Quarantine random thoughts #14

We are sailing through the 8th week of self-isolation. I had to count the weeks in the calendar, time has a whole new dimension. I realised that until last week I was waiting for my birthday, now there’s no “next date” to be looking forward to. Of course, eventually stuff will happen, but we don’t know when.

As of today the UK has the highest death toll in Europe, surpassing Italy. Not that this means much, these numbers are mostly meaningless when used to compare situations.

On Saturday I went for a walk in the park for the first time. It’s allowed here, but for some reason I never really felt like just going. The weather was nice, the park was full of dogs and yoga pants running free. Everybody very careful about avoiding each other, often walking off-path to guarantee enough distance.

Found the Covid-19 settings in the latest update of iOS. It was on by default. In theory my phone is now pinging other phones, keeping track of who is getting close. But this information will not be used in the UK, as the government has decided not to use Google/Apple decentralised approach, favouring instead a centralised (and potentially more privacy invasive) system. Still… it feels like a waste of valuable data.

I heard somebody on the radio suggesting that the UK approach is influenced by researchers in Oxford consulting the government. Phew! At least it’s not Cambridge: a city name now synonym with privacy!

My driving licence has expired. I meant to renew it here, but for a bunch of reasons I ended up deciding not to go to a post office in the middle of the pandemic. Not that I need it, but no idea how this will be resolved. There’s also some other bureaucratic problems that I need to solve in Italy, and it doesn’t look like it will be easy to solve them remotely or by catching a quick flight home. I hope these won’t become real problems.

In the good news department, credit cards bills are significantly down from last month and the month before. No restaurants, no online shopping, no public transport, no nothing. The interesting fact is that I could order stuff online or buy takeaway food, but between not having a working doorbell and being very lazy, I just don’t. And the truth is that I don’t really miss any of that stuff. Eventually it will creep back, but I’m going to try to keep this rhythm for as long as possible.

Meanwhile make sure you stay safe, be nice, keep in touch.