I’ve been isolating for 5 weeks already. You can do this.

A miniature schnauzer and a white terrier lying side by side on a red sofa.
My coworkers have disrupted many a meeting when the mail arrives.

Remember: We’re all in the same boat

Working at home for 20 years means I did it throughout my daughter’s childhood. I know what it’s like to be on a work call while a toddler redecorates your office by going through the recycling bin and spreading every scrap of paper all over the floor, or to be frantically hitting the mute button on a video call while the dogs bark or an upset teen barges in.

What my days looked like before

First I’ll throw out some caveats. I work at home and have for 20 years. I don’t have any little kids. And arguably, our household is unusually prepared for this situation.

Then it all came to a halt. Sound familiar?

The day I got sick was a Sunday. I sort of shrugged off the sore throat and fever — I didn’t mind a day on the couch. I could use a rest after my busy week.

Week 2: The hardest

The second week, I was really sick. Felt like I was losing my mind.

Minimize online time (Facebook, Twitter, news) to avoid overwhelming yourself with anxiety-provoking information that you can’t do anything about anyway.

Week 3: On an upswing

The third week was a lot better, mentally. I still wasn’t 100% healthy, but I was over the hump. I canceled everything social or in person, but I was back to work.

Week 4: New normal

During what was my fourth week of isolation — week 1 for most of you — things began to fall into a rhythm. My work meetings began increasingly turning to Zoom calls and conference calls. I spent some time helping to train members of my writing center on how to use Zoom, too.

Week 5: Getting into the groove

Now I’m in week 5 and getting into the groove. Some things about the “new normal” are actually kind of wonderful.

Gratitude for good fortune

I’m trying to remember to be thankful. I hope you can too.

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