So there's a pandemic on. Government officials, at least the ones without their heads up their asses, are telling everyone to stay home and socially distance. Fine.
I have no issue with that whatsoever. I've read all the articles. I've studied the actual facts. I know that taking those steps will help, even if it's only a little bit, toward "flattening the curve."
My employer is taking all necessary steps to protect its workers and its residents, and I am very proud to be working for an organization that is not only taking this thing seriously, but is actually ahead of everyone else in how they are doing so. My impulse - my very nature - is to ask, "How can I help?" and throw myself into doing whatever is necessary. Need me to work longer hours? No problem. Need me to do tasks that are normally out of my wheelhouse. Right away. Whatever I can do I'm willing to do.
Trouble is, it's not just me I have to think of in this scenario. My wife and daughter are both immuno-compromised. If I go out to a location and bring this thing home, it's even worse for them than it is for most. That's not to say if I got sick with this thing it wouldn't be horrible, possibly even fatal, but for them it's even more of a risk, and because of that I have to limit what I do.
I've talked to my boss and he's been very understanding of this. I think he's bending over backwards to make it so that I can stay home and keep them safe. I just wish I could shake the guilt I feel that my colleagues are on location pitching in and I'm sitting in my home office doing what I can.
Don't get me wrong. I'm working my ass off. I just wish I could do more.
We'll all get through this. And I'll do what I can. I just wish I could do more.
Today is Day 12 of Self-Isolation for me and my family (although for them it's Day 15). I haven't been to work in those twelve days, and I've only been out twice, both times to go to Aldi for food. My employer has been amazing in understanding that since I live with two immuno-compromised people, I need to take extra precautions to avoid possibly infecting them and since my usual duties involve me traveling between three facilities in two different states, everything had to change for me.
So for the time being, I work from home, and spend my entire day either on video conferences where we discuss what is going on and what steps we are taking to make sure the experience is as pleasant as possible for all of our residents, or on calls with colleagues who need IT help. Luckily to date I have been able to sort out everything over the phone.
But now I'm in a bit of a pickle. Work has invaded home. When I say "invaded" I don't mean it to make work seem like an awful thing. I help people. On top of that, I help people who help people, so I have no complaints.
But there is another computer on my desk connected to another monitor, and work lives there right butt up against my personal computer on which I create. As a result, the creativity has dried up completely. Hell, it took me twelve days of sitting here to manage to write this post.
Friends have voiced their suggestions. It seems I have to draw a line between the two worlds not just in concept but also in practice. During the work day, the personal computer should be off, and when the day is done, the work one can go down and the personal one can come to life. That's assuming, of course, I'm not sick of being at the computer. In a normal day I don't sit at the desk all day. I walk around. I talk to people. I sit with residents and help them sort out their technical issues. Here I still help people but it's not quite the same. My ass is still in this chair.
So it will have to be walks. On top of that, there's these people I live with who seem to want to have conversations with me. That will have to take priority over everything else, obviously. I will have to force the two worlds to be separate, even if they live at the same desk. My house is too small to have them physically separate.
I'll figure this out. No worries.
The two grocery runs I've made have been insane. First there's me being super careful, sanitizing everything and trying to stay away from people, then there's everyone else, who seems to want to act like nothing is different even though most of them are wearing masks and gloves. The six-feet-rule goes out the window when you are standing in front of the canned tomatoes and someone is in a hurry, it seems.
And when I get home the real fun begins, as I bring the groceries in and, while my wife wipes them all down and washes all of the fruit before sorting things into waiting piles, I strip off, chuck everything in the wash, then get straight in the shower. We're just a few inches shy of me being shaved and deloused on re-entry. Still, I would do even worse if it meant they were safe.
The things people are doing online - free concerts, free classes, video hangouts - they're all lovely. Unfortunately all I really want to do is curl up in bed and sleep until this thing is over. Just Rip van Winkle this shit and be done with it. But that's not an option, so I persevere and try to catch things when I can.
The good thing is, most people are used to me missing things, so they're not really all that bothered when I don't show, though it's great they keep inviting me.
I will power through this and start writing again. I have to. Right now I'm on the verge of screaming at all times, and all it takes is one stupid Hallmark-like video to turn me into a blubbering mess. I need to sort out my outlet.
This is a start. Thanks for listening.
Stay safe, stay home, and wash your damn hands.
1. My family has thus far been able to keep healthy and strong in the wake of this COVID-19 pandemic. Even though there are numerous cases in our state, people are being sensible and canceling public events. (My work, I should say, is also taking stellar precautions to keep everyone safe). We're all doing what we should - keeping away from crowds, washing our hands, not licking strangers, etc. We just need this thing to blow over and then hopefully things can return to that odd state that we like to call normal.
2. The speech that I was meant to give was postponed until May. I spent two and a half weeks gearing myself up to do this whole thing and then the night before the event I got the call that it was being postponed because the area where the venue was had two confirmed cases of Coronavirus. They have since locked down that area so I'm glad they made the call, but I have to admit I was oddly disappointed. I was ready. Ah well, I'm sure I'll be ready again when it comes around in May.
3. The Thor Bozman books haven't exactly been selling like hotcakes, but then again I didn't expect them to. Amount of sales per book as decreased with every release, so the idea that if you release more it will improve things is a bit bollocks. I've been mildly noisy about them on Twitter but outside of that I've done very little in the way of marketing aside from telling family and friends which more than likely accounts for the entirety of the sales. To be honest I'm not entirely sure where else to push them. Probably merits a bit of research.