Monday, March 8, 2021

The Year in Quarantine: Highs and Lows

 Everyone has their own "damn, it's a pandemic" day, where they start the clock on their lockdown.  For me, it is March 11th, not because that was the day that the WHO declared there to be pandemic, but because of three things: Tom Hanks announcing his catching COVID, the NBA shutting down, and my last trip where I heard every sniffle and every cough at Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto on the way back from the first CDSN Capstone event.  Obviously, other folks' pandemic life started earlier--because they lived in countries that got hit earlier or knew people in those places or were less engaged in wishful thinking.  I think we all felt this thing coming at us, but hoped that it would somehow miss.  I know my trip to Hawaii was a big part of my wishful thinking until pop. 

As I look towards the end of the first year (hopefully of just two) of being quarantined, I thought I would look back and list the highs and lows, the things I did, the things that happened to friends and family, and so on.  This blog is mostly aimed at helping me remember now and then helping me remember down the road. So, here's some of the numbers and rankings and such from this past year:

  • Losses: two friends that were my age of out of the blue heart attacks.
  • Relatives with COVID: two nieces
  • Vaxxed: three or four nieces, one brother, one sister, one mother thus far.
  • What I Miss Most: Seeing my daughter.  We were going to see her more times in 2020 than in the past couple of years.  Nope.  
  • Non-daughter edition of what I missed most: We had a South African safari scheduled in July.
  • Most regretted pandemic decision: PS4.  I do play from time to time, but I really suck at video games.  I am, of course, thinking of getting an Oculus since VR gaming can't possibly be as difficult.
  • Home of former neighbors
    and Flying Canoe Hard Cider

    Furthest I have traveled: Mont St. Marie for one day of skiing.  Second: late spring/early summer drives to Perth and Spencerville to get out of the suburb and see small town Canadia.
  • Average pants-wearing: 1.2days/week--when I go shopping for groceries. 
  • Number of trips to campus in the past year: 3.  To my office: 2.
  • Ultimate: five or six games in the fall before things tightened up again. It was a fun team and a fun, small, bubbled leage.
  • Teleconferencing technology:
    • Frequency:  Zoom > Skype  > BigBlue Button (built into course management system) > Facetime  > Google Meetup/whatever  > Webex  > Other
    • Preference: Zoom > Skype > Facetime >>>>>>>> everything else
  • New cookbooks: 3 Nigella Lawson, 2 from my sister for cooking recipes from African-American history
  • Fave recipes
    • Baking:  Nigella's Chocolate chip cookie dough pots, King Arthur's Apple Turnovers, 
    • Cooking: Nigella's Kofta combined with KA's golden pita
  • Least used/useful purchase: PS4.  I really suck at video games
  • Most useful purchase: Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, new mic and camera.  Oh, and the heaps and heaps of masks I bought in the spring and summer. 
  • Favorite non-downhill skiing winter exercise: snowshoeing. I get to walk in water and it is good exercise
  • Least favorite skiing/winter exercise: cross country. I am not good at it, and I fall over.  Less so but still not a lot of fun. Plus my boots don't fit great.
  • Favorite masks: Spidey!  The Carleton one that was part of a kit of pandemic stuff fits well, is comfy, and is probably the best one for doing the job.  I really like 
  • Prettiest but least usable mask:


  • Favorite re-watches: Mandalorian, seasons 1 and 2; Star Wars Rebels
  • Favorite movies: Palm Springs, Old Guard, Moxie
  • Favorite tv shows:  Wandavision, Money Heist, Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, Lupin.
  • Biggest Surprise: I not only started to exercise every day (biking and treadmilling in spring/summer/fall; the aforementioned winter stuff plus treadmilling in winter) but kept it up.  It was mostly aimed to give me permission to stress bake and stress eat, and it has worked out pretty well.  It helps me get through a lot of tv/movies, and I have been able to maintain my weight at a lower level than I started last March (a nice way to say I have plateaued).  

 I will save the big lessons I have learned for another post this week as I commemorate a year in lockdown.




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