Quarantine Day 14, Sunshine and Phone Time

Homemade Bread
Homemade bread with a thick crust

Thankfully, the rain has passed and we’ve been able to work outside for two days.  The blue birds are nesting, the cherry tree blooms lie in blankets of color on the ground, and the dogwoods are hitting their stride, marking an early spring indeed.

It is still several weeks before our average last frost date, but we have some plants ready to be moved from flats into the soil, which is warm enough to support starts and germination of early varieties.  We may have to put in some lettuce and spinach seeds in the ground to see how they do.

Phone Time

When I was working 10 hours a day, I rarely had time to call anyone socially.  We’d send a few texts or I’d call while I was commuting home.  I talked to one of my kids weekly and the other one less often.  We were far more likely to get together for a meal with a friend in the area than talk on the phone.

Boy has that changed.

Now that I’m home full time, phone call volume has soared.  Over the past few days, I had three separate calls of an hour or more.  I don’t think I’ve spent that much time on the phone since I was dating.

But it’s been good.  The opportunity for people to slow down, step away from the demands of their ordinary lives and reconnect with friends and family may be a silver lining to the whole coronavirus pandemic.  But eventually I’d like to get back to a normal life.

The Working from Home Myth

I’m not working from home, unless you count this blog, which is at least a side gig, but I know people who are.

It may be more accurate to say that I know people who are going through the motions of working from home.  I question how much actual work they are getting done.  Many of them would rather be at the office because they can get more work done there.

I think much of this working from home stuff is a polite fiction to allow companies to keep paying their employees, a polite fiction of which I am totally in favor. 

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of jobs that can be done entirely from home, but that doesn’t mean all jobs can be.  For example, one individual we know used to travel several times a month to different sites.  Now he can’t travel and many of the sites are closed.  He’s working at home, but how long will it be before she’s all caught up? 

People that work at home all the time have systems in place.  They have project software and a project manager that keeps everyone moving in the same direction.  They have team meetings.  People who are suddenly thrust into it with no planning are going to be less productive.  And you can only write so many reports, memos and emails when your clients are closed. 

In another example, we know a kindergarten teacher that is supposed to be helping her students study online.  Really?  Online kindergarten?  She says she’s spending much of her time doing professional development webinars.  Like I said, it’s a polite fiction.

I don’t remember much from my kindergarten days, but I recall there was story time, nap time, snack time, and we sang songs.  Doesn’t sound all that different from my quarantine experience.

Music and Laughter

Music plays an important role in my life, even if it is just on in the background.  A good song can lift your mood, make a movie better, or keep you watching YouTube when you should have gone to bed hours ago.

I also like a good joke.  Hell, who am I kidding?  I even like the bad jokes, and my kids say I am a font of dad humor.  So in the interests of lightening your day, I give you musical comedy, the Coronavirus Rhapsody.