Thoughts from the quarantine

May 6th, 2020

It's the two-month mark (62 days since being in the office) of working from home due to the COVID-19 quarantine for me, and this feels like a good time to pause and reflect.

We had a trip our big trip for the year (Japan 🇯🇵) planned for next week but cancelled for obvious reasons. Without any travel (or any social events, for that matter) to look forward to at the moment, its been a challenge getting through the last few weeks.

I think we're hopeful creatures by design, so I've been trying really hard to reframe my internal thought dialogue from a "looking-forward-to-this" flow to a "day-by-day-appreciate-what-you-have" flow.

Slack announced last week that we're officially WFH until at least September, so that means I'm in this for at least another ~118 days. I took today off of work to give myself a midweek mental break.

Here is a collection of miscellaneous thoughts I've had during this extended period of being at home:

  • It seems that people in white-collar work have been yearning for a movement towards more remote work for awhile and this pandemic has given the world a perfect test run opportunity. While I think it'll result in more companies giving the option to WFH at least 1-2 days remote, it's made me more aware of how much I enjoy being in an office. The commute + inherent home/work separation, office liveliness, and coworkers are hard things to replicate at home on a full-time basis.

  • I have 2 cats that are very vocal and adamant about being fed on time. A few weeks back, the smart feeders we have stopped working due to the company failing to pay their infrastructure bills. It turns out the company has more-or-less gone under. If you've ever wanted to see a company get (rightfully) flamed online for lack of communication and failure to deliver, look no further.

  • I've found it hard to focus on slow and creative endeavors. Aside from work, I've mostly been filling the time with running + biking, gaming, and cooking. I also have been picking up my guitar more than usual.

  • I hadn't realized how much sports provide an escape from routine until their absence. This year I purchased NBA League Pass and was making an effort to watch more weeknight games. The incredibly well-done Last Dance documentary series has been a nice stopgap in the meantime.

  • I don't know if it's because there's less pollution in the air, or if it's just a placebo effect, but the scents of Spring seem stronger this year. I've been going for more walks around my neighborhood, and the flowers have stood out much more than in years past. Here are some California poppies in my neighborhood:

Poppies

  • While not everyone may be in a position to help out, I encourage anyone that can to donate a few bucks locally during this time to your local newspaper or public radio station. I'm guilty of getting a ton of value out of great journalism and being slow to pay for it. This time has made me much more conscious of that.

  • There won't be a singular day where things go back to normal, but I'm excited to see what public and social events are like when it does happen. I think collectively we will take social interaction less for granted and be more conscious of mental health.

quarantinespring
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