The year that wasn't -

- Even Alander

I came across the retrospective I wrote on 2019 but never published. It felt recent, like it was last year, but it wasn't.

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

I had just returned from a trip to Edinburgh. The virus from Asia had already arrived in southern Europe. Italy had travel restrictions, they got it bad, but I can't remember any official guidelines discouraging travel in general. Some people, I'm sure, chose not to travel. We used a lot of hand sanitizer on that trip, but other than that everything seemed normal.

Then it hit us here in Norway, in March 2020. Quite exactly 1 year and 2 months ago today. I mean, the virus was probably here already by then, but that is when the government decided to close everything down. In the start we all had to isolate, keep at home, only leave the house for the bare essentials. People panicked and bought toilet paper. The kindergarten closed.

This lasted for a month and things slowly returned to normal. I could return to the office. The kindergarten opened, but with restrictions. Good hygiene and social distancing was encouraged. People were optimistic, we'd pulled through it. Or so we thought. While it was more open, social distancing was / and is encouraged. Face masks became a requirement where social distancing was hard to keep. Hand sanitizer got available at the entrance of every store.

Traveling to Europe did open, but a lot of people, my family included, vacationed in Norway. We had a nice road trip going to Hafjell (Hunderfossen family park), Lom, Lærdalsøyri, Voss, Bergen, and Stavanger. Ingvild and I got to go to a wedding in Stavanger. They'd planned to have it in Romania, but for obvious reasons that got cancelled.

Sam started school with restrictions. For the most part I think that was a good thing and made for a mild introduction to school for Sam. The teachers had to follow up the class all the time, and was / still is probably exhausting for the teachers. But comforting for me as a parent.

And then it hit us again. The virus was at large. It had mutated and the variants got named by where they were discovered. The UK variant, the Danish, and probably a lot more I can't remember (was there a California one?).

Oslo closed down in November. We had to start tracking who was in the office, and those who could should work from home. If only we could pull through November, we could celebrate a normal Christmas, or so we were told. We didn't really celebrate christmas like normal. It was nice, my uncle Rolf and his wife Sunita visited, and with my father, his wife Aunchana and their son Daniel (my 33 year younger brother) we celebrated christmas. But it didn't feel quite like normal.


We decided to buy an apartment in Stavanger. I'm excited about moving there and the project. It looks really nice and is in an area right between Stavanger and Sandnes with good and frequent bus and train connections. It will be done by next summer, hopefully.

Unfortunately it has taken them ages to follow up on our wanted changes and additions. They don't respond unless I prod them. We're spending a lot of money. We have to move a some point (I hate the physical part of moving). This is a huge thing for us, but we're only 1 of 96 customers. That leaves me thinking a lot about something I can't do anything about, other than wait.

I got into some arguments at work about how we should shape our code base. The arguments are mostly good to have, as the team is bigger it requires that we're all pulling in the same direction. Hopefully it left the code base in a better shape than me, who also experienced a lot of guilt over maintaining the old code base at the same time, splitting my priorities.

And then it is the self imposed and sometimes real restrictions on going places, doing things, experience things. I'm tired. The recent xkcd resonated with me. Sometime it feels like we haven't left March 2020. I'm still waiting for a vaccine, and probably won't get it until after summer, so in my case I need an extended edition of that comic.


I'm not sure why I never published the post on 2019. It is possible I had more I wanted to write, but since I can't remember what that would be I might as well post it now.

Maintenance Aer