Coronavirus – Day #8

Today I got a message through the door from some people down the street. They are looking to put together a little community support group. I gather this sort of thing is happening all over the country, which is heartwarming. Unfortunately I’m not much use in such things. Firstly, as I may have the virus, I should not be socialising. And second, my first thought on seeing it was that if I got to know the rest of the people in the street then pretty soon they’d all know that I was trans and I’d have to find somewhere new to live.

I’m continuing to get “helpful” messages from all sorts of corporations. I use scare quotes because today I got messages from two different delivery companies. Both said they were introducing new procedures to avoid contact and that I should go to their website to enter my preferences. In both cases the website is not set up to enable you to do that.

As the day job hasn’t been chasing me today, I’ve been able to spend another day on Wizard’s Tower work. I’ve done most of the work on layouts for the new Tate Hallaway book, Unjust Cause, so that will be coming your way some time in April.

I have also been doing some testing with Zoom. Going into Bristol for a radio show is not a good idea, so I’m hoping to do some interviews remotely and put together a pre-record show. The plan for the April 1st show is to talk to a bunch of people from different countries around the world about how people are dealing with the pandemic where they live. So if you have always wanted to be on the show, this is your chance. Let me know.

Today’s cooking was proper store-cupboard stuff. Tuna, tomatoes, and some spices makes a great pasta sauce. Serve with conchiglie, obiously.

6 thoughts on “Coronavirus – Day #8

  1. I did my first Zoom meeting today and it worked really well. I have recently reconnected with some friends from university who I haven’t seen in the flesh since (probably) 1972. One lives in Canada, one in the UK and I’m in New Zealand, of course. We’ve had a couple of two way chats and this morning all three of us managed to coincide and we had an hour long meeting. It worked flawlessly.

    My only previous experience with this kind of thing is Skype, which is rubbish and very buggy (at least it is on Linux). But Zoom “just worked”. It’s platform agnostic — Linux, Windows, MacOs, Android — it doesn’t seem to care. So I think you’ll find it meets your requirements.

    Hope that helps…


    1. I’ve been using Zoom as a participant in meetings for ages. SFSFC uses it for board meetings, and the Women’s Equality Party uses it for all of their online meetings.

      And you are right, it “just works”, unlike Skype which is a new nightmare every time you use it.

  2. I’m assuming you already know this, and have weighed pros and cons, but just in case: Zoom has very serious privacy issues. The worst was when their app installed what IMO counts as malware: a server on your computer whose sole mission was to install new software without letting the user know – let alone asking for permission – that was left behind even if you removed the application. They removed this (after they got caught), but the current software also has some very worrisome features such as covert attention tracking and reporting, and allowing the admin to download chat messages, possibly even private ones (unconfirmed) afterwards.

    1. Yeah, I’d heard about it. The malware stuff was worrying, but I don’t think the privacy stuff is too much of an issue for me recording interviews with friends.

      Where it may get more serious is if we (meaning Diversity Trust) start doing training courses via Zoom. People need to know that they are free to ask questions, and may not do if they think that all questions are recorded.

      It is also a potential issue for online conventions, of course.

  3. I just have to say it really, really sucks that you have to take the risk of having to move into account when considering if you can participate in local support groups.
    I am so sorry that’s the world we still live in.

    1. That’s the UK for you, I’m afraid. It is noticeable that there has hardly been any let-up in the anti-trans campaign on social media as a result of the crisis. That tells you that most of the people involved are quite wealthy, or are retired.

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