It is worth noting that while you are in this "initial sync" stage, you can often right click on items like flashlights, after after a delay (up to 10 seconds while it says Receiving...) you will get the menu popup... however it will not work! If you click "Turn On", the flashlight seems to turn on "locally" (?).. you never see a flashlight beam. You then have to Turn Off, regardless of whether or not you're synced yet.. and wait until you can equip an axe or open a door before you can actually turn on your lights.
Once you're synced, the "Receiving..." disappears after just a moment and the popup menu appears within a second. If it takes more than a second or two to show up, I find that I can't trust that it will work.