COVID-19 and Me
My Story so Far
I have been fortunate. I have not yet caught COVID-19, nor has anyone in my family. I know a handful of people who have caught it, but thus far I haven’t heard of any complications. Overall, I have dealt more with people’s responses and opinions to the pandemic than anyone’s health. To be frank, outside of trying to prepare for the pandemics economic consequences, my greatest concern were the DC riots of summer 2020.
For starters, you can consider me as someone who “panicked”. In late-February 2020, I was on the hunt for face masks, disinfectant, gloves, aloe and alcohol (homemade hand sanitizer), goggles, and even large plastic sheeting. Why the plastic sheet? Oh you know, in case we needed to quarantine someone in their bedroom. Given the prices I saw on Amazon, I guess I wasn’t alone, but masks had not really caught on yet and the Zoom world had yet to metastasize. Although, I remember visiting Home Depot in February in Washington, DC in the search for N95 masks. Alas, they were out. A generous employee did offer to sell me a box containing 10 masks for $3 each. I politely turned him down. Eventually, my now wife made us masks which I lined with filters I bought on Amazon.
In addition to PPE, I started stocking up on non-perishables. I dropped hundreds at the grocery store on canned goods, pasta, peanut butter, eggs, etc., and water. In hindsight, even in the worst of it, I can say the food pantry proved unnecessary. Overtime we went through most of it and the rest I gave away.
Honestly, after 20 months here is a very short list of negatives:
- My social world got a little smaller.
- I lost my exercise routine and I have had difficulty picking the pieces. Scoff if you want, but I can see the changes in my health statistics. Higher triglycerides, heavier but weaker, slower, lower endurance, went up an inch on pant waist.
Overall, the positives (in no particular order):
- I was lucky enough to have a job I could do online.
- I got to spend a lot more time with my wife. We substituted commuting with long walks.
- Substituted packed lunch with lunch outside grilling.
- Substituted office politics with family politics.
- Started a PhD program at George Mason University.
- Got married.
- Bought a house and grew my first patch of cabbage.
- Snagged a gig teaching data science at Georgetown.
What about the future? I predict brightness. First, I have no intention of returning to the office. Second, we bought a house because my wife and I want to spend more time together building our bubble (giant freezer, you’re next). Third, I have a weight rack now. I am finally back to completing 3 x 5 x 135 lb shoulder presses (likely my favorite exercise). Last week I squatted 3 x 5 x 225 lb — good place to restart efforts. I predict 145 lb and 250 lb, respectively by February 1, 2022. I am sprinting more regularly (about twice a week). Most importantly, next year my wife and I are planning to start our family. As to my social circle, I need to pick up the phone and reach out. Rebuilding connections can be hard, but I will do my best. Best of luck and happy Thanksgiving everyone.