Looking back over the last 18 months

Yesterday I received my second Covid-19 vaccination. In two weeks I should have sufficient immunity to allow me to venture out, carefully, and start seeing family and friends again, as well as pursuing activities from which I was barred for over a year.

At this time, it’s hard not to look back and take stock of the past 18 months of my life.

What a year and a half it has been! Most would call the last year one of the worst years in their lives, at an individual level, a national level, and worldwide.

There were very dark periods in my life, but also moments of great joy and promise for which I am very grateful.

Many have lost much more and suffered and continue to suffer much more than I. I know I am very fortunate.

So, here’s a synopsis of my last 18 months.

December, 2019

Was laid off from my job of nearly 7 years. At the time, the job market was strong, so I had little worry about landing on my feet. That changed dramatically after the pandemic hit.

I played my viola for a classmate’s mother who was sick and ailing. I played her mom’s favorite songs for about an hour and left. She passed away less than an hour later.

January, 2020

I performed with the Newport Symphony, which turned out to be the last concert for that group as the pandemic forced the cancellation of the rest of the concert season.

With fellow Newport Symphony violists Julie and Dana

February, 2020

I gave a talk at the Kennedy School about Japanese American Incarceration. My mother was supposed to speak and I was to assist, but she had to cancel last minute. So I handled it myself. Happily, mom gave my presentation a positive review. You can read about it and watch the video by clicking here.

March, 2020

Terribly missing my musical friends, I decided to make a video with musicians all over the country and the world. In the end, 26 musicians joined me to perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #3. As of this writing, it has been viewed over 7,600 times! Click here to read about it, see the video, and watch the blooper reel!

I continued to record and post musical videos with friends for the following several months.

You can see all the music videos by clicking here.

May, 2020

Started hosting online karaoke parties every two weeks. I’ve had people join from all over the country and from five foreign countries! News spread and I was interviewed by tv stations and podcasters about it.

Screenshot from a recent online karaoke party


I also created a how-to website for people who might want to host their own online karaoke parties.

World map showing all the people who have joined our online karaoke parties!

Last week I hosted my one year anniversary party. The parties continue on!

August, 2020

Began professional training in cybersecurity courtesy of the Federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program. I completed the last of 11 courses in March, 2021.

August, 2020

Hosted the first of several “Driveway Concerts” with friends, masked and physically distanced.

Driveway Concert with my dear and talented friends, Casey, Marya, Julie, and Barbara

September, 2020

The west coast suffered some of the worst wildfires in a century. Record high temperatures and high winds whipped up the fires and brought the worst air quality in the world to the west coast.

Air quality around the world on September 14, 2020

October, 2020

Was shocked and grieved to learn of the first Covid-19 death of someone I knew personally.

Dr. Shafiq Qazzaz

Dr. Qazzaz was a writer, intellectual, and politician. He wrote the first Kurdish-English dictionary. RIP.

I have had family members and friends get Covid-19, all who have recovered, some who suffered more severe symptoms, but none that were hospitalized.

November, 2020

Was offered and accepted a position in IT working for the City of Tigard. After a year of unemployment and no insurance during a deadly worldwide pandemic, this was a tremendous relief!

City of Tigard | Homepage

January, 2021

Attempted growing my own mushrooms. Was fun and they were delicious!

March, 2021

Joined an online vaccine-locator group. Helped over a dozen family members, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances find and secure vaccine appointments. Received my own vaccinations in April and May.

April, 2021

Gave a podcast interview about my family’s WWII experience being incarcerated for 3 years without charge or sentence.

Made the first trip longer than a day in over a year, driving to Nevada and Wyoming to fly fish. I caught some beautiful fish on that trip!

During the trip I also visited Minidoka, one of the ten Japanese American incarceration locations.

I am grateful to be vaccinated and for what I have. I know so many who have lost much more and still are struggling.

Please be safe, and be kind and patient with yourself and with others.

1 thought on “Looking back over the last 18 months

  1. Pingback: Cessation of Isolation Thanks To Vaccination | Blatant Calm

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