Checking in: How are you doing right now?

Edited: May 31, 2020, 5:59 PM

There's a lot going on right now - very little having to do with theme parks. But I wanted create an opportunity for everyone to check in and connect with their friends and acquaintances in the Theme Park Insider community.

So, how are you doing right now?

Replies (16)

May 31, 2020, 6:18 PM

I have concerns things are moving too fast. Which is weird, because I was shocked at the pace that restrictions came in. I guess it was see the huge increase in deaths merely days after that shook me into sensibility...

When it comes to the other stuff over there, it’s an experiment and situation so removed from my experiences I dunno how to process that. This isn’t the first time it’s happened, it’s seems symptomatic of something really wrong somewhere.

May 31, 2020, 6:47 PM

How am I doing right now? To be perfectly honest, I’m feeling kinda scared. Just 3 months ago, I was getting ready for my family’s trip to Orlando. Then the world changed, and fear and paranoia took over (despite me doing my very best not to buy into the scaremongering that the media was pushing). Now this terrible crime has happened and it has clearly proven one thing (even though certain recent events here in the U.K. already established it). We are NOT “all in this together”. History is happening within history and the world doesn’t feel like a good place, right now.
I apologise for my negative sounding post. I’m still very much hoping for brighter days ahead. Guess I just needed to have a vent.

Edited: May 31, 2020, 7:55 PM

When I was a kid, we were taught that the Police were your friends. If you needed help, you ran to a Policeman. Then the Feds decided to start selling surplus military gear to local Police Departments - which quickly "got the message" and morphed themselves into fully-militarized battalions "at war" with their communities.

We need to de-militarize the Police. We need to abolish or reform the Police Unions that protect the bad policemen. And we need to get back to Community Policing.

So to answer your question, how am I doing? I'm very sad at what we've become. I'm very angry that we have a President who is too incompetent to help and too narcissistic to care. And I'm cautiously hopeful that things will get better.

May 31, 2020, 8:38 PM

Handling best as I can. Just today saw my 14 month old nephew with no idea what is happening but bright and happy about life. That's a sign to me that things will change hopefully for the better and the generation we have to fight for from climate change to reform to other issues. And my mom reminding me things have always been rough for every generation and sometimes, something happens that requires a huge blow-up to get things shifted.

So I'm scared, I'm worried but I still have hope that the better side of people can shine through in the end.

May 31, 2020, 11:06 PM

How am I doing right now? To be 100% honest...not well. I've been lying to myself and trying not to let it get to me, but the reality is that I'm starting to slip back into a severe depression I was in during 2015-2016. The pandemic has taken literally everything that brings enjoyment from my life, my job situation has gotten less and less certain (though I'm thankful to still be employed) while becoming increasingly challenging due to the realities of online work, and now I feel like I'm watching the fall of America and the potential start of a revolutionary or civil war. Every plan I've had has been crushed and I'm really close to just stepping away from everything for a bit. I've been toying with the idea of taking a month off from work and just driving around the country to take in the elements of it that haven't been destroyed. But for now, I'm just trying to manage the best I can, filling my downtime with fantasy trip planning, and hoping that enough people not only see what must be done but have the will to act on it in order to bring about real change.

June 1, 2020, 4:36 AM

Historically, when the balance is tipped too much, there wil be revolution. To mind comes the Frech revolution, the power and privileges of the rich where on a high and quality of life for the rest was at a low. People have nothing to loose and stand up and fight. It's always bloody, it's always necessary.
It took a lot of abuse from people in power, it took a lot of poverty in a country where billionaires are put on a pedestal. A country where an estimated 48.8 million Americans, including 16.2 million children, live in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. As a result, about 1 in 5 children go hungry at some point during the year.
Now, a president in power, adds fire to an already volatile situation. In a country with so much weapons. In theme parks, restaurants and supermarkets I've seen people treated appallingly, disrespectful due to their social standards, every single day for so many years...

June 1, 2020, 8:55 AM

Robert, thank you for yesterday's post. You used your platform to tell the truth.

June 1, 2020, 10:27 AM

I too thought yesterday's post was brave but highly principled. There are some issues that transcend (or should transcend) politics....

As for 'how am I doing'? well I'm in the process of cancelling a long-planned 'major holiday' which had, ironically all come together perfectly - Universal Resort, Disney Resort, Disney Cruise, Avios premium flights. It's all rather melancholy as although we plan to try and reconstruct it for 2022 (I don't have enough confidence in 2021 to invest time or money in booking it as yet) I honestly can say with any certainty that I will ever visit Disney World again. I just don't know enough about what the future holds right now and that makes me sad as well as frustrated. what I miss most is laughter. I giggle at the TV occasionally but my wife and I have been basically on our own for nearly 10 weeks now and I miss the infectious natural laughter of friendship, of shared humour over a drink or a meal. And I work in the tourist industry here in Wales (I run some holiday apartments) so we have seen our livelihood (and my pensions that were invested in the business to earn a better return) simply taken away from us with no prospect of a return for the foreseeable future. I'm bored and desperately sad at what we have lost and slowly realising that it isn't going to go away many time soon meaning that we are either going to have stay isolated and shut down for months, maybe years, or just accept the risks and go back to 'normal' life living with the threat.

Edited: June 1, 2020, 10:59 AM

Tired. Tired of being stuck indoors, tired of living in a country where 35% of the people support a sad, gross racist who can't say or do anything without fanning the flames of hate and violence. And in the middle of everything we're stuck inside, and all of these protests (and the selfishness of red-state "freedom" warriors) will only cause the quarantine to last longer. Is there no escape from this madness? Do we not have ANY reasonable, rational leaders anymore?

America has a sickness in its mind, a social psychosis. And that's driven in large part by the hateful propaganda of Fox News, the GOP, and their Russian allies. Unless and until we can end or counteract that hateful propaganda stream, the 35% will only become more deranged, and our problems will only continue to grow.

As for America's murderous cops: Have you ever read any of Isaac Asimov's robot books? I, Robot, or Robots of Dawn, for example? If so, you know that there are three laws of robotics that are built into all robots at their core, and which they cannot break, the first of which is a robot cannot kill a human, or through inaction allow a human to die.

That should be the first law of policing: a cop cannot kill a human, or through inaction allow a human to die. Preserving human life should be the first order of business in EVERY circumstance, even when the bad guy is threatening the police. But the bad guys have so much bigger guns, they say. Well, stop the sale of military-grade assault weapons then. But police aren't trained to de-escalate, they say, they're trained to end the conflict through violence! Well, reverse that trend, require all police to have a college education, with training in dispute resolution, implicit bias, de-escalation techniques and, more than anything, EMPATHY and COMPASSION. As it currently stands, cops are taught that if they have to shoot, shoot to kill. That's insane.

I lived in Holland during grad school, and one day the bar beneath where I lived kicked out a drunk guy. The cops came. The drunk was belligerent and threatening, and at one point even jumped in the driver's seat of their cop car! I thought: holy crap, this guy is about to die. But rather than slamming him to the ground and humiliating him, choking him out or beating him unconscious with their clubs, the Dutch police sat down and talked to the guy, and after a few minutes they all shook hands and he left on his own free will. I was STUNNED. They solved the problem without beating anyone senseless, who could believe it!

June 1, 2020, 12:19 PM

I'm trying to stay positive and keep looking at the bright side of things, but there is so much negativity right now that it's even starting to get to me.

I'm tired of intolerance - on both sides of the political spectrum.
I'm tired of people assuming they have the moral high ground - nobody does.
I'm tired of people being extremist - can we all just be a little more moderate?
I'm tired of people blaming their favorite scapegoat(s) - is it that hard to realize that life is not simple and most situations involve some complexity?
I'm tired of arguing with people - is getting my point across really going to make a difference?
I'm tired of my masters degree classes - they're starting to make me feel stupid.

I'm going to try to keep things in perspective though. I have a roof over my head, food in my pantry, a job that pays my bills, my health, and most importantly - people in my life who love me and I love in return. If I keep focusing on the good things in my life, the bad things don't matter so much or seem so dire.

And I'm taking the advice of Sheryl Crow — "It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you have!"

Edited: June 1, 2020, 3:43 PM

As we’re all here, being open and honest about our current state of mind, I’d like to ask how are YOU doing right now, Robert? You’ve kept us all informed and pleasantly distracted with theme park news for months now - and it has been much appreciated - but I think that sometimes, some of us might forget that you’re also dealing with everything that’s going on; so let’s also check in with you. How are you feeling?

June 1, 2020, 6:02 PM

>> That should be the first law of policing: a cop cannot kill a human, or through inaction allow a human to die.

I know you’re trying to go with the I robot pastiche, but I don’t think that’s wide enough. Force by any peace office, be it police, at the border, or at the prison should always be the minimum neccessary to protect the public and yourself.

If someone’s compliant, there’s no reason to use any force.

If someone resists, the force is the minimum to stop the resisting. As soon as they stop resisting, there’s no longer any justification to use force.

If someone is just verbally resisting, then you should be negotiating and “parenting” until as much as possible.

If someone’s down on the ground, there’s no need to stand on their neck or kick em again, or go for the spray. You put the restraints on.

I work for a third sector organisation, and do a lot of work at Scotland’s largest prison. Their inspection report came out this week and I was delighted to see one of the good parts of the report was on use of force. The officers use the other tools in their kit to maintain respect, discspline and compliance (and I’ve seen them use these techniques) before going to force. As a result, despite the ancient infrastructure around then and chronic overcrowding (140% capacity), both prisoners and staff reported feeling safe.

Maybe the line that triggers an automatic investigation needs to be lower. Maybe the training they’re getting isn’t emphasising these things. Maybe it’s the selection process. Or maybe The problem isn’t with the police but culture in general. Why is it what should be the last resort is seen as a valid first response?

June 1, 2020, 9:01 PM

Robert, your post of the importance of BLM touched me more than I could express. Thank You.

June 1, 2020, 11:28 PM

Thanks everyone.

I want to amplify AJ's post and testify to the power of trip planning to help your day-to-day mental health. Obviously, it needs to be said that if you're struggling so much that you're having trouble getting through the day, don't hesitate to ask for help. But if you are looking for a distraction - something hopeful to bring some light into your day - I love and recommend trip planning.

Ignore the fact that you can't go right now. This is as much a mental exercise as a practical one. Fire up Google Maps and start exploring in satellite or even Street View. (Those images can be really old, though. Hey... time travel!) I love good old-fashioned paper atlases, too. Heck, this hangs over my shoulder in my Theme Park Insider HQ office.

Roadtrip map of America

Every pin is a stop on our various cross-country roadtrips. I love looking at this and re-living the memories of those trips, but you'd better believe that my eyes go to the spaces without pins first.

The wonderful thing about trip planning is that it can be rabbit hole - an opportunity to dive as deep as you wish to go in researching, evaluating, imagining and planning every detail of as many days as you wish to be on the road. When you need something to hold your mind, something positive to keep you from going to a darker place, I find the prospect of travel to be my best relief.

June 12, 2020, 4:02 PM

That must be a really old map...back before Maryland and West Virginia split.

June 13, 2020, 5:16 AM

Yeah, and there’s still the land bridge between Mexico and Alaska...

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