David Díaz.

The Pandemic

As the end1 of the Pandemic approaches, I wanted to write a blog post to remind myself of these past 18 months and how we spent our time in exile. There isn’t really a point to this blog post in general it’s mostly a slice of my life and a lot of disconnected thoughts.

I originally started writing this post in August 8th, 2021. It took me a year to get around to finishing it but here it is. Better late than never I guess!

Before The Pandemic

My exile started a bit before the pandemic got to Honduras. Towards the end of the previous year (2019) I had a cancer scare. It turned out to be nothing but I developed a lot of anxiety around my health because of it. I had become overly weary of anything health related and hearing of this SARS-like disease that was showing up everywhere didn’t help. By that time everyone was a bit tired of my shenanigans and when I asked everyone around me to prepare for it I (understandably) was not taken very seriously.

Honduras is poor and I knew it wouldn’t take much for it’s system to collapse. If even rich countries seem to be struggling it wouldn’t really take much for the same to happen here. I told my mother that if she wanted to visit she’d have to do so before the first case was reported in Honduras. Once that happened I’d pretty much lock myself up and isolate for however long it took. She came to visit a couple of weeks before the first case, just in-case. It sounded like masks and hand sanitizer would be the first thing to fly off the shelves so I purchased some preemptively. I figured I was being overly dramatic but better safe than sorry. Having basic things I could hold to would make my anxiety easier to control I figured.

As the pandemic seemed to get closer I told everyone my plans of staying indoors until it was under control, that it might be a bit long but hopefully not more than a couple of months. The 8th of March, we had Arleth over for brunch, we talked about the upcoming pandemic over coffee.

On 10th of March, 2020 the first two cases of covid were reported in Honduras my lock down would begin two days later. The following day I dismissed the house staff, had them take the day off and go purchase groceries and supplies. I assured them that they would still receive their salaries and that they would have job once this was over.

The first month

Once the first cases were reported everything started moving too fast. By Sunday every supermarket was swamped with people and supplies started dwindling. I felt a bit validated knowing I had prepared myself with a couple months worth of food. That sense of validation didn’t really last long.

For the first couple of weeks everything was under strict lockdown and looked like Honduras wouldn’t spiral too bad. Wishful thinking.

The 20th we had a nice break with the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It came in at the best time, the boredom was settling in and everyone with a switch was playing it. It felt like a community event, everyone was alone, playing together. It carried us over a month or two.

By the end of march the food was a little less varied so it seemed like the right time to resupply. It looked like all supermarkets were booked for deliveries for a month or so in advanced so we had to get creative. For non-perishable we used a small supermarket that specialized in organic goods. It’s variety wasn’t great and it was really expensive but it allowed us to get some basics and some not-so-basics while the regular supermarkets got their act together.

Mid April everything got a lot better. We found a local catering company that being unable to cater, had started selling vegetables, dairy and eggs. Getting fresh vegetables for the first time after almost two months gave me back my will to live.

The following 4 months

As the pandemic raged on I realized I was not doing too great. I had become a bit of a hypochondriac and had developed some anxiety. I had been stuck in my apartment for a while now so it seemed justified. One day I decided I wanted to get into therapy. I found a nice Colombian psychologist that would treat me online. It worked out great and after a month or two I felt better and was told I could stop going.

Whenever I am bored I get started on new hobbies. I had a ton of paint around the apartment so I started painting. I would experiment quite a bit with acrylics, I didn’t like how glossy they were but it grew on me. I eventually started drawing over them with markers and developed a bit of a “style”. I would paint quite a bit over the next couple of months.

One of the many paintings I did over the pandemic. An infinity net over a red background.

As the sense of normalcy grew and I had more time off I started playing Call of Duty with Carlos and Carla. It happened almost by accident but we started playing a couple of hours every day. It was great fun, they’ve been my best friends for the longest time and being able to spend time with them, even if only online, felt awesome.

Eventually I fell back to my oldest habit, overworking. I decided I wanted to be more productive and get more done. I had been toying with an idea to help local companies get their products online. Honduras is really far behind on this sort of thing and during the pandemic it really showed. I’ve had an Estonian e-residency for a while so I used that to incorporate a business and started working on the app. I would let it sit to focus on my day job soon after.

Up to this point we had been using a small refrigerator I bought back when I first moved in. It was fine at the beginning but since getting delivery was hard it made more sense to order more food and store it than try to order when needed. We got a new fridge which was a pretty large QOL upgrade at the time. Sounds weird but it really cheered us up.

At this point my anxiety had improved so I decided to let myself drink coffee again. It’s always been a large part of my life so it felt like that’d help me go back “normal”. I decided to make a hobby off it (it technically already was) and got myself a espresso machine. I named it Pino.

Pino the espresso machine

I eventually start working on my small side project, a site to simplify selling online, elmarket.

The rest of 2020

Very little happened the rest of the year:

We raised moths.

One of the moths we raised, marimoth

We would raise more moths the following year at around the same time of the year.

Customs eventually reopened so we bought some extra art supplies. I got a new camera (Which I called Prismo). I painted some more. My sister suggested we run a book club, we read one book, tiny fire everywhere, I hated it and decided to stop book clubbing.

Another painting of mine from that time

I took a couple of weeks off in December to try to chill for a bit.

A picture of the sky

A New Year

On my first day back after the Christmas break we were told at Azlo that our CEO was leaving. The following day they announced we would be shutting down. Our parent company had been sold off and no one really wanted to keep operating Azlo.

Since I was still stuck home I immediately started interviewing and looking for a new gig. I found a really nice job at Blueonion Labs. They were doing really cool things that closely matched the reconciliation stuff I was doing at Azlo. I would start the week after my birthday. I decided to ignore it that year, it didn’t seem fair to count it.

We got a roomba shortly after, it was surprisingly helpful, we were spending quite a bit of time cleaning and just having it run everyday made it way easier.

I started working at Blueonion Labs.

We found Pitt, the chunkiest boy. We originally offered him to Edward for adoption but he didn’t want to adopt him. After a couple of days, even though we thought we had enough cats, we ended up falling in love with him.

Pitt, the cat

We finally got our first vaccine shot in August. It was nice, it felt like maybe it was coming to an end.

A bit later my grandfather died from Covid. My uncle followed a couple of weeks later.

I left my job. I was feeling a bit burnt out and depressed.

Towards the end of September we were fully immunized and decided it was time to start moving on. We started planning a trip, it’d be the third time leaving the house in 18 months. The other two were for vaccinations.

Shortly before leaving we found Gomita, the newest member of our family. We had no intentions of adopting another cat at the point but she needed a ton of help and it didn’t seem fair to pin her off on someone else. So we kept her. No regrets.

Gomita, the cat

We left for Europe in October and spent a couple of weeks over there. I had to go to Estonia to open a bank account for the company I had founded the year before but we spent the rest of time relaxing and doing normally touristy stuff (mostly eating).

A picture of the author

  1. We are about 4 weeks away from being fully immunized which is as far as I know, the closest thing to an end there can be for the time being. 

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