Lockdown Is Not Over For Me

It’s July 2020, and after a number of months of somewhat absolute lockdown, London appears to be breaking free from the chains of coronavirus, at least on the surface. Indeed, the lockdown rules have been eased, and things are, supposedly, going back to normal. Except…

Except this is not true for everyone, and in particular, it’s not true for me. Long-time readers probably remember that 13 years ago next month I’ve ended up in the hospital with an acute pancreatitis from which I already nearly died. It also left me with secondary diabetes — that is, a diabetes that is neither of the “usual” types. And given that there’s multiple reports of Covid-19 attacking the pancreas, that is making me feel particularly paranoid about the situation. Indeed, my understanding of it at this point is that it’s very likely that Covid-19 would just be deadly to me with a probability close to 1.

What this means is that I still haven’t left the flat since May, and I don’t expect to go anywhere until a vaccine is found and I received it. This would be much easier if it wasn’t that everyone else out there has forgotten that this pandemic kills people, and decided that everything must reopen. We live across from a hotel, and it was much easier to spend all your time at home when you didn’t have random guests looking into your apartment at all times. And it was easier to enjoy’s one apartment when the short-term let on our floor didn’t have different groups of partying people every weekend, being loud in the early morning hours. And even working from home was easier when we could go to bed before 3am — because there was no work being done on the flyover of the motorway we live next to until that hour.

I’m extremely fortunate that my new job is not expecting me to get back to the office until it’s absolutely safe to do so. But I’m also sad about all the events we’ll now be missing — because a number of those won’t be rescheduled to next year, and so will likely be taking place well before the vaccine is available. The one that makes me the saddest is the wedding of my best friends, in Italy, who will be getting married in September, way too soon for the vaccine to reach me.

As you can tell from the various electronics projects, I find myself having a lot more time on my hands than I would generally have, and since I’m an awful baker, I left the breadmaking to my wife. Instead I’m taking up the whole office space between work and the various terrible results of PCBs. It is a learning experience, and in that regard I shouldn’t complain, but it also feels sad that out of the original run of prints I made for Birch Books I’m barely keeping one design around (the actuator board — barely because I had to bodge it).

But the fact that I have time on my hands doesn’t mean I’m being particularly productive either. There’s been days that after spending the whole day in meetings to meet new colleagues I could only drop myself on the sofa to watch Murder, She Wrote. And despite maintaining my two-posts-a-week schedule for the blog, my sARTSurday series ended up drying up because I was running low on artists from which I actually bought something, and it started saddening me more than cheering me up.

It’s tough, and it’ll remain tough for the foreseeable future. There’s not going to be a vaccine before next year, and by then, I might as well have turned into a misanthropic recluse — although I sure hope not. It reminds me a tad too much of how lonely it was when I was running my own company back in Italy — living in my mother’s big house, but with no easy way to go anywhere unless someone would pick me up (no public transport, no easy cycle lane either). And let’s just say that I’m not looking forward to go back there, much as I miss seeing some of my friends and spending late nights playing Magic the Gathering.

Hopefully, this will be a one-off blog post on this topic, and more of the future will be filled with me posting project updates, notes, and pictures of cutesy stuff…