These are very challenging times for many of us. Those who've never worked remotely are logging in from their homes for the first time, and many of us are faced with the complicated responsibility of caring for children while we juggle work duties. Birthday parties are cancelled, our favorite local businesses are struggling to stay afloat, grocery stores are struggling to meet pickup demand, worship services are streamed on Facebook, and elective healthcare procedures are unavailable. It feels like every routine we've developed has been flipped upside down! Everything is in a frenzy!
Or is it? Over the past few weeks my wife and I have talked to many people about the positive changes they've found in their lives through this quarantine. I wonder if you've found some silver linings of your own? We'd love to hear from you in the comments!
Home Is Where the Heart Is
Often our conversations about quarantine positives revolved around a much needed reset and a new perspective on our home lives.
One of our friends recounted their newfound love and appreciation for home life;
"We've been forced to realize that our personal lives were far too filled with activities outside the home. We'd come home from a week of work on Friday and wake up Monday morning exhausted from our weekend. There was never time for rest because we never made it a priority."
We've noticed that our neighbors have gone full-tilt on home renovations and improvements. We've recently remodeled a bathroom as well.
In true Marie Kondo fashion, we've also been cleaning out our storage space and are selling old items. You'd be amazed how much money you can find in a few hours on a weekend!
Thankfully we're having an absolutely beautiful spring here in West Virginia. It's made me consider whether it is, in fact, better than recent springs, or if I'm just around more to notice it. Picnics on the front lawn, conversations with passing neighbors, and preparing for gardening have given us some much-needed sunlight and fresh air.
There's been some talk about food shortages in the fall, and while we're skeptical, it gave us the extra nudge we needed to plant a small garden this year. They say "Victory gardens" kept people fed during WWI and WWII — maybe we'll need that sort of effort again. There's a certain level of satisfaction you get from growing your own food. Our kids check the garden everyday!
We've also been taking walks in the evenings as a family and meeting our neighbors for the first time (from the curb of course). The neighborhood has already started talking about block parties and cookouts when we're able. As a child of the 80s, it feels a bit like a return to healthier communities before the advent of social media. We hope this continues.
Helping Those In Need
Many people are finding that this crisis has awoken a fire inside them to help others. On a drive to save my office plants last weekend one NPR interviewee proclaimed;
I've struggled to find a purpose for years. I've done well in my career, but I never seemed to find any excitement in what I was doing everyday. When this crisis came it became clear what the world needed from me.
At Omni we've been supporting our local restaurants through efforts like KVtakeout and OVtakeout, websites dedicated to helping locals find restaurants that are offering takeout and delivery services in their area. I'm also helping non-profits like The Drupal Association sustain themselves through the #DrupalCares fundraising campaign. The association provides enormous support to the thousands of non-profits who rely on Drupal's technology and hard times for Drupal will impact far more than a few developers.
There are so many ways that we can all use our treasure, knowledge and energy to lift our local communities. I'd challenge our readers to lean in and ask "what can I do" to help the people and organizations near you.
Home Office Advantages
I recently asked our team at Omni if they've found silver linings in their quarantine experience.
Jessi Becker, HR Manager, found some happiness in a special apparel item;
For me, I will share that I have uncovered a newfound appreciation for yoga pants. Spoiler alert: Despite what the name implies, they aren’t just for yoga. My assessment is that they have been pretty darn perfect for every quarantine activity I’ve encountered thus far. God bless the woman that recognized the genius of the elastic waistband, leaned in, and took it to the next level.
Todd Morrison, Client Service Manager, (who started working at Omni directly before the quarantine) has found some extra shut-eye;
It's nice to sleep in and not have to jump into the shower and rush to work in the morning.
Paul Phoenix, Business Development Associate, is perplexed by the relationship between food consumption and fuel points;
It's nice to walk from the desk to the refrigerator. Another thing that's a plus and also a conundrum to me, is that with not going to restaurants and eating at home, the grocery bill has gone up. So our fuel points have gone up, but we can't use them!
Other coworkers have found that their home office offers benefits that Omni's facilities do not. Dena Ricer, Digital Media Coordinator, noted the breath of fresh air in her home office;
My office smells great! (It's in my laundry room)
And Chip Calissie, our Business Development Director shared a fun perspective (and coping strategy);
I've learned to look at the glass as half full... then quickly fill it up & have another cocktail!
Have You Found Silver Linings?
What are some of your silver linings? We'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments!
Our resident digital polymath, Aaron shares a wide knowledge of how products and services are designed and built for the web.