 08:14 PM

      Some of my favorite small businesses are stores that carry yarn and other crafting supplies. Many of them also do web sales. It's been interesting to see that the ones with web stores are doing very well right now. My favorite local yarn store is even offering curbside delivery where you can drive to their store and they will deliver your order to you outside. Lots of people are buying crafting supplies to stay busy at home. However, I'm not sure how long that will last, especially for those who are unable to work from home and whose employers have had to close so they're not getting paid. :(


    • Mar 18, 2020 at 08:53 PM

      In Seattle (actually, our entire state), while restaurants have been required to close their doors to dine-in customers, they are encouraged to continue to offer take-out and delivery food. Our county executive yesterday encouraged people to avail themselves of these opportunities, in an effort to help these vulnerable business and their employees continue to make it. It isn't going to work for all of them, and at some point even takeout may become too risky or untenable, but in the meanwhile my wife and I are trying to continue to support these small, local business that are showing creativity in adapting to the situation by ordering food for pickup from them. Had a great St Patty's day traditional Irish meal from our local Irish pub last night! Except, we ate it at home while watching a British show about baking.... ;)

      • Mar 18, 2020 at 11:59 PM

        Ours closed tonight as of 1800. i went at 1500 and had a beer an early dinner to try and support them. I did leave a huge tip they trying to support them.

  • Mar 19, 2020 at 08:45 AM

    Personally and physically yes, I'm well.

    But it's not ok, not at all.

    I'm in Bergamo and my hometown is the most hit at the moment in Italy.

    I'm sad, depressed, an heavy burden on my chest because even in my village (6k people) I hear 6-7 ambulances hauling each day.

    Around the world, the images and videos of Italians singing from terraces are amazing everyone, but here... here we are not singing at all.
    Our hospitals are reaching the breaking point, we do not have enough morgues for all the deaths so, the army stepped in and it's in charge to move coffins to other cities and regions for the cremation (this video is from the last night from a FB contact ).

    There are a lot of countries and people thinking this is an hoax or just a flu or that Italian healthcare isn't up to the challenge (check WHO's ranking to see where is our healthcare system, it's the 2nd most efficient in the world, source here )

    Sorry but...


    It's a big, deadly situation and we are doing the best to face it.

    Do you think this is an hoax or exagerated?
    Check the local newspaper: we passed from one page of dead ads in mid february to the actual ten pages.

    So, no, I'm not ok.

    I'm sad.

    I'm upset.

    I'm anxious.

    But I do my best to smile and joke because I have to kids to take care and keep calm, pretending a lot all is ok.

    And I keep thinking about my mother working into a nursing house, with extra hours..

    Sorry for the harsh language

    healthcare.jpg (99.5 kB)
    • Mar 19, 2020 at 02:20 PM

      Thank you for posting Simone. I'm sure it's very hard and it's posts like this from someone in a highly impacted area really can help other people. Hopefully to see that this is a dangerous virus. The US is just beginning to enter into the early stages of this. I suspect the next couple of weeks it will get very bad.

      I don't believe our youth and younger generations are taking this seriously enough. Many of our colleges/universities had spring break last week and this week and many appeared to carry on as usual. As they return home throughout the US the potential for spreading the virus is huge.

      I'm very glad I don't have young children to try and explain this to them and deal with it. But having had them I can imagine the challenge.

      Good luck and please, give us an update once in awhile.


    • Mar 19, 2020 at 02:25 PM

      Simone Milesi,

      I'm so sorry to hear how hard this is on you. But thank you for posting what you did. It's very hard to get real, un-sensationalized information about what's going on and I really appreciate your candor about what's happening around you.

      I hope you and your family stay well.


    • Mar 20, 2020 at 07:26 AM

      In France, we hear a lot about Bergamo. Now, we're waiting for the wave to strike hoping we will be luckier and still have some TP ;-) (mandatory joke to lighten the post).

      Good to luck to you, your family, Bergamo, Italy etc.

    • Mar 20, 2020 at 10:29 AM

      Simone, just thanks for sharing these serious insights.

      (Not much left to say from my part except: God bless you.)

    • Mar 20, 2020 at 11:40 AM

      Hi Simone,

      thank you for sharing your experience from the epicenter here. all i can say, hang in there, and i hope the support systems work for everyone around you but above all, stay well!



    • Mar 23, 2020 at 07:51 AM

      Hi Simone, Thanks for being so honest with us. I know this situation is difficult for all of us but I also often think that we here in Germany, and especially me in the little town I live, are complaining on a high level in comparison to other cities like Bergamo.

      I hope the situation will get better more sooner than we are expecting. I wish you and your family all the best. God bless you!


    • Mar 23, 2020 at 10:20 AM

      My thoughts are with you and your family Simone Milesi - we have other friends down in the area as well and it's heart wrenching to hear about first hand experiences! If there is anything you need please do ask, no idea what we can or can not do but we can try.

    • Mar 23, 2020 at 01:42 PM

      Puts things in perspective about not having toilet paper.

      The UK satirical magazine Private Eye came up with this:

    • Mar 23, 2020 at 07:46 PM

      Thank you for sharing. My thoughts are with you and your family. I had already been getting devastating news from friends in Italy. I try to share a bit on Facebook. There is a reason for social distancing and "shelter in place". I hope for a better day tomorrow. Stay as safe as you can!

    • Mar 24, 2020 at 04:25 PM

      Simone Milesi,

      Any new updates?

      • Mar 24, 2020 at 04:32 PM

        Nothing new and, to be honest, I'm avoiding to read the data and watch news: I think I reached my saturation point and I need to decompress a bit for some days before putting my head there.

        So I just go on working from home, creating my routine and planning to go hiking for all the summer: i really need it :)

        Thanks for all the support.

        • Mar 24, 2020 at 05:38 PM

          That sounds good! Yes.. everyone thought the new "information age" would be so wonderful!! But it can be difficult to be bombarded 24x7 by information, especially when most of it is depressing and sensationalized.

          An not to minimize the virus.. I'm talking about news in general.. they find the worst story they can to lead off any news, to headline any paper, or any webpage. So the first thing you usually have to read about is death, murder, illness, tragedy, etc... There is no escape or decompression from it all. It's not healthy for the human spirit or mental health.

          Hiking sounds like a great plan! Stay safe.


          • Mar 30, 2020 at 04:20 PM

            Totally agree with you, Craig.

            I've listened to a talk by a neurobiologist months ago about how your brain reacts to negative news / experiences. He shared the example of watching / reading news and said in order to stay positive and mentally healthy, you need to positively influence how all your experiences end. Don't let your day end with negativity, for example by watching news before you go to bed. Instead, afterwards, ensure you end your day with something positive or something that makes you smile.

            So not only do I try to adapt this whenever I watch news but especially in current times I look out for things that help me to keep a good wellbeing.

            I hope you and everyone else is well, too.

            My thoughts are with you and your family, Simone. Stay well. I can't wait my hiking plans to come true this year, too... :)

        • Mar 25, 2020 at 12:36 PM

          Hello Simone,

          sorry if I'm bad at pep talk. The other forum members are much better at that. But here are some thoughts that might help you anyway.

          You are right not to consume too much doom news. My wife turned off the radio these days because she couldn't stand it any more. That's the curse of the intelligent people that they are too well aware of the possible consequences. Too much awareness damages the sanity. They say that genius and madness are not far from each other. Perhaps this is one of the reasons. Keep your sanity. Damage to that is really hard to come by.

          Fast forward a few weeks. You will emerge strengthened while many of us could experience, what you are living through, right now. Then you can give us pep talk. Hopefully better than me.

          Keep up the spirit. You have my deepest respect.

          Good luck to You and your family,


    • Apr 28, 2020 at 02:40 PM

      Simone Milesi,

      Was wondering how you are doing? Are things settling down at all there yet? Any signs of normalcy?


      • May 09, 2020 at 09:24 AM


        They are easing the restrictions, so at least i can go out for a walk in the fields (my village is still quite rural with a lot of farms and fields around).

        Thanks for the concern, Craig S , it's hard, these have been quite bad days, with friends loosing their relatives and my grandmother too.

        But we'll get up, slowly.

        Plus, you know, bad grass never dies ;)

        • May 11, 2020 at 11:33 AM

          Good to hear that things get better but I am really sorry about your loss. My sincere condolences! And all the best to you and your family,


        • May 11, 2020 at 01:21 PM

          Good to hear from you Simone Milesi !!

          So sorry about your grandmother. Glad to hear you can at least get out a bit now. Hopefully things keep getting better.

          i know we are weeks behind you. They are hoping to try to start normalizing again but I don't think we are ready yet. My mother-in-laws assisted living facility has had 5 deaths in the past 3 weeks. The facility managers are doing the best they can I know. But she's 101 in a couple of months and I know she wouldn't survive it if she got it. She has an advanced directive in place and has already indicated she doesn't want it violated for Covid.

          I think the states will not be out of this until we get herd immunity or they develop a significantly effective treatment protocol.

          I love the bad grass comment. :-) I never heard that one before but will definitely use it in the future!

          Stay well.


    • Jun 22, 2020 at 09:54 AM

      Simone Milesi,

      Didn't want to desecrate the monument you built for Elizabeth here by writing an imperfect first comment. So I left you a like there and write my thoughts here. I hope you read this and it somehow helps you.

      I too know pain. Lost many dearest people in my early twens. Including my mother and my brother. News of my brother also reached me on a sunday morning. Was it my youth? My inexperience to handle things like that? I don't know. Over 20 years later I don't have the feeling, I'm fine.

      Take your time. Mourn your loss. Don't lock your pain away. Starting this CC-Discussion is a great way to honor her. But most important: Stay with us. We are still needed!

      Rest assured, that she truly earned her place in heaven. Because if not, none of us ever will. You wrote she was a doctor. With that she could have lived almost everywhere. But she chose to stay in dangerous Mexico and help the people in need there. This deserves utmost respect!

      My dead cousin drove aid goods to former Yugoslavia by truck. This didn't kill him, but this is also an example of selflessness.

      Her altruism was/is not in vain. She will be remembered while her murderers will taste the very hell they helped to built. Many people will wonder who and how she was. But you KNEW her and gave her love when she needed it most. Take honor and pride in that, when the time has come.

      Compared to those examples I'm a coward. Named my son after my dead brother. At least I try to be a good father when my personal list of heroics falls short, otherwise. I try to honor my lost dearest by living on and keep their memory alive. I want to tell my son one day myself who his uncle was.

      Sorry, when my pep talk is again a little clumsy. But know we are out there and are truly sorry for your loss. If you ever happen to travel to northern Bavaria, I'd be happy to be your host.

      • Jun 22, 2020 at 11:00 AM

        Thanks Manfred for your story and words: I'm sorry if I somehow brought back painful memories.

        I am receiving a lot of support from people that barely know my name (like you) and I am discovering which great impact Mariely had on the others, helping everyone, from transgender people, to couples, from the poorest to the richest.

        She was that and I try to just think about good things, even if this widens the scar and the loss.

        Sorry for bringing down the mood, for rigging the community and for the babbling and thanks for the thoughts and the support: they mean a lot to me.

  • Mar 19, 2020 at 10:12 AM

    There is an interesting thread on Hackernews (link), where people are providing some helpful tips (or downright just supporting words) for those who are having anxiety or tension regarding this whole situation.

  • Mar 23, 2020 at 01:54 PM

    OK so far. My wife buys toilet roll in bulk every now and then, so we're fine in that department. ��

    I work from home mostly anyway, so not too much different. My adult kids are getting lectures online now. My wife teaches online as well. I'm so glad my son no longer commutes to Zürich on the train, having started a new job fifteen minutes walk from his home. He still goes into the office... but he's one of the handful of people there. Most are cross-border commuters.

    I really feel for those in retail who can't work. Most people are behaving sensibly which is nice, and there's a sense of people helping one another. I know one guy who's told his clearer they'll keep paying her. Some others have said they won't claim a rebate for child care - because they want the centre to be open when this is over! Generally, I think the authorities here are not doing too bad a job.

    My parents are checking in once a day on whatsapp. Their neighbours are making sure they're ok as well. Sadly my mother has (obviously) had to cancel her 80th birthday party. But it's ok- she's choosing to be 79 for until next year. This means she's in a lower risk group than she would otherwise be.

    My sister-in-law has moved in with her and my wife's elderly frail parents.

    Some great colleagues are leaving one of my clients this week. We're having a party tomorrow - via google hangouts. Should be fun. Bring your own bottle, of course.

    My wife and I go out for a walk, once a day, staying away from other people. I miss the gym and sauna! (First world problems).

    I finally got our garage cleared enough that we can park our car in it. First time in two years!

  • Mar 23, 2020 at 07:58 PM

    I am one of the lucky ones. My family is doing well. My adult son is home. My husband has been a stay at home husband for a long time. My Mom and Dad are still living. And doing well. My Mother-In-Law is doing well too. She's by herself in the home my husband grew up in. She's getting lots of phone calls, but she has to be lonely. None of my family dares to see her right now.

    Prior to being locked down, my sister and niece visited. My sister works for Universal in Florida. They have shut down. BUT the first week they paid people to come in and clean. Now they are paying them to stay home. My brother-in-law is over 65. So far no infection for him. My niece works part time for Disney. They are closed. They are not paying her. However, she rents from her Mom and Dad. She also visits them a lot.

    Me I work from home so not a big change.

    Sadly yes, there is hording going on. A lot of it. My husband goes out every day for something. Now we are supposed to "Shelter in Place". So we are safe here.

    My company has to stay open as we feed livestock. So my thoughts are with my co-workers that have to go into work.

    So yes, this is not good. <Sigh> I try to be more positive, but I fail badly at times.

    Thank you for this thread. If nothing else, I've gotten it out of my system a bit. And it helps reading about others.

    • Mar 24, 2020 at 04:24 PM

      Thank you Michelle! Sometimes it helps just to know others have similar concerns and issues and we aren't the only people feeling worried or concerned.

      Like you I can work from home. I prefer the office but our company really embraces the work from home model so many of us do.

      But we are a global pharma company so we cannot stop manufacturing. Our workers are working extra hard to make sure there are no shortages of our products. All are critical to the patients we serve.

      • Mar 24, 2020 at 04:59 PM

        :) I always work from home. I'm in my home office. I would rather be here than in the office. It's amazing all the apps that help you stay in touch.

    • Mar 25, 2020 at 04:58 PM

      One of the techniques my husband has found for replenishing items that others are hoarding is to be at the grocery store when they open in the morning. Deliveries and re-stocking are occurring after store-closing, so the items that are gone quickly are usually in stock at that time.

      It helps that he's retired and doesn't have to be online to work, so he can go whenever he feels we need something.


  • Mar 24, 2020 at 05:03 PM

    If anyone is feeling down #sapcommunityheadsUP is working on bringing people positive things. Nil Peksen has nicely started it.

    The first challenge from Nil:

    "Brighten my day with the 7th picture in your camera roll. Don't explain unless I ask you to, then re-post this wording with the number I give you. Aaand go!"

  • Mar 27, 2020 at 09:11 AM

    A major item in my Personal mood is the state of the weather these days. Luckily, we've had a lot of sunny days. As we are permitted to go outside for a limited range (alone) ànd exercise is promoted, I get to do some running and playing around with the kids in the garden. My two boys really need some time and space to play outside.

    I hope you all are well and can find something positive in every day.

  • May 04, 2020 at 08:53 AM

    I'm still here, too!

    Working from home now for over a month. I'm kind of used to it now and have created a work space (bought a chair and everything!), so going back to the office someday will be a big change.

    But I miss my colleagues and the direct interaction with eachother. We created a chat to hang out with eachother and smalltalk and stuff to get at least a bit of interaction with eachother and that helps a lot.

    My family is doing well so far, too. I'm worried about Grandma, but who isn't? But my mother is keeping her supplied and checks in with her daily (she lived alone in her house), keeping the distance and everything. So far so good.

    Today they started to open some more businesses here in Germany. A lot of the smaller ones are hit pretty hard by the weeks long mandatory closing of course, but we're talking about our health here.

    I'm staying indoors as much as I can, having done a lot of cleaning up in my apartment, made my balcony finally usable again. So I get my fair share of exercise and sunshine through this.

    Stay healthy, guys! :)

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