Last week, amid rising concerns about COVID-19, I was sick. It was no big deal, just a little stomach bug, highly unlikely to be contagious. But I worked from home for a week, out of prudence.
After a week of this, I decided to go in the office again. I had missed the double-monitor setup and the snack room. But the environment was totally changed from before.
On the train, I was paranoid that I would cough or sneeze, and people would shun me or worse. Well you know, it’s allergy season, lots of people are sneezing. And I have asthma, I cough year round. But imagine explaining that to randos on the train, and to be fair I wouldn’t trust a rando explaining the same to me either.
The office was mostly empty. I raided the snack room.
That afternoon, the company announced that it was recommending everyone work from home, for the next week at least. So I went home–after grabbing every perishable item in the fridge.
When I got home, there was a notice at the apartment saying they’re testing the fire alarms for two hours the next day.
Perhaps this is the least of the consequences of COVID-19, but it sure is a thing. Tech companies all over are telling their workers to stay home. My husband is working from home too. I don’t follow the news, but I’d guess that the number of telecommuters right now is historically unprecedented.
I suppose we are fortunate that we can work from home.
Sunday Afternoon says
Yes, some of us are fortunate that we can work from home. But fuck! Many have crappy or no health coverage and are working minimum wage, including a lot of health care workers, and don’t have that option.
Might this finally persuade America to provide everyone with healthcare?
My company hasn’t made the call yet, so I’m getting to observe the lighter traffic in the main commute direction here in a Silicon Valley (I’m lucky, I have a reverse commute).
Unlikely. Keeping people alive, being prepared for epidemics and pandemics, and mandating a living wage, among other things, are all “socialist” and therefore evil.
I am one of those fortunate ones; I have already been working 2/5 days from home for years (in fact, I am supposed to be working right now! – rather than reading FTB). But as of today, we have been more-or-less ordered to work from home every day until the end of March. I’m actually going to miss seeing some of the people in the office, although I do understand the higher-ups have the right idea.
(one good thing about working in the office, no damn cat distracting me all the time.)