I’m isolated at home during COVID-19, but Avanade helps keep me connected
- Posted on May 6, 2020
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Day 42? No, day 45? Monday. Definitely Monday. Wake up, check email, take run avoiding as many people as possible while simultaneously adjusting my facemask as to not fog up my sunglasses. Work. Lunch. Work. Dinner. Repeat.
Life as we know it has changed, and I’m trying my best to adapt, with a smile on my face.
Over the past several weeks, I can credit my sanity to friends near and far – keeping me laughing and connected in this unprecedented time, as I navigate and adjust to a life of mandated isolation in my Chicago apartment. From weekly happy hours and trivia nights, to Sunday dinner with my parents in Connecticut and brothers and niece in Oregon, we have it covered. I’ve spent countless hours on video calls with friends in Chicago within a 3-mile radius and feel more connected to my family and friends in different states than I have in years; Facetime conversations that occasionally felt like a nuisance are a necessity now.
While having an active virtual social life is great, I do feel myself struggling on occasion – I long to hug my friends and visit my ever-changing 2-year-old niece in Oregon – but have to accept those feelings as normal. We’re living in a world of uncharted territory, and I think it’s OK to be a little scared or defeated – and also natural to yearn for life to get back to “normal,” however that might look in the future. To keep myself busy, I’ve been devouring books, learning to cross stitch and re-watching TV series that bring me joy. I also find that keeping active is great for my mental health and have been getting out for early morning runs around my new Chicago neighborhood, and trying to love yoga.
In terms of work, some days are better than others – while many of you have worked at home for years, I thrive in an office-setting and miss the camaraderie of the Chicago Office (apologies to my desk mates – I’ll be chattier than ever upon return 😉). Because I live in a city apartment and don’t have an office, it can be a struggle to switch myself in to work mode each morning. To keep myself on track at home during the work week, I’ve had to create some “rules” for myself to follow – I always make my bed, shut my bedroom door and put on “work” clothes (yoga pants count, right?). I have a checklist to make sure I’m drinking enough water throughout the day, I get outside for some fresh air on nice days and make sure that I’m standing up and walking around each hour.
I’m thankful to have a manager who checks in on me frequently and not just for work related questions – it’s helped us stay connected in ways that we would if we were in the office together, which I quite appreciate. I try to do a sanity check on my friends throughout the week on Teams to see how they are doing and have attended several virtual happy hours, which have helped me stay connected to my colleagues during this time. While we might commiserate about longing for a rosé on the Chicago Riverwalk, we’re being innovative in the ways that we stay connected and are making it a priority to support each other during this difficult time.
For the past six weeks, I’ve been living in a state of, “What comes next?” When will I get to fly home to visit my parents and grandparents? Will I be able to meet my nephew when he’s born? Should I get another puzzle? Is my TV going to give out on me from the amount of streaming services consumed? Will my friends learn that I’m not actually a blonde? But, the best we can do is survive – find something good in each day, support our peers, take (safe) walks, and stress bake a cake if that’s what you need to get through the day.
We can get through this, and I can’t wait to see you on the other side.