Yesterday, March 18th, was the first day that my colleagues were also working from home. We began the day by sharing our workstations. The one on the left is mine.
Below are some of my colleagues’ impromptu work stations:
We started a group text (I named the group “Work Pals”), and things seemed to be going well. We were joking with each other the way we would every morning: making fun of the micromanaging from administration, sharing pictures of our pets, trying to replicate our habits, and even praising our supervisor for his confidence in us. Things were going well.
Then my cat, Apollo (right) threw up. Three times. He jumped up onto my lap, I thought for pets, then immediately started hacking. I managed to get him off of my lap and onto the couch, which received two of the three vomits, before he finally landing on the rug. (I just want to point out that there are tile and hardwood floors everywhere else. But, no, the rug will do.)
Other duties as assigned?
Today, Thursday, March 19th (originally the date of my colonoscopy, but we rescheduled for June), we got the official notice: “We are now suspending all face-to-face instruction and extending instruction and final exams off campus through the end of the semester.” We knew it was probably coming, but to see it in print from an official source made me realize that I held out some small hope that things were not as bad as all that.
But things are that bad. I was chatting with my mom (also immunocompromised after a kidney transplant in September), and she reminded me of my very good situation. She’s been house-bound for months because of an unusually-low white-cell count, and has an established media consumption routine. She told me about an American woman stuck in Morocco (or Belize, she can’t remember) who wishes she was “stuck at home with her family.” Not only am I home with my family (husband and two cats), but I’m still getting a pay check. A pretty good pay check. I have good health insurance. I have doctors that answer emails quickly. My medications are delivered to my door (so far, uninterrupted) for free. FREE!
And I’m not sick.
So, after lunch, I returned to my Zoom research, making how-to videos for my student tutors so that they can prepare to be online tutors next week. I logged the time on my work-from-home-activity Word document (remember that micromanaging mentioned above?) and didn’t make a sour face.
Who could make a sour face with this view?