Yup, COVID-19 almost killed my laptop. It’s a bit convoluted, but here goes.

As most know, I fly airliners for my day job, and during the great COVID-induced airline drawdown of 2020, I’m doing a lot of “deadheading,” riding in the back to my next assignment.

Our jets are nearly empty which, means that bereft of all those heavy humans and luggage, they climb like raped apes. On one particular deadhead (riding int he back), I had my computer stowed under the seat in front of me where it’s supposed to go, when the virus struck.

Damage to my computer with a hole drilled to attempt repair.

When they poured on the coals for takeoff, my head was pressed back in the seat and I heard an unusual sound underfoot. It was that computer accelerating aftward down the floor. “Uh, oh,” I thought. Then “whack!”

With nothing in the way, it built quite a head of steam before a metal seat post finally intervened, bending the computer’s frame near its trackpad. It was enough to render the left mouse button inoperable.


I’ve got projects out the wazzoo and had no interest in doing them without my computer, so I came up with a way to attempt repairing it. Rube would be proud: I drilled a hole in the plastic and aluminum case after carefully removing the back. Then used an oversized paperclip and screwdriver for leverage to pry the frame away from the left trackpad button just enough to free it. It looks horrible, but it worked. My left mouse button is happily working and there are these cool new markings to give it that “war-torn” look.

So there you have it. A victory over Coronavirus!