Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Pandemic Atlanta Lockdown - Week 1

Lonely railway track near Lindberg station
So we have completed the first week of the pandemic WFH. I planned a few personal policies to follow during the pandemic. Some of them worked, some of them didn't.

1. Work from a specific "office" area at home
This worked. I rearranged my table and I am also using my projector. 

2. Use the office laptop for office work only.
It was quite hard not to use the laptop for some music out of convenience. But I avoided that during the regular work hours.

3. Wake up and work at the same time as usual
I am waking up early as usual, except for a slight delay since I do not have to commute to work. I start working around the same time (7:25 am). But since my collaborators work until late, I cannot stop working at 4:45 pm as I planned (and I am used to, while working from the office). I kind of worked longer than I expected. Blurred work-life boundaries made this worse. But it is not that bad as I had nothing else to do anyway, staying home alone - working, cooking and eating, learning Portuguese, listening to music, and sleeping.

4. No music
Yes, I did not play music during regular work hours.
My home workspace

5. No Twitter
This did not work. Twitter is my news source and also some human interaction especially when we are isolated.

6. Wear proper clothes
Yes, it worked.

7. No alcohol
Worked. We had a coffee/tea/liquor hour last Friday evening at 3 pm to mark the close of the week. It lasted 75 minutes, and I enjoyed the White Russian cocktail I made for myself.

8. Follow the lunch timing

9. No personal calls
Worked. I had some calls. But the regular amounts as if I were working from the office. Lasted only around 5 - 10 minutes maximum a day.

10. Make random meaningless coffee-time video calls to my colleagues
We have weekly update calls 11 - 12 pm on Mondays and daily calls 11 - 11:15 am. Those are not meaningless calls since we discuss the progress. We also had some random calls.

Go for coffee with colleagues
The situation deteriorated fast within a week. With strict social distancing measures in place, this won't happen. During the past week (including the weekend), I only went out once - that is, to buy groceries from Kroger. I may go out once a week or once in 2 weeks during these days for grocery shopping.

12. Track how everything goes
Yes, and I hope to maintain these weekly blog posts. I used to do that when I moved to Portugal in 2012 and continued to do so until 2013 summer vacation (see all posts tagged Lisbon). Those days were the most exciting days. COVID-19 lockdown days are the opposite. Most boring days ever. Yet, I think the blog posts give me some records for the future.

I hope everyone stays safe at home. Hope we all overcome this pandemic soon and move on with our regular happy life.

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