We Can’t Shelter In Place Forever: How The Coronavirus Lockdown Might End

The coronavirus cannot keep us stuck in our homes forever.

Someday our kids will go back to school, we will return to work, and families and friends will gather once again for birthdays, holidays, weddings and funerals.

We will see movies in theaters, get drunk in crowded bars, and scream recklessly in packed sports stadiums — droplets be damned.

But how will we get from here to there? What will reentry to normal life look like? How will we ever trust the coronavirus, our unseen enemy, not to infect us at every opportunity?

As with most things related to the coronavirus, there are still many unknowns.

This virus has only been circulating in the human population for about four months. Every day scientists learn more about how it spreads, how it makes us sick, and how we might protect ourselves from getting infected in the first place.

Nobody can say for sure exactly what our return to normalcy will look like, or how long it will take to get there, but experts can offer some educated guesses.

In California, public health officials said social distancing policies will probably remain in place for months, and they warn that lifting the strict rules too early could worsen the health crisis.

They also caution that coronavirus cases are likely to rise when stay-at-home orders are relaxed. It’s important to protect your mental health while you’re staying at home due to COVID-19. If you find you’ve been struggling with anxiety or any other mental health issue during the stay-at-home orders, consider reaching out to mental health care professionals, such as those at BetterHelp.com.

Julie Swann, head of the Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, said she expects the strict stay-at-home orders will be lifted before a vaccine is found — an endeavor that could take another year at least.

“If we ramp up our hospitals’ capability to deal with people who are sick, ramp up testing so we know who is sick and who has recovered, and if there is treatment that shortens hospitalization time, then we may not need to be as drastic as we are now,” she said.

Swann and other public health experts spoke to The Times about what a safe transition from our strange coronavirus reality to the regular life we yearn for could look like.

How will public health officials decide when it’s time to loosen stay-at-home restrictions?

Public health officials will want to see a drastic reduction in the number of new coronavirus infections confirmed each day before they begin to relax current restrictions, scientists said.

However, before they can feel confident that a drop has truly occurred, testing capacity must increase dramatically.

“In many states the testing capacity is still significantly behind demand, so the number of confirmed cases reported is likely to be way below the actual numbers,” said Pinar Keskinocak, director of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

Once widespread testing is in place, officials can better understand how many new cases there truly are, where they are, and if we are indeed in a downward trend, she said.

How low will daily new cases need to be for restrictions to be relaxed?

In California, which has a population of nearly 40 million people, stay-at-home restrictions are not likely to be relaxed until the number of new cases statewide drops below 10, said Chunhuei Chi, director of the Center for Global Health at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

“Then the state could do something like Taiwan is doing now — not totally resuming regular activity, but keeping a high level of regular activity while exercising caution,” he said.

In Taiwan, schools and businesses are still open, but people are required to wear masks on public transportation and inside enclosed areas like schools and shopping malls. Indoor gatherings must not exceed 100 people, and outdoor gatherings can be no larger than 500.

So there’s no chance things will go back to normal all at once?

A safe return to normal life is going to be incremental.

Once there has been a significant drop in new cases, local governments will be able to slowly reopen schools, shops and restaurants, Chi said.

However, shops and restaurants may be required to reduce the maximum number of people they serve at a time so customers can stay at a safe distance from one another.

Swann said we will probably live in a hybrid reality for several months — not quite lockdown conditions, yet not quite normalcy.

“We can expect some services to open, but not all,” she said. “We are entering a new world.”

Are we going to be wearing masks for a long time?

“Absolutely,” Swann said. “It is possible that masks will become the new seat belts.”

The primary benefit of masks is not to protect the wearer from getting sick, but to keep asymptomatic people from accidentally passing on the disease.

“I think we will see a larger percentage of Americans wearing a mask even after the acute phase of this crisis,” she said.

Chi agreed.

“People should be wearing masks until we are very sure there is no longer community spread of this virus,” he said.

He noted that new research suggests as many as 30% of people who are infected with the coronavirus are asymptomatic, while another 40% to 50% have mild symptoms that they might mistake for the flu.

“You don’t know who is infected because they look healthy and normal,” he said. “That is the most tricky part of this virus, and that’s why wearing a mask is even more critical.”

After restrictions ease, will we be asked to shelter in place again?

That largely depends on when restrictions are lifted.

“If we resume normal life too soon, the chances of seeing a second wave are higher,” Keskinocak said.

Cases are likely to rise after restrictions are loosened, Chi said.

However, local health authorities may be able to manage them by carefully tracking everyone an infected person comes into contact with, testing those people for the virus, and quarantining them if they are sick.

“If the government is meticulously tracking, testing and quarantining people, then it is still safe to meet a friend for a drink,” he said.

Does this pandemic only end with a vaccine?

Not necessarily.

Ultimately, pandemics end when a sufficient percentage of the population has immunity to a disease, either because they already had it and recovered or because they get a medical treatment that makes them immune — like a vaccine.

However, our previous lives could largely resume before that comes to pass.

“The availability of an effective treatment — which would reduce not only symptoms but also the chance of complications — would certainly help in terms of getting back to normal,” Keskinocak said.

A treatment would free up hospital beds and ventilators, and reduce pressure on healthcare personnel.

“The combination of widespread availability of diagnostic and serological testing along with effective treatments would help us slowly get back to normal,” Keskinocak said.

Chi agreed that life should return to some kind of normal before a vaccine is found.

“Most experts predict it will take between eight and 12 months to get a vaccine,” he said. “We shouldn’t have to wait that long.”


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Boyfriend ‘Shames’ Girlfriend Into Shaving Legs & Doesn’t See What He Did Wrong

Personally, I like a little floss on the thighs…

Believe it or not, gentlemen, women aren’t violating “female laws” by not shaving their bodies so they are as smooth as a wet dolphin. Body hair, along with everything else related to a woman’s physique, is a personal choice. While it’s perfectly ok to have a preference, there is no point at which it is ok to make a woman feel obligated to change her physical appearance.

However, one young man on Reddit doesn’t see how telling his girlfriend “playfully” that she should shave her legs is wrong.

  • “My girlfriend of two years isn’t exactly the hippie … ‘my hairy body is beautiful’ type,” he began explaining.

    “But she definitely never developed the habit of shaving consistently. She says it takes a long time (she’s very tall so that makes sense for her legs), her skin is sensitive so she’s prone to bad razor burn, and she always manages to nick herself and bleed a lot. She pretty much only shaves when the hair is physically irritating her skin.”

  • While he says he doesn’t have a problem with it and loves her for who she is, he has a preference for smooth skin because: “Who wouldn’t, right?”

    Earlier in the evening the couple was showering together and she mentioned how she thought it was time to shave her underarms.

    “She said the hair was starting to get on her nerves and she wanted it gone. Once she finished that up, she turned to her legs and said something along the lines of ‘I think these are gonna be up next soon. That hair is starting to bother me too.'”

  • According to the boyfriend, her hair was long — emphasis on the long.

    “…even the lightness of the strands couldn’t cover up how much was there.,” he wrote. “It was bad. So, a bit harshly and sarcastically I will admit, I said ‘yeah, you think it’s time to shave your legs? How long has it been?’ She looked at me for a moment then started getting weepy-eyed, so I asked her what the deal was and she said ‘I thought it didn’t bother you that I don’t shave. It hasn’t been an issue this whole relationship and now I feel like I’m being shamed.’”

  • At this point the boyfriend tried to defend himself and say that he he doesn’t care but does prefer touching smooth legs and underarms.

    “She remained pretty quiet, so I started trying to coax her out of the shower so we could finish up and be done. She refused, saying that she was gonna go ahead and shave her legs. I just left the bathroom. A WHOLE [EXPLETITIVE] HALF HOUR later she emerged, presented her smooth legs to me, and has been sitting quietly since then.”

  • Now the boyfriend is frustrated at his girlfriend’s reaction.

    “I’m frustrated that she’s acting mad at me for agreeing that she should do something she already said she wanted to do, and I just have to know if I should feel bad and say sorry or if I should just let her get her moping out then move on.”

  • A lot of filks had the same question: Is this dude for real?

    “Every time I read stories like this I’m amazed at how men who are supposed to be in love with their girlfriends still manage to prioritize their preference for a certain body type or certain grooming habits over their girlfriend’s own personal preferences and physical comfort,” wrote one user, who essentially read him for filth. “Even if you don’t care about the trouble and pain shaving causes her, have you ever stopped to think that because her legs grow hair means it’s supposed to be there? That it’s natural? That you shouldn’t be such a spineless idiot and try to make her think that it’s gross to have hair on her body?”

  • Others made their opinion know by pointing out the hypocrisy of his statements in the funniest way. possible.

    “‘I don’t mind your penis BUUUUT I prefer bigger ones,'” one use joking wrote. “‘Oh hey why are you ‘acting’ mad? I’m entitled to have a preference!’”


    Ultimately the lesson this guy should take away from this? Keep your bodily comments to yourself.


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Toxic Friends – 10 Types of Friends to Avoid

The company we keep can make or break us. Be aware of toxic friends and avoid these ten types of friends who can do more bad than good in your life.

We’re all in quarantine. It’s time to cut out all of the losers in your life. You can come out of this with a fresh start. All of this human detritus is holding you back. Cut ’em loose!

A good lover can complete you and make you feel alive.

And just like that, a good group of friends too, can motivate you and cheer you up.

But on the other hand, a few bad friends can drag you into the pits or ruin your life too.

Choose your friends carefully, and always make sure that the friends closest to you are the ones that can make life better for you, and not worse.

Types of friends to avoid

Here is a list of ten types of friends that you really need to avoid.

These toxic friends may seem like fun at times or even feel like thrilling risk takers, but when the crap hits the fan, it’ll be you under it.

#1 The Cheater

Many friendships have been crumpled and crushed, because a best friend hit on a friend’s romantic partner.

To avoid making best friends with this type, avoid the sneaky flirts, the sweet talkers and generally, people who try flattering you and talking like you mean the world to them.

You’d be better off with someone who’s more true and down to earth with their claims.

#2 The Competitor

Any kind of competition is healthy in every relationship but when claws start to come out and things get extremely competitive between friends, things can get very ugly.

#3 The Leech

A friend who constantly borrows your stuff or money or depends too much on you is one that definitely needs to be avoided. No one wants a one sided relationship. If all your friend does is take from you, without giving anything back in the friendship, there’s no point in being friends anymore. If they’re looking for one, tell them to take a one way trip out of your life.

#4 The Copycat

Imitation is considered to be the sincerest form of flattery, but a friend who looks or behaves like your photocopy machine can be very scary.

#5 The Shrink

All of us confide in our friends and ask for advice, but when your BFF starts acting like a paid shrink who always picks flaws in your life or relationships, it can get very annoying and depressing.

#6 The Selfish Friend

This type of friend can go to any lengths for their benefit, but behaves passively when you ask for help.

#7 The Wild Child

Dangerous and unstable is how you define this type. You usually get in trouble or always end up having to save your friend from trouble.

#8 The Whiner

This type of friend is never satisfied with anything they have, and they spend all their time whining and grumbling about how the world is so darn unfair to them. Stay away!

#9 The Mood Killer

This friend intentionally or unintentionally kills the mood as soon as they enter into a conversation with you. They always seem to find a flaw in anything you do or have, be it your clothes or your love life. They are like the lone dark cloud hovering over you on a sunny day. Nothing positive ever comes out of their mouth. They are never short of sarcastic comments or depressing thoughts.

#10 The Swinger

This friend is partially bonkers because their mood swings change from being nice to totally snappy in seconds without any provocation. And this friend may just use you like a punching bag to express their feelings, be it frustrations or happiness. Who needs to be around someone whose moods swing like a pendulum?

Life can be a bed of roses when you have the perfect friends to share it with, but if you have to put up with these ten types of friends, all you’d find is frustrations. Spot the toxic friends in your life and stay away from them, for your own good.


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Yale Psychiatrist Bandy Lee: Lockdown Protesters Resemble “Child Soldiers” and “Urban Gangs”

Dr. Bandy X. Lee says Trump is “practicing ‘total authority’ and putting his armed troops in the streets”

Yale psychiatrist has warned that pro-Trump lockdown protesters, who exhibit similar psychology as “child soldiers,” could quickly turn into “armed troops in the streets” if the president loses his re-election bid.

Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine who has mostly taught at Yale Law School, said the armed protests were a natural evolution of the loyalty President Trump demands from his supporters. Many of these protests have evidently been organized by deep-pocketed groups allied with the president.

Lee, the author of the textbook “Violence,” has been sounding the alarm about the danger posed by the president for years. She edited “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” after his election, with a group of fellow mental health professionals. The book’s authors recently started a chat series entitled “Is America in an Abusive Relationship With Its President?”

Lee has also served as a project group leader for the World Health Organization Violence Prevention Alliance. She told Salon that Trump’s recent call to “liberate” Democratic-led states was a dog whistle to his core supporters.

“Subconsciously, it is a loyalty test for the people,” Lee said. “In Africa, where I did some ethnographic work, child soldiers would be recruited and made to kill a family member to demonstrate their allegiance to the government and not to the family. Similarly, in urban gangs in America, one may be challenged to kill a police officer to prove one’s willingness to uphold gang rules over societal rules.

“When Donald Trump suggests that the virus be taken as a ‘hoax’, that people gather in churches or that people protest for their own sacrifice, he is actually testing people’s loyalty to the ‘laws’ of his mind over the laws of nature, or even impulse for survival. The more he abuses them, the greater their devotion grows, since the psychological cost of admitting their mistake is ever higher — and so it becomes easier to dig a well of unreality than to see the obvious truth.

“We are now entering my specialty: public health approaches to violence prevention, and how to stop epidemics of violence before they happen,” Lee added. “Individual violence is hardly predictable, since even the most violent individuals are not violent most of the time, but societal violence is entirely predictable. Prevention is still hard to talk about, since we must act before we see things unfold, but it is highly effective. It is true of pandemics, and it is true of mental health. We can enlighten ourselves through science and prevent catastrophes before they occur.”

Lee spoke with Salon about the president’s response to the coronavirus and his embrace of protesters calling for an end to social distancing restrictions. Her views represent only those of the World Mental Health Coalition, of which she is president.

Trump has tried to play it both ways, arguing that his lockdown guidelines saved millions of lives while calling for an end to the lockdowns. How does this cognitive dissonance affect the public during a confusing and scary crisis?

Having no core but wishing to avoid accountability, he often tries to cover all grounds. But the psychological effect on the public will eventually be the most harmful — not the devastating pandemic, the economic hardship or even the incompetence itself, but how he hypnotized and misled the public to cover up his ineptitude. To lose our collective mind, because an untreated disturbed person in an influential position has infected a third of the population with his distorted worldview, all to buttress his fragile sense of self, will be a great trauma for the nation to emerge from. His supporters will be the most severely traumatized, if they are able to wake up at all.

How will we cope with the fact that a mentally compromised president caused a devastating pandemic by eliminating a global response system only two years earlier, removed CDC experts in China just months earlier, caused an overwhelming majority of deaths by refusing to respond sooner, and worsened suffering and deaths by continuing to push wrong information? How do we recover from the oppression that states and health care workers had to suffer because the leader who was supposed to protect them obstinately withheld lifesaving supplies, watched with glee as those who did not praise him sufficiently suffered most, and created conditions where they had to compete with one another for equipment, when we were all supposed to be in this together? This is without counting the enormous mental health effects from enduring the extreme shelter-in-place measures that became necessary because of his mismanagement, when we are social animals. And this will only have been the medical side.

How will we cope with his economic destruction, which seems to have set in motion something far worse than the Great Depression, because he depleted all economic infrastructure while trying to balloon numbers for his re-election, even before the pandemic? How will we live with ourselves as we increasingly learn of a future that has been destroyed because he chose to bail out big businesses, including his own, while throwing pennies to working people as he asked them to worship him, which is what his name on the checks is about? Most developed nations are supporting worker salaries, to fuel economy and business as well as to help ordinary people — whose entrusted money the government is using. Human-caused injury is ultimately the most traumatizing.

People whom sociopaths have deceived and exploited often come away with a feeling that their soul has been hollowed out. They have witnessed the extremes of which humanity is capable.

What is your reaction to the growing number of protests against public health measures around the country?

You may have noticed that the more the president abuses his “base,” the more they idolize him and obey what he says. He frames risking lives in service of him, so as to prop up his ruined economy and increase his re-election prospects, as “liberation” — and they come out in defiance of their own protection, demanding “choice.” He is practicing his “total authority” and putting his armed troops in the streets. We would be mistaken to believe he will leave, or even let a losing election happen in the first place. Abuse of the mind is the worst kind, for you make people do what you wish against their own interests, and even extreme physical abuse becomes possible. He is not only getting away with shooting someone on Fifth Avenue, but a whole massacre.

Why do you think otherwise intelligent people are sometimes drawn to rhetoric suggesting the threat of a highly infectious and deadly virus is overhyped or even a “hoax”?

Mental symptoms do not discriminate between levels of intelligence. What we are seeing is what mental health experts warned would happen if we left a severely impaired person in an influential position without treatment, and what others have described as a cult. All the structures are in place for a personality cult, certainly, including the Fox News propaganda system, the pressure to conform from ever-growing cult members, and the insulation from facts that the president himself encourages by calling real news “the enemy.”

But what I find most insidious is the contagion of symptoms: prolonged exposure to the president alone causes you to “catch” his worldview, and even the healthiest, soundest people turn “crazy,” as if afflicted with the same condition as the president. This is a known phenomenon I have encountered a great deal from working in underserved settings. It is interchangeably called “shared psychosis,” “folie à plusieurs” or “induced delusional disorder.” The cure is removal. Then, quite dramatically, an entire afflicted family, street gan or prison cell-block that seemed almost “possessed” returns to normal. Politicians seem to keep waiting for the public to propel his removal, but in reality removal will justify removal: Remove the president first, and the people will follow.

What should the general public’s response be when we see relatively small groups like these protesters spread misinformation that can have potentially deadly consequences?

Like cigarette smoking, shooting rampages and reckless driving, “freedoms” that endanger lives and curtail others’ freedoms are not legitimate freedoms but a public health concern. People should fight for their legal rights. They should demand access to information as well as to expertise, and correct intervention. When experts call out abnormal signs, it is not a diagnosis but important information. When Dr. Li Wenliang of China detected a SARS-like virus, his observations were important and should have been heeded, not silenced. It is not up to mental health experts to say how it is to be done, but it is our responsibility to say what must be done, based on our best assessment. Our prescription is removal. Since issuing this prescription a month ago, I have repeatedly written about it and am waiting for the authorities to respond. And as with a viral pandemic, time translates to lives.


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Tales of Rock: Why April 24th Matters in Rock History

It’s April 24th and here are some reasons why this day matters in classic rock history:

In 1969, Paul McCartney publicly denied rumors that he was dead.

In 1996, Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo made an announcement that singer Scott Weiland was in drug rehab and unable to perform at their upcoming shows.

In 1992, David Bowie married supermodel Iman at a ceremony in Switzerland.

In 2000, Limp Bizkit announced the details of their 24-date Back to Basics tour which would include a set from rappers Cypress Hill.

In 1976, Paul McCartney had his fifth number one album after The Beatles when Wings’s Wings at the Speed of Sound topped the chart.

In 1990, Roger Waters’s road crew found an unexploded World War II bomb while constructing the set for The Wall concert in Germany.

In 1976, Paul and Linda McCartney spent the evening with John Lennon at his New York apartment and watched Saturday Night Live. During the show, SNL producer Lorne Michaels made an offer asking The Beatles to come to the studio and play three songs live. The pair considered taking a cab to the studio but decided they were too tired. It was the final time they were together.

And in 2003, four fans sued Creed claiming singer Scott Stapp was so “intoxicated and/or medicated that he was unable to sing the lyrics of a single Creed song” at a recent show in Chicago.

And that’s what happened today in rock history.


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How To Get A Boyfriend

Do you feel like you’ve been single forever? Do you feel like you scroll through social media and find yourself sad and envious of those in relationships, engaged, getting married, etc. and you feel stagnate in life? If you ever sit and think I want a boyfriend, you’ve come to the right place. Here are my top ten tips on how to get a boyfriend…


If you are frantically waiting for that special someone, you might be coming across as desperate and that is instantly off-putting to guys. Take some time to enjoy yourself, and remember why you are so amazing. If you love yourself you make it much easier for others to love you too.


Now you know who you are, think about what you want. Write down what is really important out of a mate and what can be negotiated. This will stop you settling for anything, and ensure that you look for people who you could actually have a future with!↓


Join a club that you love, get involved in a sport, learn a new skill. Don’t join just because you expect to meet people, join to enjoy yourself, boost your confidence, and act as a distraction while you are waiting for Mr. Right!


Been checking out that guy for a while? Go and introduce yourself. No other way to stop saying I want a boyfriend than just go out and get one. It might be scary, but you’ll demonstrate confidence and self reliance which are both very attractive qualities!


Before you fall in love with every guy you meet, talk to them and see if they match your list. Look for similarities and differences and see how you get on together. Just because he matches your list verbatim doesn’t mean the chemistry is there. It’s important that you know the man himself so you know whether or not you need to readjust your list.


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Emily – The Proposition

See: Emily – Pretend Sugarbaby

A lot’s changed in my life. After a couple of years with Cherie, that relationship is now ashes.

Rebecca’s back and I’ll have to see how that plays out. Kita has entered the arena of my exploits. Things are good. Things are changing, but it all seems for the best. I’m off on Sundays and Mondays now and I like that. Monday is always the opposite of what it once was in my former corporate life.

Sunday you started having thoughts of going back to the office Monday morning, and living through the meetings, the sales goals, the shitty managers, etc. Now I do what I want on Sunday, and sleep in on Monday. I go to Cavanaugh’s for the 1/2 off cheese steak and edit my blogs for the week. I like the food, the service, and the routine.

I don’t need much time off. So although I’ve got it all set up for Monday, I don’t know what to do with myself on Sundays now. I take myself out to breakfast, wander the city, run errands, and go to the movies.

Most of my young friends are married or live far away. Church is off in his own world working. Johnny is wrapped up in his life up in Mayfair, and my friend Rob is working in Zurich for two years with his wife and son.

I’m not ready to get into another relationship after sort of being in one with Cherie. It’s simply too challenging for me to be that attentive to what most (All) women want. I wish I had a young, attractive easy going girl I could spend a few hours with on a Sunday, maybe once or twice a month. That’s about all I could handle.

We hang out. Eat, drink, go to a museum or a movie and then she leaves and I get to enjoy my night in happy solitude.

Then it hit me.

Reach out to little Emily.

But not to catch up and have a drink. She’s 24 and I’m 57. We have nothing in common.

I’ve decided to set up a meeting. I’ll take her some place nice. Like Gran Caffe L’aquilla, she loved the calamari, cocktails and especially their award-winning gelato.

If she’s available she won’t turn down going there. She never goes to places like that because she can’t afford it.

When we get there, we’ll catch up and then after a few drinks I’ll ask her. I’ll gently explain what my situation and ask her if once or twice a month, if she’d like to hang out for a couple of hours on a Sunday, and I pay for everything.

I’ll tell her it’s strictly platonic and I just want the company of a young woman for a few hours on a Sunday.

I’m going to try this out on her because I have nothing to lose. But the more I thought about it, I realized I knew several women I could use this on.

I’m going to make a list and see if this honest approach works.

Wish me luck!

(Of course when all of this quarantine stuff is over!)


Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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