Andy celebrated his birthday on March 22!

I turned 60 on March 22nd. The big party my wife planned was cancelled. I spent my birthday totally alone because my wife is working in California for Roche Diagnostics; her company made one of the tests that they are using to detect the virus. She said they are pumping out over 10 million tests a month but that is not going to be enough. Fortunately, other companies are making tests kits too. My daughter is staying with a friend because I am high risk and she just got off a cruise ship when our country came to screeching halt. Thanks to FaceTime and Zoom, I do chat with my wife and daughter often.

I have acquired V Tach from scar tissue from heart surgeries I had in the ‘60s and ‘70s. So how has COVID-19 impacted my life? Well, as a scientist I find this to be a fascinating virus and I’m very impressed by how much we know about this virus considering it was only first detected in late December 2019 (hence the “19” in its name; not because this is the 19th virus). Like everyone else, I am stuck at home trying to make the most of it. I am very extroverted so I am on FaceTime and Zoom almost every day chatting with co-workers, colleagues, friends, and family. This is a great time to reconnect with old friends from college and high school and even some cousins who I had lost touch with.

I decided to stay positive through this whole viral crisis and look at it as a rare opportunity to do things I have never had time to do. I am cooking up a storm every day. I picked up an interest I have had for most of my adult life but never had the time to learn: watercoloring. I am even getting FaceTime lessons from an artist friend in New York City. I am also writing some research papers from my job and that is keeping me busy. So my bit of advice: start a new hobby or pursue an old one, take an online class and learn something new, and reconnect with old friends. My goal is to get so involved with all my “at home” projects that when this whole thing ends, I’ll be disappointed that I have to go back to work. Please make the most of a bad situation. The SADS Foundation has lots of online activities and chats and I have enjoyed those. They are informative and it is just nice to see some familiar faces.

If you are “essential”, I’d like to thank you for what you do. I am so appreciative of all those medical folks still working to help those that are sick. And thanks to those that are delivering food and packages, and stocking the grocery stores. I have been able to stay at home and not take any risks and for that I am very thankful.

We will all get through this. Please stay home if you can. Trust the scientists.