So everyone is currently either talking about COVID-19, complaining about COVID-19, or writing about COVID-19, and I’ve never been one to shy away from doing what everyone else is doing, so welcome my post, during which I throw in my two cents and describe how Week 1 of working from home has affected me and the little bubble that is now my entire life.
DISCLAIMER: I am fully aware that there are way worse situations to be in, and being asked to stay at home is NOT the worst case scenario or the most horrendous thing that could happen to me in my lifetime, but, it’s a weird world we live in right now, so documenting it helps me get my shit together, and if it makes a reader smile or laugh or even relate a little bit, then even better! I am not in ANY way self-pitying or asking for sympathy, simply observing life in the middle of a pandemic.
Things I have learned whilst working from home:
- Our sofa is so lumpy. Why did I ever think it was comfortable? It turns out if you go and lie on the couch of your own accord it feels a little bit like heaven and you never want to leave, but as soon as you are forced to spend an extended amount of time on it, your back starts to complain every time you move and your neck ends up in a position akin to the Bent-Neck Lady from the Haunting of Hill House.
- Sitting cross-legged on the sofa is not an ergonomic way to work.
- A decent-sized flat is actually a tiny flat when all three occupants are in at the same time all hours of the day. I heard every pee, every shit, every yawn, every cough… EVERYTHING that happened in the flat. To the point where I had to put earplugs in. I’m usually quite easily distracted by noise anyway, so having the extra hubbub of other working around me was difficult to adjust to.
- Mr OneBigStressball breathes really loudly.
- He also laughs really loudly in a wheezy, out-of-the-nose sort of way when on the phone to clients and colleagues.
- He does, however, make unlimited amounts of tea and is willing to share snacks.
- He also does not judge me when I pour a glass of wine for myself as soon as the clock hits 5pm.
- We have a new resident mouse in the house. I first noticed him after a couple of days working from home, but he would only make himself be seen when I was alone in the living room, so even I thought I might be going crazy from early-onset cabin fever. I swear, that fucker was so sneaky and expertly hid when the boys came through to help me catch him, and knew when they wouldn’t be there to see him and therefore come out and run around again. The cheek!
- I’m extremely scared of mice, and the thought it could get into my room makes me feel sick.
- I am paranoid about the mouse getting into the box of cereal and crawling up my arm one day when I reach for the cereal inside, like something out of Ratatouille. But scary. And traumatising.
- Naming the mouse Earl has made him a cartoon character in my brain and perhaps I won’t be as scared when he makes a reappearance.
- It takes 15 steps to get from my ‘office’ on the sofa to the bathroom. It takes 17 to get into my room. This means hitting 10,000 steps in a day is proving difficult.
- It turns out my fear during this pandemic is not running out of loo roll, but running out of eggs. I don’t know why this is, but I’ve been having low-key panics every time we’ve had less than 6 eggs in our cupboard.
- I have a shorter attention span that I realised.
- My new favourite snack is grated cheese and tomato ketchup in a wrap.
- Saying it’s fine if someone takes client calls in the same room as you throughout the day is something you come to regret after the second call.
- Our kitchen chairs are really squeaky.
- Working in an office is just a way for me to distract myself from snacking between meals.
- I talk to myself. A lot.
- I’m really dreading the day the gyms close. It’s currently the only thing keeping me sane.
- And finally – working in an office where there are people to keep me in check is helpful in the sense that I am not able to spend nearly as much time on the internet. Many times this week I’ve caught myself going into what Mr OneBigStressball and I like to call ‘black holes of the internet’, whereby we start to watch one video, and end up watching the next one on the list due to Autoplay, and before we know it, we’ve watched an hour and a half of short videos on the internet. I’m particularly bad for this with Gogglebox clips. This habit is relatively harmless, if not time-consuming, but it really can’t be good for my eyes, and I must look like a zombie while I’m doing it.
These are little things I’ve realised in the first 4 days of working from home. We might be stuck here for a while, and I am technically not even allowed out of the house for 12 weeks due to being a chronic asthmatic and therefore in a high-risk group, so we’ll see how the next god-knows-how-long goes with these new restrictions in place.
I wonder when the cabin fever will really kick in?
How are you guys coping with having to self isolate and working from home? Have you got any hints and tips on how to cope, both mentally and physically?