Times of thought during a pandemic
So I’ve never lived a conscious life whilst a pandemic has happened. I remember MERS, SARS, mad cow disease and swine flu. Illnesses that were broadcasted on the tele, and I thought no further about. We’re in the COVID-19 pandemic now, where the Coronavirus started in Wuhan, spread across China as an epidemic and speedily spread internationally — which has caused a pandemic.
I’ve been working from home now for 7 days (5 days last week and 2 days the week before). I’ve always wanted to work remotely for a company but I didn’t quite imagine it to be like this. Luckily, my workplace activated their emergency response quite early on in what we should do if there was to be an outbreak. We did practice runs working from home per team, they triggered a test SMS out to everyone to ensure emergency communication was feasible and organised a company wide (300+ employees) work from home day in preparation for the office potentially closing. A day later, 9th March, it was announced the office would close until the end of the month. But not everyone’s workplace and industry has allowed this flexibility and mould to happen.
Thoughts of WFH
Even working one day at home can sometimes get a bit lonely, but as everyone else is WFH now, it seems less of a lonely time as there is much more effort put in place to connect and for everyone to be connecting right now as much as possible — over messaging, especially video and checking in if people are okay.
My personal actions for working from home are:
- My work alarm set as usual.
- Showering and getting dressed.
- Having breakfast and a cup of tea (as that’s how I’d start any day).
- Sitting at a desk or dedicated place for work times (I used to sit at the dining table).
- I’d cook up something nice for lunch (break from the screen too).
- Sit on the sofa or balcony to eat lunch to break off (my desk is out of sight). My place is an open plan kitchen, dining and living room.
As I somewhat work through lunch after eating, I like to clock off earlier to make sure I’ve fitted in a late afternoon walk before it gets dark. Otherwise, take your full hours lunch to go somewhere for a change of scenery.
With all the blogs and podcasts I’ve followed over the years about remote working other tips were to put on shoes as if you were going to the office, take a walk before and after work to create the idea of commuting to and from work, and some easy ones; don’t work from your bed, don’t be naked, be mindful of other naked people in the background of your video calls and make sure you take screen breaks.
For me, I need to work on drinking as much as I do when I’m at work. Lots of water and teas as usual. It’s easy to sit in the same spot for a long time and focus on your work, easily forgetting to stay hydrated and move around.
Thoughts about anxiety
It’s clear that it’s an easy time to feel anxious right now. At all different levels and at each person’s circumstance. Whether it be for reasons of health, finance or just plain panic from social influence. Everyones opinion and feelings about this same topic is felt differently. Social media is usually a great spot for awareness of pressing issues, but right now if you’re feeling anxious, be open to pulling yourself away from social media. If you want facts about what’s happening, go to reliable resources like the BBC, The Guardian, Gov Health, WHO websites.
Despite trying to keep up with what’s importantly going on, I’m personally and knowingly trying to block out everything else happening regarding the ‘Rona, like the affects on the economy and industries. Because, there’s nothing I can personal do right now. It’s already so hard keeping up per country on how they’re tracking and watching those numbers increase daily. It’s mentally exhausting to be fired all this daily news about one topic. And, as much as it is important, and the severity of this is high — I just can’t hear so much about it, my mind is becoming mashed. Hearing about my family receiving racial abuse in the UK already infuriated me and that started back in January. I purposely don’t watch the news to be faced with negative headlines everyday from when I wake — my mind and body can’t quite manage it.
I think it’s important to stay considerate of other people’s sensitivity around this topic today.
Masses of people are affected, especially a lot of my friends who work in schools, people who have lost their jobs in an instant and cannot find new work right now. In these times, it’s so so important to support each other. Have conversations, let’s talk about something else for a second.
I don’t have a panic mode right now, everything will blow over once everyone understands that it’s time to stay home to decrease those numbers. We have clear examples of what happens if you do not abide by these rules given to us, Italy and China are clear examples. We should not reach our peak if we just listen to the advice of staying put at home. No change will happen if there is no change made. For me, I know what I do and know where I’ve been — for others, it’s in their own hands what they decide to do in this self-isolation time. But some people are not being respectful about it by going to the beach and busy places like pubs and restaurants (I’m sorry hospitality industry).
Thoughts of positivity
- I’m happy to see people turning to online exercise regimes (Me? Nah.)
- I’m happy to see neighbours helping each other out
- I’m happy to see supermarkets are considering the elderly
- I’m happy to see people are being productive with their time (there is no pressure that you should be learning everything new under the sun)
- I’m happy to see games played between people online
- I’m happy to take a moment at home and to try be still (I used to hate the idea of staying in at home btw)
- I’m happy to see people using their businesses for other means; like filming space for online videos and for others to sell their produce.
- I’m happy to see people are checking in on each other and offering out their hand to help — this should ideally already be a thing dear humans. Also the hand-washing thing.
I’ll close off there, these are just my thoughts and opinions right now during this time. Rightly different to someone else’s.