One week spent working, existing from home

It’s now been one week spent working from home and here are my thoughts. It’s not exactly a new experience for me; as a working reporter throughout my years in University, I spent many hours writing, editing and interviewing from various jury-rigged desks, or just my bed sometimes.

I may be wearing sweatpants, my hair may be free from styling gel and my cat may be perpetually on my lap, but I’ve got a coffee, I’m at my home desk — a 1920s hoosier cabinet and a chair that’s even older that— and I’m ready to work.

I’m a fairly social being and will look forward to getting back to being in the office again, but in the meantime, I’m sharing my workspace with a friend of ours who visited just before self-isolation measures were suggested and hasn’t left yet. My girlfriend is a nurse but works fairly irregular hours so I get to see more of her as well.

I also get to see and pet my dog Scully whenever I want which is nice, except when she corrupts the workspace with a foul smell. And the cat is here too, as I said. He won’t leave me alone.

Around the world as people stay in their homes, it’s nice to think that amid all uncertainty and concern about the threat of pandemic, the earth itself is getting a bit of a break with far fewer motorists on the road generating pollution. On Thursday, New Science published a study that our ozone layer is healing, and while that’s more due the ban on producing ozone-depleting substances implemented by 1987’s Montreal Protocol, but I’m sure way less driving and office heat and light bills can’t hurt either.

I’m happy to see that people are still reading and sharing our articles and I’ll continue to write and share them, whether from my basement man-cave/co-working space or back in our little blue house by the Platzl. I’ll do my best to help people stay informed and perhaps a little entertained or amused. As Mayor McKormick recommended, stay informed, but not so informed things get fearful.

I need breaks from media too and need things to occupy my brain when the work day is done.

Work stuff aside, and though we’re all concerned about what’s happening around the world and here at home, I’ve been rather enjoying the quarantine life.

I got into video a lot more since moving out here from Calgary, it’s really been a great way to stay connected and virtually hang out with my buddies back home, and lately, there’s always at least a few

Call of Duty releasing their free new battle royale game Warzone really couldn’t have come at a better time — as apparently it’s not just my friends and I playing. Within a week of release they had over 30 million people playing and I’m sure it’s continued to skyrocket since then.

And when I either feel burnt out from the chaos that is Warzone, or if their servers go down, I’ve still got Diablo 3, Battlefield 1 or V, and GTA Online to play with buddies, or the Witcher 3 and The Last of Us, both of which I have countless hours left in.

I’m trying to be creative though too, as much as I love the sweet escapism of last man standing first-person shooters or hackin’ and slashin’ monsters in dungeons. The band I just joined as been put on hold temporarily, but I’m happy to be able to play my drums at home and work at our long list of cover tunes in the meantime. Drums have always been therapuetic for me, be it as an angsty teen or existentially disturbed adult.

It’s also been good to stimulate my brain and do a lot of reading. Currently I am working my way through Peter Frankopan’s “The Silk Roads,” a fascinating look at history through an Eastern perspective. I just read the part about the Black Plague which wiped out about 25 million of an estimated 75 million people living in Europe in the 14th century. Interestingly, it was nice to read that even though people then thought the world was literally coming to an end, society bounced back stronger than ever, with a better economy and better health of the population.

The music industry around has taken a big hit from all of this. Shows, tours, festivals, hot new cover rock bands, all put on hold and no one really know for how long. Music’s always been a big part of my life and so this is all troublesome, but it’s nice to see the silver linings emerge.

On Friday, March 20, music hosting site Bandcamp waived its fees, meaning that the money from everything purchased today goes directly to the artists. Servers nearly went haywire as supporters bought music and merch in droves, about $4.3 million worth.

This even directly helped bail out a friend of mine, whose metal band was about to tour Greece, until Corona nixed that before they even get started. The money they made in that one day of sales helped them re-coop some losses after a cancelled tour and a nightmare getting home.

Another thing I’ve really been enjoying while spending so much time at home, is all the live music bands and DJs have been streaming. There’s also been a lot of nice stories of organizations like Austin City Limits releasing free archival musical performances, not too mention free lectures, films, books from other institutions.

It’s also important to try and stay active, and I’m fortunate to have a dog that motivates me to go for long walks. I also, as my Townsman readers will know, am an avid disc golfer so was dismayed to see that the PDGA cancelled all tournaments for the next couple of months. Disc golf is really the only sport I watch regularly on channels like Jomez Pro and Central Coast Disc Golf. It’s also obviously devastating news for touring professionals who make their living in these tournaments.

While disc golf courses weren’t specifically mentioned in the list of recreation areas closed to the public in Cranbrook, the PDGA has asked players to skip the courses for a while, so I’m really leaning heavily on my backyard basket set up and feel really lucky to have one.

All of this said, whether you choose to take on additional projects you’ve been putting aside, or you choose to relax and unwind as much as possible, I commend you. These are unprecedented times and the most important thing to do is whatever makes you the happiest.


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