Last Friday, March 13th I started working from home. The Corona Virus spread started ramping up about Wednesday and by Friday the business I work for ordered us to work from home. My husband was able to get permission to grab my docking station and one of my screens from work for me. I have a desk set up in the corner of our family room that I used to work from home when I worked at Nationwide. It’s been seven months since it’s been used but this week I was very glad we left it there because I was able to get my workstation up and running in less than a day.
Being isolated for a week has been interesting. I am a homebody by nature. I am an extroverted introvert. I like being out around people but I look forward to going home and getting back to my safe and stress-free cocoon at the end of the day. This week my work and safe cocoon have had to co-exist and it’s been difficult. I have had to mentally separate my little work corner from the rest of my house. I own a small home of only 6 rooms. (Bedroom, bathroom, office, kitchen, dining room, and family room.) Our extra bedroom is my husband’s office, but we know from experience that we do not have the same working habits so we need to work in separate areas.
Working from home is not as comfortable and relaxing as some may think it would be. First off, my desk at home is not adjustable and it’s too high, so my shoulders and legs hurt by the end of the day. I have to move my chair up and down a lot to try and find a comfortable position while I am processing at the computer all day. The business that I work for had a bunch of work come in this week because of two sales going on. We were asked to do 10 hours of mandatory overtime this past week and next. It was taxing and stressful. On the positive side, I am grateful to still be working and earning some extra money right now. My parents and my brother-in-law both own their own small business and with all the businesses and schools closing it is cutting into their income in a big way. They are stressed that they are not going to be able to make payments in a couple month because no one knows how long this is going to last. I am praying hard for them and all small business owners right now.
I know that because of my heart condition I am in the “compromised immune system” category of those that need to take extra precautions during this time. I have taken that seriously and not left my home in a week. Like, at all. I have stepped out on the porch twice in eight days but the rest of my time I have been in my home. Now some may think I’m going overboard and some may think that is wise, no matter what you think I know that this is right for me. My husband is still working as well and he has to be in at his job depending on what they need. We are praying that he stays safe and well, and doesn’t bring anything home to me. Right now we are doing all we can to stay well, social distancing, washing our hands thoroughly, and having clean habits. We just have hope and pray it is enough.
Emotionally this isolation can be hard. While I am an introvert and have no problem finding things to do around my home I do miss talking to “my people”. I found a fun solution in a FB post this week. A friend of mine talked about using the Marco Polo App to stay in touch with her friends and family. I had never heard of it so I did some research. I loved that I could make little videos and send them to my friends and family and they could make one and send them back to me. You watch and make the videos on your own time so you don’t have to be right there like with Facetime. I now have a group of almost my whole family and Jon’s family plus a few friends on it. It’s been fun and uplifting to see their faces and hear how they are doing during this weird time in history. It makes me feel not so isolated.
On a more positive note, I have loved seeing communities and people come together and help each other during this time. Our church has gone virtual and we are having Sunday and Wednesday night services streamed to us. Our pastors have done daily devotionals on YouTube every day to stay connected. They have been wonderful. I love our pastoral team. My sister and niece were so kind to help us out and go get our groceries for us yesterday. That was a huge blessing and a bit humbling for me. While that responsibility is mine I found it humbling to have to ask for help. My sister was happy to do it and I am very grateful for her help. It reminded me of the Mister Rogers quote of “Look for the helpers.” We are all in this together and it is up to all of us to be helpers however we can during this difficult time in our nation’s history. What have you done to help someone else during this past week?