Year One Pandemic Reflections

What was happening on March 6, 2020, one year ago today?

I was preparing for a 3-leg trip from Boston. First stop was Portland, Oregon, for the SIGCSE conference. After the conference, I was heading south to California for some LinkedIn Learning recording. After some time there, I was headed to Arizona to visit my parents at their retirement community.

I was anxious about this trip. Because I was scheduled to be gone from March 11-24, I was worried that the airlines might shut down along the way. Maybe some element of the trip would be cancelled, but others would continue.

On March 6 at 10 AM, I was getting what would become my last haircut for 2020.

By that afternoon, Harvard announced they would not allow non-essential academic travel in the US. (They’d stopped allowing international travel a few weeks prior.) In other words, my participation in SIGCSE was no longer happening.

By March 9, LinkedIn had cancelled my trip for the following week.

Cancelling the trip to see my parents was a no-brainer. I could not live with myself if I brought them the virus. As it turned out, their retirement community closed to visitors around March 16.

Of course, this was just the beginning. Many more trips would be cancelled along the way, including a birthday trip to Europe, conference trips, and video recording trips. It was a year without music, as all of my music groups cancelled rehearsals, concerts, and whole seasons of performance. It was a year without family. Indeed, I last saw my family in August 2019. It may be 2 years before I see them, possibly longer.

Jen Kramer @jen4web