TLDR: We went to the fancy cheese night, danced (one evening), Thailand is having a covid outbreak again so we are staying inside until it returns to “low levels” (many places are closed and travel is restricted), Chinda bought a sewing machine (and uses it regularly), I have been doodling on my iPad and working out in the house, this pandemic has actually improved some aspects of our lives, my ear seems to have recovered (took hearing test in Thai by accident), we may be able to get vaccinated in a month or two, I read a book about slowing/reversing ageing/living healthy longer, and SpaceX safely launched another rocket with astronauts.
Covid is the grand master wrecking ball for plans. Metaphorically, if our plans were a shiny, new, just waxed Tesla Roadster, Covid would be the massive albatross with irritable bowel syndrome perched on a branch directly above the car. We expected to go on a fun road trip and have other adventures, but Covid shut those down. We thought that we would finally have dinner at the Lebua or visit the 2D cafe. Nope. Now, Covid in Thailand is worse than it has ever been. The daily cases were up to about 2500 (~1000+ per day in Bangkok). The government is trying to manage the spread by restricting travel and closing most businesses. It has worked before so let’s just get this next lockdown over with as soon as possible. At least some people are being vaccinated, albeit a little slower than expected. We may be able to get a vaccine within the next month or two (that’s a rather big maybe).
Covid Hasn’t Ruined Everything Though
Clearly, Covid has FUBARed most plans/events/lives throughout the last year, but in order to promote some positivity, let’s look at the aspects of our lives that this Covid time has actually improved…
-Home fitness: I/we have been forced to exercise at home on multiple occasions (such as now). That has led us to discovering that we can maintain fitness with a bare minimum amount of equipment and without a gym (yes, even me). We use workout apps (Nike), resistance bands, calisthenics, and a couple makeshift weights to keep fit.
-We know how to properly wash our hands without missing areas. Im sure that the hand washing and mask wearing has contributed to why we haven’t been sick in over a year.
– I can speak/read/write basic Thai and Jyn has elevated her abilities. The Thai classes also influenced me to purchase an iPad which has led to improving my digital art and increased reading.
-Jyn has added sewing to her crafting repertoire and has been knitting more than ever. She has already sewn a dress, a shirt, and a purse bag liner (pictures next post).
-I have improved my breath holding for freediving dramatically. Fun fact: When you hold your breath and your chest contracts due to the urge to breathe, your body is actually responding to an increase in carbon dioxide, NOT a shortage of oxygen. You still have plenty of oxygen in your blood so you can safely continue holding your breath a bit longer.
-We have listened to/read more books than normal (Some will likely lead to new habits that improve our lives).
-I have been able to improve my flossing technique and frequency.
-We get ample sleep. Since both of us have been sleep deprived for years, it is nice to feel rested for a change. Probably too rested.
-Our spending has been reduced. When you can’t do things, it’s fairly easy to save money.
-I have discovered and removed some toxic acquaintances on social media whose values are too opposed to my own to maintain a friendship (I’m sure I’m not done cleaning house yet).
-The pandemic and recurring closures emphasize the importance of getting out there and doing what you want, while you can. As history has proven, this will not be the last time that something happens that will prevent you from being able to do the things you want to do.
-Involuntarily, we learned that you can move anywhere for extended periods of time with just a large backpack.
-We know more about tea and appreciate it more because we drink a bunch of it (Black tea is our favorite type overall, but milk teas, “sweet and spicy”, and “bengal spice” herbal teas are magnificent).
What’s better… knitting or digital art? It’s a draw.
As mentioned, above, upgrading my digital art skills has been keeping me occupied. Since I purchased Procreate for my iPad, I have been learning to use the digital tools. Here are a few of the drawings from the last month (no tracing).
Live Long and Prosper…
Thanks to a friend of mine recommending a book called “Lifespan” by David Sinclair, I am looking at living a longer and healthier life from the cellular/genetic level. If I ever needed proof that he is a true friend, I just got it. In the book, Sinclair views ageing as a treatable and potentially curable disease (no, not leading to immortality). Sinclair is not one of the random nut-jobs broadcasting misinformation via YouTube or memes. He is an Australian biologist, genetics professor, and co-Director of a lab at Harvard. He supports his theories with piles of data from labs/tests around the world. I won’t spoil it for you, but it seems that humans are capable of slowing and even reversing the negative aspects of the ageing process. If you are reading this, I probably want you to live longer as well so here are some of the simple/nearly free actions that you can do now… eat vegetables, intermittent fast, do daily medium-high intensity exercise, frequent cold immersion, avoid red meat, and avoid smoking. You have likely heard that before, but now realize that they impact you at you gene level and can prevent/delay ageing’s many nasty ailments and keep you younger. There are a handful of additional potent actions, but they are more specific treatments/supplements that may require doctors, money, and effort. 60 years old may be the new 40 and people may typically live to 113 years old in the not too distant future (within 50 years). We may even be able to “reset” back to a much younger age. At the bare minimum, people will be healthy for more of their lives. Awesome. Good timing here because we definitely lost a year in 2020.
Similar to my freediving lessons, the day after Jyn paid for her sewing classes, the Covid cases spiked and prevented her from going to the classes. Sigh. On the bright side, she bought a sewing machine and some equipment to sew at home. Most days she seems to split her time between knitting and sewing. Since many of the afternoons are crafternoons, Jyn has compiled another impressive round of finished objects.
A Little Earie
Yes, I can hear you now! My ear seems to be fully recovered from the freediving injury. It was a little scary for the first 10 days though. My ear lost about 20% of its hearing ability, especially in the low and high frequencies. After taking a bunch of medicine, it finally seems to be better. During one of my followup appointments, I took a hearing test and made a funny mistake. The audiologist told me to repeat after him. Then, in English, he said “Thai language test” so I said “Thai language test”. That might have been a question because from that point on, he spoke Thai. I was repeating Thai words to confirm my ear was working. Apparently, I wanted more of a challenge. It’s a good thing he only used basic words that I was familiar with. In the end, my injured ear is back into the normal range and feels fine. The downside is that it may be more susceptible to diving injuries in the future. I will need to take precautions and be extra careful.
Crew 2 Launched!
SpaceX launched Crew Dragon 2!!! Sending people to the space station with parts that my friends and I designed simply does not get old. I watched the launch on the edge of my couch. If you contributed to designing and building the spacecrafts, watching the launches is not just a party. It does makes your heart race as you think about all of the thousands of things that must work properly to keep the astronauts safe. Another successful mission and I can get back to being in a pandemic in a country that I didn’t know I would live in. Phew.
It seems another month will be spent inside to avoid getting ourselves or anyone else sick. Boo! Can we get our friggin vaccinations already?! Thankfully, the cases are declining again. Maybe the next blog post will have a little more action in it. It’s not easy, but here’s some cheesy…