This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is being hosted by Taiob Ali. The subject is how are you coping with the pandemic. As Taiob describes it, you should talk about mental health, physical health, and professional growth, along with anything else you want to cover. This post will be my contribution for T-SQL Tuesday #132 – how are you coping with the pandemic.
This is a pretty wide area, that gives everyone plenty of possibilities for topics. This is good, since I think it will encourage more people to actually write a post. Just writing a useful blog post, and getting quality links back and forth from other related blogs in the community is good for everyone who participates!
BTW, reading and then commenting on the T-SQL Tuesday blog posts of other participants helps both you and the other blogger. They get views and comments, and you get backlinks to your blog or website. Everybody wins!
T-SQL Tuesday #132 – How Are You Coping with the Pandemic
Overall, I think I am doing pretty well in some areas, and not so well in others.
Like many DBAs and people in the data and technology field, I am naturally an introvert. I am mostly capable of keeping myself pretty busy and entertained all by myself. That doesn’t mean I am a hermit, but it does mean that I am less affected mentally by things like COVOD lockdowns than many extroverts. I do feel a lot sympathy for extroverts who are much more affected than I am.
I have been working from home for nearly ten years, so COVID has not really changed anything there. One thing I do miss is the freedom to just leave the house and go somewhere for lunch or dinner, without worrying about the logistics or possible risk. When I do go out, it is more stressful than it should be because I get annoyed with how many people refuse to wear masks or practice social distancing measures.
Another thing I miss is homebrewing competitions. I have been a pretty avid home brewer for nearly five years, and I really enjoyed entering (and sometimes winning) competitions. Because of COVID-19, most competitions have been canceled during 2020. I did recently enter five beers in the 2020 Poetry Slam Homebrew Comp, which is coming up on November 22.
I have only brewed five, five-gallon batches in 2020, which is probably one third of my typical annual production. My most recent batch was a Stout that was part of a club project, where we are aging 55 gallons of beer in a Stranahan’s Whiskey oak barrel for four to six months. That should turn out very tasty!
If you follow me, you probably know that I like PC computer hardware… Building and tinkering with systems to make them “better” is something I really enjoy. This passion helps keep me busy and distracted from other negative things that are happening in the world.
During 2020, I have built and reconfigured multiple desktop computers, sometime more than once. This has provided fodder for multiple blog posts and YouTube videos, and I have learned a few new things. I also started the SQLFamily team on Folding@Home.
Miniature Dachshund Puppies
We lost our nearly 16 year old miniature Dachshund, Roxy in August of 2019. That was really tough, and I was not in a huge hurry to get another dog until my wife and I got over that loss.
We started looking for a miniature Dachshund earlier this year, but they were surprisingly hard to come by. Dogs have become an even more popular pet as many people are spending more time at home. Then, as a surprise, we found a great little male long-haired black and tan miniature Dachshund puppy that was going to be ready with about a weeks notice back in August. We named him Chorizo!
As it turned out, we had also been trying to get a miniature Dachshund puppy from another breeder for several months, when a female short-haired red became available about six weeks after we got Chorizo. We named her Andouille (but we call her Andie).
Unfortunately, the story is not as great here. I have been careful, and probably lucky, so I don’t think that I have had COVID-19. I’ve never been tested, so I don’t know 100% for sure. But, it is possible that I might have had a mild case back in mid-March, after I returned from a trip to Germany. I had pretty severe flu-like symptoms for a couple of weeks, and also had “COVID Toe” later.
But it was never bad enough that I thought about going to a doctor about it. This is a much better outcome than many people that I know. I have been fortunate.
On the other hand, I have gained about 7-8lbs, mainly from stress eating. I already needed to lose weight, so that is not good. This is something that concerns me, that I hope to improve.
Unfortunately, I have not done much traditional professional development, such as taking courses or gaining new certifications. I have put quite a bit of effort into writing blog posts and making YouTube videos. Because of this, I have learned a lot more about WordPress and about Camtasia 2020. My YouTube channel is here.
I think I have coped relatively well with this pandemic, but I also realize how lucky I have been compared to many others. COVID-19 is real and it is serious. People who dismiss it as a hoax or who refuse to take basic precautions to protect themselves and others are being stupid and selfish.
If you have any questions about this post, please ask me here in the comments or on Twitter. I am pretty active on Twitter as GlennAlanBerry. Thanks for reading!