I’ve been sick for 5 days and am getting really tired of it. After a day or two of nervousness, and the thought “what if it’s COVID-19?!” ever present on my mind, I eventually read that the coronavirus doesn’t do sneezing, and was able to relax into the sniffling, snotty misery instead. But after stubbornly working (remotely) with a sore throat last week – doing voice work to boot – and then losing my whole weekend to bed and sneezing, waking up on Monday with the twin terrors of sniffles and headache still rudely hanging around has been a real kick to the spleen.
Today, my wife’s audible sighs in response to my excessively dramatic whining is a sure sign that I’ve entered the last and most treacherous part of any illness: the man-flu. So I’m trying to look on the bright side and stop taking myself so seriously.
Taking stock, we indeed have a great deal to be grateful for. Through a series of lucky breaks and coincidence, we’ve largely managed to stay in the eye of the hurricane, beginning with the impulse buy I made of a single massive pack of 36 rolls of toilet paper not two days before the panic buying started in my community.
I managed to shift my superannuation investments to a conservative/safe profile just prior to the market crash too, but strangely it’s the toilet paper purchase that stands out as my major contribution in the last 2 weeks. I don’t know what that says about the state of the world right now.
To be fair, we were running low already, and the shelves were stacked full then. There was still plenty to go around. Then the dark times came. The Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020 had begun.
But really, in spite of self-isolation our lives haven’t changed all that much. With my kids homeschooled and my wife and I working virtually entirely remotely already, the shift to being completely at-home was not difficult for us at all. The fact we’re all introverts was icing on the cake. Time at home is something we all enjoy.
My professional life is certainly stressful right now, but so far – thanks to amazing management at the two universities I work for – it’s been manageable. The last 2 years have been a whirlwind in that regard. I went from losing my job of 16 years as an educational technologist in 2018 as part of a restructuring to a total surge in demand for online learning experts in 2020 in the wake of COVID-19.
Universities are typically cautious beasts, highly suspicious of change. For the huge chunks of the sector to move their courses, units and programs online in one fell swoop in response to the likely shutdown of campuses across the country has been a marvel to witness – albeit a slightly terrifying one given I was (and am) on the front lines of making it happen.
This does represent a bit of a schism at home, since nearly everyone else has seized the opportunity to indulge in long-forgotten projects, new ideas, and napping while I run around like a headless (virtual) chicken from one work crisis to the next, but by now my family is more or less used to me acting like that. I’m still waiting for my Superman cape to arrive, but clearly it’s gotten lost in the mail.
Stay safe and healthy, everyone!