Back at the Office

Last week I was called from my work-at-home routine into the office. The company I write for is a small family owned local gig and we’re a close team of people. We have not reopened the store front on the first floor yet.

I love working from home. It is my long term goal. After 4 weeks of it, I proved to myself that the ideal actually fits me best.

I also love my co-workers and the atmosphere of my office. It’s a great place to work. No one breathes down my neck. As long as I get my to-do list checked off, I get paid and have fun.

I’m also in Missouri.

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Of our 6 million people, just 314 people have died. Many more die from cancer, heart disease, respiratory infections, car accidents, accidents in general, and so on.

Hospitalizations and new cases have dropped. Our governor did what was best for the people. Our stay-at-home order was much more relaxed than other harder hit states. Common sense was pushed and expected, but we are free to go out so long as we keep our distance and I have been so happy for that.

The state parks never closed. St. Louis did see the most cases, and so closed their parks, but they reopened most of them yesterday and life is good.

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For 10 days now I’ve been commuting to and from the office again. Traffic wasn’t an issue at all last week, but it’s gradually picking up. I’m a bit nervous to see how bad things get on Monday since our stay-at-home order ends then. Luckily Missourians are smart and I trust that we’ll handle it with grace.

I did an interview with a New Yorker and his story is very different. I imagine people in Chicago and other harder-hit areas have many concerns.

In Wisconsin where the deaths have been low and nurses are being laid-off due to lack of patients, the National Guard is patrolling the streets and making people go inside. My in-laws are there as well as some friends and the response is mixed. Someone called the police to report that an 80 year old man went out, while some police officers have been looking the other way when parents rip tape off of playground equipment and let their kids enjoy life again.

No matter where you are or how you feel about COVID-19. Life will go on.

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If anyone out there is afraid to go back to work, or even take a walk outside, it’s okay to feel how you feel. Take it a little at a time. Open a window. Maybe just stand in your front door and look out.

There is no need to rush back into things, but please respect those of us who continue living our lives.

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My husband is a delivery driver. He’s been out working in this every day. Tips were great for the first few weeks, but they’ve done a complete 180. Which is real crummy.

About half the people at the grocery store are wearing masks, the rest don’t. But most everyone has been great about keeping their distance and still waving or smiling at others.

I asked my boss if we would open our doors to the public next week since. He said he does not believe that’s the right idea for us. Maybe the week after, and I support that. Online sales are up-we’re doing just fine.

Because I’ve been out in this I am less afraid. I know the risks and they are just like anything else in life. Whether there is an outbreak or not, every time you leave your home you come in contact with unknown bacteria, viruses, and risk accidents or issues with others. But living in fear is not life. Hiding is something a person can only do for so long before they break.

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Suicide and domestic violence are up.

If you’re feeling lonely or scared, reach out. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

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Crisis nurseries are available in many areas to help parents, and the ones in the St. Louis area are still open.

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As for me, I can’t wait to go to my favorite restaurant, eat on the patio, and leave a giant tip. I’m ready to hike my favorite trails in St. Louis. I’ll be glad to be done with being shamed for letting my daughters see their 75 year old grandfather who is dying of cancer.

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Throughout this entire mess I’ve trusted my instincts. What works for me isn’t for everyone else. I wish more people understood that. What suits you may not suit me.

We are a society of control freaks. People who want to scream at others when they don’t live, vote, or speak the way we want, but that goes against everything that makes us strong. Focusing on what is best for you and working to promote that is awesome. I go off on tangents at times but for the most part I’m more of a fan of preaching what you love and ignoring/changing what you hate.

Yelling about what we hate only gives that side more publicity and publicity spreads that message. We have the ability to move forward if we work together and remember the balance of compromise.

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We may never be the same, but it’s time to reclaim our lives and be brave.

8 thoughts on “Back at the Office

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