Half-Year Letter – A Bittersweet Year (2021)

Good morning all! What a wild and crazy few months it’s been in 2021. It’s crazy to think that the year is already halfway over. That said, it has been a very bittersweet year.

It has been quite some time that I’ve posted here or my technical blog (https://gtfkd.com). In short, the last few months have been very trying; loss of family and tragic loss of a puppy. Sure, a puppy can’t necessarily equate to that of a human/person, however, their impact can still be great. Aside from loss, I have been graced with the presence of a new nephew. I cannot be thankful enough that he is healthy with no complications.

In March/April, I received both doses of the Pfizer mRNA SARS-CoV2 vaccine. My side effects were quite minimal. I only noted fatigue, slightly elevated temperature, and minor lymph node tenderness near the injection area. This all subsided within 22-23 hours after receiving the vaccine. As someone that cannot receive live vaccines due to an autoimmune condition, I was happy that my condition was not triggered with the mRNA vaccine; a huge deal in my opinion. Hopefully, many others with similar autoimmune conditions had no reactions and we can keep receiving mRNA vaccines going forward.

As with many others, I’ve also been focusing on my own physical health. Specifically, I’ve taken up running and have been enjoying seeing my own progress. When initiating this running process, I could barely run at 5 miles per hour (~8km/h). Even then, it wasn’t for long and my mile time was well past 15 minutes. Over that past few months now, I am now capable of a mile in about 8 minutes 45 seconds and consistently under 10 minutes. This isn’t “amazing”, however, it’s for me and not anyone else :).

I’ve also recently purchased a new vehicle for track racing….while typing this, I realized that I seem to be having a mid-life crisis :P. Rather than having a mid-life crisis, the SARS-CoV2 pandemic, life events, and everything else has triggered quite an interesting psychological phenomenon of yearning to “do things” and “see things”. It’s interesting to me that, as a slight introvert, how much I miss life and being.

I look forward to seeing some of you again at conferences, meet ups, and just hanging out. Until then, be well and stay healthy out there!