Surviving the Pandemic: Part 2

Time has no meaning during an eternal present.

To mark its passage, I might as well write about how things are two months after my last post.

How am I

Overall, I'm doing okay. Between minor bouts of depression and copious amounts of self-care, I'm keeping my head above water. I'm even being productive in my free time (which I'll talk about in the Rust section of this article). I did get a 20 percent pay cut due to the economic shock of shutting down the country. That did not feel nice, but I've coped by re-prioritizing my budget and making a few tweaks to my life.

At this point in the lockdown, I have a few go-to hobbies. I read books, listen to podcasts, take long, physically-distant walks around Seattle with Kaladin, play video games, and attend online happy hours and game nights. There's nothing too exciting in any of that, but I have been loving the opportunity to voraciously consume content. I'm going to be hitting my book/movie/tv show/video game goals for sure this year!

Every so often I'll have something interesting pop up in my life. Like yesterday, I took Kaladin to the dog park. A husky stole his ball, and the owner stood there and watched as his pup tore holes in the ball, removing all the bounce. At that point, Kal and I had to go home because there was no more ball to play with. It sucked, and it was annoying that the owner didn't stop their dog from destroying someone else's toy, but on the other hand, I had a social interaction with a person! Wooooooo! Haha

That's how starved I am for people. I'm an introvert, but even this 60+ days of isolation is getting to be a bit too much.

Current State of Things

Living in Washington, I'm feeling pretty good about how things have progressed in Seattle, which I'm extremely grateful for. Our governor, Jay Inslee, isn't perfect, but he started taking this seriously early on, and Seattle and Washington in general has so far weathered the storm well. I think we're floating at around 1000 deaths right now, which is far less than our "fair share" of the current death count. That's a morbid win for my state!

My biggest concern are for friends and family in other states. Some states haven't really taken much action and are already "open" again, and those infection and death numbers keep ticking up because their state government didn't take the threat of a virus seriously.

On that note, it's been interesting to watch President Trump change his tone over the last few months and finally recognize that the virus is a real threat. Unfortunately, there's been little coordination from the federal government, especially from the President himself, who frankly shows more concern for the S&PO 500 than the health of the citizens he's meant to protect as he avoids questions from the media and issues information contradictory to the CDC and other organizations.

Outside of all the political happenings, the American people are at least doing a decent job at pulling together and supporting one another. There have been gun-toting idiots protesting in crowds to have their states opened up though, so we do have some stupid people out there spreading the virus, which will make this last even longer! Wish they'd think for a second before making big crowds...

Anyway, Seattle hasn't had much (if any) of that ridiculousness. Instead, we're getting beautiful art painted on the window coverings of buildings. It's been a wonderful splash of color in my otherwise drab life. Spring is on its last legs, and seeing all the petals falling and flowers blooming make walks around Seattle for Kaladin and my daily exercise a really nice experience.

Despite the good things, I still need this to be over sooner than later. Thankfully, it seems like Washington is on the downward slope of this thing, but even that is hard to say because this virus can scale up so quickly. It's weird thinking it's been about 2 months since the lockdown stuff started. And the virus was already on my radar for a few months before that.

This pandemic is basically a year-long natural disaster. I still think it's going to get worse before it gets better, but I would love to be proved wrong on that.


Finally, to wrap up the second of what is to likely be many "Surviving the Pandemic" entries, I wanted to talk about the Rust programming language.

As I've mentioned previously, I love Rust. It's been my hobby language for all of quarantine, and I actually have something useful to show for it!

I merged in a Pull Request to a Rust crate called clap, which is a library for parsing command line arguments. You can check out the minor change, but even though the change was small it felt good to make a contribution for a programming language I don't use professionally.

The clap crate is actually one of the top 100 Rust crates out there, so a bunch of people out there will be using my code! I love when I can write things others find useful.

I also published a new minor version of my aws_parameter_update crate. I think there's one or two more tweaks I want to make before calling that library complete, but it's still completely functional, which makes me happy because it's my first little baby library I spun into existence.

You'll only receive email when they publish something new.

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