Pandemic Diary Day #3, April 29

COVID: Feeling stressed, turns out our governor’s stay at home order expires tomorrow, and who knows if he’ll extend it. He’s started opening businesses without decreasing cases or public health infrastructure. Needs clarity on plan, not just uncertainty on decision making. Didn’t read much about China on media today, which decreased blood pressure whew. Thinking about nursing homes – a friend working with a group on calling and checking in on every nursing home. thought about op-ed for week, having too many things to work on, getting some project thrashing.

Research: Finishing blender to a usable state, restarting work on paper (hitting June 30th critical for quals), filed a grumpy status report on the review form for CS prof meeting, eek missed some slack messages from prof!! Threads don’t notify my phone, only DMs? Rolling eyes a bit at “pen reset” problem – someone should just do it, it’s fun but no reallll need to keep talking about it every lab meeting and brainstorm for 30 minutes.

Started: List of things to apply to for $$$

Surprised to hear on lab call my latest documentation project (using AR tag in openCV pythons) was helpful —

Talked with two friends as part of crazy cat lady club I guess (we all had our cats 0:) – cat did eventually even jump a full foot off the ground! Cat no longer waiting for me to leave room before jumping on dresser to get food — guess it was just a well-mannered caught taught not to jump on human things, not a lazy one. Hope didn’t do too poorly in undoing that. Concern due to appearance of new patch of missing fur. Need to clip nails. Read a few stories about chonkers… cinderblock 0: (joined instagram to not spam friends with cat pics) and some rollercoasters, and the real rollercoaster, (down 7 lbs, then pancreatitis, regained weight, now losing again, over 5 year span . Spent a few hours, got over concern that cat was going to die tomorrow of liver disease because it didn’t manage to eat the calories I left in the more difficult puzzles. Back to 4x a day wet food diet – clean bowl right after to teach to eat everything. Cat expressed less interest in going outside room, got scared maybe

New Yorker: All crossword puzzles, just click “partner mode” and get link to share.

(Jitsi – open source, can add default backgrounds e.g. murals?)

Links read: mostly interest still around contact tracing, learned about R0 vs Reff, CFR vs IFR clarification. Wanted to show time to isolation goals and impact. Didn’t quite find anything (pueyo post was very handwavey compared to previous).

Started: Green beans for bean sprouts to eat. Soaked soy beans for milking tomorrow


Pandemic Diary #2, 28 April 2020


On the schedule today: water roses with fertilizer (weekly chore)

Probably exercise cat while in lecture?

Current concerns: will my parents have to go back to work thanks to Governor Kemp? Will Kemp and Trump be reelected in November? Will the public start hating China? I hear the refrain “do you believe China’s numbers” several times now. I feel so stressed about this becoming a mainstream narrative. Ironic looking back – us ogling at the potential of mass graves being dug in Iran, same happening in NYC. Feel a lot of anger that people think China didn’t take decisive action in shutting down their economy and don’t recognize that they shut down provinces (entire states) with less than a hundred known cases. That the virus hit there first so they had way less time to develop and manufacture tests. Lack of empathy and some mindset stuck in the 80s of China as a backwards totalitarian poor country with mindless citizens. Lack of a commonality of being in this together — city governments around the world doing their best. Interesting conversation yesterday with parents about the relative meritocracy of the current Chinese government. Have to work way up from village to city to province level, demonstrating skill at handling public responsibilities; there’s nothing like Trump coming in with no track record of competence and becoming the President. Why is the trust in government so high despite the lack of “elected representatives”? Still, lack of term limits makes me uncomfortable. Comparison to Mao era, when it really was “one person” at the top, and so unlike in our system where it takes a while to get things done but things tend to correct themselves, in more unified government if things go off the rails they go really far. But China is not so “one-man” now — it’s ruled by a group of people. I think a lot of Chinese sentiment in the West has not caught up in reality — I remember in secondary school, a teacher asking me if there were TVs in China. Reflection that a lot of younger Chinese have not witnessed the crazy transition in last 20-30 years of China into an advanced nation. Western media narrative as draconion and things only authoritarian governments can do, Chinese measures. That implies Chinese government was not transparent and enforced measures. But actually collectively we could do the same measures — lockdown was inconceivable two months ago but we “Western nations” did it! And Chinese governmental officials actually understand crisis communication and the need to be communicative and transparent. The idea of “individuals staying apart in hotels from family” without recognizing that in China the hotels and shelters are funded by the government, and that in people in China had the same worries of infecting their families. Just a lot of blaming China instead of being the world united in fighting a common enemy. Depressing.

Activist concerns: Supply supporting research and come up with modelling desire for supporting contact tracing and mask wearing cause. Maybe just a back of envelope calculation (dropping days to full contact tracing vs R0 vs infection). Op-ed (get to zero cases, potentially before reopening).

Cat worries: Have been getting it to jump up for food. Worry that maybe it was taught well to not jump on chairs / tables, which is a good habit, and we’re breaking that. Need to build cat tower instead potentially to get cat to exercise. Worried about liver disease from dropping calories too fast — proper amount fed, but all in puzzles. Kind of like measured free feeding — I was assuming she would get them all — does her lack of dedication mean she’s satiated and self regulating properly, or that she’s given up? Should probably get a baby scale — ethics of doing so — could I engineer one from stuff at home instead? Check for any fur loss – do I need to clip nails and how? Seen her start scratching with her rear legs again. Releasing her out of quarantine room – concerned about her escaping downstairs and then out the door somehow. Want to put collar on her (fitbit, which can also emit noise for finding her, and also tag in case she escapes outside) but concerned about the patch loss. Should put on calendar scheduled weighings and FeLV vaccine. Should’ve considered asking for bloodwork to make sure not hyperthyroidism?

Research worries: Quals. June 30th deadline my best chance at getting a good track record and passing quals. Better get on it. I’m doing some support work for other people, but worried the professor doesn’t hear about it – I should bring it up at group meeting – and also doesn’t contribute to my own research. Need to come up with thesis research topic – still interested in Halloween candy demo; how to get there? What are the key questions (palm sensors?)

Class worries: Still behind on homeworks and need to do final project. Likely should ask for incomplete…

Cooking: Should help out more / look for specific recipes to make.

Pandemic diary, 27 April 2020

I’ll hopefully revise this into a more thorough post later.

(whoops, was going to document all my activist work, what it was like trying to figure out how to move the needle politically, made a list of worries instead)

One thing I’d been hoping to do was keep a daily journal of my life during this pandemic. That unfortunately hasn’t happened, but I think I’ll try to start now.

“Luxury” activities:

  • Going to remove the black spot leaves from roses today, then spray them down with pesticide
  • Planted some green onions yesterday, as well as chives, and that one onion that sprouted in my garage. Water them
  • Do some weeding, the flower garden is overrun
  • Continue coddling new cat
  • Move up the ping pong table from the basement

COVID worries:

  • What if my cat comes down with the virus from the vet, and then I catch it, and I won’t know for a week?
  • I keep worrying about whether I’m feeding the cat too little and it’ll develop liver disease, while wondering if I’m feeding too much because the amounts are small enough that a few extra kibbles make a significant difference
  • Will making it jump for using the litter box and getting food (for exercise) hurt its joints
  • When will I be able to go back to Boston? Do I need to find someone to sublet for the summer? It feels like my life plan is losing another year, when I already lost one to being very sick a few years back
  • What if my cat’s dental problems are why it’s always leaving a few scraps of wet food, which are annoying to clean in the upstairs sink? I have 20  cans of this kind (large chunks), and I don’t think I should buy 20 more cans to get pate. Maybe I should donate my original cans, but then I’d have to order online which seems unethical when I have enough
  • I’ve decided it’s unethical to buy online a $15 xiaomi band to track how active my cat is being lol

Non-academic Todo list:

  • Write op-ed about the ridiculousness of opening up Georgia “flying blind” – without testing and contact tracing; the goal to contact trace within 48 hours and test all contacts
  • Write op-ed about hating on China and what it’s like to be a Chinese American trying to get Georgians to take this seriously, and having to make sure to state that I’m “born and raised Georgian”
  • Make PPE?
  • Background reading on modelling interventions? (Nah, let’s wait until meeting tomorrow)
  • Figure out what to make for mother’s day!
  • Go back to watching / reading something Chinese every day to improve my Chinese
  • Make some Cake / Chinese pastries
  • Make orange fried cauliflower
  • Learn some Chinese dishes
  • Build a cat tower??
  • Build the basement??
  • Set up lasercutter and manufacture PPE??

Academic list:

  • Read up more on cosine, poison FFT
  • HW1-3
  • Final Project
  • ROS package
  • Blender
  • Existing code – run and underrstand


  • Onions should be in full sun
  • Articles read
    • Provincial
    • Taiwan
    • NPI
    • More people still re-spreading sulfur rumors debunked two months ago!
    • welp
    • Because I can read / listen to Chinese, interesting to see the omissions and (well complete fabrication, hopefully mishap in editing process). Western bias is a thing  – COVID-19 in China, South-Korea, Taiwan and Japan | DW Documentary – YouTube


  • Chinese DJ Remix 2017
  • L+R Wang Lu & Yu Miao | Boiler Room Beijing