Plague Journal

Another update

We’ve now been isolating for well over two months, and distancing for a week or two longer than that.

We went out to see a friend a couple of times, to borrow and later return an oximeter, as we were both feeling short of breath from time to time. We both measured as normal, in my case it was just normal mild panic attacks for the obvious reasons.

We’ve been out and bought takeout food via curbside pickup a few times. Mostly, though, we’ve been eating at home. I had already started cooking more thanks to the Instant Pot, and I’m starting to get good at Indian curry. Today as an experiment I made homemade corn tortillas from masa, and then breakfast tacos. They were tasty, so I think it might be worth getting a tortilla press. (Also, somehow there doesn’t yet seem to be a Latinx publishing company called Tortilla Press.)

A friend of a friend owns a local roastery selling mail order coffee, so we’ve been doing that. Most groceries are now available fairly regularly from H-E-B, and we do the curbside pickup for that too so we don’t have to go into the store. For a few items we can’t get that way, we go to one of the local organic coops — they generally don’t have too many people inside, and are taking reasonable precautions.

We cut each other’s hair a while back, using a $30 set of AC clippers and hairdressing scissors. It was fine. Saw a story today about a hairdresser who exposed 84 people to COVID-19 by working while symptomatic. Much as I want to support local business, I think I can make do with home haircuts for at least as long as we’re staying at home, and that’s probably going to be all summer.

Apple finally released a new 13” MacBook Pro with a keyboard that won’t fail after a few months. I’d been waiting, and waiting, and waiting. The machine I’m typing on is from 2013, which is a very long time ago in laptop years. The speakers are trashed, and the casing is bulging slightly, suggesting that all is not well with the battery inside. So I finally ordered a new machine! Sadly, COVID-19 delays mean it won’t be here for days yet. In the mean time, video games! Animal Crossing continues to help me wind down and sleep each night. The other day I used a video backdrop to take a work video conference call from Tom Nook’s office.

So far, work continues to happen. It helps that I’m in the cloud software division, doing cloud devops work supporting sales opportunities. Some of the people who support physical event locations were furloughed, but now it looks like they’ll be back in few weeks as things open up again (subject to precautions). I’ve been working with Go a lot, but also looking at Deno, NodeJS and TypeScript, and maintaining the Kotlin code I wrote last year. I think I’d like to learn Rust, but at this point I feel like I’m juggling enough languages, and I’m wary of doing any programming on my own time because I don’t want to risk burnout. Some days the situation is still all too much, and it gets hard to concentrate.

I’ve chatted to friends via video a few times, and also to family back in the UK. They seem to be taking the situation seriously, which is good because both my parents are at high risk. Somehow the UK has managed to do worse for death toll per million than pretty much anywhere except Spain and Belgium, which astonishes me. The US is about to hit 100,000 dead, which was my prediction back in March. So far nobody I know has died. Maybe I’ll be lucky and it’ll stay that way? Dare I hope?