Pandemic diaries

It feels like a lifetime since I last wrote a blog post. So much has changed since the last one! 😅

So I thought I'd write a short update on how this rollercoaster of a year is playing out for me.

I remember way back in February, when I was prepping our office auditorium for NottsJS, being in the empty canteen and seeing that the TV had been left on. There were reports of how the Coronavirus was spreading through China.

It felt eerie, like the reports they play at the beginning of a zombie apocalypse film, a foreshadowing. And now here we are, hard pressed to imagine a future where we can just hug people willy nilly like it's 2019.

I miss hugs 😭

The beginning wasn't too bad: the switch to remote working was new and interesting, being at home a lot felt nice.

I'm pretty sure I had the 'rona way back in March/April, as I lost my sense of smell and taste for a couple of months, and had a really persistent headache for a few weeks. So not great, but if that was it, I got off easy.

I also spent a bunch of time early on with the Tech Nottingham team figuring out how to move things online and still be there for our community during this transition period.

Since then, things have been a bit of a blur, to be honest. I can account for some of the time, but not all of it. I've been rewatching old shows I like, as I'm sure the anxiety crew already knows, watching stuff you're familiar with is comforting. Since March I've watched: Frasier, Brooklyn 99, The Office, and now I'm watching Friends for the millionth time 😅

Somehow I played 440 hours (!) of Animal Crossing. That is frankly excessive, even for me.

I went through a tiny phase of going to lots of online events, but zoom fatigue hit pretty quick, so I backed off from that.

More than anything, this new normal has killed my joy of doing tech things on my spare time. I built a really lovely environment for myself at home, but now that I have to work in it all day, I resent spending any extra time at my desk.

Exhibit A: my contributions chart for this period My GitHub contributions chart, with quite a few dots from January to March, and completely empty since then.

This situation also changed my relationship with where we live. Our apartment is lovely, but after being stuck in it for 7 months without access to a garden, now I want out.

So we're in the process of buying a house, which brings its own stress into the mix.

I'm not gonna lie, this year has not been great. I've been pretty depressed since this whole thing started, and the constant onslaught of misery coming from the news hasn't helped.

Trying to concentrate and do work while the world is literally and figuratively on fire has been challenging. Against the backdrop of the pandemic, the racism and violence against Black people, the murderous mismanagement of both my home country and the country I live in, the climate breakdown, the violence against SARS protestors, and whatever other horrors I missed, the things I do at work seem pretty inconsequential.

This lizandmollie illustration sums it up well:

Liz and Mollie Illustration called the workweek. Someone is sat at their desk, surrounded by monsters labelled police brutality, systemic racism, record unemployment, covid, climate change. Meanwhile, the worker is saying: uh sure let's edit the matrix on that page.

Having said all that, things are starting to look up for me a bit. I appreciate I'm immensely privileged, and there's still so much wrong in the world, but I have to get a little joy from where I can find it.

Here are some of the things keeping me hopeful:

  • We found a house that we love, and are in the process of buying it.
  • Tried some changes to my routine, and that is really helping with my sleep.
  • We just spent a lovely week in Scotland, in the middle of a forest, with lots of walks and dog cuddles.
  • I took a lovely SVG Animation course, and that's sparked my joy for making fun stuff again.
  • I just had my first ever therapy session, and I really think that's going to help.

I hope to put some more stuff on here soon, but I may not. I've been using a lot on my energy in just existing, and I think that's ok for now.

Stay safe 💛