Update 2020/10/02 – a few days after I wrote this, President Trump and the First Lady tested positive. Just making a note here because obviously that’s gonna be a pivoting moment.
It’s been a little over six months since California first went into lockdown. Every now and then, I blog little reminders to myself about what life is like so that I’ll be able to read back in the future and remember how things were going. You can read the past ones under the covid19 tag. The last one was about two months ago.
Almost all of my clients are still working remotely. A couple have opened up offices, but they’ve treated ’em as kinda-sorta-optional. The vast, vast majority of clients are still 100% telecommuting with no set dates yet to return to their offices.
California businesses are still mostly closed. The state put together a nice web site that shows risk levels for each county, and based on those levels, what’s allowed to open. Here in San Diego county, the risk level is still “Substantial” (the second-highest, but still better than LA) as of today. That means most stuff is still closed, but indoor retail & restaurants can open with lower capacity. Indoor seating at restaurants is open, but capped at 25% capacity (or 100 people, whichever is higher.) Offices are still remote-only though.
There was a lot of celebration when San Diego County dropped from “Widespread” (the highest) to “Substantial” (the second-highest) risk, and then a lot of concern when the risk level almost popped back up again. The local government seems pretty frustrated with the state government, especially around not having any plans or timeline to open up the convention centers again.
I can’t believe how many people aren’t wearing masks. Our building has big, clear signs next to every elevator practically begging people not to walk around without masks on, and yet still, probably 1/3 of the people in the building don’t have masks on, and maybe 1/2 of the people I see out on the streets. If I’m riding in the elevator and the floor stops and someone tries to board without a mask, I say, “Oops, looks like you might have forgotten your mask, may wanna run back and get that,” and then I close the elevator door. I feel like a jerk, but I’m not sharing an elevator with you if you’re not gonna mask up.
Good antibody tests are available. Erika and I are symptom-free, but we drove up to LA to get the Roche test because we wanted to know if we’d had it without showing symptoms. We were really hoping we had, but we tested negative. It would have been comforting to know we were exposed and fought it off, especially with my asthma.
Conferences and presenters are adapting, but it’s been tough. I’ve presented at a couple of SQL Saturdays that were either fully remote, or hybrid remote/in-person, and this week is SQLBits. Conferences & presenters are figuring out what they need to do to be successful, and it’s a very rocky road right now. Everybody’s learning a lot, and I’m excited because that’ll lead to a better online event market in the coming years. A year or two from now, in-person events will be back, but what we learn today will lead to better online events for forever.
Borders are mostly closed to Americans. We can fly to Mexico, but we can’t drive across the border. We can go to the UK, but only if we isolate for 14 days. We can’t get into the EU/EEA at all, nor our beloved Iceland. We’re still scheduled to leave the US and move to Iceland for a good chunk of 2021. We’re looking into alternative ways to make that happen, like getting work visas or buying a house, both of which require a good bit of work, so I’m doing that legwork now to prep.
In a perfect world, we’d rather jump over to Iceland right now. I know it sounds crazy, but I have the sinking feeling that things are going to get a lot worse here in the US before they get better. We managed to slow the curve down, which is awesome, but this thing’s still spreading like crazy, and people are still dying, and opening more businesses up seems like the exact opposite of what we’re supposed to be doing.
I wanna be optimistic here, but six months in, I think we’ve got at least another six months of bad times to go.