I thought I'd write something during the month of March 2020 so that there exists a record that I am doing fine (for now at least) during the strange times we're in.
I work at a university, and so the impact of COVID-19 did not hit me on a personal level until Friday March 13, when the university made the decision to shift all their in-person classes to online classes in support of physical distancing.
I saw extraordinarily rapid changes on the week of March 16:
Monday (March 16): "Classes are online but the university is still open so employees are still expected to come to work."
Friday (March 20): "We are locking the buildings at end of day today and you must obtain approval to access the building."
(I didn't get yoinked out of my office though. I had started working from home for physical distancing reasons since March 9 because I had a minor cold I didn't want to infect anyone with.)
The week of March 23 was about dealing with the consequences of physical distancing and the sudden (and probably jarring) transition to online learning. I'm sure there were numerous conversations among faculty members regarding final exams and projects (the current academic term ends at the beginning of April). As a staff member of the university, I was involved in numerous conversations regarding a MAJOR grading policy change (or an exception granted for this term only) that was announced on March 23. We had to have answers ready for all the "what are the implications?" questions by the end of March 26. Although that week was full of uncertainty (and if you know me you know that I dislike uncertainty!), but I appreciate the university's adaptive response to the pandemic. Everyone is flustered, but that is normal behavior considering how big of a crisis we're facing.
I will also mention that important decisions had to be made very quickly at the language school I volunteer at as vice chair. That was a mentally exhausting process but I am pleased with the outcome.
From a personal perspective, I am doing okay so far. Since March 3, I was participating in a "30-day mindfulness challenge" offered through my work (in a nutshell: remembering to do 5 sets of 5 controlled breaths for 30 days: https://www.mindwellu.com/take-5). The final day of the challenge is tomorrow, and I feel lucky to have started the mindfulness challenge right as COVID-19 was turning into something unfathomable worldwide. (I think I am appreciating meals more... which feels kind of silly to say, but that's something you usually do 3 times a day. It can add up.) I plan to write a more detailed review of the 30-day mindfulness challenge at a later date.
I must admit - with all the information (and misinformation) about the COVID-19 pandemic coming constantly from different directions regardless of being online or offline (the news, social media, family and friends), there's a sense of unrest everywhere I go and I find it very difficult to concentrate and get things done. It feels like it costs 10x as much energy to accomplish anything. I believe that part of that unrest might be coming from the uncertainty ("when will it end?") and a mourning of an era (like what the HBR article "That Discomfort You're Feeling Is Grief" says) - one day we'll meet up with each other again in person but the world will not be the same as before. There is no going back, and we don't know where we're going.
As I head off to bed, I hope that more people staying home, washing their hands frequently, wearing masks to prevent spread, etc. will result in killing off a whole bunch of other lethal virus strains.
I'm Candice and I doodle with the intensity of the doomguy.