Working from home
Well, here we are. I was hoping to avoid spending any real time talking about COVID-19 (which sounds more appropriately dystopian to me than Novel Coronavirus), but here we are. I wanted to avoid it because I didn’t want to make light of something so serious, and I also didn’t want to turn my “humor” blog into a bummer.
But this has been thrust upon us all, so I hope that in your time of solitude you can find my own trivial misfortunes amusing. Everyone likes watching someone fall down, as long as they’re ok. It’s funny, you can admit it.
I’ve been working long hours starting the end of last week and my wife has been home with both kids. Initially it was supposed to be spring break, but then it turned into this new reality. Fortunately what my wife lacks in patience she makes up for in not taking it out on me.
Last week I saw everyone was buying up toilet paper, since we had toilet paper, and I own a shower I wasn’t all that concerned and didn’t think much more than a meme of it. That was before I stopped at Publix on Thursday evening to get a few things. Not toilet paper, just basic things like sugar, flour, butter. The most basic of things possible really. There was no flour. I thought since we needed bread flour rather than regular flour we’d be fine. But no. There was NO flour.
This struck me as funny as my wife an I had discussed during the run up to the craziness that we weren’t all that worried about bread shortages etc., because she’s an amazing baker and if she’s going to be home she might as well bake our bread. I had not imagined that I didn’t need a wife that could bake, I needed a wife that could plant and harvest grain.
I am quite certain that there are a number of people in town that now have bags of bread flour and have no idea what the hell bread flour is. They are trying to make biscuit from scratch for the first time thanks to a website and flour is flour. They are supremely disappointed in their biscuits. There are pounds and pounds of flour bought this week lining the bottoms of pantries that will be thrown out when some one finally decides to use it and there are bugs in it. I’m not bitter. I am a little annoyed.
Like most people this week was grinding on. I was working late an my wife was going insane and wondering why she ever went off birth control to begin with. I imagine urologists all over the country are getting calls from wives who in hushed voices are asking, “so you’re sure it worked right?”
On my way home Thursday my wife sent me a text telling me that everyone in the house had a fever (I have since learned that they were all in the mid 99’s and that is, in fact, not a fever). Out of an abundance of caution I decided I’d work from home on Friday, after all we’d spent the last week at work making sure that everything was prepared in case that happened.
I have never really “worked from home” before. I’ve brought work home. I spend most nights looking things up, emailing, prepping, and otherwise working at home. I’ve now learned that working “from home” is something entirely different. And it’s terrible.
I spent most of the day trying to fight back emails using an iPad with a keyboard, juggling two cell phones and having to try to participate in conference calls (which I already dread) on a cell phone.
While I do feel guilty when I’m at work and my wife is at home juggling both kids, I feel even more guilty when I’m just upstairs in the guest room typing on a tiny keyboard and can actually hear her juggling both kids and by the sound of it repeatedly dropping one of them.
Since members of my family had a fever (they didn’t) it was determined that we would all have to go get checked by a doctor. We arrived, and were met in the parking lot like we were told we would be, we waited in the car until they were ready for us “to be taken straight back.” Straight back turned out to be straight to triage, then straight to sub-waiting.
Taking kids into a doctors office is unpleasant in the best of times. Taking a 6 year old who can’t manage to keep his hands out of his mouth and a 16 month old who wants to get down and roam around to the doctors office in the midst of a pandemic is just downright cruel.
Fortunately we’re all healthy and fever free. Vera had an ear infection, which we already knew thanks to her trip to the ENT on Monday. We decided to pick up the antibiotic perscription we were hoping not to use.
In addition to being out of flour, sugar, butter, and every part of the chicken, Publix also decided in the middle of the greatest health crisis for generations to go ahead and close the pharmacy early too.
I ended my night (and week) fittingly on a video conference with other dads drinking bourbon. A fitting tribute to this week, and maybe the new form of whiskey night in this strange world we currently live in.
Take care of each other. Be kind. Support local businesses. We’ll all get through this together, but none of us can get through it alone.
If you’re in Tuscaloosa and looking to support a local business checkout https://ttowntakeout.com to see what some have to offer.