English LingQ 2.0 Podcast #12, One Year Anniversary of the COVID-19 Pandemic Pt. 1

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One year into the COVID-19 pandemic and Mark and Elle chat about how life has changed, what they miss and how the world may look when it’s over.

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Elle: Hello everyone.

I am here with Mark Kaufmann for today’s episode.


How are you doing on?

Mark: Great. Thanks.

Can’t complain.

Sun’s shining.

Elle: Yeah.

For once.

Here in Vancouver, for those of you who don’t know, that’s where we’re based.

It’s uh, It’s a rainforest we live in, so it’s pretty wet all the time, but, so, yeah, it’s nice to see the sun for sure.

Uh, I thought it might be interesting to talk about the pandemic.

Different angle though, because it’s been a year now since we’ve been in this situation.

So I thought it would be interesting to catch up, uh, and see first off how you’re doing, what’s changed in your life.

Um, So, yeah.

How are you doing?

Mark: I’m doing well.

I think as I look at myself in the video here, I realize that I probably don’t get my hair cut quite as much, or as often as I should, should be doing.

But, uh, yeah, it’s amazing that it’s, it’s been a year.

I don’t know why I didn’t, I, that surprises me in a way.

It doesn’t really feel like it’s been a year, but I guess it really, it has, cause it was I guess over a year ago that we stopped going into the office.

And, um, yeah.

Uh, yeah, I mean, I guess now we kind of hope that the end is in sight.

There’s some light at the end of the tunnel.

Hopefully the vaccines arrived before too long for us.

I think, um, elsewhere in the world, obviously they seem to be having a significant impact.

Elle: Yep. Yep.

Has Steve been vaccinated yet?

Actually, I haven’t asked Steve.

Mark: No, I think it’s pretty slow going here.

And, uh, they basically, um, I think 85 plus maybe are allowed to make appointments now for sort of vaccination maybe a week from now.

I think that’s the sort of where they are.

Uh, so realistically, Steve, uh, I think it’s, I think he’s hoping some mid-April ish.

Elle: Okay. Okay.

So next month, hopefully.

And then for people like us, who knows, I guess.

Younger, not immuno-compromised, hopefully… soon.

Mark: Well, they’re saying because here, because they’re saying they’re um going to split the doses.

Like not require two doses or at least allow four months time between doses that, uh, I think June or July by the end of July, everybody should have one dose, I think is what they’re saying.

We’ll see.

Elle: Okay. Okay.

And so you’re going into the office sometimes.

Mark: Every once in a while, but really very infrequently, you know, once every couple of weeks for a few hours.

Elle: I miss it.

Mark: Yeah.

Elle: Yeah.


Yeah, I do miss it.

I mean, for us, a lot of our team are, um, remote anyway.

So for a lot of them, this is how they interact anyway, just through Zoom calls, Skype calls.

But for those of us who are based in the office, yeah, I know everyone’s missing, you know, the impromptu chats and meetings and just having someone to talk to in the workday, you know.

Mark: And, and, and somewhere to go, someone to go, like, if you ask me the biggest difference… like the actual work we do, I think because we always had so many remote people and obviously we’re all remote now, uh, we have systems and means of communication that we use.

And, um, most of our time is spent on those using those, uh, systems.

And it’s not that different, the actual work, but obviously in the office, we, we see each other, we interact socialy,

we have somewhere to go.

You know right now, um, you kinda wake up, you start working and before you know it it’s three in the afternoon and you haven’t left the house.

You haven’t been outside.

You haven’t… uh, at which point you’re like, I got to get outside, I gotta find something to do.

Elle: I find that too.

I haven’t seen the sun, especially because here we often just don’t see the sun anyway

even if you’re outside for weeks on end, I need some vitamin D sorry, looking very pasty, but spring is coming at least.

So that’s good.

Mark: Yeah.

That’s the biggest thing.

I think it’s, it’s probably learning that you have to figure out a different way of, of, uh, planning your day.

Like yeah, go out.

First of all, when it gets dark at four, you don’t want to wait until, you know, four or five if we’re going to do something go earlier when it’s daylight.

Um, otherwise, yeah.

Kind of miss it.

Now it’s… it’s between well today we changed our clocks backward or forward or whatever, whichever way it is so that, uh, it’s…

Elle: Spring forward.

Mark: Spring forward. Okay.

Um, so now it’s, it’s obviously lighter later.

Uh that’s nice, but I guess those are, that’s the biggest thing.

I think obviously we’ll see.

Well, how, what happens with the office?

I think they’re, they’re predicting a lot of people will either not go back or we’ll go back on a more, uh, eratic or not eratic, but a less like, um, consistent basis, maybe part-time or they’re thinking you know, half the people would come one day, half the people another, those companies that have large space requirements, I think.

And therefore they can reduce their requirement if people aren’t in full time all the time.

So it will be interesting to see what, how much of this… I was looking at our article today talking about how education, this has really spurred education to, to go more online and, and, uh, um, you know, advance a bit with the times because I think education has very much been a laggard in terms of, uh, adapting to technology, at least formalized education and, and suggesting then you know that some of these things will,

will now become more available.

Like, uh, ability to learn online.

And, um, you know, some, some, even some classes online, they talked about how potential to, if, you know, if some students are interested in learning, their example was Portuguese, they could have one Portuguese teacher for the district and therefore they can offer it.

Maybe just that online versus, you know, previously were the only classes they offered were those within their, their building.

So anyway, it’s, it’s interesting.

It will be interesting to see in all areas, how much, how much, I guess, change there, there ends up being and how much sort of people will just go back to the way it was before.

Elle: I wonder.

I feel like in a lot of cases, it’s just going to be, there’ll be a time where things are a little different and then we’ll just kind of drift into the way things were.

I don’t know.

We’ll see.

But some things have, have to stay different, I think.

Um, but yeah.


I kind of feel like a lot of stuff will go back to the way it was before.

Like it just isn’t long enough for, to significantly change those patterns.

But there, there, there will be some change.

There’s no question like um, you know, some of the things I think in health, like the tele, tele-health like, why was that not available before?

Mark: Yeah, for sure.

That’s been great.


A lot of, a lot of appointments can just be over the phone.

There’s no way to go anywhere.


So it just, yeah.

It makes everything a lot easier.


I feel like socially, we will stay different, uh, in terms of, you know, there’s like a shared anxiety that we have now about touching anything, touching each other, touching our faces, you know?

Um, so I, I think that’s a positive.

I think maybe people will just be less gross, wash their hands more and if they’re sick, stay home because no one else, you know, everyone else wants to stay healthy.

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