While it feels like the whole world has been turned upside down due to the coronavirus, you can still do your best to better yourself and help others during these turbulent times. Through social distancing, diligent hand washing, and adhering to direction given by the CDC and WHO, we can all help to stop the spread of the virus. In addition to distance, hygiene and listening to public health agencies, there are a multitude of things that you can do to positively affect yourself and others during COVID-19.
Working from home might seem like a fantastic thing: no commute, no fighting traffic, no struggling to get up early, and no need to switch from your PJs to real clothes. But it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
Yes, it is exciting that you can sleep in a bit later, but I swear it makes getting up harder. My body is pre-programmed to wake up at 6:30 a.m. every day, but now, I wake up and hit snooze or wake up later and feel groggy as anything. I haven’t been late for my usual start time, but I’ve cut it closer than ever before and logged in at 7:29 a.m. (This is in contrast to my usual habit of arriving at the building at 7:15 a.m.!)
While staying in my PJs seemed like such a wonderful option, I decided on casual clothes instead (jeans and a t-shirt), because I wanted to stay in a work frame of mind. Being in my usual work clothes motivates me to stay productive, while I think that if I had stayed in my PJs, I would have wanted to get back in bed and go to sleep.
Commute and “Traffic” Jams
It might seem like I’d have an easy commute — a few steps out of the bedroom, up the stairs, down a hall and into the computer room — that takes what, maybe 3 minutes?
Well, that’s not the case when you have cats.
No one told my cats that I’d be working from home, and it turns out that they have their own ideas about my “walk to work.” First, there was trying to get up the stairs as Bowie, my wonder kitty and ever-present pal, decided it was time for a petting session on the landing of the stairs. It took two or three minutes until his majesty was satisfied enough to let me pass.
At the top of the stairs, I found Romeo, our lovely boy and belly rub king, who also flopped over and demanded pets before he let me pass. Finally, I was accosted by Auggie the ninja cat as I opened the door to try to get out of the room; she nearly knocked me over.
All-in-all, what I thought would take me just a few, quick steps, took me about five minutes.
Bringing the Library Home
Being able to log onto our chat reference service from home allowed me to provide reference and research support virtually, and to assist our students with their needs, just like I would have if I was in the library with them. Although I wouldn’t have been able to physically get them a book if they needed one or to grab a physical copy of the latest journal, this luckily didn’t come up in my questions.
I have also been able to work on this blog and to start reviewing books for our collection, some of the tasks I would normally work on library.
All in all, I believe my work from home experience has been a success so far — despite the fluffy traffic jams and a desire to stay in bed. I am thankful that, in this trying time, Touro College is looking out for its students and employees. Level heads will prevail and we will be back to normal before we even know it!
In the meantime, we have collected many resources for students, faculty, and staff to support them during this time: