What it's like here, today.
I've been fled for a while, but a quick recap is that I'm working in medical diagnostics, which, as you may imagine, are considered an essential business at this time. I support manufacturing which means I need to be in the plant most of the time to keep things running smoothly.
So in general, my experience of this period has so far been a little more normal and business as usual than most. I have a job to go to everyday, I have slightly customized but normal banter with the usual cast of characters. Being introverted and somewhat workaholic, what else would I be doing, anyway?
I had my freakout moments when they announced the first cases inside my workplace, when they started taking our temperatures at the door.
The grocery store is an uncomfortable experience. Skipping family celebrations for Mother's Day, My sister's birthday, my nieces' birthdays was uncomfortable. Likewise having to explain why I wouldn't come when they all gathered to celebrate, dealing with thinking about them all together, it felt weird that they don't have the same level of concern and caution that I do.
Emotionally, it feels weird.
I'm disappointed. It's difficult to think of the future, normally, one of my coping strategies for stress is to look forward to trips that I have planned, events, the future as a whole, but for now, the future is in fog. Will I be able to go camping again? Will I be able to see people in person again? I mean, yes. But I can't plan on it, I can't navigate to it.
At the same time, though, I'm doing fine, I feel incredibly privileged to have solid employment, mainly for the income but also for the opportunity and obligation to see humans in person.
Until today, non-essential businesses have been closed to the public, and non-essential workplaces have been required to close and either have employees work from home, or if this is impossible, furlough them. Essential businesses include healthcare providers, groceries stores, liquor stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, and catch all department stores like Target and Walmart. It also includes manufacturing and critical supply chain for many items.
It doesn't include (famously) hair styling, manicurists,
Starting tomorrow, the governor is implementing "phase 1 reopening" of the Commonwealth. Some workplaces like non-essential construction and manufacturing will be allowed to reopen, provided that these workplaces comply with social distancing, wearing masks and various other restrictions. In his speech today, he tentatively gave a goal of May 25th for limited personal services like hair and nail salons.
We’ll see what tomorrow brings.