Monday, April 6, 2020

I Went to Work Today

In my role at my company I'm kind of the liaison between design and manufacturing. We're nearing a big milestone and it was requested I go into the office while we sort out this product build. For the record I offered to go in. So for approximately a week I'll be in the office. I wore a buff over my face most of the day except to eat or drink. Wow, the world has changed.

We have free coffee at work, so I made the first pot this morning, and touched two buttons and three  handles to make it. In the last three weeks I touched approximately five communal handles total in like 22 days. Two at Starbucks, one at the grocery store, and two at FedEx. Going to the bathroom, turning on the sink, going outside to take a walk, handles here, handles there, handles everywhere. Filling up my water bottle, there's one button, I used my elbow.

I know so many people over 60, and people over 60 with health conditions, that I am terrified that I could essentially kill someone I love by inadvertently spreading the virus to them. I go for a run most days, and when I get back and the adrenaline wears off while I'm walking around in the minutes after I often cough a little. Coughing has become taboo. Wearing masks has become very acceptable. We've changed in a month.

The deadline for our little product build is the end of this week, and to be honest, I'm planning to work this week in the office, and then work from home another two or three weeks. I could use a vacation, but it's like, where would I go? I don't want to staycation, and I don't think I really can go anywhere. Assuming we settle down a little this year I'd like to go up to Canada and climb, and go to Hawaii, maybe get my SCUBA license. I won't lie, I feel like one of the old and fragile people amongst my coworkers in this pandemic. Again, I'm sure I would most likely come through fine, but it's those up to two weeks of being contagious and not knowing it where I am afraid to break bread with my older friends.

I've read more than one article that suggests for the next year or two, until we get a vaccine, we are going to self quarantine and isolate, return to a little bit of normal, then self quarantine and isolate again when cases get higher and hospitals get full. A recurring bounce between semi-normal and pandemic life and back and forth, that might last two years. So bizarre. I'm hopeful. I mean, even in the most pessimistic projections I doubt that 50 million world wide will die like did in the 1918 flu pandemic. We have medicine and technology that didn't exist back then. Still, my heart aches for those that die. If that caution means I work from home for two years and don't eat with my parents for two years, well, this is a sacrifice that must be made for the greater good, meaning saving the lives of those susceptible to the covid-19 coronavirus.

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