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Recorded – watch the full episode on YouTube.

Paul Hudson: Welcome to episode two of Swiftly Speaking, this time with my friend, Ellen Shapiro. She works for a wonderful GraphQL company, and I'm sure she'll tell you more about that soon. This time we'll be talking about some GraphQL, some testing, some SPM, and of course, some of life's anxieties. There's all sorts going on this time.

As always, I encourage folks to ask questions. I've a load of my own to ask Ellen, and I hope you have your own questions as well.

Let's go on to Ellen. How are you doing Ellen?

Ellen Shapiro: I'm okay. How are you doing?

Paul Hudson: Every one of the whole world is stressed out, so…

Ellen Shapiro: This has been a rough couple of weeks. We were just in San Francisco three weeks ago, basically the week before everything went completely sideways. And when we came back, Lilia, my fiancee, had something that had flu-like symptoms, but it wasn't the flu. And they were like, ah! And they tested her for COVID and luckily she didn't have it, but they were like, "Well, it's not the flu and it's not COVID, but we don't want whatever you have floating around. So can you please self isolate for 14 days?" So it was like, yay. So this is now our third week of quarantine. So that's fun.

Paul Hudson: It's the wrong time to get ill right now, let's face it. Of all the times to get ill, now is not the time.

Ellen Shapiro: Yeah. If you want to catch literally anything, now is really not the time. So yeah, it was funny. There was a tweet going around where there was a hand surgeon who is like, "Hey everyone, who's thinking about doing all of these DIY projects that you were thinking about involving power tools? Maybe not right now. Maybe wait a few months until the hospitals aren't completely packed with people, and then do things that might severely injure your hand and I will fix them."

Paul Hudson: Fair enough. So right now, folks in our position are still trying to get the actual job done. We're at home. Self-isolated or even quarantine, but we still have to do an actual job.

Ellen Shapiro: Yes. I have to admit that it's been really, really difficult for me. Beyond the general anxiety that sent me curling into a ball, a lot of the time we were planning to get married in June. That has now been postponed until next year. And that process was super fun. Pro tip: if you ever want to not lose a bunch of money, don't postpone a wedding. But it's definitely the right decision. And in terms of things that could be going wrong right now, one of my colleagues, his wife is pregnant and due in a month. You can't just be like, “hey kid, can you come back next year with that?” And at least with the wedding, we can be like, “all right, wash your hands of it, let's try this again next year.”

But yeah, between generalized anxiety and then just dealing with the nonsense involved in that, I have been very unproductive and I think I wanted to try to sort of normalize that. Because I think there's a lot of stuff going around where people are like, “Oh yeah, during the plague, Isaac Newton discovered gravity,” or all these people were like, “all these people who had to be isolated for all these reasons, they came up with all this great stuff,” and I'm like, “I’m pretty sure most of the other scientists besides Isaac Newton were just trying not to get the plague.” And so, it's one of those things where I think there is some sort of... my fiancee is an academic, and there's this thing where people are like, “oh man, if you don't have kids, you're going to be able to write so many papers and do all this stuff.”

And my fiancee is like, “are you guys out of your minds? What are you talking about?” And I think the idea that we're all supposed to be just as productive as we would normally be is a farce. And I think that, obviously for parents, it's much, much harder because, oh. Hello, this is my cat George Michael. I figured he would be making at least one appearance. Every time I do a meeting at work, he's like, “oh, you've stopped typing? You can use your hands for pets now." So I figured he'd be joining me at some point.

But anyway, I think one of the things that's been really nice about the place that I work, which is a company called Apollo GraphQL, they've been really great about, “hey, we're all kind of going through it right now. We are all having a hard time, and it's OK to say I'm having a really, really bad day. I need to just curl up into a fetal position for like several hours and then I'll get back to attempting to work.” I think more and more employers are realizing that that's the case, but it's definitely something where I think there is some level of compassion.

This transcript was recorded as part of Swiftly Speaking. You can watch the full original episode on YouTube, or subscribe to the audio version on Apple Podcasts.

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