May 5, 2020

Week 6

We are heading into the 2nd month working from home.  Not only has my office been closed, we are not allowed access to the building.  I have not been out of the office for 6 weeks since Case was born almost 24 years ago and even then, I'd stop by to visit. 

I have worked for the same company for 34 years - its the longest constant in my life.  I still see my coworkers on conference calls, where we are all lined up in grids like the Brady Bunch.  We have learned not to talk over each other while on a WebEx call; something we could never quite master on a simple conference call.  No more grooming jokes; our hair is growing and we have become quite accustomed to seeing each other without make-up.  The tell-tale ball cap represents an exceptionally bad hair day or perhaps rolling out of bed a little later than usual.

While no date is set for moving back into the office, I wouldn't expect to be back anytime before June.  It was an enormous task to deploy over a thousand employees from five large offices to their homes, not to mention an incredible cost.  Every effort was made to keep associates safe both healthwise and financially; and keep our promises to our customers.  It sounds corny, but its true.  We've written quite a success story and I've never been more proud of my company.

I don't keep plants in my office, so no worry about the dead or dying greenery.  It will be an odd feeling flipping the calendar on my office wall from March to June or July.  I gave up April to the fear of the unknown.  I'm not as willing to part with the rest of the spring.

I've always felt there were extremists on both sides of the political parties and that most people fell somewhere in between.  I get the feeling the same can be said about the Covid19.  Chicken Little will try and convince everyone the sky is falling and if you don't run, it will be your fault.  Doubting Thomas will cough in your face and brag about going to work while sick with a fever.  I've dabbled at both ends of the argument. 

I respect those who have health issues and are fearful the disease will continue to spread.  Unfortunately, they are right.  It will.  Their worry is as real to them as the person who hasn't had a paycheck for six weeks and unable to pay the rent or buy groceries or medications.  Imagine being the person who has not only health issues but now has no insurance because they have been laid off from their job.  There is no easy answer to do right by everyone.  How do you value a life vs the livelihood of hundreds of families who have no clue how they can afford the next can of baby formula or have a roof over their head at the end of the month?  Who wants to make that choice?

The flattening of the curve was intended to keep the virus from overwhelming our medical facilities and staff.  It's intent was not to wait for a cure.  It has proven somewhat successful in our state and I support our governor for moving forward, albeit slowly, with "opening" our state. 

While I have been quite vocal about wanting to camp and whining about not eating out, my selfish reasons are not why I support this movement.  It's for the health and economy of our state that we move ahead and not cower to Chicken Little.  If wearing PPE is necessary to continue to combat the spread of the disease, I have no issues wearing a mask or gloves when the situation warrants.  I won't hug you or even shake your hand.  I had hand sanitizer in my car before it was the cool thing to do.

It will be a long time before I feel comfortable about getting on a plane again or being among a large inside gathering with people I don't know.  Already, I recoil when people I don't know get into my personal space.  Is this the new normal we keep talking about? 

I will not, however, live in fear.  If YOU don't feel ready, then by all means, stay put. Live off your savings or gofundme or unemployment until the sky has fallen or won't fall at all.  But I can't live in that kind of hell. 

I pray that at the end of today and the end of the year, my family and friends are still by my side, even if just figuratively speaking.  If we are separated, it is by our beliefs and not because of our beliefs.  Think about it; there is a difference. 

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