At work, we have a Slack channel called “ooo-wfh”, meaning Out-of-Office and Work-From-Home. It’s there for colleagues to announce if they will not be in the office. On March 13th, the following messages started to appear in the channel:
On the same day, President Trump declared a National Emergency. March 13th, 2020, would become Day 1.
It’s been 30 days since March 13th. A lot has happened this month. I have been writing daily emails to my team. You can read many of them if you check out my LinkedIn posts.
In this article, I want to summarize the major events that happened to me and my household during this time. I feel like this is a once-in-a-lifetime situation so I want to document it as well as I can. I’m guessing many of you will be able to relate to one part or another.
One of the first things that we did as a household, was to set a long-term expectation. In the first few days, when our kids would ask us when they could expect to go out again, we would say, “at least June,” or “September.” I was not crazy, nor did I really expect the pandemic would last that long. The idea was for the kids (and ourselves) to accept the fact that we would not be leaving the house. Once we all accepted that, life could start to evolve and move on.
We started to reorganize the house so each of us had a dedicated work area. I had long given up my study and let my younger son use it as his art studio. This was my chance to reclaim my territory. We cleaned up the room, set up a standing desk, and created a new home office. We agreed that on Friday mornings, my son would still be able to use the room during his art class.
My wife opted to set up in the kitchen. During office hours, the kitchen would be her office. She continued to have a minimalist mobile office setup. In the morning, she moved her laptop into the kitchen. In the evening, she would pack everything up. She said being in the kitchen all the time can help control food supply. In other words, we cannot have too many snacks during the day.