T-SQL Tuesday #132 Pandemic Coping

tsqltuesdayThis year, 2020, has been crazy. What started as a normal year for me, including a sabbatical, turned into a crazy, shutdown, lockdown, stuck at home pandemic around the world.

My world changed a lot, as I cancelled a trip at the beginning of March, and all subsequent ones. Coaching volleyball stopped, and most events were cancelled, big changes for me.

At the same time, my daughter came home from college and spent the rest of the semester with us and my oldest switched from teaching in person to being at home and finding a place he could virtually teach.

This month, Taiob Ali asks us how we are dealing with these changes.


At first, I was coping fine with things fine. I live on a large ranch, my wife works from home, and I’ve been doing so for nearly 20 years. I have an office and am used to working here regularly. We are healthy and financially secure, and mostly it was a pain dealing with the changes in the world.

As part of the Redgate Community Circleww, we started to think about how to help others, and came up with different ideas. One of mine was to publish some coping tips. At first, I was trying to help others, but over time, I found these to be invaluable to me.

I get these from Action for Happiness for the most part, though I add some myself. I work through these in my life, often a few days in advance, and then write about them. I was thinking to stop these after June, but many people responded they liked them, and I’ve continued ever since then, which seems like a long time.

I’ve also found these help me. During August, I struggled with the length of the changes, and the fact that looking forward another 6 months, I couldn’t see an end to the pandemic. The weight of the length of this weighs on me.

Physical Health

I’m in my 50s and exercise regularly, usually doing yoga or going to the gym 20+ days a month. My diet is OK, probably better than average America, but not great. Still, while my routine was interrupted in March, with less stuff than I’d like:

2020-11-09 13_34_53-MapMyRun

I got better in April and was in a good routine through June.

2020-11-09 13_35_13-MapMyRun

Mostly life was good until the end of October.

I had a trip planned to visit family, but cancelled. My wife got sick, then I did, then my daughter. A week later one of my sons got sick. We had been diagnosed with COVID, and it was both scary and hard. The symptoms weren’t that bad, but all of my energy was sapped. I spent most of two weeks in bed or with very light chores around the house.

2020-11-09 13_37_35-MapMyRun

Since then, I feel better, but there are still some gaps in my health. I have no worry of dying, but I am worried about long term physical ability.

Wear a mask, try not to get it, and if you don’t believe in masks or the disease, you’re a moron. Don’t leave me a comment on what you believe as a non-epidemiologist or non medical professional. Pardon my language, but fuck off.

Mental Health

I’ve struggled. Despite working at home for a couple decades, I’m used to changing my environment, going to see others, traveling, and more. Seeing my children depressed from school changes, not seeing the kids I coach, not getting to the gym, not going to restaurants and movies, it got to me.

The longing for a change of environment, and not seeing the same four walls of my office weigh on me. The struggles I see on the news, especially from so many people losing jobs, businesses, and more are hard. I have a lot of empathy and realize I am incredibly blessed.

I’ve made an effort to chat with others. To reach out at times, and ask for support from my wife and a few close friends.

My mental health as suffered, even as I try to cope. I continue to work on this regularly, talking more, and trying to find the good things in my life as much as I can.

Professional Growth

I had hoped to do more learning, expecting that this pandemic would be less than six months. On one hand, I greatly underestimated the struggles of being at home all the time. On the other, I got some things done.

I’ve had different goals this year, and I have spent some time learning more about Power BI, DAX, and visualization. I’ve read more business/non-fiction books this year than in the past. I’m making progress on goals. Not as much as I’d like, but some.

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9 Responses to T-SQL Tuesday #132 Pandemic Coping

  1. Barbara Cooper says:

    I am an introvert and since the pandemic, I have been able to work at home full time. I expect this to come to an end next year sometime but that is when my pain will begin. I LOVE being at home and having the flexibility that comes with it. I have a dog and my son and I can be with both nearly all the time now, I couldn’t be happier. I am very worried and scared for those that are more exposed than I am and I hope for a vaccine to come soon but in the meantime, life is amazing for me!!


  2. Brian K says:

    Agree with Barbara on the introvert benefits. I have a bit of wanderlust, but being the designated gopher for groceries and whatnot pretty much takes care of that, since I recognize that any more ambitious travel is not in the cards right now.

    Sucks to hear about your diagnosis Steve! Best wishes for a continued recovery, and I’ll “see” you later this week.


  3. way0utwest says:

    Thanks, doing better, though not 100%.

    I have loved more family time, but I miss the freedom to do more.


  4. Glenn Berry says:

    Another good post, Steve. I’m glad you are starting to feel better!


  5. Chris Morse says:

    We IT types have been, for the most part, among the most fortunate. Our roles allow us to leverage technology to fullest advantage and, with conscientious personal behavior, completely escape the reach of the virus.

    My wife and I fear so much for those now without jobs, healthcare, food, and even a home. We have chosen to donate what we consider to be significant $$ to the food bank consortium in our region. To us, it’s a tangible gift that we know will be used well. Does this help in terms of my “coping”? Yes, it balances somewhat against our sense of powerlessness in this calamity. Is also clarifies — truth be told — that the plight of others is far more damaging and disruptive to families and our economy than the minor inconveniences in our personal lives. Our good fortune comes with a responsibility.


  6. Sharma vaibhav says:

    Steve, Can’t believe I missed this post originally. Glad to hear you and all the family are ok! Agree on the points made a 100. Hang tough,same here.


  7. way0utwest says:

    Thanks, doing well now, but still not completely over it. This is a rough disease.


  8. Pingback: TSQL Tuesday #132 Roundup – SqlWorldWide

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