Well of all things, my off and on sore throat and general blah tested positive for strep, so I’ve been at home to limit other people’s exposure to me and my exposure to anything else until the antibiotics kill this off. The plus side is I got to test out working from home before it becomes mandatory (it’s currently voluntary for my office), and now I know what the limitations and challenges are so that I can get ahead of them in the next week.
It was a curious new experience to visit a doctor’s office in which I was immediately given a face mask, directed to sit in a separated portion of the large waiting room, and kept seated more than 6′ away from anyone else. Although I usually aim to be as far from others as possible in a doctor’s office. I had family members who had already tested positive for strep, so other than some questions to confirm whether I might be at risk for other illnesses and a throat swab, it was a pretty routine visit for a diagnosis. I’m cleared to return to work on Monday, after I’ve been on antibiotics for 48 hours.
I already isolate, so this has not been much of a change for me. I don’t mind being home, and feel really pretty equipped to be socially distant in all forms. The challenge for me has been keeping up with work, since I still have a large workload for the time being, and working from home is slower due to the work access connection and I have one screen at home instead of two. Two really is faster, And I’m making due, but I’m noticeably slower, although still working quite intensely to try to churn out tasks. I find it annoying that friends are “teleworking” and it doesn’t look anything like my version, glued to my desk all day. If I do feel that I’m missing out, it’s that I don’t have all day to relish being at home, and I don’t have time to explore and watch and discover and work on creative projects or even projects that need more thought and consideration. I may get that opportunity, but even if I am required to work from home, I still have to work, and have plenty of work to do.
Am I fortunate? Yes. My work has not disappeared, nor will it. If I have fewer projects to manage, I transition to other work and begin on the backlog that has been waiting for me to pay it attention. Do I have to worry about getting paid? No. As rapidly as economic declines are occurring, I have a stable role that I am also not taking for granted. I took this job for the very reason that my previous work would not have held up to a mild hiccup, much less this rapid and dramatic of a recession. A lot of people, including my close family members, have lost all of their work overnight, and I will need to help support them over the next several months. My responsibility? No. My privilege? Yes.
Because I am feeling a bit under the weather, and the weather itself is under the weather today, I’m not even bothering with the exercise and fresh air that my expectations would have propelled me out into this weekend. I’m not particularly interested in exercise, but given what I now know I have, that makes some sense. I’ll do some easy yoga later, and I’ll get around to chores and other household things, to tidying up and organizing a few chaotic areas and reducing the clutter that does not assist my mental health in improving. But also today just has to be for laying around and resting, because I haven’t had the chance, and I won’t for another week at least, and it’s important to push back against the urge to run around being “busy and productive” and embrace the rest that can actually help me. I’m having a hard time staying present when listening to audio books, and noticing that clued me in to the need to rest before I do anything else.
Please pay attention to those clues that will help you take good care of yourself. There’s enough to stress about right now, give yourself an occasional break. You need it. We all do.