Pandemic Life: Cathy

On March 12 my workplace closed the DC office and switched to full-time telework for the foreseeable future. One email and the routine of my life completely changed. The whole world changed for everyone.

I’m married with a teenage son, a dog, and a cat. We’re all home, all of the time. Kevin and I are both lucky enough to be able to work full time at home and Ian has been doing “distance learning.” I don’t miss the office or commuting at all. I’ve always worked from home a few days a week and my organization has always had a large contingent of remote employees—my teammates live in NC, AZ, and MI. I don’t love Zoom Allstaff calls, but at least now I can do them from my couch. 

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and baking. (I’ve always baked sourdough bread, but didn’t latch onto the bean trend.) I grew tomatoes, peppers, kale, and cabbage from seed this year, and my garden looks great. We’ve done Zoom calls with my 80+ year old relatives. We relearned the happiness of board games, online minigolf and Minecraft, and dug the firepit out of the shed to enjoy on the weekends. We’ve learned to enjoy the slower pace of life.

We do miss visiting friends, going to movies and restaurants, and being able to travel. My mother has Alzheimer’s and is in a nursing home. I haven’t been able to see her in months. Phone calls help, but I’m aware of the time we’re losing that we won’t get back. My son also misses his friends and asks me “when will things get back to normal?” I tell him the truth. We don’t know. We’re in uncharted territory. Things will likely never go back to exactly the way they were. But we’ll adapt, get used to it, and we’ll be okay.

By Cathy Bruce
Published July 1, 2020
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