- What I’m Reading: Bill Morris, a Legendary Life (a big name in Memphis politics for many years)
- What I’m Listening to: my 2019 Rewind playlist on Spotify
- What I’m Watching: just introduced the kids to What about Bob
Thursday, February 27 around noon, I received a phone call from the nurse at my children’s school. My son had a fever, and he needed to go home. When I left work to pick him up, I just finished writing my first press release about our town’s preparedness for the coronavirus and felt ahead of the curve, because there were no cases reported yet in Tennessee.
What I didn’t realize at the time is that I wouldn’t return to work until March 16, and that my world would be vastly different. As of right now, we have 98 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, and as we all know, that number changes quickly.
During my first week at home, I worked as much as possible, kept up with the news and my peers, and became a complete germaphobe constantly washing and cleaning every surface in the house. Thankfully and largely due to this network, I knew as a communicator for my town, I had a lot of work headed my way. I was ready to hit the ground running as soon as my son got over his fever.
Then my daughter got sick. Two days later, my son was sick again. After two visits to the pediatrician, they were both positive for Type A Influenza.
During my second week at home, I started to get tired. I worked as much as I could, binge watched Some Assembly Required with my daughter, and just spray Lysol everywhere as my cleaning method. I was ready to get back to work, but began to wonder about when that would actually happen. My children needed me, but I also felt an obligation to my community. I started to feel anxious.
Then I got sick. My doctor wouldn’t allow me to come to her office since it was still peak flu season, so she made the assumption that I also had the flu (thanks kids) and called in medication.
When I had the flu, and was also caring for two children with the flu, my mental health suffered. Obviously I wasn’t feeling well, but I also reached a point of loneliness I had never experienced. My day-to-day routine was completely disrupted and I missed my social interactions with coworkers and friends.
When you think about it, two weeks is not that long. However, my feelings were real, and I’m thankful that I recovered from my illness in just a few days. I’m back at work for the time being, and hope to soak up as much “normalcy” as I can before that changes.
For many of us already working in a social distancing or self-quarantine situation, two weeks could easily turn into three, four, or more. There are a lot of working from home and self-care tips out there, and I recommend learning those best practices.
And remember to consistently check on your family, friends, and colleagues. These are unprecedented times, and we’re all going to handle it differently. Random phone calls from friends were some of the best medicine I received last week.
Take care of yourself and those you care about – we’re all in this together.