Hey friends, it’s been a hot minute since my last Corona check-in. It feels like time has been on pause and time-lapse at the same time, doesn’t it? I have been working from home since March 17th but who’s counting anymore (Me, apparently. It’s been 16 weeks, 108 days).
I am not really sure where to begin. I didn’t expect us to be done with the pandemic at this point, but I’d for sure have thought we’d be further along in getting it under control. Instead, we seem to move in the other direction.
Californians did a phenomenal job for a while, adhering to the shelter-in-place order and keeping new infections low, but the last couple of weeks, our numbers here have exploded (as they have in other, less strategic places). We’ve had a mandatory, statewide mask order put in place for the last two weeks and as of a couple of days ago, restaurants’ indoor-seating, wineries, etc. have been closed down again in many counties in California. I am glad Governor Newsom is reversing course and making decisions based on the data, not by what people would like to hear (and let me tell you, there are still people who think we should just reopen everything). But PSA: just because we are tired of the Coronavirus, doesn’t mean it has disappeared. I still think we reopened too soon.
I cannot believe that Trump and his minions have all but abandoned dealing with the Coronavirus. It’s like, they decided it’s too hard and if they just wish it away, it’s going to go away. THIS IS NOT HOW THIS WORKS. We are where we are because Trump chose not to provide any coordinated federal response to the crisis and Republicans refused to address his failure. Decisions were passed down to the governors, then to county and city officials with far less authority to enforce their decisions. What we have is a hodgepodge of band-aid solutions scattered throughout the nation. And mask-wearing has become a political statement, not a matter of public health. Welcome to America.
There was tentative talk about a reopening strategy at my work recently, but there is no hard date, and with the latest developments, I don’t expect it to happen anytime soon. We’ve been sent a survey to share our thoughts on reopening strategies to let our leadership team know if we want to come back, why we would need to be in the office, and how often we’d want to come in.
The only reasons I’d want or need to go back to the office would be a) if I got involved in a project with datasets so large that my (hand-me-down, old) DELL work laptop couldn’t handle the processing that would be involved and b) to see/meet with colleagues. Since the reopening strategy at this point would involve having people come in on alternate schedules, so we’d be having a limited number of well-spaced people in the building, there’d be no point to go back if you’re sitting in the office by yourself the whole day (again, unless a) happened).
Honestly, everybody has pretty much adapted to WFH life now, and while I can see advantages for some people to go to the office (e.g. for lab work or fieldwork activities), personally, I have no need or desire right now to go back. Of course, I am lucky – and thankful – that I have the option to work from home at all.
Are you still working from home or have you been called back to your workplace? (If you still have work – sorry, did I just put my foot in my mouth? Seriously, I want to know how you’re doing!)
On a different note, my whole family was supposed to arrive for a 3,5-week summer vacation today. To say that I am bummed is the understatement of the century. When all this started, I knew pretty early on that the chances of them coming this summer were slim, but I didn’t think that we were going to be where we are today with rising case numbers all over the country and no tangible plan. The Coronavirus has really thrown a wrench into 2020, but in all honesty, I’d rather know my family is well and safe in Germany than having them travel to a place that is so clearly not handling this pandemic in any responsible manner.
If you want to know how the EU (or single countries) fares compared to the US (per million people), here’s a good resource. Cringeworthy, right?
Thankfully, Jon and I are on the same page. We are both not ready to venture out and 100% agree that we won’t leave the house for anything other than necessities (which is grocery shopping every other week, walking/running, and doctor’s appointments).
I am sad we still can’t go out to eat, make any plans for the summer (or even later), or see friends, and nobody knows when this will all be over, but I know one thing for sure: continuing to stay home as much as possible is the right thing to do right now.
Where’s your headspace these days?