Blogging through the COVID-19 crisis: Update 3

I started working from home a month ago, on March, 17. I can’t believe it’s been 5 weeks. Time stood still and flew by at the same time, didn’t it? I also feel like there were a lot of rolling hills. Not one day felt like the other.

One thing I can say is that I am getting the hang of this work from home thing. I do have a nice setup (with a total of three screens – if you count my laptop screen – and yes, I need all that real estate to work efficiently, as I work with a lot of graphic and spreadsheet content). 

My office is set up in the corner of our living room and it’s not ideal (oh, how I wish I had a separate office with more space and a door that I could close), but we’re making it work.

What’s that? How exactly?

I put in my earphones and get into my work zone and Jon tries to stay out of my hair. How do you make it work in your space? Do you have the luxury of a separate office?

Something I really enjoy is that my mornings are slower. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my cycling class and my gym buddies, but as of right now,  I am not rushing out the door between 5 and 6:30 am (depending if it’s gym day or home workout day), but get a more leisure start to my day. (I am already thinking how I can keep this perception in place when things get back to normal.) 

I am happy to say that I felt a little bit more energy since my last update. I am not feeling as drained and tired by the end of each day. Of course, every day feels different somehow, but I felt a lot more productive lately (which is by no means a requirement during this crisis, but even during regular times, I feel better when I feel productive. I am still trying to give myself grace in times when I am just not.)

I’ve seen a few bloggers do a blog post “check-in” style and I merged a few ideas into my own update after a month of social physical distancing, so here we go:

Since when have you been home?

My first official work from home day was March, 17. 

How are we doing? 

We’re hanging in there.  I mean, what else can we do? We’re not super-anxious all of the time, we don’t listen to the news every minute of every single day, and I think that keeps us sane. 

How often do we get outside?

Most days, I try to go for a run or a walk with Jon. We figured out some new routes that are not too heavily frequented at certain times. 

We reduced our grocery shopping trips to twice a month (I do the grocery shopping for 2 weeks at a time) and I must say that our established meal planning routine has made this a pretty seamless transition. Our biggest challenge has been not being able to get everything on our list when we go shopping (although it’s been gotten better the last couple of times) and having to improvise on the spot.

What else has changed?

Not really that much. Fun fact, I am sure you desperately needed to know: we were homebodies before Corona. We like to spend time together and we’re not yet getting onto each other’s nerves. But I do miss my gym routine, we miss being able to go out for coffee or dinner, a get-together with friends, or a day trip when we feel like it. 

How do you spend your time?

I don’t feel like I have a whole lot of “extra” free time, but of course, as we are spending some more time at home, I can focus a bit more on the things that I usually feel I don’t have enough time for. 

Running/Home Workouts

I’ve been trying to keep up my regular workout routine because dear god do I need it to keep me sane. 


This is nothing new, I bake pretty regularly, but I definitely have increased production quite a bit since we’ve started staying home. 


I hadn’t touched my sewing machine since we moved from our house (1,5 years ago) and I finally got it out of the garage in an effort to create something sensible: face masks. I had some leftover fabric that I was able to use and here we are:


I picked up my knitting again and just a few rows every night have proven to be my form of meditation. 

Snail Mail

Sending cards and letters is also not a novel thing that I picked up just now, but I definitely have picked up the frequency. And it’s awfully nice to get some real mail in my mailbox these days,. (Also, friends, let’s keep the Postal Service alive!). 


I never thought I would say that because I’ve never particularly enjoyed VideoCalls (I’ve lived away from family and friends for so long and we mostly always just talked on the phone, except for special occasions like birthdays or holidays), but ALL I want to do right now it “see” my family when I talk to them. 

Things I’ve seen other people do, which *we* apparently haven’t made time for (yet): streaming all the shows + series, puzzling, home projects, gardening, decluttering, and learning a (completely) new skill. But hey, things can always change, if this stay at home order continues.

What we’ve been eating:

We’ve been really good about meal planning and working with our pantry.  We stocked up a bit over the last few shopping trips and now shop for our meal plan and then always have a few back up meals on hand. 

We tried a couple of new recipes, like this Mongolian Beef (with lots of onions!), which was one of the best recipes for Mongolian beef I’ve tried.

We also made these Gorgonzola Gnocchi. They were absolutely delicious, but gorgonzola is not everybody’s cup of tea. Maybe you could substitute with other cheese if gorgonzola has too strong of a taste for you. 

We made some tried and tested favorites: Sweet Potato Gnocchi (Trader Joe’s Dinner Hack), my Mom’s Barley Soup, and Chicken Fricassee.

And of course, my beautiful Sweet Yeast Bread for Easter.

The biggest challenge:

Not letting *all of this* get to my head too much. Of course, I am worried about one of our family members or us contracting the virus, I am heartbroken by sad news, and I keep wondering where this is all going, how long we have to keep up the physical distancing, and if things will ever get back to normal. 

A highlight:

A friend sent me some of her sourdough starter and I know that is quarantine cliché af, but I could be more excited. For the record, baking is not a quarantine adventure for me, I have baked bread for years, but I have never – for whatever stupid reason – managed to keep my sourdough starters alive (oh, and I had many). So, we’re trying again. His name is Linus. Currently, he looks well and happy.

A lowlight:

Having to cancel plans and fun events. We were supposed to see Pearl Jam live this weekend in Oakland (the tour has been postponed) and my friend Tanja was supposed to come visit next weekend to run a race with me (which has also been canceled) and just enjoy some girl time. I am bummed about not being able to do that.

Something I did for myself:

I’ve limited my news consumption. If you know me, you know that I am usually a news junkie and try to stay on top of the news at all times (and yes, occasionally will listen to Trump propaganda for 3 minutes *eyeroll*), long after Jon has left the room to do something else. But, it has become blatantly clear that I couldn’t keep this up without being in a constant state of sadness, worry, fear, and anger. So I stopped.

The briefings of our California governor Newsom and New York’s governor Cuomo have been breaths of fresh air, tbh. Coherent sentences, valuable information and updates, and zero bullsh*t. 

Something I did for others:

I sent out some snail mail. I sewed a couple of masks. I am donating some (of that stimulus) money. And I am staying home. Some days that feels like a big burden, but it’s actually a small price to pay compared to what other people are asked to do right now.

A couple of links I found worthwhile:

Stop Trying to be Productive.(New York Times)

It’s okay to not be okay (says I, who usually always is a glass-half-full-kinda person): When Positivity Becomes Toxic.

How are your parents/older family members handling the physical distancing? Convincing boomer parents to take the coronavirus seriously.

I am thankful for:

Living in a state that handles this crisis fairly well (all things considered). I trust that our local leaders are doing the best for their people. I am not so sure about that in other states (and I am sorry, if you live in one of those. Come stay with me.)

Having a backyard. I am so thankful that we have an outdoor space and that we don’t have to be holed up in our apartment all the time. The weather has been nice and we are able to spend time outside, which definitely helps with the cabin fever.

Thoughtful friends. 

Last, but not least: The Internet. No seriously, what would we do in times of Corona without the Internet. Honest question. This is my lifeline!

My plans for the next month:

Since we don’t really know what the next few weeks hold, it’s hard to make any “plans”, but I still have aspirations for as long as this situation continues.

I want to keep connecting with friends and family. It’s been nice to re-connect with some old friends (and exchange some texts) and also to just hear how everybody else is coping. 

I want to find more ways to help or do things for others. 

I want to try and keep finding joy in the process of creating (baking, cooking, all the handcrafts) and just focus on the “here and now”. 

I want to listen, every day, to how I feel and act accordingly. I am sure you’ve experienced the same; some days are just better than others. Be kind to yourself, especially on those bad days. 

  1. I’ve been working from home since March 13th and that was Paul’s last day in daycare, so this is the start of the 6th week of him being home with us. I only have a dinky laptop to work off of, so that sucks as I do a lot of spreadsheet work. But I usually work on the couch in our living room so I can keep an eye on Paul. Phil works in the 3rd bedroom upstairs which has a table set up. He also only has a laptop. When Paul goes back to daycare and I can work somewhere other than the couch, I want to get a monitor so I can use 2 screens. That will make a big difference for me as working off a laptop is just awful!

    All in all, we are doing ok. I remind myself that we are lucky to have our jobs and our health. Many others don’t have one or both of those important things. But the days are long and the months feel really long. April seems to be going a bit less slow than March. March felt like it had 1,000 days in it… I think it will help when nicer weather arrives for good here. It’s still pretty chilly here so some days are just not very nice… But we have 60s in the forecast this week so I am very excited about that!

  2. I’m sooo bummed that next weekend is not going to happen. However, as soon as it’s safe to fly again I’m on my way!
    Stay strong girlfriend !

  3. My husband started working from home mid March and my boss gave me the go ahead around the same time. It is amazing how quickly we got into the routine. I like your home office by they way – looks very organised. I’m in the kitchen – I use the big dining table to set up my laptop and everything and Mark gets the study because he has to have lots of meetings and needs a door that closes.

    I also miss going out for coffee and to eat out. We used to eat out alot before this. I miss travel, spontaneous road trips, seeing my parents and sister and oh how I miss my morning latte. Haven’t had wine in forever. Or been to gym. We are exercising at home and just making the most of it.

    Our lockdown was supposed to end last Friday but we’ve had it extended by 2 weeks.

  4. The Mongolian beef looks really good, Imma have to try that. In many ways the past month has been one of the happiest times of my life – at home with my family. My state locked things down fairly early and rates are dropping and the latest is that we may start opening things up on May 1, I just wonder what “new normal” is going to be when that happens.

  5. I like your summary, San! Good that you could limit your news consumption, I find that really helps. Nice idea about sending cards to friends.
    Nothing much has changed for us, as we have been working together from home since we quit our regular jobs in 2018. For now, I still don’t mind the quiet “lazy-Sunday-afternoon” atmosphere of our lockdown.
    I’m glad you live in a state that handles the crisis well. Stay healthy!

  6. Getting a desk and office chair was a gamechanger for me in terms of working from home. I really enjoy working from home because office environments can be really overstimulating for me, but working from my kitchen island on a bar stool was killer! I’m just so, so grateful that I enjoy being at home and am such an introvert because being so isolated would be TOUGH otherwise. I’m glad things are going well in your corner of the world! And yes, stay away from Trump press conferences. Ugh. He’s botched this so much!

  7. I’m working from home as well, but it’s just part time so that’s the first half of my day. I am trying to get outside as much as I can and exercise (almost) every day in some capacity. It’s tough not being able to do certain things – like go to dance class or see my brother and his family in person. I am connecting with a lot of people via Zoom, etc. and catching up with people I haven’t really talked to in awhile so that’s been a really nice “side-effect” of all this, if you will. I love the face masks you made! I definitely want to start being crafty again. I have a couple projects to start!


  8. I am lucky enough to have my own office as well as the husband. He has so many calls it is a good thing. I started not listening to the news every day again as it was just to overwhelming at times. Now we watched it when we feel like it and I don’t think I miss much. Grocery shopping has been getting better here as stuff is back on shelfs. After 5 weeks I was able to buy toilet paper again after using cosmetic tissues for a while. It will be interesting to see how long it will go on and how the world is changed by this pandemic. stay safe

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