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On 4/10/2022 at 8:28 AM, Sloth the Enduring said:

How does one celebrate Tomb Sweeping Day, besides the obvious.  

Pretty much the same way you would celebrate Memorial Day, but with less BBQs

 

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Sunday we didn't have local church services as it was replaced with a worldwide conference that was streamed instead.  Ghostess and went to the store to pick up the anniversary rings we ordered a few weeks ago and then spent the rest of the day shopping.  In the evening we went to the park where I usually work out to look at all the flowers there.  All in all a very nice day.

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I just love that Tomb Sweeping Day is a thing...

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On 4/11/2022 at 3:34 AM, WhiteGhost said:

Pretty much the same way you would celebrate Memorial Day, but with less BBQs

But isn't the BBQs the entirety of Memorial Day celebrating?  

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Race: Amazonian Ogre Princess | Class: Ranger | Profession: SuperHero | Affiliation: Doodlie and Pancake for Life

Respawn Challenge Arcs: 2021 | 2022

 

I am not saying I am Wonder Woman. I am just saying no one has ever seen me and Wonder Woman together in the same room.

 

Original Spawn Challenges 2014 - 2020: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 789, 10, 11, 12 , 131415, 1617181920, 21, 2223242526272829303132, 33, 3435, 36??

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I hope you are having a lovely spring, your anniversary rings fit great, the conference was interesting, the tattoo is looking awesome, and the flowers (and company) in the park remain lovely.

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On 4/11/2022 at 8:46 PM, shaar said:

I just love that Tomb Sweeping Day is a thing...

It sounds pretty awesome, doesn't it

 

On 4/14/2022 at 1:09 AM, Shello said:

But isn't the BBQs the entirety of Memorial Day celebrating?  

You aren't wrong

 

On 4/18/2022 at 10:31 PM, Terinatum said:

How are things goin'?

Hope lock down isn't cramping your style too much. My brother just went back into lockdown where he's at in China.

Thing are going reasonably well.  We haven't been in quarantine yet this year, but I feel it coming.  Pretty sure at this point that it is only a matter of time before it catches us..  I didn't know your brother is in China!  I would have guessed he is in Shanghai because they have the most lockdowns right now, but honestly at this point it could be anywhere with how fast this is spreading 

 

On 4/21/2022 at 2:59 AM, Rooks said:

Hope all is well Ghost. Lockdowns are just no fun at all, but suppose we got to remember that they have a point.

Still chugging along.  MY only complaint right now is how bad internet access is.  I am guessing that they have throttled everything to stop rumors and panicked information from spreading but it has meant I can barely got online at all these last couple of weeks 

 

On 4/21/2022 at 8:17 AM, juliebarkley said:

I hope you are having a lovely spring, your anniversary rings fit great, the conference was interesting, the tattoo is looking awesome, and the flowers (and company) in the park remain lovely.

Spring is indeed lovely and I have been to the park a lot more than I have for the last year or so.  Tattoo is almost finished (Finally!) but I have only been abe to watch about half of the conference due to lack of internet connectivity.

 

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Well, I don't know how long it has been since I posted last but it has been a while.  My time has been mostly filled with working out at the park, reading (I am about halfway through Book 4 of Wheel of Time now), and xbox (currently back to Skyrim for a bit).  Life is not bad but every day there are new lockdowns happening across the city so I suspect it is only a matter of time for us.  I will be surprised if it doesn't happen before the end of this challenge. 

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7 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Life is not bad but every day there are new lockdowns happening across the city so I suspect it is only a matter of time for us.  I will be surprised if it doesn't happen before the end of this challenge. 

That kind of sucks, but it could also be an opportunity to suck less at some of the things on your list? Piano, juggling, reading, etc. don't require internet or going out. And most of the activities are family friendly, so it could be a family bonding thing too.

 

Smack me if I sound too Pollyannaish. ;)

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9 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

That kind of sucks, but it could also be an opportunity to suck less at some of the things on your list? Piano, juggling, reading, etc. don't require internet or going out. And most of the activities are family friendly, so it could be a family bonding thing too.

 

Smack me if I sound too Pollyannaish. ;)

You are not wrong about those.  Actually I have been doing many of thise as well, but I didn't bother to mention them because they were such a small proportion of my overall time.  I have been leaning a piece on the piano called Kiss the Rain and while I really suck at it I suck a lot less than I did at the beginning of the challenge.  Ihave memorized both the right and left hand parts of the first stanza, but haven't managed to put them together yet.  Baby steps :)   For Juggling I have been practicing for a few minutes most days and actually made a pretty big mental breakthrough when I was able to figure out why the balls were colliding so often in midair and how to fix it.  Reading I did mention and have already read 4 and a half books this challenge.  I would be going faster but I am trying to keep pace with Ghostlet who is also reading the same series.  A very good family activity indeed :) 

 

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Yesterday more more of the same, with the bulk of my time spent either reading or playing xbox.  I did have to spend a bit of time trying to unclog the sink in the kitchen because it really tends to clog easily since we installed the disposal system.  The plumbing clearly was not designed for it.

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Yesterday was Sunday so I spent the morning participating in our worship service and then spent most of the afternoon in various meetings.  One of those was our Leadership Council and most of the members of that (most of the members of our congregation for that matter) work for the embassy and most of the discussion revolved around emergency preparedness and possible evacuation preparation.  It seems everyone is getting very nervous as Covid is spreading more and more into Beijing.  Yesterday alone 8 neighborhoods were deemed to be high risk, adding to the 3 from the previous few days.  Unfortunately one of those is where my tattoo studio is so I am going to have to postpone my tattoo indefinitely until this is over. :( 

 

I spent most of the rest of the day yesterday reading Wheel of Time (The Shadow Rising).

 

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They aren't taking half measures over there.

 

Over here, we are mostly back to normal living. Sure there are still people picking up Covid even at a pretty high rate. But people needing hospitalization because of it is at a normal rate, same goes for ICU. So we are just coping with it at the moment. Yes people are getting sick but it's as accepted as general flu.

 

You still need a lot of work on your tattoo?

 

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... a little odd in the head ...

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We have our lowest numbers of hospitalization here since before the first wave. In fact, during the Omicron wave, despite having an infection rate greater than all the other waves put together, the hospitalization numbers for the Omicron (fourth) wave was lower and over faster than the first wave.

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16 hours ago, Mr_Willes said:

They aren't taking half measures over there.

 

Over here, we are mostly back to normal living. Sure there are still people picking up Covid even at a pretty high rate. But people needing hospitalization because of it is at a normal rate, same goes for ICU. So we are just coping with it at the moment. Yes people are getting sick but it's as accepted as general flu.

 

You still need a lot of work on your tattoo?

 

No, they don't mess round here

 

Shanghai has been locked down for a month and they have had far lowr death rates than other places in the world, but the deaths have started creeping upwards from this week.  The rest of the world has spent the last 2 years building up immunity through rampant infection and vaccination.  Here we have been almost entirely free of it and with (in my opinion) far inferior vaccines so I worry that things could get a lot worse here than what we are currently seeing in the rest of the world.  Our insane population density probably doesn't help much either.

 

My tattoo only needs 2 or 3 more sessions to be finished,  Just a few spots still blank and then some detail work to finish it up.

 

11 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

We have our lowest numbers of hospitalization here since before the first wave. In fact, during the Omicron wave, despite having an infection rate greater than all the other waves put together, the hospitalization numbers for the Omicron (fourth) wave was lower and over faster than the first wave.

I hope that holds true for us as well, but I am cautiously pessimistic

 

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Yesterday I went to the park and had a nice workout.  When I came back I did a bit of panic buying, stocking up on vegetables, meat and other necessities (cat food, water, etc.).  I honestly don't think it will get as bad as Shanghai here, but the cost of being wrong is pretty high.  There is a joke going around that says "People who panic buy are idiots; people who don't are bigger idiots"  Even so there was a bunch of stuff that is already sold out (milk & eggs) and I need to try and buy some potatoes, onions and cucumbers today if there are any still to be found.

 

I spent a good part of the day yesterday reorganizing the fridge to get everything to fit and then parked myself on the couch for some Skyrim.

 

As of this morning, every single person in the city has to get a covid test, as I was walking to school with Ghostlet this morning there were huge lines at all of the neighborhood testing spots as well as several temporary ones set up inside the larger housing complexes.

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On 4/26/2022 at 2:43 PM, Terinatum said:

Hang in there, WG. I hope things go as well as they are able.

I'll be hanging on

 

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Well, things have started.  Beijing has mandated that every resident get a covid test every other day (Tue, Thu, Sat) and every housing complex had a testing center set up.

 

Yesterday was raining in the morning so I didn't go to the park.  Instead I spent the entire day playing Skyrim.  Abut noon I got a call from Ghostess who said that her office building was suddenly locked down because of a confirmed case on the floor above her.  In these scenarios there are pretty much only 2 options: 1) everyone in the building gets hauled off to an offsite quarantine facility or 2) they are locked down in the building for 2-3 weeks.  Either way, it meant I was not going to be seeing Ghostess for at least 2 weeks.  :( 

 

Then, by some miracle, they released everyone.  It turned out that the testing in done in batches of 10 and there was a positive case and they locked down everyone from the 10 until they could determine which of the 10 it was.  In this case it turned out that the person in her building was not the positive one.  Either way it was a big scare that resulted in quite a bit of stress eating over the course of the day while I waited for updates.

 

This morning we woke up to news that all schools in most districts our closed (our district is one of the few still open) but the elementary school next to us had a confirmed case and a few residences near Ghostlet's school had confirmed cases so I suspect the rest of the school will shut down by the end of the week.   I will be amazed if the entire city isn't in lockdown by next week.  We are prepared for whatever comes, though and have a fully stocked freezer and fridge with a month worth of food so I am not too worried about it.  It's pretty nuts though.

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HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

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Wow that sounds intense. I'm really glad you're not going to be separated from Ghostess. 

 

What is the long term Covid plan there? Surely things can't go on forever like this, with a repeated cycle of lockdowns? Zero-covid as a strategy is an impossibility if China is the only country still attempting it so at what point will the focus switch from elimination to mitigation?

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That was close!  I'm glad to hear she was able to get home!   Hopefully she can work virtually now so there isn't a risk of that happening again.  

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Race: Amazonian Ogre Princess | Class: Ranger | Profession: SuperHero | Affiliation: Doodlie and Pancake for Life

Respawn Challenge Arcs: 2021 | 2022

 

I am not saying I am Wonder Woman. I am just saying no one has ever seen me and Wonder Woman together in the same room.

 

Original Spawn Challenges 2014 - 2020: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 789, 10, 11, 12 , 131415, 1617181920, 21, 2223242526272829303132, 33, 3435, 36??

Roadmaps: 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020

Starting weight = 290.4 (2014); Current weight = 241.2; Total pounds lost: 49.2

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Glad Ghostess got home. I can imagine a 2 week quarantine would be brutal to deal with, just from a child care perspective. 

15 hours ago, deftona said:

What is the long term Covid plan there? Surely things can't go on forever like this, with a repeated cycle of lockdowns? Zero-covid as a strategy is an impossibility if China is the only country still attempting it so at what point will the focus switch from elimination to mitigation?

 

Curious on that myself. I know last time I did any sort deep dive into (which was probably 3-4 months ago, it seemed like a few folks I follow online were trying to call the Omicron strand as a strand that was more endemic since it was less severe. Granted, I don't even know if there are new strands at this point.

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21 hours ago, deftona said:

Wow that sounds intense. I'm really glad you're not going to be separated from Ghostess. 

I am really glad too :)  

 

13 hours ago, Shello said:

That was close!  I'm glad to hear she was able to get home!   Hopefully she can work virtually now so there isn't a risk of that happening again.  

She is working from home today, but I think everyone is waiting to see what happens over the May Day holiday this weekend before deciding what to do next week.  Ghostlet's school cancelled school today but have not announced when/if school will resume after the holiday.    I think it really depends on the results of the mandatory covid testing going on right now, which is every person in Beijing must have 3 tests done between Apr 26 and Apr 30.

 

21 hours ago, deftona said:

What is the long term Covid plan there? Surely things can't go on forever like this, with a repeated cycle of lockdowns? Zero-covid as a strategy is an impossibility if China is the only country still attempting it so at what point will the focus switch from elimination to mitigation?

+

5 hours ago, Rooks said:

Curious on that myself. I know last time I did any sort deep dive into (which was probably 3-4 months ago, it seemed like a few folks I follow online were trying to call the Omicron strand as a strand that was more endemic since it was less severe. Granted, I don't even know if there are new strands at this point.

As with many things these days, this is driven in large part by politics.  China changes leadership (at all levels) every 5 years.  The next Plenary Session which decides the leadership changes is in Fall 2022.  Usually it is well known in advance who the new leadership will be at the senior levels, but this year is very different.  In the past term limits for the president were set at 10 years but President Xi amended the laws which allow for him to stay on longer.  It is expected that he will continue in his current role, but as for the rest of the leadership it is still very much up in the air.  The current leadership has been pushing their zero tolerance policy (and the success thereof) as justification for continuing to hold power.  If everything falls apart over the next 6 months there will be a strong push from opposition candidates to remove the current folks.  As such, I think it is safe to say the government will continue the zero tolerance policy until the Plenary Session at a minimum.  Once that is over I think they will take a look at the situation and possibly reassess.     

 

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Covid related tensions were high all over the city yesterday so I opted not to go to the park and just stayed home playing Skyrim all day again.  

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HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

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On 4/28/2022 at 10:05 PM, WhiteGhost said:

As with many things these days, this is driven in large part by politics.  China changes leadership (at all levels) every 5 years.  The next Plenary Session which decides the leadership changes is in Fall 2022.  Usually it is well known in advance who the new leadership will be at the senior levels, but this year is very different.  In the past term limits for the president were set at 10 years but President Xi amended the laws which allow for him to stay on longer.  It is expected that he will continue in his current role, but as for the rest of the leadership it is still very much up in the air.  The current leadership has been pushing their zero tolerance policy (and the success thereof) as justification for continuing to hold power.  If everything falls apart over the next 6 months there will be a strong push from opposition candidates to remove the current folks.  As such, I think it is safe to say the government will continue the zero tolerance policy until the Plenary Session at a minimum.  Once that is over I think they will take a look at the situation and possibly reassess.     


Sad but true. Sad how political power drives so many things and skews view points drastically to fit their narratives. 

Glad to hear you are staying safe and at least have Skyrim to keep you entertained. :)

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5 hours ago, Rooks said:


Sad but true. Sad how political power drives so many things and skews view points drastically to fit their narratives. 

Glad to hear you are staying safe and at least have Skyrim to keep you entertained. :)

Thanks, I would probably be going insane right now if not for my xbox

 

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These days have been pretty nuts.  The current covid problems affecting my neighborhood have been traced back to a guy that got a positive test result and was told to self quarantine.  He decided it was preferable to quarantine with a load of fresh groceries and instead of ordering online he went to the grocery store.  There have been at least 8 new infections from that visit alone but it seems that they have things mostly in control now.  All Beijing residents have now had 3 covid tests in the last 6 days so they should have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done.   The fellow who skipped quarantine to go shopping is looking at jail time once his quarantine is done.

 

We have not been locked down so we are going forward with our holiday plans which is take an RV out to a an RV park on the outskirts of the city and glamp for a night with Ghostess's crew and their families.  This has potential to go terribly wrong but hopefully it all ends uneventfully.  

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HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

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The efforts where you are seem quite excessive but contrasted with people making decisions like that guy makes it seem less extreme.  That guy had 1 job to do and he failed miserably.  

 

Enjoy glamping! 

Race: Amazonian Ogre Princess | Class: Ranger | Profession: SuperHero | Affiliation: Doodlie and Pancake for Life

Respawn Challenge Arcs: 2021 | 2022

 

I am not saying I am Wonder Woman. I am just saying no one has ever seen me and Wonder Woman together in the same room.

 

Original Spawn Challenges 2014 - 2020: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 789, 10, 11, 12 , 131415, 1617181920, 21, 2223242526272829303132, 33, 3435, 36??

Roadmaps: 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020

Starting weight = 290.4 (2014); Current weight = 241.2; Total pounds lost: 49.2

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6 hours ago, Shello said:

The efforts where you are seem quite excessive but contrasted with people making decisions like that guy makes it seem less extreme.  That guy had 1 job to do and he failed miserably.  

 

Enjoy glamping! 

Some of the stuff does seem excessive, without the proper context.  I was a little surprised it would be something that could come with jail time until Ghostlet explained the legal system framework for me over our holiday.  It seems he has been paying attention in his civics class.

 

Glamping was great

 

------------------------------------------

 

So as you probably guessed, we made it back from our glamping trip without incident.  The only hiccup was that Ghostlet's school required everyone to have a covid test y 4pm but there weren't any testing sites at the campground.  We ended up just doing it when we got home at 7 but it doesn't seem to have been a problem.  We all need to get daily covid tests now

 

Glamping was at an RV park and most of the folks there spent most of both days taking pictures and playing mahjong, Ghostlet and I made use of an actual grass field to kick around a soccer ball.  It is the first time I have set foot on actual grass in years and it felt wonderful.  I even did some handstands and parkour rolls because I just couldn't help myself.  The rest of my time was spent reading and I finished up book 5 of the Wheel of Time.  All of the Chinese folks were shocked that I would just lay down in the grass to read my book without a blanket or something and I got lots of comments about how foreigners are just weird :D It was glorious, though.  The weather was perfect and we had a great time.

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