BLACK LIVES MATTERAnti-Racism Action Kit

Things Change Fast

Posted on

It was only March 1st when I last did a rather normal personal update and man did things change fast for us all.

I think it would be bizarre to look back at my blog and not find any writings about the Coronavirus, so here we go. My recollection of personal events so far.

Shortly after my March 1st post I saw the news and was taking the threat more seriously. I canceled my trip to MicroConf (originally planned for April) and helped convince some family to cancel their own trips during St. Patrick’s weekend.

By March 8th I decided I was not going to work on site anymore with my consulting client. This had only been a one day a week thing but still it was not an easy decision since I was building iOS software to interface with Bluetooth devices and I didn’t have all the devices at my home so this put some strain on my teammates as they had to do more testing on my behalf. The client did not complain and in fact a week later they issued a work from home edict to their own staff.

I also made the call on March 8th to cancel the in-person Elixir Group monthly event. Since we are not a large group this was a bit easier but also kind of sad. I said this then, and will follow through with some kind of online option should the need be there in April (and it looks like it will).

From this point on I pretty much stayed at home outside of a few appointments to take my Mom to the doctor, pick up a new sleep apnea mask and get a prescription refilled. I canceled my strength training class and did not visit the gym. I did not attend a family birthday party (which they frustratingly did not cancel themselves).

Still shut-in, my family did try to make the best of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, which my Mom calls the “High Holy Day”. The three of us, Me and my Mom, who live together, and my Sister, who lives a few apartments away, did enjoy a few drinks and FaceTime’d a some other family members. We’ve continued to do some similar FaceTimes and a few movie nights (comedies only) to help keep us positive.

To be clear the three of us are a closed circle, we are not interacting with others. I’m more of an introvert and so the “social distancing” doesn’t bother me as much but I do feel for people like my Sister who are extroverts and need that group connection to feel at ease.

By this point many other business were closing down and it was clear things were going to get rough. I also got the word around this time that my client would not be extending my contract. I think they wanted to originally but were now, like many others, constrained by cash flow and expected loss in sales. This is unfortunate, but not really unexpected. I have posted my Consulting Availability but I suspect I’ll be out of work for a while again, living out of my savings.

One small positive I’ve enjoyed while being shut-in is a new TV. Since February I had been considering a new TV for gaming and once I played the FF7 Remake demo I pulled the trigger. I got a 55” LG OLED, C9 on March 4th, right before the lockdown. It’s really nice. I’ve been playing a few new games on the PS4 Pro: Red Dead Redemption 2, MLB The Show and Ni no Kuni, as well as a some Luigi’s Mansion 3 and now Animal Crossing on the Switch.

I’m not playing games all day or anything. I still am working for my client (at least until April 1st when my contract ends), but it’s a nice distraction at night after dinner.

I am keeping up with my diet and doing some walking. I go out about 4-5 times a week so far. It too is a good distraction and helps me get some fresh air.

I’d be lying if I didn’t share that I do have moments of depression and dread like I think we all do. I try to find a balance between watching the news and staying informed while not watching too much and feeling depressed.

If the statistics are anything to follow, if feels like the real event is about to happen, so to all who read this, stay safe and be careful. I will continue to post technical and geeky blog updates that could be considered non-relevant to the issues of the day. I do it for some semblance of normalcy in otherwise chaotic times and to keep my own self distracted. Please respect the seriousness of this situation and do your part. We are all in this together. ❤️