Coronavirus is the topic of discussion at the moment. It is spreading at an exponential rate and social distancing is the first and foremost prescribed medicine to contain this rapidly spreading virus from marking its territory in our homes.
Government authorities are doing their part in increasing awareness. Social distancing doesn’t mean that we are forced to stay inside the four walls of our home 24/7. Going out for a walk is fine. Just stay away from groups. Big groups are definitely not advised.
As a result, schools here in Arizona are closed for the next two weeks. Last week it was spring break for Kanna. It was a welcoming change for both Kanna and me. But then last Thursday we got a message from his school that the school closure will go on till the 20th of March as their school district decided that will help keep the kids safe from spreading the disease. Which led to an upset kid who was looking forward to going back to school this week.
Then yesterday the governor of Arizona declared that all schools must remain closed till the 27th of March. Well, Kanna is not so thrilled with the news.
His reasoning is, “if we are going to die, it’s better to live our last days to its fullest. So I have to go to school!”
Working from home in the time of coronavirus
Now, these turn of events led to another turn of event, which is my husband’s office declaring work from home until the situation calls for a change.
So the house is filled with unruly boys leaving me with no sense of space or solitude, making it difficult to write or swift through my thoughts. I am going to shamelessly blame my lack of presence in the blogging world on having the boys home.
My husband and his colleagues have got this twisted sense of working from home. They got to understand work from home as work whenever you are home. And his work involves
mostly always talking on the phone. That means though the man is home I don’t get to talk to him because he is busy talking over the phone. Also, these calls start from 7 in the morning to 10 – 11 pm in the night.
See, these never-ending calls are annoying and fails to provide the difference between work-hour and home-hour.
Etiquettes to follow while working from home
–Set a proper time for your work which your colleagues and boss also can follow. Work hours should not exceed more than 9 hours. Typically it should be your normal office hours. Because this is a new situation, a few phone calls here and there out of the work-hour is okay. But don’t make it a habit and ruin your family life. And no, you can’t blame it on corona, it’s your responsibility.
–Wake up and go to bed at the same time as you used to do before the corona times. Don’t treat your days as if you have got an extended weekend.
–Get ready for your work in the morning like you did always – shower, groom, put on your work clothes or at least presentable clothes instead of pajamas. Be sure to have your breakfast before you start your work.
–You have now saved your commute time. Put it to good use. Make sure that you are learning something new or doing something around the house like cleaning or doing dishes or laundry.
–Create boundaries. Create a work-space in one room and work from there. Don’t encroach into your family’s space and expect them to adjust because you have work to do.
–Have a clear sign off from your work. Make sure your coworkers, as well as you, understand that.
–Make sure your ‘stay at home spouse’ gets some “me-time” when you are home.
–Be respectful of the time and space of people at home. They are there always, which might lead to taking them for granted knowingly or unknowingly. Be aware of that.
House in the time of coronavirus
The younger boys meanwhile want to play and watch they deem entertaining. My 3-year-old is into Minecraft now, though he hardly knows the game. He mimics his elder brother to the T and then orders him around on how to do the things which his brother normally does. They do everything in their power to annoy each other.
So peace is what you won’t see in this time of corona inflicted socially distanced house of ours.
To say the least my husband’s working from home is ripping my sanity. Dealing with the boys with no school or daycare arrangement is snatching my peaceful writing time.
Related Reading: 14 Ways to reduce Stress
To top it off, I am preparing for interviews in the hope to restart my career which seems to be a long journey in itself.
In this chaos, my house is getting its necessary cleaning doses, as I am able to coax the boys (except the youngest one) into cleaning one area at a time.
On the one hand, I am happy that we are able to do this – stay away from the crowd and enforce safety as much as we could. But the looming uncertainty is not helping.
In fact, a visit to the store proves how threatened people are. Last Friday we were on our regular Indian grocery shopping run, and the experience was appalling. Families are buying off the products for the next six months or more. Shelves are retaining their empty state quite quickly.
Times like these are opportunities for us to show compassion to our fellow human beings. When we buy stuff in bulk to last for more than 3 months, we are actually harming the society by becoming a participant in invoking panic. Supplies that typically sells over the time period of two months got over in a span of 1 day in a store here. Can you imagine the panic that ensues propelling other shoppers into a similar stock up our house too mode?
This is an unusual and scary time. It is for all of us. But what good it is if we stock up our house with food and cleaning products that would last for the next six months only to find out that our neighbors were deprived of the same food which was stocked in our house because they couldn’t find food in stores? Many of us go to the grocery shop and come back empty-handed while we see people who went before us loading up their cars with four times the products which went out of stock.
Here are some useful resources & news about corona virus:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Coronavirus – https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus
Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19) – https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
Coronavirus interactive map – https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
Tennessee AG cracks down on men who hoarded thousands of sanitizer bottles amid shopper scare – https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/03/15/coronavirus-price-gouging-men-hoarding-hand-sanitizer-urged-stop/5054155002/
In the Wake of the Coronavirus, Here’s Why Americans Are Hoarding Toilet Paper – https://time.com/5803273/hoarding-toilet-paper/
President Trump calls on Americans to cease hoarding food – https://abc7news.com/health/trump-calls-on-americans-to-cease-hoarding-food/6015956/
Stay Safe, Stay Indoors
It is not just boring to stay inside all the time, but frustrating, too. And when children are forced to coop up inside the four walls – that’s an extremely unpleasant situation for the poor parents and children equally. But that’s the need of the hour for us to stay safe.
Listing some activities for kids shared by Kanna’s school to do while they are stuck at home due to coronavirus threat:
–Go Noodle for some active screen time
–The Sci Guys for educational science videos that can be done at home
–Code.org for coding
I hope that you will find these resources useful.
So how are you keeping yourself sane and safe during this time of distress? Do share in the comments.