“Do you think this will end any time soon?” This was a question our friend asked us about the pandemic when he drove by our house and paid a surprise visit. Louie happened to be working on his computer on the lawn table, so we all social-distanced at the fence. Then yesterday while at the local market, I saw a coffee shop acquaintance. “Do you think this will end soon? I’m getting tired of this,” as he pointed to his yellow mask.
I didn’t hesitate to tell them both that Covid will not be going away any time soon. So, start stocking up on masks.
Because of the long-term reality of the pandemic as we await a successful vaccine, employers who have been able to allow employees to work from home during lockdowns like the benefits gained from forced shelter-at-home mandates. Like cutting down on expenses for commuting, buying lunch every day, and suiting up for work. Working from home turned out to be a godsend for many families when schools had to close – and parents were at home. And now with the fall school term starting and many communities opting out of in-person classrooms, the first go-around in March could have been a dress rehearsal. I now hear from parents who are organizing education pods where two to three families rotate hosting at their homes in order to provide socialization for their kids -- and to take turns teaching.
Companies are experiencing reduced revenue. As they learn that employees permanently working from home are proving to be beneficial, “remote job hiring” is making sense and is becoming a trend. Employees are more productive with available technology, telecommuting, and collaboration tools. More than ever, employers are accepting the reality that lockdowns can happen again. When that happens, they will be prepared.
Now that I no longer escape to the coffee shop, I hunker down in our home office that I share with Louie. But knowing that I need quiet space to write, he recently set up a “low profile” workstation in the corner of the living room that looks better than I thought it would. And he has a view of the garden outside as well as the quiet school grounds across the street. Louie obliged to let me photograph him at his station (but not in his boxer shorts).
As for my friend at the market? Before departing in the parking lot, he said, “Well, I guess there is nothing we can do…”
Yes, there is, I replied. Always wear your mask, wash your hands, and social distance! He smiled quietly and waved goodbye.