Chat From a Quarantined Software Engineer – Welfare Check!

This is a welfare check on you. Please leave a comment on how you are faring, what is happening in your situation with the lock-down.

Are you quarantined? Working from home? Did you lose your job? How are you doing during this crazy time?

What is going on with you during this challenging situation?

I talk about what I’m doing, too.  I’m quarantined at home.  I can work from home, as I am a senior software engineer.  I can do my job by remote access to a virtual workstation, through a secure VPN connection.  I’m blessed that I still can work during this lock-down.

But, I have a medical emergency – a dental problem – and trying to be seen by a dentist is difficult, because all of the local dentists were told to shut down their daily business and quarantine.  Only emergency appointments are being made!  I was finally, after two days of phone calls, able to schedule an emergency visit to my dentist!

I want to know: How do you use amateur radio, now that we are all stuck at home?  Are you using ham radio more, now?  Less?

Please leave a comment to let me know how you are doing, and answer the other questions, too.  I hope to hear from you.

I hope to meet you on the shortwave amateur radio bands.  I am usually using Olivia, or Morse code CW.  More information about Olivia:

Be healthy, be safe, stay sane!


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14 Responses to “Chat From a Quarantined Software Engineer – Welfare Check!”

  • Howard AC4FS:

    I am a middleware systems engineer for a large American bank. I’ve been working from home since the last week of February. My wife (AE4YL) and I are doing well, although we do miss being able to go out on my off weekends. Amateur Radio use is about the same, we check in to a couple of HF nets per day, and use the 2 meter radio in the office as needed.

    Btw, I’ve also got a dental problem… an old filling came out in one of my upper rear molars just before the lockdown started, and it is now starting to hurt. I don’t know how long I can hold out, before I try the old string and doorknob trick HI HI.

    73, Howard

  • AC6PC Mike:

    Thanks for asking! I’m good! DX’ing during the day when the propagation is good on 20 meters, catching up on HF nets at night. Started doing a little FT8. I’m working on improving my CW above 10WPM and testing my antennas. Cleaning up the shack and blowing out dust from the equipment. Spring cleaning, I guess. I’m retired, so I have more time than most and I take advantage of the time at home to either help my wife around the house, or I’m out at the shack puttering around and monitoring the nets…

  • George KD0DQR:

    We are all fine here in Colorado. My wife is working from home with an occasional short trip to her office after hours to maintain separation. We have our granddaughter with us and she’s doing the online learning thing while school is closed.
    I haven’t done much with amateur radio during this time since my station is co-located with my wife’s computer. Shopping can be a pain with stores restricting returns and all. (We bought too many vegetable seeds for the garden and we can’t return the unused packets.)
    Life goes on albeit a little lonelier because we can’t do eyeball QSOs with friends and family and phone calls only go so far.
    73 to all,
    George / KD0DQR

  • George Fisher w0xs:

    I have had trigeminal neuralgia for 9 years, a very painful nerve condition which causes quite awful pain in and around my right eye, right side of my face and top of my head.

    Talking is painful (as is eating and drinking) so I’ve been using FT8 but someone cut down my G5RV again so now I just watch Youtube videos about ham radio. I have a IC-7300 and would love to get another surgery that would reduce the pain so I could enjoy chasing DX on SSB!

    I’ve been homebound for a long time so the quarantine has caused no change for me except for getting dental care.

  • Steve Mitchell, KC0TJK:

    We are doing fine, busy, but fine. I am a paramedic working full time for 2 ambulance services in a rural area to ensure the citizens gave ALS care. On the plus side, the commute is great with only a few cars! It is harder on the XYL, she is a charge nurse in an Alzheimer’s unit at a local nursing home that has been on lockdown since news of the deaths in Washington state nursing homes. The daughter is a hospital it’s in a Kansas City hospital and is in the thick of it. I am extremely proud of both of them.

    Everyone be safe!

  • Craig - N7LB:

    My wife (W7WBE) and I are both fine. Arizona hasn’t gone off the deep end (regulation wise) quite as harshly as many other states, but we have many stores closed, extremely limited availability on many items, and nearly all public venues closed. I’m afraid far too many companies may never return due to some of the political decisions resulting from Covid-19.

    Still can’t figure out why there was no media led panic 10 years ago from the H1N1 virus that the CDC claims caused approximately 60.8 million cases (range: 43.3-89.3 million), 274,304 hospitalizations (range: 195,086-402,719), and 12,469 deaths (range: 8868-18,306) that occurred in the United States due to the H1N1 pandemic. Source:

    Meanwhile, we all do what we can and practice social distancing while trying to stay busy (or stay in business). As for me, back to programming some more radios for various customers all over the U.S. and Canada. After that, back to working on the company website and then starting all over again tomorrow.


    Craig – N7LB
    RF Gear 2 Go

  • Duane Cook, NL7X:

    Great to meet u. I’m a retired Data Comm Engr here in Fairbanks, AK. I’m in the Pioneer Home here, on lockdown. NE resident, nr Omaha thru high school. Hope to be bk on air this spring. SWLer since abt 1954. First licensed in 1959. Enjoy CW also. Will check out Olivia. Also lv the Navy knobs. Iambic key is HAMCO Trinidad. Enjoy your columns. 73 et be safe. de NL7X

  • Bud AD5SK:

    I’m retired, and am not quarantined, here in Central Texas. I check in, or call nets each night from Monday through Thursday, plus have daily QSOs with fellow hams in the area. Gas is cheap, but there are not many places you can go.

  • K8WPE:

    I am a retired family doctor (old time GP they used to call us), 75 years old, confined with the same woman for 47 years now. Her nick name is “Sarge” (old nurses everywhere get that name I think, but my son, a Lt Commander in the Navy still salutes her). We came back from Florida early at the kids insistence so we could suffer in the north with them (but they don’t want to see us or have us “contaminate” them or the grand kids). We have raked the lawn, cleaned the flower beds, been to the grocery store every two weeks and to our small Post Office to send off some QRP ham gear I am selling. We see our neighbors at a distance and have learned how to do Zoom meetings with the relatives and even have radio club meetings with show and tell on Zoom. This morning our radio coffee klatch will meet at 9:00 AM on Zoom too.

    As far as disease prevention we wear masks when out in public and keep a Lysol Handiwipe in our hand to open doors, wipe off shopping carts, and the credit card machine at the gas station. We have toilet paper and paper towels here.

    As far as ham radio I tinker in the shack cleaning out cupboards and finding things to sell. Been collecting since 1960 and the kids don’t know what most of the stuff is.

    Medically we are fine, keeping in touch with our family doctor via Zoom and Healow. Dentist visits are rescheduled until May.

    Lost one friend from church due to Covid and have no clue as to exposure as she was a shut in and her husband had been cautious since February and is Covid negative.

    Friends and family have their take on the politics of this situation and it is interesting to listen to them. I am waiting for the history books to be written as I have already read books on the London 1850 cholera epidemic and the 1918 flu and find too many folks not listening or obeying even the simple rules for contagion prevention.

    We are Blessed with a capital B and are learning every day to get by and help those around us when we can. Did Drive 30 miles yesterday to take meals to shut in friends.

    God Bless everyone and keep looking up. This too will pass.

    Dave K8WPE since 1960

  • Colin GM4JPZ:

    I am semi-retired (aged 73) and my wife is a primary school teacher who is working on a reduced schedule since the lockdown. We are fortunate to have a large garden at the front of the house and also at the back (backyard in the US I guess), so we have lots to do trimming trees/bushes, cutting and scarifying the grass, clearing the driveway of weeds, and sitting watching the birds while we drink coffee and sort the world’s problems by yakking together. We’ve also painted the upstairs rooms in the house.

    We are allowed to exercise outside once a day and usually walk about 2 or 3 miles while keeping a road’s distance between us and anyone we pass. The vast majority of people are voluntarily sticking to the guidelines on social distancing and people are invariably friendly when we cross the road to avoid each other! I do the family shopping once a week on Monday mornings from 8 till 9 when our local supermarket has a preferred hour for the ‘elderly’ (over 70), so the shop is quiet and people are all careful to stay well apart (the new politeness).

    All in all, we are fine, I enjoy 40m and 80m CW in the evenings after my HF beam fell a while ago, and we consider ourselves blessed to have our health, food to eat, and room to breathe. Stay safe and 73!

  • Larry VE7VJ:

    Good to be keeping busy.

    We are Ok here on the island. Have had some medical treatments postponed due to this but we’ll survive. I’ve also managed to crack a tooth so right in there with you. Called the dentist and they are only seeing serious cases. They took a description and gave me some symptoms to watch for and call back if need be. I have an appointment as soon as this is over.

    I have to say that I do not understand the conspiracy theorists and nay-sayers in all this. Never will. I worked in wildland fires for most of my life. Have had my fill of armchair ‘experts’.

    I’ve been on the air quite a bit more. The local VHF/UHF activity has certainly picked up. There are several new nets, including 6M SSB, and the local club has a Covid-19 update net at 19:00hrs daily. Good practice for relaying and collecting information.

    We are fortunate in that we live in the country and back on to a provincial park. Can be outside puttering all day if I’ve a mind to.

    Take care all – 73

  • Don Kemp, NN8B:

    Working from home and running a LOT of FT8 and loving it. Been using the HF rig at the EMA I work at as a remote station. Only going out to get food at the local Giant Eagle where I drive up and they load it into my trunk. Getting all pet supplies and other stuff by UPS, FedEx or Amazon.

    I am looking for this to continue for at least 6 more months or until a vaccine is ready.

    73, Don, NN8B

  • Timothy Lindstrom, ab0ts:

    Social Distancing is too short… Motorcycle Social Distancing.. now there is a subject that all Motorcyclists have been doing for decades… It just was a wave as we pass each other!
    I had retired to spend more time on the motorcycle or playing with amateur radio. I used to have the Icom 706mkii radio on 3 of my BMW motorcycles. The radio, however had to be repaired due to vibration… sure was fun though to call into a rag chew “motorcycle Mobile!” Dead silence… Screwdriver antenna on the back, head set and mic in helmet.
    I have added at least 1000 miles on my 2 BMW motorcycles. Out in the fresh air and distant from all people… I do enjoy reading the News from Amateur Radio!

    73, Tim, ab0ts

  • Dan KC3NUL:

    Thanks for the welfare check!

    I’ve been on the air a lot lately. Mostly checking in on the local VHF/UHF nets. I’m currently a Technician looking to upgrade to General once this storm blows over, so I’m using some of my spare time to study up. I’m blessed with the ability to work remotely so I’m lucky to still be employed full-time.

    Hoping we can return to some semblance of “normal” life soon. Being cooped up at home isn’t much fun!



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