Over elmine

Making more impact on fewer people through storytelling.

Covid Confessions

Another month passed. More people got sick. More people died. More people got vaccinated.

And in my own life nothing much changed. Except perhaps for today. This is the first day since mid-December that both the Man and I can work a full day. After school care reopened this week. To celebrate this new step Daughter fell ill. She had a fever on Monday and slept most of the day. Yesterday she was back on her feet, fit enough for yet another corona test (number four), and this morning (it’s Wednesday when writing this) she was declared free of covid-19 and fit enough to go to school. And after school care afterwards. For the first time in four months I feel a little less guilty about taking 1,5 hours off during the middle of the day.

Writing that, I realize that the past year I constantly felt the need to be very time efficient. There’s only so much work you can do half-time. When Daughter finally got back to school, the Man and I still had to negotiate who would take care of her between 2PM, the time school ends, and 7PM, bedtime. Every hour not taking care of Daughter therefore had to be spent productively. I guess that is taking its toll, especially considering I normally reload through month long Summer holidays. We didn’t spent a month abroad last year and this year travel abroad during Summer is still very uncertain. It makes me long for Swiss mountains, or Copenhagen shopping sprees more than ever.

I currently go through the daily motions of work, learn, play, eat, sleep, repeat. I can’t say I feel excited about much right now. Next week cafes and restaurants are allowed to reopen their outdoor seating areas, but only between noon and 6PM. The idea of grabbing a beer and being surrounded by other people is very attractive. The reality is that the number of people getting infected every day is still high. Especially in the age group under 30. Guess who is most likely to serve me a beer at the cafe. That thought killed my enthusiasm rather quickly.

So far I’ve been able to keep covid-19 at bay and I’m doing my best to keep it that way. I’m not scared of dying, I’m scared of getting long-covid. In September I want to move at full speed again, not rehabilitate to be able to walk up the stairs in my home. Therefore I’ll just keep going through the unexciting motions. I’ve managed to do it so far. I’ll manage some months more until I get vaccinated.

Speaking of vaccinations, my father (79) received his second shot on April 16th, my mother (76) received her first shot on April 7th. Today’s guesstimate is 4,7 million jabs given to people (on 17,5 million inhabitants). Indeed, we’re still slow, though speed of vaccination is finally ramping up in this country. I can’t wait to get mine.

A family member of mine got reinfected two weeks ago (after first catching it last fall). Luckily his body took care of the virus just like any other virus, but it’s a good reminder to never assume you can’t carry the virus.

For now I keep calm and study on.

Door |2021-04-21T17:06:17+02:0021 april 2021|flow|0 Reacties

Sunday = cupcake day. At last!

A million years ago I visited Sweden and fell for adorable ‘bakformer’. Back in those days baking cupcakes wasn’t a thing in my country, so the standard cupcake paper was plain and white. The colours of these bakformar were therefore powered with festive potential. And then I barely baked cupcakes at home.

Somehow these bakformar survived the big move four years ago and ever since Daughter discovered them at the bottom of a drawer she asked me to bake cupcakes. As I said before, I barely bake cupcakes, but today I finally had some time to spend on mixing cake batter and discovering how to make butter cream. Daughter has been watching some TV episodes from a young woman that creates stuff, including cakes, and therefore she suggested to add raspberries to the cream. We didn’t have raspberries, but the Man did buy some strawberries yesterday, so we added that instead. I puréed two strawberries, which turned out to be too moist for mixing with the butter and sugar. After a bit of fiddling to reach the correct mix of strawberry moist, butter and sugar I succeeded. Months ago I already ordered some sprinkles from the supermarket, anticipating this moment. Therefore Daughter was able to add the finishing touch once the cupcakes were buttered by me.

Only for fans of really sweet cupcakes 😉

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Door |2021-04-18T19:43:04+02:0018 april 2021|deze dag|0 Reacties

I passed an exam

If my memory is correct the last exam I took was in 2004, when handing in my master thesis (on blogging and Habermas, when blogging was still new and shiny). That was an oral exam, for two of my professors. I really can’t remember the last paper-based exam I took before being allowed to hand in my master thesis. It probably was not a memorable subject or one of those mandatory statistical analysis exams. Since 2004, I never needed to sit an exam for anything. Not even for an assessment for hiring purposes, as I’ve been self-employed since finishing university.

Today I broke that examless streak.

The program at Techionista is thoroughly sponsored by Microsoft and therefore I’m learning all about Microsoft Azure. And to be able to learn that you don’t just read documentation, you increase your knowledge by practicing for an exam. Today I took my first exam, on the Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900 for insiders) and passed it with a proper score of 820 (700 needed to pass).

To avoid installing proctoring software on my computer I reserved a slot at the nearest test center. That happens to be in my home town and I learned later that it’s run by an institute that teaches IT skills to (young) people who are either on the autistic spectrum or highly gifted (many of whom can’t manage to fit into the standard school system and drop out without a degree). I noticed that the person who took me through the sign-in procedure made sure every rule in the procedure was followed in a kind manner, he properly guarded the silence in the hall next to the exam room, and as a bonus earplugs were available for all examinees. I’ll schedule my next two exams here as well.

Door |2021-04-12T12:28:54+02:0012 april 2021|datascience, flow|0 Reacties

Vrouwen blijven onzichtbaar

Het is natuurlijk absoluut simpel om te registreren of een deelnemer aan een klinische studie fysiologisch man of vrouw is. Als je dan een nieuw ontwikkeld vaccin mag testen op pandemische schaal zijn de getallen ook best snel statistisch significant. Hoe logisch is het dan om ook even een kolom m/v op te nemen in je database van gerapporteerde bijwerkingen? Ik dacht dat medische onderzoekers allemaal wel een kopie van Invisible Women op hun nachtkastje hebben liggen. Wat een naïeve gedachte van mij zeg.

[…] de vaccinmakers hebben het element ‘sekse’ goeddeels genegeerd in het vaccinonderzoek en de behandelmethoden van Covid-19. Zo had geen van de gepubliceerde klinische proeven van vijf coronavaccins de opgetreden bijwerkingen uitgesplitst naar sekse.

Hoe vrouwen vergeten werden in het Covid-19-onderzoek (bron: Trouw)
Door |2021-04-08T21:14:02+02:008 april 2021|datascience, vrouw|0 Reacties
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