March 22, 2020

Reasons to be cheerful

Reason #1: My immediate family (my kids, my sisters and my parents) have been using videoconferencing to keep in contact regularly. I think I've seen some of my kids more often because of this. A new tool we're using is Zoom. It allows several of us to have a virtual get-together. I use Zoom at work, which is where I first heard of it, but hadn't realised how useful the free version is. The free version limits meetings to 40 minutes, after which you just need to create another meeting. But if you know someone (i.e., me) with a paid account, you can have them host the meetings and go over that limit. It's easy enough to set up that I might even introduce my parents to the idea, gently.

Reason #2: The food bank I belong to has had to curtail a lot of its activities, such as serving tea and coffee, but we're still open. We were quite worried about yesterday's session -- the first we've held since the near lock-down conditions have been imposed on London. We expected large, possibly aggressive crowds because the local supermarket shelves are empty. But that didn't happen at all. We were busy, unsurprisingly, but everyone was lovely and helpful. I'm going to miss sitting down and having good conversations with many of our visitors, but we can still exchange a few kind words and we're staying open.

Reason #3: I thought this tweet thread was uplifting. It turns out business at supermarkets are only up about 10% or so over the normal. The businesses are so efficient in just-in-time delivery and stock, that this is causing quite a bit of mayhem. People really aren't hoarding. They're just working from home and going out less, buying a bit more each week. It isn't just mobs of idiots. The supermarkets will adjust. It will be OK.

Reason #4: I'm getting stuff done. Last week was busy at work, but we managed to shift a lot of code. The long evenings at home is also helping finally dig into things I've been meaning to do, like creating this web site, and the charity one I've promised for years. Yeah, it's a bit harder doing everything over videoconferencing, but it's not that much harder. We're getting good at this.

Reason #5: The weather is improving. It's beautiful out today and it's forecast to get even better next week. I even mowed the lawn today, for the first time this year. The apocalypse will be a lot more enjoyable if the sun is shining.

Tags: coronavirus