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The thing about living in a global pandemic that has now stretched into three different years is that we aren’t quite sure what we can look forward to. There was a brief time in the early summer where it looked like this thing would be over soon. Then came two major variants and many of our friends and neighbors getting sick.

This time last year I was between doses for the COVID-19 vaccine. I had a lot of optimism those would change the trajectory of the entire pandemic, perhaps even beating it back to isolated pockets here and there. That didn’t happen, and it’s largely a failure of both public health policy … and the public. I’ll likely be a bit jaded about that second part for a while.

Much like 2020, little in 2021 went as expected or even as hoped. I am still incredibly fortunate. We have stayed relatively health (with a few bumps along the way). Our jobs are stable, and I’ve kept busy with volunteer work. The year that was shot right down the middle in most cases. Not bad enough to be loathed, not not good enough to be loved.

  • Came back from my much-delayed annual physical to see the US Capitol overrun.
  • Marked four years at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
  • Got my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
  • Continued to do 95 percent of my socializing via Zoom.
  • Celebrated a child’s first birthday with cake she had zero interest in eating.
  • Celebrated a dog’s fourth birthday with him eating everything you put in front of him.
  • Got a lot more sleep as a new parent than in prior years, but still started staying up too late most nights to negate that.
  • Managed to get one squirrel out of the attic before sealing it up, resulting in a very unfortunate situation for the one that didn’t escape. 😔
  • Went to a restaurant for the first time in more than year as cases counts hit their lowest point.
  • Took one flight to Denver to attend my third SigEp Conclave right as case counts started climb again.
  • Spent a few nights at the children’s hospital as precautionary measure.
  • Went back to the office for the first time since the pandemic began to throw away a lot of expired snacks.
  • Took a lot of walks around the neighborhood.
  • Got my third dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
  • Played a lot of “Among Us” and Mario Kart Tour (again).
  • Appointed to serve as a District Governor for SigEp, supporting six chapters and their volunteers.
  • Said goodbye to Flying Saucer Nashville, the scene of many a 2-3 beer lunches in the bygone days of working at a tech startup (c. 2013).
  • Left one job for another one at VUMC to work with a different tech stack and problem set.
  • Rang in the new year from home with Samantha with sparkling apple juice, with both the dog and baby asleep for now.