Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Pandemic and Working from Home

     I keep thinking to myself that I need to document this time, especially since it's one that will most likely show up in all of the history books.  How we deal with a virus that has reached nearly every corner of the world (or at least the ones easily connected by airlines), it's amazing what can happen in just a few short months.
     I know it's a terrible thing that so many people are dying.  I know that so many more will still die before this whole thing is over.  People are panicking, buying up everything they can in case they are trapped inside for weeks or even months.  I had thought about that sort of thing in the back of my mind when it first started showing up in other parts of the world, although like many of the other pandemics that have occurred, the USA has been largely spared.
     Of course, no one thought it would reach as far as it did, and many of us were just thinking from time to time, what would we do?  But I don't think any of us took it seriously (except some random preppers anyway!)
     As for me, if anyone actually reads this, I was somewhat taking it seriously.  I've always tried to be prepared for a cold and the eventual quarantine inside of my home.  Heck, after I lost my job just one month shy of a year ago, I self-quarantined.  I didn't have money coming in and I got one bad cold after another.  Before long I'd dropped back on nearly all of my spending and had started a routine for myself.

     So, in a way, last year's joblessness was a preparation for this.

     One day I cleaned up my desk, made enough room to work on painting and posting items on my website (which I need to work on again during this time probably) and then scheduled a routine.  Get up, have breakfast, do a few chores, then go to "work" for about four or so hours a day, painting, doing other things and just overall making sure to keep "working".
     I also suffered from a lot of depression, a lot of anxiety and had a lot of moments of loneliness even when I knew I had people in my life who could come over and I could talk to.  But I did make it, and I pushed through.

     Now I'm working from home, quarantined from work until the end of March.  I set up my desk much like I did before (although now I have two computers, so painting is on hold for the time being).  But it's a lot like it was before.  Take a break from time to time, get lunch, read, and keep an eye on the queue and answering calls.
      A week ago they started murmurs about whether we would have to work from home.  I'd already started hearing talk about it so I started buying things for it in preparation.  Then they mentioned closing down schools...and by Friday we knew we'd have to set up to work.
     The weekend went by after that and the stores emptied out, people were emptying them out.  Toilet paper and towels were gone, food was gone, milk, eggs, bread and meats were gone.  Then the restaurants started shutting down all but take out and delivery.  People who worked for those restaurants got laid off.  Other stores started shutting down, not allowed to keep pushing forward, then the Governor started shutting down libraries, waterparks, museums, and anywhere else that a bunch of people could go to.  He stopped us from voting yesterday, pushing it off until June.
     A few smaller stores plug along, still open, not knowing what else to do.  People who vend at conventions are having online sales in hopes they can make ends meet.  Everything is shut down and the gas is cheap and the roads are empty.
     And even though, as I said, I know this is a terrible thing to be certain, it's also rather good in some ways.

     Pollution has gone waaaaay down.  Critters are returning to areas that have been chased out so long ago that people are surprised to see them there.  People are starting to do things for one another.  The government is actually thinking about doing stuff for the people instead of the businesses.  It's actually rather amazing.

     And yet, we still have to deal with being stuck inside our homes.  We have to worry about catching and spreading the virus.  I still worry about my Mom a whole lot because I'm not sure she's taking it very seriously since she doesn't like the news and has never been very up on world events.
     But, little bit by little bit, I think this might be a blessing for our planet.  I know, it's terrible who this virus might affect by the end, and sure, I could definitely be one of them by the time this is all over.

     I think, though, that I'm prepared.  Mentally I've always thought that I don't want to contribute to the world going up in flames.  I'd much rather not be part of the problem but the solution, even if I'm not entirely sure how I could be part of it.

     So, as I work from home waiting for that next phone call or that next email from someone who I more worried about things that aren't the worldwide pandemic, I'll sit here and be glad that the world is still moving on without us.  The trees are still getting ready to bloom, the rains are coming to make the grass green again, and the birds and other animals are enjoying their time outside where they haven't been able to be in decades.  And I'm actually okay with that.
     And if things get worse before they get better, then I'll continue keeping on because even with all of this because panicking never helped anyone.

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