We woke today with a mission to be as normal as possible for the day, with the only real change that we weren't going to leave the yard or neighborhood. Today is meant to be a bit of an extreme test, and baseline. The adults have work. The school-aged child has tasks. The pre-schooler has abundant energy. We need to blend differently than we have before for our extended time at home.
The main drivers, as mentioned in another post, are the CDC and other government recommendations that everyone begin "social distancing," and if possible or necessary, to "self-quarantine." The CDC and White House have given their directives, different really only in their delivery. Our companies have aligned, and suggested that anyone who can work from home should work from home. Our state closed the schools for the next few weeks, in alignment with the same recommendations.
With the exception of working remotely, my office has urged "operations as normal as possible." As an office, not store, worker, this means meetings and keyboarding, and face-to-face interactions via instant messaging and video chatting. (I'm participating in a conference call while I tap this out.) As implied, we support country-wide store operations, loosely coupled with world-wide supply chain operations. My team is fortunate that we work at desks, and working from home is really limited by Internet access, and family space. (My youngest has been to visit me a handful of times in this last half-hour.)
The wife has a similar situation. Her work is primarily remote, although some of her job has included travel to various health clinics to support her IT role during systems maintenance and upgrades and such. She has less of an every-day responsibility to engage in those traveling jobs, but it is something we've had to work into our plan.
The hardest part, as we've known this probably would happen since the weekend started, has been trying to prepare the kids for the kinds of changes afoot. Winter is just ending, and they're used to being trapped inside from time-to-time when weather is unfavorable during "stay at home days." The fact that we're planning for at least 20 of these (school is the first to have a tentative date in the future) has been hard to get them to conceptualize.
That the reality is that we're expecting this to last through the summer. Looking at Wuhan, China, where this started, they've been impacted since December 2019, and state quarantined since January 2020; so for the last two months. We're starting a two-week trial, from the White House guidance, but the state school shut-down is abutting spring break, so we're looking at 20 days. The wife's company guideline has been "end of the month," which aligns with the spring break ending. My office has said "through April," so I'm looking at six weeks.
We, of course, are realistic and realize that this is just the beginning, and every one of those timelines comes with the caveat of "things may change."
We have gathered a few extra groceries. Not hoarder style, but because we now have to have lunches and kid snacks at home, where previously everyone ate (or took) lunch away. We're believing that we're going to have opportunities to refresh, as the stores have drive-up or quick pick-up options, and deliveries are still happening. There's big hope and trust that similar warnings and concessions stopping those activities will also come with contingencies. We do have some insight, as I do work in stores and supply chain, so we can see impact from, say driver reduction or upticks in roadside crime (thinking Mad Max dystopia...heh) as impacts and further changes occur.
We've also tried to develop a planned-to-change schedule for the day, as we need to keep the kids from just TV zombie all day. We have a ton of rearranging to do in the house, moving some of the piles of "get to this later" out of the way for having work spaces conducive to working. Sharing the office might be hard with overlapping studies and meetings, but we have several work spaces in the house, plus a couple tables. It's just time to step in to some of the procrastinated effort.
No one here, or that we know, is ill with the virus yet. We'll try to keep that notice up to date, too.