It has been just about a year of Covid now. I would still like to call it the Wuhan virus since it originated from there.
Life is becoming a routine at home. I am actually liking it. Is that weird? I must be an introvert!
Work - This is possibly the thing that I miss most - that is seeing my students in a class. Zoom is just not the same. The class participation is abysmal and so is the attention span. The interaction is not smooth and not being able to see them is the biggest drawback for me. Also - I am a little bit of a performer, I need an audience to tell my jokes and show my chemistry demos. I feel a chemistry class is incomplete without demos. I am really missing those! And regardless of whether the students will remember the demos in the future or not, they are missing the fun part (they don't know it).
I have been going to teach the labs since Sept of 2020, which is really helpful for me and the students. All of us get to come out of our shells and be with people again. And it has been very successful.
What I am totally not missing about my work, is the office hours. That was 90% of just sitting in my office for nothing. Students rarely show up for anything. No faculty ever came by to socialize so it was like imprisonment for me. I can do grading and course prep at work, but it is so much easier at home. I am more productive with my time at home.
Personally - My personal life has improved a lot. I am more relaxed, I have been walking 2.5 mi daily and now 5 mi daily. I get up at 6:30 am to go for my walk so it does not get too hot. Don't know how my evening walk will work out once summer is here. My eating is a hit and miss. The one thing I have followed diligently since Aug 2020 is intermittent fasting. I am surprised that I don't much hungry at night. I do eat a bit of junk food - but that is normal for me. I would say overall my calorie intake has gone down by about 300 Cal.
Ever since I got the hedge cut off at my front entrance I have gone a little cookoo about gardening. I am really enjoying planting different kinds of plants. I feel this is the time for me to do this. After this semester goes, I don't know when I will at home like this. This is so relaxing. I have become a little thief of plants, I buy cheap plants and I ask for plants from whomever is willing to give me some. I have cleared out more area for gardening on the southern side of my house. It gets a lot of sun, so hopefully I can grow plants well there.
I have been able to hang out with a few of my friends, we go out to eat and talk about work and other things. My social life was not that much to begin with, so this is quite okay for me.
I have not been able to binge watch too many shows as other people do, I don't know why! Maybe I don't have the patience to that long or I cannot find anything that interesting. But I have kept myself entertained with movies and the current shows I watch. That is sufficient.
And then I have to also convert my Blackboard class to Canvas and write questions for the chemistry app. All that is also moving along slowly but steadily.
I think it will be tough for us to come back to work full time once all is normal.
Speaking of normal - the Vaccine! Z great vaccine is out and there but the people who are working and actually need it are not getting it. Only 65 and above age group is getting it. They are getting ready to party! While we, the workers, are still waiting. USA is weird! They should have prioritized teachers and grocery and restaurant workers after the health care workers and then given to the senior citizens. And there is no vaccine for children yet so we are not entirely out of the woods yet.
The main thing I miss I think of being normal is psychological normalcy - when I can go out without a mask and without feeling that I will get sick if I don't do this or that; when I feel comfortable enough to eat in a restaurant; when I can feel comfortable in a classroom full of students. I think that may come only after vaccinations and maybe another year of seeing low or no cases. I am waiting for that time to come.....