My world is shrinking

Looking at my location history made me realize how close to home I stay. I’ve gone from regular travel, to infrequent local trips, to practically none, and I’m starting to feel the strain of being stuck in one place.

I use an Android phone (I highly recommend my OnePlus 7T) and have enabled Google Location History. This keeps track of my phone’s GPS location and allows me to look back at my history. And what I see from the data is pretty clear that I don’t get out much. (Yes, I know that there are legitimate privacy concerns about location tracking, but I have decided not to commit a crime, cheat on my wife, break state quarantine rules, or do anything else where my location could be used against me. And I find it interesting to look back at the data.)

To give some perspective, here is my location history for 2019 which involved two works trips to Europe, family vacations in California, Colorado, and Texas, and a lot of travel around New England:


Then in 2020 my world started to shrink. We still went to Maine (before the pandemic), Vermont and New Hampshire twice over the summer, and a trip to Cape Cod, but our world was smaller:


And now here is my map for January 2021. For those of you not familiar with metro Boston, we live near the center of this map and each dot is less than 4 miles from our house.

January 2021

My world has shrunk. I’m ok with it because I’m trying to do my part to reduce the spread of Covid. But it’s not easy. I understand people who are anxious to get back out and travel (I just wish they wouldn’t). I’m continuing to be patient, but I’m really looking forward to a map in the (hopefully not-too-distant) future with a lot more dots.

Things that went well this week:

  • Vaccine rollouts are steadily increasing. The data on vaccines continues to be positive. Jeanne’s parents and my mom have appointments for first shots this week!
  • Caroline and her friends had an outdoor Valentine’s Day party (what a crazy concept in any other year!) on Saturday and had a blast in sunny, mild weather
  • A Saturday night virtual get-together with college friends so was so great. We always could have gotten together online but the pandemic has made us actually do it

Things that did not go well:

  • Work has gotten busier for both of us which has made it harder to be available for the kids (fortunately their only day-to-day need is for food and clean laundry)
  • South Africa had to pause their vaccine rollout because the data showed the variant that is prevalent there does not respond to the vaccine.
  • The fights over in-person schooling continue in Chicago, San Francisco, and so many school districts across the country

Random happy find from the web:

  • The Massachusetts state vaccine site is horrible (and I hear that New York and California are similar). It is frustrating and poorly designed. So a software engineer home on maternity leave decided to write a better one. It is simple, clear, and infinitely easier to use and I highly recommend anyone in Massachusetts looking to schedule a vaccine appointment use this site:

Cute puppy photo of the day:

Daisy and Caroline playing in Sunday’s snowstorm


  1. Just for your records, FJ and I have both had our first vaccines. At least in our area, Santa Cruz County, it has suddenly become relatively easy to get a vaccine appointment if you are over 64. Still a big issue about teachers getting vaccinated, a demand teachers have made in order for schools to reopen.

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